Monday, July 26, 2010

Leftover Soup Risotto with Shrimp

Earlier last week I made tomato soup with an onion and tomato puree, I wrote about it in a blog called either way soup.  When I think about eating that soup I feel bored by it, because it doesn't have much texture.  Sergio adds tortilla chips to it and I think that helps but I just wanted to stop eating all together, but I hate wasting food.  I decided on Friday to use the soup to make risotto, and if it were to turn out to be not enough liquid I was going to boil some shrimp in a small amount of chicken broth and use that to finish the risotto.  That is exactly what ended up happening.  The result was a creamy tomato risotto with shrimp and topped with crunchy bacon, which could be replaced with asparagus spears or almond slivers instead.  Below is how to do it.

4 slices of bacon - cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup of arboriol rice
3 cups leftover tomato soup
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup raw shrimp

Cook the bacon in a large skillet to render the bacon fat; meanwhile, start warming up your leftover soup in a small saucepan.  Rather than bacon you can use 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Scoop out the crispy bacon bits and set aside and add the rice, and stir for about 2-3 minutes.  Then start adding the soup one cup at a time and stirring frequently do not add another cup until the liquid has been completely absorbed.  Once you run out of soup add about one cup of chicken broth to the saucepan and wait for it to come to a simmer.  Then I add the raw, peeled and deveined shrimp to the chicken broth and cook them until they turn pink.  Take those out and set aside so they do not overcook.  If necessary use the broth used to cook the shrimp to supplement the soup for the cooking of the risotto.  Add the shrimp to combine and serve topped with the bacon bits for garnish.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brown rice, I'm impressed

Sergio says he'll need time to adjust to it, but I think it's great.  My first batch was baked in the oven using Alton Brown's recipe and was super easy.  I've avoided making it since I've heard it can take lots of time and monitoring of the liquid levels.  If you give it a try you may like it and from what I've read, cooking brown rice the hard way is better than using instant types because since it' being double cooked you are losing some of the nutrients.  I didn't have more than a few minutes of prep and then while it actually cooked I was busy making something else.  I turned out fluffy, a little nutty and even creamy  with just the small tab of butter used in the recipe.  The rice wasn't alone in the oven , I was also cooking some chicken thighs.  I had plan for this rice and chicken, it was going to get chilled in the fridge over night and then turned in to a stir-fry the following day.  I shredded the thigh meat and threw away the skin and bones.  Then I used a crazy amount of chopped scallions, half of a red onion sliced on the bias, sliced shiitake mushrooms, peas, the brown rice, and a couple tablespoons of soy sauce.  I was inspired by a cabbage and brown rice stir-fry recipe I read about, but since I had no cabbage I modified it.  Anyhow the recipe was turned out to be 383 calories, 12g of fat, and 11g of protein for every 2 cup serving, a tiny fraction of my calorie RDI, woo hoo!  Also, the brown rice is packed with fiber so you really feel full for much longer than you do by eating white rice. 

Counting Calories

Now that I can't use the excuse of needing to study for an exam I've been back to taking care of my body again.  I'm in the home stretch of being able to say that I am in my late twenties and I really want to be a habit of exercise and eating healthy by the time I turn the big 3-0.  I got back into my morning routine of doing anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of circuit training.  I also downloaded a free app for my Droid called Calorie Counter.  It's a pain to use on home cooked meals but it normally will scan any barcode and compute your RDI.  Sergio is much more patient with the program, even going as far as adding up everything I put into a recipe and converting cups to ounces and back again in order to figure out the right serving size.  Does doing all that count towards calories lost? No.  Anyways, I really enjoy cooking and after a few weeks of this I hope to just get the hang of what 1600 calories feels like.  I think I get it now after just over a week, I was hungry!  But wow, it really works, Sergio lost 6 pounds and I dropped 3 in just 5 days, and we've kept it off so far.  This is going to seem like a lot of posts all at once but I've been procrastinating with the blog.