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Vegan risotto with turnip, marinated onion and facon

I looooove risotto! It should be creamy with a hard center. Soft, rich and comforting.
Only a minor problem. The rice. Lots of loving carbs that I’m trying to avoid. Well, I obviously have to think in new solutions. Preferably also without any products with lactose, just as an extra challenge. Hmmmm.

This is my creamy solution:  a risotto made with turnip. For a vegan alternative to the parmesan, use nutritional yeast or savoury yeast flakes as it also is called. The flakes are made of deactivated yeast and rather popular among vegetarians and vegans for its nutty, cheesy taste. Most of the times you add it to your ready-made dish and then sprinkle it on top. It also works mixed with your pesto, just like you would have done when adding your parmesan. In the risotto, it works the same. But let’s be honest, you can’t beat the taste of a real parmesan. Sorry vegans!
It’s up to you to make the choice.

For this time I decided to season my risotto with saffron. This is of course optional and you can just as well leave it out as add other seasonings such as dill, mushrooms, parsley etc.

To go along with my risotto, I have prepared simple marinated red onions (works really with everything!) and facon. Facon is a vegetarian alternative to bacon. Crispy, salty and real fun to try out. Works perfect with your Sunday pancakes as well. If stored properly, it will keep fresh up til 3 weeks. If you won’t finish it before that!

Let’s get to work!

Risotto with turnip and saffron
For 2 persons. You need a blender for making this recipe.

Ingredients
1 turnip (approx. 275 gram when peeled)
1 shallot
a knob of butter
100 ml/1 dl dry white wine
150 ml/ 1,5 dl boiling water and 1 tsp loose vegetable broth (or homemade)
1 gram saffron (optional)
2 tsp cashew butter
a pinch of salt

1 cup of parmesan or 1,5 tsp nutritional yeast

How do I do it?
1. Clean and peel the turnip and the shallot. Chop the shallot fine.
2. Place the turnip in your blender and let it run until you have small pieces in the size of a grain of rice.
3.  Add the shallot to a pan with a knob of melted butter. Let is bake slowly until transparent.
4. Let the water come to a boil. Add the vegetable broth (or if you have homemade in the freezer).
5. Add the turnip to the pan with shallot and let it bake shortly until warm. Add the vegetable stock to the vegetables. It should just about cover the veggies.
6. Add also the white wine, salt and saffron (optional) to it and stir it carefully. Let it boil until soft. Stir occasionally and see if you need to add more fluid.
7. When soft, the fluid should also be very much reduced and the “risotto” just wet. Add the cashew butter to it and stir carefully until creamy
8. Add grated parmesan and stir once more. If you prefer a vegan version, plate the risotto and then sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top.

Marinated red onion
Makes a small bowl, perfect for 2 persons

Ingredients
1 red onion
the juice of 1 lime
a good pinch of sea salt (I prefer Maldon)
a few drips of (raw, dark) agave or maple syrup

How do I do it?
1. Peel the onion. Cut in half and slice it thin slices. Add to a small bowl.
2. Add the salt to the onion and see that the slices are all covered. Let it stand for a few minutes.
3. Add the lime juice and agave to the onion and again see that everything is covered. Leave it until serving.

Facon

Ingredients
55 gram/2,00 oz/ 2,5 dl coconut flakes
0,5 tablespoon (or a bit less depending how smokey you prefer the end result to be)  liquid smoke
1 tablespoon tamari (gluten-free soya)
0,5 tablespoon maple sirop or agave
A few splashes of garlic powder
A pinch of crushed, black pepper
1,5 melted tablespoons deodorized coconut oil

How do I do it?
1. Set the oven on 150° C.
2. Prepare a baking tray with baking parchment. Pour the coconut flakes on the baking tray.
3. Mix the other ingredients in a bowl. Cover the coconut flakes completely with the fluid and let it marinate for five minutes. Spread the flakes all over the baking tray.
4. Place the tray in the oven and set the timer on five minutes.
5. When ready, stir the flakes. and place the tray back in the oven. Set the timer for another 5 minutes. Stir again the flakes and place the tray for the last time in the oven. Keep an eye on the coconut flakes, they easily burn at this state!
6. Take out the tray from the oven when the facon is dark, golden and crispy. Let it cool down.
7. The facon can be kept in an airtight container for up till three weeks.
Enjoy!

These recipes are all gluten-free.
The risotto is suitable for LCHF, vegan and Paleo diets (for the last two, change the parmesan to nutritional yeast).
The marinated red onion and facon is due to the (small amounts) of agave or maple sirop, not suitable for LCHF.

Turnip

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