Easy Vegan — slow cooker pumpkin risotto

The leaves are turning and there’s a fresh chill in the air, Autumn is finally here so I thought I’d try to create a warming recipe in-keeping with the season.

It’s almost been a month since my husband and I decided to stop eating meat and dairy. Usually at this time of year our fridge would be stuffed with pork sausages, meat pies and various cheeses but what a difference a month makes — now it’s stuffed with sweet potatoes, aubergines and kale! The one thing I wasn’t expecting a vegan diet to bring me was more variety in my diet. Like my cupboards I feel refreshed, full of ideas and recipes.

This is a lazy Saturday recipe. It takes a long time in the slow cooker but leaves you free to potter about the house or laze around in front of the TV. At the end of that “hard slog” even your meat eating friends will fall in love with this autumnal meal but take a deep breath and be forgiving if they suggest adding cheese! This dish is a nutty creamy delight and frankly to add cheese would be an utter disgrace.

If you can’t find a pumpkin then you could do this recipe with a butternut squash or several sweet potatoes. For more texture swap out the spring onions for a chopped red onion and a couple of stalks of diced celery.


Cooking time: 2.5 hours

Serves: 4 hungry people

Level: easy peazy


Ingredients:

  • One pumpkin (you’ll need about 500g once the seeds and skin have been removed)
  • 280g risotto rice
  • 2–3 garlic gloves, crushed and chopped
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp dairy free butter
  • 4 tbsp white wine
  • 900ml good quality vegetable stock
  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Optional: 1 tbsp dairy free cream cheese

Method:

  1. Turn the slow cooker to a high heat and put in the dairy free butter along with the chopped garlic and spring onions. Put the lid on and leave for 30 minutes until the butter has melted.

2. Mix in the rice and cumin, ensuring the rice is covered in the melted butter, then pour in the wine and stock.

3. Cook on high for one and a half hours.

4. Whilst the rice is cooking, cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Dice the pumpkin into 1.5cm cubes (but don’t be too precious about it), removing the skin as you go. Drizzle the cubes with oil, season with salt and pepper then roast in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 30 minutes.

5. Add the pumpkin and coriander to the rice (along with the vegan cream cheese if using). You may need to add a touch more stock or water at this stage. Cook on low for a further 30 minutes.

6. Serve with love and a garnish of coriander.

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