Mushroom Risotto and Lime Cupcakes



One of the problems with being vegan for a month is that my friends don’t realize I am vegan and are not prepared when coming over for dinner. When a few of my friends from college said they were going to be in town I was excited to have them over in my new apartment. Afterwards I remembered that it might be hard to make a dinner that everyone would enjoy with vegan ingredients. I imagined serving them hummus, carrots, and maybe some vegan chili. Not very exciting. Not to mention one of our friends is a chef. I wanted to make something more gourmet. I came upon a mushroom risotto recipe (one of our favorite dishes anyway) that could be made using vegan ingredients. I left out the parmesan that I usually add and just grated parmesan for my friends to put on their dishes. It turned out great and it wasn’t a traditional vegan meal.

I knew just what to do for dessert. I have long been into vegan baking. Last year for Christmas, my mom got me Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I have tried out several of the recipes thus far and all of them have been amazing. Last year, Rich and I were having some friends over for dinner and we decided to have a bake off. He made the Vegan Coconut Lime Cupcakes and I made the Vegan Oreo Cookie Cupcakes. We didn’t tell our friends who made which cupcake and they had to vote on their favorite. They were both delicious, but he won the contest. Naturally I decided to make these winning cupcakes again. Now that we had the recipe down, I was able to focus more on the presentation. I got some winter snowflake cupcake papers and put a piece of lime wedge in each cupcake.

Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients
6 cups mushroom broth, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp italian herbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Method
In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions. Cook about 5 minutes until soft and slightly brown.
In a separate sauce pan put the mushrooms on medium-high heat and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
Add rice to the first sauce pan, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid and chives. Season with pepper to taste.

Everything came out great. The only problem…..our chef friend hates mushrooms! Next time maybe I will do an asparagus risotto for them. 🙂

Vegan Lime Cupcakes
I cannot add this recipe since it is directly from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (I didn’t really change it) but I highly recommend the book!