Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Pepper Risotto

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I absolutely love vegetables! I couldn't live without my 5 a day. However, as odd as it sounds, I could never become a vegetarian! I like meat too and it's good for you as well. It provides vital protein for the body and although nuts and seeds also provide protein, they could never replace meat on my tastebuds! I am a health concious eater, that is until a big piece of chocolate cake or the infamous chipper gets on my healthy concious way! So I do try to vary my foods as much as I can and try not to eat the same meat or vegetables every day. I read somewhere that the more colours on your plate the better, so I go for loads of colour with a bit of protein rich meat, poultry or fish. It's all in the variety!

Once a week, I go vegetarian. I cook a meal without any sort of red or white meat. I feel it is nice to detox from animal protein once every week. I found this recipe a couple of years ago in a weightwatchers' book called Pure Points 2. It is one of my favourite vegetarian dishes as it is not only delicious, but also healthy and low fat, so you can't go wrong with that. I have, as usual, fiddled with the recipe a little. The original is made with pumpkin & peppers only, but unless you can get your hands on a really good pumpking, forget it!

Some of you might say this is not a Mexican dish, I should point out that butternut squash is a Mexican vegetable and so are peppers; they're now grown in other parts of the world, but you have us little Mexicans to thank for them in the first place! So enjoy my Mexican take on a classic Italian. Happy cooking!


Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Put the chunks of squash and red peppers on a baking sheet or oven tray, season them with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked. While the vegetables roast, get on with the rest of the recipe.


Make / heat your stock and put it next to your hob. Make sure it's piping hot. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, non-stick pan and stir fry the onion, mushrooms and garlic at low heat until soft, approximately 3 minutes. Add the rice and mix well. Turn the heat to high, pour the wine and stir fry for 1 minute or until all the wine has been absorbed.


Reduce the heat to medium again and add a ladleful of hot stock. This should just cover the rice. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the stock has been absorbed. Repeat this step until all the stock is gone. The rice should be tender but still have a bit of bite to it.


Reduce the heat to very low and fold in the roasted vegetables. Check for seasoning and turn off the heat. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve it hot.


This is a delicious and easy enough to make dish. It's filling and very satisfying and full of colour on the plate! Hope you enjoy it!