A Vegan Valentine: Sweet Beet Heart Risotto

So as much as I’d like to pretend I’m not into Valentine’s Day, I have to admit that this year, I’m kind of loving the day of love.

I am not big on romance and our idea of a perfect date night is drinking beers, going bowling and maybe grabbing some Mexican food. I loathe the idea of dragging Jim to a sappy chick movie, forcing his to buy me jewelry and/or chocolates and all the other cliche elements of a typical February 14th.

However, I don’t mind showing him some extra love and giving him a thoughtful homemade gift. And I CERTAINLY am all for cooking a delicious meal together and and keeping our bellies happy as well. I think this beet risotto we made the other night is absolutely perfect for Valentine’s Day, both because of the bright pink/red hue of the stained rice and it’s mold-ability into a cute little heart shaped cookie cutter.

Delicious red food (and wine) is about as romancy as we get on Valentine’s Day. So from both of us to you, we wish you nothing but love this Thursday 🙂

2 3/4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups fruity or red wine (sangria or pinot noir are good)

4 medium beets, scrubbed and sliced

1 cup organic Arborio rice

1 cup shredded Daiya cheese (optional-makes it alot creamier though!)

1 yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped organic walnuts

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 tbsp honey or liquid sweetener

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Toss beets in 1 tbsp oil, honey, salt and pepper and lay on a baking sheet
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes on each side
  • In a saucepan, cook onions and garlic in 2 tbsp oil over medium heat for 8 minutes
  • Meanwhile, combine broth and wine in a smaller saucepan and bring to a boil-reduce to simmer after it reaches a boil
  • Add rice to onions and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently
  • Begin adding in wine/broth mixture one cup at a time, and stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed
  • Keep adding liquid one cup at a time, until it is all absorbed
  • Once done, remove from heat and pour into bowl and stir in cheese
  • When beets are cooked, remove from oven and dice
  • Add to risotto and stir well
  • Smush risotto into heart shaped cookie cutters and serve

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Lisa is the founder of The Vegan Pact and a vegan personal chef.

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