A warming, veggie-rich risotto recipe is exactly what's needed after a long day at the office, and something that every age will enjoy. Nutritional health coach and author Lizzie King has shared this easy vegetarian risotto recipe from her child-friendly cookbook, Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food:
"The bonus of a chilly night is tucking into a bowl of this creamy number which is much needed when lurgies are flying around. A family one-pot wonder: less cooking, more deliciousness! It also has some powerful bug-beating thrown in too, with lots of vitamin C and iron, as well as carotenoid antioxidants for eye health and immune boosting. As the spinach is cooked, the nutrients are more easily absorbed because the oxalic acid is broken down. And a bowl of steamed spinach is not something my kids ever eat!"
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
300ml chicken or vegetable stock
350g (about half) small butternut squash, in 5cm dice
300g arborio risotto rice
150ml white wine
100g spinach, finely sliced into ribbons
100g grated Parmesan cheese (mascarpone dollop optional)
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Heat oil in a large pan, add the onion and stir for a few minutes, adding the carrots, celery and garlic and cook gently until very soft, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the stock to a separate saucepan and turn heat on very low, adding the butternut squash dice to cook slowly.
3. Turn up the heat and add the rice, stirring well to coat it and make it glossy. Pour in the wine, to sizzle.
4. Turn down the heat and ladle some stock into the rice, leaving the squash in the stock.
5. Stir well, and leave to simmer until more stock is required. Keep adding the stock in small amounts until the rice is cooked.
6. When the rice is cooked through, approximately 15 minutes depending on type, add the squash and spinach and cook for another couple of minutes.
7. Stir through the Parmesan, serve with parsley and a dollop of mascarpone if you like.
Recipe by Lizzie King, author of ‘Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food’, £13.60 .