The least I can do is try...

VeganMoFo 2011 #1: Vegan Mushroom Risotto

In Nutrition Bliss on October 3, 2011 at 3:07 am

So…I have not been blogging for a while– I have been having my own struggles– in regards to nutrition, motivation, inspiration etc etc. However, yesterday, I came across VeganMoFo— this stands for Vegan Month of Food. The idea is to challenge people to blog about vegan food to the greatest extent possible for a month.

So I must elaborate– I am not a vegan. I had an 8 month run– and I felt great! Unfortunately, I just did not have the ability to sustain this run– I will spare all of you my lame-o excuses why. However– I feel I should probably say that after being vegan for that length of time, I can definitely see how it was a better way to eat simply from how I felt. This is why I now strive to make sure the larger majority of my intake is vegan– I try to make sure no more than 3-4 meals I consume in a week are non-vegan.

So in honor of VeganMoFo, I am going to make a concerted effort to cook as many vegan meals as possible this month and post them. I started off with a vegan risotto. The end result was awesome– creamy, hearty, interesting, and reasonably healthy! This risotto was special for a few reasons:

1) I am a risotto virgin

I have never made the stuff! I have read multiple articles about how labor intensive it is to make and the copious amounts of stirring required– I was a little intimidated.

2) I used farro instead of arborio rice

A wise nutritionist once  told me to MIX THINGS UP. Wander the grocery aisles– if you always eat white rice– try brown, red or black. Go another route and try quinoa, millet or wild rice (which is really a grass). I decided to grab a bag of farro— a grain from the wheat family.

3) I needed a reset

So I have been on a bit of a bad nutritional bender– I needed a yummy nutritional reset and this seemed to be my key.

Since I am a risotto virgin, I needed guidance! After some interweb searching, I came across this gem by Lynna of Wholey Treats. Since I did not have semi-pearled farro, I soaked my whole farro for 25 minutes before using it as directed in the recipe.

Sauteed mushrooms-- sooo many of them!

Stirring in the farro

The risotto rule: add liquid, stir, evaporate....repeat

Time to eat!

Lynna’s recipe from Wholey Treats below:

Vegan Mushroom and Farro Risotto
Adapted liberally from OhSheGlows
Serves 4, recipe easily halved

Ingredients
1 sweet onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
16- 24 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cup semi-pearled farro
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon white miso, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
~ 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste

Preparation


Rinse and drain the farro in a strainer.  Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot and add in the onion, basil, oregano, and a dash of salt.  Saute until onion is just translucent.  Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to saute until mushrooms have cooked down.

Add the farro and stir until coated.  Add the almond milk, nutritional yeast, miso, and salt. Stir together and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.  Lower the heat and continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Then, add 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth, and bring the mixture to a boil again, stirring occasionally.  Repeat process, adding liquid 1/2 cup at a time, until farro is tender and most or all of the water/ vegetable broth has been used (about 45 minutes).

The mixture should be creamy, but not soupy, and the farro will be chewy and not mushy. Serve immediately.

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