Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Risotto

Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Risotto

It feels like it’s 90 degrees in my apartment (thanks to building management who turned on the heat two weeks ago) and here I am standing in front of my oven set to 350F while stirring risotto in my small kitchen. Am I a glutton for good food or what? And to think I thought it was bad yesterday when I was simply roasting a chicken…

Anyways, back to the point of this post: this amazing butternut squash and caramelized onion risotto. It’s an easy recipe with the main requirements being patience and attention. Plus, I actually made two recipes out of the ingredients in the same time it would take to make one. The second dish, roasted butternut squash, will be perfect for lunch tomorrow.

The reason I made two dishes was because I used only half a smallish butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds) for the risotto. So, rather than wrapping the remaining squash and refrigerator for some random future use, I diced the entire thing and mixed half in a baking dish with a pinch of cinnamon, brown sugar and olive oil. I then roasted it in a 350F oven while cooking the risotto. Read more of this >>

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Savory Rhubarb a Success!

The growing season is still in its early stages here in the midwest so, with limited options at the farmer’s market, I became intrigued when I stumbled across some nice-looking and inexpensive rhubarb from Mick Klug’s Farm last week (3 stalks for $1). Rhubarb is not an ingredient I often buy as I’m not much of a baker, but I decided to give it a try and see if I could find a way to use it in a savory dish.Having been extremely busy testing other peoples’ recipes this past week, I let the rhubarb sit in the refrigerator but didn’t forget about it. This gave me time to think about how I wanted to use this extremely tart ingredient. Read more of this >>

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Kitchari, a magical food… and I’m scared to death of my pressure cooker!


Rice and beans is a staple meal in most cultures. It’s got everything you need for a (somewhat) balanced diet – carbohydrates, protein and fiber. The combination never much appealed to me – I’ve always been more of a pasta girl – until this past week when I somehow managed to gain five pounds in six days (I’m thinking shots of jagger had something to do with it).

With my sister’s wedding looming around the corner, I decided to try something I’d never done before: fast. I remembered something from a book on Ayurveda called “Eat, Taste, Heal” that I’d recently been introduced to. In it, the authors describe a cleansing through what they call a kitchari mono-diet. It’s basically a 24 hour fast that lets you eat three times a day. Sounded easy enough to me.

The first challenge came in finding the right ingredients, such as split yellow mung dahl. I asked a friend who often cooks with Indian ingredients where to go, which of course lead to the question why. When I explained I wanted to try kitchari, she became so excited. I quickly learned it was one of her favorite comfort foods growing up and something she and her family still make frequently. I had no idea – I thought this was a food for a fast, like having to drink that awful gunk before a colonoscopy. I promised I would try her family’s kitchari recipe, which she swore would be better than the bland recipe for fasting. Read more of this >>

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Get Your Rice While You Can!

Rice is one of those ingredients I’ve continuously taken for granted: it’s always just been there at the ready, the perfect, simple accompaniment to most meals. That all changed today when I found out the U.S. supply is limited. Suddenly, I’m obsessed with rice. I suppose its human nature. Like the old saying goes, “you never appreciate what you have until it’s gone.”

From a culinary standpoint, the unending possibilities of rice-based dishes are astonishing. It comes in hundreds of varieties from producers throughout the world and is featured in culturally defined dishes such as risotto, paella, kitchari, sushi and even simple pilaf. Rice is a staple in what seems to be the majority of the worlds’ diets. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s filling, nutritious, and low in calories and fat. Read more of this >>

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