Risotto Lovin'

by Heather on May 27, 2010

Morning y’all :)  I’m so excited that the long weekend is ALMOST HERE!!!

Like I said, last night we had some new friends over for dinner, so I wanted to make something yummy to eat.  I took some inspiration from this post and decided on mushroom risotto and traditional meatballs!

Parmesan Mushroom Risotto

  • 7 cups liquid (I used 1 cup white wine, 4 cups chicken stock, and 2 cups of water)
  • 4 Tbsp butter + 1 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used white button and cremini mushrooms, but you could use a combination of any wild mushrooms)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese

In a large (and I do mean LARGE) pot, melt the 4 Tbsp butter on medium low heat.  Saute the chopped onion until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add minced garlic and sautee for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the 2 cups of rice and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the kernels start to take on a toasted color.  Add 1 cup of wine to help deglaze the pan.  From that point on, add 1 cup of liquid at a time, constantly stirring, until the rice is cooked.  In the meantime, over low heat, melt the other 1 Tbsp of butter.  Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the mushrooms are soft.  Add the 1 tsp of thyme and take off heat.  When the rice is cooked and the amount of liquid in the risotto is minimal, add the cheese and the mushrooms.  Stir together until cheese is melted and everything is combined!

Traditional Meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground meat (we used ground beef for ours)
  • 2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 heaping Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 heaping Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • optional:  shredded veggies like carrots, zucchini, potato, etc…just make sure you squeeze all of the excess liquid out first, and you’d want to add a few more breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400.  Saute the onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil for 5-7 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  In a large bowl add all ingredients plus the sauteed onions and garlic.  Gently combine using your fingers (do not squish the meat!) until well mixed.  Form into 1/3-cup portions and roll into balls.  Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the middles of the meatballs are no longer pink.  Serve hot with marinara sauce!

We also had a simple side salad of Romaine and carrots (I planned on using some grilled squash, but just didn’t have enough time):

And dessert was a big cast-iron cookie (take break-n-bake cookie dough and add to a cast iron skillet.  Bake as directed until cookie is brown and done) with ice cream!

So rich and so good :)  We had a great time with Drew & Rachael and can’t wait to get to know them more!

Yesterday my knee really started to hurt again, so I decided to take today off from walking, and will just do my upper body strength training later tonight.  We slept in til 7, got ready for work, and then I started my day off with the usual GM:

I’m working really hard to not let my injury define me right now, and I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve really felt remotely peaceful about it.  I’m not excited that it hurts, I’m not excited that I need to take it easy, and I’m actually truly afraid of the effect that having easier workouts will have on my body, but I do know that God has a bigger plan for me through this.  In the meantime, I will probably still walk, but much more slowly, and focus on doing strength training, yoga, and core work instead.  I also know that I’m really going to have to watch my portion sizes as well, which is going to be the hardest part of all.  My hope with that is that I will learn to savor every small bite and be OK with simply being satisfied and not full.  Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on that stuff, but I did want to keep y’all in the loop about what’s going on as far as my workouts are concerned!

Random question:  what’s your favorite Italian food dish (and it can be multiple things :))?! I know I said yesterday that I don’t like raw tomatoes, but I LOVE them in Italian meals!  Marinara (if it’s done right) is a huge favorite, but I really love handmade gnocchi, cheeses, and pasta.  All of which is super-generalized, but still :)  The best Italian dish I’ve ever had was at a Sardinian restaurant in Dallas, Arcodoro & Pomodoro, where I had handmade gnocchi topped with a wild boar ragu…HOLY HEAVEN!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nutritious foodie May 27, 2010

Great minds think alike my friend. I wanted to make rissoto last night really bad.. except we didn’t have all the ingredients for it.

“I’m working really hard to not let my injury define me right now, and I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve really felt remotely peaceful about it. I’m not excited that it hurts, I’m not excited that I need to take it easy, and I’m actually truly afraid of the effect that having easier workouts will have on my body” My thoughts exactly. I completely understand how you feel. I got my knee locked on Tuesday.. today it is just a bit swollen I have to go see the doc at 2 I am just patrified of what he might say. I haven’t done a real workout in 7 weeks… I just hope its nothing serious.

I hope you knee gets better, what is the Doc saying?


2 Heather May 27, 2010

Well, basically my doctor said that it wasn’t an ACL/MCL thing, but my PT/Chiropractor mentioned it could be a meniscus tear. I’m going to her tomorrow, so we’ll see what she says, but part of me thinks I should go see an orthopedist just to be sure…


3 nutritious foodie May 27, 2010

I agree with you… you should see an orthopedic dr. X-ray won’t show meniscus tear but MRI will. Good luck and keep me posted.


4 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 27, 2010

i just made an awesome Italian salmon dish based on a Mario Batali recipe. Salmon Scaloppine with Red Wine and Sage. Turned out sooo good!



5 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is May 27, 2010

I love risotto! I really love making it with wine, too. I really don’t like any Italian food since I don’t like tomato sauce, but if I had to pick I’d say gnocchi!


6 jqlee May 27, 2010

i have always been intimidated by making risotto. no idea why. i need to get on it though. the creaminess of it is soooo comforting.

fav Italian dish is probably lasagna. you can’t go wrong with noodles, sauce and cheeeeeeese! i also love dipping fresh bread in olive oil/parmesan cheese. omg…


7 Anna May 27, 2010

Mmmm…risotto is definitely a favorite Italian dish of mine. Any pasta is good too :-)


8 LiveForTheRun May 27, 2010

Glad to hear you’re making progress. I know taking it easy is so much easier said than done. Fantastic outlook though.

I am a sucker for good ol’ ravioli. Lame, I’m sure.


9 Kendall May 27, 2010

I love gnocchi — it’s so fluffy, yet dense and filling. I need to focus on some homemade gnocchi..maybe next week. Top with marinara sauce and it’s a party in my mouth!


10 Mary May 27, 2010

I love home made Gnocchi and sauce!


11 Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) May 27, 2010

I’m a new reader… but what happened to your knee? I’ve been having some issues with my left knee lately and I can’t figure it out.

On another note… marinara sauce! I could drink it ;)


12 Heather May 27, 2010

That’s a great question! Haha :) Basically I was running one day and all of a sudden my knee started hurting really badly, so I walked back to my office. From then on it’s been hurting every time I walk or ride my bike…I went to the doctor, but she said she doesn’t think it’s an ACL/MCL issue, so I’ve been seeing one of my friends who’s a chiropractor with PT experience and we’ve been working on it for about a month and a half now. I rode my bike last weekend, and felt something kind of “tweak” and since then it’s been hurting and really sore. So i’m not sure, but I think I might need to go see an orthopedist sometime soon…


13 Jacqui May 27, 2010

Risotto like the one you made is one of my favorite foods. So much you can do with it, love it.


14 Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary May 27, 2010

I love making risotto… I find it to be ver relaxing to stand over the pot stirring… making the perfect consitancy. ;) What a great dinner Heather!


15 Lindsay May 27, 2010

I love quality gnocchi. It’s so hard to get that consistency just right when you make it at home. Honestly though, I love ALL Italian food…

I love your attitude about your knee injury. I’m in a semi-similar situation as I’m just starting to recover from a 5 day illness and haven’t been able to work out at all recently. It’s really tough, and I hate not being able to move my body like I normally do. I have this horrible habit of wondering how much strength/endurance I keep losing as I sit in bed all day. But I know that’s not positive thinking. Rest will heal my body, so it’s ready to become stronger than ever. I just need to give it time and be patient. Rest will heal your injury too! Best of luck, girlie. :)


16 Kate May 27, 2010

Well I hope your knee gets to feeling better! And that dinner + GM looked delishhhh :)
My favorite has got to be chicken piccata. It is sooo light and nice and lemony, the capers and butter sauce just melt in your mouth!! Perfect with some chardonnay


17 Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) May 27, 2010

That risotto + meatballs look sooo good! I love all Italian food, but I think it’s a tie between ravioli and lasagna. :)



18 Jill@MySoCalledHealthLife May 27, 2010

Holy flip I LOVE risotto. My bf just made an EXCELLENT shrimp and lemon risotto last week, I really need to start posting his recipes, but it will show me up too much. haha.

As for italian food, my favorite is manicotti hands down. That stuff is the business :-)


19 Naomi(onefitfoodie) May 27, 2010

i LOVE chicken caccitore!! that risotto does look mouthwatering too!!


20 Helen May 27, 2010

Oh no I hope your injury isn’t worrying you too much. It must be so frustrating……keep strong, as you say, God knows what he’s doing!
Favourite Italian food is a simple pasta with cherry tomatoes, goats cheese, spinach and pine nuts – glorious!


21 Kelly May 27, 2010

YUM! I am impressed…homemade risotto! Awesome! My favorite Italian meal is basic. Angel Hair pasta with meatsauce! Heaven! :)


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