14 November 2015

Mushroom & Artichoke Orzo

As it gets closer to Christmas more deadlines are approaching and it's definitely more than enough to stress me out, and for a second there I did get slightly overwhelmed with it all, but I took a step back, had a good nights sleep, woke up, wrote a list of what I had to do and as I got each task done my stress melted away. When it seems like you have no spare time but have a million things to do it can easily become quite scary, but finding time, sitting down and just getting on with the work, however tedious it may be is undoubtedly the best way to not get stressed about life. As you may have noticed I haven't been blogging quite as much as I was over the summer; that's partly because of my busy schedule, but also due to the weather, the lack of day light hours and also just a lack of light - rainy, dark days do not make for good photos. 

I've been researching LED lamps for indoor food photography, but I'd love to hear opinions from someone who has one, if anyone has any suggestions of which lamps are most realistic (look most like daylight) I'd love to hear your suggestions! Leave a comment below with what lamp you use for photography. 

This dish is packed with rich deliciousness of garlic, dried mushrooms, parsley, artichoke hearts and vegan parmesan; it's decadent food that's just as perfect thrown together at the end of a long day as it would be served in the presence of company. The addition of dried mushrooms in this dish adds a real savoury and almost smoky depth of flavour; dried mushrooms, whilst might appear quite pricey, only a handful are required for this dish and the rest can be stored for later dishes like risotto, mushroom gravy, pies, soups etc. The deep garlicky flavour is balanced out  by the artichokes and parsley which freshen up the dish wonderfully and all tied together with vegan parmesan.

I used orzo pasta for this recipe, it's a rice shaped pasta which wonderfully absorbs the flavours of this dish; but you could always sub this out for other grains of a similar size like arborio rice or pearl barley and adjust the cooking times accordingly. I used artichoke hearts from a jar for this recipe, they're stored in oil and vinegar and add the perfect acidity to this recipe. I also used violife parmesan, which my local health food shop ordered in for me and I couldn't be more excited to cook with it again! 

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Mushroom & Artichoke Orzo | Serves: 3-4 | Time 15 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cup measures
  • Fine grater


  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1.5 cups orzo pasta
  • 10 dried mushrooms
  • 3 cups water
  • 1.5 tsp stock powder
  • 5 artichoke hearts (from a jar)
  • 1/2 cup grated vegan parmesan
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley, chopped 
  • Pinch salt & black pepper, to taste
  • oil


  1. Boil the kettle, then finely chop 1/2 onion and add to a saucepan with a splash of oil, fry on a medium-low heat for a minute or so before mincing the garlic and also add this to the pan. Add the mushrooms to a measuring cup and pour over a cup of water to rehydrate for a minute. 
  2. Add the mushrooms and water to the pan, along with another 2 cups of water and the stock powder. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer the pasta for 8 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and the pasta is al dente - keep a close eye on the pan to make sure it doesn't boil dry.
  3. To finish the pasta off, cut the artichoke hearts in half and add these to the pan along with the grated parmesan and chopped parsley, stir to distribute the ingredients evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve up and enjoy!
Cassidy xx

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