I’m finally back! It’s been awhile as I’ve been super busy at work. This was an awesome alternative to labor-intensive risotto and a “light” recipe! It works well as a vegetarian main dish but I served it was simple baked chicken.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups instant brown rice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups vegetable or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese, plus more for passing
1/4 cup minced chives or scallion greens
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until soft and just beginning to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add rice and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Remove cover and spread asparagus and bell pepper on top of the simmering rice- – do not stir into the rice mixture. Replace cover and continue simmering, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the liquid is almost absorbed and the asparagus is bright green but still crisp, about 5 minutes.
3. Add peas and cream cheese; stir until the mixture if creamy and the cheese is incorporated. Return to a simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the asparagus is tender, abut 5 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup of Asiago cheese. Serve topped and chives/scallions and additional grated cheese.