Ultra creamy vegan and gluten-free beetroot risotto. A delicious and beautiful side dish done in 30 minutes. This healthy risotto recipe will have you winning dinnertime!
**I received free samples of Progresso Cooking Stock mentioned in this post at no cost.**
Risottno? Risottyes! Far too long my friends! Risotto have been a dish on that long recipe bucket list of mine for a long time. Thing is, I’ve made risotto before…years ago. Years before any diet changes due to celiac, soy or no dairy or egg. That first risotto was the epitome of cheese and decadence, but it created some fond lasting memories for me and I love to tell the story. I don’t remember my exact age, but I was young and this was on of the first recipes I ever made…with my Nintento DS.
I loved video games as a kid and we had just about every system. Obviously a Nintento DS was essential. I didn’t just love video games though, as you know, I loved cooking too. So when I saw I could combine the two loves…magic happened. The specific game that led to risotto was called, Personal Trainer Cooking: Gourmet Made Easy. This little chef made led you through some authentic beautiful international dishes. The DS acted like a virtual interactive cookbook while you were cooking the recipe. There was even a grocery list you could be checking off as you shopped for the ingredients.
This specific risotto recipe was full of Parmesan, herbs, stock, and white wine. We went out to buy all the ingredients, even made a special stop at the liqueur store for the wine. When we got home (just my mom and I), I started heating the stock and chopping the onion. Little did I know, the bottle opener for the wine was gone. As everything was already cooking away on the stove, my DS personal chef yelling the next step ADD THE WINE, my mom and I were frantically tossing the kitchen looking for something to open that bottle of wine with. My mom quickly got my dad on the phone (after a few attempts of him not picking up! “Come on dad! This is urgent!”). He had no idea where or how to open the bottle. Needless to say, the risotto wouldn’t wait longer and I ended up just using more stock in place of that stubborn wine.
But hey, guess what? It still came out fantastic (just like every “fail” does) and I fell in love with risotto (but then never made it again until now.) My little DS personal chef did not let me down! That “game”, if you can even call it that, was pretty bomb. I also made sushi for the first time using that and a killer Greek salad. Anyway, recently I’ve just been having the biggest rice cravings and one of them was for risotto. I wanted a super creamy risotto without the dairy obviously, and the wine (just to make things easier). Some good stock would be the answer to this little conundrum. Progresso recently launched a new line of premium cooking stocks that are rich and deep in flavor without anything artificial. A perfect low-calorie way to add the ultimate creaminess to a perfect healthy risotto. Their vegetable cooking stock is gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan as well. I don’t use cooking stock very much, but I was impressed by the lovely deep flavor it provided to my risotto!
I decided to make the beetroot risotto in my favorite cast iron as well. (Maybe by favorite kitchen appliance?) I knew there was nothing the cast iron couldn’t handle, and making a super creamy risotto was no exception! Plus I think it added an even deeper flavor and cooked the rice so evenly!
Then I got the idea to take the creaminess even further and to replace the traditional wine, add color, and extra nutrition, I pureed up some beets! Let’s pretend the beets are like a decadent red wine, eh? I knew this risotto would reach the vegan creaminess I wanted now, yet be healthy and nutrient dense. From there I kept the rest of the flavor simple. Just some sweet onion, mint, garlic, and a few dashes of cinnamon and allspice to make this a lovely winter dish. The risotto is actually a bit sweet from the beets and spices, but also has a kick from some black pepper. It’s a fantastic combo!
And you know what? I think this would make one perfect Valentine’s Day date night recipe! I mean…just look at that deep red color! Risotto is just so comforting and seems so special too. Yet, don’t worry, this risotto does not take hours or much work. It’s done is less than 30 minutes and all you have to do is keep adding some stock and stirring it in, then waiting to do it again once absorbed. Easy as
- Heat a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, allow to sweat for 3 minutes, then add the processed beets and stir.
- Now add the uncooked rice to the skillet and allow the rice to absorb the beet juices for about 3 more minutes, then add the mint, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, and pepper. Stir.
- Now add ½ cup of the cooking stock to the skillet. Keep the heat to a medium low setting. Stir in the stock then just allow the rice to absorb the liquid. Once most of the stock has been absorbed and the rice is bubbling in the middle, add another ½ cup of stock. Continue this process for the full 3 cups of stock, adding half a cup at a time and stirring it in.
- The rice will be soft and creamy when complete. Top with additional chopped mint if desired and serve.
I couldn’t believe how fast and easy this all come together. Who needs wine? Who needs dairy? All you need is some great rice, cooking stock, and something a little fun and unique like creamy beets! (A magic cast iron helps too!) Now who’s craving risotto? I know I am! I think I may just whip some more up this week! This creamy beetroot risotto is going to become a winter staple, I can tell!
So tell me:
+ Have you ever made risotto?
+ What was your favorite video game(s) growing up? I have too many, but the big ones were Harvest Moon for the Nintendo GameCube, Golden Eye for Nintendo 64, and The Sims 2 for the PC (I was a Sims addict! But the period of all the Sims 2 (and expansion packs) was the best!
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