Porcini Risotto

This is an amazing risotto that I’ve served to Italian friends (who love their butter, but also love this risotto). The miso does wonders in adding flavour and nuance that makes the missing butter and cheese a-ok because of the new tasty flavour profiles present. Enjoy (I’m sure you will).

1 oz (~1/4c) dried porcini mushrooms,
~1/2 c warm water,
olive oil
3-4 shallots chopped
2-3 c mixed mushrooms, chopped (oyster, shiitake, crimini, portobello, button)
1 c arborio rice
~4 c veg stock
~1/2 c mushroom soaking water (you will make this)
1/4 c white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp genmai miso
minced parsley as garnish

  1. Remove dirt from the dried porcini and soak the mushrooms in a large bowl with warm water for ~30 min while you prep other ingredients.
  2. Set pot on stove with vegetable stock, bring it to a simmer.
  3. Chop shallots and set aside. Clean and chop mixed mushrooms, set aside.
  4. Drain the porcini mushrooms and reserve the soaking liquid. Chop porcini mushrooms coarsely. Set aside as well.
  5. Heat oil in a big pan over medium heat and add chopped shallot, stir to translucent. Add porcinis and chopped mushrooms, continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  6. Heat up to med-high and add the rice into the pan. Toast the rice, it should become fragrant and coated in oil. Don’t burn the rice, this only takes 2 minutes, the rice becomes glossy once it is toasted.
  7. Add the mushroom liquid and allow it to be absorbed (stir).
  8. Add the white wine. Stir frequently until the wine has been absorbed. Do not cover the pan.
  9. Turn the heat down to medium. Add a ladle of stock, stir and let the rice absorb all the liquid before you add the next ladle.
  10. Continue adding a ladle of stock, stirring well for about 15-20 minutes. Do not add too much liquid at once, and keep in mind it should simmer and not boil.
  11. When risotto is al dente, take the pan off the heat. Then stir in miso (best to combine the miso with a small portion of risotto until thoroughly mixed and then mix that into the larger pot or mix the miso into the last ladle of stock before adding it).
  12. Serve with parsley.

Roasted Tofu and Mushrooms

6 tablespoons soy sauce (preservative free like kikkoman naturally brewed)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon miso (we use genmai – sonray brand, or barley – traditional brand)
red pepper flakes
1 green onion, minced (not mandatory but nice if you have them)
grated or minced gingerroot (~1 inch of ginger)
3-4 cloves garlic (smashed with knife or pricked to release flavour)
3-6 shallots, roughly chopped (chopped onion can be substituted)
1 pkg mixed mushrooms (crimini, shiitake, oyster, chanterelle) (~2c chopped), wiped clean and stems removed, chopped roughly
1 pkg firm pressed tofu, cubed
Cooked (long grain) brown or red rice

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, oil, red pepper flakes, ginger, miso and green onions (add a touch of hot ~1/8-1/4c water to assist with the miso). Stir tofu in marinade and let sit while you chop the shallots and skin the garlic. Spread tofu in pan (reserving marinade). Place the mushrooms in marinade; toss to combine.

3. Add shallots and garlic evenly amongst tofu. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, flipping tofu once halfway through. Add the mushrooms to the pan (you want a fairly large pan so they aren’t too thick) and transfer to the oven. Continue roasting the tofu and the mushrooms until the tofu is nearly dry and well browned and the mushrooms are tender and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with hot rice and salad greens (un-dressed) on the side. Spring mix, herb mix, baby romaine are all ok, avoid salad green mixes with spinach.

Tofu and Peas in Curried Coconut Milk

This is a Mark Bittman recipe. I just bought his cookbook How to make Everything Vegetarian and this is the first recipe I made from it. I’ve been really enjoying it. I’ve actually been adding steamed broccoli to the bowl when I eat it for dinner and it is a very good addition.

1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
One 28 or 35 ounce jar of pureed tomato or diced tomatoes (or sauce)
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp curry powder or garam masala
1 pkg firm tofu drained and cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 can coconut milk
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

1. Combine the onions and tomatoes in a food processor and puree; depending on the size of your machine, you may have to do this in 2 batches. (I don’t have a processor in Vancouver so I just finely chopped one onion and used tomato sauce).

2. Put the oil in a deep skillet or broad saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the rice and stir until toasted and fragrant, then add the onion-tomato mixture, tofu, along with some salt and pepper and the spice mixture. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to just about to a boil, stirring occasionally. Put a lid on and simmer for about 20 minutes until the rice is almost ready.

3. Add the peas and cook for about 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with cilantro.

Curried Lentils in Coconut Milk

1 cup dried brown lentils, washed and picked over
2 can coconut milk
4 tablespoons olive vegetable
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon curry powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
Brown rice or quinoa to serve with lentils (or even multigrain toast, just some kind of grain)


1. In a medium saucepan, combine lentils and coconut milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat down to medium-low so that mixture bubbles gently, cover partly and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add liquid if necessary to keep them a little soupy.

2. Put oil in a skillet over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add onions and lemon zest and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook and stir for another minute or so. Add a large pinch of salt, some pepper and the cilantro leaves. Cook mixture for just another 30 seconds or so, then turn off heat.

3. When lentils are cooked to desired tenderness, stir onion mixture into the lentils. It should be moist, add more water if you prefer it be more soupy and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve over brown rice or quinoa.