Friday, 23 January 2015


Here it is, the first recipe I tried out from my new Hemsley + Hemsley cook book. As food is better enjoyed with friends, I invited mine round for a leisurely lunch, with this dish gracing the table as the main dish & my Salted Whiskey Caramel Gingerbread Cake following for a naughty desert. Even though Hemsley + Hemsley's recipes are all about nutritious wholesome food, life is all about the balance!

...Mushroom & Stilton Quinoa Risotto...

I thought I'd share with you this light & lovely lunch as I enjoyed it so much & it is surprisingly easy to make (for a risotto!) I hope they don't mind... (recipe courtesy of 'The Art of Eating Well' by Jasmine & Melissa Hemsley)

...Fresh & Healthy Ingredients...

150ml hot water
3 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms (which I skipped as I couldn't brace a cold trip to the shop! But I just added some more fresh mushrooms!)
1 tbsp ghee
2 medium onions, diced
3 celery sticks, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled & diced
400g mushrooms (I used button & chestnut, but feel free to experiment!)
250g white quinoa (activated overnight, see below)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or 200ml white wine)
700ml bone broth or vegetable stock (I used fresh chicken stock)
125g stilton (or other blue cheese)
a handful of fresh parsley (I used dried)
grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
sea salt & black pepper


Firstly, "activate" the quinoa by soaking it in twice its volume of filtered water overnight, or for at least 8 hours. This step isn't completely necessary, however it is highly recommended by Jasmine & Melissa as it improves the digestibility of quinoa & boosts its vitamin content. Once finished soaking, rinse & drain the quinoa completely.

...Quick & Easy Method...

Heat ghee in a large pan over medium heat & gently fry the onion & celery for about 8 minutes, until softened.

Add the fresh mushrooms (not porcini), thyme & garlic & cook for another few minutes.

Stir in the drained quinoa & cook for another couple of minutes, until the quinoa is almost sticking.

Add the apple cider vinegar (or white wine) & stir to de-glaze all of the bits sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Pour in most of the broth (but not all of it) & turn up the heat to bring to a boil & then reduce to a medium simmer.

After about 8 minutes of simmering, roughly chop the porcini mushrooms (if using) & add them to the pan along with the soaking liquid.

Continue cooking for another 5 minutes on a medium simmer. Taste the quinoa to see if it's ready - it should be cooked & tender, but with a nutty texture. Cook for a few more minutes if it needs more time. Also, add more broth if the risotto is getting too dry. Bear in mind, it will continue soaking up liquid even after the heat is turned off.

Turn off the heat & add the stilton, lemon rind, lemon juice & parsley. Stir through. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with extra crumbled stilton on top, if you'd like! I also served mine with a simple spinach & sunflower seed side salad to add a bit of crunch!

I also tried the Quinoa Risotto Balls recipe to use up any leftovers, which I have ready to share with you very keep your eyes on this space!

This Hemsley + Hemsley Spring Quinoa Risotto recipe is also on my list to try in a few months time, so hopefully we'll be seeing some springtime sunshine soon...

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