Monday, February 14, 2011

Meatless Monday: Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you all have a happy Valentine's day! Do you have anything exciting planned?

In honour of today, here's a decadent but amazingly easy Meatless Monday recipe to try -- and one of my family's all time favourites:

Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto
Serves 4, Active Time: 40 minutes


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • bunch sage , leaves picked, half roughly chopped, half left whole
  • 1½ l vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • onion , finely chopped
  • 300g risotto rice (we used arborio)
  • 1 small glass white wine
  • 50g parmesan , finely grated

  • Directions:
    1. Before you make the risotto, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Toss the squash in 1 tbsp oil together with the chopped sage. Scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins until it is brown and soft.
    2. While the squash is roasting, prepare the risotto. Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the rice into the onions until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
    3. Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments but not longer.
    4. At the same time, gently fry the whole sage leaves in a little olive oil until crisp, then set aside on kitchen paper. When the squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough purée and leave half whole. When the risotto is just done, stir though the purée, then add the cheese and butter and leave to rest for a few mins. Serve the risotto scattered with the whole chunks of squash and the crisp sage leaves.

    Per serving

    609 kcalories, protein 15g, carbohydrate 87g, fat 24 g, saturated fat 10g, fibre 8g, sugar 17g, salt 0.95 g

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Green Family Highlights

I'm currently accepting nominations for green families to highlight on this blog. I think it will be a great way to inspire us all -- and hopefully give a few green tips for family life!

If you know of anyone you'd like to nominate, or wouldn't mind answering a few questions yourself about your family's green practices, please email me at I look forward to hearing from you!

Plastic-Free February: Day 13

Laundry. Laundry. Laundry.

I've been researching ways to get around purchasing laundry detergent in the silly plastic packaging. (Even if we use the eco-friendly brand in the concentrated liquid, I still feel terrible about the plastic in the packaging!) Oh, and I need to use the liquid soap option for my washer so buying powder packaged in a cardboard box (while the best option) isn't a choice for us. So it looks like I might be making my own. A little DIY, anyone?

If you're like me and thinking about making my own laundry soap, here are some of the recipes I've found online:

I'd love to hear about your experiences and recommendations before I proceed. Do you make your own laundry soap? Have any tips or "recipes" to share?