Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meatless Monday with Mindy #8 Butternut Squash Baked Risotto

Welcome to the 8th installment of Meatless Monday with Mindy. 

The Meatless Monday movement is growing rapidly! It helps to have stars tweeting and sharing on their Facebook pages about this healthy idea of giving up meat one day a week.  

Celebrity chefs such as Curtis Stone and Mario Batali, to name just a few, are sharing awesome meatless recipes, while other celebrities such as  Oprah, trainer Bob Harper and even American Idol legend Simon Cowell stand behind and practice Meatless Monday. 
Forbes.com recently endorsed Meatless Monday with this quote from Michelle Maisto, a contributor to Forbes.com  “Social movements such as Meatless Mondays, motivated to improve the health of the planet and the nation, have raised awareness about the personal and widespread impacts that can result from more moderate meat consumption.” 

  Replacing meat just one day a week has huge health benefits, and more and more people are beginning to realize this and join the Meatless Monday movement.

Martha Stewart, known for her gourmet menus and unique presentations, has gradually made the shift to less meat and fish to a more plant based diet based on her research and observations surrounding meat and how it is prepared to be brought to the American table.  

I, like many Americans, shied away from Ms. Stewart after she popped her own perfection bubble many years ago in a scandal that took many of us by surprise. But in all her humanness,  one thing that has remained true about her is... the woman can cook!

I recently purchased her new cookbook called "meatless" and I'm so glad I did. I am just beginning to scratch the surface of trying out these wonderful looking recipes and cannot wait to try more.

My Meatless Monday recipe was adapted from the cookbook "meatless" with very few changes and the results made it dairy free as well.   Enjoy.... and get that book!!

Butternut Squash Baked Risotto

2 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dry ground thyme
1/2 cups Botan rice (sticky rice)
Salt and pepper freshly ground, to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch curly kale, tough stems removed and cut into wide strips

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.   In a dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot (I used a cast iron skillet after realizing my first pan wasn't going to fit it all in), heat the pan then add your olive oil.  Broth could be used in place of the oil if you are trying to eliminate oils.

Once this is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 3 minutes.

Add garlic and thyme and cook for about 1 more minute.

Next add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the edges are translucent.  This takes about 3 minutes.  Then season with salt and pepper.

Add wine and cook, stirring until the wine is completely absorbed into the rice. This doesn't take long, about a minute or two. If you aren't a wine lover, cooking wine or even water would work here.

Next, add your cut up squash. Tip: a good peeler and knife takes the dread out of cutting squash!

Add your vegetable stock or broth and bring this mixture to a boil. 

Then add your kale, stirring as you go to make room for all of it.

And add more, and stir more..changing pots as the mixture grows.... I should'a known better.

Then I changed again, so I could put this in the oven.

But it finally all fit into my cast iron skillet...

Cover your pan with a lid, or your casserole dish with parchment, then foil and transfer this to the oven.  Bake about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid.  

Plate this wonderful comfort food and enjoy with a glass of wine that you have to have because... duh, you already opened a bottle of wine...

1 comment:

Jenny said...

hmm, i ate... what did i eat?
Ah, yes. I had a slice of pumpkin coffee cake for breakfast: http://trans-planted.com/vegan-pumpkin-snickerdoodle-coffee-cake/
I don't remember lunch. :( Dinner i made a big taco salad with lettuce, black beans, corn, daiya cheese, multigrain tostitos, and tomato sauce for a dressing.

Very simple, but it's what I was craving.