Eating popcorn for dinner was second nature to me. It was so quick and easy to make especially after a long day in the office and grad school classes at night. However, when Roniboy entered my life, he changed my perception about food. Honestly, I thought that he was from another planet because all he would talk about was food. For example, around 10:00 a.m. I would receive emails about what are we going to have for dinner. Who thinks about dinner that early? Answer: Roniboy. For me this was crazy behavior, but now I’m the crazy one. Before my first cup of coffee, I’m already thinking about what’s for dinner, which cookbook I should look at while listening to NPR’s Morning Edition, and writing a list of ingredients to pick up.

Recently, I decided to dive into making risotto. If you are like me it’s an intimidating dish and you tend to order it while eating out. But ….. I decided to challenge myself and try it out. Risotto has a creamy texture, thick body, and fills you up like pasta. This is a perfect solution if you are like Roniboy and can’t have gluten or dairy, but miss that full belly feeling and creaminess.

Risotto needs love and attention. It’s a perfect dish to whip up after a really tough day at work because it makes you slow down, makes you focus, and plus, you get to enjoy a glass of wine while cooking.

Risotto
1 tsp butter or soy butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion chopped up finely or the best you can
1 ¾ cups of risotto (any brand)
⅔ cups of dry wine
6 ¾  cups of vegetable stock
grated rind of 1 lemon

The shake down …..
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan and throw in your diced onion. I love smelling onions simmering in butter and olive oil! Next, add the rice to the saucepan and stir over medium heat for about 1 minute. Try not to brown the rice but if you do it’s no big deal. Okay, now add all the wine and boil rapidly, stirring until almost evaporated. Don’t forget to pour a glass for yourself because you’ll need to stay by the stove top for the next 15- 20 minutes. Now that you have all your rice in the saucepan, stir the stock into the pan a ladle-full at a time. Make sure to let the risotto soak up the stock before adding more. This is a process so take your time. If you rush this you will end up with a mushy rice dish. Keep on stirring the risotto gently and then add another ladle-full of stock. Inch by inch, you will see the risotto expand and get thick. When you are almost out of the stock add the lemon rind and mix. If you want to spice it up, add other stuff like shrimp and peas. Bingo, you just made risotto!

gluten and dairy free risotto