The Yum! Festival of Food and Drink (part 2)


As I started my series of Yum! Food Festival blogs with a very meaty sausage roll and as I am preparing another blog regarding Stanley’s Brasserie’s Brisket Sandwich, I think the carnivores amongst us are well catered for so far. So, it is time to give the other end of the foodie spectrum some attention thanks to the cooking demonstration and recipe by Katy Beskow, from vegan blog Little Miss Meat-Free.


Katy, on the Main Dish stage, during her demonstration.


As Katy writes on her website, she is a “self- taught home cook and food writer with a passion for simple, delicious dishes,” who loves “creating foods that surprise people when I tell them it’s vegan. It’s like a wonderful, flavoursome surprise!”




You can find Little Miss Meat-Free on:



During her demonstration, Katy shared two recipes with us: Beetroot Risotto and Double Chocolate Cupcakes.


I was most intrigued by the Beetroot Risotto. I love risotto but I usually make mine with roasted butternut squash or asparagus and peas; beetroot is not a vegetable I would have thought of using so I had to give this recipe a go. And it works beautifully! The finished product is a magnificent ruby colour, which in itself is an absolute delight, but is also creamy (without the addition of dairy), and fresh thanks to the addition of lemon juice at the end of the cooking.


Here is the link to Katy’s original recipe:


The recipe below is my take on it, using the notes I made during Katy’s demonstration, but I’ll make sure to try this recipe again following Katy’s original instructions.


Little Miss Meat-Free’s Beetroot Risotto (the Yum! version)


Ingredients (serves 3)


2tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp dried thyme
150g Arborio rice
4 small cooked beetroot, diced
600ml vegetable stock
Juice of half a large lemon
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, cook the onion in the olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Your onion should become soft and translucent but should not be browned. This is what you’re looking for:


Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further minute until the garlic becomes very fragrant.


Add the rice to the pan and stir thoroughly until the rice is well mixed with the onions and coated with the oil.


Add your cubed beetroot to the pan.


Add one ladle of the stock to the pan and stir until it has been absorbed. Then add the stock one ladle at a time, and stir very often. Do not add any stock until the previous ladleful has been absorbed by the rice.


Once you have used all your stock, your rice should be cooked through and the texture of your risotto should be creamy, thanks to the starch in the Arborio rice.


Add the lemon juice to the risotto (do not omit the lemon juice; it complements the earthiness of the beetroot and bring freshness and zing to the whole dish.)


Taste your risotto and add pepper and salt if needed (always put salt in your dish at the end of your cooking time; you may need to add more or less depending on the salt content of your vegetable stock.)



Even if you are not vegan, please give this unusual recipe a go; you will be pleasantly surprised. Thank you Katy for sharing it with us!

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