The Vegan Experiment: Day 29

Day 29

Breakfast: 2 slices of whole wheat toast with peanut butter
Lunch: Farro salad, crackers and hummus, apple
Snack: Walnuts
Dinner: Red Pepper and Asparagus Risotto

Risotto is a top food choice for me when dining out. It’s fairly easy to make but does require some time and attention to produce a thick, creamy risotto. There is nothing more disappointing than ordering risotto at a restaurant, being presented with a beautiful dish only take find out in that first bite that the rice is crunchy. Consequently, if you plan on making risotto, follow the cooking times in the recipe. If you don’t, the end result will be an unappetizing disaster.

The key ingredient in risotto is a short-grain Italian rice known for its high starch content. Typically, recipes call for Arborizo (also known as arborio) rice which you can find anywhere, although I do know that there are a couple other rices that you can use. Using Arborizo rice is important because as you cook the rice, it will start to release its starches, and that’s how you get that creamy consistency. Unfortunately, Arborizo rice is not as good for you as brown rice and some other whole grain options. It has less protein and fiber than brown rice and more carbs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge once in a while and cook up some delicious risotto.

Red Pepper and Asparagus Risotto

4 ½ cups of vegetable broth
2 cups Arborizo rice
½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
½ cup red pepper, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bunch of asparagus tips
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Saute onion and red pepper in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent.
2.  Add garlic and stir for about another 30 seconds.
3. Add rice and stir frequently until lightly browned.
4. Add ½ cup of broth and stir frequently until moisture is absorbed.  Repeat until broth is gone.
5. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a pain.  Add asparagus tips and thyme and saute until tender.
6. Parmesan cheese is optional.

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