Food blogger and author of The Vegan Cookbook, Adele McConnell, proves there’s no need to sacrifice flavour to eat animal-free. She creates her stylish, mouth-watering dishes with innovative techniques and nutrient-packed ingredients, including whole grains and protein sources such as pulses, nuts, tempeh and tofu. Here she shares her brilliant vegan risotto recipe – where spicy lentil and quinoa are the star attractions.


1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1cm/ ½ in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1cm/ ½ in piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated or ½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp crushed chillies/ hot pepper flakes
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
180g tomatoes, chopped
300g potatoes, cut into cubes
250g/ 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
875ml/ 3½ cups vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
100g/ ½ cup red or white quinoa, rinsed and drained
60g broccoli florets, cut in half
120g kale, roughly chopped
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 handful of chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
dairy-free yogurt, to serve

vegan risotto recipe



  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and fresh turmeric, if using, and cook for 5–8 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
  • Add the ground turmeric, if using, the cumin, garam masala, crushed chillies/hot pepper flakes and fresh chilli, and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes, potatoes, lentils and 625ml/21½fl oz/2½ cups of the stock, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Add 185ml/6fl oz/¾ cup of the stock and the quinoa, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add more stock, if necessary, to avoid the quinoa becoming too dry.
  • Add the broccoli and kale, and continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and translucent.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and coriander/cilantro, then ladle into serving bowls and top with a large spoonful of dairyfree yogurt.
  • Enjoy!

Adele McConnell is the founder of the vegan food blog,, and her book, The Vegan Cookbook, will publish in paperback in September on Watkins Publishing. 

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