Work was particularly stressful on Friday. Then, it started snowing an hour before I left the office. My 45 minute commute turned into almost 2 hours. By the time I arrived home, all I was planning on eating cereal for dinner.
That’s what I was planning, but that’s not what happened…
As I stood in front of my open refrigerator door, I realized that a bowl of cereal was not quite the soul-nourishing meal I needed. I needed something that would warm me from the inside out. I needed to stand in front of a bubbling pot, methodically stirring away the days’ stresses. I needed risotto.
My long time readers know that I rarely make a traditional risotto. To be honest, it is because I am a complete dunce when it comes to cooking rice! It always comes out over done or under done, and just isn’t worth the hassle. Instead, I turn to my favorite “grain”, Quinoa. Quinoa is better for you than rice, and makes a delicious faux risotto.
Since I will be heading out of town again on Sunday, I did not want to open any new ingredients. Instead, I emptied my produce drawer, grabbed the only open carton of stock in the refrigerator, which turned out to be beef stock, and set to work.
I chopped and stirred for the better part of an hour. By the time I sat down to eat, my mind was calm, my body was relaxed, and my soul had been fed. Who needs a shrink when you have a stove?
(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
- 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced Crimini Mushrooms
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried Thyme
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- 3/4 cup Quinoa
- 1/4 cup dry White Wine
- 2 cups Beef Stock, warmed
- 1/4 cup Smoked, Sundried Tomatoes
- 1/4 cup frozen Green Peas, defrosted
- 2-3 handfuls Baby Spinach, plus move for serving, if desired
- 1/3 cup Lentils, cooked
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
- In a large sauce pan, or small pot, heat oil over medium heat.
- Add onions and saute until translucent.
- Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to sweat.
- Add minced garlic, thyme, salt & pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Next goes in the quinoa, gently toast for 30 seconds.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine, and stir until absorbed.
- Stirring continuously to keep liquid from coming to a boil, add warm beef stock, 1/3 cup at a time. Wait until all liquid is absorbed before adding the next 1/3 cup stock.
- Continue until you only have 1/3 cup stock remaining to add to the pot. At this time, add the remaining ingredients, along with the remaining beef stock.
- Stir until all liquid is absorbed.
- Adjust seasonings and serve immediately on a bed of fresh baby spinach.