Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rockin' (mu)Shroom Risotto

So this is 100% a recipe post.....no running news (although I do have some running updates), I'll save that for another post.

Inspiration: I was watching a recent episode of Bravo's Top Chef where yet another chef failed to make a satisfactory risotto.....surprise, surprise. I mean a good risotto is not the easiest thing to make, but it just takes a little more TLC than a normal rice dish and it is SO much more exciting. I am very picky about risotto, but one of my favorite risottos was actually from a place that isn't even an Italian restaurant. I had a surprisingly delicious vegan mushroom risotto from Lexington Social House (it doesn't come vegan but the chef was accommodating and made it vegan for me), so I decided to go for a mushroom risotto.

Nutrition Note: This risotto is made with whole foods and is a very hearty and filling, but it is light on the protein. If you want you could easily add cooked lentils or white beans at the end of the cooking process for more protein. Most nights, I just make a side salad that has beans involved in order get in that protein when I'm making a grain focused dish such as this.

Rockin' Mushroom Risotto Recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice (risotto rice)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium shallots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced fine
- 1 lb thinly sliced mushrooms  (this is about 4 cups after being sliced), I used crimini and white button, but whichever type you prefer is fine; oyster would be delicious if you don't mind the added cost
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups low sodium veggie broth, warmed up to a simmer
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsk black pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 4 cups arugula (you can used baby spinach if you prefer)

1. Cook onion and shallots over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan until clear and soft. This should be about 5 minutes.
2. Add in the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms have reduced in size slightly. This should be about another 5 minutes.
3.  Clear a little space in the middle of the pan and add in the minced garlic and cook on high heat for until the garlic starts to turn golden, then reduce to medium heat.
4. Add in the arborio rice and mix. Toast the rice for a few minutes until you start to smell and nuttiness or until they start to turn a little golden.
5. Add the white wine and mix until cooked off.
6. Add in all of the spices and herbs and mix thoroughly. 
7. Add in the veggie broth, one cup at a time. Stir the risotto after each pot and reduce the heat so that it is just simmering. Make sure that all of the liquid from one cup is absorbed before adding the next. This is the part that takes the longest and required the most patience. It will probably take around half an hour, and the key is to regularly stir the risotto so that the heat is evenly distributed throughout.
8. Add in the lemon juice and soy milk and stir in.
9. Add in all of the arugula and mix thoroughly. Continue to cook on low heat for at least another 5 minutes so that the the greens are thoroughly wilted. 

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