Tags: gaining weight, Italy, risotto, saffron, vegan, veganmofo vegan mofo
Risotto, oh you are my favorite word. I mastered you as I lived in Italy, remembering where my great-grandfather came from. (He immigrated in early 1900s from Italy.)
I prefer the Milanese version, with its bright yellow saffron flower. It is rare to find this spice, and I don’t always have the chance to use it. I absolutely love-making this dish, despite it being time-consuming, because it’s hearty & can have anything added to it without destroying the integrity of its texture or its heritage. (As long as you don’t try to curry it.)
Unfortunately, despite the beautiful photo, it turned out bland for me this time. I think it was because I added the saffron right to the broth, and I am experimenting with a new vegan broth powder. But do not be afraid! Risotto is hard to screw up (as long as you remember to keep adding broth) and you can experiment with flavors. Batman (my boyfriend) added honey to his bowl, since I told him it was bland — and I LOVE bland foods, so if it’s bland, it’s REALLY bland! Well, the honey tasted fantastic! I wouldn’t recommend it for the whole pan, but add it to your individual bowl.
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup of white wine
1 cup (up to 1 1/3 cup) of arborio rice
8 cups of broth
5 small sprigs of saffron
pepper to taste
vegan soy cheese, optional though traditional
- Boil water on medium-high heat, then add vegan broth powder. (Or heat up vegetable broth, or whatever way you make broth.) Turn off heat once boiled & incorporated.
- First heat a wide skillet with the olive oil on medium heat. Dice the onion and add to pan.
- Saute onion for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Then add garlic for 1-2 minutes.
- Add arborio rice. Stir in pan until rice soaks up all the oily goodness.
- Add white wine. You may need to increase heat to medium-high to get the wine to burn off. Make sure it burns off.
- In the meantime, put saffron in a paper towel, folded up on a small pan on low heat. Heat for less than 5 minutes, remove and pound with large metal spoon. Open up to have saffron grounded, and then add to rice skillet. Stir.
- Add 2 ladles of broth. Stir.
- Keep an eye on the rice. If it starts looking dry on the top, add a ladle or two of broth, and stir. Toward the end, it gets hard to tell as the rice becomes creamy. This is when you might employ the taste test: The rice should be chewy with a bite, but not too hard you are munching on popcorn kernels or will break a tooth.
- Once the rice is done, add soy cheese if you like, to give it a creamier consistency. Also add pepper to taste.
On another note, I have been SUPER hungry! Now, I have been running a lot more than normal. I understand that. But this week I have been lacking on my cross training and I skipped the Couch to 5K 2- minute run today. Yet, I feel like I can eat the whole house, and all of its carbs. What is wrong? Plus, it doesn’t help that I feel like my jeans and work pants are tighter, especially in my thighs. Any advice?