Have you ever sunk your teeth into a good bowl of risotto? How about fat-free risotto?? Yep, that's correct. There is absolutely no fat in this risotto. The only fat would be any garnished nuts, if you choose to add them. Bet you've never had a bowl of risotto that is fat-free before, considering it typically has lots of cheese, oil or butter.
I've been sitting on this post for awhile. In fact, I have so many already written recipes ready to share with you guys....I'm just catching up with all of them after being so busy this past few months.
Last year my husband took my daughter and I to a beautiful resort in Austin, TX for Mothers Day. It was our second visit. The first visit was when I was pregnant in 2011....imagine being big, pregnant and waddling around in hot Texas weather. It was beautiful, but the trip wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped in my condition. The spa is what made the weekend worthwhile. Anyways, this past time was much more special to be bringing our little one and not being pregnant. If you're ever in the Austin area, check out Lost Pines Hyatt Resort!
So, about that risotto....I was a bit concerned about food choices, being we are all vegan. However, there turned out to be some really delicious food and even vegan choices on the menu. The chef even worked with us! It was wonderful. My favorite dish by far was the tomato risotto. I gobbled it up in seconds. It was creamy, delicious and NO cheese or butter needed! I couldn't wait to get back home to try and recreate a version. I of course, didn't know their recipe, so I had to just go by my tastebuds.. Well, it was deemed a winner by my husband. We, too, gobbled it up. Even our little girl kept asking for "more".
Risotto tends to intimidate a lot of people because it's a dish that requires attention at the stove and a little labor of love. I used to make it all the time a few years back with white wine, but this time I wanted it friendly for all of us and very simple. I decided to use juice instead of wine. It gives great flavor to the risotto. Most risotto recipes require you to first cook the veggies in the pan, remove them, then toast the risotto, then add the veggies back and then cook the risotto. I wanted it more simple than all that. After all, that is that we all want right?
All you need is a little patience at the stove and I swear, before you know it, you'll be scarfing down some delicious vegan hot risotto, not missing the dairy one bit!
A hearty, delicious risotto with only 8 ingredients?! (plus salt) Just a few simple steps and you will have an amazing, healthy risotto that is not weighed down with oil or butter. This vegan risotto is fat-free, but it's creaminess will certainly fool you that it is not. Rice isn't low in carbs, but I eat a whole foods diet and stay very healthy that way. This creamy fat-free version is certainly worth the carbs!
- 10 oz package grape or cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup unsweetened apple juice
- 11 oz arborio rice (1½ cups) (I used a wild rice blend, but any arborio rice will work)
- 4½ cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ¼-1/2 cup nutritional yeast (This will depend on how much you like nutritional yeast. I highly suggest Sari brand, as it is not fortified and has a milder flavor, without that nasty vitamin taste)
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- First roast the tomatoes. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (so they don't stick) and spread the tomatoes out. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until they are bursting and juicy. Add them to a food processor and blend until very smooth. Set aside.
- Next, add the broth to a small pot and turn it to low heat. You just want to make sure that the broth is warm as you add it to the risotto, so it cooks evenly and the risotto stays tender.
- Next, add the apple juice, tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder & salt to another medium pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Add the rice and cook a couple of minutes until the rice is just beginning to brown. Begin adding the warm broth (from the other pot) a ladle at a time, or about a ½ cup. Stir and as the rice has absorbed almost all of the broth, add another ladle of broth. Do this repeatedly until all of the broth is gone. This process will take about 20-25 minutes. You want to keep the heat at a low simmer...not too high or too low. If it is cooking too fast, turn the heat down some or the rice won't cook properly. This is not something you walk away from, you will need to continually stir as you add each ladle of broth and stay at the stove. This is how risotto is made and how it turns out so creamy and tender. It goes by quickly, so don't worry.
- After you have added the last amount of broth, add the pureed tomatoes to the rice over a strainer, to catch any skins from the tomatoes and stir to heat through. Add the nutritional yeast and stir. Taste and add any additional salt & pepper. Garnish with walnuts and parsley flakes, if desired, and serve immediately.