Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

article migration image 2927 roasted butternut squash risotto jpg

A delicious and nutritious recipe to help you ground down and find balance. Fall is a season characterized by   movement, air, dryness, and cold.  This warming and sweet recipe helps to pacify and balance these Fall characteristics.  Butternut squash is rich in Vitamins A and C, supporting your immune system as we step into cold and flu season.    Serves 4.  Ingredients:

2 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks 5 tbsp olive oil Package of sage, leaves picked, half roughly chopped, half left whole 6-7 cups of vegetable broth  2-3 shallots, finely chopped 1 ½ cups of Arborio rice ½ cup dry white wine ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional if vegan) ¼ cup pumpkin seeds Salt and pepper to taste Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 425F.  In a large bowl, toss the squash in 1 tbsp olive oil with the chopped sage; season lightly with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a shallow roasting pan and roast in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes until it is brown and soft.
  2. While the squash is roasting, you can prepare the risotto.  Bring the broth to a boil and keep on a low simmer.  In a deep sauté pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Stir in the shallots and sweat gently for 5-6 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir the uncooked rice into the shallots until the rice is shiny and the edges start to look transparent.  Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated.  Add the broth, a ladleful at a time, stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 minutes, until the rice is cooked al dente (slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle).  The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy.  When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments.
  4. While the risotto is cooking, add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to a small sauté pan set over medium high heat.  Gently fry the whole sage leaves until crispy, then set aside on a paper towel.
  5. Wipe off the excess oil in the pan, then add the pumpkin seeds, toast for a 2-3 minutes (until slightly brown and they begin to pop), and remove from pan.
  6. When the squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough puree, leaving the other half in chunks.
  7. When the risotto is finished, stir in the squash puree, then add the Parmesan cheese (unless you are going the vegan option), salt and pepper to taste, and allow to rest for a few minutes.
  8. Add the roasted squash chunks, crisp sage leaves, and toasted pumpkin seeds just before serving.  Enjoy!

Mother, wife, and yoga teacher, Fernanda is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that embraces exercise, mindfulness, community, and compassion.  For her, yoga is an inward journey to connect to our infinite wisdom.  She is an Oregonian living in Switzerland with her husband, son, and dog, who remind her daily what it means to live a life full of love and joy.



Conscious Cooking: Mushroom Broth

article migration image conscious cooking mushroom stock 647x300 0 jpg

Sipping Broths are all the rage in the “foodie-world,” but broth – or stock – has been a big deal in the culinary world for a long time. The earliest form of stock was probably made around the same time that humans began boiling water. It’s a known fact that some of the oldest recipes are the simplest, and therefore they are most likely to be passed on throughout history. Many probably started from the same place, the same idea, the same accident. Someone, somewhere, a long time ago dropped their scraps into a pot of water because they were either curious or desperately needed to eat and tried to make the most of what they had. And that led to stock, which led to soup, which led to stew, which led to gravy, which led to sauce, which led to everything we eat today, in some way, shape or form. But the original survived as stock.

Sipping Broth: Stock That Can Stand Alone

Every good chef knows how to make a stock, whether it be beef, chicken, fish, or some variation of vegetable; but every great chef knows how to make a broth that can be eaten on its own–without anything fancy to cover it up or hide it from the world–just a spoon and maybe a piece of bread. And that’s what happened with the sipping broth trend. Some trendy restaurant decided to serve their beef broth on its own and people went crazy over it.

At first I was slightly annoyed by this trend (“Why are people drinking broth? It’s meant to be cooked with!”), but then I realized that if people were buying broth to drink, they would eventually be looking for ways to make their own. Broth is, after all, one of the simplest and quickest ways to nourish the body. Because of its long, slow, cook time, the water in stock is able to procure every possible nutrient out of every ingredient within the pot. A slower cooking time means that most of the things that get broken down during our digestion process happen in the pot instead of our bellies, this allows our bodies to better absorb the nutrients in the stock. It means healthier eating habits, and full, happy bellies. The more people who know how to make a good broth, the better.

Taking Stock of Mushrooms

So let’s talk stock. A great stock has a deep earthy quality to it, a slight oiliness, and silky flavor. The best kind of stock, in my humble opinion, is made with mushrooms–just plain, old mushrooms. Mushrooms are incredible. They have a healing power. They have intricate root systems, they are made up of beautiful bacteria, they are fungi, they pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and they can grow on anything that is fertile enough to host them. Mushrooms have a meatiness to them, and they are full of a natural umami flavor (“umami” is considered the fifth flavor profile that our palate detects, and is identified as both sweet and savory), which makes them perfectly nourishing for a delicious stock. They add depth and earthiness to beef stock, so why not take the bones out of the equation and give the humble mushroom its turn in the spotlight?

Mushroom Sipping Broth

This recipe calls for many nutrient-rich and flavorful ingredients for a reason: it is meant to be eaten, or sipped on, by itself. Though, I would not frown upon using it as a base for a soup, or stew, or even as a substitute for water when cooking rice or quinoa–by all means, cook with it!. That’s what broth is meant for, after all.

Ingredients

  • 18 oz. Button Mushrooms
  • 1 Medium White Onion
  • 1 whole bulb of Garlic
  • 3 Dried Mushrooms
  • 1 Small piece of Kombu Seaweed
  • 1 tsp crushed Red Pepper
  • 0.5 Cup of Sherry
  • 4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5-7 Cups Water

Preparation

Chop the mushrooms into quarters. Slice the onion into strips. Peel a whole head of garlic, separating each individual clove. Crush each clove with the side of your knife. Remove and discard the paper-skin covering the flesh. Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic into the pot along with all of the other ingredients, water should be added last. While adding the water, be mindful of how much broth you would like to have and add about half of a cup more than that amount.

Place the pot on the lowest heat possible and let it come to a simmer, once the water is simmering remove the Kombu from the pot. Allow the rest of the ingredients to stay at a low simmer for 1-1.5 hours, covered. Do not let the stock come to a boil as this will produce a cloudy and separated stock. The gentler the simmer, the better. Stir occasionally. When you are ready, pour the broth into a large bowl through a colander and let it cool to room temperature. Store the broth in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Mind-Tummy-Body Connection

Complement your sipping broth with a yoga practice to Detox and Renew or explore the benefits of meditation with Gaia’s 14-Day How to Meditate Guide.

Read Article

More In Alternative Health

Our unique blend of yoga, meditation, personal transformation, and alternative healing content is designed for those seeking to not just enhance their physical, spiritual, and intellectual capabilities, but to fuse them in the knowledge that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.


Use the same account and membership for TV, desktop, and all mobile devices. Plus you can download videos to your device to watch offline later.

Desktop, laptop, tablet, phone devices with Gaia content on screens
Testing message will be here