Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto

I love this risotto, it’s one of my favourite ones. Yes it’s a bit of a faff to make and it’s not the sort of thing you can throw together on a busy week night, but it’s perfect for a relaxed saturday evening dinner.

I always start risotto this way, and then add different things to it depending on what I fancy.

For 4 generous portions you need:
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
50g butter
2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for the squash
250g risotto rice
1 litre veggie stock
125ml white wine
1 large butternut squash, peeled and deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
4 sprigs sage
salt and pepper
100g Parmesan, grated

Place the diced squash in a bowl, season and toss in some olive oil. Add 2 sprigs finely chopped sage and tip on to a baking sheet. Roast at 180 degrees for about 45 mins till tender and lightly caramelized.

Meanwhile melt the butter in a pan with the olive oil. Add the onion and cook slowly until golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 mins or so. Add the rice and allow to get really hot. Add the wine and let it bubble off the residue on the pan and soak into the wine. Let it evaporate completely before adding the stock. Add the stock a ladel at a time, stirring well until it’s all absorbed. About 5 mins before the rice is done, add the cooked squash and heat through. Add half the parmesan and mix. Season to taste.

Fry the remaining sage leaves (careful it will SPIT!!!) till crispy. Serve the risotto in bowls, sprinkled with some remaining cheese and topped with a couple of sage leaves.

Sit back and feel like the proverbial Italian mother.

Flapjack

A storecupboard staple and a snack that’s easily knocked up in 15 mins or so.

You need:
6oz butter
6oz sugar (I use half granulated and half soft brown)
2 tablespoons golden syrup
10oz oats

Melt the butter, sugar and syrup; then add the oats and pack into a lined baking tin. Bake at 160 for 10 mins, leave to cool, cut in to squares and scoff. Wonder why you’ve got that fat!

Quiona and Tofu Salad

This is disgustingly good for you, so only eat when in a health food phase!

For 4 portions you need:
1 pack marinated tofu
1/2 cup red quiona
1/2 cup white quinoa
1 tsp stock powder
1 small red onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
juice 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp avocado oil
2 tbsp pumpkin seed oil
2 tbsp mirin
1/2 cup sprouted peas
1/2 pack rocket
1/2 pack baby rocket
1/2 pack leek and alfafa sprouted mix
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped

Cook the quiona: place the quionas in a pan with the stock and 2 cups water. Boil and simmer for 10 mins then cover with a lid and leave to absorb the water for another 15 mins or so.

Meanwhile slice the tofu, chop the veggies and then add everything bar the alfafa/leeks, rocket and spinach to the quinoa. Mix well.

Serve on a bed of greens topped with some chopped pepper. Eat and feel disgustingly smug that you’ve been this healthy. Resist urge to binge on chocolate biscuits and crisps an hour later.