Roasted Beet Risotto

I love beets and I have loved them since I was young. I remember going to a friend’s house when I was about 10 and her mom served beets, something that I had never eaten before. I was raised to always at least try everything on my plate, especially if someone else served it to me. And to my shock I loved these purple roots. So I did something that I regretted at the time, I asked for more. This sadly prompted my friend’s mom saying to her kids, “See Laura likes beets”. This resulted in my friend not talking to me for almost 30 minutes. Not a very comfortable thing to happen to a young girl on a sleep over. But despite the awkward memory of my first beet experience it hasn’t tainted my love for them. My favourite way is to just roast them but I have been experimenting with more ideas lately and this one popped into my head to try.

All I can say is WOW! Not only did the flavour work beautifully but because beets are so hearty this dish was so filling as a main course. It serves 3 servings for a main course and about 6 portions for side dishes.

Roasted Beet Risotto

250g (1/2 lb) beets, well scrubbed
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
180g (1 c.) Arborio rice
120mL (1/2 c.) dry white wine
710mL (3 c.) reduced-sodium vegetable stock, heated
250g (1/2 lb) Beets, well scrubbed
25g (1/4 c.) grated Parmesan cheese
Coarse salt and ground pepper
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

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Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto

I have a risotto obsession and I am not afraid to admit it. I could eat this creamy rice dish every day of the week and thankfully my family loves it as well so they don’t mind all the experimenting with flavours I do. I just can’t seem to run out of flavour combinations for this tasty dish. And just when I think I found my favourite version I find a new one. So when I saw Becca, from Amuse Your Bouche‘s recipe for a Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto I just had to try it. This slightly sweet and cheesy risotto is perfect as a meat-free dinner option for the whole family. Go check out Becca’s blog and her amazing vegetarian dishes. I hit a cooking block last week as I was struggling to come up with more meat-free ideas for our month challenge and I have been so inspired by her amazing dishes.

Caramelised Carrot and Coriander Risotto

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced (although I like mine sliced in risottos)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, finely grated
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
200g (1 c.) arborio rice
1 litre (4 c.) vegetable stock
50g (3/4 c.) cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
100g (3 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
Recipe from Amuse Your Bouche

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Creamy Ham and Pea Risotto without using Cream

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed and a new one has just begun, where does the time go? I remember as a kid thinking that it always took forever to get to Christmas but these days I can’t believe how quickly the time goes. Just when I start getting use to writing 2011 all of a sudden I need to start writing 2012. It’s amazing how your perspective of time changes when you get older.

I hope that everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Years. And I am sure everyone has eaten more food then one person should really consume in that short of a time frame. I know I feel like I put on 10 pounds this Christmas season. Lots of rich foods and tons of sugar delights. Not only did I probably eat too much in the last two weeks but I am also tired from all of the prep and cooking I did for so many large meals. So not only am I looking for lighter meals for the next few weeks, I am ready to find some easier meals to prepare. I still have some leftovers from the holiday season so my first step is to make sure that I use those up, wasting food is wasting money so I try to utilize each and every ingredient.

I ended up with rather a lot of leftover ham and I was inspired by a friend to try make a risotto. Risotto is one of those dishes that is very easy to make just a little time consuming because it does require you to stir constantly. But it has become a favorite of mine so I don’t mind the extra work. But seeing as how I am trying to keep to a lighter meal plan I decided to avoid the creams and cheeses that often goes into a risotto and focused on allowing the natural starches in the arborio rice to provide the creaminess while the leftover ham brought a salty richness to it. Although a small sprinkle of Parmesan on top I am sure isn’t too bad.

While this dish isn’t good for babies just weaning feel free to give it to a toddler to enjoy with you.


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