How to veganize a risotto

Breakfast

Maple and pecan crisp cereal, soya milk

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My usual sugary weekend breakfast. It always tastes great though, and ice cold soya milk is a nice way to start a (rare) sunny day.

Lunch

Sesame seed bagel with cucumber and strawberries, crisps, grapes, Nakd fruit bar

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I thought a fruit based filling might be refreshing in a bagel. It was, although for this purpose I think the strawberries needed to be a little sweeter.

Dinner

Pea risotto, tangerine, sultana and cucumber salad

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This is one of my favourite summer dishes and tonight’s version was expertly prepared by my dad. It’s  really nutritious and has a great Italian flavour. It’s also a really good example of how meat and dairy recipes can easily be veganized. This one was supposed to include bacon and butter, but it’s really easy just to use soya spread (or olive/vegetable/sunflower/rapeseed oil), then either omit the bacon (I do), or use one of the many animal-free options. Although happily meat-free, Quorn products do contain egg and dairy. The Redwood range is vegan though and can easily be bought in Holland and Barrett or ordered here. If you had any concerns that going animal-free would mean crossing convenience foods off  the menu, a quick visit to this website should put your mind at rest! I haven’t tried Redwood’s ‘bacon’, but I’ve found their ‘ham’ really good for pasta dishes, so I’d probably recommend that for this dish.

I guess stock cubes are the other essential ingredient for a risotto, and my favourites are the Kallo veggie cubes. I tend to stock up when I go into Holland and Barrett, but they’re also on Sainsbury’s online so presumably you can buy them in store too. If you want to add a final ‘creamy’ touch to your risotto, Aplro soya cream is the perfect solution. It’s easy to find in medium sized supermarkets, and tends to be sold in small long-life cartons, either by the long-life  soya milk or in the ‘free from’ section.

Ingredients for pea risotto (serves 4):

– 1 onion

– A good handful of parsley

– Olive oil

– 315g peas

– 1 litre stock

– 250g risotto rice

Optional: soya cream

Method:

1. Chop the onion and roughly chop the parsley.

2. Heat a good splash of oil in a saucepan and sautee the onion and parsley for a few mins, stirring constantly.

3. Add about a quarter of the stock and the peas. When the stock is boiling, simmer for about 5 mins.

4. Add the rest of the stock and the risotto rice and simmer until the stock has been absorbed (about 20-25 mins). Stir regularly to prevent sticking.

5. Stir in a splash of soya cream and serve.

The salad included some cucumbers that were a kind present from a friend’s allotment. Home grown veg is always extra special, but unfortunately not very compatible with a hurried (and predominantly city based) lifestyle. The satsuma, cucumber and sultana salad is very refreshing and just involves adding the ingredients together. The quantities aren’t all that important but I’d generally aim for a goodly amount of everything.

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Dessert

Strawberries, dark chocolate

I can’t seem to stop eating strawberries, but they’re so nice at the moment and seem like the perfect summer pudding.

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6 thoughts on “How to veganize a risotto

  1. Hello. Wondering which brand of maple pecan cereal you buy? It’s my absolute favourite but many of the ones I used to buy changed the recipe to include honey. I currently get an organic one from my local farm shop which is lovely but soooo expensive!! P.s I’ve tried Redwoods bacon and it is good, I don’t eat it often but it does make a good sandwich or in pastas etc. I usually get it from Goodness Direct online, they have everything! I eat tempeh ‘bacon’ more regularly as the ingredients list is much shorter and natural! Poppy 🙂

  2. Hello. What a shame about honey suddenly appearing! I tend to buy either the Tesco or Sainsbury’s brands, which are both free from egg, dairy and honey. The Sainsbury’s one appears on their list of vegan products, but the Tesco one doesn’t seem to be on their vegan list. It doesn’t seem to include any animal ingredients, unless the ‘flavourings’ are somehow animal derived? I may drop them a line and find out!

    Thanks for the tip about Redwood’s ‘bacon’. They have an amazing range of products. I don’t think there’s any meat/dairy/fish/ product they haven’t got in animal-free form!

    Here are the links in case you want to have a look:
    Sainsburys: http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp?bmUID=1373229614578
    Sainbury’s vegan list: http://picasso.media.s3.amazonaws.com/PDFs/Allergy-PDFs/Vegan%20PGL%20July%202013.pdf
    Tesco: http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=258712436

    Issie 🙂

  3. Issie, you are a star, thank you so much for this! I will check out those links you gave me The most recent version of the cereal I used to buy that then suddenly contained honey was Morrisons. It was such a shame as it was the best version I’d tried! I usually shop at Co-op but have a Tesco a couple towns away. Not sure about the flavourings, but if it says vegetarian then they wont be meat derived (i.e gelatine) and if they are dairy or egg derived then it would say in the allergies bit so it’s most likely OK I think. Thank you! Poppy 😀

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