Monday, April 21, 2014

Quinoa Mushroom Risotto

Quinoa makes a great alternative to Arborio rice, the grain generally used in risotto.  My husband and I have been working with quinoa for a while and we're quite smitten with it.  This tiny grain is often considered a super-food because it's a complete protein, it's gluten free, high in magnesium, vitamin B-2, iron and it's a good source of fiber.  While I appreciate quinoa’s high nutritional value, I love to switch to this grain for it's interesting texture.  Bored of rice and pasta?  Then the fluffy, sprouted texture of quinoa might be just the thing for you.  Let’s get started with the recipe and let’s also add mushrooms and fresh snap peas into our risotto—yum!


Now, to the process of making the perfect risotto.  It only takes about 20 to 30 minutes to prepare this dish, but it does require the chef's undivided attention.  It's not tricky or complicated, nor does it require any special culinary skills.  The risotto just wants to be babied and stirred at all times.  Risotto is not exciting to cook, but if you can handle the monotony, you'll end up with a great rice dish... I mean quinoa. 
The next picture shows the main ingredients you will need. 
Btw, how awesome does the black Hawaiian salt look?  I can tell you it's amazing and it has a wonderful flavor because it tastes mild and smooth.


  • 4 Tbsp. Coconut Oil/ olive oil
  • 7 oz. Crimini Mushrooms;  cleaned and sliced
  • Snap Peas
  • 1 cup White Organic Quinoa
  • 5 cups Vegetable Stock;  preferably homemade
  • 1/3 cup White Wine
  • 1/4 Red Onion (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Sour Cream
  • Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme;  finely minced
  • Salt and Pepper;  to taste (we used black Hawaiian salt)

  • Wash, clean and cut all vegetables, also thoroughly soak and rinse the quinoa in cold water.  This step is essential to get a great tasting quinoa. 
  • Also, rinse the herbs, pull their leaves from the stems and mince finely.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet  and add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they are golden and soft.  Remove them from the skillet and set them aside.
  • If you would like to add onions to the dish, this is the perfect time to repeat the last step and sauté the red onion until their soft and translucent.
  • When all the veggies are removed from the pan, add the drained quinoa into the same pan to give the grains a good toasting.  The remaining oils and juices from cooking the mushrooms and onions are an excellent flavor enhancer to the risotto.  Stir the quinoa for about 3 minutes, or until the quinoa is coated with oil and slightly toasted.
  • Now, the first addition is white wine.  Lower the heat, add the wine and continue stirring until the quinoa absorbs all the liquid. This will happen quickly and you want to ensure it does so evenly.
  • Once the wine is absorbed, add the vegetable broth 1/2 cup at a time.  Stir every time you add more liquid.  Allow the quinoa to absorb and almost dry out between the additions of broth. 
  • Keep stirring in the broth 1/2 cup at a time until the quinoa is creamy and the quinoa germ has burst.  This process should take about 20 minutes.
  • Taste the quinoa to determine doneness and to make sure its at the consistency you prefer and also salt and pepper the dish.
  • Once the last addition of broth is almost absorbed, stir in the sour cream and the fresh herbs, remove pan from the heat, cover with a lid and let stand for 2 minutes to help develop the creamy texture.  The finished risotto should be creamy and moist and should hold its shape without running or flattening.
  • Use the time in which the quinoa rests to give the snap peas a quick sauté in butter and deglaze with white wine.
  • Finally, plate the quinoa onto a deep dish plate and top with the vegetables.
  • If you are entertaining guests and you don't want to spend so much time fussing over the risotto, I recommend par-cooking the quinoa.  Prepare the risotto according to the instruction but set it aside to cool before adding the final two 1/2 cups of broth.  In this manner, you can finish and serve a beautifully and freshly made risotto in less them 5 minutes.

        Nina & Spencer

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    1 comment :

    1. This looks amazing; I will definitely try it and let you know when I do. This is my first time on your blog, congrats, I love the look and choices.