Storm the Cassoulet

Pumpkin and Cranberry Risotto



2 14 1/2-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup Libby’s® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1/2 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and white pepper to taste
Additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired


Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; keep warm.

Melt butter with oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add rice; cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add wine; simmer until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Stir in pumpkin.

Add 3/4 cup chicken broth to rice. Reduce heat; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more broth. Rice should be tender but still firm to the bite and mixture should be creamy. This should take about 20 to 25 minutes.

Stir in dried cranberries and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. If desired, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.

Leave a comment »

Crock-Pot Chicken With Black Beans & Cream Cheese

CP black beans


4 -5 boneless chicken breasts
1 (15 1/2 ounce) cans black beans
1 (15 ounce) cans corn
1 (15 ounce) jars salsa, any kind
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese


Take 4-5 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot.
Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained.
Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked.
Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.

Serve over rice.

Leave a comment »

Slow-Cooker Chicken and Vegetable “Stir-Fry”

stir fry


Cooking Time 2 to 3 hours on Low

Why This Recipe Works: Making a stir-fry usually means quick, last-minute cooking in a skillet that’s splattering hot oil. Surprisingly, we found a way to replicate this dish in the slow cooker for an easy, make-ahead, and mess-free dinner. First we poached boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a flavorful cooking liquid, which later doubled as a sauce. A combination of chicken broth, soy sauce, and ginger was a good start. Hot pepper jelly helped to thicken the sauce and contributed a great sweet and spicy flavor. To get perfectly crisp-tender vegetables from the slow cooker, the key was using a steamer basket. Placing the steamer basket on top of the chicken allowed the vegetables to steam gently throughout the cooking time. We finished the dish with fresh ginger to give it a nice spicy bite and stirred in water chestnuts at the end for appealing freshness and crunch. Serve with rice.


1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup hot pepper jelly
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 tablespoons instant tapioca
4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
Salt and pepper
2 red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 (15-ounce) can baby corn, rinsed
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed
3 scallions, sliced thin


Combine broth, pepper jelly, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon ginger, and tapioca in slow cooker. Season chicken with five-spice powder, salt, and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Place steamer basket on top of chicken and place bell peppers and baby corn in basket. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 2 to 3 hours on low.

Remove steamer basket and transfer vegetables to bowl. Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, and slice into bite-size pieces.

Whisk braising liquid to recombine. Stir in vegetables, sliced chicken, water chestnuts, and remaining 1 tablespoon ginger. Let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Leave a comment »

Seafood Risotto



1 tbsp Smart Balance® Cooking Oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
7 oz medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 1/2 cups seafood broth or vegetable broth (or more if needed)
2 tbsp Smart Balance® Blended Butter Sticks
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped tomato
4 oz lump crabmeat
1 tsp chopped parsley


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic and in the Smart Balance® Cooking Oil until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, just until the shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes.

Set aside. Add the broth to the saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.

In a large saucepan or risotto pan over medium heat, melt the Smart Balance® Blended Butter Sticks.

Add the shallots and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the kernels are hot and coated with butter, about 2 minutes.

Add the wine and continue to cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed.

Add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. When the rice is about half cooked, stir in the tomatoes, salt and pepper. The risotto is done when the rice grains are creamy on the outside and firm yet tender to the bite, 25 to 30 minutes total.

Stir in the shrimp and crabmeat and cook, stirring, just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the parsley.

Leave a comment »

Autumn Harvest Chicken



1 (6 1/4 ounce) box long grain and wild rice blend (fast cook recipe)

5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

3 tablespoons dried cranberries

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Prepare rice as directed on the package.

Meanwhile, create a large pocket in each chicken breast by cutting a horizontal slit nearly through to the other side along the thin, long edge of the chicken breast.

Stir cranberries and walnuts into the cooked rice. Open up each chicken breast and place an equal portion of the hot rice into each pocket.

Place chicken in the prepared pan and arrange so pieces don’t touch or overlap. Lightly spray tops of chicken breasts with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 18 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Leave a comment »

Asparagus and Lemon Risotto



6 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, stalks cut into 2-inch lengths

1 cup thawed frozen peas

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in another saucepan. Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add rice, cook, stirring, until edges are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring, just until evaporated.

Add 1/2 cup hot stock; cook, stirring, until almost absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup stock in this manner until liquid is creamy and rice is al dente, about 20 minutes total (you may not need to add all the stock). Add asparagus with the last addition of stock, and the peas about 1 minute before risotto is done.

Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice, parsley, cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional cheese and lemon zest.

Leave a comment »

Cold Rice Salad


Ingredients for Rice:

1 1/2 cups basmati rice (or brown rice)


1 cup peas, blanched

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced and soaked in ice water for 10 minutes

Ingredients for Dressing:

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


For the rice:

Place the rice, 3 cups water, and a pinch of salt in a pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook on low until tender, about 20 minutes. Turn the rice out onto a sheet tray and let it cool completely. Next, combine the rice, peas, red bell pepper and red onion. Toss gently.

For the dressing:

In a small bowl, add the rice wine vinegar, a small pinch salt and a few turns of freshly ground pepper. Mix together and slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil and then the sesame oil.

Pour the dressing over the rice and mix until the rice is thinly coated. Taste, and re-season if necessary

Options:  MANGO, chicken, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, fresh parsley, sliced almonds

Leave a comment »

Creole Jambalaya

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

8 green onions, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

3  cups cubed cooked ham (1 pound)

1 pound Cajun-flavored or smoked sausage, sliced

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

5 cups cooked rice

Garnishes: fresh parsley sprig, chopped fresh parsley


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté until tender. Add ham, sausage, and next 4 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Stir in rice, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes over low heat. Garnish, if desired.

Leave a comment »

Confetti Rice



 1 package of Uncle Ben’s Brand Chicken Flavor Rice Pilaf

½ cup of scallions or red onion

1 cup of chopped peppers (red, yellow or green)

1 small can of corm

½ cup of mushrooms

1 small can of sliced olives


Combine rice, contents of seasoning packet and water in cooking pan. Bring to a vigorous boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Add vegetables.  Stir into rice mixture.

Leave a comment »

Spinach-Pea Risotto


2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup thinly sliced carrots

2 14 ounce can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth (3-1/2 cups)

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

1 cup frozen baby or regular peas

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Optional:  sliced radish


In 3-quart saucepan cook garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the rice. Cook about 5 minutes or until rice is golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in carrots.

Meanwhile, in a 1-1/2-quart saucepan bring broth to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer.

Carefully stir 1 cup of hot broth into rice mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Then add 1/2 cup broth at a time, stirring frequently until broth is abosorbed before adding more broth (about 22 minutes).

Stir in any remaining broth. Cook and stir just until rice is just tender and creamy.

Stir in spinach, peas, shredded cheese, and green onions; heat through. Top with cheese shards. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: