|Stir some magic into your life with this gorgeously healthy fresh risotto
The other day as I walked past Harvey Nichols, I noticed a lady selling individual flowers. She caught my eye and as she approached with smiling sweetness, in a split second she switched into a stormy rant. An oblivious man bumbling with a map, clearly lost, had accidentally tripped over her, she wailed at full pelt, “Devils eyes!” He looked distinctly uncomfortable and sheepish as she continued to scold him, all the while he carried on walking trying to ignore her. The fairytale synergy was compelling, if she’d been able to, I’m sure she’d of turned him into a toad! I was relieved as a moment of a possible meeting with the Grand Madame, never meant to be, melted into yesterday. Phew! I held my bump protectively and walked by. The woman reminded me of a fairytale witch, do you remember the one who haggles with Rapunzel’s father for their first born child in exchange for cabbages and lettuce? Here’s a clip for those of you who don’t know the story.
My interest in all things cabbages and lettuce, and many more besides, glittered my taste buds during my first pregnancy, a growing desire to find true nourishment and the importance of eating well took centre stage, for then, what I ate contributed towards the growth of my son. Now some years on I find myself again “eating for two.” Though that assumption is long gone, all the pregnancy literature makes a real point of eating well and keeping fit, so “bye bye” family size trifle and “hello” fruit, balance and gorgeous greens. Ham sandwiches with mustard are a new favourite too.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, now is the time to STRENGTHEN your immune system and develop an active interest in NURTURING your body, along with diet, an active lifestyle makes for a HAPPY soul!
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is seriously delicious and unlike many risotto recipes there is no need for butter or olive oil. The secret to making good risotto lies in the stirring, keep stirring until each ladle of stock has been absorbed.
|Ah, just right!
The freshness of lemon and rocket are complimented by the texture of artichokes and naturally sweet peas. This recipe features these three amazing ingredients, and here’s why they’re so nutritious;
|Three is the magic number!
1 ~ Peas ~ they contain phytonutrients which feature heavily in research to protect against stomach cancer. Our bodies feel they’re good and with their natural sweetness our taste buds delight in appreciation;
2 ~ Artichokes ~ awaken our taste buds with their distinctive tang, tummies curl in bliss while the warming sensation of eating well becomes a savoury exchange of acceptance and nurture. They belong in the thistle family, and like milk thistle, artichokes cleanse the liver and protect against toxins and infection, while also being a great source of folic acid ~ essential in pregnancy.
3 ~ Rocket ~ improves the blood and is an aphrodisiac, with it’s lovely peppery taste the skies the limit, vroom vroom!
Pea, Artichoke and Rocket risotto
|Rinse your risotto well before cooking ~
an Italian friend promises this makes a real difference!
Risotto rice, 300g rinsed
Hot chicken/ vegetable stock 1.2 litre
Char grilled Artichokes, 50g roughly chopped
Rocket salad 50g
Lemon, 1 juiced and zested
HEAT a non-stick pan over a medium heat.
TOAST the rice, stirring non-stop for a minute.
POUR in one ladle of stock and stir continuously until absorbed.
REPEAT ladle by ladle, each time waiting for the stock to absorb.
COOK and stir for roughly twenty minutes. Season generously with freshly ground pepper, before you
POUR in peas, artichokes, rocket, cheese and lemon juice and continue cooking for a further 3-5 minutes, adding the last few ladles of stock.
TASTE and adjust seasoning to suit your palette.
SPRINKLE lemon zest on top and an extra grating of Parmesan for those that like it.