Risotto with Zucchini and Sundried Tomatoes

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

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I finally tried one of the stovetop risotto recipes from Vegan Italiano and I’m happy to report that it’s waaaaaay easier than using the microwave. It requires a bit of babysitting, sure, but since risotto is a side it’s safe to assume you’ll be tethered to the stove anyway? idk, I made this for lunch, but while multitasking: the dogs’ food was cooking at the same time, so I was kept plenty occupied. (They got noochy brown rice with broccoli and spinach. Yum!)

This is also way tastier than the packaged stuff, and doesn’t require much extra effort.

As for the ingredients, the title says it all: arborio rice, zucchini, and sundried tomatoes, along with some onion, basil, salt and pepper, and veggie (really vegan chicken – hence the yellowish tinge) broth. Pro tip: you’re supposed to soak the (dry-packed) tomatoes in warm water for 15 minutes and then drain them, but I soaked them in the broth instead, and then just poured the whole shebang in with the rice. Worked like a charm, with tomatoes absorbing some of the flavors from the broth. Awesome sauce, or whatever the kids are saying these days.

Microwave Risotto with Saffron

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

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Normally I’m not big on microwave cooking – stop, stir, restart, repeat x infinity – but seeing as the oven-baked risotto recipes in Vegan Italiano also require constant babysitting, I decided to give the microwave version a try. And you know what? It actually wasn’t that bad!

I had just enough time to make some veggie broth during the first few cooking cycles, and the last few went by quickly enough. All in all, it took about thirty minutes to prepare. Tasty, too.

I tried dressing the risotto up by sprinkling some extra saffron on top for the photo, but the result is reminiscent of teeny tiny little pond worms, don’t you think? Weird and not a little gross. Saffron, why you so funny looking?

Tuscan Risotto, from a box!

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

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Vegan Italiano has some crazy yummy risotto recipes that I’ve been itching to try. Most require not a little supervision (even the baked ones!), though, so they’re not really the easiest dishes to whip up on the fly. So when I found myself craving risotto the other day, I decided to break out one of the prepacked mixes stashed in our pantry. Namely, Lundberg’s Tuscan Risotto, which has VEGAN stamped right on the front of the box. Yay!

(Hey, I need more room for all these new ingredients I’ve been buying. Early spring cleaning, it’s delicious!)

The verdict: tasty and fairly easy to make. I’ve heard complaints that risotto is fussy and in need of constant stirring, but the directions called for occasional stirring, so that’s what I did. I had just enough time to wash and peel a five-pound bag of carrots while the risotto cooked.

The mix is a little skimpy on sundried tomatoes (aren’t they always), so I added some of my own (about a quarter cup), along with a carrot since they were out. I was able to stretch the risotto out into two meals* with my quick thinking.

* According to the package, it makes four servings. HAH!