Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

This brightly coloured dish of golden-orange butternut squash, red onion and white rice makes a substantial supper for four or a classic Italian starter for six. Serves: 4

Risotto

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 50 minutes
Slimming World Syns per serving: Extra Easy: FREE, Green: FREE

Ingredients

454g/1lb butternut squash
1 large red onion
1 tbsp lemon juice
852ml/1½pt vegetable stock
1 garlic clove
340g/12oz dry risotto rice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp freshly chopped Sage

Method

1. Slice the skin from the squash and discard the seeds. Cut into 2cm/¾in chunks. Peel and finely slice the onion and toss in the lemon juice. Transfer both vegetables to a saucepan and pour over 284ml/½pt stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until just tender. Turn off the heat and keep covered.

2. Peel and finely chop the garlic and place in a saucepan with the rice and 284ml/½pt stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the stock has evaporated.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining stock until just about to boil, and reduce the heat to maintain the temperature. Add the chopped sage and seasoning to the rice mixture and add a ladleful of stock; cook gently, stirring until absorbed.

4. Continue ladling in the stock until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is thick, creamy and tender. Keep the heat moderate. This will take 20-25 minutes.

5. Drain the pumpkin and red onion and stir gently into the rice. Heat through for 2 minutes.

6. Ladle into warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle with black pepper to serve.

Tip: If you like blue cheese, a little Stilton crumbled on top just before serving tastes wonderful!

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New Year, New You – 5 easy steps

It’s always a daunting prospect to committing to making changes to our lifestyle.  How many times have we made New Year’s resolutions only to break them within 48 hours – sometimes we put far too much pressure on ourselves to achieve the impossible!

By making some simple changes can really help to make a difference to our lives over the long term.  Taking small steps to make those changes is key.  All too often we set ourselves impossible goals which are either too ambitious or too hard to stick to.  We end up feeling guilty and deprived and give up at the first hurdle.

There are many small simple, achievable shifts we can adopt which will make a big difference to how we look and feel over a longer period.  Research suggests it take 16 to 21 repetitions before an action becomes a habit so, stay strong and by the end of January, many of these small changes will have become a fixed part of your health & fitness regime

Resolve to:

1. Eat a low-fat, low energy diet – make healthy choices by swapping high fat foods for lower fat/fat free options

2. Make small steps to increase activity – nothing drastic to start – get off the bus one stop early/leave the car when the journey can be walked/take the dog for a walk (the long way round)!

3. Have mainly healthy foods in the fridge at home – don’t deny yourself some treats, but be in control

4. EaBrighton Slimming World Cooked Breakfastt Breakfast! Whilst having breakfast isn’t essential for weight loss, research shows that eating breakfast is linked to making healthier food choices throughout the day resulting in less snacking between meals.

5. Follow a consistent eating pattern – research shows that people who continue to eat a fairly consistent and healthy diet throughout the week are more likely to keep weight off in the long term than those who follow a strict ‘diet’ on weekdays and let themselves go at weekends.