Happy friday, friends! I’m looking forward to this weekend so much! We have a mini mini (mostly vegan) friendsgiving planned…. and the house is PACKED right now with food. I say it all the time, I’ll never ever take for granted a fridge full of food or running water. Right now our fridge and shelves are packed with food ready to be cooked up and shared, it’s going to be nice. If things don’t get too crazy, I’m hoping to share a few recipes. In the meantime, we’ve got a favorite risotto recipe today from Emma of Your Fonder Heart, that her little one gobbles up 🙂 And I’m almost certain Marlowe and most other toddlers would devour too! Enjoy! (Thanks, Emma!)
I know that where Drea lives it might not be risotto season. I just got back from a weekend trip to LA and I am ever so jealous of all that sun. But, here in Seattle it’s COLD! 40 degrees when we woke up this morning to a broken furnace. Risotto time.

I have a meat loving husband (Spartacus, for the purposes of the blogosphere) and a very very picky 2 year old (Olive, for the purposes of the blogosphere). They both love this dish and so do I. And if you’ve ever seen Top Chef you’re probably scared of risotto because they make it look impossible but really, this recipe is quite forgiving.
It’s warm and filling but the lemon lends it brightness and it’s completely full of green. I make it literally twice a week and never tire of it. It’s really simple and yummy and so toddler friendly. Olive can’t say risotto very well but she sure can eat it.
I ALWAYS double this recipe because there is never enough. Never.
Pea Risotto
lightly adapted from It’s All Good
you need:
a few tablespoons olive oil
1 quart vegetable stock
1 lemon, juiced and zested (zest first)
1/2 yellow onion finely diced
1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely diced
2 garlic cloves (you know, or 3, or 4, or 10), finely diced (or grated)
leaves from 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper


How to:

Warm the stock on a back burner while you get things ready. Zest the lemon and then juice it.(BTW: this recipe, in particular, will be easier if you mise en place before you begin to cook. Because you have to keep stirring the rice, you’ll find yourself stuck at the stove but looking over at your spinach wondering if it could possibly chop itself if you don’t do it ahead of time. Do it together – kids are excellent at peeling garlic.)

Heat the olive oil on medium in a big dutch oven or pot. Add the onion and leek and turn them around until they soften. Add the garlic and thyme and stir just until they start to smell delicious. Big pinch of salt.

Turn heat to high, add rice and lemon juice and then, 1/2 cup by 1/2 cup add the stock and stir stir stir. If you’ve never made risotto, this is the magic. You want to keep stirring and add more stock just when it finally absorbs, without sticking to the bottom of the pot but without adding too much at a time. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. It will take about 20 minutes. Before the last 1/2 cup, add the peas.A side note on stirring: I’m pretty serious about my daughter being involved with the cooking of the food and she loves to do it, so making risotto isn’t a pain, because, like Marlowe, she helps. I highly recommend it.

Stir in reserved lemon zest, spinach and basil. Finish wish salt and pepper to taste.


A few other toddler-friendly vegan gems:
(because everyone knows toddlers NEED to dip their food in something)
(and here are the rest of the recipes on my blog – they’re not all vegan but they’re allllll yummy)
I have our favorite granola recipe coming up next week so please check back!
Thanks so much for having me, Drea!Find Emma:


    • no! risotto really requires stirring – and constant stirring. barley might do better in the crock pot? i'm not sure. if you experiment with it, let me know!!