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Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto. Saffron Mushroom Gravy.


My recipe for Almond Coconut Quinoa Risotto with a thick spicy-sweet Saffron Mushroom Gravy will turn your weekday dinnertime into a gourmet culinary adventure. Polish up the silverware for this fine vegan feast...

Romantic Comfort Food. This recipe is cozy comfort food with a classy romantic spin. Almonds, coconut milk, scallions, a hint of garlic, cayenne, maple, plentiful mushrooms and blooming saffron accent this swoon-worthy quinoa risotto entree dish. Nutritional yeast adds a boost of nutrients as well as a nutty bold flavor. Gourmet, hearty, vegan and healthy. If you are dying to experiment more with protein-rich quinoa - here's your chance. Get my recipe...

Saffron Mushroom Gravy:




Quinoa. I love "Keen-wa" - it is healthy, delicious and incredibly versatile. Check out my quinoa 101 for quinoa nutrition facts. Tired of rice? Try quinoa in almost any rice-centered recipe. You can even make quinoa bowls in place of your morning oatmeal. Add berries, maple and almond milk. But my favorite is quinoa risotto.

Rinsed Quinoa:


Fluffy Quinoa. There are entire message boards on Chow.com devoted to "How do I Make my Quinoa Fluffy?" Simple answer: Keep it simple and use less liquid than you think. The 1 cup quinoa : 2 cups water should really be about only 1 1/2 cups water - if you want fluffy quinoa. Also, rinsing your quinoa in cold water can fight sog and help fluffiness.

...But for THIS recipe we don't want a fluffy quinoa - but a creamy, hearty quinoa - that resembles a risotto.

Mushrooms:


Ingredient accents - scallions, almonds, coconut milk:


Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto
with Spicy Saffron Mushroom Coconut Gravy

vegan, makes 8-9 cups (lots of leftovers - half recipe to serve just a few)

Risotto:
4 ounces coconut milk
8 ounces almonds, sliced
2 cups scallions, sliced (1 bunch)
16 ounces quinoa, dry (about 2 1/2 cups) - rinsed
5 1/2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp herbed sea salt

Gravy:
8 ounces coconut milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, pinch salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms
a spoonful of cooked quinoa risotto
1/2 tsp saffron (optional)
add a splash of water if you'd like a thinner gravy

Directions:

1. Pour your quinoa into a large bowl - rinse well with cold water. Drain water carefully. Repeat if desired.

2. Using a large pot - bring your water and a pinch of salt to a strong boil. Add the rinsed quinoa. Cover with a small vent and allow to boil for 10-12 minutes on med-high heat.

Boiling Quinoa in water for 10-12 minutes:


3. While the quinoa is boiling, chop your scallions and mushrooms, and set aside you coconut milk, almonds - and other ingredients.

Chopped Scallions:


4. When the ten minutes is up, remove the lid completely from the large quinoa pot. Not all the liquid will be absorbed. Add in: all your almond, scallions and a splash of coconut milk. Also grind in some fresh pepper.

Adding the almonds and scallions after 10 minutes:


5. Stir with a wooden spoon and turn the heat down a bit. The ingredients will begin to absorb more of the liquid and a thick risotto will begin to form.

6. Next add in the nutritional yeast, maple syrup (just a splash), garlic powder and risotto mushrooms. Continue folding the quinoa until a moist thick consistency forms. Like a very thick oatmeal. Turn heat off and begin spooning the quinoa out of the pot and into a serving/storage bowl. You can also begin plating your quinoa.

7. In the same pot, you will make the gravy. It's OK if some of the quinoa ( a few spoonfuls) remains in the pot. This will help to thicken your gravy.

8. For gravy: add all the gravy ingredients and stir on medium until sauce thickens. Allow saffron to bloom. Remove from heat and spoon gravy over top plated quinoa - or transfer to a gravy serving bowl.

Coconut Mushroom Saffron Gravy:


9. Plate your risotto..

Plate quinoa first:


10. Then add the gravy. Garnish with fresh pepper and plenty of mushrooms from the gravy. Serve warm - or store in fridge.



Gravy-dressed Quinoa Risotto:




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