Day 25 of the Vegan Challenge: risotto for a quick weeknight supper. Substitute quinoa for the rice and add a handful of lentils and you have a protein-rich meal on the table within 45 minutes. This is also a fun dish to cook if you have guests for dinner and they can keep you company while you stir, stir, stir and stir again as the grains absorb the stock. Even better, they can help with the stirring while you pour some wine and chop the mushrooms. This is much lighter than a traditional risotto heaving with butter and cheese. It even works well served tepid or cold, as a salad.
quinoa risotto with mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
275 gr quinoa
100 gr green lentils
about 750 ml vegetable stock
250 gr mushrooms, wiped and finely sliced
generous pinch of thyme leaves
grated rind of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
Gently fry the onion in 1 tbsp of the oil in a medium saucepan until glassy, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm up the broth in a saucepan and carefully rinse the quinoa and the lentils. (If you add too much water too quickly, the quinhoa is liable to flow out of the sieve.)
Add the quinoa and the lentils to the onion and stir once or twice before adding the first ladleful of hot stock.
Each time you add stock, stir until the grains have absorbed all the liquid.
Keep doing this for about half an hour until all the stock has been absorbed and the lentils and quinoa are tender.
Meanwhile fry the mushrooms in the tsp of oil in a large frying pan until chestnut brown in places. Season with the thyme and some salt and pepper.
When the grains are ready, stir in the mushrooms, the grated lemon rind and the last tbsp of olive oil, and put a lid on the pan. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, then serve with salad or sauteed spinach and perhaps a spoon of tomato sauce.