Rainbow Risotto

One quick fact about me is that I like cheese. A lot. From swiss to edam, mature cheddar to edamski, cheese has always been the icing on the cake for me in terms of my savory dishes. And so, when I made the decision to introduce more plant-based meals into my diet recently, this became a bit of a problem. At first, I began to slowly prepare myself for what was to be a bit of a shock to my taste buds; convincing myself that I’d end up getting so adventurous with new kinds of herbs and spices that my cheese obsession would eventually pale away. However, I’d probably admit that I was just fooling myself, I mean, what the hell could ever replace cheese?

Luckily enough, I found nutritional yeast. So far I have made fresh pesto and this vegan risotto with the yeast. I’m not going to lie and say that I’m completely over giving up cheese because the nutritional yeast is the exact same, but I will admit that it is a very very strong contender for tackling my cheese cravings, and with a bit of adjustment and time, who knows what my relationship with the handy ole yeast may be. This gorgeous recipe is vegan, with quinoa as its protein source, it doesn’t fall short of having a meaty texture with the mushrooms and the combination of spices really make it.

This recipe serves two and is:

Vegan

Gluten free

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa, 1/2 cup
  • Onion, 1 medium
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Carrot shreddings, 1/2 a carrot
  • Baby button mushrooms, 1/2 punnet
  • Red pepper, x1
  • Sweetcorn, 1/2 cup
  • Mangetout, 1/2 cup
  • Red cabbage, 1/2 cup
  • Nutritional yeast flakes, 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric, 1 tblspn
  • Cumin, x2 tblspns
  • Vegan veg stock, x1
  • Rice milk, 1 cup
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Wash, chop and dice all of the above veggies. Melt one tblspn of oil on a large pan over medium heat. When it’s melted, reduce the heat below the pan and add the onion and garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently for approx. five mins (cover the pan with a lid between stirs).
  2. Add the spices, stir in with the sautéed onion and garlic, followed by the rest of the veggies. Cover with a lid for five mins.
  3. Heat the rice milk in the microwave for five mins, then dissolve the veg stock into it. Add the raw quinoa grains to the pan, followed by the stock solution (I always go by the rule, 1 part quinoa per 2 parts water). Stir everything. Cover the pan with the lid, and leave to stew for 20 mins over medium heat, stirring regularly.
  4. After 15 mins, add the nutritional yeast, stir, cover with a lid and allow everything to simmer for another five mins or until the liquid is completely absorbed by the quinoa. Add more liquid if needed.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste, or stir in a little more nutritional yeast if you like. I didn’t need any salt or pepper with this one, which was a sign of success!

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