Beet and Goat Cheese Risotto

Recently I was craving beet risotto. Don't ask. It's a very random thing to crave...I know.

But then again, risotto is awesome. As are beets...which took me a very long time to realize. My first experience with beets was at my grandma's house. She always made pickled beet eggs, a Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy. Those...those smelly little things...I don't think I will ever be able to get one passed my nose. The smell was rancid. I had to hold my breath each time one of the adults decided they wanted to scarf one down. aosidofiajws. I just had a shiver run through me.

Beets, however, are surprisingly really good...and do not smell nearly as awful. Plus...they are really pretty. And considering how bright they are, you know they are healthy.

I had beet risotto in some fancy French restaurant a while back and it was amazing, which probably explains my craving. This is not a replica of what I had, but good nonetheless. The creaminess of the goat cheese will make it hard for you to put this down. Despite that, I urge you to not mix your canned beets with hard-boiled eggs and try this instead...

Beet and Goat Cheese Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced white/yellow onion
1 cup arborio rice
2 teaspoons dried basil, fresh if you have some
1/2 cup red wine
1 can pickled beets
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup goat cheese
few handfuls of chopped walnuts

1. Before anything, chop up the canned beets so you're prepared.

2. Heat oil in on stove over medium-high heat. Add 1 garlic clove and onion; saute 3 minutes.

3. Add rice, other garlic clove, and basil; saute 1 minute.

4. Add wine; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

5. Add salt, beets and half of the juice from the can, stirring constantly until absorbed.

6. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 35 minutes.

7. Add cheese, stirring until blended.

8. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon walnuts.

9. Serve warm.

10. Impress your guests with this sophisticated (yet fairly simple...shhh) meal!


Spicy Nuts

This is going to be short and sweet.

This is a really great and easy recipe that I happened upon recently reading through some healthy snack ideas in a magazine. If you like sweet and salty combinations, this will be right up your alley. Also a bonus from making this recipe, at least for me, it saves money by not having/wanting to buy those tiny, pricey little jars of deliciously flavored Blue Diamond almonds.

Just buy nuts in bulk and flavor them yourself and...YOU win!

Spicy Nuts

1 cup mixed nuts (I used almonds, walnuts and cashews)
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat the maple syrup or honey in a pot on the stove. Just a few minutes until warm.

3. Mix in nuts and spices and stir until completely coated.

4. Lay nuts on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes,until toasted. About half way through, take nuts out and stir them around. Watch them closely and make sure to not burn.

5. Keep them stored in a plastic bag.

6. I would say "go wild," but don't! Despite their healthy-ness, they do have a TON of calories. So snack easy.