Pumpkin Pecan Risotto With Dried Cranberries & Goat Cheese

Despite its appearance, risotto is not a type of rice but rather an Italian dish made with a special high-starch short-grain rice.

Which includes the Arborio, Carnaroli and the Vialone Nano rice.

The Rices Used To Make A Risotto

This special type of rice can absorb quite a bit of liquid without becoming mushy.

A basic risotto is particularly prepared with Arborio rice, bone broth, shallots, butter and salt.

Once you have the basics, you can add just about any other food that you would like.

This risotto includes dried cranberries, pecans, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, goat cheese, and Italian parsley.

The History Of Risotto

The history of how Risotto became an Italian dish is quit simple.

The story of risotto begins in the 14th century B.C. with the Arabs bringing rice to Sicily and Spain during their rule.

Rice Fields In Northern Italy

Italy was the ideal place to grow short-grain rice due to the humid weather and abundant flat land.

Till today, the Po Valley (Italy) is one of the largest rice producers in Europe and rice is eaten extensively throughout northern Italy.

Making A Risotto Is Not Time Consuming

Making a risotto with any of the rices we noted at the start of reading this article, takes as long as cooking an Asian rice or Mexican rice.

But the difference is, it is hands on from start to finish. Which is about 20 to 25 minutes. And I will say, It is worth it.

If you prepare a risotto the right way, or in other words, follow the recipe, you will have a creamy delicious risotto.

Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese

• 4 cups bone broth (or vegetable stock)

• 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1 shallot (minced)

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

• 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

• 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar red

• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

• Fresh ground black pepper

• 1 cup crumbled goat cheese

• 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the stock and pumpkin over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cover and keep warm.

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides, add the shallot and salt.

Cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the thyme and rice and cook for one minute longer.

Add the white wine vinegar and a ladle of warm stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. Add another ladle of stock, and continue cooking until evaporated again.

Continue cooking, adding a ladle of stock at a time, and allowing to evaporate in between each addition. Cook until the rice is done, but has a bite to it, it should be creamy in texture, and will take about 20-25 minutes.

Mix in the parmesan, half of the parsley, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining parsley, goat cheese and dried cranberries. Serve immediately.

Gluten-Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieWe had a small sugar pie pumpkin that was given to us around the middle of November (2015), and I just got around to roasting it. We took too long to get to it, but the pumpkin flesh was still good. After roasting it, we were able to get 30 ounce of puree, which is equal to two 15 ounce store bought cans. collage of Roasted PumpkinWe needed to see how good the puree would taste, so it could be used to make either some pies, pumpkin bread or cookies, and even a pumpkin cheesecake. After roasting and pureeing the pumpkin, we wanted to taste the flavor of the flesh, so we mixed some with real maple syrup and some pecan pieces, and wow it was very tasty.

fresh pumpkin puree with real maple syrup and pecan pieces

Better Homes and Garden Novemeber 2015 issueThe pumpkin pie recipe we decided to make with 15 ounce of the puree was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens November 2015 issue.

gluten free pie shell packagingWe did change the recipe a bit, as we used a gluten free pie shell.

What makes this pumpkin pie a Mexican chocolate pie is the use of Cayenne and smoked paprika.

No need to worry as it is not spicy.

Here is what you will need to prepare your own: Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie.

3 ounces dark chocolate (original recipe calls for 1 3.1 ounce disc of Mexican chocolate)

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup coconut sugar (original recipe calls for 3/4 cup packed brown sugar)

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika ( original recipe called for milk chili powder)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (we used our fresh roasted pumpkin puree)

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup half and half or light cream

Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)

Bake pie crust according to packaged instructions.

For pie: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small sauce pan heat chocolate and butter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, just until melted, then set aside to cool.

pumpkin pie mixIn a large bowl combine coconut sugar, pie spice, salt, and chili powders. Stir in pumpkin puree and eggs until combined. Next gradually stir in half and half until combined.

stirring in pumpkin pie mix with melted chocolateStir 1 1/2 cups of the pumpkin mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture, then pour into pie crust.

second layer of Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieNext pour remaining pumpkin mixture over chocolate layer.

Bake for 60 minutes or until center appears set. Cool pie, then chill within 2 hours.

