Summer Lentil Risotto (Vegan)

This is a summery salad style dish that works equally well cold as it does warm. While it's not actually risotto, I call it risotto because it mimics the texture and creamy sauciness of real risotto. Just give it a try. You'll see what I mean.

It also happens to be super cheap and very easy to make.

1/3 cup dry lentils
1/3 cup dry pearl barley
1/4 cup dry white wine (cheap is fine $8-12 per bottle)
1 can petite cut diced tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen mustard greens
5 cloves roughly chopped garlic
3 tbl smart balance light with olive oil
2 tsp montreal chicken seasoning
1 tsp cornstarch
1-1 1/2 cups water

I like to begin by cooking my barley. I like to cook it a little longer than I do my lentils. Bring barley and water to a boil and then simmer covered for 3 minutes. Add lentils and 1 tsp montreal seasoning. Continue to simmer until only a little water remains. Add mustard greens and wine. Cook until that has gone. Add tomato. Continue cooking uncovered for 3 more minutes.

Taste. Add more water if needed. Lentils and barley should be tender.

Add garlic, smart balance and remaining tsp of montreal seasoning. Heat 1 minute more. Add cornstarch. Warm 2-3 more minutes. Until the liquid has slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Eat immediately as a hot mock risotto lentil and barley stew/soup. or let chill in the fridge at least four hours for a cooling summer lentil, barley and tomato salad.

The smart balance adds a creamy texture and vitamin b12. the wine creates a depth of flavor that would otherwise be lacking. The cornstarch helps to thicken the tomato/wine/water mixture giving your lentils a viscous sauce to swim in.

Although it's called montreal chicken seasoning it doesn't contain chicken or any other animals. It's just spices and herbs.

You can even eat it as a sandwich. I made a thin layer of mashed potatoes with peas and carrots and then a thicker layer of the lentil barley risotto mix. It was delish.


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