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…

Simplified Arugula Pesto and Creamy Hummus Sauce with Celery and Bean Salad

I'm a big fan of using silken tofu and the food processor to create rich sauces and purees. It's a pretty easy way to really take plant based food to the next level and make it restaurant quality. 

Arugula is great for pestos and purees. It's much less expensive than a big bunch of fresh basil. It also has a mild bite that works beautifully in sauces and condiments. 

I've done more complicated versions before, but this time I've really simplified it to accentuate the central flavors. 

I also hit upon a super simple and really delicious way to thicken vegan sauces. Hummus. 

Best of all, during the heat of summer, none of these recipes require the stovetop or the oven. 

Simplified Arugula Pesto
One 5 ounce container fresh arugula
5 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno
1/2 package silken firm tofu
2 tbls olive oil
2 tbls nutritional yeast
1 tbl salt
2 tsps black pepper

Puree in food processor and enjoy. 

It's paired with an easy to assemble celery salad. 

1/2 bunch diced celery
2 shallots diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 poblano diced
1 jalapeno minced
1 can garbanzos rinsed
1 can kidney beans rinsed
1 tbl dry italian seasoning
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl hot sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbls roasted garlic hummus

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to evenly incorporate. 

The second best part is there's no cooking required. The best part is the taste. It really is as good as I've made it look.