This is our new Meat-Free Monday column which will be featuring tasty vegetarian and vegan recipes throughout the year. Whether it’s just to start the week with something healthier or to do their bit for the planet, people participate across the country, choosing to give up meat for the day and opt for vegetarian meals instead. You can read about the ideas behind the initiative here. With this column, we’re hoping to show that taking the meat out of your meals does not mean you have to lose out on flavour.

Not only does this risotto provide a delicious filling meal, the mushrooms and spinach count towards your five-a-day.

You will need:

2 red onions – diced

2-3 cloves of garlic – diced

250g mushrooms – sliced

250 g spinach

250g risotto rice

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 litre of vegetable stock.

25g of cream cheese (optional)

  1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, and fry the onion and garlic.
  2. Once the onion starts going slightly translucent, add the mushrooms and fry them. Don’t worry if the pan looks very full, the mushrooms will shrink as they cook.
  3. Once the mushrooms have reduced in size, add another tablespoon of olive alongside the rice. Stir to ensuring the rice is coated.
  4. Slowly, begin adding the stock. As a rough measure, add a ladleful or two at a time. Keep stirring so the rice does not stick and let the stock absorb. Make sure the hob is on a medium heat.
  5. Once the stock has absorbed, add more and keep stirring. Continue to do this until you have used up all the stock. This normally takes from 20-30 minutes. Taste the rice to check if it’s cooked. If it isn’t, you may need to add a bit more stock.
  6. Once you’ve added the last bit of stock, add the spinach into the pan and let it wilt. Once wilted, stir it into the risotto.
  7. Add the cream cheese and allow it to melt whilst stirring it through the risotto to make it extra creamy.
  8. Season with pepper to taste, and serve hot.

We’ll be sharing recipes every Monday, so don’t forget to come back for the next one. Got your own recipe to share? Get in touch here