A Springtime Delight

Hi everyone 🙂

I lucked out today at work! It was a cooking class day and one of the items being cooked was a spicy papaya salad which made me drool while eating my tofurky at the desk. Later on though, conveniently around my snacktime, the head chef brought me out a small plate. It was sooo good—I asked for the recipe! There’s no recipe of course though, its just a bunch of stuff thrown together. Here’s what was in it: green papaya, apple, daikon, cilantro, mint, garlic, chili sauce and scallions. Delicious AND very healthy! I had a plate of that, along with my grapes I had packed, for a delicious midday snack.

I was going to make tempeh tonight for dinner but then at work I heard the word “risotto” and my day completely changed. I said to myself, “I LOVE risotto! Why don’t I ever make it?!” Good question. I even got a gorgeous expensive william sonoma risotto pot for christmas! So, when I got home from work today I set out to make some and here’s what I came up with.

Springtime Vegetable Risotto

Serves 1

1/2 zucchini, small diced

1/2 cup small diced eggplant

1/2 of a red bell pepper, small diced

1/2 cup giant lima beans

1/4 cup arborio rice

1 tsp olive oil (optional)

1 tbsp chopped walnuts

1 heaping spoonful nooch

about 1/2 cup water

sea salt/hot chili flakes to taste

In a saucepan, combine everything except for the walnuts, nooch and seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the rice has absorbed the water (stir a few times). This will take about 20 minutes. Add the walnuts, nooch and season to taste with salt and pepper. Voila!

People say you have to constantly stir risotto but I never do. It takes too long. I just let it go and it always works!


With my risotto I heated up the leftover mashed cauliflower from last night. I think I will bring a pecan-pie larabar to school with me tonight because its only appropriate when we are making pecan pie!


You Might Also Like

  • erica
    April 9, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    YUM, that risotto looks delicious and so easy to make! I’ll have to try it soon.. I have to prove to myself that I CAN make risotto!

    Have a great night at school Jenna! I’m looking forward to all of the great pictures. 🙂

  • babycakes
    April 9, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Jenna, I have to admit I am disappointed you changed your mind about the tempeh – it is one of my favorites!!! I love seeing other other people’s recipes – perhaps you will have it later in the week? 🙂 So glad you enjoyed your risotto though! And it sounds like you had a wonderful day at work! Hope your evening is just as pleasant 🙂

  • hk
    April 9, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Springtime delight…yum, papaya sounds so refreshing:) risotto looks great and sounds much less intimidating than I thought. Yum 🙂 have fun tonight!!

  • Romina
    April 9, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I loooooooove risotto! Yours sounds delicious! (I’m also a huge fan of tons of veggies in my food, hehe)

    Nice touch with the nooch in your ingredients list. =)

  • VeggieGirl
    April 9, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    oh my, the spicy papaya salad sounds great – how nice of the head chef to bring you a portion!

    and of COURSE I’m loving that risotto, paired with the mashed cauliflower – yum!!

    your pecan-pie larabar snack for later sound wonderful – that’s one of my favorite flavors :0)

    enjoy tonight’s class!

  • BethT
    April 9, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    What is a risotto pot?

  • Betsy
    April 9, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    i’ve never known you can make risotto like that. i just do the stir and stir and stir and stir…it takes forever (like you said) but tastes great!

    i second the question: what’s a risotto pot?

  • Cara
    April 9, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    looks really coloroful. I have only tried mushroom rissoto never something as pretty as this. mmm.

  • Ruby Red Vegan
    April 9, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    i love how you’re bringing a pecan pie larabar to eat when your classmates will probably be eating pecan pie. that’s so cute (and it’s a great idea)!

    you’re making me wonder why i never make risotto; oh, how awesome is nooch! i did have tempeh tonight though, but i was so exhausted that i decided to just cut the last portion of the package into strips and eat it without cooking. (i like to sample the little uncooked tempeh crumblies leftover when the package is empty anyhow, and i just thought, why don’t i eat an entire serving of it like that?!) i know, that’s super weird…

  • Katherine
    April 10, 2008 at 12:10 am


    I got so excited when I saw your post- you may have solved my problem (I have mild acne, but no one wants any acne!). Rather than discuss it on the blog, would you mind if I sent you an email asking a question? Thanks!

  • Kelly
    April 10, 2008 at 12:41 am


    Of course, kalesso at gmail .com.

  • Ruby
    April 10, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Sorry, what’s nooch?

  • Nadia
    April 10, 2008 at 1:20 am

    delicious looking dinner as always 🙂 Never made risotto…want to try it now though. I also want to try mashed cauliflower after hearing all the rave reviews…but unfortunately never got around to purchasing a blender lol..

  • nicole r.
    April 10, 2008 at 3:20 am

    hey rebecca–
    It is absolutely really hard to fit it all in. Especially with having to accommodate labs, prelab, discussion, lecture, and on top of that just the sheer STUDYING, I understand it kind of makes you want to cry haha.
    For me, I feel like I’m going to go crazy if I don’t go to the gym. I try to go maybe 5x/week? It’s rare that I can go more often, and ranges from 3-5x. You’re right, it takes time. I go usually really early in the morning, like 6-630, and always on weekends. I honestly have found that I focus better studying after I’ve been to the gym. Actually this is a neurological phenomenon that’s true for reasons I won’t get into. Obviously, during exams and lots of work you need to make allowances–last week I had a HUGE histology exam, and I think I went to yoga (my exercise of choice, as well as core stuff) once or twice? Maybe? I’d rather do well on exams than get better at handstands obviously.
    As for food—I buy most of my veggies precut in bags!! Saves SO much time, and there are only a few things I eat that I can’t find this way. I find it’s cheaper for me just to buy and prepare my own food. Not gonna lie, soup is a BIG meal item in my house for my roommate and I—microwave for 2 minutes and you have dinner? Gotta love that. So I’m not super creative, because I really don’t have time to be lolling about cooking fancy pasta and skillet meals only to have to clean up 15 pans & cutting boards. Salads, soups, veggies, couscous, quinoa, rice, etc are staples here. Pitas stuffed with anything/everything, veggie burgers, oatmeal, peanut butter. There’s plenty you can get that’s quick and cheap—or you can load up at the WF (or wherever) salad bar and there you have premade food that will last you several days! And since you portion yourself, you can cut back on the price as compared to what you’d pay just buying a whole prepackaged container.
    Hope that helps, let me know!

  • Claudia
    April 10, 2008 at 4:10 am

    I second the “what is nooch” question…it sounds like hooch but I don’t think it’s anything comparable…. 😛

  • madiella
    April 10, 2008 at 11:01 am

    I’m pretty sure “nooch” is nutritional yeast

  • jenna
    April 10, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    A risotto pot is just a slope sided deep pot traditionally used to make risotto in Italy. They sell them at Williams sonoma. I have a copper one that is decorated with gorgeous copper acorns and it came with a large wooden spoon. Its one of my treasures 🙂

    nooch is nutritional yeast! sorry guys!

  • Alice (in Veganland)
    April 12, 2008 at 8:51 am

    So all this time I wasn’t making risotto because of the stirring, and now you say you don’t stirr all the time? These are good news for me! That means I could make a risotto!