Focusing on You Personal Training works hard to provide you with the best advice, hints and tips to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. This spicy red pepper risotto is an ideal mid-week supper or hearty lunch; especially with cold weather setting in! Low fat, this is easy to prepare and throw together with basic store cupboard ingredients.
1 clove garlic
1 red capsicum pepper
1 fresh red chilli
2 tsps chilli bean sauce*
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp dried oregano
250g of Arborio risotto rice
1 low-sodium vegetable stock cube
Black peppercorns (optional)
* Chilli bean sauce is an unusual ingredient but should be readily available in the Chinese section of larger supermarkets. Made from fermented red chillies, it is excellent for adding colour and depth of flavour.
Dissolve the vegetable stock in 1 litre of boiling water. Dice the onion, red pepper, garlic and chilli. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the pepper and onion until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and chilli, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the spices, (including the black peppercorns, if using) the chilli bean sauce, then toss the dry rice in the spice and vegetable mix for 1 minute, until the rice is coated. Pour in enough stock to cover the rice by about 1 inch.
Reduce the heat and allow to simmer, stirring periodically to check none is sticking to the bottom. When the liquid has reduced, add more stock. Continue to add liquid and stir occasionally until the rice is cooked and the risotto has reached a creamy, but not stodgy consistency.
Season and serve in bowls with fresh green salad leaves.
This recipe has been made healthier by cutting out dairy fats such as cheese and cream. It is high in carbohydrates, so would also work with added lean chicken or seafood for added protein. Spices like chilli and pepper have been shown to help increase metabolism and satisfy hunger cravings, as well as giving a good vitamin C boost.
Your personal trainer will always be happy to make suggestions on how to prepare some of your favourite recipes in a healthy manner, in order to achieve and maintain your ideal body weight.