about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Asparagus and Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

I bought asparagus at the store earlier this week and was determined to do something interesting with it.  I was really wanting risotto, but didn’t have any of what are typically the main ingredients – Arborio rice, cooking wine, and large amounts of cheese.  But you know what?  I made it anyways, and it turns out that you don’t actually need any of those things for a delicious risotto after all. 

Asparagus and Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

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Print this recipe!

Ingredients:  (serves 4)

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small yellow or white onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or butter)
  • salt to taste

Instructions:  Start by pouring the vegetable broth into a sauce pan and bringing it up to a light simmer.  Having hot stock or broth is an important step in making risotto!

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Next, dice the onion and mushrooms and sauté in olive oil over medium heat.  This is one instance where you definitely want to use stainless cookware rather than something non-stick.  You want the onions and mushrooms to create some fond and browning on the bottom of the pan.  Color = flavor!

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One the onion and mushroom are browning, add the dry quinoa and stir to coat in the olive oil.  Continue to stir and cook over medium high heat for about 3 minutes – just enough to coat the quinoa and toast it a bit. 

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Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to deglaze the bottom of the pan, and then begin adding the hot vegetable stock to the quinoa one ladle at a time. 

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Add stock and stir continuously over medium heat until most liquid is absorbed.  Once absorbed, add another ladle full of stock, and continue to do so for 25-30 minutes total, or until quinoa is cooked and risotto is creamy.

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In between ladles and stirring, cut asparagus into bite sized pieces.  Make sure to trim the woody ends!

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If you are 39 weeks pregnant, 30 minutes of continuous standing and stirring may require a stool to be brought over to the stove. 

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When you only have 3 or 4 ladles left, add the raw asparagus to your mixture and stir to combine and cook.  Continue to cook and stir until almost all liquid is absorbed.  Finish by adding 1 tablespoon Earth Balance for a touch more creaminess, and season to taste with salt.

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It’s hard to believe that something so creamy and rich is actually dairy-free, and a nutritional powerhouse.

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Risotto is one of those dishes that is a little time intensive, but the end result is always so totally worth it.  Best served immediately after cooking!

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Traditional risottos made with rice, wine, and cheese are most definitely delicious as well, but this version proves that you should never let your pantry limit your creativity. 

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49 Comments so far
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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 10:05 pm

Oh my gosh, you look so adorable in your apron pregnant!

I just asked another vegetarian blogger this and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind me asking you as well? I love your blog and really respect you and your commitment to healthy vegetarian eating. I was wondering if when you were a new vegetarian you dealt with issues involving foods that while not from a dead animal, existed because of a dead animal. Namely chicken and beef stocks, gelatin, and animal enzymes used to create cheese. I’ve been a vegetarian for about three months now and have absolutely no desire to eat a burger or a piece of chicken anymore but my favorite soup from Panera that I still eat is broccoli cheddar soup, made with chicken stock. I don’t know if its because there’s no animal pieces or tastes or smells involved but it doesn’t trigger that instinctual no in me that meats and chicken do. I asked my readers in my blog post today for their opinion and advice on this but I really wanted to get specific bloggers opinions whose blogs I read every day. Did you have a stage like this? Any advice you can offer? This was inspired by the fact I made potato soup today and my family was out of veggie stock so I used chicken stock because I didn’t want to run to the store late at night. I feel bad, but I guess not as bad as I should? I’m confused by the whole situation honestly.


Erin Reply:

I just saw you post this on mama pea’s blog! I hope you get some answers :) — another Erin


Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie Reply:

Aw thank you! Yeah they’re both my two favorite vegetarian/vegan bloggers so I figured who better to ask?


Christine @ BookishlyB     at 10:25 pm

Your pregnant belly looks so cute in apron! The quintessential picture of domesticity.


Christine @ BookishlyB Reply:

*in an apron


Mai     at 10:46 pm

Mmmm. I actually have all but two of the ingredients here, might have to try this over the weekend!


