Monday, August 29, 2011

Mushroom Risotto & Garlic-Jalapeño Green Sauce

This is not the post I thought I'd be writing this morning. In fact, I was supposed to officially move in yesterday with five other friends in a house less than five miles away from George Mason University. And after that laborious ordeal, we were supposed to be celebrating the move in with an elaborate dinner and a gluten free and vegan baked donuts breakfast the following morning. Instead, my last semester as an undergraduate starts today, and I’m at home with my parents, a few recipes and posts behind schedule.

1st breakfast of the semester.

I’m not going to get into detail of what happened, because I think that would be in poor taste and, as they say, “the Internet is forever”. What I will say is the house didn’t work out, and standing up for what’s right for you can be the hardest and least popular thing you could do for yourself.

I don’t blame anyone, not really. There was a miscommunication of what was expected, both from the owners/landlords and by the individual tenants. And what have I to show for it? The family I was to be renting from were friends of mine, and I lost that friendship to business. It wasn’t supposed to be about me; rather, the fact of the matter was the house wasn’t ready to rent out. I couldn’t breathe when I was attempting to move in before the boyfriend got back from Texas. Even with the windows open, my lungs felt heavy. My throat is so swollen from all that has happened (additionally, I hurt my wrist in attempt to move a wooden couch frame down a flight of stairs by myself) that I have gotten spirulina powder, chlorella capsules, and a box of Omega3 Squeeze Chocolate Orange just to detox my body in time for the first week of the semester.

Experimenting with spirulina in my breakfast. A bit too green for me.

Many lessons were learned last week, lessons that were hard and heartbreaking. I learned why I used to exercise so obsessively, and that was to make sure I was strong enough to never be taken advantage of, whether it was physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. I cried, along with multiple panic attacks, and I was left with the feeling of depth and quiet as opposed to numbness and cynicism.

I learned what true friendships looked like. There is the kind of friend that stops what they are doing to come with you to move all your stuff from the house in the middle of the night, and do this multiple times over the course of a weekend. There is the kind of friend that stands up for you and stands with you, no matter what arises. There is the kind of friend you find in your lovers and loved ones, who provide support and advice and encourage you to stick with your guns and hold strong onto what you believe in.

Most of all, I learned the difference between being independent and being dependent on yourself. Depending on yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t depend on others, like it would be expected should you strive on true independence. It means that, despite everything that is going on in your life, you never give in to what you know in your heart to be wrong. Sometimes, it differs from person to person, and that is completely okay. As a conflict resolution major, I strived to keep the relationship before the business, and of course there are some things I wish were said and others that I wish there weren’t. But the house will have tenants that the landlords think it deserves, and I am happy for them. I wished it could’ve worked out, but in the end, I think it did.

With that, lovely readers, I have two recipes make up for my absence due to the drama and trauma of this last week. Both came together to make a lovely meal, and the balance of taste, texture, and heat was similar to the absolutely delish steak dinner Mama Dazz and I had in Cape Cod.

Mushroom Risotto

12 oz Arborio rice
32 oz Vegetable stock
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch of each, Cayenne & Paprika
1 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tbsp. Dehydrated minced onion
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly and finely grated

1 tbsp. Olive oil
3 tbsp. Pinot Grigio
10 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tsp. Coconut aminos (or gluten-free tamari sauce)

Place the rice, stock, oil, and spices into the rice cooker on “Brown Rice”  (i.e., slow cooking) or in a medium saucepan on low heat for up to an hour).
After the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, add in the Parmesan cheese and keep the rice cooker on “Warm” (or you can put a lid on the saucepan).
Put the oil, wine, mushrooms, and aminos in a skillet on medium-high heat and cook until the mushrooms are done.
You can add the mushrooms in the rice or simply put them on top.

Serves 6 – 8.

Garlic-Jalapeño Green Sauce

3 Jalapeño peppers, seeded, deveined, and coarsely chopped
3 Garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
3 Basil leaves
3 tbsp. Olive oil
2 tbsp. Unrefined apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. Sea salt
1/4 tsp. Cracked pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend thoroughly.
The sauce is rather thick, similar to a runny puree, so add more oil and vinegar for a thinner sauce.
Keep refrigerated and use within a week of making.

Makes 2/3 c.

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