This naturally gluten free bacon, mushroom and baby spinach risotto can be prepared and cooked in a jiffy, and packs a punch in terms of flavour.
The Home Economics Bit
Bacon is an excellent source of high biological protein, which is needed by the body for growth and repair, and for the production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies. However, it is also quite high in saturated fat and salt so it should be consumed in moderation.
Mushrooms provide B vitamins which help to break down macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and release energy in the body. B vitamins are also needed to maintain a healthy nervous system.
Spinach – and other dark green leafy vegetables such as cabbage and kale – supply non-haem iron for healthy blood. Iron produces haemoglobin in red blood cells which carries oxygen around the body. An adequate intake of iron (haem and non-haem) is key to preventing anaemia.
Rice provides carbohydrates for energy. Unrefined brown rice also provides fibre which promotes healthy digestion.
Bacon, Mushroom and Baby Spinach Risotto
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 4 gluten free smoked rashers chopped
- 250 g mushrooms chopped
- 1 handful baby spinach
- 300 g Arborio (risotto) rice
- 1 litre gluten free chicken stock (hot)
- Add the rapeseed oil to a frying pan and heat.
- When the oil is sufficiently hot, add the chopped rashers and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes until beginning to brown.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and add the diced onion to the pan. Cook for a further 3 minutes until the onions have started to soften.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes until they have started to release their juices.
- Rinse the rice under cold running water (I use a large sieve). Shake off the excess water and then add the rice to the pan.
- Stir in the rice and cook until most of the juices have been absorbed (approx. 2 minutes).
- Using a ladle, add the stock one ladle at a time. It is important to wait until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid before adding the next ladle of stock. It should take approximately 20 minutes for all of the stock to be added and absorbed.
- Once the stock has been absorbed and the rice is al dente, stir in the spinach until it is beginning to wilt.
- Serve sprinkled with grated parmesan and cracked black pepper.
Sufficiently hot: If the oil isn’t hot enough when the ingredients are added, it will be absorbed by the ingredients which will have a negative impact on the overall texture, flavour and nutritive value of the dish. To check if the oil is sufficiently hot, add one piece of the chopped rasher; once bubbles appear around the piece of rasher it means that the oil is hot enough and the rest of the rasher can be added. Al dente: The rice should be tender, but still firm to the bite; not mushy.