SERVES 2 | VEGETARIAN | GLUTEN-FREE
Feel satisfied and reap mental benefits with this beetroot-fuelled mood-boosting meal. Pain-free and perfect for those cosy winter nights
Indulge in this rich and creamy good-mood dish without your gut paying the price, plus it’s good for mental clarity. Beetroot boosts blood flow to the brain, while the walnuts provide omega-3s which are associated with a decrease in symptoms of depression.
I use spring onions rather than white onion as they can be a major Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) trigger and seem less harsh on the tummy. Unripened cheese’s such as goat’s cheese are also more IBS-friendly. Although, you could substitute it for vegan or lactose-free soft cheese to make it completely plant-based.
- 300g pre-cooked beetroot
- 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
- 6 spring onions, finely chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200g wholegrain brown rice
- 600ml gluten-free vegetable stock
- 60g soft goat’s cheese
- 100g walnuts, chopped
- Dice the beetroot into small chunks.
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until they have softened, then stir in the rice and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. The grains should go slightly translucent.
- Add a splash of water to the pan and stir, then turn the heat down and add the hot stock, ladle by ladle. Place a lid on top of the pan and turn the heat back up slightly, if required, to ensure the rice absorbs the liquid. Stir the rice regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick. This is what releases the starch and gives the risotto its creamy consistency.
- When the stock is almost used up and the rice is cooked — this should take 15-20 minutes — stir the diced beetroot and half the goat’s cheese into it. Leave for a further 5 minutes before switching the heat off.
- Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a frying pan over a moderate heat for 2-4 minutes, tossing them regularly to prevent them from burning.
- Serve the risotto, then add the remaining goat’s cheese and scatter the toasted walnuts on top.
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Recipe credit: The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food