Dare I say the word, “risotto?” You know, that traditional Italian meal that requires standing by the stove, stirring constantly for 30-40 minutes, the one that any “average” person (i.e., anyone who is not a chef!) could never possibly master without years of practice, RIGHT?!…
Firstly, (I believe) that risottos are not THAT difficult to prepare (I actually think they’re kind of foolproof!). Sure, it might take a few tries to get the gist of the cooking process but once you’ve mastered it, it’s smooth sailing from there! You can easily replace the traditional ingredients by opting for interesting flavour combos (and not to mention, you might actually be able to walk away from the stove for a few minutes at a time without sacrificing your risotto!).
Case in point: this super-easy, super-tasty Tex-Mex take on a traditional risotto…
Sure, the spices and ingredients are nowhere near traditional, but it’s still a risotto to me…and it’s a delicious one at that!
This is definitely a one-pot wonder-easy to make, healthy, packed with flavour, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Serve as is by the spoonful, stuffed in a quesadilla or taco shell, or as a garnish for nachos.
Do not be deterred by the long list of ingredients (most of which you probably already have sitting around in your fridge or pantry) because, trust me, it will all be worth it in the end! ;-)
500 grams lean ground chicken (beef or turkey)
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 cup uncooked brown rice (long-grain white rice or Arborio)
*Cooking times may vary slightly depending on which rice you use.
1 1/2 cups water or broth
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes (with the liquid)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned corn, drained
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (if desired)
salt and pepper to taste
1 small avocado, cubed or finely sliced (optional as a garnish)
1/4 cup cheddar cheese (optional as a garnish)
1 tbs. per serving plain Greek yogurt (optional as a garnish)
Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, onions and green pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes or until translucent.
Add the ground chicken and spices. Break apart the chicken with a large wooden spoon as it cooks then stir occasionally until the chicken is no longer pink (about 15-20 minutes).
Add the rice, pureed tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 40-45 minutes.
Once the rice is tender (but not mushy) add the beans and corn and simmer for another 5 minutes or so until they are heated through.
Immediately remove from the heat and serve. Leave covered to prevent any remaining liquid from evaporating so the rice does not dry out.
Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, fresh avocado, a dollop of sour cream…the options are endless!