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It is hard to believe that 6 months ago my endocrinologist sat me down for a heart to heart about my nutrition – her prescription was to embrace gluten-free eating.

For a girl who LOVES to cook and finds a kitchen the heart of any home, this was a tough pill to swallow. What? No more delicious goodness? No baking? Cardboard? UGH! But I must admit that the small changes I’ve made in the past 6 months have been HUGE for my health. I’ll save you from the details (talk about TMI),  but it has meant a daily change – I’ve lost 7 lbs, my skin is clearer, my hair doesn’t fall out, and my energy is back (holler!!!!!!). It has also helped me to be more aware of what I cook with and put in my body. I must admit that dreamy delights are hard to resist, but I have learned that gluten-free also means some decadent recipes are TOTALLY do-able. Case in point – RISOTTO!

Over the holidays I visited one of my best friend’s Elaine, who cooked me a delicious spinach and bacon risotto she found from a gluten-free food blog (yes, she knows me too well!!!). It was AMAZING! AND the fact that she made it a mere 5 days after giving birth reminded me that maybe even I could make this delectable dinner for myself.

The recipe came from Shauna Ahern at Gluten Free Girl and the Chef. I mean from that title – how can you go wrong! Her Risotto recipe was so easy to follow (though it does take time – serious time!). Plus her stories are wonderfully written and a delight to read.

So I set out to make my first batch of home-made risotto – with a twist. Since I am trying to eat more veggies, I thought I’d switch up the spinach Shauna called for with Swiss Chard – my January veggie of choice.

Risotto is intimidating for two reasons – lots of ingredients and careful – specific – detailed directions. Shauna’s recipe was very simple and straightforward (even giving time stamps to help me figure out for how long I should be stirring and ladling in the stock.

First up, the onion, garlic, and bacon (yum!).

Next add the arborio rice and stir – stir – stir.

After about 3 minutes, ladle in the boiling hot chicken stock slowly (like over 20-30 minutes) and stir – stir – stir until it is absorbed.

Finally, add the swiss chard and cheese! Best. Part! And VOILA!

Now this is what I call a perfect night! And yes it tasted as good as it looks! I can’t wait to make this again. Each bite was just as wonderful as the last. On a cold winter night, I was one happy lady! And not just because it was good – but because I made it! I made risotto! Woo hoo!