Earlier this year, I posted a risotto recipe right after I conquered my fear of making it. As it turns out, it's become one of my favorite dishes to make (Few ingredients! Quick!) and a favorite request of the folks I work with doing in-home cooking classes. (The biggest reason, it seems, is that risotto seems fancy... I hear "I'd love to make it to impress a date/ my in-laws / the Queen" quite frequently. Happy to help, all. ;) ) This one with mushrooms and beets is also pretty darn yummy.
Risotto is traditionally made with butter (and often has a fish or meat element), but it's delightfully easy to veganize, making it perfect for Vegan Mofo, no?
Last weekend, I co-hosted a brunch packed with plant based superfoods for beauty -- not to mention full body health. As my co-host Maria Marlowe puts it, skin care (and hair care and nail care!) doesn't start in the bathroom: it starts in the kitchen. What you put into your body drastically impacts how your body functions, and the impact of those functions show externally. Glowing skin, glossy hair and bright eyes aren't the product of expensive procedures: they're the glorious benefits of clean eating!
This apricot mushroom risotto was one of the dishes featured at brunch, and truthfully, my favorite. I am ashamed to say I didn't capture many great shots of it -- this one is courtesy of one of our lovely guests. I'll have to snap some photos of it the next time we make a batch at home (likely very soon).
It's packed with vitamins A and C, which are powerful antioxidants. The mushrooms provide Vitamins B and selenium, which are essential for the body to rebuild (healthy) tissue. The quinoa is an excellent source of omega fatty acid and protein.
In classic risotto fashion, there's a touch of wine, and although the alcohol has cooked away, the minerals and flavonoids in the wine remain. Yum.
There are two ways to make this risotto, one if you have your quinoa pre-made (like the batch-cooking mastermind you are!) and a second if you're using dried quinoa. Remember to rinse and drain your quinoa before cooking to remove the bitter tasting compounds that naturally occur on the outside of the seed. (They're called saponins and apart from tasting a little intense, they've been linked to nutrient malabsorption. Use a fine-mesh sieve to give your quinoa a little bath before you cook it.)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa (or 3 cups cooked quinoa)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 5 cups vegan broth
- 1 cup dried apricots, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups baby bella or crimini mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1. Heat 3 tbsp oil and onions in a large pot, cooking about 20 minutes to caramelize.
- 2. Add quinoa and stir to coat. Add wine and wait for quinoa to absorb it (about 1-2 minutes).
- 3. ***If using dry quinoa: Add one cup of broth at a time until absorbed, then add 1 tsp salt + an additional 1/2 cup of water. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Proceed to Step #4.
- ***If using pre-cooked quinoa, use half the amount of broth, skip the water and leave heat at a low simmer. Skip to step #5.
- 4. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook about ten minutes until water is absorbed.
- 5. Add apricots and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Let sit over low heat, adding 1/4 cup of water every few minutes while you stir to prevent the mixture from sticking and encourage the grains to take up the liquid.
- 6. While this cooks together, heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and sautee mushrooms until cooked through and they've reabsorbed their water (about 15 minutes).
- 7. Transfer mushrooms to quinoa pot. Remove from heat.
- 8. Stir to combine and serve.