At the end of the month, the grocery budget has become slim. It’s time to eat out of the freezer and pantry, to finish up extra ingredients before the new month begins.
At that time of the month, I tend to cook a variety of meatless meals, like pasta, tacos with black beans, vegetable stir fry, or risotto. (Shout out to my Italian exchange student for recommending this meal! She loves cooking risotto and home and wanted a taste of Italy this week.)
Risotto is technically a rice, so you’ll find it in the rice and beans section of the grocery store. If you can’t find “risotto” look for arborio, another common name for it. It will come in a small package of 2 cups of dry risotto.
Much like pasta or rice, this is simple to cook. Boil it in water or broth according to the package’s directions (approximately 25 minutes). Then allow it to sit covered for 10 minutes before fluffing. Bonus for this being meatless, easy, and fast!
Adding mozzarella and parmesan cheese takes the simple risotto to another level. Plus, who doesn’t love cheese?! But I simply can’t serve a meal that doesn’t include some fruits or vegetables. So I roasted a pan of asparagus with balsamic vinegar to serve on top of the risotto. The combination of cheese risotto and balsamic asparagus is an outstanding mixture!
If your family prefers broccoli or green beans, feel free to substitute the vegetable!
- 2 cups of risotto/arborio
- 4 cups of water/broth, according to the package instructions
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, diced or shredded
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, diced or shredded
- 1 package of asparagus, ends removed and chopped into 1 inch slices
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook risotto in broth according to the package directions.
- While the risotto is cooking, toss the asparagus in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast the asparagus at 350 for 15 minutes or until fork tender.
- After the risotto is finished, add in mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Top with freshly roasted asparagus.