A healthy, delicious, and light alternative to traditional risotto.
With this protein- and fiber-packed risotto reboot, you're skipping the fat and instead reaping the benefits of essential amino acids, iron, antioxidants, and metabolism-boosting riboflavin. Plus, thanks to the kale and peas, you're getting a full serving of vegetables!
Vegan Quinoa Risotto with Kale & Peas
Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 1 hr. Difficulty: Medium
Recipe adapted from Ancient Harvest
1/4 cup raw cashew pieces
3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 1/4 cup traditional quinoa (raw), well rinsed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 medium bunch lacinato (dino) kale, stems removed and well-chopped (4-5 cups)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
1/3 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Place cashews, broth, and nutritional yeast in a blender and blend until fully smooth, about 30-45 seconds. Set aside. (If you don't have a high-power blender, you'll want to soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours first to ensure a smooth blend.)
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onion and a good pinch of salt, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and starting to brown (10-12 min). Add garlic and stir for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant. Then add quinoa and let toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Slowly pour in wine. Let simmer for about 2 minutes until the wine is mostly absorbed, stirring constantly. Pour ~1 cup of the broth mixture into pan; stir to combine and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until mostly absorbed. Stir every 2-3 minutes, reducing heat slightly if necessary.
4. While the quinoa cooks, heat a medium pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add chopped kale and cook for ~5 minutes. Add the peas and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Continue to gradually add broth mixture, ~1 cup at a time, letting it simmer until mostly absorbed each time. When finished, the risotto should have a creamy, porridge-like consistency, and not be too stiff or soupy.
6. Stir in the kale, peas, basil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with extra basil, a lemon wedge, and/or fresh parsley.
Note: Chardonnay or pinot grigio work well here. You can also substitute the wine with more cooking broth.