If you follow us on social media or are signed up for our newsletter, you’ll know that we recently go back from Europe. While we were away, I spent some time with my grandma in Zagreb, Croatia. She couldn’t quite get her head around me being vegan, but she accepted it nevertheless.
She loves cooking and has a great natural talent for it. She also likes to tell you what to do in the kitchen while you’re cooking. I was very patient with her, but sometimes I found it a little hard to make food without feeling pressure from her!
She made some beautiful dishes for me while I stayed with her and I don’t think she even realised how many dishes she usually makes are vegan or are easily made vegan.
I believe that people react in different ways and put a block in their minds as soon as the word vegan is said.
I’ll slowly be sharing some of the beautiful meals that she made and others that inspired me to recreate while we were travelling.
This dish, in particular, was one that she mentioned to me a day or two before I left Zagreb. My grandma told me what she usually does, and I took the general direction and made it my own. She would probably cringe if she read my instructions but luckily she doesn’t speak English!
Hope you enjoy this recipe that was inspired by my grandma. I sometimes forget that the plain and simple meals can also be delicious!
- 2 tbs cooking oil (use brown rice bran oil)
- Half a brown onion or one small one, finely diced
- 1 big bunch of English Spinach with stems, finely chopped
- 2 cups Arborio rice, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups water or vegetable stock
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté onion in oil over a medium heat until soft and transulcent.
- Add the spinach and place the lid on fully for 1-2 minutes until it has reduced.
- Add rice and stir through for 1 minute.
- Add 1 cup of water and stir through the rice then continue stirring until the rice has absorbed some of the liquid and thickened.
- Add another cup of water and simmer, while stirring over a low to medium heat until the rice is tender but not soft.
- Keep stirring and adding water until the rice has fully cooked. Make sure that it's not overcooked as it can easily turn into a mush.
- Add in the garlic, seasoning and let it sit for 2-3 minutes in the pan with the lid closed.
- Serve immediately. You can top it with some vegan parmesan or just plain nutritional yeast.
See how easy it is? You can whip up dinner in no time and only need a handful of simple ingredients. With risotto, it’s always best to serve it straight away. I find that if I leave it as leftovers, it’s not the same as it is when you first make it. So I wouldn’t plan this for lunch at work the next day, enjoy it all straight away.