Jill Novack. Jillian Rae Cooks.

the gorgeous dish below was whipped up by Jill Nowack of The Hungry Blondes. a Calgary based, self-taught, magician in the kitchen, Jill is a force + talent to reckon with.

vegetable risotto. by Jill Novy

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Yield: 4 servings

ingredients: (We recommend using organic ingredients when possible!)

 5 cups The Gut Lab Chicken Bone Broth 

2 splashes olive oil, divided

1 large leek, dark green woody stalks removed, finely chopped + thoroughly washed

2 cups chopped mushrooms

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups risotto rice (Arborio)

Juice + zest of ½ a lemon

1 bunch asparagus, woody stems removed + cut into 2 inch pieces

Himalayan Salt +  pepper to taste, + a handful of fresh basil, chopped


1. place chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. meanwhile, in a large saucepan sauté mushrooms over medium high heat with a splash of olive oil until lightly browned and most of the moisture has been removed (approximately 10 minutes). add in leeks + garlic, cooking for 2 minutes or until fragrant. pour in rice with the remaining splash of olive oil + stir to combine. cook, stirring for 1 minute. add in fresh thyme, lemon juice + zest.

2. ladle the simmering chicken broth into the rice, half a cup at a time, continuously stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat the process until you are down to your last ½ cup of broth. At this point stir in asparagus. 

Tip: your risotto should be very slightly al dente when done. If you do not feel like the rice is tender enough then feel free to add more warm broth or water, a ladle at a time, ensuring your risotto does not turn to mush. take note that the rice will continue to cook a little bit after it has been removed from the heat source. Season with himalayan salt + pepper. Garnish with fresh basil.


Want to read more?! A quick few with Jill, we couldn't resist! 

Q. Favourite emoji?
A. Either the poop emoji or the OK emoji 💩🆗

Q. What is your favorite meal of mom's growing up?
A. Dumplings! She used to buy frozen dumplings from the asian supermarket + feed me a plate full at a time.

Q. Fave way to sweat?
A. Riding my bike on a nice day or going to bootcamp

Q. If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you love to have with you?
A. Music, my cat, a bikini

Q. Fave local hangout?
A. Stanley Park in the summer for BBQs, playing cornhole + jumping in the water

Q. 3 Kitchen essentials?
A. Kitchenaid stand mixer, immersion blender, truffle oil

The Gut Lab