Today was a good and productive Monday, I did a an ton of chores. My least favorite chore is dusting, washing dishes comes as a very close second. Which kinda sucks since I love to cook, therefore, I’m always doing dishes. Bah.
Today’s chores included laundry (lots and lots of laundry), dishes, dusting, vacuuming, taking the trash/recycle to the compactor/recycle bins, taking down my outdoor holiday lights, and making bread dough. I kept telling myself that my reward would be an hour of yoga. After about 4 hours of chores, I was able to calm down enough to enjoy some yoga. Hey, I told you I was productive, maybe it was that green smoothie I had for breakfast. 😉
I have the last load of laundry I’m willing to do today in the dryer. Then, I’m done, anything else can wait ’til tomorrow! Actually, then I have to make the bed with said clean laundry, but then, then I’m done. 😛 Well, no, I still need to bake the bread that is currently rising, and I had considered making soup… Ok, so maybe I’m not finished but I’m slowing down and I’m taking a break by writing this post and having a nice hot cup of green tea…
I hadn’t planned on going for a run today so, of course, the weather was warmer (windchill 36°F) and because Murphy is a bastard. The forecast says that we are going to have flurries tonight… Oh well, it wouldn’t be called Murphy’s Law if it was a good event… no big deal though, because I got in a very productive day of chores and had a fantastic session of yoga. Today’s yoga was all about grounding and balancing, exactly what I needed.
Anyway, the green smoothie I made today has a kind of funny story. I had four small tangerines that I wanted to use up, so I was going to make something called a green julius (p.69). I peeled the tangerines and put them in the vitamix, not sure if I would have to strain it, I ran the blender with just the tangerine pieces to see what I’d get. Ummm… it’s a vitamix, it was a frothy juice, perfect. So then I added about 1/2 cup of coconut water, a handful of spinach, and a handful of frozen mango… it was still a bit ‘green’ (read: spinach-y), so I added a splash of maple syrup… nope, still ‘green’… oh, how about a frozen banana? Yes, perfect. Hey, wait a minute! I just made the laughing gorilla again! Haha! It was slightly different, given that tangerines have a different flavor than oranges, but it was similar and still very good.
I’ve been meaning to write a post about the Mushroom Risotto I made for my anniversary. It turned out really well and made a ton of leftovers, I think it made something like 8 servings. I’ve made this recipe a ton of times before, both in my pre-vegan days and since becoming a vegan. I’ll give you my veganized version here. If you are new to making risotto, I suggest using a clear broth the first time, the broth I used on my anniversary was a bit creamer than I would normally use and it took a bit longer to cook and perhaps a bit more finesse. Don’t let that scare you away though, with patience, this makes a lovely dish. There are some things in life that should not be rushed. 😉
For my anniversary, I made a few changes to my usual version of this risotto. I did not have dried mushrooms, but I did have Imagine creamy portobello mushroom soup, so I opted to use that to add to the mushroom flavor. But because of perhaps the potatoes in the soup it took a bit longer to cook (the theory being that the potatoes were difficult for the rice to absorb).
Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas
slightly adapted (& veganized) from Giada De Laurentiis
- 8 2/3 cups vegetable broth (*I use better than bouillon vegetable base and water) [*I mixed the creamy mushroom soup with veg broth]
- 1/2-ounce dried porcini mushrooms [*I didn’t have, so I used the creamy mushroom soup]
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp. earth balance soy garden (or margarine)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups finely chopped onions
- 10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
- 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
- Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add bay leaf and dried thyme to the broth. Keep the broth warm over very low heat. [Alternatively, mix portobello soup with vegetable broth, then add bay leaf and dried thyme.]
- Melt the margarine in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms and garlic.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. [Omit this step if you are not using dried mushrooms.]
- Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes.
- Add about 2/3 cups of broth; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
- Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Taste the rice for done-ness.
- Stir in the peas. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
On the night of our anniversary, I served the risotto with red beans and a salad…
For leftovers one night, I served the risotto with glazed carrots, red beans, and biscuits…