Alternatively, fresh steamed pumpkin is great in this risotto recipe if it’s in season. Butternut squash also makes a fine replacement.
For the mushrooms you can also use other stronger tasting varieties such as portobellos, but shiitake mushrooms are best if you can find them.
Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto Ingredients (serves 2 to 3)
- 1 cup of organic arborio rice.
- One can of BPA-free pumpkin or one small pumpkin steamed as per Cooking Pumpkin for Maximum Nutrition.
- Two cups of shiitake mushrooms, sliced (portobello mushrooms can replace these by shiitake are very healthy and taste great).
- Cold pressed avocado oil (or butter from grass fed cows - avoid chemically extracted vegetable oils like canola, soy and sunflower oils if you value your health).
- One large red onion, finely chopped.
- Approximately 3 cups of low-sodium, MSG free vegetable stock.
- 1 to 3 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like it).
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric (I like this high curcumin powdered turmeric).
- The leaves from two branches of fresh parsley (or a tablespoon of dried parsley).
- The leaves from a branch of fresh sage (or teaspoon of dried sage).
- A quarter of a cup of grated Parmesan cheese (optional).
- Cracked pepper and Himalayan pink crystal salt to taste.
In a deep saucepan, lightly fry the onion in a little avocado oil. Keeping the lid on improves cooking time and allows you to use less heat. Once the onion is clear and soft add the mushrooms and fry on a low heat for a further minute.
Using a little more avocado oil, add the rice and garlic and fry on a gentle heat for another two minutes, stirring regularly.
Add a third of the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer with the lid off, stirring occasionally. It is fine to leave the risotto for several minutes between stirring as long as it’s just simmering rather than boiling.
Once the liquid has reduce down to just covering the rice, add another third of the stock and stir in. Repeat on the final third and also add the canned or steamed pumpkin and turmeric and stir well.
Simmer the liquid down until it’s thick and creamy. Add the fresh or dried herbs, salt and pepper and optional Parmesan cheese (this isn’t the healthiest of ingredients but I think it’s ok occasionally and it does go really well here).
Mix it all up well, serve immediately and enjoy.
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