I made an allergen-free, gluten-free vegan risotto this week featuring mushrooms and spinach which was at once warming and filling. The rice I used was called Della (www.dellarice.com) which is verified Non-GMO and grown in the USA. I used Pacific Foods Organic Veggie broth instead of the mushroom broth because I wanted a nice warm color to the risotto.

When I have made mushroom risotto in the past, the risotto turns brown and that, my friends, is not my favorite color of food. This time, I made the mushrooms ahead of time, and added them along with the spinach at the end. You can cook them at the same time, but, as I learned, the spinach will turn brown, as pictured to the left, (darned those mushrooms!). What I am going to suggest below is that adding the spinach at the very end separate from the mushrooms will maintain the color.

If your family members (like some of mine) just can’t eat a meal without some meat, cook some sausage to be added to the meat eaters food right before serving. We prefer Belinski brand of sausage – no casing and made with chicken so its low fat. Again, always read the labels, what is OK for my family and our allergens may not be OK for yours.

I suggest serving this with a lovely arugula salad with your favorite ingredients and dressing.

ALLERGY FREE VEGAN MUSHROOM SPINACH RISOTTO

Olive Oil

2 small shallots minced

1 clove garlic minced

Salt

Arborio Risotto Rice (you may also use sushi rice)

1 Box Pacific Brand Organic Veggie Broth

3/4 Cup Organic White Wine

1 box mushrooms sliced (I prefer the baby bella mushrooms)

Spinach (fresh or frozen, I use frozen)

Spices (use your favorite spice, thyme, oregano, etc)

Before getting started on the Risotto, saute your mushrooms in a 1:1 ratio of water to olive oil, 1 clove of garlic pressed or minced, and salt + pepper. Cook until almost all the liquid is gone. My trick here is I make more mushrooms that I need for the recipe, because our allergic kiddo loves them, and I set them out on the table as an appetizer.

Wash and rinse the spinach if you’re using fresh. Or set out the frozen spinach (one organic bag, or about half of a large non-organic bag or one ‘brick’). If you like, go ahead and cook briefly, making sure it doesn’t get overcooked and is still green. Add a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Now for the Risotto. Take the box of broth and pour it into a pan. Bring to a simmer on the stove top and get a ladle ready.  Mince your shallots and garlic. Place about 1 tbsp of olive oil in the bottom of a separate 3 quart heavy bottomed pan (we use Calphalon), turn the burner on medium to medium high (depending on your stove) and bring to warm. Add the shallots and a bit of salt and stir until the shallots are translucent. Do not brown. Add garlic stirring for 1 minute, then Add 1 1/2 Cups of rice. Stir frequently until all the rice is covered with the oil and begins to turn translucent. Add about 3/4 Cup of wine, stir constantly until the wine has boiled off and absorbed into the rice. To that add 1.5 ladle full of hot broth. The broth should bubble when place in the rice. Stir constantly until the broth has been absorbed. You will be stirring like this for 15 – 25 minutes.  Keep adding broth and stirring until upon tasting the rice, it has softened a bit, but still has an al dente texture. The time will vary depending on the heat of your broth, the type of rice you’re using and the amount you’ve been stirring. Basically you do not want your rice too dry or too watery. Taste for doneness.

At the very end, add the mushrooms, and the spinach and give it a nice stir, taste for flavorings and spices, add more salt if you like (I usually go easy on the salt as I’m cooking and add at the end), and serve.

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