Chocolate Ganache

simmered cream cinamon and shaved dark chocolateIn a small bowl add 3 ounces of shaved dark chocolate and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. In a small sauce pot bring 1/4 cup cream to a simmer, and pour over shaved chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieSpoon Chocolate Ganache over pie, then add shaved dark chocolate and some powdered chili.

Slice Of  Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieServe a piece of Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, and enjoy!!

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Gluten-Free Penne with Smoked Bacon and Butternut Squash

Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked Bacon

Butternut squash and also refereed to butternut pumpkin in Australia and New Zealand, is a winter squash. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to pumpkin.

Butternut_squash

The value of the nutrient content increases when cooked

According to Specialty Produce the butternut squash was developed in Stow, Massachusetts in 1940 by Charles A. Leggette.

The squash is a member of the gourd family and is the most widely grown winter squash. In the United States, Florida is the largest squash-producer with California ranking second.

Butternut is rich in fiber, and low in calories. It also is a good source of minerals, including magnesium and potassium. Those who have asthma or breathing problems, this squash can help, because of its magnesium, and vitamins A and C content.

Medical studies since 1994 have reported that low magnesium intake is linked to asthma and chronic obstructive airways. Many studies also have noted that drugs used in the treatment of asthma causes loss of magnesium in the body (The Link Between An Asthma Attack and Magnesium).

Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, who authored the book, “The Magnesium Miracle,” states that magnesium has a calming effect on the muscles of the bronchial airways, as well as the whole body (Treating Asthma With Nutrition).

Let’s breath easier, and get that all over calming effect as we present our featured recipe: Gluten Free Penne with Smoked Bacon and Butternut Squash, and here is what you will need.

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces, cooked in a steamer (optional to roast)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound gluten-free penne pasta

1 large yellow onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper corns

1/2 pound smoked bacon, cooked, but not crispy, your preference in flavor, we used a apple-bourbon smoked bacon

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package instruction. Save one cup of the pasta water before draining pasta. Set aside.

sauteing onions Over medium heat in a large ceramic coated frying pain, add oil and diced onion, red pepper flakes and crushed pepper corns, and saute until onion are slightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes.

adding squash and pastaNext add past, squash, and bacon. Mix until well incorporated. Next add cheese, and slowly add the reserved pasta water. The amount you add determines if you want the dish creamy or not.

Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked BaconPlate and serve.

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Pumpkin Bacon Pancakes

Pumpkin Bacon Pancakes

These pumpkin bacon pancakes are exceptionally soft and fluffy and the flavor of warm spices with every bite.

These pancakes are not only light and fluffy but also moist due to the addition of pumpkin.

There is nothing better than a stack of pumpkin pancakes made with bacon and topped deliciously yummy maple syrup.

A quick, easy, and delicious breakfast developed for those who love pancakes, bacon, pumpkin and real maple syrup.

Pumpkin Bacon Pancakes

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

2 large eggs

2 tbsp. coconut sugar

1 tbsp. coconut oil

4 to 5 strips crumbled cooked bacon

Whisk together in a large bowl the first 6 ingredients, and set aside.

In a separate medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs, coconut sugar, and coconut oil.

Gently stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture. Heat a cast iron griddle coat with butter over medium heat.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto griddle to form a 3 to 4 inch pancake. Drop some of the crumbled cooked bacon. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes each side.

Pumpkin Bacon Pancakes

Plate and drizzle with real maple syrup.

Try these other delicious pumpkin recipes.


More Deliciously Yummy Recipes

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Croutons

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cruotons

This easy creamy pumpkin soup makes for a hearty delicious dinner party starter or a light brunch, lunch or dinner.

Pumpkin soup is a vitamin-C immune boosting nutritious comfort food with a deliciously yummy silky texture.

The crisp, cinnamon-sugar croutons complement the smooth, savory soup.

The spices cinnamon and ginger used in the croutons are excellent in prompting good digestion.

Before making the soup let’s make the croutons first. Here is what you will need:

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cruotons

4 slices of 100% whole wheat bread (white bread is ok if you prefer)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl mix together cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter.

Spread cinnamon mixture evenly over slices of bread, one side only.

