Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Sugared Walnuts+

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup risotto, 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon nuts)

5 points

(purchased sweetened walnuts instead; used bacon instead of pancetta; other reviewers suggested cooking squash longer to brown it – then might want to add it in after cooking rice so it doesn’t get too mushy)

This recipe takes time, but is well worth it.

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup chardonnay
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon thyme or 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Arrange nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Place nuts in a bowl. Drizzle butter over warm nuts; sprinkle with sugar and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss well to coat.

3. Combine squash and 1 tablespoon oil, tossing to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until squash is just tender. Remove from pan; stir in garlic. Set aside.

4. Bring broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

5. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta to saucepan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in squash, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with cheese and nuts.

CALORIES 259 ; FAT 10.7g (sat 2.7g,mono 2.6g,poly 3.8g); CHOLESTEROL 9mg; CALCIUM 95mg; CARBOHYDRATE 35.5g; SODIUM 397mg; PROTEIN 7.5g; FIBER 3.9g; IRON 1.3mg

Herbed Couscous Pilaf (with variations)

4 points
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1. Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add shallots; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in couscous; sauté 1 minute. Add broth and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in parsley and thyme.

Tex-Mex Variation:

In place of broth, use 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with chiles, 3/4 c broth and 1/2 c frozen corn.  Omit salt and herbs; stir in 1 Tbsp of lime juice and 1 Tbsp cilantro.

Curried Currant Variation:

Add 1/4 tsp curry powder to shallots as they saute.  Increase broth to 1 1/4 cups.  Add 1/4 c dried currants to pan with broth.  Omit thyme.

Tomato-Feta variation (5 points):

Prepare as directed with less salt (1/8 tsp).  Stir in 3/4 c quartered grape tomatoes, 1/3 c crumbled feta cheese, 1 Tbsp chopped basil and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.

CALORIES 205 ; FAT 3.7g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.5g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 20mg; CARBOHYDRATE 35.6g; SODIUM 263mg; PROTEIN 6.5g; FIBER 2.6g; IRON 0.8mg

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots

4 points

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add shallots to pan, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with sugar; cook 20 minutes or until shallots are golden, stirring occasionally.

2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 8 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place potatoes in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add rosemary, salt, and pepper; beat until blended. Spoon into a bowl; top with shallots, and drizzle with remaining 2 teaspoons oil.

CALORIES 202 ; FAT 6.3g (sat 0.9g,mono 4.5g,poly 0.9g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 55mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.9g; SODIUM 278mg; PROTEIN 2.9g; FIBER 4.8g; IRON 1.2mg