Baby, it’s cold outside.
This time of year a warm, creamy dish like risotto is just the ticket. Unfortunately, it’s traditionally made with white arborio or carnaroli rice. Subbing in brown rice will get you your whole-grains, but it will also take twice as long to cook. I’ve one-upped the traditional white rice risotto with quinoa.
Quinoa is a plant most commonly used in South American cooking. Often, it’s treated as a grain and is used in cereals and such, but technically it is a seed. It makes a great substitute for couscous or white rice because of it’s light, fluffy texture and nutty flavor. It’s high in protein, iron, calcium, and B vitamins, it cooks quickly, and, happily, it’s gluten-free.
Need another reason to try delicious quinoa? Try this creamy, dreamy Quinoa Risotto, made with asparagus, mushrooms, and rich parmesan for under 250 calories per serving. I love it with roasted chicken.