Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | September 3, 2009

Beetroot Risotto with feta cheese


Interesting and delicious vegetarian option just oozing with healthy goodness.
Serves 2 as a main meal (despite our valiant efforts, there was some left over for my modest lunch today! I did however use 200g Red Camargue and Wild Rice, and 600ml stock).


500 ml light stock (I use Marigold vegetable bouillon)
150g red or brown rice (red Camargue rice is delicious with this, I use Waitrose Red Camargue & Wild Rice which is deliciously nutty and filling; you will need to cook the rice quite a bit longer than stated in the recipe, and I generally have to add more stock towards the end when the stock has been absorbed but the rice is still hard)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 stick cinnamon
150 (5 oz) beetroot, rinsed (or use vinegar-free ready-cooked beetroot, much easier. You will find it vacuum-packed near the fresh salad vegetables in the supermarket)
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
100g spinach or chard or kale, coarsely shredded with thick stalks removed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium head of fennel, trimmed and cut into medium fine slices
2 teaspoons tamarind paste
150 feta cheese, chopped or crumbled (the non weight-conscious can add a bit more)
Green salad ingredients (optional)
Bring the stock to the boil and add the rice, garlic and cinnamon.
Simmer gently without a lid until the rice is tender (35 – 55 minutes, depending on the rice used. Add more stock if necessary).
Drain, remove the cinnamon and mash in the garlic.
While the rice is cooking, cook the beetroot; cover with very lightly salted boiling water and simmer until tender, about 30 mins. Once cooked, it will be easy to slip off the skins under cold running water and then top and tail the beetroot.

Heat oven to 200C.

As the rice and beetroot cook, heat a frying pan and lightly toast the caraway seeds.
Remove the seeds and add a tablespoon of olive oil to the frying. Add the shredded spinach or kale and stir-fry gently until the leaves have wilted. (If you have used curly kale, this will take quite a while, stir fry until it is more tender). Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add more oil and cook the onion and fennel until golden brown or tender (tossing from time to time). Stir in the cooked shredded greens, the caraway seeds and tamarind paste. Combine with the rice and beetroot and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Place the risotto in a shallow baking dish and scatter over the feta cheese.
Slip into a hot oven for 10minutes.
Serve with a green salad.

 Recipe by Ian Marber “The Food Doctor Diet Club”


Hils Comment:
Astonish your veggie friends with this. It is one of The Food Doctor meals that I love even when not weight watching nor feeding vegetarians; it is tasty and filling. I am keen on ‘one-pot meals’, not only for the great taste but also they seem easier than coordinating several different items.

For those who have tried all the weight-loss diets, and failed at all the weight-loss diets, I can highly recommend The Food Doctor’s Diet Club and healthy eating plan. George & I followed it a few years ago with great success, it really does what it says on the tin. To my great astonishment, I might add, as I do not lose weight easily! The ounces came off steadily, and this without feeling hungry or deprived. The recipes and list of ingredients can appear daunting initially, but once you get into it it is really not too difficult. The ’10 Principles’ of how to eat well for the rest of your life are absolutely sound. Especially Number 8: the 80/20 Rule – stick to the plan for 80% of the time, but allow yourself to stray every now and then (except for the first month when you are re-educating your body and your habits).



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