I would love to be able to say that my 3 year old devours everything I put in front of him. But I’d be telling a lie. Lots of 3 year old children are picky eaters and mine can sometimes be one of them. I try not to let it bug me – I continue to present a variety of vegetables to him with most meals. They say that many children need to be presented with a new food up to 10 times before they will try it… so I will persist. But every now and again I secret squirrel some greenery amongst his favourite foods and everybody wins.
All the greenery in this dish (vegetables and herbs) contribute healthy amounts of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients to the body which are vital for a well-functioning immune system. This is especially important to the growing bodies of children. Vegetables taste so much better when they have been grown in nutrient-rich soil and are eaten as close as possible to harvesting. I recommend sourcing fresh, seasonal, organic produce where possible or try growing your own.
Brown rice is used in the risotto giving the dish a full, rich and slightly nutty flavour. Brown rice is considered much more nutritious than white rice as it is an unrefined wholegrain and it still has the bran portion of the grain intact. It is the bran that contains high amounts of fibre, B vitamins and antioxidants. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate since it contains slow-releasing sugars which help stabilise blood sugar levels in the body and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
I’ve made this recipe in a thermomix, but you should be able to get the same result using a similar method with a pot on your stove-top (if you don’t mind standing and stirring the brown rice for nearly an hour!).
• 2-3 cups of greenery (I use a mixture of kale, broccoli, zucchini, frozen peas)
• fresh herbs (I use basil, parsley)
• 1 leek
• 2 cloves garlic
• 20g oil
• 300g brown rice
• 800ml stock
• grated parmesan to serve
- Lightly steam your green vegetables for a few minutes so they still have a slight crunch to them (you can do this in the Thermomix varoma – it will take about 10 minutes). Then blitz the steamed greens together with the herbs in a food processor or Thermomix with a little bit of stock to make a lovely smooth, bright green mixture. Set aside.
- Chop the leek and garlic in the thermomix for 5 seconds on speed 5.
- Add oil and cook at 100 degrees for 3 minutes on speed 1.
- Add the brown rice and stock. Cook at 100 degrees for 50 minutes, reverse, speed 2.
- Once finished, stir the green mixture and a handful of parmesan through the rice and let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve with black pepper and enjoy.