I discovered my love for risotto later on in life but since the first bite in 2010 I have tried and loved many versions of this indulgent dish! As much as I would love to eat a heavy creamy cheesy homemade risotto daily, this does not align with my #bodgoals. Insert the New New healthified (thats a word right?) version! Being creative with recipes, ingredients, and spices to create "healthy" substitutes for popular meals is a fun hobby of mine and I hope you enjoy my spin on a tasty classic with a healthy spin!
Ingredients & Directions
For the Pan:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small package crimini mushrooms mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small package shiitake mushrooms, leave whole
- 2 cups pearl barley
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
For the slow cooker:
- 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cup water
At the end:
- Optional: 2/3 cup Kraft Light Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Fresh Parsley
Add the olive oil, the onions, and salt and pepper on medium-high heat to a large wok or frying pan and simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for 2-4 minutes until slightly browned. Finally add the barley at the end and brown it for 2 minutes (you are not wanting to cook the barley just brown it). Leave the Thyme sprigs whole in your mixture, you will remove these later.
Add the broth, water, and carrots to the slow cooker (set on high), and then add all ingredients from the frying pan and stir well. Cover and set timer for 3 hours exactly.
Final step. Take the thyme out of your finish risotto, add the vinegar and parmesan (omit for vegan) and stir (add some water if you want to thin it out a bit but I did not need to). Plate it and add a few sprinkles of the fresh parsley (optional). Voila!
Macros per serving: