Ok, so I must be up for a challenge this week. I picked a really carby recipe and figured I’d give it a shot to make. It sounded really good. The Italian recipe called Sartù Di Riso gets most of its calories from the arborio rice and mozzarella cheese. It’s not a healthy dish by any stretch. However, here at Your Level Best, we strive to make any recipe healthy. I pulled off a miracle with Polish Bigos. Let’s see if I can do it with this one. I’m going to dare myself to not get rid of the risotto rice and to do the recipe in a more accessible way. I own one bundt pan. That’s it. The recipe is typically done in a bundt pan. I don’t want to limit myself. I’m going to try to make this in a traditional casserole dish. Let’s see what happens. It could be really good or a very tasty experiment (it worked great, by the way). I also baked this on the grill because I picked an oven dish and it was 90 degrees out. If you do it this way, be sure to place a couple of bricks on the grate so that the dish doesn’t touch it. You also need a thermometer to control the temperature. Here are the original stats. I used the Tasty version of this recipe for the calculation.
- 417 Calories
- 11g Fat
- 63mg Cholesterol
- 383mg Sodium
- 610mg Potassium
- 66g Carbohydrate
- 17g Protien
- 103% Vitamin A
- 27% Vitamin C
- 27% Calcium
- 12% Iron
Right off the bat the calories are too high. The vitamin C is low. One of the ingredients for this recipe is breadcrumbs. That will have to go. The protein can be boosted easily. It’s not impossible. The original recipe also uses tomato sauce. I think we can use pumpkin marinara instead.
Here’s what I changed:
- I swapped out the homemade tomato sauce with pumpkin marinara sauce.
- Instead of the Italian bread crumbs, I took some rolled oats and ground them in a food processor. Then I mixed in paprika, oregano, and dried basil.
- I added boneless skinless chicken breast to boost the protein.
- Increased the servings from 12 to 20 to lower the calories.
- I am roasting some broccoli and carrot for a side dish to round out the vitamin A and C.
Here are the final stats:
- 265 Calories
- 7g Fat
- 61mg Cholesterol
- 287mg Sodium
- 130mg Potassium
- 34g Carbohydrate
- 19g Protien
- 17% Vitamin A
- 1% Vitamin C
- 16% Calcium
- 4% Iron
Here is the final recipe:
Sartù Di Riso – The Your Level Best Way
- 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 4 bay leaves, divided
- 1 bunch fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 4 cups (800 g) arborio rice
- 5 cups (1.2 L) low-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (110 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup (115 g) old fashioned oats, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese
For the pumpkin marinara sauce from Frugal Nutrition:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
- 1 can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- For the pumpkin marinara, warm oil in large pan and sauté garlic over low heat for about a minute, until fragrant, but not brown.
- Mix together remaining ingredients and cook for about 5 minutes. Taste to adjust seasoning as desired. Cool.
- Heat a pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Cook the chicken breast pieces until cooked through. Set the cooked chicken aside.
- Prepare the rice. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the rice and stock and stir to combine.
- Add the 2 bay leaves and a pinch of salt.
- Bring to a boil, then immediately cover and reduce down to a simmer.
- Simmer for 15 minutes without removing the lid.
- After 15 minutes remove from the rice from the heat, stir, and transfer to a large bowl to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C)
- Once the rice has cooled, add the eggs and grated Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly with your hands.
- Generously coat the inside of a casserole with cooking spray.
- Mix the ground oats and oregano, paprika, and basil in a separate bowl.
- Add the ground oats and tilt the pan around to coat. Once well-coated, tap out excess crumbs into a bowl and reserve.
- Using your hands, line the casserole pan with an even layer of the rice, bringing it up to about ½ an inch (1 cm) from the top of the pan.
- Tear apart the mozzarella and layer it over the rice.
- Add the cooked chicken over the mozzarella layer.
- Cover with the pumpkin marinara sauce.
- Top with a layer of rice mixture and smooth with the back of a spoon to seal in the sauce completely.
- Top with reserved ground oats and spray with cooking spray to ensure a nice crust forms.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and edges have crisped up..
- Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes before flipping out of the pan.
- Slice and serve.