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Meatless Monday Recipe: Vegan Risotto

I can't even begin to describe how much I love this risotto. It's one of my top 3 favorite meals. I snapped this iPhone photo the other night before I devoured it. Full Disclosure: I've never made this, but my husband Brad makes it at least twice a month. He has a couple of different versions: one with asparagus and Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base for spring and summer, and another for fall and winter that includes mushrooms and Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base. (The No Chicken Base is lighter.) We top them both with freshly grated lemon zest and truffle oil. It goes perfect with kale chips.

This recipe comes from our favorite cookbook Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin, who is Ellen DeGeneres' personal chef. (Purchase here on Amazon)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups broth made from Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base or Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base, plus more as needed. (Click on links to purchase on Amazon)
  • 2 tablespoons high-heat oil, such as safflower or grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 shallots, minced (We never have these, so we've never used them.)
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup Cashew Cream, mixed with 1/2 cup water (Recipe below.)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese (Purchase here on Amazon, or you can try Nutritional Yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley or fresh chives (Optional)

Directions:

In a small soup pot, bring the broth to a simmer, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and keep the broth hot.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shallots and stir 1 minutes more. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, until the wine has almost evaporated.

Add 1 1/2 cups of broth and stir while shaking the pan. Continue to cook and stir the rice until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add an additional 1 cup broth and cook and stir the rice again until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the final 1 1/2 cups of broth and continue cooking and stirring, tasting the rice to check the consistency of the risotto.

At this point, if you do not intend to serve the risotto immediately, you can remove it from the heat, cover, and finish the cooking up to 3 hours later. Or place the rice in a container, refrigerate, and resume cooking the next day; this will require a bit more broth to complete. This is when 2 cups of any vegetable can be added. (Brad first sautes the mushrooms or asparagus and then adds them to the recipe.)

If serving immediately, when the rice is almost cooked, lower the heat and add the cashew cream and water mixture and the vegan Parmesan. Stir until the risotto is creamy and wavy (all'onda). Add more broth, if necessary. Stir in the herb and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Cashew Cream:

  • 2 cups raw organic cashews
  • 2 1/2 cups water

Soak the cashews in water overnight or bring the cashews and 4 cups of water to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the cashews to soak 1 hour. Drain and rinse the cashews.

Place the cashews into the jar of a blender and add 2 1/2 cups of water. Blend until completely smooth, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides of the jar with a silicone spatula. Stain the mixture to remove any particles that did not get pureed thoroughly; the cashew cream should be the consistency of heavy cream. It can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 2 months.    

Makes 5 cups of cashew cream

Enjoy! Happy Meatless Monday!