Creamy Teesey Asparagus [Barley] Risotto

May 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm 4 comments

As usual, I try to keep my dinner meals simple – and if I can manage to pull it off under 45-minutes and sneak a vegetable into the mix then I’ve really hit it home.  (Oh, and gaining some D approval always is a side goal). So tonight I wanted to replicate a delicious risotto I had awhile back.  Obviously, the plan wasn’t to  go ingredient for ingredient [butter, four cheeses, etc.].  In fact, I nixed the butter and white wine – and added some more of that Teese Mozzarella I was sent from Chicago Soy Dairy to step up the creaminess.

Why Barley?

  • Barely is a whole grain that contains high levels of dietary fiber [both soluble and insoluble]
  • It contains vitamins including: B1, B3, and iron
  • Studies have linked a barley-rich diet to lower cholesterol
  • It fluffs up just as nice as risotto, I promise!

*The original recipe may or may not be from Weight Watchers, as my mom had shared this with me awhile ago, but I’ve  tweeked it a bit for vegan needs.

  • 1 cup barley [I used pearl barley – easier to find, slightly less healthy in terms of fiber]
  • 3 cups no-chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded Teese Mozzarella or vegan alternative
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • *optional squirt of lemon –> I didn’t have this but I think it would really complement the dish!

Simple: Saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until soft, then add barley and stir for about 1-2 minutes.  Add broth and let simmer covered about 10 minutes.  Add asparagus and continue to simmer covered for 30-minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar, salt/pepper (dash), and mozzarella until creamy.  Serve with a squirt of lemon and if you’re lucky — some wine!

I didn’t get to enjoy this dinner until after 9:00 since I finally got back to yoga after a 2-week hiatus (yea!!) – but it was well worth the wait.  I of course gave D the stare down to see what he thought, to which I received an exuberant “I think I like it”. He did slowly eat his portion over a 10-minute period in front of the t.v., so either he ate before I got home or he just didn’t love it.  In either case, I think it’s pretty good and fairly healthy.

What about the Teese?

This is round two using my tube of Teese Mozzarella – and I’m so glad I gave it another whirl!  As I said previously, I feel like Teese and Follow Your Heart offer very similar tasting mozzarella with similar textures.  The only MAJOR difference now is that Teese has cornered the market in meltability.  It is stretchy and melts just like real mozzarella, I promise!  It’s shreds and melts easy, and has a pretty good flavor.  What more can you ask for?  Oh – and it has a pretty nice shelf life.  My only issue is that I cannot for the life of me figure out how many cups 28g [1 serving] converts to. I have one chunk left of the stuff and really am torn as to how to proceed – pizza or something more creative? Time will tell. I really hope this get’s the same shelf love that Daiya has received at local groceries!

Calling it a night – I hope to get as comfy as this little piggy:

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Entry filed under: dinner, italian, product review, vegan. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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