Sooo…I forgot to add a couple things to my list of 20 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs.
(21) Run 14 miles in 34 degree weather. Your lungs will burn with the icy bite of inhaling all that wintry air while your legs will teeter on the brink of, “Will we give out? Will we stay strong? Will we buckle? Will we hold up?” for the more than two hours it takes you to complete the run. All of this will leave very little time to even think about your February funk.
Today, I was proof of this.
(22) Drink a 12-pack of sparkling water in three days. Today, I was also proof of this.
(23) Clean out your pantry. Trust me, you’ll be enthralled by the things you find.
In my case, I uncovered a half jar of coconut oil…small bag of millet…one random packet of instant miso soup…jar of maca powder…and several cans of tomatoes, amongst other things (*cough* a waterbottle from 5th grade *cough*).
(24) Brainstorm ways to use those pantry items! A PROJECT CLEANOUT of sorts, you might say.
And so, in an attempt to be financially conscious and not waste perfectly good food, I took my own advice and did just that yesterday! I gathered up all those pesky stock items you keep around but never seem to actually use…and I put mine to good use, along with a sprouted rice blend bag so graciously sent to me to review from TruRoots.
Can I interrupt this post quick to regale you with the benefits of sprouted grains?
Because seriously, sprouting is so the new black. And the new pink.
Refined, processed grains are stripped of most of their nutrients but germinated grains…germinated grains retain more of their natural enzymes, which aid in digestion and encourage the growth of good bacteria. Sprouted grains often have more fiber and protein as well as vitamins and minerals. This is exactly why I love my Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread so much!*
Alright, alright…back to the story.
I started with sauteeing an onion and garlic in olive oil…because really, don’t all good recipes start that way? Then, I added the sprouted rice, vegetable stock, water and Italian seasoning, letting the saucepan do its thang. As the liquid reduced, I poured in those cans of diced tomato along with some leftover fresh cherry tomatoes and jarred sundried tomatoes. I added more water. I let it reduce further…pondering the possibilities of this on-the-fly meal.
Then I realized there was only one real possibility for this meal, and it was cheese.
Two cheeses, to be exact. Cheddar and feta.
Count that as way #25 to beat the winter blahs: eat lots of cheese.
Easy Three Tomato Risotto
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 T minced garlic
1 1/2 cups rice*
1 T Italian seasoning
1 t crushed red pepper, optional
juice of 1 small lemon
2 T white wine vinegar
2 cups vegetable broth
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can garbanzo beans
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup jarred sundried tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup mild cheddar or asiago cheese
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
lemon slices + fresh parsley, for garnish
*I used TruRoots Sprouted Rice Blend
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add rice and seasonings. Stir until well-mixed. Add lemon, white wine vinegar, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Stir occasionally, letting rice absorb liquid. Continue adding water in 1-cup intervals, letting the rice absorb the liquid, until rice is cooked through.
Fold in beans, cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and cheddar/asiago cheese. To serve, divide into six bowls and top with feta crumbles and garnishes of your choice.
Makes 6 servings
*For more information on sprouting, click here.