Mushroom Risotto with Quinoa

An authentic Italian risotto, re-invented Paleo style, means it has a wonderful broth, and rich, deep flavor of Parmesan cheese. I was planning a cauliflower risotto for you today. But someone in the family cooked up a batch of sprouted quinoa that has to be used. Wow! It tastes incredibly delicious and so easy! You can make this recipe with EITHER quinoa or riced cauliflower. I should warn you that the Paleo Police are on the fence about quinoa. Technically, quinoa is neither a grain or a grass – it is related to Swiss chard, spinach and beets, however some Paleo folks call it a pseudo-grain.

I adore the flavor! Quinoa is a high quality protein with all nine essential amino acids. It contains 16 – 20%  protein, which is way higher than rice at 7.5% or millet 9.9%. Quinoa was considered an ancient power-food by the Incas. Personally, I eat it sprouted, to eliminate anti-nutrients. I soak it for 20 hours and then rinse well, or I buy it pre-sprouted. I buy TruRoots brand available in most healthy groceries. Serves 6.

Mushroom Risotto with Quinoa

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Ingredients

    Saute:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound any fresh mushrooms (white, crimini, shitake, button, porcini, chanterelle, maitake)
  • Large handful parsley, diced
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa OR
  • 1 head cauliflower trimmed and chopped coarsely, and “riced” in your food processor. This is easy to do. Put raw cauliflower in a food processor and pulse gently until the pieces are about the size of rice grains.
  • Broth:
  • 1/2 cup broth, alternative milk, coconut cream, or water
  • 1 organic bouillon cube
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (cheese flavor)
  • 1/3 cup coconut butter or cashew butter. Or grind nuts finely in a hand-held grinder or small blender. (Pine nuts or cashews will work)
  • 1/4 teaspoon unprocessed salt
  • Plenty black pepper to taste
  • Garnish:
  • Handful parsley, chopped fine, or
  • Toasted whole almonds (Optional - Omit if you do not tolerate almonds.)

Instructions

    Sauté:
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until they begin to soften. Add chopped parsley.
  2. Add the quinoa or riced cauliflower to the pan and continue to sauté for about 4 minutes.
  3. Risotto Broth:
  4. In a small blender, add all the broth ingredients: I used thick coconut milk, however broth or any alternative milk will work. Add the liquid, bouillon cube, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, coconut butter or your alternative, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add to the sauté pan.
  5. Heat slowly stirring from time to time so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. If it is too dense and dry, add a bit of filtered water.
  6. Garnish:
  7. Serve hot with chopped parsley or toasted whole almonds. Yummy!