This is a quick and low calorie recipe for healthy mushroom risotto using only healthy, low ingredients, omitting any butter and creams that you might find in other recipes. I find mushroom risotto is a really hearty warming dish that suits the Autumn and Winter months perfectly. This mushroom risotto recipe serves 2. As always it’s perfect for people that live on their own and especially single mums, this recipe is always well received by kids. If you have more mouths to feed then increase the ingredients accordingly.
What makes this mushroom risotto healthier?
This Healthy Mushroom Risotto offers a delicious twist on the classic dish while incorporating wholesome ingredients for a nourishing meal. The Arborio rice serves as the base, providing a source of complex carbohydrates that release energy slowly, promoting a steady blood sugar level. Chestnut mushrooms contribute a rich umami flavor along with essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The addition of red onion and garlic not only enhances the taste but also brings potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. The vegetable stock ensures a flavorful and low-calorie cooking medium, while apple cider vinegar adds a hint of acidity that complements the savory profile. Peas bring a burst of vibrant color and contribute additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals to the dish. This Healthy Mushroom Risotto is a well-balanced and satisfying option for those seeking a nutritious and flavorful meal.
This healthy mushroom risotto recipe is suitable for the following restrictions:
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free
- Low GI
Can you use any rice in a healthy mushroom risotto?
The most important part of risotto is making sure you have risotto specific rice, called Arborio rice. This is a shorter grain rice that has a higher starch content than long grain rice which is what helps it create the creaminess of most risotto dishes.
Step 1: Weigh out rice
Weigh out 150g of dried Arborio rice and wash well to remove any excess starch (my top tip for cooking and kind of rice) and put to one side.
Step 2: Saute onion
Dice ⅓ of a red onion along with 1 garlic clove and put in a frying pan or wok to brown. If, like me, you cant have oil in your diet, you can replace cooking oil with a splash of water to keep things from sticking. Whilst this is cooking you can chop up your mushrooms, I used around 150g but if you want more mushroom in your mushroom risotto then feel free to add more, especially as mushrooms are so low calorie!
Step 3: Add the rice
Next goes in the rice (not the mushrooms we just chopped). Lightly toast the rice for 1-2 minutes whilst stirring well, we don’t want to brown the rice or have it stick to the bottom of the pan but we do want to have it in the pan long enough for it to warm up, this helps the starch to come out of the rice and create that soft texture we are looking for but if you toast them to the point of browning you’ll have the reverse effect and your rice will take forever to cook, if at all (it took me years to find out why my rice stayed so crunchy that one time)
Step 4: Make the stock
Now add in your 500ml of vegetable stock. If you make your own stock then hats off to you, I’m sure your risotto will taste much better for it, but unfortunately I don’t have the organisational skills for meal prepping so my stock still comes in the form of a cube and good old H²O. Many mushroom risotto recipes include wine at this point, however, as I don’t drink alcohol that is not included in this recipe. Instead we substitute it with a couple of tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar. Mix in the stock and ACV to the rice really well. Stirring the healthy mushroom risotto will help release all the starch (which is also why you should avoid stirring other rice dishes)
Step 5: Add the mushrooms
Add in your mushrooms and peas, if like mine yours come frozen that’s totally fine, they only take seconds to defrost in the pan. The peas aren’t a traditional mushroom risotto ingredient but I like to add them to give the dish a splash of colour, also really helps when photographing an otherwise brown dish. If it seems like a weird addition to you then I won’t be offended if you omit them! You may notice there is not one single herb or spice in this recipe. The reason for that is that mushroom is a pretty subtle flavour that we wouldn’t want to overpower it. Onion and a smidge of garlic are the only extra flavourings here in this healthy mushroom risotto recipe.
1. Spinach and Parmesan Infusion
Enhance the nutritional content by stirring in fresh spinach leaves during the final minutes of cooking. Top the risotto with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan for added richness.
2. Wild Mushroom Medley
Experiment with a variety of mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, or porcini, to create a wild mushroom risotto. Each type brings its unique flavor and texture to elevate the dish.
3. Lemon Zest Freshness
Brighten the flavor profile by incorporating lemon zest just before serving. The citrusy notes add a refreshing touch to the creamy risotto.
4. Nutty Crunch
Introduce a textural contrast by garnishing the risotto with toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds. Nuts contribute healthy fats and a satisfying crunch.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I use a different type of rice?
While Arborio rice is traditional for risotto due to its creamy texture, you can experiment with other short-grain rice varieties like Carnaroli or Vialone Nano for a similar result.
Is vegetable stock necessary, or can I use chicken stock?
Certainly! You can use chicken stock if preferred. However, vegetable stock complements the earthy mushroom flavor and keeps the dish vegetarian.
Can I make this risotto ahead of time?
Absolutely! This risotto can be prepared in advance and reheated when ready to serve. Ensure proper storage in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Are there alternatives to apple cider vinegar?
If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can substitute it with white wine for a classic risotto flavor or use a splash of lemon juice for acidity.
Can I customize the vegetables in the risotto?
Certainly! Feel free to customize the vegetables based on your preferences. Add bell peppers, asparagus, or cherry tomatoes for extra variety and nutritional diversity.
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