Monday, March 20, 2023

Mushroom Vegetable Risotto - Vegan and GF

risotto and vegetables, vegan, gluten-free

Looking for a wonderful side dish? Think Risotto. 
I love this dairy-free version that is delicious and satisfying. 
It's a wonderful side to make especially when serving company. 

I buy the rice from Whole Food Markets which sells their own brand of aborio rice (available in most markets) which is usually the kind of rice used for making risotto. Why? Risotto, an Italian short grain rice, will get creamy when cooked. 

I make this recipe in two steps. 
First I sauté my vegetables lightly and set them aside. Then I make the rice. The rice needs to be stirred about every 45 seconds so it doesn't become gummy- so it will need your attention. 

Mushrooms, Food, Mushroom, Nature, Wild

You can use any type of vegetables that you like but my favorites are lots of mushrooms, green beans, and red or yellow pepper in large slices.

a group of red peppers sitting on top of a wooden table

If you want to eat this as a plant-based entree, add sautéed cubed tofu when you add the vegetables. 

1/3 of a cup of vegetable broth for sautéing
3 cups of white mushroom, cut in half
2 large red bell peppers seeded and sliced 
about 15 whole green beans, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon of garlic powder 
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
1 and 1/2 cups of arborio rice, washed well
1 cup of onion
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of water or white wine

mushroom vegetable risotto in a skillet

Add mushrooms, bell peppers, and green beans to a hot skillet. Stir continuously until vegetable begin to cook. Add 1/3 cup of vegetable broth to a wide skillet, stirring to prevent burning. Reduce heat a little, and cover. Watch the pot and stir as needed until mushrooms are somewhat cooked but firm (about 3-4 minutes). Remove from skillet and set aside in a bowl uncovered.

In a skillet add the cup of onion and begin to sauté. Stir well and add a little water or vegetable broth if needed. Add rice and continue stirring to prevent burning. When onions are soft begin adding a half cup of (room temperature) broth at a time, stirring every 30 seconds this will prevent it from becoming gummy. Repeat until all liquid is added. Cover and cook on a reduced heat ( stirring occasionally) until rice is cooked ( al dente).

When done add vegetable to the top of the rice and keep covered until you serve it. 

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Snow Pea Salad With Creamy Tahini Dressing

Do you love an interesting salad? 
This flavorful Asian salad is made with cut up snow peas, radishes, scallions, and cilantro. It is served over a bed of greens and topped with a generous amount of thinly sliced almonds. 

Peas, Snow Peas, Vegetables, Snow Peas

Before adding the almonds and sesame seeds, I tossed the salad in a creamy tahini dressing- the perfect complement to this delicious plant-based salad. 

Free Onion Red Onion photo and picture

I especially like to add sliced and then cut the slices in half of red onions to the mix. 

Radish, Vegetables, Healthy, Vitamins

tahini sauce

12 ounces of snow peas, washed, strings removed and cut in half lengthwise
10 ounce bag of shredded carrots
1 cup of sliced radishes
1 cup of sliced scallions 
1 cup of chopped cilantro or parsley
1 cup of sweet red onion, sliced in half moons
Optional: 1 cup of sliced black olives
Salad greens to cover the bottom of the salad bowl
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
2/3 cup of sliced almonds

Assemble ingredients (except almonds and sesame seeds) in a large salad bowl and mix well with the tahini salad dressing. Before serving top with the sliced almonds and toasted sesame seeds sprinkled across the top of the salad. 

Creamy Tahini Dressing 
4 tablespoons of tahini 
1/4 cup of lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons of maple syrup or agave

Combine the tahini, lemon juice and garlic powder in the food processor. While running add the water and maple syrup through the shoot. Process until well blended and creamy. 

Artichoke Zucchini Vegetable Soup - Instant Pot

artichoke zucchini vegetable soup

Attention Soup Lovers!!!
Artichoke Zucchini vegetable soup is a popular favorite in our home. I've created a recipe using an interesting mix of fresh and frozen vegetables that are readily available  in supermarkets during any season- including winter. 


As I mentioned in some of my previous posts, I find that frozen vegetables such as artichoke hearts to be easy to keep on hand, healthy, and convenient to use. 

 I simply cut up vegetables such as onion, celery, parsley and potatoes. I also use frozen artichoke quarters (purchased from Trader Joe's) and organic zucchini which I find at Costco, Trader Joe's or Whole Foods this time of the year.

whole Celery

These quartered artichoke hearts from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods are one of my favorites. Artichokes are a super healthy vegetable that is virtually free of fat, cholesterol, and low in calories while providing valuable antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 

frozen artichokes from Trader Joe's

Artichokes are a great addition to a heart healthy diet (of course ask you doctor first before you make any dietary changes) a weight loss diet, or anyone looking to add variety to their diet. In addition, they add a wonderful flavor to soup.

Can you substitute canned artichoke hearts? Probably, but I have not ever tried them in this recipe.
white potatoes

The artichokes are available frozen at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods nearly all year long, which makes them easy to use and easy to keep on hand. 

chopped parsley


Turmeric is another really healthy choice to add to soups.
This bright yellow spice will give any soup a slightly golden color. It is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, making it a valuable spice to add to your cooking. I find the flavor of turmeric is somewhat benign. I add it for nutritional benefits not flavor and what I do taste, I do like. 

Finally, I add fresh lemon juice!

Everything goes in the Instant Pot, making this a quick thick soup that is healthy, delicious, easy and warming! It is almost like a stew.

We love this interesting healthy soup. So many healthy vegetables, generous amounts of fiber, and a delicious taste. 

2 cups of diced onions
3 cups of diced celery 
3 cups of diced potatoes 
3 cups of sliced zucchini in half moons
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1 bag of frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/4 cup of lemon juice (fresh)
4 cups of vegetable broth
3 cups of water (or enough to cover vegetables)

Add the onions, celery, potatoes, zucchini, parsley, artichoke hearts, turmeric, lemon juice, vegetable broth, and water in the Instant Pot. Pressure cook for 10 minutes. When done,  release steam manually according to the manufacturer's directions. When all steam is released, carefully remove lid. Serve with additional lemon juice if desired and eat over cooked jasmine rice.