Perfect for a re-heated workday lunch or as a comfort food for a lazy evening, this risotto removes the starch from Arborio rice and replaces it with the nutrient dense quinoa. Due to its naturally creamy texture when cooked, quinoa was the perfect replacement to create a low calorie, yet tasty, option. And unlike traditional risottos, this one doesn’t require constant stirring or adding liquid slowly to achieve the desired consistency. It may seem like a lot of liquid at first, but don’t fret, it will cook down to the perfect texture.
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
10 stalks of asparagus, cut into inch long sections
1/4 pound oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups kale, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese or 1/8 cup nutritional yeast
1. Sweat shallot and garlic in half of the olive oil (save the rest for later) over medium cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add quinoa and continue cooking until quinoa emits a nutty smell, about 7-8 minutes.
3. Add wine and cook until completely evaporated.
4. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir occasionally until liquid is reduced, about 45 minutes. Do not cover.
5. While waiting for the quinoa to cook, heat a medium sized frying pan over high heat and add remaining olive oil. Add asparagus and cook over high heat until leaves begin to wilt, about 7-8 minutes. Remove asparagus from pan and set aside. Add mushrooms to the pan and sauté over high heat until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside with asparagus.
6. Once quinoa is soft and liquid is reduced, stir in mushrooms, asparagus, red pepper flakes, and kale until the kale is wilted.
7. Stir in parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast. Continue stirring until cheese or nutritional yeast is fully melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.