Vegan Recipe: Wild Mushroom and Artichoke Risotto

Fancy dried mushrooms combine with baby bellas and marinated artichokes to produce an earthy and tangy risotto more than capable of standing up to any traditional version. 

1 pint baby bella mushrooms, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/3 cup fancy dried mushrooms, diced (such as chanterelles and morels)
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup arborio rice
2 shallots, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 tbls salt
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps dry thymeI got a large bag of 'chef's blend' fancy dried mushrooms on amazon. It's great for adding umami depth to broths and sauces. 

A mushroom risotto is awesome with just humble mushrooms, but add some more exotic ones as well, and you've really got something. 

Normally I'll use tomato for acid in a risotto, but this time I went with artichokes. I love artichokes. They offer a unique flavor and texture that creates an entirely different risotto experience. I know there is a certa…

Green Pepper Tofu Puree Vegan Recipe

Longing for something a little different I decided to try using a green bell pepper in a tofu puree.

I've already espoused the merits of using tofu when composing vegan purees. It's just such a natural substitute for dairy in this case. It creates a smooth and creamy texture. It's also a great source of complete vegan protein. 

Puree Ingredients
1 large green bell pepper
1 jalapeno
1 serrano
1 green habanero
1 garlic clove
2 tbls olive oil
1/2 package silken firm tofu
2 1/2 tsps salt
2 tsps celery seed
2 tsps oregano
1 tsp cayenne powder

I didn't want to turn on the oven for a single bell pepper, so I used the microwave. You can microwave a potato, so why not a pepper?

I cooked it that way for 5 minutes and it smelled like cooked green pepper, but it was still pretty firm. It was probably cooking from the inside out; internally steaming itself. So I forged ahead and set it aside. .

I also microwaved all the smaller chile peppers and garlic clove together in a bowl for a minute.

In an effort to make them taste as if they had not been microwaved, I used one of the burners on my gas stovetop to char the everything.

Put each pepper directly over the flame and use tongs to turn to char evenly. Char the garlic a little bit too. If you don't have a gas stove you could use your broiler or a chef's blow torch.

Cut each little pepper open. Remove the seeds and cut into a few small chunks. Cut garlic clove in half.

Add 1/2 tbl oil to a frying pan and cook the pepper pieces and garlic for a minute or two on each side. Then add to your food processor.

Cut into bell pepper carefully. Drain the liquid inside into the food processor. That's flavor we don't want to waste.

Deseed and cut into chunks. Fry off for 2-3 minutes per side in the same pan. Add to food processor.

Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.

Chill in fridge for at least 4 hours.