Thursday, 10 April 2014

Rachel's Butternut Squash & Spinach Risotto

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band ~ Oh Well
Within Temptation ~ Hand Of Sorrow 
McAlmont & Butler ~ Beat 
Buckcherry ~ I Want You
Michael Kiwanuka ~ Home Again
Thunder ~ River Of Pain 
U2 ~ Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Airbourne ~ Runnin' Hot
Garrett Hedlund ~ Timing Is Everything
Nickelback ~ Burn It To The Ground
The Animals ~ Let The Good Times Roll
Madeliene Peyroux ~ Blue Alert
Maroon 5 ~ Through With You
Garrett Hedlund ~ Silver Wings

Spring is back..the grey has been replaced by brightness and the damp and dismal streets are once again filled with the beauty of spring flowers. I love daffodils, tulips and I love travelling about watching them all spring to life..(Ha! see what I did there? lol) But it really does give me a lift, when I am stuck in my head. when dealing with the health issues. During yet another journey to the hospital yesterday I sat exhausted in the passenger seat taking in all the beautiful and vibrant signs of spring...I even saw the odd bunny or two. It seems to make the visits easier....and thankfully the hospital visit was a very quick one as we seemed to have timed it just right at the blood clinic and there was no queue in front of us. However, when I came of the treatment room, the waiting room was packed out. Phew! No more hospital visits until the end of next week  and in between is my birthday so things are looking up for the next 7 days...well apart from getting another year Although technically I have got back a year as i was thoroughly convinced I was going to be *beep* this year. ML helpfully pointed out that wasn't until next Woo! lol ML has also been given the task of finding a good vegan, gluten-free, yeast-free, refined sugar-free, dried fruit-free birthday cake recipe. I think I have seen a few more grey hairs since starting this task lol. It reminds me of a Pin for such a cake and basically it was an empty box. Cheek...I believe that something can be made. (..and am a little thankful I don't have to find it..*shhhhh*) Well if a gal can't have a birthday cocktail or three anymore she should be able to have a slice of birthday cake, eh? lol. 

A few months ago I found a source for short grain brown rice and boi have I been exploiting I am quite enamoured with the little pearly brown goodness. I enjoy it on many levels from the wholesome and earthy smell as it slowly cooks through to its comforting and indulgent taste. I confess to taking in and enjoying every second of eating it which does lead to many meals eaten half hot and half Ah well. I found today's recipe when making a rare visit to Pinterest..ahem...yes..anyway..oh hush! To visit Rachel Cotterill's original post and enjoy a look through her blog simply is not a vegan blog but is still a great one. I was drawn to it for it's colour and if I'm honest the cooking method. I love risotto but I tire of the risotto purists who insist the only way to enjoy risotto is to spend an hour slowly stirring in wine and stock...yada yada. lol. For me to enjoy a risotto it has to have a great taste whether that be a delicate one or a spicy one (Enjoyed a spicy sweet potato risotto when dining out once...very nice), succulent veggies and cooked soft rice. How you achieve that doesn't really matter to me as long as the end results are a good foodie experience. risotto purists here. Each to their own etc.

Rachel's recipe is very easy to follow and to make. The results are a beautifully cooked risotto and the butternut provides a sweetness and the rice is very savoury to balance that out. I sat with my bowl of risotto and ate each mouthful with closed eyes as I savoured each flavour as they hit my tastebuds. On a purely personal level I would use less butternut next time and maybe add something like green beans but that is simply down to the fact that I have eliminated my sweet tooth so can find butternut and sweet veggies overpowering at times. But l let me be clear that is no reflection on Rachel's recipe...the balance she has created is a good one and someone with a normal sweet tooth would enjoy this recipe greatly. I would urge you to try it as she created it, the first time you make it. I will most definitely be making this again...

Rachel's Butternut & Spinach Risotto (using short grain brown rice)
Rachel's Butternut Squash & Spinach Risotto  Serves 2-3
(Recipe from

300g (10oz) butternut squash
1 large red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 red/sweet red bell pepper
100g (3 1/2 oz) spinach 
a generous handful of flat leaf parsley
1 tsp olive oil
200g (7oz) arborio risotto rice (I used short grain brown)
600ml (1 pint) veggie stock 
black pepper to taste

Peel the squash, scrape out the seeds and cut into 1 cm cubes across. (Note: the weight given relates to the squash after peeling)

Finely chop the onion, garlic and red pepper. 

Wash and roughly chop the spinach.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan.

Fry the onion, garlic, red pepper and squash over a low/med heat until the squash starts to soften. 

Add the rice and stock, and simmer 15-20 minutes (mine took 30 because of the brown rice), stirring frequently and adding additional hot water as required to keep the rice from boiling dry. 

Season liberally with black pepper. 

Once the rice is cooked, add the spinach and fresh parsley, and stir it through until it wilts, 

Serve immediately. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Thursday is filled with colour...


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Rachel Cotterill and hers alone. I thank her for sharing such a great recipe. ~R~