Italian Garden Parm Risotto

by Kaden Bailey in Blog, Ingredient Panels September 21, 2019

The Mediterranean diet has a lot of publicity, and for good reason! Italian food is obviously amazing, and opting for the healthier versions of traditional dishes give us the best in culinary appreciation. This version of risotto is a little on the lighter side, and takes just about 20 minutes to put together. Loaded with fresh veggies, homemade seasoning, and heart-healthy whole grain rice, this Italian favorite reimagined as a healthy and super simple go-to dinner recipe.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 small to medium zucchinis
  • 1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes.
  • 2 pouches ready-to-eat whole-grain brown rice like this one. 
  • ¼ cup regular or vegan parmesan
  • 6 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried or 1 T fresh basil
  • ½ cup of veggie broth

How to prepare:

  1. Chop the tomatoes in half and set aside. Chop the zucchini as shown in the photo. Then, blend the spices together in a small bowl. 
  2. Add 2 T of olive oil and the spices to a second saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the rice and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the veggie broth and reduce to a simmer. Stir often until a creamy consistency is reached, about 5 minutes.
  3. Warm the remaining 4 T of olive oil on medium heat and stir in half of the spices. Add the zucchini and saute until they are al dente ( still firm but starting to soften).
  4. When the zucchini have sauteed for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. Cook for about 2-3 more minutes, just enough to soften the tomatoes.
  5. Finally, stir in the parmesan cheese to the rice just before serving. Place ¾ cup of rice on each plate, and flatten to form a disc. Top with a generous helping of the vegetable mixture and enjoy! You just made a heart-healthy, veggie-rich and vegetarian/vegan dinner!

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Did you know? 

The Mediterranean diet is credited with leading to a significantly reduced risks for chronic disease such as heart disease and diabetes.

Zucchinis are rich in flavenoids, meaning they fight free radical damage.

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