This Veggie Mash recipe is such a great alternative to roasted veggies because it takes almost half the time.
My great-grandparents were born in Italy so for as long as I can remember risotto has been a staple dish in our family. When my dad is the one cooking, which is the norm in my family, we have risotto at almost every gathering including holiday dinners. I even remember my dad making the Italian flag with his risotto one year by mixing tomato paste with a third of the batch and parsley with another third. I don’t remember who was at this particular dinner, how old I was, or what holiday we were even celebrating, but oh how I remember the Italian flag risotto. :) Clearly I was destined to somehow have food be a big part of my life. But enough nostalgia for now… What I am really here to say is that I was slightly devastated when I first thought whole-grain risotto was impossible. You see, when we made the switch to “real food” I looked everywhere for brown Arborio rice to no avail. I even went almost a year without eating risotto (yikes!) until one day I saw a post from Deliciously Organic explaining that you can actually make risotto with just regular brown rice…it doesn’t have to be Arborio or anything special! You know how something can suddenly seem so simple when the information is presented to you like that. Plus this is such a great recipe to have in your dinner rotation because (similar to stir-fry) you can mix in almost anything you have on hand from veggies to seafood to meat in order to make it into a complete meal. And if you have some homemade chicken stock available for this recipe, too…then yum!!
This recipe has been a favorite of ours for over a decade. Both of our kids love it too, which is always a bonus, and fall is of course the perfect time of year to cook with winter squash since it’s currently so fresh and readily available (at least here in North Carolina). I am personally trying to get better at using foods when they are in season and preserving them for later in the year, and this soup freezes beautifully so it is worth it to double or triple the recipe. This dish would also be a great starter for all those upcoming holiday dinners. One year my husband and I outdid ourselves by serving this soup in a scooped out acorn squash “bowl.” That was long before kids (and food blogs) when we had a little more time on our hands, but it sure was fun to “wow” our guests back in our adventurous days in the kitchen. No matter what you decide to do with this dish though I assure you that you can’t go wrong because it is delish!
I tried this recipe for the first time last weekend, and I cannot believe how incredibly easy it is to make. Not to mention soups freeze beautifully so you can double the recipe and prepare this meal even more easily by pulling it out of your freezer on a busy weeknight. It goes well with whole-wheat biscuits, which can also be made and frozen in advance. I do want to give you a fair warning though that our children did not like this recipe for some reason…but the adults loved it so much that we thought we should share it anyway!
I absolutely love this butternut squash ravioli because everyone in my family (myself included) thinks it is delicious!