It’s Monday again already? I’m pretty sure last time I blinked it was Friday evening and I was ready for a relaxing weekend! But one good thing about Mondays is that I get to talk about food, and share one of my lazy vegan recipes, so it’s not all that bad!
While eating out yesterday in a popular Italian restaurant (mentioning no names…) I noticed that, while vegetarian options are now widely available, cheese seems to be the star of the show in almost every dish. But as a vegan – who used to be a massive cheese fiend – I now see that this very fattening flavour enhancer can easily be swapped for garlic, chilli oil or fresh herbs; leaving the dish just as flavoursome (and WAY healthier).
So for this week’s recipe I wanted to share a cheeseless risotto; something which, in the past, I would have add tons of grated parmesan or feta to. What adds the flavour here is the chilli and herbs; meaning the flavours of the seasonal veg can really shine through. The best thing about this dish is it’s also fairly easy (…I cheat A LOT) and you can switch the ingredients depending what’s in season at the time. This month I’m using peas, peppers and courgettes.
Lazy Vegan recipe: Green summer veg risotto
- 2 cups of risotto rice
- 4 cups of veggie stock, or 3 of stock and 1 of white wine (make your own stock if can, its way tastier than powered stuff!)
- 2 spring or 1 red onion
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- ½ large courgette, diced into small cubes
- ½ red or yellow pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil (get those Omegas in!)
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp sage
- Small handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
- Heat the oil and garlic in a frying pan for a couple of minutes, then add the rice. Fry for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until the rice becomes a little translucent.
- Add the courgette and chilli flakes and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the courgette starts to brown a little. Then stir in ¼ of the stock and stir.
- Continue to stir regularly; adding a ¼ stock each time it has been absorbed by the rice (when it starts to resemble rice pudding texture)
- Before you add the last ¼ of stock, add in the peas and pepper to cook for a few minutes; until the peas are defrosted but not cooked. When you pour in the last of your stock, add in the sage and continue to cook until the rice is cooked but you have a bit of a creamy (but dairy free!) sauce.
- You may need to add a little more water, or even a dash of almond milk (weird, I know, but it adds a really tasty creaminess to it). Taste testing is essential here, so don’t be shy!
- Stir in the fresh basil just before serving. and hey presto you have yourself a tasty, creamy, guilt free risotto. buon appetito!
PS serving in a shamefully chipped bowl is optional…