Pea and Asparagus Risotto with Lemon and Parmesan

You guys, I am just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. These past few months, actually, for most of this pregnancy, I have suffered from the worst depression coupled with horrible pregnancy-related insomnia, and I'm not sure if the latter caused the former, but things got really intense. I've spent most of the year lying on the couch, completely exhausted, not wanting to move or cook or do anything. The lack of sunshine in Seattle doesn't help. I usually suffer from pretty bad SADS, and I think the pregnancy has made it so much worse.

I've tried vitamin D, blue light therapy, and nothing has seemed to work. I can't remember suffering from this kind of depression when I lived back in Ontario, and it seems to be getting worse the more time I spend on the West Coast. Seriously, the sun doesn't shine from November to March, and I am not exaggerating. The temperature stays mild, so it's nice that you can at least get outside and go for walks, but the constant drizzle is also just a bummer. I love it here, and I am not prepared to move, but my gosh, the struggles are real. Do any of you guys suffer from SADS? If so, have you found anything that has worked? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

For the last 3 weeks, Brent has been sleeping in Sebastian's room. We transitioned Sebastian from a crib to a toddler bed last month, and he now wakes up a few times during the night. Brent is dealing with him for the moment, while I try to get as much rest as I possibly can. My insomnia has just recently disappeared and I am only waking a few times, and it's only to pee. I am feeling rested and have so much more energy, almost a bit euphoric. The weather in Seattle looks completely insane for the next week and a half. Pure sunshine and warm temperatures are making me so happy. Our bathroom remodel should be finished today (knock on wood), which is another reason why I think I've felt so down. What was an original estimate of 4 weeks and $20,000 has now turned into an 8-week project with a $35,000 price tag. It feels like these contractors just won't leave. I have so much to say about hiring contractors, but I'll save that for another post.

In more upbeat and exciting news, I have scheduled my c-section for June 8! I am so excited to meet this baby boy, who I am worried, will not have a name. It's not even that Brent and I can't agree on one, we just can't come up with one. There is also a possibility that he won't have a room, or that it will still be filled with tools and construction materials, but that just stresses me out, so we'll just not think about it.

I haven't been blogging too much lately, mostly due to the pure exhaustion, but also because I just haven't been that into food, and when I do eat, it is really weird combinations of foods. Brent just laughs and thinks it's funny. I really should be jotting down some of the things that I have been eating, to see what I think when I'm not pregnant. Some of my absolute favorite foods right now are pickled beets, olives, peanut butter, ice cream, white rice with soy sauce, all fruit and vegetables, and grapefruit juice. Things that are very unappetizing, meat, seafood, chicken, carbs, and candy. When I was pregnant with Sebastian, I ate everything. Food was so amazing. Spicy food, sweet food, Ethiopian food, Mexican food. This time around, all I want is very bland foods and I could basically live off of fruit. Regardless, it has been difficult to cook and to come up with recipes to share. I'm sure you guys aren't interested in a recipe for white rice with pickled beets?

As the depression and insomnia begin to fade, so has my distaste for food. I am starting to become more interested in cooking, and I think that Brent and Sebastian are really excited about that. Last week, someone who I follow on Instagram posted a really simple dinner, pasta, peas, and cheese. I'm not sure if it was the simplicity or the milder flavors, but it really spoke to me. Since then, I've made a few meals with peas. I've started to shake things up a bit and incorporate some asparagus. This meal just screams Spring to me. A light risotto with peas and asparagus, with some lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.

Thanks for bearing with me through these tough times and listening to my ramblings. I'm hoping to get a few more delicious Spring recipes posted before the baby arrives.

Pea and Asparagus Risotto with Lemon and Parmesan

prep time: 10 minutes

cooking time: 25 minutes

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tbsp butter

1/2 small onion, diced

2 cups Arborio rice

1 cup white wine

1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

7 asparagus spears, chopped

1 lemon

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

fresh ground pepper

Heat the stock in a medium saucepan.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp butter on medium high.

Add the onions, and fry until translucent.

Add the dry Arborio rice and stir until it's covered in butter. Saute for a minute or two until you smell a nutty aroma, but do not let the rice brown.

Add the white wine and simmer while stirring until the wine has fully absorbed.

Add a ladle of stock and stir until the stock has absorbed.

Continue adding the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until the risotto rice is soft and creamy.

Just before you add your last ladle of stock, add the peas and asparagus. Add the last ladle of stock and cover the frying pan. Let the vegetables steam for a few minutes. Remember to stir the risotto so it doesn't stick or burn to the bottom of the pan.

(if the risotto rice hasn't quite cooked or to your liking, continue to add more stock until it reaches the desired texture).

Once cooked, remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining tbsp of butter, juice from one lemon, and the grated Parmesan. Season with black pepper. Serve warm.