Winter Wellness: Chilli, olive & tomato quinoa risotto by Anthea Amore

Having delicious and nutritious food is essential for surviving the winter months! The nutrients, of course, help keep us healthy and as for the deliciousness, while there’s nothing like a good yummy ‘comfort’ meal to keep those winter blues at bay.

Today, we’re lucky enough to have the perfect recipe to tick both those boxes from Anthea Amore who is one of Australia’s premier vegan and vegetarian chefs. Together with her partner Caspar they run Organic Passion Catering, catering for special events and some of Australia’s leading health retreats so if that doesn’t tell you that this winter warmer will tick the ‘health’ box we don’t what does!

In 2015 Anthea released her first recipe book PASSION: organic vegan recipes to live for, which is 100% vegan, refined sugar-free, 98% gluten-free, and 60% raw living foods and this year she is releasing her second much-anticipated book HUNGRY. The recipe below is an excerpt from her Healthy Living 2017 Calendar, but it’s also one of the recipes from HUNGRY so test this one out on your taste buds this winter and keep an eye out for Anthea’s new book in the Spring.

Makes: 4-6 serves
Cooking time: 50-60 minutes
¾ cup black quinoa
1½ cups filtered water
Cold-pressed olive oil, for frying and chargrilling
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
3-4 finely sliced medium-hot chillis, or to taste
½ teaspoon cracked pepper
1 tablespoon Italian herbs
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon quality salt, plus extra for cooking
70g green olives
70g black olives
1 large eggplant, cut into 1.5cm discs
1 large zucchini, halved and cut into 7cm lengths
bunch of baby kale leaves
Flat-leaf parsley leaves and extra cracked pepper, to serve

Place the quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa is soft. Drain off any excess liquid, return to the saucepan and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chilli, cracked pepper and herbs and sauté, stirring to prevent burning, until onion is soft. Add the tinned tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the salt and olives and cook for a further 15 minutes. Mix in cooked quinoa, simmer for a further 5 minutes, and set aside with the lid on.
Heat the chargrill pan so it’s hot and ready to use.
Brush eggplant and zucchini with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt, then chargrill on both sides until soft and juicy.
Set aside until ready to serve.
Sauté the baby kale in a little olive oil and a pinch of salt for 1 minute or until bright green and a little softened.
To assemble, divide the risotto onto serving plates, add a couple of pieces of eggplant and zucchini and scatter with a few leaves of kale.
Serve topped with a few parsley leaves and cracked pepper. Enjoy!

Anthea’s first book PASSION: organic vegan recipes to live for is available here ( for RRP$39.95 and the final copies of her Healthy Life 2017 Calendar are still in store too!

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