Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Risotto

I am always put off making risotto as it is pretty labour intensive and takes a while. But when I do make the effort it is always worth it! I decided to make a vegetarian version using butternut squash and sweet potato, and it worked really well.

butternut squash and sweet potato risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 600ml vegetable stock plus more boiling water if necessary
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 100ml white wine
  • 50g grated Parmesan

Method

  • Peel the butternut squash and sweet potato and chop into small cubes. Coat in olive oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.
  • Meanwhile, add some olive oil and a knob of butter to a large frying pan on a low heat. Add the onion and garlic, then cover and cook for 3 mins until the onion turns translucent. Stir in the celery and herbs and cover again and cook for a further 2 mins. Increase the heat slightly and stir in the rice. Stir continually for a few minutes.
  • Increase the heat, add the wine and let it cook until it’s almost completely gone. Reduce the heat and begin adding the stock. Add one ladle at a time, and each time stir gently but purposefully until it is absorbed. This will help the rice absorb the liquid, while at the same time release its starch and thicken the broth. If the rice is still too nutty when the stock is finished, add ladles of boiling water until you have achieved the desired consistency.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, take half of the roasted squash and potato, and mash it up well. Stir into the rice, and then add the parmesan.
  • Add the remaining chunks of squash and potato and stir through. Season if desired.

butternut squash and sweet potato risotto

I really liked the sweetness of the butternut squash and sweet potato mixed with the savoury flavours of the herbs, white wine and parmesan in this risotto. The flavours complemented each other so well and the mashed squash and sweet potato added an extra creaminess to the rice. The roasted chunks mixed through at the end meant that every bite did not taste exactly the same.  A must make if you like a good risotto!

Love, Laurel

Easy Weeknight Chicken Curry

Fancy a curry but haven’t got time to mess around with lots of preparation or let it simmer for ages? This easy weeknight chicken curry is for you!

easy weeknight chicken curry

I made this last week, as soon as I got home from work, and it was an easy, quick and tasty weeknight meal. Plus it’s really healthy! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Large pinch fresh grated ginger / 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml cold water
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt / crème fraiche

Method

  • Finely chop the onion and garlic and add to a pan with coconut oil or olive oil. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the ginger and chilli and let it cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour in the tomatoes, water, salt and garam masala. Bring to the boil, then add the raw chicken. After 3-4 minutes, add the coriander, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Then add the yoghurt/crème fraiche and stir well.
  • Serve with basmati rice and lots of fresh coriander on top, if you like it!

Most of the ingredients you might have on hand, so it’s something you could make without having to go and buy a list of ingredients. You could add additional spices, some coconut milk or use prawns or beef instead  of chicken. Adding the chicken raw saved a lot of time; its something I haven’t done before but it worked well. All in all it took about 25 minutes including prep time; I am definitely adding this to my list of after work meal options!

easy chicken curry

Love, Laurel

Chocolate Coconut Ice with Coconut Oil and Honey

This a slightly healthier take on traditional coconut ice, as condensed milk is replaced with coconut oil and the icing sugar replaced with honey. Very easy to make and great for a satisfying sweet snack.

chocolate coconut ice recipe

Ingredients

  • 100ml coconut oil
  • 200g desiccated coconut
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 100g dark chocolate

Method

  • Melt the coconut oil in the microwave until it becomes a liquid. Mix it together with the desiccated coconut and the honey.
  • Press into a flat bottomed dish and refrigerate.
  • Melt the chocolate and pour over the coconut, spreading it evenly.
  • Freeze for 1 hour then cut into squares.

The chocolate partly mixes with the coconut and the end result tastes a lot like a Bounty Bar. These keep really well in the fridge and actually get better as the days go on, as the coconut softens.

chocolate coconut ice

For this recipe I used Vita Coco Coconut Oil. It smells absolutely gorgeous and is just lovely stuff. So far I have also used it to make a smoothie, a curry, some roasted vegetables and as a body moisturiser! In the smoothie you could really taste the coconut flavour, which I absolutely love. I was sent a 250ml jar, and some little sachets, which are perfect if using the oil as a moisturiser or hair mask. A great multi tasking product that has loads of health benefits and smells and tastes amazing. There are loads more food and beauty ideas on the Vita Coco #swearbyit website, have a look!

vita coco coconut oil

Love, Laurel

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