Creamy Wild Mushroom Risotto

risottoWow, has it really been this long since my last post?! I guess the holidays will do that. I hope everyone had a great holiday season and so far a good 2014. I’ve made this risotto several times now, and I swear we love it more each time. Sure, there’s a little prep work involved, as well as some constant stirring, but I promise you, it’s worth it. You can even read a book while you make this. Seriously. Have a book  handy because you  might as well get some reading done as you stir. (A glass of wine wouldn’t hurt either).


3/4-oz pkg. dried shiitake mushrooms
3/4-oz pkg. dried porcini mushrooms
3 C vegetable broth
3 C fresh spinach, chopped
1/8-1/4 C lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 large onion, chopped small (about 1 C)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
16-oz cremini mushrooms
1-1/2 tsp thyme
1 C Arborio rice
1/2 C white cooking wine
1-1/2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
1/8 C nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp black pepper


To begin, soak the shiitake and porcini in very hot water for about 30 minutes. Once re-hydrated, drain, wash, and chop the mushrooms up small; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, lemon juice and salt; set aside as well. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil and add the garlic. Cook 2 minutes over medium heat, then add the onion. Saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the cremini, shiitake, and porcini mushrooms and cook 10-12 minutes, or until they have cooked down. Add the thyme, Arborio rice, and remaining olive oil. Combine the rice well in the pan and cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook 5 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.


Add about 1/2 C of the broth and stir constantly until completely absorbed; repeat, adding only a 1/2 C of broth at a time. It will take about 20-30 minutes. (Good time to have a book handy). Next, stir in the spinach mixture and cook 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach has cooked down. Stir in the Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, and black pepper. Enjoy! (This is great with some oven-roasted asparagus and garlic toast)!


White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup


This soup, from Vegetarian Times is amazing! It’s a simple fall soup that comes together in no time. I think it came out pretty thick and I would have preferred it to be soupier. If you’re like me, I recommending using about 10 cups of water instead of 6. The bread that it’s served with really soaks up the liquid. Otherwise, for a thick chunky version stick with the recipe as is. Either way, it’s delicious!


3 Tbs olive oil, divided

2/3 C Arborio (risotto) rice

3 cloves garlic, minced

3-1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

6 C veggie broth (I like to use Better Than Bouillon veggie base)

2 C sliced cabbage

1 bay leaf

2 slices Italian bread, torn into pieces (1 cup)

1/4 C pine nuts

1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed


Heat 2 Tbs of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the rice and toasted for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook 2 more minutes.



Add the broth, cabbage and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse the bread and pine  nuts in a food processor until you get small crumbs. Heat the remaining Tbs of olive oil in a skillet and add the bread/nut mixture. Toast over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes.


Add the beans to the soup and cook 5 minutes. Check to make sure the rice is tender. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.


The recipe says to stir in the bread crumbs, but I opted to just sprinkle them on top of individual servings. Otherwise, I think the bread would soak up too much of the broth. Serve with salad and bread and enjoy!

Field Roast-Stuffed Bell Peppers

These are one of my favorite things to make, especially since the the filling can be changed to suit your tastes and what you have lying around the kitchen. I used Field Roast’s Chipotle flavored sausages which has great flavor and seasonings, that there was no need to add any spices. These were creamy, spicy and filling. The recipe is for 4 bell peppers, but I had 3—luckily, the stuffing makes a great breakfast burrito filling.


4 bell peppers, any variety

1/2 C arborio rice

1 C vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

2 Field Roast sausages, chipotle-flavor, crumbled

1 medium onion, diced

1-1/2 C mushrooms, diced

2 small tomatoes, diced

1 C vegan cheddar, shredded

1/4 C Tofutti sour cream


Preheat oven to 375. In a small saucepan, combine the vegetable broth and arborio rice; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Slice the very tops off of the bell peppers and clean out the innards; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and Field Roast and saute until the onions start to soften and brown, then add the mushrooms and tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine the cheese and sour cream and then stir it into the Field Roast mixture.

Spoon the Field Roast mixture into the peppers—firmly pack it in. Place into a 8″ baking dish.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes and enjoy!

Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Basil and Tomato

This is a fast and easy side dish that is very flavorful. For variety, I sometimes omit the basil and add grated ginger root instead. This also makes a light, refreshing lunch or snack. I really like the Arborio rice (risotto rice)–it’s a great change from regular white rice.


1 C Arborio rice
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
3 pinches of fine sea salt
2 pinches ground black pepper
1/2 C (or as much as you want) tomato, diced
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil


Place the unrinsed rice in a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until mostly tender but still a little firm in the center of the grain. Drain off any excess water and transfer rice to a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice (grated ginger if using), salt and pepper. Mix well and addd the tomatoes and sprinkle basil (if using) on top. Toss to combine and serve. Makes about 4 servings. Enjoy!

Recipe source: The Kind Diet