I recommend adding this warm and nourishing vegetable risotto to your recipe repertoire. As the nights get cooler and the days shorter, we begin to crave those hearty foods that provide us with comfort and nourishment throughout the winter months.
One of my favourite winter meals is risotto. I have to be honest, this is not a traditional risotto where you stir in each spoonful of stock and stir patiently while it absorbs into the creamy rice…. I take a short cut. So while it might not be traditional it is not a bad substitute for busy families needing a nourishing and warming meal.
As an added bonus my risotto is packed with veggies rich in the nutrients you need to support your immune health in winter and rich in collagen which is essential for gut health and maintaining healthy skin, bone and cartilage.
I like to make bone broth in big batches and freeze it is old jam jars. My back up is Nutra Organics dehydrated bone broth. It comes in a variety of flavours and is a handy addition to your pantry. It can be added to many different recipes to boost the nutrition and flavour. I like the chicken and turmeric, beef with heartly mushroom or for a vegan version choose their vegetable bone broth.
As usual, feel free to substitute the vegetables for whatever you have on hand or those your family prefer. This recipe serves a family of 4-5. Let overs make a great school or office lunch taken in a thermos. Risotto can be frozen but defrosts a little mushy.
You can play around with the ingredients in this recipe, but it is important to ensure your ratio of rice to liquid is accurate.
1 cup of arborio rice
3 and a 1/2 cups of bone broth
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 large onion or leek diced
2 cloves of garlic diced or crushed
1 – 2 celery stalks roughly diced
1 large carrot roughly diced
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes – cut in half
2 cups of pumpkin – chopped roughly into 2 cm cubes
300 grams (1 large bag) of baby spinach
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup of fresh herbs chopped – eg: sage, chives, basil, parsley and/or coriander
1 tablespoon or extra virgin olive oil or butter
In a large heavy based saucepan or casserole dish, over a low to medium heat, warm the olive oil and add the diced onion, garlic, celery and carrot and cook gently until soft.
Increase the heat a little and add the rice and apple cider vinegar, stir gently and continue to cook for one minute.
Then add the tomatoes, pumpkin and the bone broth.
Place the lid securely on the pot and cook over low heat or in a low-medium oven for 30-40mins, until the bone broth has absorbed into the rice.
Remove from the heat and stir in the peas, baby spinach and butter/oil. At this point you can add salt and pepper if you wish.
Top with fresh herbs and a dusting of parmesan or nutritional yeast for a vegan option. Serve with a green salad or veggie platter to further boost your vegetable intake.
Other vegetables that work well in risotto include: Asparagus, mushroom, sweet potato, corn, capsicum, kale, silver beet, English spinach, zucchini, beans and broccoli.
A small serving of this risotto also makes a lovely side dish to roast chicken or salmon.