From Adrienne Weiss
Risotto is one of the most popular Italian dishes. Butternut squash makes this risotto extra special, adding a deep, rich sweetness highlighted by the warm smokiness of the sage. Sage and squash are the perfect flavor pairing; in fact, there is just no way to go wrong with this one!
Risotto is usually finished off with Parmesan cheese for that signature creaminess and while this risotto, already richly flavored, doesn't need that extra touch, I added some vegan cashew "cheese" to mine... a delicious paste of some cashews, nutritional yeast and salt makes this dish quite amazing!
- 1 cup arborio rice (you need a starchy rice for risotto, unlike the long-grained basmati)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 -inch dice(about 4 cups of diced squash)
- 4-5 cups hot vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Blend together 1/4 cup cashews, 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup of water, salt to taste.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and add some butternut squash, a pinch of salt, and some ground black pepper.
- Sauté over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes or until the squash starts to soften and caramelize.
- Turn down the heat to medium. Add the rice and stir it with the squash until it begins to turn opaque, about 1 minute. Season again with salt and pepper.
- Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until the wine's almost evaporated.
- Add 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and stir it in. Once the stock has almost evaporated, add another 1/2 cup. Repeat until the rice is cooked. It takes about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper when completed. You might need more or less stock; you basically want the rice to be tender yet slightly toothy, or al dente. You don't want mushy rice, or dry and lumpy rice. It should be smooth and creamy!
- Now add the cashew "cheese" (if you chose to use it), stirring it in. Immediately add the sage and mix. Turn off the heat and serve.
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From Christina Pirello
During the fall and winter months, there are few things as comforting as a bowl of savory-sweet pumpkin soup.This soup creates a serene strength and a calm disposition. By normalizing our blood sugars, this soup keeps our emotions on an even keel.
- 2 small pumpkins, halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for coating the pumpkins
- Sea salt
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 to 4 carrots
- 1 medium apple of choice, diced
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon mirin or white wine
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 1 cup plain soy milk, plus extra if needed (you may use any non-dairy milk of choice)
- 2 teaspoons sweet white miso
- 2 to 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, pan toasted for garnish
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh parsley, minced for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees F. Generously rub the outside skin of the pumpkins with oil and place, cut sides down, in a shallow baking pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt and add 1/8 inch of water to the baking pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake about 40 minutes, until the pumpkins are tender (baking time depends on the size of the pumpkins). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Place the 2 tablespoons oil and the onion in a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots, a pinch of salt , the lemon zest and mirin or white wine. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Scoop the pumpkin flesh out of the skins and add to the vegetables in the soup pot. Add the water and milk , cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook the soup until the carrots are quite soft, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer the soup, by the ladlefuls, to a blender or food processor until smooth. Add a small amount of milk to thin the soup as desired. Return the soup to the pot and place over very low heat.
- Remove a small amount of broth and use to dissolve the miso. Stir the miso mixture into the soup and simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes to activate the enzymes in the miso. Serve garnished with pumpkin seeds and parsley.