Brumal Risotto :Vegan Butternut Squash and Spinach Risotto Recipe

It's amazing how the world has changed towards veganism, 30 years ago a plant-based diet was if I am honest, rather tasteless.

This month delicious Vegan recipes are everywhere you look. After all, we are in Veganuary.  When the PR for Flora, the plant-based spreads cie, got in touch to ask if I could relay one of their recipes using Flora Freedom, I found it impossible to say no, out of respect for all the people who will dabble in veganism this Veganuary and in support of their friends who will have to make a few changes in their presence too.

I opted for their Vegan Risotto Primavera with some seasonal changes

Risotto, Vegan, Asparagus, peas, recipe

But before leaving you with the recipe, let me tell you how I first came to contact with Veganism.

We are going way-way back about three decades ago, I had never heard the word, vegan and the world had yet pay attention to the movement. On one of my trips to England, He'd offered to introduce me to his best friends. We drove to Warrington, in the middle of winter. My travel bag contained a little black dress, a pair of leather trousers and a wool fluffy jumper.

Unknown to me, the friends we were about to spend the weekend with were ethical vegans, their philosophy extended beyond diet and had utterly changed their lifestyle and left me facing a real wardrobe problem. There I was in the north of England, with only one option: my little black dress....

I spent the weekend wrapped in it and several borrowed non-wool jumpers. Not the sexy look, I was hoping for but, the beginning of a long friendship, I listen to the reasons behind their choice with my heart and after two days was much more aware of our cruelty to animals.

On an intellectual level, I remember thinking, "What difficult path they had chosen". On a practical level, my most vivid memory of our return journey is our stop on a motorway cafe to eat the place dry. A weekend of veganism had seen me not only freezing but starving too. 

It would not be the case anymore as it's much easier to find vegan products. Here is a list of 7 top tips from Lucy Jones, Expert Dietician and TV Presenter which show just how to start on a vegan course.

7 Simple Tips to try this Veganuary
1.       Simply swap the milk in your tea, coffee and cereal to one of the great plant-based alternatives. There are loads to choose from including soya, almond, cashew, coconut, oat and hemp. Pick one fortified with key nutrients like calcium and B12 to make sure you don’t miss out.
2.       Big up the pulses! Tinned pulses are easy, ready to use and a great filling provider of protein and fibre. Add to soups, salads and veggie chilli.
3.       Try making a delicious cottage pie using soya, quorn or vegetable mince and lentils / beans. Combine with chopped veggies, tinned tomatoes, herbs and spices and top with mashed root veg made with Flora Freedom. Nothing more warming when topped with vegetable gravy and steamed green veggies
4.       Get out the slow cooker. Chuck in tinned tomatoes, veggies, lentils or beans and some barley / potatoes for a warm filling dinner. Serve in a bowl with crusty fresh bread spread with Flora Freedom.
5.      Try out some vegan pancakes. Make your pancake mix using flour, a plant based alternative to milk, nut butter and mashed banana. Top with sugar and lemon or chopped fruits for a fun tasty start to your day.
6.       Don’t miss out on enjoying dessert. You can make a delicious crumble topping using flour, oats, sugar and Flora Freedom and add on seasonal fruits. Combine with a soya or oat based custard or try some coconut ice-cream alongside
7.       If you’re cravings start to creep up on you, nuts make a fantastic healthy vegan snack. Combine 30g of your favourite with some small chunks of rich 80% dark chocolate for an indulgent afternoon treat.

Brumal Risotto : Butternut Squash and Spinach Risotto


  • 25 g Flora Freedom
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 225 g Arborio rice
  • 700 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 300 ml vegan dry white wine (optional but increase stock to 1 litre if not used)
  • 250 g roasted butternut squash, cut into large cubes
  • 175 g spinach, washed and drained
  • 75 g vegan Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Directions

  • Heat Flora and olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft but not browned.

  • Add the rice and stir well. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and cook gently, whilst stirring, until the liquid has been absorbed.

  • Stir in 300ml stock and repeat until the stock has been absorbed.

  • Add half the remaining stock, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the risotto has a creamy consistency.

  • Add the butternut squash cubes to the rice and squash them roughly with a fork, then add the frozen spinach and remaining stock. Bring back to a simmer and continue stirring as the liquid is absorbed and the rice becomes tender and the spinach well defrosted.

  • Serving suggestion: serve with sweet potato pancakes

Disclaimer: Sponsored post. I was contacted by Flora to write a post promoting their recipes for which I received a food voucher. No cash was exchanged. 

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