Often times, Lu and I have these grand ideas, like, “let’s wake up 30 minutes earlier so we can sit together and drink our coffee, instead of rushing to drink it while we get ready for work.” When the alarm goes off, we straight up snooze.
One of our ideas was, “let’s read in bed for an hour before lights out, instead of watching TV.”
As I’m writing this post, I’m staring at the Cooking Light magazine that I started reading in bed last night. I couldn’t force myself to read, but I was looking at all the pretty pictures. I was just exhausted, like every night. What’s the trick to getting your brain to focus the hour before you hit the hay?
After a full day, 8am – 10pm of blogging, posting, Tweeting, sharing, commenting, writing, researching, developing, cooking, photographing, brainstorming and planning, I’m beat. By the time I go to the bedroom, the last thing I want to do is use my brain. I want to zone out on TV or just, well, sleep.
Anyone else have this problem?
I have a stack of magazines that weighs about 35 pounds, waiting to be read. Not to mention, a bunch of cookbooks I’ve been meaning to leaf through. Plus, one of my best friends from high school’s boyfriend is a writer and I recently bought his book (What’s Important Is Feeling by Adam Wilson) and haven’t had the time to read it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need your tips on calming down your brain at night so I can zone out on a good book or a magazine.
In exchange, I’ll keep whipping up things in the Inspiralized kitchen, like this easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto, that’s featured on the KitchenAid blog.
Since I already have a video on how to make butternut squash risotto, this is really easy. Just add peas and shrimp and you’ve got a whole new take on a simple risotto dish. Shrimp is perfect for a risotto – you want something refreshing (like seafood) when you have a creamy risotto. Or, at least I do!
I also love that this dish can be refrigerated and saved for lunch the next day. It’s just as good – just heat it up in a saucepan or, eek, throw it in a microwave. I never recommend the microwave (mainly because I don’t own one), but if you’re pressed for time, it’s an option.
The peas give the risotto that light, springy taste. Spring, yay! It’s spring.
Head over to the KitchenAid blog to get the recipe!
So, how do you unwind at the end of the day and clear your head?
Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled, spiralized
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 large white onion diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cooked peas
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound defrosted deshelled, deveined medium shrimp
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Optional: 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese*
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley to garnish
- Place your spiralized butternut squash noodles into your KitchenAid® food processor. I have the KitchenAid® 3.5 Cup Food Chopper, so I do this in batches. If you have a larger food processor, use that.
- Pulse on “chop” in two-second intervals until the butternut squash is made into “rice-like” bits. Remove from the food processor and set aside. It should make about 3 cups of “rice.”
- In a large skillet, place in the olive oil. Then, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Let cook for 30 seconds and then add in the onions.
- Let the onions cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Then, add in the butternut squash “rice.” Season with salt and pepper and stir. Let the “rice” cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add in 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Let the “rice” reduce. Taste the “rice” and if it is still crunchy, add in another 1/4 cup of the broth and let reduce again.
- Repeat the taste test and if needed, add in the last 1/4 cup of the broth.
- Once the rice is done, remove from the heat and stir in the peas and if desired, the Parmesan cheese.
- While the rice is cooking, set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the shrimp and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes or until opaque.
- Spoon into bowls and top with cooked shrimp. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately!