I’m taking a break from all the candy canes and eggnog happening around here to bring you something healthy. This Whole Grain Bulgur Risotto with Peas and Carrots is the no sugar antidote to the holiday sweet rush that is plaguing us (who am I kidding? we love it). Last night some very kind anonymous person left a plate of tasty cookies on my doorstep. I ate three and felt sick. Then I ate a bowl of this Bulgur Risotto and I felt better. See, just a spoon full of veggies helps the sugared treats go down.
This Bulgur Risotto is one of those dishes that I really wasn’t sure about. I knew I would like it because I have a special place in my heart for bulgur – it’s nutty flavor and chewy texture has always appealed to me. I also have no problems minding my peas and carrots. The kids are different story.
My girls really are such good eaters, so no complaints from me – I know some parents are dealing with much more difficult situations! But, even though they eat a lot of veggies and grains, a dish like this is hit or miss. However, after doing this family meal thing for several years now, I’ve learned a few tricks. I pulled one out of my sleeve for this Bulgur Risotto and let me tell you, it totally worked!
First, it helps that this is actually delicious – the bulgur, cooked risotto style, is creamy and buttery, and the peas and carrots add a healthy sweetness to the grains. But, if you’ve ever tried to feed a kid then you know that getting them to take that first bite is the real battle. Sure, it may taste delicious, but you have to disarm their veggie defense system first and then talk them through that first tiny bite.
To make that first bite happen, I pulled out one of my best tricks. Cheese. And not just any cheese, but what my kids call “the fancy cheese.” Parmesan Cheese is my secret weapon. I stirred in a measuring cup full of cheese and then added shaved Parmesan to the top of each bowl. They eyed it suspiciously, spotting peas and carrots, but there’s cheese I cajoled, fancy cheese. Take a bite, see how cheesy it is. It took a few minutes, but I sold them on it.
In fact, I sold myself on it too. Bulgur Risotto is good! Skip the rice and try this nutritionally packed dish as a simple, healthy lunch or a delicious side dish at dinner. Libby’s canned peas and carrots simplify this dish and add a healthy serving of veggies. Enjoy!
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ cups quick cook whole grain bulgur
- 3½ cups (approximately) chicken broth, divided
- ¾ cup freshly grated or shaved Parmesan, plus more for topping
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 can Libby's Sweet Peas, drained
- 1 can Libby's Sliced Carrots, drained
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in the bulgur and ½ cup broth and simmer, stirring often until broth is absorbed, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth two more times, ½ cup at a time, simmering after each addition until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth until bulgur is soft and creamy, simmering after each addition and stirring often until liquid is absorbed. This process takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the cheese and remove from heat. Stir in remaining tablespoon of butter, peas. carrots, and tarragon. Serve warm and garnish with additional shaved Parmesan.
This post was sponsored by Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables. All opinions are my own.