The last few weeks I’ve been watching the latest series of Master Chef Australia. I love cooking shows! Back in my teens when I had a lot more time to spare I could watch back to back cooking shows for hours! This recipe is inspired and slightly adapted from a meal that one of the contestants made during a risotto challenge. Her food philosophy is very similar to mine and this recipe has quickly become a favourite in my house.
Quinoa is an amazing little grain full of goodness and such a great thing to add to your diet. If you’re new to quinoa, it has a slightly nutty flavour and is packed with protein, fibre and minerals. It’s also a great gluten free option and is full of antioxidants.
It’s a simple and quick grain to cook and when used with all these wonderful ingredients it makes for a delicious meal. I recommend using homemade vegetable stock or a good quality store bought stock. The flavour that this element imparts to the dish is essential. There is so much flavour in homemade stock and all of this is integrated and absorbed into the quinoa. It does add another step to the recipe but my tip is to make the stock the day before or even a week before. Whenever you have a few left over veges in the fridge you can whip up some stock and store in the fridge or freezer. It’s super simple I promise!
Unlike some risottos that can be quite heavy and leave you feeling full and uncomfortable this leaves your body feeling amazing! It’s a grain that is easy to digest and gives you loads of energy.
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s so versatile. Once you have your quinoa and vegetable stock you can add any ingredients you like to make your favourite risotto. I’m definitely going to be experimenting with a few different variations and can’t wait to share more with you.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 4 sprigs thyme (removed from stem)
- 1.5 cups quinoa, rinsed
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- ½ butternut pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 1 large handful curly kale, stems removed and broken into smaller pieces
- ½ cup grated cheese, use a hard cheese like parmesan and pecorino
- Zest of one lemon
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- To a large pot, add onion, garlic, sage and thyme and cook for approximately 8 minutes or until onions have softened are turning translucent
- Add quinoa and 3.5 cups stock to the pot with the lid on and simmer for around 10 minutes
- Add butternut pumpkin and let simmer for roughly 20 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally and add more liquid as needed when risotto starts to get dry
- Once pumpkin is tender add kale and cook for another few minutes
- Take of the heat and add cheese and lemon zest. Season with salt +pepper and stir through
- Serve hot