I agree this might be the lazy version to make risotto, but also a high-protein prep’ compared to the traditional Italian recipe using carnaroli or arborio rice. Quinoa will be a nice replacer if you’re looking for a lighter and earthier version of risotto with it’s incredibly nutty taste.
Traditional risotto is a comforting dish, a nicely reproduced feeling with this recipe as ingredients are pretty much similar apart from the cereal base: parmesan cheese for the creamy texture and mushrooms for their earthy, natural taste.
Quinoa vs. Rice isn’t really a debate here as I personally love both and they have plenty of health benefits, one being that they are naturally gluten-free. They have very similar profile in terms of nutrients, quinoa still being higher in fibres and a little less caloric than rice. It simply is a matter of character for your dish, quinoa being adapter to lighter meals to digest.
RECIPE serves 2 to 3
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
You will need:
- 180g quinoa
- 350g mushrooms
- 1 small onion
- 1/2L vegetable stock (you probably won’t use it all)
- Parmesan to taste
- 2 tbsp olive or grape-seed oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley and chives
Clean the mushrooms from their dirt with a kitchen towel. Do not use water as the mushrooms will absorb it and spoil the taste. Cut them in slices, not too thin.
Put the water to heat up (it shouldn’t boil), and add the solid vegetable stock to dissolve. I use organic stock, they are more qualitative and less salty.
In a pan, add some oil and cook the mushrooms on a medium heat with a pinch of salt until they get brownish.
In another pan, add a dash of oil and cook the chopped onion until soft. Rince the quinoa with cold water and add into this same pan. Add a bit of vegetable stock and cover. Check every 2-3 minutes how much liquid have been absorbed, keep on adding stock and stir regularly*. Halfway cooked, add half of the mushrooms and keep on adding the stock until cooked. I suggest that you slightly undercook the quinoa if you don’t wanna end up with a mash.
Uncover the quinoa when cooked and add the grated parmesan cheese and some chopped herbs before all the stock evaporates. It will create the expected creamy texture.
Serve and top up with the mushrooms kept previously, more herbs and parmesan.
*When adding the stock to the quinoa and mix it, be delicate so you don’t crush it.