I’m in the process of packing up my entire childhood, my whole life and moving. It’s such a process because you go through a few things, reminisce on a few photos, read old love notes, and laugh at the things you thought you needed but really don’t. Isn’t it amazing how that works? You hold onto things you think you would need but you really don’t need them at all. How profound is that? As I pack and sort through the last 25 years of my life, I realize how important it is to simplify. To live simply is to live abundantly. Hashtag, just saying (#justsaying).
I have to admit this entire process has me a tad emotional. I’m cleansing and purging and that’s totally okay. This is where I turn to food…and it doesn’t help that the weather is getting colder. It makes me want to hibernate and crave something cheesy and gooey. Yes, I said gooey. Maybe buttery too. Definitely not something a vegan or someone with half a health conscious brain would opt for.
To soothe my insatiable craving, I cozy on up with a huge (okay, not that huge, I’m a sensible health coach) bowl of risotto. A little bit of indulgence is good for the soul. This version is decadent, full of veggies and almost as good as something you would eat at your Italian grannies house (or at least I hope so).
What You Need:
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 4 to 5 cups vegetable stock (sodium free, msg free), simmered and kept warm
- 1 pound asparagus, diced
- 1 10 ounce bag frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 shallot, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped finely
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted organic butter (or Earth Balance Vegan & Soy Free Butter)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (organic and raw is best) or Nutritional Yeast (for a vegan option)
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- **NOTE** For a unique flavor, use a raw goats milk cheese from your local Farmer’s Market. I opted for Manchester. It was tangy, creamy and nutty. It’s a great alternative to Parmesan AND easier to digest
How You Make It:
- In a dutch oven or large pan, head the olive oil and butter. Add shallots and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat.
- Add the vegetable stock, one ladle full at a time. Stir constantly and waiting for the stock to be fully absorbed by the rice before adding another ladle full.
- Continue to add an additional ladle full of stock after the previous amount of stock is absorbed. Do this until rice becomes fluffy and you are up to the last 2 ladles of stock.
- Stir in the asparagus and peas to the rice and mix.
- Pour in the final ladles of stock and cook until all liquid is absorbed. The rice will be tender.
- Once the rice is done, turn off the heat. Stir in the parmigiano or nutritional yeast and season with sea salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately and feel comforted 🙂
I love to serve this with some bruschetta or slices of crusty bread with a syrupy balsamic reduction for dipping. You can also add mushrooms (shiitake or baby bella) if you feel so inspired.
That’s all for now lovers!
Peace, love and no beef!