Monika’s Molecular Meals: Rich & Creamy Vegan Risotto

Monika Knapp By Monika Knapp | 17 May 2020 501 views
vegan risotto

This Vegan Risotto Is Deliciously Creamy AND Good For You

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Risotto is one of my all-time favorite foods.

I grew up lucky enough to have two parents who know their way around the kitchen, and my father’s cheesy risotto still, to this day, may be my favorite dish of all time.

So when I tell you that this vegan risotto recipe comes very, VERY close to the real thing—and is, in some aspects, better—you better believe I’m not messing around.

It’s got everything you’d want from a vegan risotto:

  • A creamy, just-runny-enough-yet-not-too-soupy sauce that coats each grain of perfectly cooked rice…
  • Rich, luxurious texture finished with a kick of fresh herbs, salt and pepper…
  • And a flavor that makes you keep going back for just one more bite… and another…

(Which is exactly how a risotto should be…)

Basically, it’s a warm hug from your grandmother in a bowl. And I can’t get enough of it.

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I have to give credit where credit is due, though. I first discovered this method of making risotto over on Serious Eats.

And while I’ve modified the recipe and method slightly, at its core, the “secret” to this vegan risotto remains the same:

Miso paste!

And you won’t believe the amazing flavor (and health benefits!) of that secret ingredient.

This vegan risotto is not only free of animal products, but it’s also pretty freaking good for you too (but more on that in a bit).

And the best part is, if you’ve got a pressure cooker, it comes together in less than 20 minutes (seriously).

So if you’ve worried that risotto would always be a super time-intensive, complicated endeavor… it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, this delicious risotto is easy enough to make even if you’ve never made risotto before (and have trouble making just plain rice!).

Here’s how it’s done:

FTH’s Rich & Creamy Vegan Risotto

Equipment Needed: Pressure cooker or large dutch oven/pot

Recipe Time: 20 minutes if using a pressure cooker; 45 minutes if using stovetop method

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, preferably infused with herbs (see Recipe Notes)
  • 4 cups vegetable or mushroom stock (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup mild miso paste (see Recipe Notes)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Zest and juice from one lemon, separated
  • Minced parsley or chives
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • Salt to taste
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Directions:

If you’re using a pressure cooker:

Add the olive oil to the pot and turn the heat to medium. After 10-15 seconds, add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes or until translucent.

Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30-45 seconds.

Dump in the rice, a large pinch of salt and the white pepper, and cook, stirring often, until the edges of the grains appear clear and the centers are cloudy. The goal is to toast the rice but not brown it.

Add the wine and cook until you can no longer smell alcohol and the liquid has nearly evaporated. Next, add the soy, nutritional yeast and the miso paste, and stir to combine.

Add the stock, scrape down the sides of your pressure cooker, and give everything a good stir.

Close your pressure cooker and bring to low pressure. Cook at low pressure for 5 minutes, then release under cold running water.

When the pressure has released, open the cooker and stir everything again. Add about half of the lemon juice and taste.

Adjust with salt, lemon juice or zest as needed, and if you think it’s too soupy, cook for a few minutes longer.

(Note: It SHOULD look a little soupy, and it will thicken considerably in the fridge, so keep this in mind.)

Stir in any fresh herbs you’d like and serve immediately!

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If you’re doing it the old-fashioned way:

Add the olive oil to the pot and turn the heat to medium. After 10-15 seconds, add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes or until translucent.

Meanwhile, heat up the stock in a separate pot over another burner on your stove. Don’t boil it, but do let it simmer. If you’d like to flavor it with any extra herbs (bay leaf, rosemary, etc.), do so now.

To the other pot with onion, add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30-45 seconds.

Dump in the rice, a large pinch of salt and the white pepper and cook, stirring often, until the edges of the grains appear clear and the centers are cloudy. The goal is to toast the rice but not brown it.

Add the wine and cook until you can no longer smell alcohol and the liquid has nearly evaporated. Next, add the soy, nutritional yeast and the miso paste, and stir to combine.

