Monday, 21 March 2011

Another birthday

Someone asked me the other day how I come up with something to blog on every day, but infact I have more subjects to blog on than days in the week! Nutrition and health are my favourite topics of conversation so it's just nice to have an outlet for my passion.

Still, when I started the blog I didn't imagine I'd find it so easy to write, and yet one year and over 200 posts later I still have a list of topics I want to email you about!

I also didn't imagine that so many of you would be reading NITC, so thank you for your support.

My objective has always been to get the word out on how important food is in looking after your health and to help as many people as possible to live healthy, happy lives. So if you know anyone you think might benefit from reading NITC please spread the word and send them a link!

In the meantime I realise I haven't shared a healthy recipe for some time - mainly because all the birthday celebrations haven't left much time for proper cooking! Here's a super comforting one for these still chilly evenings whilst butternut squash is readily available.

Oven baked butternut squash risotto:
I've adapted this recipe to make it vegan, gluten and dairy free, but if you are a die hard carnivore or you like a bit more protein then leave out the beans and add some grilled thyme chicken instead (see below).

Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 170C

In a flameproof casserole dish heat 2tbsp olive oil and fry 1 diced onion and 2 minced garlic cloves for 5mins over a medium heat.

Add 300g risotto rice (I used brown rice to make this healthier) stir well and add 100ml white wine and simmer til reduced (the wine can be omitted if desired).

Add 350g flesh of butternut squash chopped into one inch cubes, a pinch of salt and pepper and 800ml of vegetable stock (I use Kalo stock cubes). Bring to a simmer then put the casserole, uncovered, in the oven for 25minutes/until the stock is absorbed. Then take out the oven and stir in one can of black beans (drained) and leave the risotto to stand for 5mins.

In the meantime heat 50g coconut fat (or butter if none vegan), add 2tbsp chopped fresh sage and 25g chopped walnuts, and cook over a gentle heat for 2 to 3minutes. Serve the risotto in bowls topped with the sage/walnut butter (and a sprinkle of parmesan if non-vegan).

Thyme chicken:

Serves 2

Mix 1/2 tsp olive oil with 2 tsp dried thyme, a small pinch of salt and a large pinch of freshly ground pepper.

Take two chicken breasts and wrap in plastic bags or clingfilm and then pound with a rolling pin to a quarter inch thickness. Coat the chicken with the thyme/oil mixture and then grill on a george foreman style grill for 3-4minutes until cooked through. Cut into strips length ways and serve over the risotto.

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