Bread Protein Balls Recipe

I love a good bread. It's absolutely one of my favorite things. Bread can deliver amazing flavor when done correctly. It can also provide exciting texture and plenty of protein.

The more you knead bread, the more gluten you create. Those already familiar with seitan know that wheat gluten is total protein.

When you add nutritional yeast, flax or other nuts/seeds,  now you have a bread that is also a complete protein.

In the interest of doing things a little differently, I decided to do little bread balls because I figured they would offer a unique textural experience to other forms of bread. I also figured they'd make a nice little snack size bite. They're easier to shape than a flat bread, can bake in the oven, and take much less time to cook than rolls or loaves. They're great for dipping into hummus too.

As you can see, they're very cute as well.

Bread Balls Dough Recipe
2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
3 tbls nutritional yeast
2 tbls ground flax seed

Vegan Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Classic mushroom risotto, but vegan. I stuck with mostly traditional Italian ingredients.

I was really focused on making sure this had the same depth of flavor that is found in typical risotto made with chicken stock and Parmesan cheese.

This particular recipe is unique in that it doesn't use vegetable stock. I've always found that creates a very salty end product. Instead I used a some liquid from a can of garbanzos for salinity and depth. Fresh vegetables, tomatoes and flat leaf parsley round out the profile.

I don't, however, believe risotto needs to be fussy. It needn't be constantly stirred or tended. Just make sure to stir it often to release those starches.

The original concept was without tomatoes, but upon tasting the partially cooked dish, it was obvious that some acid was required. The tomatoes also add a pop of texture.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto Recipe

1 cup arborio rice
1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can garbanzo bean liquid
1/2 cup white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
water as needed

3 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps thyme
2 tsps nutritional yeast
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, stems discarded

Cook the mushrooms and onions in 2 tbsls of the olive oil and 1 tsps of the salt. When mushrooms are softened add 1/3 of the wine. Allow to cook down until mostly dried up. Add rice, 1 tbl oil. Toast the rice for several minutes. Stirring often. Deglaze with another third of the wine. Also add the garlic, garbanzo can liquid. Simmer until mostly dry.

Add 1 cup water, remaining salt, thyme, pepper flakes, black pepper. Simmer again until mostly absorbed.

Add remaining wine, oil., another cup of water, tomatoes, yeast, parsley.. Stir thoroughly. Simmer until liquid has become a thin sauce. Taste to test doneness on rice. It should be tender by now. Add more water if needed and simmer longer if required to finish rice.

Allow risotto to rest a few minutes to thicken the sauce.