Hey friends… I’m not gonna lie, this “no gluten” thing is killing my creative process! Apparently there is gluten in most of my go-to recipes – mega BUMMER!

I’ve even tried to experiment with a little gluten-free baking which happened to be a major taste FAIL. They totally looked gorgeous and then I tasted them… BLEH! So then I proceeded to try out a gluten free asian-style crock pot sticky rib (for Valentine’s Day, no less)! In my head it was SO right.

Concept = Excellent

Execution = Another major FAIL (unless you consider mushy bland ribs with absolutely no “sticky” to them a win… haha).

So then I said, screw the gluten! I’m gonna make molten lava cakes for Valentine’s Day dessert! So off I went making a recipe I’ve made flawlessly a dozen time before. And guess what happened? My lava cakes stuck to my ramekins and half stayed in the ramekins with the filling oozing out onto the plate.

Yah. EPIC FAIL.

I struck out THREE times in the SAME week (2 times in the same DAY!). I stared at my sink full of dishes and looked at the hubs with tears in my eyes and exclaimed defeat, “I’ve officially lost my cooking mojo!!!”

Drama much? haha

Well friends, after throwing a nice pity party I pressed on bound and determined to make something gluten free that tasted AMAZING and didn’t make me miss my good ol’ buddies: carbs!

I figured it was time to stop trying to make a gluten-free version of my favorite recipe in hopes that it’ll taste the exact SAME. Fact of the matter is, it’s not going to taste the same and it’s something I’ll just have to get over. In the mean time, I’m finding naturally gluten free dishes that are delicious and don’t make me feel like I’m missing out on something!

That brings me to this… RISOTTO.

Naturally gluten free (just make sure that the chicken stock you purchase doesn’t have any wheat added*), super filling, creamy, & DELICIOUS.

I had always been intimidated about making risotto. It just sounded all fancy & difficult. Well, I’m hear to tell you, it’s actually quite simple! If you prep the ingredients ahead of time, set a stool next to your stove, and think of it as a delicious arm workout… you’ll be good to go!

Oh, and I’m happy to tell you it turned out fabulously and I finally got my cooking “mojo” back! 😉

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Mushroom Risotto

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Total Time: 40-50 minutes

Substitute a vegetable broth to make this dish a vegetarian option.

Ingredients:

6-8 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons salted butter
12 ounces flavorful mushrooms, stemmed & sliced*
1 small yellow onion, finely diced (about 3/4 cups)
2 cloves garlic
12 ounces Risotto Rice (Italian Arborio)
1-2 springs of fresh thyme
2 sage leaves, chiffonaded
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper, to taste

*I went with baby bella mushrooms but needed a little more flavor than what they offered, so I added 2 teaspoons of porcini powder I had in my spice cabinet (it's just ground up porcini mushrooms). I will probably use 8 ounces baby bellas and 4 ounces of dried porcini mushrooms my next go around!

Directions:

In a saucepan, heat all 8 cups of chicken broth up to a simmer until ready to use (may not need all of the chicken broth but it's good to have it ready to go in case you do!).

In a heavy bottomed deep saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and onions and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute, stirring constantly, for an additional minute. Next, add rice, thyme, and sage and stir to combine.

Carefully pour the white wine in and bring the mixture to a boil, allowing the liquid to reduce by half (this should only take a few minutes). Now you will add the simmering chicken broth, roughly 1/2 cup at a time. Be sure to stir rice constantly pushing the rice from the edges so they don't stick. The constant stirring helps bring out the starches and creates the creamy consistency! When the broth is almost completely absorbed, it's time to add another 1/2 cup. Continue this process until the risotto reaches the correct consistency. The rice should be just cooked and still have a slight chew to it. The adding broth to the rice process should take about 25 minutes or so.

Lastly, remove thyme stems (the leaves will have fallen off), stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Garnish with additional sprig of thyme.

Recipe Adapted From: Simply Recipes