We have definitely been using asparagus regularly in our kitchen for the past couple weeks. I think my favorite recipe thus far is the curried vegan asparagus soup we featured a short time ago. I like to make it in large batches so that on the days when I am busy running errands and chasing a 3 year old I know I have a healthy and delicious lunch I can reheat in just a few minutes. And, as a bonus, I discovered my 3 year old likes it! It’s still a rare occasion (we’re working on it) in our house when we find healthy meals well received by both kids and grown ups so I’m always excited to find something new that is liked by all.
Another popular asparagus recipe we’ve enjoyed in the past has been our asparagus risotto. However, since we are currently attempting to eat a little healthier, I decided to try out something new and to create a vegan Asparagus Mushroom Quinoa Risotto by replacing the arborio rice with quinoa and eliminating some of the large quantities of cheese and butter used in the other recipe. I love butter and cheese (who doesn’t?), but it’s also great when you can find a way to substitute healthyingredients and still end up with a recipe that tastes great.
I first discovered quinoa years ago when I tried the Moosewood stuffed pepper recipe (YUM!). Before that I had the “What is Quinoa?” reaction that I’m sure a lot of folks have when they first discover it.
Quinoa is an ancient grain that is high in protein and gluten-free. Plus, check out all these health benefits of quinoa. When cooked, the germ of the kernel of quinoa pops out and looks like a little curly que or a “tail.” Don’t worry, it’s not actually a tail! But it’s understandable that you might have questions when you first start using a new ingredient so for anyone new to quinoa — or if you just want to learn a little more about quinoa — here are some great learning resources.
What is Quinoa?
Why should you eat Quinoa?
How to Cook Quinoa
There is a lot of great information in those links above; quinoa is high in protein, a good source of riboflavin, low in calories, it’s gluten free, and more! This is definitely more than enough incentive for cooking this Mushroom Asparagus Quinoa Risotto and with a little luck (or a lot) I will be able to get our kids to eat it. And I like that this is a vegan risotto because I love adding in new vegan recipes into our repertoire for whenever we have visits from our vegan family and friends.
On to our recipe for Vegan Mushroom Quinoa Risotto.
Presto! An Asparagus Quinoa Risotto you can feel great about eating and serving to your kids. Plus, it’s good!
Thanks for stopping by and checking out this vegan asparagus risotto recipe. You might also like: