Hungry Heart

Adventures in healthy living

Challenge Accepted


12 more days until the ING New York City Marathon!
Jerry is getting nervous and excited.
I’m sure the other 44,999 runners are, too.

On Sunday, Jerry announced to me that he was not going to drink alcohol for the two weeks prior to the marathon.
I wasn’t surprised, since he has done this for his previous two marathons.

I was surprised when he said “Would you like to not drink with me?”

I was also surprised when I heard myself enthusiastically say “Sure!
Frankly, I think my body needs a break after the pumpkin beer experiment of Fall ’11.

Aside from not drinking, I have been thinking of some of Jerry’s favorite (healthy), carb heavy meals to make next week when he starts carbo-loading.

One of Jerry’s favorite carbs is rice. We do not share a mutual love of rice. I can take it or leave it.

Unless of course, it is risotto.

Last night I made butternut squash risotto.
It wasn’t my best batch of risotto, so I will refrain from posting a recipe.
But I will review the general method, which can usually be found on the back any package of arborio rice.

Peel and dice squash into 1 inch pieces. Roast with olive oil, salt, and pepper, until soft.
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil and butter until soft.
Add your favorite herbs/spices. I used thyme, but saffron is very traditional in risotto.

Add risotto to pan, and toss until coated in the fat. Let cook 3-4 minutes, and then add white wine. Once wine is reduced, you can add the stock or water, one ladle at a time. Stir the risotto until the liquid is absorbed. The stirring is what releases the starch from the rice and makes the rice creamy.
Continue adding the liquid, one ladle at a time, until the rice is al dente.

While you’re stuck in the kitchen with your wooden spoon, your family can relax in a recliner and watch TV.

Once the rice is almost done (it will take 4-6 cups of liquid), stir in the squash.

And some grated pecorino.

If you have added your liquid slowly enough, you will have a creamy bowl of rice, without any cream.

We ate the risotto with an over easy egg on top, for a little extra protein.

Risotto is really not as hard as it sounds and it you can add pretty much anything you like.
I’ve added asparagus, scallops, pancetta, pumpkin, peas.  The list goes on and on.

Once you make risotto, you will be hooked. As long as it has vegetables and a protein, it makes the perfect creamy, one pan meal.

Have you ever made (or eaten) risotto?


  1. never made it! Seems daunting and dad is not a rice fan..but I am going to try.

  2. I love risotto (as does Jeremy)! I used to think it was one of the “impossible” dishes that I could never make, until you introduced it to me! I now need to take that next step and introduce something other than peas to it. I’ll continue to take your advice and try the squash.

    Good luck Jerry! And good luck Erin on the next two weeks! Your next beer will taste even more delicious :)

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