Two grains risotto with hazelnut and kale pesto

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With the temperature seriously dropping all my body craves is comforting, soul warming food. In all honestly the idea of a salad for dinner really doesn’t appeal me anymore! I am sure when eventually the temperatures will raise again I will start to fancy more raw food but for the moment I have got to be clever and trying to still get lots of green goodness into my daily routine. This recipe is actually a very good example, even if you don’t like kale I promise you, you will love this dish! The kale is kind of in disguise with the fragrant basil, crunchy hazelnut and sweet pumpkin, it’s still there giving you all his green super power but the flavour is subtle, perfect for kale first timer!;)

Make 2 large bowls

Ingredients:

1 small pumpkin of your choice

for the risotto:

3/4 of a cup of millet

3/4 of a cup of quinoa

2 cups of vegetable stock

1 small onion

3 cloves of garlic

salt and pepper to taste

for the pesto:

1 cup of chopped kale

1 bunch of basil

1/2 cup of hazelnuts

the juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 clove of garlic

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 flat tablespoon of nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste

to decorate:

mixed seeds ( pumpkin seeds,sesame seeds etc…)

Start by roasting the pumpkin. Heat the oven at 180.

Wash the pumpkin, cut it in half, with a spoon remove all the seeds and slice it length way. Put the slices onto a try with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. With your hands rub the seasoning  into the pumpkin slices. Roast for at  least 20 minutes until soft.

To make the risotto: chop as finely as possible the onion and the garlic. In a saucepan heat a tablespoon of olive oil and start gently frying the onion and the garlic. In a colander rinse the millet and quinoa. Once the onion is translucent add the grains into the pan together with the vegetable stock. Cook the risotto on a low heat stirring from time to time until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa and millet are tender.

While the risotto is cooking make the pesto: in a food processor put the kale, hazelnuts, basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice olive oil, salt and pepper and the garlic. Pulse for a couple of minutes until the pesto has a creamy consistency, if you feel is still too thick you can add gradually a bit of water.

Once the risotto is cooked fold in the pesto and add some pumpkin seeds if you want an extra crunch. Serve the kale pesto risotto with the slices of pumpkin on top, a drizzle of olive oil and mixed seeds to decorate.

 

 

 

 

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Saffron millet risotto with garlicky wild mushrooms

 

Maybe because I am Italian but there is something so comforting, almost soothing about a big bowl of creamy risotto at the end of a long day. I have decided to use millet in this recipe not just because is an interesting alternative to rice, but also because is packed with so much goodness! Millet is a great source of copper, magnesium, manganese and fibre. It.s completely gluten free and I find slightly easier to digest than brown rice.

Ingredients

for the risotto

1 cup of millet

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock

1 onion

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoon of saffron powder

2 tablespoons of coconut milk (optional)

for the garlicky mushrooms

about 300 g of mixed wild or exotic mushrooms ( I bought an already mixed mushrooms pack in my local supermarket)

3 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

A bunch of fresh thyme

a squeeze of lemon

Start by making the risotto.  Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.Finely chopped the Onion and the garlic cloves and transfer them to the pan. Fry the onion and garlic gently until the become translucent.Rinse the millet under fresh water and add it to the pan together with vegetable stock, coconut milk and the saffron powder. Cook the millet for about 20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the millet is thick and creamy. Adjust with salt and pepper.

while the millet is cooking start to prepare the mushrooms. Place the garlic cloves into a garlic crusher and fry them gently in a separate pan together with the chilly flakes. Wash and chop the mushroom, add them to the pan with the garlic and chilli flakes. Cook the mushroom on a medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Chopped the fresh thyme, add it to the mushroom once they have finished cooking.

to assemble the risotto simply plate the millet and pour the mushroom on top, add a generous squeeze of lemons  and add extra thyme for decoration.

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Coconut and orange truffles


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These are the easiest and the quickest sweet treat ever! They literally take 10 minutes to whip up and they totally hit the spot when you crave something sweet and morish at the same time. The coconut shreds and the coconut oils create a fudgy and creamy consistency, while the orange zest add a hint of tanginess making these truffles taste absolutely irresistible! Completely gluten free and refined sugar free,these little guys are also packed with incredible fatty acids from the coconut which are so important for healthy, glowing skin.

Make about 10 balls

Ingredients:

1 cup of dried coconut + about 1/2 cup for rolling the truffles

1/4 of a cup of coconut oil

2 tablespoon of rice malt syrup or honey ( you want to use quite a sticky sweetener that will help the truffles to stick together)

2 teaspoon of orange extract

the zest of 1 orange plus extra for decorating

Simply put 1 cup of coconut shreds, the coconut oil, the maple syrup and the orange extract into a a food processor and pulse for about 2 minutes until a sticky dough ball starts to form. Remove it form the food processor and put into a bowl and fold in the orange zest. Shape the dough into small balls gently rolling them between your hands. Coat the balls in coconut shreds and place in the fridge to set for at least half an hour. Before serving sprinkle them with some orange zest.

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