A heartwarming vegan meal: mixed vegetable risotto recipe

The versatility of cooking a vegan meal at home makes it easy to be vegan. When you decide to cook a meal, a lot of the time you end up thinking whether or not this will go with that, will this go with those two ingredients? With vegan meals, because you’re working with plant-based food, you only need to think about what you want to throw in it and it’s done. There’s no need to worry about mushrooms not going together well with kale or asparagus; they’re all plants and don’t have as strong a flavour as meat and somehow each complement each other perfectly.

One thing I eat a lot of is rice, to switch it up for the OH I decided to cook risotto based on this recipe here from Veganuary’s website for risotto primavera…except I winged it. My way.

Risotto, grain (like quinoa or couscous), rice or pasta dishes are great in that you can throw it together with veg and other plant-based ingredients (like nuts and fruits) that you like to eat or have lying around and need used up, to make an amazing tasting dish.

When it comes to grated vegan cheese for dishes like pasta, pizza or risotto, there are a few options out there depending on which you prefer. I’ve heard the Violife Parmesan cheese is quite good, I also quite like the soy smoked hard cheese from Tesco, but on this occasion we decided to go with Sainsbury’s cheddar-style block which is also quite good!

I’ve given guidelines below on the quantities of ingredients and types of vegetable we used in our risotto, but it’s your choice how much (or little) of one or more vegetables, fruit or nuts you wish to put in your risotto. Try adding different ingredients to give it a variety of texture!

Vegan mixed vegetable risotto
Serves 4

350g Arborio rice
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 litre hot vegetable stock
100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
125g asparagus tips
50g kale
75g Broccoli stem
2 tbsp vegetable oil of choice
75g vegan cheese, grated (optional)
Handful of rocket leaves (to garnish)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Heat your pan and add the oil before adding the chopped the onions.

2. Add any other vegetables that need frying (ie mushrooms) and add the garlic.

3. Once the vegetables are softened, add the risotto rice to the pan and stir.

4.In another pan, bring water to boil and add the asparagus, broccoli stems and kale. After a few minutes, the vegetables should be a bright green colour. Remove from heat and drain.

5. Add the boiled vegetables to the pan with the risotto.

6. Stir in 300ml of stock until absorbed, stirring regularly. Once this has been absorbed, add another 300ml. Repeat until all stock is used and the risotto is cooked.

7. You can either add the vegan cheese to the pan or leave this out for guests to add as they wish.

8. Add a handful of rocket to garnish and serve.

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