I’ve wanted to make a risotto for absolutely ages but have been put off for a number of reasons, firstly it looked too difficult with all of the stirring and getting the consistency right, and in a university kitchen it could be absolutely disastrous, and secondly, risotto requires butter (well, vegan margarine) white wine and white rice, all of which are still massive fear foods for me at this stage in my recovery from anorexia. Then I found this recipe in my 101 Veggie Dishes cookbook for baked risotto, which dispenses of the constant stirring and watching, and lets the ingredients do their own thing in the oven, and I thought it would be such a yummy, comfort-food-esque meal that I decided to man up and face my food fears head on – and I’m glad I did, because I forgot how nice the smell of melting ‘butter’ and gooey, sticky rice is! It was a scary meal for me, but honestly it tasted lovely, and I made a double portion to have for tonight’s dinner as well, to eat with my friends (I’m making them a veggie lasagne) – so I feel like I’ve made a little bit of progress there :)
I haven’t really mentioned my eating disorder in a while, and really it’s because it’s not on my mind quite as much any more, but I thought I should tell you how much of an achievement eating a dish like this was for me, because even though I’m not as severely ill as I was in Spring, anorexia is still a huge part of my life, and if you know anyone who’s suffering with an eating disorder and seems like they’re doing well in recovery, try and talk to them about it, because often a person will gain the weight and look perfectly fine, but may still be really struggling and need some support, or to know someone cares.
If you fancy helping the cause in a huge way as well, I’m currently holding a competition to raise money for Beat, an eating disorders charity who have been really helpful for me, so if you want to donate a little to them and be in with a chance to win some awesome prizes like chocolate, the cookbook I used to make this recipe with, veggie jelly and more, enter here: www.justgiving.com/emilycooksvegan
Anyway, I hope you like the recipe, it’s full of yummy flavours, and is perfect for chilly days like today!
25g of vegan margarine (not olive oil or oil spray, it just won’t taste the same!)
One crushed garlic clove
One small red onion
100g of risotto rice
300ml of vegetable stock
A teeny tiny palmful of fresh rosemary
250ml of white wine
One 290g jar of antipasto peppers (you can get these from Sainsbury’s)
50g of spinach
Salt and pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Put the margarine and garlic into an ovenproof dish and leave in the oven for 2 minutes until it’s melted.
- Finely chop the onion, toss it in the margarine and put it back in the oven for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add the rice, stock, rosemary and wine and leave in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking.
- Stir in the peppers, spinach and seasoning and leave to cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve onto plates (or just one plate and leave the rest for tomorrow) and make yummy noises as you eat it.