As I bought a big butternut squash at Wholefoods yesterday, it dawned on me that the winter squash section is dwindling and that my favorite butternut squash risotto may not be on the menu for much longer. I decided to seize the moment and make a big batch of squash risotto as well as my butternut squash soup, thinking that I can freeze the soup and serve up the risotto tonight. Left over risotto will then be used to make Wendy's (over at Celiacs in the House) great looking risotto cakes tomorrow.
If somebody stopped me in the street tomorrow and said "you have to eat risotto for a month", I'd be pretty happy. Throw in the odd glass of good Italian red wine and the occasional cappuccino and I'd be in heaven. Maybe that dream of living in Tuscany one day isn't so crazy after all?
I find cooking risotto extremely therapeutic. All of that chopping and stirring... I love eating it and I also love thinking of new ways to make it. Alas, the days of piling in a ton of parmesan cheese are over due to C's lactose intolerance, but I've figured ways of making the risotto's nice an creamy even without all of that cheese. The recipe that I'm sharing with you today tastes great and really creamy without any dairy at all. Bingo!
The only problem - I stood in the kitchen and cooked instead of going to my yoga class. Mmm - which was better for the waist line? I've decided to start jogging with the pooch in the mornings. Today was one of those days. He went to the vets yesterday and was declared podgy (I'd be podgy too if I'd managed to steal a ton of gluten-free cinnamon rolls and cupcakes from the kids in the past couple of weeks). So the dog and I are on a newly declared fitness regime. I'm not really sure who pulls who at the moment and there's a lot of stopping and starting, but we'll get there - won't we? So, once we'd had our run, a yoga class in addition to that seemed a tad excessive. Now I'm starting to wonder. I think, the dog however agrees with my decision, as he snores next to me as I type.
Creamy, gluten-free and dairy-free winter squash risotto
2lbs (about 6 cups) of butternut squash
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons butter (I use Earth Balance organic buttery spread – gluten and dairy-free)
1/2 a teaspoon of all purpose seasoning
11oz (1.5 cups) of arborio rice
1 quart plus 1 cup (or 40 fluid ounzes) of Vegetable or chicken stock. Try to use organic stock.
Salt and pepper to taste and chopped parsley to garnish (optional).
- Sauté the squash with the garlic, oil, half the butter (or spread) and the seasoning over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time.
- Add the stock gradually. Stir often. The trick is to keep stirring and add the stock bit by bit as it is soaked up by the rice.
- The rice will be cooked in 20-25 mins and the risotto should be creamy when ready.
- Stir in the rest of the butter, add salt and pepper to taste if desired and sprinkle on parsley to garnish if you have some handy.
I am also linking this recipe to Amy Green's Slightly Indulgent Tuesday. You'll find a ton of healthy recipe ideas over there.
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