Hannah     at 11:21 pm

Oh golly, I make almost exactly this recipe myself! Love sprinkling nooch and hot sauce over the top at the end :)


Erin     at 11:33 pm

Looking gorgeous as always, Emily.

And this risotto looks amazing. I’m vegan but my boyfriend’s sister is vegetarian and literally eats ONLY risotto. This will give us something we can enjoy together!


Georgia     at 11:33 pm

I am so blown away that you’re up by the stove stirring risotto at 39 weeks! Great recipe for those of us who tend to find themselves with only the basics in the fridge/pantry, by the way – will definitely be trying it. All the best for the next couple of weeks! :)


STUFT Mama     at 12:29 am

How cute can someone be pregnant in an apron? :) I’ve never made risotto. I need to give it a shot one of these days.
PS- you’re almost there….. :)


Charlie     at 1:57 am

This looks delicious. Im curious though, I am giving up alcohol for lent (i work at a magazine with a long lead time so we are already thinking about Feb/March!)I know that you and Casey dont drink anymore, but do you still use alcohol when cooking? I know that cooking burns off a lot of the alcohol but you can often still taste the wine. I think I will still cook with wine if the recipe requires it but probably try to look for alternatives- like this amazing risotto!


Sarah@The Flying ONION     at 5:18 am

This meal looks fabulous! There’s something magical about mushrooms, asparagus and quinoa all getting together in the same dish. Love it! :D


Katie @ Raisins&Apples     at 5:28 am

Considering that mushrooms & asparagus are on sale here this week…I can’t wait to make this!


Robin     at 5:53 am

Hey Emily – I love your blog and am on it all the time looking up recipes to try! I’m not vegetarian or vegan, but I am trying to cook less meat-centered meals and this risotto looks perfect. Quick question though – do you have to rinse the quinoa before using it here? I noticed your ingredients say “dry quinoa” so I was just wondering.

I hope that the next few weeks bring you a lot of joy & peace as you & Casey get to know Baby C!


Sharon Owen     at 6:06 am

Being addicted to Quinoa (Thanks to you!!), I will be making this before the weekend is done!! I bet my addicted daughter will love it too!

It looks SOOOO good!! I can’t wait to try!!


Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life     at 6:07 am

This recipe looks fab! I love the asparagus in it! You might be 39 weeks pregnant but you are still rocking it in the kitchen! I love it! I can’t wait until Baby C is here so we can all find out the name! We’re having a Baby C as well!


Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life     at 6:14 am

I am def. making this recipe this weekend! I LOVE making risotto (I made a creamy corn risotto last weekend!) but I have never thought to use Quinoa! What a genius idea!!!


jennifer @ peanut butterand peppers     at 6:16 am

That looks really good! I never had Quinoa, good recipe to try it with!


Erin     at 6:37 am

I love that you are cooking in your beautiful new dress–that is something I would do! I’m a bit of a quinoa novice (I’ve made it once or twice), but a sucker for risotto–I think I’ll have to give this one a try.


Cindy Robinson     at 6:40 am

Awesome, thanks for sharing! I’ve been eyeballing my quinoa with no creative ideas coming into my head. I think this one will work wonderfully! I will use zucchini, since I have no asparagus. I love when unsuspecting ingredients turn into something great! Have a fantastic weekend!


Kristen     at 6:43 am

Oats are another good substitution for Arborio rice (or, in this case, quinoa). Delish!!


Brittany     at 6:53 am

Oh, I can definitely make this!! Can’t wait to try it!


Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family     at 7:00 am

What a beautiful dish.


SueP     at 7:39 am

Hi Emily, Best wishes for you and Casey in the coming weeks.
I actually have a question about the recipe. It seems like 4 C. of stock would be a LOT; I usually use a 2:1 ratio for quinoa, I’m sure you’d need more for this recipe due to evaporation. But since it doesn’t have a ton of starch to develop as it cooks, was it watery when you were done?


Clare @ Fitting It All In     at 8:18 am

Oh my “to-make” list! You’re so very pregnant and still creating the most amazing dishes. :)


kathleen @ the daily crumb     at 8:25 am

awww, love the pregnant belly apron shot! can’t believe you are still cooking up a storm with the little guy about ready to pop out. good for you!!


Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 8:55 am

Sounds yummy! I make a “nontraditional” risotto using oat groats (whole oats, kind-of like wheat berries) instead of arborio rice. The oats lend a natural creaminess to the dish, and you can even cheat a bit and just add most of the liquid at once :) Plus, oats, like quinoa, are much more nutritious than arborio (i.e, white) rice!


Christina     at 9:00 am

I love that you used quinoa for this! It’s different and looks super healthy. My fiance doesn’t like risotto (I think it’s the actual fact that it’s creamy rice) so I’ve never made it. Maybe for a girl’s dinner this will be on the menu :)


TeenyLittleSuperChef     at 9:10 am

Bring on the stinky pee! This recipe sounds really tasty. It seems like it would be a good side dish for Thanksgiving. I wonder what adding in a little canned pumpkin would do for the creaminess and flavor. It would definitely give it a fun color!
You and your belly are totally adorable. Can’t wait to see pics of your little guy soon! Hang in there :)


Rachelle     at 9:43 am

The picture of you sitting stirring risotto made me giggle a little bit. I have a very similar picture taken of me when I was making risotto at 8 months pregnant.
So cute. :-)


Cat @Breakfast to Bed     at 9:44 am

when I was oh so preggers I did the same thing for risotto!! Gotta sit! Also, do you think reconstituted chanterelles would work in this recipe?


Tamicka     at 10:26 am

Ummmm can we say YUMMY! I’m making this tomorrow for dinner hands down


Anne P     at 10:27 am

Omg your apron-ed belly is the cutest.


Maryann     at 10:52 am

So cute!


bitt     at 1:00 pm

even though you may not have run a marathon at 40 weeks pregnancy, it still amazes me that you come up with these wonderful meal creations so far along. suffering from my own health issues, i can relate to some of the symptoms pregnant women have and I appreciate your doing what you can even under physical stress. it’s inspiring and also the best thing you can do for your body right now, eat wholesome good food!


Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Bitt! :)


Alexis @ hummusapien     at 2:45 pm

my unopened boxes of quinoa and mushrooms are gonna love this recipe!


Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf     at 6:36 pm

Mmm yum! I’ve made risotto about four times now and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. Last time I didn’t follow a recipe at all! :)

So far I’ve only made “risotto” with different types of rice and quinoa. I hope to try some other grains as well for some variety. :)


Jena     at 7:57 pm

I made this tonight and it was delicous. Thank you!


Emily Malone Reply:

Awesome! Thanks for letting me know. :)


Stephanie     at 7:29 pm

Great meal. I made this dinner the other evening and my two year old daughter loved it. Thank you!!


Natasha     at 8:44 am

I love this recipe. It’s such a healthful approach to a hearty risotto. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try this in my kitchen!


cristina     at 4:09 pm

Hi Emily, I have been reading your blog for about six months. All your recipes look delicious. I tried the twice baked sweet potatoes a few weeks ago and tonight I made this. They were both amazing. My husband and I looooooved them. Thanks for the great recipes.


Emily Malone Reply:

You are most welcome!


Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life     at 8:56 am

I just want to say that I made this recipe this weekend and it was heavenly! I will definitely be making this again and again and again! thanks sooooo much!


Danielle Andolina     at 5:04 pm

made this yesterday…with nutritional yeast of course. delicious!! thanks!


Kellie     at 2:35 pm

I am in the process of making this delicious sounding recipe right now… can’t wait to taste it once it’s finished!!


Just Another Rainy Sunday.. | Endless Rhapsody     at 12:18 pm

[...] dinner, I made this Asparagus and Mushroom Quinoa Risotto from Daily Garnish which came out really good… totally recommended.  No pictures because I [...]

Angela@veggievinyasa     at 6:50 am

I always make quinoa the same way (with veggies and a dash of soy sauce) so I’m excited to change it up. Thanks for the great suggestion! I love asparagus.


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