Finding a way to balance my "gourmet" yearnings and my "get-home-at-7:30PM" schedule was one of the main causes of this recipe's birth. I love rice (especially in sushi!!) but my favourite, long-grain brown variety takes 45 minutes to slowly simmer away. Even making a bunch ahead of time and freezing it (which I do occasionally) leaves me with more or less identical bricks of grain. If you want something rich and decadent - say, a risotto - not only do you have to cook from fresh but you also have to stand and stir... not hard work, for sure, but not exactly A-1 on my list of to-dos even on the best of days. Enter the anathema of rice connoisseurs everywhere... Minute Rice.
Yes, I know! Don't take away my food blogging license! The mushy, disintegrating texture that Minute Rice takes on as it cooks is perfect for things like risottos and rice pudding, and apparently it's even good for sushi (though I haven't been brave enough to test that theory yet!). Add to that the fact that we had a decent sized box of brown Minute Rice in our pantry, a lemon, some asparagus and even the remnants of a tub of fat free Philly in our fridge, and dinner was jazzed up just a little bit more. It's not risotto like your Italian "Nonna" would make, or probably even admit to knowing you cooked, but it's not dry cereal and ice cream. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
1/2 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Minute Rice Whole Grain Brown Rice
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
6 oz asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 tbsp Kraft Philadelphia Herb & Garlic Cream Cheese (98% fat free)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp black pepper
- Heat non-stick cooking spray or 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add rice, stirring well to mix with shallot and garlic.
- Stir in broth and bring to a boil.
- Add asparagus in an even layer over rice mixture.
- Cover and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add cream cheese, lemon zest and juice.
- Continue mixing until cheese melts and mixture is well combined.
- Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Top with black pepper and serve
Total Fat: 2.4 g
Cholesterol: 5.0 mg
Sodium: 584.8 mg
Total Carbs: 46.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.6 g
Protein: 9.3 g