Recipes, Responsible Living

Lionheads’ Unconventional Mushroom Risotto

Mushrooms are one of my favourite veggies. Risotto is one of my favourite comfort foods. That’s how this recipe came about:)

Serves 4-6. Time: 1 hour

Vegan Option, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted “butter” (I use vegan, soy-free Earth Balance)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups risotto rice
  • ½ cup white vermouth
  • 5 cups of water (not broth), simmering
  • 4 cups shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • nutritional yeast flakes to sprinkle


  1. Heat the oil and the butter in a large stainless steel pot, at medium/high heat. Add the garlic. When the garlic is a nice yellow colour, add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until just beginning to soften.
  2. Here’s the unconventional way to make risotto: instead of using vegetable stock, I cook the mushrooms first and then add the rice. This way, the cooked mushrooms provide a rich flavour to the risotto (no need for truffle oil!). Add all of the mushrooms with half a cup of water. Cook with lid on. Add a tablespoon of water at time to prevent sticking if needed. When mushrooms are soft and well-cooked, add the rice. Pour in the vermouth; it should evaporate immediately. Add a ladleful (about ½ cup) of the water, stirring until it is absorbed. Repeat this last step until the water is used up and the rice is tender.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese or nutritional yeast. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bon appetitJ
  4. If you would like to be even more unconventional or adventurous, add a tablespoon of chilli oil (I love nothing but One Love Vegetarian’s chilli oil).


  • Nutritional yeast is a staple in the vegan kitchen. Not only does it provide a rich, nutty, cheesy flavour, but it is also a source of B vitamins (thiamine, folate, B-6 and niacin), and some types are fortified with B12, which is found in animal products.
  • When buying mushrooms, I always buy organic because they are porous and absorb a lot of pesticides and fungicides; their roots are also accumulators of heavy metals. When I use organic mushrooms, I cut up the stalk and use it in the recipe – it provides a chewy texture to the risotto. Yummy and waste nothing!