The Beauty Without Cruelty cookbook ‘Living Without Cruelty’ is one of my best buys since I have converted to veganism – I call it my little book of magic spells for vegan cooking. The book might not be big or thick in size, but it is filled with tried and tested, uncomplicated, homey recipes that you can prepare for your whole family and the recipes are also interspersed with loads of helpful tips, tricks and nutritional information. It serves as a guide for everyday eating and ultimately is the perfect first cookbook for someone who just converted to veganism.
Tonight I tried the risotto, described in the book as the most satisfying dish in the world – I have to agree. I was always a bit weary of making risotto as I have seen the disasters on Masterchef and Hell’s Kitchen, but when you follow this recipe to the T it is fool proof. Tonight I opted to make the mushroom risotto, but sadly discovered that I had neither dried nor fresh mushrooms in the pantry – so I decided on a creamy onion risotto instead. I amended the recipe ever so slightly to make it oniony by added additional onion powder and a little bit more liquid than recommended. I served it to my family with steamed veggies on the side and they absolutely adored it. Give this recipe a go and make sure you get your hands on this book – it is available for purchase on the BWC SA website here.
- 1 ½ litres vegetable stock (I used Ina Paarman vegetable stock powder which works out 12 teaspoons stock to 1 ½ litres water)
- ½ white onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 300 grams raw Risotto (make sure it is Arboria rice – I used Tastic)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ cup nutritional yeasr flakes (I used Health Connection Wholefoods)
- Salt to taste (preferably Himalayan salt)
- In a large pot, bring the vegetable stock to simmer.
- In a large pan, sauté the chopped onions until translucent.
- Add the raw risotto rice to the onion pan and sauté until the rice is well coated.
- Start adding the stock to the risotto – about 150 ml at a time.
- NB stir the mixture only in one direction ( The reason, explained Toni, is so as to not bring out too much of the starch and make the rice stodgy).
- Keep stirring the mixture while adding the hot stock little bit by little bit as the rice absorbs the stock.
- This is a VERY patient procedure, but don’t rush it – you don’t want to drown the rice and the rice is not supposed to boil in a pot of water like normal rice. Just keep adding stock while gently stirring. Mine took about 30 minutes or so.
- When you have added the last spoonful of stock, add the onion powder, nutritional yeast flakes and salt and mix well (still stirring only in one direction).
- When all the liquid is absorbed, taste to see whether your risotto is soft enough. If not, add another spoonful of pure water.