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  • Writer's pictureEmily Yeo

Butternut Squash & Chilli Risotto

Sometimes, as a food blogger, you have to make difficult choices. Do I eat the delicious dish I cooked straight away, while it is at its best, knowing that if I don’t take a photo immediately then the food won’t photograph at it’s best later? For me the decision the decision is always to enjoy food at its best! Risotto is one of those foods that is best eaten immediately otherwise the liquid starts to be absorbed by the rice grains. So while this vegan butternut squash & chilli risotto may not look as good as it did when it was first cooked, it still tastes great.

This risotto is perfect on a chilly fall night it is so warming to the soul, it is definitely a comfort food.  Doesn’t this look absolutely delectable? Oh my goodness I’m craving it already just thinking about it! You guys, it really doesn’t get any better than this.

If you love the chewy and creamy texture of arborio rice, otherwise known as risotto, then you’re going to love it even more with this vegan pumpkin sauce. Ahhh….. Okay, I’ll stop.

If you haven’t attempted to make risotto because you think it’s hard, you’re wrong. It’s really not difficult at all. If you can heat up some olive oil or vegetable broth and sauté a diced onion, and then add rice to the pan and stir in some vegetable broth, then you can make risotto. Yes, it’s really that easy.

What makes risotto actually a rather great beginner dish is the stirring. For those who have more experience, this can be a meditative thing. But for those with insecurity at the stove, the fact that you can’t stir too much is rather helpful.

The starch from the rice creates a nice creamy texture without having to use any milk or cheese to thicken it. Serve the vegan pumpkin risotto as a nice meatless weeknight main course or as a bed for something worthy of feeding your macho man.

Mmmmmm……the aroma is so lovely, and the taste is so satisfying. It’s one of those foods that you just want to eat slowly so you can enjoy the chewiness of the rice and the delicate taste of the cream sauce.

The process of making risotto is easy, but it does take some babysitting because you need to “feed” the risotto. We’re feeding the risotto with a ladle full of stock time after time, letting it fully absorb between each addition. The process takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, and it’s a full evolution. The risotto starts as hard grains of rice, then it becomes more plump, and then, through all the stirring and the feeding, it takes on the most incredible creamy texture that’s tasty on it’s own, but also totally customisable with any ingredients of your choice.

The softness of the cooked squash really adds to this risotto’s creaminess, along with the milk and nutritional yeast which all combine together to create a delicious cheese-like sauce. I was thinking how it’s perhaps a bit strange that I’ve become much more fond of risottos since I started making them without cheese. Maybe because it’s forced me to become more creative with flavours and textures? Anyhow, I can’t get enough of risottos lately!

Don’t be nervous. Most definitely don’t click that little x in the upper right hand corner of your computer screen. We can do this!  We can branch out and put squash in our pasta.. right? Yes.. we most definitely can! You will not regret this decision. Settled…

This vegetable-loaded, sweet, creamy, spicy Butternut Squash Risotto needs to happen in your kitchen. It is simple, seriously yummy and comfort food-esque while also being healthy because, well…sauce made of veggies!!!


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