Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vegan week day 2: Squash, mushroom and spinach risotto with pine nuts

Breakfast: Quinoa pilaf with strawberries and raspberries

Lunch: Squash, mushroom and spinach risotto with pine nuts, with steamed asparagus on the side.

Dinner: Spaghetti with a delicious mushroom and tomato sauce. Thanks Putin!

It's crazy the amount of things that are vegan when you actually stop to think about it. At first I shunned the idea of risotto, but then I realised that the only thing that would make it non-vegan is the butter to saute the onions and garlic. Leave any parmesan out too and hey presto: awesome, hearty and filling vegan dinner that tastes phenomenal!

You'll need
(feeds 3)
1/3 of a large squash, diced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
4 tbsp white wine
1 handful spinach, chopped roughly
2 cups arborio rice
6 cups veg stock
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 large onion, diced
veg oil
black pepper

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil
Add the squash and cook for 5 minutes
Add the white wine and black pepper
Add the rice and coat in the liquid
When the liquid has been absorbed, add a cup of the veg stock and stir
When the stock has been absorbed, repeat 2 more times
Throw the mushroom into the mix and continue adding stock one cup at a time
When all the stock is absorbed, turn off the heat
Stir in the spinach and serve into dishes
Scatter pine nuts and black pepper over and serve!

If you don't want to use white wine, I find that rice vinegar works just as well as can give a more complex flavour.

As a vegan or vegetarian, spinach is a great thing to have regularly, as it is rich in vitamins, iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Steam it, wilt it or stir it into hot meals just before serving to keep its nutritional qualities in tact. Pine nuts also have lots of fibre and have the most protein of any seed. Plus they're so tasty and make your meals look that bit more fancy!

Also, interesting fact: squash is in fact a fruit!

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