Quick and Dirty Sort of Risotto with Summer Veggies

I will say right off the bat that this is not a traditional risotto.  When I got down to it, I was originally planning to make a pilaf.  But frankly I couldn’t remember what makes a pilaf and I didn’t feel like looking it up.  I was going for a rice and veggie side dish that fits with Wave 1 of the Sonoma Diet.  This was very much a “pull stuff out of the fridge” kinda deal.  The results had a decent risotto flavor, though not as creamy as a REAL risotto.  The short cut of using precooked rice and using brown rice rather than the traditional aborio rice both had something to do with that.  For a healthy side dish, I’d say this is a winner.  Another use for all that zucchini–though not one that’s picky eater approved.


  • 1 cup precooked brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 oz. baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 scallions chopped (just the greens)
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh grated mozzarella
  • chicken stock (I’m testing out Emeril’s stock)


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the zucchini and squash and cook slowly for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and sautee for another minute or two.
  4. Add the rice, stirring until the remaining oil coats it.  Add the scallions. Cook for another minute or two.
  5. Hit the rice and veggies with some stock.  I really have no idea how much I used.  I had the quart of stock and just poured in enough to cover the bottom of the skillet and then some.  Maybe a quarter cup?
  6. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the liquid is almost evaporated.
  7. Hit it with more stock.  Same deal.
  8. You’ll do this about 3 times before removing from the heat and adding a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper and the parmesean cheese.  Now I know the parm isn’t strictly part of Wave 1 because it’s full fat, but I don’t think it hurts a thing.

Printable version.

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