Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Not Easy Being Non-Cheese-y.....Vegan Mushroom & Spinach Risotto

Well, I guess vegans can be cheese-y, because that headline certainly was.  But, there are ways to mimic that creamy, buttery and cheese-y goodness in risotto.   It is just as good and a hell of a lot better for your body!  It's called coconut milk and nutritional yeast.  Seriously my husband and I sprinkle that yeast on almost anything.  Heck, we even just eat it on its own.  It is or at least should be a staple in every vegan's "plantry".  So there you have it...the secret to living without cheese.

Vegan Mushroom & Spinach Risotto

A typical risotto uses arborio rice.  Instead of running to the store, I chose brown rice.  Both of these rices are gluten free!  Though, if you are not on a gluten free diet, you can even go with farro or barley.  Those could be funky little changes.

1 c brown rice
2 c water
1/2 c veg broth
1/2 c non fat coconut milk
1/2 c nutritional yeast (or use freely)
1 c chopped mushrooms (whichever kind you have handy)
1 small yellow onion diced
2 garlic cloves diced
handful of spinach
s + p

In a pot add your water and brown rice, bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  While the rice is simmering, add a dash of evoo to a med-hot pan and add in the mushrooms, diced onions, garlic and s+ p.  Sautee until the onions are golden brown.  Add in the coconut milk, veggie broth and nutritional yeast.  Bring to boil, then lower the heat.  Throw in the brown rice once it is done cooking.  Stir to coat all the rice.  Add more broth or coconut milk if need be.  And, add more nutritional yeast if you want to!  Add in the spinach and let wilt.  Serve in your favorite sexy dish!  I will bet if you fed this to a non-vegan they would have no idea it is dairy free!!


  1. is there an alternative to the coconut milk? I'm allergic to coconut.

    1. Absolutely! You can try almond milk or soy milk (if you are not gluten-free). Just make sure you are getting the unflavored kind for these recipes.

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  3. Hi Sarah! This sounds deee-lish and I can't wait to try and make. Just not sure what evoo is?

    1. Hi Kevin! Glad you enjoy and let me know how it turns out! EVOO stands for extra virgin olive oil. It gets a bit tiring writing the whole thing out all the time.

  4. This sounds amazing! I'm a big fan of brown rice, spinach, and mushrooms. Haven't worked with nutrional yeast yet, but VERY interested. Where do you get your's? WF?

    1. Leah- congrats on the recent arrival of your beautiful daughter! Can't wait to meet her! So, you can find nutritional yeast at Whole Foods in the bulk foods aisle. Most vegans use it to replace cheese/parmesan. We use it on, popcorn, pasta, etc. Kind of has a cheese/nutty flavor to it.