Vegan Pumpkin Risotto

Vegan Pumpkin Risotto

This post is also available in: Suomi (Finnish)

I’m not sure what has been up lately, but I feel like since the days started to get darker, a lot of other things started to go awry as well. Our baby was awake at night all the time, there were some minor nervous breakdowns thanks to sleep deprivation, my blender broke (my dear Vitamix!), I was constantly spilling/breaking/dropping things and it just felt like NOTHING IS WORKING AND EVERYTHING IS WRONG. I felt like curling up into a ball, hiding under a blanket, and taking a looong nap. See you later, said this mama bear and fell asleep.

If disappearing is not an option, going back to basics usually seems to ease things out in these chaotic times. Instead of doing a hundred things at a time (oh hello me), I tell myself to focus on one thing only (sounds so easy right?). DO LESS (so do not start going through your wardrobe while avoiding your to-do list like I did last night). Take a shower, wash your hair (there’s something therapeutic in it for me), take a couple deep breaths, and do something useless for a moment (love love love my chick-lit tv shows for this). And after a night of better sleep, your mood and vibe is like from a totally other planet. 

Vegan Pumpkin Risotto

What I just wrote doesn’t really have anything to do with this pumpkin risotto, but sometimes it’s just nice to write down my thoughts here and pass them forward. Gives some space to my clogged mind too :) But now, let’s talk a bit about this risotto. I made this a few weeks ago and felt like sharing it here too, since pumpkin is in season right now and I think we all need some cozy dinners to our rotation. Risotto is usually my go-to meal in italian restaurants, as it’s a safe bet for a celiac, and sometimes I like to make it at home too. Pumpkin risotto is probably familiar to some of you, but I wanted to give this one a twist and make it vegan by replacing the parmigiana with nut parmesan! I was on a pretty strict breastfeeding diet this summer and early autumn to resolve our boy’s tummy problems and thus gave up all dairy products for a few months. After introducing dairy back into my diet, we’ve been eating a lot less of it actually and haven’t really been using any cheese at home (we used to be obsessed with feta cheese). So it’s been fun to come up with ways to replace cheese in recipes and figure out new ways of cooking!

I think risottos are a great comfort food, but they’re also really easy to prep. Once you’ve peeled and cut your pumpkin into pieces, this recipe is very simple and comes together quickly. I like to serve this as a main course, but you could definitely serve it as a side too if you’re making a bigger dinner. And since you’ve opened up that bottle of wine for the risotto, I think it’s nice to set a pretty table, take a few deep breaths, have a small glass of wine, and enjoy the moment (and the food too). Sometimes just being in the moment with no pressure to be anywhere else or do anything else is a great cure for our busy minds.

Sending love and light ♡

Vegan Pumpkin Risotto

Vegan Pumpkin Risotto

serves 4

about 800 g of butternut squash
1 yellow onion
1 2/3 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
3 1/3 -3 2/3 cups vegetable broth
olive oil
salt & black pepper
1/2 cup cashew parmesan
3 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

Nut parmesan:
1/2 cup cashews
¼ tsp garlic powder
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
a pinch of salt

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 175F / 350C degrees. Peel the pumpkin and cut it into small cubes. Mix the pumpkin cubes with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast the pumpkin in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pieces have softened.

2. Prepare the nut parmesan in the meantime. Measure all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until a fine crumb forms. Pour the nut parmesan in a bowl and set aside for a moment.

3. Peel and chop the onion finely. Prepare the vegetable broth. When the pumpkin is, take about 1/3 of the pieces to the side. Add the remaining 2/3 of the pumpkin to a blender, add a bit of vegetable broth and blend until smooth. You can also use a hand mixer for this step.

4. Heat a large frying pan, add a bit of olive oil to the pan, and sauté the onion for a couple minutes. Add the rice to the pan and fry for a short moment. Now add the white wine. Once the wine has absorbed, add about 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetable broth at a time. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes and then add the pumpkin puree and the remaining baked pumpkin. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes until the rice feels cooked but has some texture left.

5. Finally add the nut parmesan, fresh thyme, and season with salt and black pepper. Serve warm and enjoy!

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