Meat-Free Mondays: Creamy Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

Quinoa is an easily digestible grain which contains more protein than any other grain – almost twice as much as rice. It makes a delicious addition to this mushroom risotto recipe.

Serves 4


300ml boiling water

15g mixed dried mushrooms

900ml vegetable stock

2 tbsp olive oil

200g white closed cup mushrooms,sliced

200g brown closed cup mushrooms,sliced

1 onion,chopped

2 cloves garlic,crushed

175g quinoa

175g arborio rice

100ml dry white wine

25g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp snipped fresh basil leaves or rosemary leaves


1. Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl,cover with the boiling water and leave to soak for 10mins,drain,reserving the liquid and chop the mushrooms. Place the chicken stock in a large pan,add the dried mushroom liquid and slowly bring to the boil,leave on a gentle simmer.

2. Heat half the oil in a large pan,add the mushrooms and sautÈ over a high heat for 2-3mins until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3. Add the remaining oil to the pan,add the onion and sautÈ for 2-3mins. Add the chopped dried mushrooms,garlic,quinoa and rice and stir for 30 seconds. Add the wine and gently simmer,stirring until the liquid has evapourated.

4. Add a ladleful of the hot stock to the rice mixture and cook,stirring until the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until the rice is tender and the stock has all been used about 15-20mins. Stir in the reserved mushrooms, Parmesan and basil or rosemary and remove from the heat. Serve.

What’s your favourite quinoa recipe?

June 17, 2013

Meat-Free Mondays: Mushroom Recipes With Chilli Sambal

These tasty dumplings are filled with mushrooms and aromatics and can be steamed – or turn them into potstickers by pan-frying the bottom. The delicious homemade chilli sambal keeps for weeks in the fridge.


1 packet of round dumpling wrappers

20g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 tbsp peanut or rapeseed oil

170g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped

80g Napa cabbage, finely chopped

Light soy sauce, 1-2 tsp to taste

1½ tsp rice wine or dry sherry

¼ tsp sea salt

Pinch of white pepper and sugar

1½ tsp sesame oil

For the chilli sambal

2-5 large red chillies (tops removed)

1 bulb of garlic (peeled cloves)

Salt and sugar to taste


1. For the dumpling filling, gently fry the ginger and shallot in a little oil until translucent.

2. Add the finely chopped mushrooms and cabbage to the shallots and ginger. Cook on a medium high heat for a few minutes, before adding soy, rice wine, salt, white pepper, sugar and sesame seed oil. Sauté for a further minute or two, mixing well. Taste to check seasoning and set aside.

3. To make the chilli sambal, fry the garlic cloves and chilli together in deep hot oil until nicely browned. Drain and cool the mixture on kitchen paper before blitzing with a hand blender until smooth. Add sugar and salt to taste. The sambal should taste spicy, slightly sweet and salty.

4. Dust the work surface with a little flour. Lay out several dumpling wrappers, put a teaspoon of the stuffing mixture into the centre, fold in half and seal the edges with a series of pinches (like a little cornish pasty). Repeat to make about 15-20 dumplings.

5. To cook the dumplings, heat the peanut oil in a frying pan, add half the dumplings and fry the bottom side for 2 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of water to the pan and immediately cover with the lid. Steam for 4-5 minutes before removing the lid and continue to fry for a further minute, then remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper (cover with foil to keep warm). Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

6. To serve, place the dumplings on a plate with the bottom side up and serve with a small bowl or spoonful of sambal, and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves.

Wontons? Gyoza? Pierogi? What are your favourite dumplings?

April 29, 2013