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.
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.
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)
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
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
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.
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: