Parmesan Risotto

Recipe adapted from “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker’’ by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann, Harvard Common Press, 2005.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium-sized minced shallots
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
3 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the shallots until softened, 3 to 4 minutes; do not brown. Add the wine and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add the rice and cook, stirring until it turns from translucent to opaque (do not brown), about 2 minutes. Scrape with a heat-proof rubber spatula into the slow cooker. Add the broth and salt. Cover and cook on HIGH until all the liquid is absorbed, but the rice is still moist, 2 to 21/2 hours. The risotto should be only a bit liquidy, and the rice should be al dente, tender with just a touch of firmness.

2. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese and pass the remainder for sprinkling. Serve immediately, spooned into bowls. Risotto will keep on the KEEP WARM setting for an hour or so.

Cream of Wheat Berries With Cranberries and Cardamom

Sarah’s Notes: This is a true favorite. A real treat to wake up to hot oatmeal in the morning. We change up the grains on this all the time as well. Quinoa is a bit bitter, but amaranth is nice in small amounts. The current favorite combo is oats and farro.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Cooking time 6 to 8 hours

1/2 cup wheat berries
1/4 cup cracked wheat
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt (maybe less)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

In a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, combine the wheat berries, cracked wheat, oats and water. Stir in salt and cardamom. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Stir in cranberries just before serving. Also good with Baked Brunch Apples

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4

2 cups chicken broth
2 (8-ounce) packages frozen cauliflower
1 medium stalk celery—cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium carrot—cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion—cut into eighths
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper—to taste
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups low-fat cheddar cheese—shredded

Throw all ingredients except milk and cheese into a crockpot and cook
on low until vegetables are very tender, about 4-6 hours.

Carefully pour mixture into work bowl of food processor fitting with
steel blade or into blender container. Cover and process until
smooth. OR, if you like it a little lumpy and bumpy like I do, use a
potato masher and have at it in the crockpot itself–mash to your
heart’s delight.

Place your cauliflower mixture into a saucepan; stir in milk and
cheese. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is
melted and mixture is hot.

Per serving: 235 Calories; 16g Total Fat; (59% calories from fat);
15g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 46mg Cholesterol;
701mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0
Fruit; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: A big green salad and some whole grain rolls
make for a nice supper.