It’s not been long since I posted my mum’s butternut squash risotto recipe, however it is a firm favourite of mine, so I thought I’d post my own take on it.
I used quinoa, firstly because it’s nice to mix things up a bit, but more importantly, I didn’t have any rice in the cupboards, but I did have quinoa. I’m going away next month, so I’m doing my best to refrain from buying anything that’s not fresh.
I know that using quinoa makes it a bit of a stretch in naming it a risotto, but due to the method being exactly the same, i feel confident that no chef will come along and sue me for it.
The other thing I wanted to say, is that a lot of people have a bit of a fear when it comes to cooking grains. All I have to say to this, is why? I see it as being pretty tricky to get WRONG, so if you think yours is bad, the ‘problem’ is probably that you don’t like it, or haven’t made a meal you enjoy out of it.

Ingredients (serves 4)
1/2 a medium sized butternut squash (peeled and diced)
2 tbsp Vegan spread (I used soy but feel free to go crazy and use coconut or nut butter)
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup white quinoa
handful pumpkin seeds
8 cherry tomatoes chopped in half
Selection of dried herbs (i used thyme, basil, rosemary and bay leaf)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1L stock
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (also feel free to use real wine)
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180 and put about a teaspoon of vegan spread into a pan. Wait for it to heat to a medium/high temperature, then put in the onion, garlic and squash, and lightly fry for about 8 minutes until the onions start to soften.

2. Add in the quinoa, fry for about 15-20 seconds, then add the wine vinegar. Once the wine has evaporated (should not take long, 1-2 minutes), pour about half the stock, turneric and the dried herbs into the pan and allow to simmer on a medium heat. Meanwhile, drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and a bit of balsamic, and put in the oven for 15 minutes.

3. When the water has evaporated, pour in a little more stock and keep adding until you have used all the stock. Remove from the heat, then stir in another tbsp of butter.

4. Before serving, remove the tomatoes from the oven, and mix them into the risotto, along with the pumpkin seeds.


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