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Porcini risotto with roasted portabellas

Simply Food

January 10, 2012
By Wendy Monro , The Journal

I really cannot stand it when one of my children gets sick.

My entire week has been spent trying to rid them of the stomach flu.

Well, Daphne had the stomach flu and Jack was faking it. I let him stay home for one day and then threw him back into school kicking and screaming the next.

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Porcini risotto with roasted portabellas.

If I don't hear another, "It's not fair!" again I will be happy. He actually said he would rather be home throwing up than go to school. He also said it was not fair that he rarely gets sick. Seriously?

Daphne was a different story. She was ill. It doesn't matter how old they get, I get sad seeing them suffer. I will be stopping by with homemade soup when they have children. I'll most likely be kind of a meddling pain. I truly believe that you are what you eat and that food can be a valuable way of getting the medicine your body needs.

My philosophy is to try to keep them immune from anything with the food I feed them all year long that no flu bug could get to them. Every once in a while, a germ sneaks past the barricade and makes one of them sick. This seemed to be the case last week. What a way to start out the New Year. I had plans of getting back to the gym regularly, walking the dogs more, and writing more. Oh well.

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Porcini risotto with roasted portabellas

Serves: 2

Time: 35 minutes

I box organic porcini risotto (Lundberg)

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 large portabella mushrooms, sliced thick

1 onion, quartered

3 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

6 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

Cook the risotto according to the directions on the package (use homemade vegetable stock in place of water). Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place mushrooms, onions and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil and soy sauce over them. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Heat in the oven for twenty minutes. Turn over at ten minutes. Chop the mushrooms, onions and garlic into smaller pieces. Mix all together. Place on top of the risotto. Sprinkle the tarragon and olives on top.

I was exhausted from the trip to Hanska and then we literally pulled into the driveway and started celebrating New Year's Eve with my family in Vegas. It was a lot of fun but I'm pretty sure I needed rest. It was kind of a luxury to watch movies and lounge around with Daphne all week without any guilt.

It was tough trying to find things that she would eat when her tummy was so upset. Sometimes all I could manage to get her to want was a tortilla with some margarine on it. One day, I decided not to even ask her what she wanted. I would just make something super healthy and packed with vitamins. I decided that even if she could only muster a few bites, this meal would help to make her better. So, I went off to the kitchen to see what I could whip up.

I instantly thought about soup. I think of soup as a cure all because you can load it up with so many amazing ingredients. Plus, soups are soothing and wonderful. My freezer was embarrassingly stocked up with veggies ready to make some vegetable broth. I had broccoli stocks, asparagus pieces, tips of garlic cloves and onions, ends of bell peppers, mushroom stems, stems from herbs, etc So, I started with that. I made some delicious vegetable stock that I would incorporate into whatever I was making Daphne for lunch.

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Then, I noticed these beautiful portabella mushrooms in the refrigerator. I thought those would be perfect for loading her up with vitamins. Mushrooms are the leading source of the essential antioxidant selenium in the produce aisle. Antioxidants protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases. They also help to strengthen the immune system. So mushrooms combined with my vegetable stock would be great medicine.

Then, in my pantry, I noticed some risotto. This organic risotto was a packaged kit, which included dried porcini mushrooms and spicesperfect! I could make the risotto with my homemade stock and then roast the portabellas with onions and garlic. Then, I would topped it all off with some fresh tarragon and sliced kalamata olives.

Tarragon is an aromatic perennial growing plant, which is rich in phytonutrients as well antioxidants. Tarragon has been used in traditional medicines for stimulating the appetite and as a remedy for anorexia symptoms. So, tarragon is a perfect complement to any meal when someone is having a difficult time eating.

Risotto is often mixed with cheese and butter. I didn't think that would be a good idea for Daphne's health. So, I skipped the butter and cheese and opted for olive oil and soy sauce.

When it was all finished and on the plate, I couldn't wait to try it. There were so many layers of flavors. It was quite incredible. I brought Daphne's plate in to her with a tall glass of ice water. She was in my bed watching television. She cracked a smile and said, "Thank you, mom." I left her alone and went back into the kitchen to gobble mine down. Oh, it was so good. Then, I went back in to check on her. She ate about half of it. She told me it was delicious but she couldn't eat any more. I was more than pleased. I knew all of those vitamins were working their magic. It doesn't take a whole lot of bites to get this going. I knew she was on the mend with some wonderful food medicine. Now that everyone is well again, I am feeling very well rested. The best part is that Daphne is back to her healthy vibrant self. Thank goodness!



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