Mushroom Quinoa-sotto

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.

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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?

Mushroom Quinoa-sotto

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

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Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. In a large sauce pan, or small pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and saute until translucent.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to sweat.
  4. Add minced garlic, thyme, salt & pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Next goes in the quinoa, gently toast for 30 seconds.
  6. Deglaze the pan with white wine, and stir until absorbed.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Stir until all liquid is absorbed.
  10. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately on a bed of fresh baby spinach.
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Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Fennel

I am, as much as this pains me to admit, sick….

A fever, chills, sore throat… The Trifecta.

Had you seen my shopping basket at Whole Foods a few hours ago, you would have steered clear! Wellness Blend, Sambuca, Vitamin C, Cold Season Tea….

I was like a walking germ alert. Kids, this is what happens when you move clear across the country from your family, your husband is traveling, and you get sick. You are left to fend for yourself. It’s not pretty. It’s not glamorous. This is, straight up, life, my friends! Currently, I have some sort of concoction of chicken broth and vegetables simmering in the crock pot. Not so sure how it will turn out, but at least I won’t have to think about making dinner later.

Before being slammed in the face by “the sickness”, I had a chance to play in the kitchen with one of my favorite ingredients, Brussel Sprouts! Since my head is about to explode, and I need another cup of tea, I am going to cut to the chase, and let you all get on to the recipe. Bon Appetit!

Shaved Brussel Sprouts & Fennel

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 7-8 Brussel Sprouts, thinly sliced/shaved
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Fennel Fronds, thinly sliced
  • 1 large clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry White Wine

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add brussel sprouts, red pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, and saute 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add the fennel to the pan and cook 2 minutes more.
  4. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minutes.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the wine, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to reduce, 5-7 minutes.