Low-fat comfort food (not an oxymoron)

The weather is turning colder and my body is craving calories as seen below in my tator tot post. I am cooking for a women on a weekly basis that requires a low fat, low sodium diet and it’s been wonderful for me. I’ve been learning to adjust my recipes to meet her needs and I’m passing the benefits on to my own family.

When I think of comfort food, I want something creamy, rich and warm. This recipe fits the bill. I got it from eating.health.com.  I substitute on cup of white wine for a cup of broth, but other than that I made it as written.  It was so delicious that I thought I’d pass it along. Enjoy!

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish (optional)
7 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
1/4 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or pecorino Romano cheese

1: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the squash. Cook until tender, 5–7 minutes. Add sea salt, pepper, and sage. Set aside until ready to finish the risotto. Bring 5 cups of broth to boil in a saucepan; reduce to a simmer. Save remaining 2 cups.

2: Heat 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil in a heavy 4–5 quart sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté for about 2 minutes, or until translucent. Add rice to mixture and stir until all grains are coated.

3: Using a ladle, start adding simmering broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously. Allow each addition to be fully absorbed before adding more. This will take about 20–25 minutes. The rice will be slightly al dente. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and place away from direct heat until ready to finish.

4: About 5 minutes before serving, bring remaining 2 cups broth to a simmer. Warm squash on the stove. Heat rice mixture over medium heat. Immediately start adding simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until soft and fairly loose. Most of the broth should have evaporated, but it shouldn’t be dry (you may not need all 2 cups). The rice should be soft, not mushy. If too dry, add a bit more hot broth. Stir in squash; taste for seasoning. Serve in shallow bowls. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Garnish with more sage, if desired, and serve immediately. (Serving size: 3/4 cup)

Calories 407 (27% from fat); Fat 13g (sat 4g, mono 7g, poly 2g); Cholesterol 8mg; Protein 15g; Carbohydrate 63g; Sugars 4g; Fiber 5g; Iron 2mg; Sodium 124mg; Calcium 92mg

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