There was a time, when our little one was just over a year old, when we mostly ate rice. It is consistent enough to categorise as real food and tiny and soft enough not to require too much chewing. Out of the many recipes we used one kept consistently returning to our menu and still is there today. Thus our traditional family risotto was born.
I have to say we are pretty big meat eaters. Most of the days our lunches or dinners would have some sort of meat or fish in them. So naturally a risotto needs some meat as well. In this case: chicken breast. But rice and chicken alone have no real flavour and are too dry to have on their own. Hence the addition of sauce and vegetables to really make it a complete and delicious meal.
Let me add that the point of this dish is in the add-ons, not the rice. You can make the same thing with quinoa or a mixture of grains. My personal favourite would be rice, red quinoa and buckwheat or rice, spelt and barley.
This works for about 3 people.
- half an onion
- olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- half a chicken breast
- 1 cup rice
- 0.5L vegetable stock
- 1 can tomato pulp in cubes
- curry (optional)
- parmesan cheese (optional)
It starts with a little bit of chopped onion over a generous base of olive oil. Add peppers and chicken breast. Both cut in pieces. I prefer the peppers to be in less than half inch cubes, while the chicken breast pieces can be a little larger. Let them sauté for a couple of minutes. The next step is the tomato pulp. Once you add that the rest of the ingredients start to cook so make sure you let them sauté to your preferred level.
Then add rice. This will eat most of the liquid but let it stay this way for a minute or two. Not being cooked in enough liquid benefits the rice as well. Only then add the vegetable stock and cook according to the instruction on your rice package. If you run out of liquid, add more stock or plain water. A few minutes before cook time add a little bit of curry. If that is your thing of course. The risotto has plenty of flavour on its own but we like the slight taste of the curry spices.
Serve and add parmesan cheese on top.
Why we love this so much
It is the perfect family meal. We usually do this as a late lunch/early dinner. The reasons why we do it so often are:
- Nutritionally it has a little bit of everything. Carbs, protein, vitamins, all in one.
- There is no need to help the kids with it. No cutting, no danger of spilling. Clean, simple, awesome.
- It keeps very well so it’s great for leftovers. We often double the quantities to take the rest to work the next day.
- It’s delicious.
I hope you try it and enjoy it just as much as we do!