by Samantha Muthiah
In a previous post about cake, I shared with you that I was suffering from a severe lack of motivation in the kitchen.
I had realised that my lack of motivation went deeper than drawing a blank when I looked in my cupboards. My inaction was actually rooted in my being selfishly unwilling to put others before myself to serve them– namely, my husband and daughter. Over the last six months, I have been asking God to deliver me from this sinful habit.
In his grace, God has indeed been changing my heart! Over time I have considered God’s instructions to me in Scripture (for example, the wife of noble character in Proverbs 31 and also the description of sacrificial marriage in Ephesians 5). I’ve also been encouraged by dear friends. I have realised that I was actually missing a wonderful opportunity to serve my family, particularly my husband, by at least attempting to provide tasty, healthy food and getting the grocery budget under control.
Resolved to serve with the strength God supplies (1 Pet. 4:11), I started to make some changes. I even started a Facebook group for some time that included five lovely ladies who made great suggestions of easy meals, instructed me in how to do things like “shred chicken”, and liberally “Liked” pictures of things that I cooked! My friends cheered me on as I relied on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to begin to put aside my selfishness in not wanting to serve my family.
They reminded me to rely on Jesus’ strength to consider the needs of others above my own (see Philippians 2:1-4).
During this process I have found a couple of recipes that are a great baby steps for culinarily-challenged people like myself who need extra encouragement in the kitchen.
Today, I’d love to share my favourite recipe for risotto. It took me some time to find a recipe and I’ve since tweaked it a bit. One criterion for my favourite recipes is that they be super flexible, and it is certainly true of this recipe.
Note that it is really easy to double the recipe so you can easily make the other half for someone else. It also freezes well and reheats in the microwave. And my 13 month old loves it!
Make sure to check out the notes at the end of the recipe for tips and variations. Unfortunately I can’t remember where I found the original recipe…
PUMPKIN AND MUSHROOM RISOTTO
PREP & COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
- 15 grams butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion (whatever kind you have)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 ½ cups of arborio rice
- 6 sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup of diced pumpkin
- 3-4 cups hot stock
- ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese (approximately 50 grams)
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley
- Heat butter and oil together in a large saucepan.
- Gently cook the onion and garlic.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring until the rice is coated in the oil mix.
- Cook rice for about 1 minute.
- Stir in the vegetables (pumpkin and mushrooms).
- Pour in 1 cup of the hot stock.
- Cook, stirring often until the liquid is almost all absorbed. You don’t want the liquid to be boiling in with the rice, just a gentle simmer.
- Continue stirring and adding stock one cup at a time until the stock is all absorbed and the rice is tender. This takes about 20 minutes. You don’t need to stand there stirring the whole time if you use a non-stick pot and return often.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese, seasoning and parsley. Serve immediately.
- You can use whatever vegetables you have/like in this, either fresh or frozen. One of my favourite combinations is mushroom and bacon. Yum! The quantities don’t matter too much in my experience. I usually use a whole container of mushrooms (about 250 grams).
- You can also change the flavour by changing the kind of stock you use. My favourite is mushroom stock.
- If you don’t like parsley, leave it out.
- If you are planning to take this meal to someone else, stop at step 8. Take the risotto, parmesan and parsley separately, and have the recipient mix the cheese and parsley in before they eat it.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Samantha was born in Brisbane, Australia and now lives in the Middle East. She’s married to Lenny, a pastor at Redeemer Church of Dubai. Nowadays most of her time is spent cuddling their exceedingly adorable baby Amara Grace. Samantha’s creative mind is always swirling with resources, new ideas, green living and new recipes involving peanut butter.