Yay, the first show in my new series of healthy vegetarian/vegan recipes! This satisfying, creamy squash risotto recipe will help you feel good about your healthy vegan diet. A perfect way to keep from feeling deprived because of any healthy eating New Year's resolutions you may have made.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Time from start to eating: 1 Hour 10 minutes
Makes enough for 3 meals.
Click for video transcription
This transcription will have some mistakes because it is partially automated.
Hello and welcome to Freshly Served, the healthy vegan cooking show. I’m Heather and this is our very first show so I’m excited to have you with me here today.
It is New Years day and I hope you all had a wonderful New Years Eve. The first day of the year in case some of you have made resolutions to switch to a healthy diet or switch to a vegan diet and your feeling like hmm, what will I make now?
I really want something wonderful and satisfying. What can I make? Well Risotto great way to do that and we’re gonna do a squash risotto so that it will leave you feeling nice and full and it will be creamy and wonderful.
So what I’ve started with is I have my squash cut up and I have it in a pot on the back burner here and it’s just cooking with a little bit of boiling water at the bottom. I salted the water before I put the squash in and it’s been cooking on the back there just to get nice and soft to be incorporated into the risotto as it goes.
I used very little water so that any of the nutrients coming out of the squash could be added into the risotto as it cooks. I also got some water heated back here as well to be the cooking liquid for the rice. Very important when you’re making risotto, the cooking liquid that your gonna add slowly through this dish needs to be hot.
So I’ve got that heated right now and the first smaller liquid that I’m gonna add is actually some honey wine that Phil made and it works really nicely in my risotto so I’ve got that just sitting next to the burner so that its fairly warm as well.
And the front pot here I’ve got heating up and it’s just nice and hot now so I’m gonna add some olive oil and your just adding enough to cook the onions.
So probably like a tablespoon maybe two depending on how many you’re creating for and the nice thing about adding the oil to a hot pan is that its gonna spread out, it’s gonna thin out so you don’t need to use as much so we add it once the pan is hot.
And I put my onions in here so I’ve got the onion all chopped up and just throw that in the pot. You should hear bit of the sizzling but not too much. We don’t really want to be frying the onions just getting them nice and coated in the oil and we’ll cook them until they’re translucence. So not quite brown, they’re just nicely cooked.
And I’m just stirring the onions here to get them all coated in the oil, it’s gonna seal their flavor in as they cook with the rice.
So I’ll just give you a peek of what the onion looks like so they’re not brown but they’re just translucence so that they start to look shiny. That’s what you’re looking for. Ok!
And actually the next thing I’m gonna add is the seasoning so a little bit of salt and I’m gonna use sea salt, unrefined, keeps its minerals. Table salt doesn’t have many minerals left and I’m also using fresh thyme. For those of you who don’t know what thyme looks like fresh, there it is that’s actually from our garden so Phil does the gardening, I do the cooking.
And as we throw that in there, you just give it a little squeeze with your hands with your fingers just pinch it, it will helps release the oil. It also makes your fingers smell good.
Yeah! And just throw the rest in there. Grains are fairly blend so you can be pretty liberal with your use of herbs. I like the combo of thyme with squash and we’ll just add more salt than I’m gonna stir this around so that the thyme gets infuse with the oil.
Really adds to the flavor of the herbs when it gets mix in with the oil and I’ve got about a cup of rice which are good for two people as the main dish and risotto is nice and creamy so it’s good as the main dish.
And you can see I’m using sharp grain brown rice, most risotto will tell you to use Arborio rice which I can only usually find in white variety but any kind of short grain brown rice will work.
The key to risotto is having a slow cooked grain that’s gonna release its starch. So long grain brown rice won’t work for this kind of recipe. Alright! the thyme is looking like its nicely moisten by the oil so it’s time to add the rice and that’s gonna go in right now without any cooking liquid.
And I’m just gonna stir it around so that the rice gets coated with oil and you could leave this to cook for a few minutes. It doesn’t need to, it’s a flavor thing. The rice will have more of a nutty kind of flavor, if you let it cook for a few minutes here.
What I’m gonna do is just get it coated with the oil and then I’m gonna add in my honey wine which I just have half a cup and again it needs to be warm so that it doesn’t shock cool the grain.
Pour that right in, stir it around and you wanna keep moving this until all of the wine has been infused into the rice grain and you’ll see them expand a little bit and this is the key to risotto is adding liquid a little bit of a time so that the rice grains release their starches and that’s what makes it creamy without having any kind of dairy or nut base cream in it.
You can add some in the end if you like but you don’t need it. Isn’t that great? Ok, I’m gonna let this sit for a little bit and soak up the wine and perhaps I’ll have a little bit of wine myself.
Alright! So you can’t cheat on your risotto, you gotta wait until the wine is all been absorbed, that’s the way to make it really nice and creamy. So I’m getting really close so what you do when it’s all been absorbed is you take some of your cooking liquid. I’m using water over here that you have just barely boiling.
I took one soup ladle full and add it to your rice. And then just keep that heating over here and keep it stirring this over here. Stirring also helps to bring out the starch of the rice which is how it gets creamy so the more you stir, the creamier it’s gonna get.
And if you want to make something really rich and satisfying that’s the texture you wanna have so keep stirring. Not kind of dish that you can just leave and go work on your computer but you know what? The more attention you put into your food the more nourishments it’s gonna give you and the more satisfaction you’ll feel from having made something really delicious.
Alright! I’ve got the last bit of water just absorbing into the rice now and I’ve used three cups of water because I like it really moist and creamy risotto but if you like yours a little bit more sticky you can add less water.
And I’ve turned it down a bit becasue I’m gonna add the squash now and if I keep it high I have to stir the risotto too much and my squash which I like to keep a little bit whole together will get broken up.
So I turn it down a bit and I’m gonna put the squash in here with its cooking liquid so I have to get that absorbed in the rice as well but it’s got nice nutrients in it from the squash so I’d like to keep that in the dish.
So we’re just gonna be really gentle now and not to try to break the squash up to too much. So I’ve got our bar nap squash risotto ready to go just sprinkle a few roasted pumpkin seed on top there.
Crack a little bit of black pepper and Phil and I are gonna kick back with a little glass of wine and enjoy ours. Hope you enjoy yours and I hope you enjoyed the show. I’ll see you again next week. Happy New Year!