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Health Beat — Take This

Stealth Vegetables Help Dieters
Lose Weight

Fewer calories and more nutrition, even in brownies

Butternut Squash Risotto

A faster, no-fuss version of risotto made with quick-cooking brown rice. The squash gives it a creamy texture. Try this recipe with other types of winter squash as well.

Makes 6 servings; 1 cup each

3 cups (about 1 pound) fresh butternut squash cubes (or use frozen butternut squash cubes)

One 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium vegetable broth

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup instant (parboiled) brown rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup packaged grated Parmesan)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves, cilantro or other herbs

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Combine 2 cups of squash with 1 cup of the vegetable broth in a microwavable bowl, cover and microwave until the squash is very soft, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then mash by hand or puree in blender or food processor until smooth.

2. Meanwhile, chop the remaining cup of squash into small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Sauté the squash, onion and garlic until soft, stirring often, for about 6 minutes. Stir in the rice, 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth, and the wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until almost all the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining broth and simmer uncovered until almost all the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add the squash mixture and simmer until all the liquid evaporates and the rice is fully cooked, about 8 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg and cheese. Top each serving with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

Note: 1 ounce of Parmesan equals about 1/4 cup of packaged grated cheese or 1/2 cup of freshly grated cheese

© The Volumetrics Diet Plan, by Barbara Rolls with Mindy Hermann, Harper Collins, Spring 2012

Candy Sagon writes about health and nutrition for the AARP Bulletin.

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