Food for Fuel: Roasted Salmon with Cranberry and Mushroom Risotto

October 26, 2008 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Rice, Quinoa, and Other Grains, Seafood | 7 Comments

I’m still sipping on the cocktail (cheap chardonnay and Diet Cherry 7 Up) that accompanied my fabulous dinner. One of the things that I like about the Blogger Secret Ingredient contest, hosted this week by The Fitnessista, is that it makes me experiment in the kitchen. This week’s BSI is cranberries. Originally, I was going to use cranberries in bread or cookies, but I decided to use them in a rice dish instead. Risotto is, of course, the very best rice dish. This time I used it as a side dish, just in case my experiment failed.

First, I brought 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup water to a simmer. I heated a skillet over medium heat, sprayed it with cooking spray, and sauteed chopped white onion and 1/3 cup short grain brown rice for about five minutes. I added a little chardonnay (I suggest you drink the rest) and stirred until it absorbed/evaporated.

Next, I added 1/3 cup of the simmering broth/water mixture, stirring until it was almost absorbed, and then adding more. I continued this process until all the liquid was used. About halfway through, I added sliced mushrooms. I added the cranberries (I didn’t measure) just before I added the last bit of broth. Near the end, I added 1/2 teaspoon dried basil and a big scoop of mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone cheese is amazing in risotto.

My experiment did not fail! In fact, it succeeded with flying colors! Too bad I only made one portion. As for the short grain brown rice: risotto is traditionally made with Arborio rice, which will make the risotto softer and creamier. I used brown rice instead, which makes it a bit nuttier. Either way is delicious, but the brown rice will not taste like traditional risotto.

In addition, I roasted thick asparagus spears for about 20 minutes at 450* (this was a bit too long). After removing them from the oven, I slapped on a mixture of Smart Balance Light, balsamic vinegar, and reduced-sodium soy sauce.

I seasoned the salmon with sea salt, minced garlic, and parsley, and roasted it for 10 minutes at 450*. It was perfect.

Nutrition of this Meal

This meal contains 10 ingredients from the World’s Healthiest Foods list:

  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Salmon
  • Cranberries
  • Brown rice
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Soy sauce


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  1. hahah i always drink the rest of the wine when i use it for cooking 😉
    that risotto looks INCREDIBLE!
    what a wonderful culinary creation 😀

  2. This sounds really good! And so does that cocktail! I never think to mix wine with something else, mm.

  3. I am so excited about that risotto. During this time of year I like to put cranberries in everything. I have made plenty of rice dishes with dried cranberries but none with fresh. AND I’m ashamed to say I’ve never tried mascarpone in risotto, when it so obviously can make anything taste better. Suffice to say I’m making this one.

  4. Thanks everyone! I think this would be even better with Arborio rice, but not as healthy, so it’s a trade off.
    Lacey: I only do it with the cheap wine. Don’t want to waste the good stuff!

  5. […] morning, and definitely not because it’s Monday, but because Gina, the Fitnessista, picked my Cranberry and Mushroom Risotto as this week’s BSI winner. Thanks, Gina! My co-workers have no idea why I’m bouncing […]

  6. omg i don’t know how i didnt see this before, but this looks AWESOMe, great job!! mushrooms and cranberries, interesting…

  7. […] got my prize from Gina in the mail today! She picked my Cranberry and Mushroom Risotto for the BSI prize, and sent me whole wheat banana bread and raw vegan macaroons. I sampled both […]

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