Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Mushroom and Kale Grain combo.

This vegan recipe is very similar to risotto, but uses Soya milk instead of cows milk, cream or cheese. The key in bringing out the flavours is in the limited selection of ingredients and this needs very little seasoning other than salt and black pepper - so no onion, lemon or vinegar (soy milk tends to have a sharpness that doesn't need these additions). You can use rice, barley or almost any grain cooked to instruction, but for this quick version I've used bulgar wheat, which is generally lower in calories and relatively inexpensive too. You could also serve this as a side dish

Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch

150g of Bulgar Wheat
200g of woodland or chestnut mushrooms, whole or halved.
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed/chopped
300ml unsweetened soya milk
Half a courgette (medium) grated.
Aubergine pesto, two heaped tablespoons (if buying store bought pest, check that it is egg free)

Two large handfuls of kale, chopped
Toasted Sesame Seed or Ground Nut Oil
A sprinkling of mixed sesame and linseed to finish each plate.

In a large pan heat up your oil on moderate heat, add your mushrooms and garlic and stir gently until the mushrooms are soft and browning. At this point you may want to add a little more oil as most of it will have been soaked up.

Rinse your bulgar wheat in a sieve until the water runs clear then add it or partially cooked rice/grain to the pan and stir rapidly for a few minutes, making sure it is fully coated with oil and not sticking to the pan. Add your pesto, courgette and milk, gradually. At this point it will probably look a little greyish, but don't worry, it'll brighten up as the excess oil is combined.

Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, but continue to stir and add the Kale, making sure first that any tough stalks have been trimmed. Keep stirring until the kale is well mixed, shrunken and the mixture is soft and lighter, porridge-like colour. If it seems dry, you can add a little more water or soy milk. Cooking time will vary depending on grain used, but in this case it takes around 7-10 minutes.

Serve in bowls, drizzled with a little oil and sprinkled with the sesame and linseed. Season to taste.

Image: Graham Maddrell / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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