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Veggie Mushroom Risotto with Teriyaki Sauce

Until transitioning to a plant-based diet, I had never been terribly successful cooking the perfect risotto. I suppose it's because I didn't have the patience to stand over the stove for 30 minutes, watching, adding, stirring... It seemed endless. But now that I'm actually cooking so much more of our food, rather than relying on processed goods, I find that I actually relish the time and care it takes to produce restaurant-quality, nutritional meals that will leave family and friends wanting more!

This delectable dish features a combination of perfectly-cooked risotto with tender cauliflower florets, earthy baby bella mushrooms, and vibrant spinach, all sautéed in a delightful blend of lemon, vegan butter and white wine. To take it to the next level, it's topped with a drizzle of my Teriyaki sauce that's both sweet and tart, producing a symphony of flavors to enjoy. Bon Appétit!

Ingredients for Sauce:

- 1 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water

- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce or Braggs Aminos

- 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable stock (or broth)

- 3 Tbsp maple syrup

- 1 Tbsp brown sugar

- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar

- 1/4 tsp garlic powder

- 1 tsp sesame oil

- 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Ingredients for Risotto & Veggies:

- 6 cups low-sodium veggie stock

- 2 Tbsp olive oil

- 1 shallot, finely chopped

- 2 Tbsp vegan butter

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced (dry thyme may be used)

- iodized salt to taste (may substitute sea salt or other)

- freshly ground pepper to taste

- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (or packaged dry risotto with herbs)

- 1/2 cup white wine (may substitute veggie broth)

- 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon or 2 Tbsp lemon juice

- 2 Tbsp vegan butter

- 1/8 cup vegetable stock

- 1 to 2 lbs baby bella or white mushrooms, sliced

- 16 oz frozen cauliflower florets, thawed

- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, rinsed and drained

- 1 tsp nutritional yeast

- 1/4 tsp garlic powder

- 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions for Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the cornstarch and water, set aside.

  2. Add all other Teriyaki sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil.

  3. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and let it simmer over low heat until it begins to thicken. If too watery, add 1/2 tsp cornstarch and continue whisking. (Normally, I don't add additional cornstarch to mine because the sauce will thicken more as it cools.

  4. Set sauce aside, and cover to keep warm.

Instructions for Risotto & Veggies:

  1. Add the 6 cups of veggie stock to a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove from heat immediately, cover and set aside.

  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the shallot. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallot is translucent.

  3. Add a small amount (about 1/8 cup) of veggie stock to prevent sticking while sautéing.

  4. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the arborio rice and toss continuously to toast it over medium heat for 1 minute.

  5. Add the white wine and lemon juice, reduce to low heat, and cook until evaporated, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

  6. Add 2 cups of the warm veggie stock that you set aside and stir to combine all ingredients.

  7. While the rice is cooking in the stock, heat a separate, small skillet and add 2 Tbsp vegan butter and 1/8 cup veggie stock.

  8. Add the mushrooms, cauliflower, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and 1 tsp lemon juice to the skillet and sauté until mushrooms and cauliflower are slightly soft. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, cover and set aside to keep warm.

  9. Over low heat, continue to add the warm veggie stock to the rice, 1/2 cup at a time. (Patience is a virtue when making the perfect Risotto!)

  10. Stir the rice in the stock until it is fully absorbed. Then continue to add veggie stock a half-cup at a time, cover and stir often until the rice is fully cooked and has absorbed the stock. This usually takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the heat level you use. (You may have stock left over. Using all of it is not required, but be sure to test the rice for doneness and add more warm stock to cook longer if needed.)

  11. Taste the rice to determine when it's done to your liking -- some folks prefer al dente; I like mine on the fully-cooked side. When it's done, cover and set aside to keep warm.

  12. Meanwhile, return the mushroom-cauliflower mixture to the stove over low heat. Add the spinach and toss to cook for 2 minutes, then turn off heat.

  13. Spread your cooked Risotto into wide bowls or onto plates. Top each bowl of risotto with the mushroom-cauliflower-spinach mixture, and drizzle the sauce* over the top of each serving. Enjoy!

*Notes: The sauce may be whisked and re-heated over low heat for a minute or two prior to drizzling over your dish.

When I make this sauce recipe, I find that I often have quite a bit left over. This sauce is wonderful to re-heat and use over rice and noodle dishes; as a dip for spring rolls, and drizzled over steamed veggies. I use Mason jars to store all my leftover sauces in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They always come in handy when planning meals!

Generally, I find that 1 1/2 cups of rice will make either 3 large portions or 4 smaller portions of this dish. Feel free to cook extra rice if you're feeding larger numbers. You may also add extra veggies and tofu if desired.


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