Finding the Balance: Creamy Arancini balls

The definition of 'clean eating' tends to have different connotations for everyone. Some people think eating 30 bananas a day is the only version of 'clean eating', others believe it's plant-based whilst some are happy with meat, eggs, dairy and the likes, so long as it's from a respectful source (and likewise, some really don't mind whether it's raw unpasteurised cheese or not). We're not here to say that one option is right, and the next wrong - between team pollen we've probably tried the majority of diets out there (30 bananas a day included) and we can't really say that one works any better than the next. What we have learnt over the years though? Absolutely nothing is more important than balance. 

And that goes for all aspects of life: balance is key - finding the nice medium between extremes is the happy place to be. So how do we find balance in the world of health? It's a hard one to navigate, and one that we find easier to navigate in a team (again, like most things in life). Seeing a real life perspective of what other's deem healthy can be grounding, and sometimes bring you back to reality. And over the past year, team pollen has grown from 2 to 11, with many an intern in-between, which means we've seen a lot of different opinions of health. 

But how exactly did this help us find balance? When it's just you against the world, with a vengeance for scrolling instagram, it can seem that everyone is eating healthier than you and working out more than you when in reality, eating chia pudding for breakfast, kale for lunch followed by pizza and wine for dinner is perfectly ok. Eating something that is not as clean as it could be is ok. And we learnt this from surrounding ourselves by people who may love green juice, kale and quinoa day to day, but also love nothing more than a burger on the weekend or a donut at the farmers market.

So I guess this weeks message is to tell you that this is ok. This is balance, and balance is happiness. It's a simple message, but one we don't see enough. So here's to 80/20. And here's a recipe for our take on arancini balls, which we made using the delicious gozo deli casheeze. And served with Aperol Spritz and sweet potato fries before our team night out - because like we said, 80/20. 


CREAMY ARANCINI BALLS

RISOTTO BASE

INGREDIENTS

- 2 cups brown rice

- 1 can coconut milk 

- 1 tub Gozo deli casheeze

- 1 pack of mushrooms (15-20 mushrooms)

- 2 leeks 

- 1 tbsp salt 

- 1 tbsp olive oil

- 1 lemon, zest and rind

- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped 

METHOD

1. Add the leeks to a large pan over a medium heat and fry in the olive oil for 2-3mins  

2. Add the brown rice and fry for a further 2-3mins

3. Add the coconut milk, salt, lemon and garlic and turn the heat down and leave to cook, stirring occasionally

4. Cook the mushroom in a pan with a little olive oil, then add to the risotto 5 minutes before the end

5. Cook until the risotto is sticky and thick, and the rice cooked well (about 30 minutes)

6. Leave to cool and thicken in the fridge overnight for the arancini balls  

ARANCINI 

INGREDIENTS 

- 1 cup quinoa, cooked

- 2 tbsp olive oil

- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

METHOD

1. Pre heat the oven to 180C 

2. Mix the cooked quinoa with the olive oil and crushed garlic 

3. Bake in the oven until crunchy, approximately 10 minutes 

4. Blend in a magimix until it resembles bread crumbs

5. Roll the balls of risotto into palm sized circles then roll in the quinoa mixture

6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes 

7. Serve (great served warm or chilled).