"No love sincerer than the love of food"

Have your Risotto and eat it

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Photo 25-07-2013 20 45 26Photo 25-07-2013 20 26 29I was more than a little sceptical about a recipe for risotto for under 500 calories a portion. How could you possibly achieve that gorgeous silky texture without ushering in items forbidden to dieters. In short I thought it would taste decidedly sub standard but decided to give it at least one chance.

This recipe is from a little book called ‘101 Healthy Eats’ and despite the rules around such things I am going to risk being sued by giving you the recipe in full (renegade food blogger).

I actually cheated a tiny little bit as there is no butter in this recipe at all. Some tweaks for the sake of my health are acceptable but I found it impossible to cope with the idea of a butterless risotto and so I shamelessly hiked my calories up a notch by adding in some of the yellow stuff. You can follow my lead or stick to the rules (humbug).

Well clearly it was a winner otherwise it would not have found its way onto my blog. It still has all the satisfaction from carefully and patiently tending a risotto but seems a little simpler and quicker than some other recipes I have followed. Lemon and peas deliver a light and refreshing combination, perfect for summer. At grumbling tummy HQ we have had this two weeks in a row with a call for a third from the bloke in the back row. So without any further ado, here is how it is done.

Lemon And Pea Risotto (470 calories for those who don’t cheat)

Big knob of butter
200g of risotto rice
850ml vegetable stock
50g frozen garden peas
75g parmesan cheese grated
Juice and zest of a lemon


My top tip for a risotto is measure out all the ingredients before you start and have them to hand and heat up your stock on the lowest heat with ladle at the ready.

Chuck in the knob of butter and melt in a large saucepan (medium heat)
Add in the rice and stir continuously for a minute
Add one ladleful of the stock and stir until absorbed
Reduce the heat and add the stock one ladle at a time making sure the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle – this takes around 20 minutes.
Risotto should now be silky and moist with a little bite in the middle
remove pan from the heat and stir in the peas, parmesan and lemon juice
Sprinkle grated lemon zest and a little parmesan over and serve immediately (risotto waits for no man)

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