Add 2-3 ladlefuls of stock, scrape down the sides of your pot, and give everything a good stir.

Continue stirring every 15-30 seconds until the rice has absorbed the stock and appears “thirsty” for more.

Rehydrate the risotto, one ladleful at a time, until you have run out of stock and the risotto is very creamy. When it is finished, add about half of the lemon juice.

(This entire process might take 25-35 minutes.)

Taste and adjust with salt, lemon juice or zest as needed, and if you think it’s too soupy, cook for a few minutes longer.

(Note: It SHOULD look a little soupy, and it will thicken considerably in the fridge, so keep this in mind.)

Stir in any fresh herbs you’d like and serve immediately!

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Recipe Notes

  • You can easily make herb or garlic-infused olive oil at home (I know I’ve written about this before but just in case you didn’t already know…)! Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, peel and smash an entire head of garlic, place it in an oven-safe dish and cover generously with extra virgin olive oil. Let cook for about 30 minutes or until you see bubbles emerging from the garlic, then remove from the oven and add whatever fresh and dried herbs you like (I normally use thyme, red pepper, and lemon zest—sometimes fennel).
  • If you want to make your own mushroom stock, many Asian stores sell a variety of inexpensive dried mushrooms (such as shiitakes). You can rehydrate these in your stock, chop them up and add them to your risotto, or you can simply let them cook down in your stock for extra savory flavor!
  • A mild miso paste, such as white (Shiro) or yellow miso, works best here, to complement the mild flavors of the dish.

How To Keep Your Leftovers Tasting Fresh And Looking Fantastic (This Is Crucial For Risotto)…

If you’ve ever made risotto at home, then you probably already know the disappointing transformation that happens to it once you put it in the fridge and let it sit overnight:

It basically turns into a block of barely scoopable rice. Which is super sad, since it was so deliciously perfect when you put it in the fridge!)

Don’t get me wrong, the flavor stays good for days—it’s the texture that’s an issue.

So to return day (or days)-old risotto to its former glory, make sure you do the following:

  • Reserve a full cup (at least!) of stock so you can thin out the leftover risotto when preparing it later on in the week.
  • Only reheat the portion you’re planning on eating instead of the entire container (that way you don’t have to put all of the leftovers through the heating-cooling process multiple times)…
  • If you’re reheating it in the microwave, check it every 30 seconds and stir to make sure one part isn’t heating up faster than the rest.
  • And for ultimate freshness, store your herbs with the stems sitting upright in water (a mason jar works well) to keep them good as long as possible!

I hate wasting food, but I know after a few days, leftovers can get pretty painful. 

So these tips will help you get the most out of your risotto, without having to eat any “mercy meals.”

Monika's Molecular Meals: Rich & Creamy Vegan Risotto

If You Want To Add Cheese To This Risotto Recipe… And Burn More Fat…

Obviously, this is a vegan risotto recipe… and it’s insanely tasty all on its own. 

So, if you want to prepare it exactly as written, you will NOT be disappointed.

However, if you want to add in some animal products… say, a nice cheese… you definitely can!

That’s one of the things I love about risotto recipes—you can make small adjustments that can have a huge impact on the flavor, so you can make it however you like it best.

Now, my personal favorite addition to this recipe is parmesan cheese.

(And I’m not talking about that powdered stuff you buy in a canister that suspiciously never needs refrigeration. Studies proved that many of those are actually stuffed with wood pulp. Eeeew. I’m talking about REAL parmesan cheese.)

Not only does the parmesan add that certain extra bit of delicious flavor… but research shows that parmesan can also boost your body’s fat burn.

And if all I need to do in order to burn more fat & lose more weight is add parmesan to my food, I’m all in!

(I think I could make that work for most of the foods I eat! haha)

Plus, there are two more super delicious cheeses that have also been found to increase your fat burn.

To find out what all three of these fat-burning cheeses are… that are healthy enough to indulge in whether you’re on a “cheat day” or not… click here:

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[This post was updated by Fit Trim Happy on May 17, 2020.]