Asparagus Spinach Risotto and the Menu for the Week

I’m posting my menu a day early this week because tomorrow’s post will be my 400th post!  Can you believe it?  Well, that’s what WordPress says, anyway, so I’m going to have a giveaway tomorrow instead of the menu post…so come visit again tomorrow, ‘kay?

Finally, spring has sprung here in Wisconsin!  I can’t get my kids to come inside for dinner unless I tempt them with something really good, because the sunset is getting so late. For kids who are normally eating dinner at 6:00 and in bed by 7:30, it’s tough!

Here’s our menu this week: (and, yes, they were lured inside by each night’s choice!)

Monday:  Hash Brown Pie with Fruit Salad and Biscuits

Tuesday: Taco Salad

Wednesday: Asparagus Spinach Risotto, Maple-Glazed Carrots, and Sugar Snap Peas

Thursday: Grilled Salmon with Dill and Lemon, Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice, and Steamed Green Beans

Friday: Lemon Chicken with Peppers and Sugar Snap Peas, Steamed Rice, and Soy-Sesame Cucumbers

For the hash brown pie, I used chopped ham from Easter dinner instead of sausage.  I packaged it in 2-cup amounts and popped it in the freezer while cleaning up, so it’s ready to go for soups or casseroles.

To make taco salad, I brown a pound of ground beef or turkey and stir in some taco seasoning and drained and rinsed black beans.  We combine it with chopped romaine, tomatoes, shredded carrots, and green onions over crushed baked tortilla chips. We top it with a bit of shredded cheese, salsa, and fatfree Catalina dressing (yes, really).

Soy Sesame Cucumbers are simply sliced English cucumbers with a bit of soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

The Asparagus Spinach Risotto is a smidge different than a traditional risotto. It’s baked in the oven, after about 15 minutes on the stovetop, so doesn’t require the lengthy standing at the stove and stirring a regular risotto does. Of course, you also don’t have an excuse to enjoy a glass of wine while doing all that stirring, so it does have a down side.

I like this version for busy weeknights, because it allows me to prepare the rest of dinner while the risotto cooks perfectly in the oven.


Asparagus Spinach Risotto

(adapted, barely, from Cooking Light)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 8 cups baby spinach leaves (about 4 ounces)
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/4 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 cups (1-inch) diagonally sliced asparagus
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add rice; stir well. Stir in spinach, broth, salt, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer; cook 7 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese.

3. Cover and bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Stir in asparagus; sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed.

4. Remove from oven, stir in lemon juice and sprinkle with ¼ cup shredded Parmesan.

Click here for printable recipe


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