One-pot meals are my big love – so soothing, warming, easy to prepare, and so little to clean up afterwards! Oh and a great way to use up any leftovers and odd pieces of vegetables sitting for a long time in the fridge, not to forget that!
Here I tossed into one pot: leftover pressure cooked rice with chestnuts (I was using dried chestnuts, so they were first soaked overnight and then cooked with the rice the usual way), leftover cooked black beans, chunks of carrot and parsley root and hokkaido pumpkin. I seasoned the dish with some nutmeg and ground cumin, and probably some extra salt found its way there too…
What an odd dish, I can hear you saying! 😀 Well, it´s one of those wild ideas coming from my very own head and I admit it´s not a meal you would read about anywhere in any cookbook…But it turned out rather well, so I am publishing it here for your kind consideration 😀
I cooked separately about two servings of buckwheat pasta (made by a fabulous Czech buckwheat company) and about two servings of long grain brown rice. After cooling down I mixed them together in a large bowl and added some vegetables – raw chopped celery stalk and leek and raw grated carrot and celery root. I seasoned the funny mixture with some shoyu sauce, smoked paprika powder and dried oregano. I poured it into a casserole dish and topped with a topping which I made by combining grated tempeh (you could use fried tempeh or smoked tempeh, any tempeh that is already flavoured and not plain) with corn starch mixed in some cold water and some nutritional yeast powder (adds extra “cheesiness”). I popped the dish into the oven and baked until crusty and browned.
This risotto is my slightly adapted version of the Brown rice risotto in Christina Pirello´s cookbook Cooking the Whole Foods Way. It´s one of the best brown rice dishes I´ve EVER tasted and that´s quite something! So rich and creamy that nobody will miss the white rice usually associated with Italian risotto.
First soak one and a half cups of brown rice (the recipe calls for medium-grain but I used short-grain) for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse well. In a stainless steel pot with a heavy bottom, heat one teaspoon of olive oil, add rice and stir to coat all the rice with oil. Add a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup of mirin and 3/4 cup of water. Cover pot with a lid and cook on a medium flame until liquid absorbs, stirring at times. As soon as the liquid disappears, stir in minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves) and one small minced onion.
Meanwhile prepare your vegetable stock (5 cups), in case you don´t already have some saved. You can either make a stock from sliced vegetables which you strain after some time of cooking or you can use a vegetable bouillon cube/powder. I used a powder made of various dried and crushed root vegetables. I also mixed in two teaspoons of diluted barley miso, for 5 cups of liquid, and let it simmer for about five minutes. Christina doesn´t use miso in her recipe but I found it being very flavourful.
Once the onion and garlic are mixed through your rice, add half a cup of stock, cover again and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking this way, adding always half a cup of stock at a time. And keep stirring…It will take 45 to 60 minutes depending on various factors, mostly probably on the type of rice you choose (short-grain cooks longest). The rice should get very creamy and tender.
Towards the end, sautee some sliced leek and carrot on a teaspoon of olive oil with a pinch of salt. When your rice is ready, stir them in. I topped the risotto with minced fresh basil leaves.