Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Dutch oven risotto

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So far…after checking numerous dutch oven recipe books…I have been rather disappointed by the lack of variety in vegetarian dishes for the dutch oven. However, there seems to be an abundance of meat dishes. In a dutch oven cook book from the 1950ties, one can even find a recipe for “oven-fried squirrel”–a recipe that reminded me of the “Hunger Games.”

In an attempt to introduce more variety to vegetarian/vegan dutch oven cooking, I was determined to use the https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/easy-no-fail-vegetable-risotto/ recipe as a start.

Hans and I tried it with a little backyard fire and during our recent trip to Canyonlands. Two of our friends totally approved of this recipe.

Ingredients (Makes 2 servings):
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup uncooked Arborio (short grain) rice
¼ cup sliced green onions, or regular white onion
1 vegetable bullion and 2 cups of water, another cup of water
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium (½ cup) Roma tomatoes, chopped
Grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if desired. Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Coat Dutch oven (8-inch for two servings) with 1 table spoon of butter. (This may be easiest after warming Dutch oven briefly in camp fire. Make sure that the lid is closed. After warming Dutch oven, remove from fire and spread butter.)

2. Place Dutch oven over camp fire. Melt 2 tablespoons butter; add rice and green onions. While stirring, cook onion and rice briefly. Add beans, water, vegetable bullion, and basil. Cook for approximately 20 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. If mixture becomes too dry, add a little bit more water (approximately 3/4 cup of water).

3. Stir in tomatoes and continue cooking until rice is done. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.  (Note: vegan option possible, just use vegan butter and do not sprinkle with cheese.)

Dutch oven risotto

Dutch oven risotto

Health benefits:
* This recipe is low in fat, but bursts with flavor.
* In addition the beans are rich in vitamin C. (Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron and to maintain healthy skin, teeth, and bones. It is also an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and helps fight infection.)
* The beans also have potassium and magnesium, which help regulate body fluids and maintaining muscle, bone, and teeth health, respectively.
* Compared to white long-grain rice, Arborio rice has more dietary fiber. Fiber can help with hunger control and may also lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
* Tomatoes are rich in vitamins C and E. They also contain beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Cooking enhances some of the health-giving qualities of tomatoes, particulary the effectiveness of lycopene (a bright red carotene).

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