ButternutSquashI don’t know about you, but I’m feeling super overindulged right now. After Halloween and many birthday celebrations for Hadley, its time for a healthier meal. I started my day this morning with some green juice, and I’m going to finish it at Spinning tonight. It’s time for this mama to get back on track. I love my sweets, but it’s time to be good for a while. 

This dinner is a little bit of everything for me. It incorporates some great fall flavors (butternut squash and sage), but isn’t super heavy either. The barley gives you some great fiber, and the broccoli on the side was a great compliment. I’ve been trying to cook a meal or two a week where we don’t have meat. No, the Gowan’s aren’t going vegetarian, but it helps keep things a little healthier (or lower in fat), and also keeps our grocery bill down. This Butternut Squash Barley Risotto is a take on traditional risotto, just without the Arborio rice. I use quick-cooking barley that I found at ShopRite, but you can use pearl barley as well. It really is all about what you find in your local grocery store. 

I served this squash with some garlicky roasted broccoli on the side (Toss fresh broccoli florets in olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and roast for about 12 minutes at 400 degrees). It’s a great addition to any Meatless Monday dinner. 

Read on for the recipe.

Note: This recipe was originally featured on ShopRite’s Potluck blog, and I was provided with a ShopRite gift card to shop for the ingredients for this recipe. 

Butternut Squash Barley Risotto
A great, healthy weeknight meal that will fill you up.
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  1. 2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  2. 4 cups ShopRite organic cooking broth
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 2 tsp. olive oil
  5. 1 cup chopped onion
  6. 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper
  7. 1 1/4 cups uncooked ShopRite quick-cooking barley
  8. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 5 oz. shaved parmesan cheese
  10. 1 tbsp. fresh sage, minced
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place squash on a cookie sheet and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring stock and 1 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan and keep warm. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and add some olive oil. Add onion, salt and pepper; cook for four minutes. Add the barley and garlic. Cook for another two minutes. Stir in a half cup of the warmed stock mixture, stirring frequently (just like a traditional risotto). Reduce heat to medium-low. Add remaining stock, a half cup at a time, until each portion is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup stock and 1 oz. cheese. Fold in roasted squash and fresh sage. Top with remaining cheese.
  1. Make this a fast weeknight meal by roasting the squash the night before!
Christen in the Kitchen http://christeninthekitchen.com/