I love cooking. It is meditation, creativity in action, another way to connect with nature, and also a unique and beautiful way to connect with others. But sometimes, I also appreciate having a break! I love having a day from time to time where I don’t have to brew my creative mind to figure out what to make for dinner. And I love sometimes that I don’t have to spend much time in the kitchen to prepare, especially on a busy day. That is why it is so helpful to make some dishes in a larger quantity to use over the following days with some modulations, or freeze and have ready for another time.
Today was one of these days. I made our delicious zucchini soup a couple of days ago which was leftover in the fridge. I also cooked rice yesterday which was leftover and sitting in another container. And there is also the last portion of ratatouille-caponata in the fridge! I feel so lucky when this kind of thing happens. This is indeed a reward of my past days’ cooking. This was also the perfect invitation for me to make the night’s dinner-making process easier and shorter, but of course, still very balanced and nutritional. I have never made a risotto with my zucchini soup before, but since the soup can also become such a nice pasta sauce, it certainly goes well with the rice, too! And my guess was right. It turned out to be a very lovely dinner.
- Zucchini cream risotto with mushroom and kale
- Arugula salad with ratatouille-caponata
Non-authentic way of making risotto, but it works!
When you make Italian risotto, you make it from the raw rice grains, allowing them to absorb the broth into the grains, cooking it gradually, and finishing it while the grains still have a slight al dente texture. So, what I did here is definitely not the authentic way, but since cooked brown rice is solid enough, it doesn’t become like a porridge, even when you cook it a little more with some liquid.
What I did was sauté the mushrooms with some olive oil in a pot, and once ready, I poured the leftover zucchini soup into the pot, like I would make the zucchini soup (click here for the recipe). And once the soup was heated up, I dumped in the cooked rice and let it all merge well and warm up. The risotto is ready! But, I wanted us to eat a little more vegetables, so I decided to cut some kale and add that to the risotto, putting the lid on and letting it steam for a minute or so. Then, turning off the heat, mixing the risotto with the kale, and voila! The steamed kale adds beautiful color, consistency, as well as flavor. It was far more interesting than eating just plain risotto.
Today, I simply sprinkled some vegan parmesan (nutritional yeast + walnuts + salt) and hemp seeds on the top, which brings the flavor of the risotto into a different level. But while we were eating, I thought it would certainly be nice to also add some cashew probiotic sour cream. If you sauté the mushroom with coconut oil instead of olive oil, coconut yoghurt would be wonderful, alternative addition, too. These toppings bring a richer flavor into the risotto and could make an even more satisfying meal as well as more nutritional!