Quinoa & White Bean Risotto with Roasted Veggies

The moment I saw a recipe for Quinoa & White Bean Risotto on Love and Lemons — adapted in turn from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright — I knew I had to try it. A brilliantly simple way to enjoy some of my favorite wholesome foods in a delightful new form. Ridiculously easy to put together, and certainly didn’t disappoint in texture or flavor.

A couple confessions. This isn’t actually a risotto, slowly simmered and carefully stirred and tended. It’s a “cheat” for the busy and lazy among us. I can’t recall ever eating a “real” risotto, so I can’t speak to how closely this dish resembles the traditional preparation. All I can say is that it is creamy, hearty, healthy, delicious, and hard to stop devouring by the bowlful!

Final confession: As usual, I couldn’t help but play with the recipe some, and didn’t measure much of anything, but I have done my best to approximate below. It would have been delightful with more fresh herbs. I couldn’t convince myself to venture out into the rain to harvest any tonight, but at least I had a big bunch of cilantro in the fridge. Feel free to toss in any of your favorite herbs! And, of course, to swap out the veggies for whatever you have in season.

Quinoa & White Bean Risotto with Roasted Veggies

A couple cups chopped broccoli (small side shoots are perfect for this!)
Three small summer squash, finely chopped
A few tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
About 2-3 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in stock, ideally)
2 cups cooked beans
About 1 cup vegetable stock, or another liquid if necessary
A teaspoon or two of lemon juice, to taste
A teaspoon or two of nutritional yeast (optional)
Fresh thyme, basil, sage, oregano, or whatever favorite herbs you have at hand (optional)
1 large bunch cilantro or parsley, minced (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread broccoli and squash in a baking pan and coat with a little oil, then roast for about 10 minutes. Stir veggies, mix garlic into the squash and return to oven for another 10 minutes or so. While veggies are roasting, blend together white beans, about half a cup of nutritional yeast, lemon juice, half the cilantro or parsley and any other herbs, and a little salt and pepper. Stir into quinoa, adding additional stock as needed until creamy. Serve in bowls, topped with roasted veggies and remaining cilantro or parsley. Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy warm. (But if it’s hot out and you can’t be bothered to reheat the leftovers, it’s also pretty great right out of the fridge!)

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Posted in Gluten Free, Salads and Pilafs, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gluten Free Pizza [Pot Pie]

Turning pizza on it’s head! I love this new spin on pizza… thanks to Salt & Wit for the idea and the “Traditional Cooking School” for guidance on making a gluten free sourdough crust. Turned out amazing!

I also made a more traditional pizza a few weeks back with a similar variation on this crust, and appreciated how readily the dough came together and the subtle tang of the crust. Not so much the rock hard edges. But with a higher proportion of all-purpose blend the next time around, it stayed chewy and wonderful. The simple margherita topping allowed the distinctive tang of the crust to shine. This is a winner crust recipe, top or bottom! It may seem a bit loose and sticky when you press it out, but never fear. It will come together perfectly once baked.

And of course, if you have no reason to cut gluten from your diet, you can use any pizza crust you care to.

Pizza Pot Pie

1 onion, quartered and sliced
A few mushrooms, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Desired veggies or fillings (I used a little red pepper and some sautéed garlic and kale)
Generous drizzle balsamic vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup tomato sauce
Oregano, thyme, sage, fennel, and/or any other herbs and seasonings you desire
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 to 1 cup or so grated cheese (I used 1/2 cup smoked mozzarella)
Pizza dough (see recipe below)
1 egg white (optional, I didn’t bother and it turned out just fine)

Caramelize onion over low heat for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, gently simmer tomato sauce with herbs and seasonings, and sauté garlic, mushrooms, and any other desired fillings. Combine with onions and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Spoon into the bottom of a greased baking pan, or 4-6 greased ramekins, bowls, or mugs. Divide pizza dough if making individual pot pies, press out, and place on top of filling. Brush with egg white if desired and bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and filling is heated through. Let cool a few minutes before devouring… so good!

Gluten Free Pizza Dough
1 cup sourdough starter (mine has been fed on a diet of brown rice flour)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (can replace up to 1/2 cup with oat flour)

Stir together starter and water in a medium bowl, then mix in salt and oil. Combine flours and gradually incorporate to form a soft dough. Knead on counter for a minute or two, until it forms a cohesive ball of dough that holds together.Let ripen 8-24 hours in a greased and covered bowl.

For traditional pizza, preheat oven to 450°F and press out dough on a greased baking sheet. Top, and bake at for 15-25 minutes, until topping are cooked and cheese begins to brown, or to your liking. Slice and enjoy!

Posted in Breads and Baked Goods, Casseroles and Baked Dishes, Fermentation, Gluten Free | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quinoa Garbanzo Salad with Summer Squash & Fresh Herbs

I was originally planning to make quinoa risotto for dinner tonight, but by the time the pot was freed from our strawberry rhubarb jam project, it was too late to start a pot of beans simmering for tonight. But necessity is the mother of innovation, and we managed to throw together this scrumptious impromptu salad in the moments between stirring the bubbling jam and filling jars. I’m coming to love tulsi basil — one of my favorite “weeds” to pull and cook with!

Quinoa & Garbanzo Salad with Summer Squash & Fresh Herbs

About 2-3 cups cooked quinoa (cooked with veggie stock is ideal)
1 can or equivalent (maybe 2 cups) cooked garbanzos, drained and rinsed
A few tablespoons olive oil
2 small summer squash, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
A cup or so tulsi leaves, minced
1 large bunch cilantro, minced
Generous drizzle olive oil
A few teaspoons lemon or lime juice, to taste
A teaspoon or two of chili powder and cumin, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Stir together quinoa, garbanzos, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Sauté squash and garlic in a pan, then stir into salad. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and adjust to taste. Enjoy warm or chilled. Yum!

Posted in Garden Originals, Gluten Free, Quick and easy, Salads and Pilafs, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment