Spring Asparagus & Mushroom Vegan Risotto
Spring is here! Well, almost.
The last few months, I have been researching Ayurveda and becoming kind of obsessed with it. I love food and it's making me think of food in a TOTALLY different way. Which, I suppose, is rather enlightening, but kind of disappointing as a chef. To realize the food I am not only making for myself, but for others, is making them sick.
Is crazy, to say the least.
We are so disillusioned and disconnected from our bodies, we don't even know what we're doing to ourselves.
With that, am I ready to eat curry sweet potatoes and oatmeal everyday? Surely not.
However, as I have come to understand, my dosha is Vata and to tell you the truth, a lot of it is identical to my personality, body type and bodily functions. There's something to this, and am excited to dig even deeper into it.
Ultimately, I am hoping I can bring a fresh perspective and recipe ideas for Vata doshas and come up with new recipes to nourish, fuel and balance my doshas. I don't know about you, but I want to live harmoniously.
I have been getting up early every morning to reflect on my dreams, do my yoga, mediate, drink my herbal tea and make myself a warm breakfast. Sometimes getting up at 3am to still have enough time to get ready for work and take a 50 minute bus commute. I go to bed at a reasonable hour and rarely drink, which helps tremendously. I have gained some insane discipline, and it feels great!
I'm starting to get more comfortable in my new catering chef position, am almost set up in my new home and am ready to start looking for a new part time job. After I moved, I gave up my two extra jobs and really do miss the financial freedom, that gave me. So, I'm on the prowl for a good fit. Wish me luck!
With Ayurveda, I have been digging in even deeper for vegan recipes. Although, dairy is allowed, it's not super great for any of the doshas. Meat, even less so. Totally fine for me! But giving up all cheeses is well, impossible. I have already cut back on a lot of dairy, alcohol, and coffee. But eliminating anything from my diet entirely will have to be a work in progress. Kind of ironic since, beer is in this recipe, but I need to use up what I have! I was tempted to use the traditional white wine, but wasn't sure if I felt strong enough to not pour myself a glass as well. I mean...the bottle WOULD be opened? Ugh. Beer it is! Plus, we like to try new things...right?!
I was watching Cooking with Lydia last weekend and she was making a beautiful risotto (with dairy, of course). I thought to to give it a whirl without dairy and see how it turned out. And I think it's great. Do I miss the Parmesan cheese? Maybe. But, this is relatively creamy and the nutritional yeast definitely gives it almost a cheesy quality. If you withstand from dairy, or are trying to cut back-I suggest you try this recipe.
Without further ado
Serves: 4 Doshas seeking some balance in their lives
1 Quart Mushroom Broth-Warmed on stove
2 Cups Almond Milk
3 TBS Earth Balance "Butter"
2 Garlic Cloves-Minced
2 Cups Portobello Mushrooms-Cleaned, de-stemmed and Sliced
11 Asparagus Spears-cut into 1" pieces tossed in EVOO and S&P
2 Cups Arborio Rice
1 Cup Vegan Dark Beer
1/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast
First, warm mushroom broth in a Medium saucepan. It is IMPERATIVE to warm the broth. This is what makes the risotto creamy. You'll need a good hour to make this as well. Worth it? Yes. Just put some Coast to Coast AM and slowly simmer away.
Place, a deep pot over Medium. Melt butter, add the shallot till translucent. Add garlic, till fragrant. Mix in mushrooms, and saute a few minutes, tossing till cooked down a bit. Stir in rice and saute the mix for an additional few minutes.
Pour beer in and simmer till cooked out. Now, slowly-one cup at a time incorporate the warm broth. Simmer on Med-Low. It should cook, low and slow. Adding broth as you go.
In the meantime, heat the oven to 400. Once preheated, roast the asparagus ends (reserving the tops) for 7 minutes. Toss and add the tops to mix and roast an additional 10 minutes.
Once the broth is gone, heat the almond milk in the same saucepan. After the first cup is cooked down, you'll add the nutritional yeast. Then, the last of the almond milk and fold in the asparagus pieces.