Well that’s it, Christmas is well and truly gone now. The leftovers are eaten and the presents put away. I am always really sad come January, like many people! I think my reasons are a bit different than others though. Christmas means so much to me, it really is my favorite time of year. Its the time when family and friends become most important, when reunion and home are the threads running through the season.
Simple things can make you smile at Christmas, whether its a song or a sparkle of lights. The sound of the doorbell with a promise of reunions and the crackling of a roaring fire. It is this that I miss come January, the catch-ups and the comforts of home, the familiarity and the friendships.
Yet January itself brings promise and hope always. I am not the kind of person who feels guilty about what has gone before. I used to feel guilty about things, but in recent years I have decided life is too short and there is too much to enjoy! Why should I feel bad about the wonderful food I ate over Christmas or the extra few drinks on a night out? I had a ball this Christmas and I don’t regret a minute! But I have put on a few pounds, and January provides the perfect opportunity to refocus on a healthy lifestyle. No extreme diets, no detox, just eating healthy food, returning to exercising and feeling positively.
With a view to living an all round healthy life, one of my New Years Resolutions is to try one new recipe a week this year! Which bodes well for you lot, as I will be blogging as many of these as possible. And to kick us off, I thought some healthy comfort food was just the ticket to beat the January Blues. This recipe is just for one but can easily be multiplied up. I am playing around with the veg that I include but at the moment I am loving onions, red peppers and peas or green beans. Try it and see what you think!
Chorizo and Vegetable Risotto:
Serves 1, 10pp per serving
- 75g Arborio rice (risotto rice)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Half red pepper, chopped into small cubes
- 75ml white wine (you can just use extra stock if you like but I like the flavour of this)
- 15g chorizo sausage, chopped into small cubes
- 3 mushrooms, finely sliced
- 450ml good chicken stock (this is important! Stockpot is good or fresh stock….Not cubes!!), heated on the hob.
- Using a nonstick pan, fry the onion and garlic until soft. You can spray it with a mist of oil if needs be.
- When they are soft, add the rice and the wine and stir well. Allow to bubble up so that some of the wine evaporates.
- At this stage, I add in the peppers. If you want them crunchy, leave this until nearer the end.
- Spoon in a ladleful of stock and simmer rice until most of the stock has been soaked in.
- Repeat this process for approx 20 mins, allowing the stock to soak in each time before adding more.
- About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the chorizo and mushrooms. I stir green beans or peas in at this stage. The chorizo will gradually release its yummy oil and add flavour to the risotto.
- When you are out of stock, continue to stir the risotto until yo have a creamy texture. You do not want mush and there should still be some bite to the rice but not too much. Test it by squeezing a grain between your fingers, if it crushes under a little pressure, its perfect.
- If you want a grating of Parmesan on top, go for it!
- This really doesnt taste anything like diet food! Enjoy it and relax, it really is healthy!