A risotto is the perfect light spring/summer meal - super easy to make, comforting but without being too rich, and can be adapted to make the best use of seasonal produce. Most recipes call for a glug of white wine, or some grated parmesan - I haven’t included either to keep this as clean and healthy as possible - and I think it still tastes absolutely delicious!I’ve made this risotto using quinoa because I wanted to create a dish high in vegetable protein and low on the glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause a dramatic spike in blood sugar.
Here is a bit of information on the nutrients and goodness in this dish:
Mushrooms - these are one of the few non-animal sources of vitamin D - which makes it great for those of you on a plant-based diet. They are also a good source of the B vitamins, as well as the antioxidant selenium, which helps to support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues.
Peas - these are a good source of of soluble and insoluble fibre, which is great for maintaining a healthy gut; contain good levels of folate, which is needed for the manufacture of red blood cells; and contains a phytochemical called beta-sitosterol which works together with the soluble fibre to help reduce bad cholesterol. For those on a plant-based diet - peas are therefore a great source of protein and iron.
Parsley - herbs are so important for adding a depth of flavour to dishes, and parsley is an excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate and iron - all working to keep your skin, bones and blood healthy.
Now that you know WHY this risotto is so good for you, here is how you can make it:
Knob of butter
1 white onion, finely chopped
4/5 garlic cloves, crushed
300g mushrooms, sliced
½ cup of quinoa
Vegetable stock pot dissolved in 500ml boiling water
100g frozen peas
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Grab a large pan and heat a knob of butter with a glug of rapeseed oil.
When the butter has melted, add the onions, 200g of the sliced mushrooms and the garlic. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Then add the quinoa, give this a good mix and cook for another 1 minute.
Add the vegetable stock pot and the remaining 100g of mushrooms.
Cook for 20 minutes - do not cover the pan, and keep the heat to just above a simmer.
Add the peas, lemon juice, chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes until all the water is absorbed - increase the heat if necessary.
Remove the pan from the stove, cover with a lid and allow the quinoa to ‘steam dry’ for about 10 minutes. Serve in a large bowl and finish with some parsley and a sprinkle of black pepper.