Place bread slices (cinnamon spread side up) on a baking sheet, and place into heated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, cut crust off and cut slices into crouton size pieces and set aside.

Now prepare the soup.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Brown Sugar Croutons

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt 

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger)

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup heavy whipping cream

steps to preparing Creramy Pumpkin SoupSauté onion with 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until tender.

Next add 1 can chicken broth, and stir in well. Bring the broth to a boil, and  cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes. 

Transfer broth mixture into a blender or processor, and process until smooth.

Return to sauce pan over heat.

Next add remaining can of broth, along with the pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and ground pepper. Stir until well combined.

Bring to a boil, and cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Next stir in heavy cream and heat through. Do not boil.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup topped with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cruotons or a bowl soup with olive breadLadle soup into individual soup bowls. Top each serving with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Croutons, or have with a slice of bread.

Great bread to accompany this soup can include real sourdough or olive bread.

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Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup

Coconut-and-Butternut-Squash-SoupButternut squash is a summer and winter squash, and has an orange flesh that is sweet and  tastes a little like sweet potatoes. Like all squash, butternut squash is a warm weather crop and needs a long, hot summer.

There are several varieties of butternut squash. The first ones to harvest are the Early Butternut, Ponca and Supreme. The Ultra bears fruit with the most weight, between 6 and 10 pounds. The Zenith variety has attractive fruit and high yields.

There are several different ways to make soup with butternut squash, including the variety of spices and herbs used. Such as garlic, parsley, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, chives, including kale leaves, leeks, and jalapeno chilies.

Storing Butternut Squash

Butternut squash can store for longer periods of time than their summer squash counter parts. Why? Because their skin is hard and thick. After purchasing it, you can store it at least a month in a dry, cool place. If the squash has been cut into pieces, place into a glass or food grade ceramic bowl, place lid and refrigerate up to 5 days.

The Benefits of Butternut Squash

One cup of mashed squash contains 80 calories, 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, with the B-complex group of vitamins folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid. It also contains vitamins A and C and the minerals iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

There is a correlation between eating foods high in the carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin like butternut squash, and a reduced rick of lung cancer.

Folate can protect against birth defects, and also helps to prevent a heart attack by working against elements that break down blood vessel structures in the body. Folate intake has shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Options To Prepare Butternut Squash

There are several ways to prepare butternut squash. Our favorite ways to prepare it, and still contain the highest nutritional value are:

  1. Stir-Fry: tender when pierced
  2. Bake: 400 degrees, uncovered 30 – 40 minutes
  3. Steam: Cube and steam for 6 – 8 minutes
  4. Roast: 400 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes

We advise against boiling the squash or microwaving it. With both methods, you will lose its nutritional value.

Now for our featured recipe: Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup, and here is what you will need.

Ingredients for Coconut and Butternut Sqaush  soup

3 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

4 cups chicken broth, divided

1-15 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk

1 stalk celery, diced

1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree

½ butternut squash (about 2 ½ cups) peeled, discard seeds and sliced up

1 tsp. Fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp. salt (optional)

roasting butternut sqaush while baking biscutsBake butternut squash, 30 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

pureeing butternut squash with chicken brothIn a food processor place 1 cup chicken broth and the baked butternut squash. Puree until creamy, and set aside.

sauteing onions and garlic in olive oilPlace a medium stock pot over medium heat, and add 2 cups of chicken stock. Do not bring to a boil, just allow to heat. In a large skillet over medium heat, when pan is heated add 3 tbsp. olive oil, and add chopped onions, minced garlic,  and sauté, but do not brown or carmelize. Just allow to cook and the two sock up or retain olive oil flavor.

adding diced celery to soupPour sauted onion mix with olive oil into stock pot that contains the warmed chicken broth. Take the last cup of chicken broth, and with one hand pour into frying pan while holding it by the handle with other hand, and swirl frying pan gently, and add to stock pot. Next add coconut milk to broth and stir until incorporated. Then add the diced celery to broth and stir.

spooning in butternut sqaush to soupSpoon in pumpkin and butternut squashes, mix till well incorporated. Next add ginger and stir in. If desired, add salt. Allow to simmer on low for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Coconut-and-Butternut-Squash-SoupServed garnish with a dollop of sour cream, chives and shredded coconut.

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