During this month of health-focused eating (minus that one late night burger and fries — oops!) I’m always looking for ways to merge “healthy food” and “comfort food.” I believe those two shouldn’t be mutually exclusive — we can have it all, damn it.
This quinoa risotto is comfort in a bowl, a big bowl. It’s gluten-free, packed with good for you ingredients and garners high marks on the comfort food chart without the heft of a traditional risotto. Pecorino, mushrooms and quinoa bring an earthy heartiness, while the arugula adds a brightness that makes this a one-pot wonder dish, for sure.
My seven-year-old taught me how to use this app (no joke). It’s a quick and great way to show you just how easy this meal is to prepare.
Quinoa Risotto (Gluten-Free)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces sliced shitake mushrooms, about two cups
2 tablespoons Marsala wine
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup quinoa
4 cloves of garlic, grated
4 cups mushroom stock, or veggie stock
¾ pecorino, finely grated
1 cup chopped packed arugula
In mid-sized (preferably rounded), heavy bottom pot, sauté the shitake mushrooms on medium heat in two tablespoons of olive oil, along with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Sauté for a few minutes and then add two tablespoons of Marsala wine. Don’t fret if the mushroom look dry, they will soon release those natural juices — sauté for a couple more minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the pot, reserving in a bowl. Using the same pot (gotta use those crispy bits from the mushroom sauté) on medium heat, sauté the onion and quinoa with the remaining two tablespoons olive oil. You’ll want the quinoa to get a lil’ toasty. Have your nose be your guide. After about five minutes, with a microplane or fine grater, grate the garlic over the quinoa and onion mixture. Watch those manicured fingers as you get down to the nub of the garlic clove. Stir to incorporate.
Add 4 cups stock and bring to a boil. After you have a good rolling boil, reduce the heat to med heat. Stir occasionally, cooking for about 10-15 minutes total. Taste for doneness, you’ll want to have some broth in the finished dish. The longer you cook the less broth you have. If it seems dry, just add a little more liquid. When it’s done cooking, turn the heat off and stir in the pecorino cheese and the chopped arugula.
To plate, put about two scoops of the risotto in each bowl, garnish with the mushrooms and drizzle with some quality olive oil.
If you’re feeling super cray-cray, fry up a sunny side egg and #putaneggonit.