Root Vegetable & Mushroom Risotto Recipe

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There are many different mushroom risotto recipes, but not many like this.  This isn’t technically risotto.  Risotto is rice cooked  slowly in broth, and usually has parmesan cheese.  This recipe has no rice or parmesan cheese.   Then why call it risotto?  Instead of rice  and cheese I used root vegetables and nutritional yeast, but applied the same process as risotto.  This means starting with onions, the vegetables, then adding some alcohol, letting it cook off, and then adding a little bit of broth at a time until the vegetables are cooked.  I know some of you may be skeptical, but trust me this is a delicious dish.  Vegetarians can eat this as a main or side, and if you eat meat or fish this makes a great side dish.

This dish has many different flavours thanks to the different vegetables.  Just like risotto it is salty as well as creamy.  The mushrooms add another level to the already deep flavour palate presented here.   This dish may sound complicated to make for some, but I promise it is straightforward and simple.  Go ahead and try something different. Root vegetable and mushroom risotto.

Appreciating Winter

Winter is here which means warming comforting meals just like this one.  I always find it hard to believe how quickly it gets cold.  From one day to the next it can go from above zero to 10 below. Everybody walking the streets in their winter boots and down coats, snow on the ground.  I love the change of seasons.  Although I find change of seasons hard to grasp.  In a way it happens very slowly, but I often feel like like it happens so quickly.  Time is an interesting thing.  Past, present, and  future.

I think the important thing is to focus on the present.  Many have lost touch with nature.  In our fast paced society driven by technology it is easy to miss out on all the amazing things happening around us everyday.  We live very busy lives driven by the need to succeed.  People walk the streets listening, looking at their phones, ignoring the beauty that surrounds them.  The trees, the sun, blue or full of clouds.  We walk the streets listening to music missing out on the sound of the wind blowing the leaves or the rain hitting the pavement.  I have discovered how amazing it feels to take the time to notice everything that is going on around me.

Local Produce In The Winter

Back to my original train of thought which was winter. Winter means less local fresh produce for us here in cold climates.  This recipe features root vegetables that are all still available locally.  Root vegetables can last quite a long time in your fridge.  Which make root vegetables a great way to continue consuming local foods year round.

 Why Consume Nutrional Yeast ?

Nutritional yeast is exactly that.  Nutritious.  It is very high in B-Vitamins, including the B12, which vegetarians can can use as a supplement.  It is a very rare source of plant based vitamin B12.  B12 is where it gets it’s yellow colour.  It is also great source of 18 amino acids, folic acid, biotin and other vitamins.  Need more convincing? It is also rich in 15 minerals including iron, magnesium, phorphorus, zinc, and chromium, and selenium. Now you know why it is called Nutritional Yeast.  Nutritional yeast is grown on beet sugar and molasses.  It is fermented and then dried.  For those worried about candida albicans, not to worry, it is non yeast forming in the body.  It is also gluten-free.

Nutritional yeast adds a creamy and nutty texture to dishes.  It is a great base for salad dressings, in soups, on popcorn, and more.  A tasty and healthy addition to any whole foods pantry.

Root Vegetable & Mushroom “Risotto”

Note: Weights given for vegetables are before they are peeled. This means the celery root will weigh quite a bit less once you have removed  its gnarly exterior.

1/2 cup good quality mixed dried mushrooms, or mushroom of your choice
3 cups boiling water

250 g carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
250 g parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
400 g celery root, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 shallots, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 cup vermouth or dry white wine
1/3 or 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
sea salt and black pepper

To make the mushroom broth combine the boiling water and dry mushrooms in a medium size bowl. Let them soak for 10 minutes. Drain the broth into a measuring cup and set the soaked mushrooms aside.

While the mushrooms are soaking, add the oil to a wide and deep pan on medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and fresh thyme (sprigs removed). Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently making sure not to burn or even brown, until the shallots are soft.

Add the diced carrots, parsnips and celery root. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. They should begin to brown a little but not burn.

Add the vermouth or wine and mix well. Cook for 30 seconds or until it has all evaporated.

Now add 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring every minute or so until the broth evaporates. Then add another 1/2 cup. Continue this process until the vegetables are cooked. Should be about 4 rounds which equals 2 cups of broth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the soaked mushrooms. In a small frying pan on medium heat, sauté for 3-4 minutes with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil until they are nicely browned.

After removing from the heat and cooling for a couple minutes add the mushrooms and nutritional yeast to the risotto. Mix well. If it needs it add another 1/4 cup of broth at this point to make it nice and creamy.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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