The Gluten Freek gave us GF bloggers a recipe challenge for September. The rules: You must use beetroot and the recipe must be vegan and gluten free. The last challenge was a little easier, the only rule was that you must use mint.
I was quietly confident about this challenge. I've been making a lot of vegan friendly food recently as my egg intolerance is now really bad. Almost as bad as my gluten one - and the milk intolerance is catching up.
I'm trying not to be despondent about it. I'm dealing with it by coming up with new recipes!
The beetroot part threw me though. The last thing I made with beetroot was beetroot soup and it was so vile, I almost gave up cooking altogether. Also, my husband won't touch beetroot, so it gets relegated to my plate of cheese and pickles at Christmas.
I don't do things by half - a cheese and butter free risotto? What could possibly go wrong? Well, so many things! But thank the gods, this turned out great. Hope you give it a go. (Beetroots are great for cardiovascular health, but remember - don't be alarmed by the pink pee!)
Beetroot and Squash Risotto - Gluten, dairy and egg free (vegan friendly).
Recipe - Serves 4
300g risotto rice (I used Arborio from Sainsbury's)
Several garlic cloves (I think I used 5 or 6 smallish ones) minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
150ml white wine (vegan wine is available)
750ml vegetable stock
100g dairy free spread (I used Vitalite)
1/2 red chilli, de-seed if preferred
3 beetroots, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 small squash, peeled and cut into wedges
Lots of black pepper and a little salt
Teeny sprinkle of ground ginger
Vegetable oil or olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 180c
Coat beetroot wedges in oil and roast for around 1/2 an hour.
Mid way through add oiled squash.
Start the risotto by boiling the kettle.
Fry the onion in a little oil until soft. Add the garlic and 1/2 of butter.
Once garlic aromas are released add the rice and stir thoroughly until all the grains are coated with the butter mixture.
Add the wine and boil for 2 minutes.
Make stock of hot water and stock cube in a measuring jug.
Start adding the stock gradually, a splash at a time. Stir constantly. Add more stock when the water has absorbed into the rice.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Add ginger and chilli.
When the beetroot and squash are cooked, chop into small pieces and add to the risotto, reserve a few pieces for decoration at the end.
Continue stirring and adding stock until the rice is cooked. Add the rest of the marge. It should now be creamy, almost like rice pudding (but pink!). The water will stop being absorbed by the rice. This all takes around 40 minutes - but it's worth it! (You may also need more water.)
And there you have it, a healthier take on the classic risotto and your vegan friends will love you forever if you make this for them! (And even beetroot haters will like it, my husband ate the lot!)