Dinner · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Hot · Recipe · Sides · Uncategorized · Vegan · Vegetarian

Purple Risotto with Mushrooms and Asparagus

This was an improvised dinner, and one that turned out fantastic! We are moving in about 5 weeks, and I’m trying to think of ways to use what we already have in our pantry so we don’t have a ton of food to move.  The solution: grab anything that’s half open and start getting creative!

Also, a very exciting note: my new kitchen is absolutely amazing!  Its big, spacious, has great appliances, and even has an island.  Can’t wait to get in there!  Back to the recipe

I found half open bags of arborio and forbidden rice… and since they were both short grain rices that take a lot of water (and I didn’t have enough arborio for a full pot of risotto), I thought why not combine them! And I’m glad I did because when cooked risotto-style the forbidden rice turns this amazing deep purple color which was neat with the asparagus!

Also, for the past week I’ve been using a “stock bag” in the freezer – which is where I throw my leftover bits of carrots/onions/peels that I don’t use while cooking. So that’s why carrots ended up in the stock pot but not the recipe.


Purple Risotto with Mushrooms and Asparagus
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes


1/2 cup arborio rice and 1 cup forbidden black rice (or 1.5 cups arborio)
1/2 lb asparagus, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 vidalia onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 cup white wine

For the broth/stock pot
6 cups water
1/2 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
asparagus stems
2 bay leaves
2 Rapunzel veggie bullion cubes
carrot stalks/peels
onion skins


Chop the asparagus and mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Set aside in a bowl for now. Add the stems of the asparagus and mushrooms into a medium sauce pan. This will be for the stock.
Dice the onion and garlic finely. Peel one or two layers of the onion off first, and add to the stock pot. Add the bay leaves, carrots, bullion, and white wine to the stock pot and bring to a boil.

Wash and rinse rice thoroughly.  Set aside for now.

In a large sauce pan, sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the rice, and sautee on low for 2-3 minutes. Once done, add the 1/8 cup of white wine to the pan to de-glaze.


Begin by adding 1/2 ladle fulls of the stock to the rice, gently stirring every minute. When rice absorbs the liquid, add another ladleful. Repeat about 20 minutes, until the rice begins to plump. Add the asparagus and mushroom pieces, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until the rice is perfectly cooked.

I ended up having about 2 cups of leftover stock after cooking, but that’s always a great thing to have leftover!  And, as the #1 rule when cooking with white wine: a little for the recipe, a little for the chef 🙂


Dinner · Gluten Free · Hot · Recipe · Vegan · Vegetarian

Kale & Toasted Walnut Pesto: Part II


Thankfully I had a ton of leftover pesto from yesterday, so I put it to good use!  I tried it with Rotini pasta, and threw in a bunch of additional veggies.  The same pesto recipe is below, but with some major pasta additions.

I added asparagus, canned diced tomatoes, and zucchini in addition to the kale, peas, and mushrooms from the previous day.  It ended up being about half pasta, and half veggies… but it was absolutely amazing!

image1 (1)


For the Pasta

1/2 Box Whole Wheat Rotini (Gluten free Rotini would also be amazing!)

1 cup Kale

2 cup mushrooms

1 14 oz can of petite diced organic tomatoes

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 bunch asparagus (about 1.5 cups) diced

1/2 zucchini (3/4 cup) diced

For the Pesto

2 cups kale

1 cup fresh basil

1/2 cup walnuts

5 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup parsley

1/2 olive oil

1/4 cup water

To Make The Pasta

In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.  Add pasta, salt water slightly, and cook.

In another large saucepan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and sauté the mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, and frozen peas about 15 minutes until they are nice and soft.  Hit it with some salt and pepper.  Once cooked, fold in the tomatoes (juice and all!) and add 1 cup kale until its wilted (about 5 minutes) and all veggies are soft.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

To Make The Sauce

In the food processor combine 2 cups kale, fresh basil, fresh parsley, garlic, and toasted walnuts from above.  Pulse on high, and stream in the olive oil while the pesto is mixing.  Do a little taste test, and if the pesto needs a smoother consistency, then pulse again and slowly add in the water.  I added about 1/4 cup.

Aaaaand voila! 

When pasta is done cooking, strain and add it to the saucepan with the sauteeing veggies.  Then fold in 1 cup of pesto and mix!

This makes about 4 servings – so dinner last night, and lunch for the rest of the week!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset