Want risotto without the decadence of butter or the acidity of wine? This recipe uses mashed sweet potatoes, broth, and a bit of goat cheese to create a creamy coating for the rice and accompaniments. It won’t fool anyone into thinking you’ve served real risotto—but it will satisfy your craving for a rich, silky, carb-filled meal.
This meal is heavy, but not in a bad way. Brown rice, chickpeas, and spinach are full of fiber and nutrients. When you coat them in sweet potatoes, you get a rib-sticking mixture. It’s all good for you, but I don’t recommend eating an enormous bowl of it.
As is, this recipe is lightly spiced. You can amp it up by adding more fresh herbs; rosemary or sage would be delicious. If you don’t have GERD, this would be phenomenal with garlic and smoked paprika. Alas, I made do with oregano and a bit of cumin. Since I couldn’t go all-out Tex-Mex, I added ground coriander and onion powder as well.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 4 cups packed baby spinach
- 1 15.5-oz can chickpeas or black beans, drained & rinsed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 2 oz goat cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley
- grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Place them on a plate lined with paper towel and poke holes in them with a fork. Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then flip and microwave for another 7 minutes.
- Let the potatoes cool slightly; then peel them and discard the skins. Chop the potato flesh into large chunks.
- Heat the broth over medium-high in a large pot. Add the spinach and chickpeas or black beans; drop the heat to medium-low once the pot returns to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the spices (except parsley) and stir.
- Turn down the heat to low. Add the sweet potato and goat cheese, and stir until combined, breaking up most of the potato chunks. Add more broth or some water if it’s too thick to stir easily.
- Fold in the rice and stir until warmed. Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
Serves 4 to 6. Adapted from http://www.thesmartcookiecook.com/2013/10/26/brown-rice-chickpeas-spinach-w-simple-sweet-potato-sauce/