Never thought I'd be writing about bacon again. It's never been a problem for us to leave off meat, even at the beginning of Plant-Based cooking.
With this recipe, we were trying to recreate an old favourite meal that we used to make years ago, early into our marriage. We loved Risotto with peas. The mushroom bacon came as an idea to add a crisp, salty, texture on top. We had some portobello mushrooms handy.
I can make Risotto in my sleep. No need for a recipe for the basics. The proportions, cooking method and flavours have long been perfected to our on individual taste. Restaurant Risotto has always fallen short for us as we love our version, cooked at home.
As we cook oil-free, it was a bit of a challenge and even with no cream or cheese, the result was delicious.
I wanted to make a meal that our youngest teen would enjoy. A basic white-eater (no greens, white bread, white pasta) he is not fully plant-based. We don't force it on our family although there is no meat cooked in the home. Life is really about making your own choices.
Plant Based Nutrition is an individual choice, a lesson in consuming what "feels" good to you, recognizing as energizing, healthful nutrition. It's about not doing what you're told automatically but thinking about what you really want, who you are, and making choices which best reflect.
Almost every commercial on television tells people what to eat, how it tastes, how healthy etc. It's time to decide on our own, FEEL ON OUR OWN and turn away from being told. Imagine if we did that all the time?
Teenagers tend to rebel against what you force. Many plant-based families struggle with division and we are no exception.
I do feel that our boys are well on their way to making their own choices in the future which supports plant-based nutrition. They are already making choices leading that way and enjoying our meals. They are noticing the difference.
Everybody loved this meal, which I would deem special occasion, as the risotto, although from arborio rice (a grain) is not a whole grain (not suitable for weight loss or as supportive of health).
This would make a nice main course for a holiday meal.
The mushroom bacon added a nice crisp, sweet and salty touch to the risotto. I would make it again as a special surprise addition to our Tomato sandwiches with avocado mayo that we pack for golf or as an addition to our plant-based caesar salad (chopped into bits).
1 1/2 CUPS ARBORIO RICE
6 CUPS VEGETABLE STOCK OR WATER. (1/2 CUP WHITE WINE OPTIONAL)
1 MEDIUM YELLOW ONION (PEELED AND ROUGHLY CHOPPED)
2 CLOVES GARLIC (PEELED AND SMASHED)
PINCH RED CHILLI PEPPERS
1/2 CUP NUTRITIONAL YEAST
1/2 CUP TOFUTTI (OPTIONAL FOR CREAMY TEXTURE)
FRESHLY CRACKED PEPPER
1) PLACE 1 CUP (OF THE 5 1/2 CUPS TOTAL) LIQUID IN BLENDER
2) PLACE REMAINING LIQUID IN SAUCEPAN ON STOVE AND HEAT TO MEDIUM. DO NOT BOIL.
(NOTE: KEEP THE LIQUID YOU WILL BE ADDING AT A HOT SIMMER.)
3) ADD TO BLENDER THE ONION AND GARLIC. PULSE UNTIL BLENDED INTO A MINCE, DO NOT OVERLAND
(NOTE: THE BEST WAY TO PEEL GARLIC IS TO TURN WIDE KNIFE ON SIDE AND PRESS HARD UNTIL THE GARLIC IS SMASHED AND SLIPS OUT OF SKIN)
4) IN A LARGE SKILLET, ADD THE LIQUID MIXTURE AND HEAT TO MEDIUM HIGH. SAUTE UNTIL ONIONS AND GARLIC ARE TRANSLUCENT. ABOUT 3 MINUTES. ADD THE CHILLI AND SOME FRESH CRACKED PEPPER.
5) ADD THE ARBORIO RICE AND STIR OFTEN WITH A LARGE WOODEN SPOON OR SPATULA. DO NOT LET RICE STICK TO BOTTOM. WE ARE LOOKING TO TOAST IT UP A BIT TO ADD FLAVOR.
6) ONCE LIQUID HAS BEEN ABSORBED AND RICE TOASTED. USE A 1/2 CUP MEASURE OF LIQUID TO THE PAN. STIR FREQUENTLY UNTIL LIQUID HAS ABSORBED. WE'RE TRYING TO "PLUMP" THE RICE GRADUALLY. IT'S A PROCESS BUT WORTH IT!
ADD AND STIR FREQUENTLY. ADD AND STIR FREQUENTLY.
(NOTE: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD A BIT OF WINE WHICH IS TRADITIONAL, REPLACE 1/2 CUP LIQUID WITH 1/2 CUP WHITE WINE AS THE FIRST LIQUID ADDED)
7) AS YOU APPROACH THE LAST BIT OF LIQUID, YOU MAY STIR IN THE NUTRITIONAL YEAST AND A BIT OF TOFUTTI/VEGAN CREAM CHEESE (IF DESIRED).
**THE TEXTURE SHOULD BE CREAMY. THE RICE SHOULD BE "AL DENTE" BUT NOT CRUNCHY. ADD A BIT MORE LIQUID IF NEEDED.
SERVE WITH HEAPS OF STEAMED SWEET PEAS AND ADD SPRINKLE VEGAN PARMESAN & MUSHROOM BACON ON TOP.