Sunday, 24 May 2015

Tomato and Basil Risotto for Sunrise Senior Living

Readers, tonight’s post is a little different.

Recently I was approached by Sunrise Senior Living’s UK PR team about working on a recipe for them.   Sunrise Senior Living offers supported living for the elderly, particularly focused on older people with dementia.

This is a subject close to my heart – having seen a close relative go from an able elderly gentleman, to a frail old man who no longer knew who he was, I’ve seen first-hand the effects of dementia.  It’s an illness to be taken seriously – not just a stereotypical view of “granny losing her marbles”.   It affects the whole family, puts strain on relationships and causes frustration among those who can’t understand why this person isn’t the same any more.

Today Sunrise operates 27 communities in England and Wales,  with more in the USA and Canada, which offer the elderly people a chance to grow into their senior years in a supportive environment.  Those in good health have the opportunity to lead an independent life, with help when they need it and those with more complex health needs, can receive specialist care.

Sunrise place an importance on good food and nutrition for the elderly – offering three square meals a day, either for communal dining, or in a resident’s own space.  Snacks are available too!  Sunrise got in touch with me, to create one of their recipes from the website – to show the great dishes the chefs prepare for residents.

I’ve chosen to make a Tomato and Basil Risotto – but there are plenty more available.

This recipe serves 4 and with traditional flavours,  elderly relatives would enjoy it and find it easy to eat too.

Tomato & Basil Risotto

tomato & basil risotto

20g salted butter 10ml olive oil 3 tomatoes – cored, seeded and diced
¼ Spanish onion – diced
½ garlic clove – crushed
220g Arborio rice
400ml vegetable stock
20ml double cream
30g fresh basil – chopped
70g goats cheese – sliced
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
Roasted vegetables (optional):
100g butternut squash – diced and roasted
½ red pepper – diced and roasted


  1. Heat the oil over a moderate heat and add the onion as well as garlic to the pan. Sauté until the onion softens. Then add the tomatoes and seasoning. Sauté for a further 3-4 minutes.
    Getting the veg on!
  2. Add the rice, mix thoroughly and sauté for 3-4 minutes. You can add the optional roasted vegetables at this stage.
  3. Gradually add the vegetable stock, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.
    Slowly does it...
  4. Continue stirring until the rice is tender and creamy but still firm, then add the butter and cream.
  5. To serve, top with basil and cheese.  I used Parmesan rather than goats cheese and it was delicious!
    tomato and basil risotto
    My finished dish

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Product Review – Manomasa… Tortillas with Spirit

Ole! Sorry, carried away.  Also, my sombrero is imparing my vision…

Anyway, the other week, a big package arrived at the door.  Much as I hoped for David Beckham with a box of chocolates, I didn’t get it.  However, I did get a rather large supply of tortilla chips which made me almost as happy.
Tortilla delivery!
My new friends over at Manomasa got in touch on Instagram and invited me to review their “tortillas with spirit”.

I jumped at the chance. I love a chip and dip and I wasn’t disappointed.

These are not just tortillas.  They are crunchy bites of deliciousness.  Posh infact.  You’ll find them at Waitrose, Fortnum and Mason, Ocado, Whole Foods, Booths and a heap of independent retailers across the UK.  They come in many flavours.  Notably, the flavours are subtle, as they are designed for dipping.  There’s no overpowering bright orange cheese option in this range.

Most exciting, they are different shapes. You get long ones, round ones, triangle ones, oval ones and wait for it… HEXAGONS.  Who knew a hexagon tortilla chip existed?

With every intention of keeping them for a full range of chip and dips, I had a look through my delivery.  Five minutes later I was scoffing the manchego and green olive in my kitchen.  They were just as delicious on their own, as they would have been with a dip.

Next up, the chipotle and lime disappeared.  They had a delicious smoky flavour, complimented by the zingy lime and again, were great for snacking.

The tomatillo  salsa ones finally made it to a dip. No not salsa… red pepper houmous.  It was an amazing combo.  I paired it with chicken breast and lettuce.  The tortillas gave a bit of crunch to an otherwise boring salad lunch!

Overall, we loved the tortillas.  The share sized bags were great – we took one on a picnic up to Aviemore and another to a barbeque at a friends house. Both were scoffed!
Off on a picnic with Manomasa!
A huge thanks to Manomasa for sending the samples, it’s a thumbs up from me!  Oh and I almost forgot to mention, they are gluten free too!

 Follow Manomasa on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Disclaimer: Manomasa sent me free samples to review.   Any opinions expressed are my own.