Apple and goat cheese risotto for health, love, and wellbeing

This very autumnal recipe is an easy (if time-consuming) way to inject some good vibes into your life. With ingredients associated with luck, prosperity, good health, and love, this risotto brings a little bit of warmth and joy into cold fall days.


  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 4-8 cloves of fresh minced garlic, to taste (I use at least 8 lol)
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups Arborio rice (can substitute other types of rice, but this may affect cooking time)
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup hard apple cider or apple ale (for a nonalcoholic substitute, use 1 cup apple juice + 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar)
  • 3-6 cups vegetable stock (the amount depends on the cook time of the rice, and will be different every time)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • [Optional] garlic powder, to taste
  • [Optional] onion powder, to taste
  • 4 oz. plain goat cheese
  • 2 Gala apples, minced

Onion and garlic are both associated with healing and protection, especially protection from illness. Garlic is said to dispel evil spirits and is used in American folk magic for both banishing and curse-breaking. Both onion and garlic are used here for general health and wellbeing.

Rice is used in magic for fertility and money spells. In this recipe, rice is used for general prosperity.

Apples are strongly associated with love, healing, and good health. Interestingly, they’re also often used for divination and are sometimes associated with the beloved dead! In this recipe, apples are used primarily for love (general love, not romantic) and good health.

Nutmeg is considered a good luck charm, and is often used in spells for health and wealth. Here it’s used for financial and physical abundance, as well as for general good luck.

Cheese (and dairy in general) is associated with joy, health, and sustenance. The associations of goat cheese are a little different from cow cheese, however. Where cows are symbols of fertility and motherhood, goats are associated with fecundity, sensuality, and vitality. Goat cheese is used in this recipe for vitality and good health.

Additions and Substitutions

I think this risotto would be really delicious with sage, but I didn’t have any in my spice cabinet. If you try this recipe with the addition of fresh or dried sage, let me know how it turned out!

If you don’t like goat cheese, or if you prefer a stronger cheese flavor, you could substitute 1 cup Parmesan. I recommend using actual Parmesan cheese instead of the stuff that comes in a jar that you shake on pasta, but use what you have access to.

As previously mentioned, if you don’t want to cook with alcohol you can replace the hard cider with apple juice and a little bit of ACV. This is actually what I do, because I recently decided to stop keeping alcohol in my home. It gives the risotto a sweeter flavor, which I actually think works really well with the goat cheese.

For a vegan alternative, try replacing the goat cheese with a vegan mozzarella cheese substitute. Mozzarella is a very mild cheese, so it shouldn’t change the flavor profile too much. If you prefer a stronger “cheesy” flavor, add a teaspoon of nutritional yeast.

I used Gala apples because they’re what I have onhand. If you prefer a more tart apple flavor, try Granny Smith instead. I would not recommend using Red Delicious, because they’re a little too sweet and don’t tend to hold up well when cooked, but you could definitely experiment with other tart and semi-sweet apple varieties.


Cook Time: 1-1.5 hours

  • Begin by taking a moment to clear your mind and focus your energy. Take a few deep breaths and focus on your intention to infuse this dish with the energies of health, love, and wellbeing. If you’d like to set the mood, try putting on music that makes you feel good or a podcast that always makes you laugh. The easiest way to put good vibes into your food is to feel good while you cook it!
  • Add the onion and olive oil to a pot over medium heat, stirring continuously until the onions start to caramelize. Be aware that it takes a while to actually caramelize onions — you’ll know they’re done when they’ve significantly shrunk in size, are beginning to turn golden brown, and smell slightly sweet. This will take at least 20 minutes.
  • Once the onions are beginning to caramelize, add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook while stirring continuously for about five minutes.
  • As you stir the food, make sure you’re moving the spoon clockwise. As you do so, focus on the blessings you want to bring in. Imagine your spoon is the handle of a fishing pole, and as you turn it you “reel in” blessings. Repeat this visualization each time you add a new ingredient.
  • Next, add the rice and nutmeg. Continue to cook, stirring continuously, until the rice begins to turn translucent.
  • Add the hard cider/apple juice — it should immediately begin to bubble. Stir continuously until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. To test if the liquid has been absorbed, drag a spoon through the rice — if the rice does not flow back into the hole left by the spoon, it’s time to add more liquid.
  • Add 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and stir continuously until all the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat this as many times as needed to completely cook the rice. (If you are choosing to add garlic and onion powder, add them with the first 1/2 cup of vegetable stock.)
  • Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat down to low. Add the goat cheese and stir until it is thoroughly melted into the risotto. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  • Remove from heat. Add the chopped apple and mix it in. As you add the apple, stir clockwise and say: “Fruit of harmony, fruit of plenty, bring health and love to me.”
  • Serve immediately.

If you’re looking to make this into a meal, I think it would pair really well with roasted root vegetables like sweet potatoes or carrots. Roasted squash would also be really delicious with this! The risotto is pretty heavy and has a mildly sweet flavor, so I recommend keeping the rest of your meal light and savory.

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