Expanding Food Horizons

Wes is a Meat & Potatoes kind of guy.  He eats a few fruits and vegetables, but not many.   So, as you can imagine, cooking for him has been extremely difficult.  He’s good about eating most things I make and put on the plate, but there are certain things that have been off-limits.

Until recently.  I’ve been sending him articles and rules for eating healthy and instead of telling me I’m crazy and there’s no way in hell he’s going to expand the vegetables and fruits he eats to more than two from each, he said, “I think it’s time for me to start expanding my food horizons.”  I was blown away and set out to start adding new recipes to our menu, things that he would never have allowed before.  At first I suggested we start small, adding one thing per meal but he was all in, saying that he’ll just have to deal with it.  So that’s exactly what I did.  The first thing I added was zucchini squash with some mahi mahi, and he didn’t complain once.  Sure his facial expression said, “I want to vomit” but he ate nearly everything on his plate.

Last night I made a mushroom and sweet Italian sausage risotto, which I never would have tried before because Wes 1) hates mushrooms, and 2) isn’t a huge fan of risotto.  But he didn’t complain once.  It was touch and go on whether or not the recipe would work, but it did (with a few alterations).

This is the recipe.  I couldn’t find shiitake mushrooms, so I just used more of the portobello mushrooms.  I also used dried herbs instead of fresh and balsamic vinaigrette (reduced) instead of madeira and Parmesan cheese instead of asiago (again, because I couldn’t find any).

The Ingredients

Sure, sure, the recipe doesn’t call for any wine.  That was just for me. I was short on the chicken broth, but luckily had bouillon cubes so it was an easy fix.

Sweet Italian Sausage

Like I said, I didn’t read through the recipe all the way and shortly after starting the sausage I realized that the mushrooms should be added.  So the sausage had to come off the heat while I took the gills and stems off of the mushrooms.  I got a little chopping zealous and added the onions to the mushrooms, which I then had to pull out to save for when the recipe actually called for them (which wasn’t with the mushrooms).

At this point I got a little overwhelmed so the pictures don’t cover everything.

Almost done

Risotto is a lot of stirring and adding of broth.  Making sure that it doesn’t burn or get too much broth in it at one time.  It’s about 25 minutes of just adding broth and stirring.  Not as fun as it sounds.  But y the end it looked like this:


For a while I wasn’t sure how it would all turn out, bu I have to say it was a pretty delicious dinner.  Wes ate it happily and even took some to work for lunch today.

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