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      Prep time: 20 minutes - Cook time: 35 minutes - Serves: 4

      Beetroot, garden pea & feta risotto

      This beautifully coloured risotto is quick, simple and tasty. For extra flavour, use a good-quality fresh stock and serve with a handful of rocket leaves with balsamic dressing. 

      This dish is: Gluten free • low in fat • saturated fat • sugar and salt • a source of folic acid • a source of fibre, protein and phosphorus • high in manganese

      Each portion contains:

      Nutrition value Amount % Reference nutrient intake
      Energy 499kcal 25%
      Fat 12g
      Saturates 2.6g
      Sugars 19g 21%
      Salt 0.96g

      Nutritionist's tip

      Wholegrain rice and pasta contain more fibre and slow-release energy than the white variety1.


      • 1 tbsp olive oil
      • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
      • 450g cooked beetroot (not vinegared)
      • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
      • 100g frozen garden peas
      • Leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
      • 300g wholegrain barley (not pearl barley) or wholegrain brown rice
      • 1 litre of a good liquid chicken or vegetable stock (reduced salt)
      • Freshley ground black pepper

      To serve

      • 100g reduced fat, pasteurised feta
      • Leaves from ½ bunch of fresh mint
      • 25g flaked almonds, toasted

      Recipe contains the following allergens: tree nuts (almonds), milk (feta), celery (stock cube depending on stock used). All nutritional claims based on analysis of one portion.

      Nutritional benefits

      * Beetroot: Provides folic acid which can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The NHS recommends taking a folic acid supplement in addition to eating foods high in folic acid during pregnancy2

      * Wholegrain brown rice: Both contain fibre which can help prevent constipation caused by your hormonal changes3

      * Feta: Contains protein which provides the building blocks for your baby to grow4. Other than mould-ripened soft cheeses, all other soft types of cheese are OK to eat when pregnant, provided they're made from pasteurised milk5

      * Mint: Contains iron which can help ensure your baby receives the necessary oxygen and nutrients in pregnancy6


      1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a low-medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 10 minutes until really soft.
      2. Meanwhile, pop the beetroot in a blender, puree until smooth as possible and set aside.
      3. Add the garlic and rosemary to the softened onion and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the barley or rice and cook for 1 minute more. Add a quarter of the stock and stir regularly until it has been absorbed. Then add another quarter of the stock and continue this process until all has been used up and the rice is tender. This will take 20-25 minutes.
      4. As the rice is cooking, cook the garden peas until they are tender then drain and set aside.
      5. Stir in the beetroot to the rice pan and season to taste. Warm through for a couple of minutes until piping hot, then stir in the drained peas.
      6. Spoon the risotto onto serving plates and crumble over the feta cheese. Scatter over the mint, flaked almonds and serve.

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      1. NHS. How to get more fibre into your diet [Online] 2018 Available at: [Accessed August 2018].
      2. NHS. Why do I need folic acid in pregnancy? [Online] 2018 Available at: [Accessed June 2018].
      3. NHS. Your pregnancy and baby guide [Online] 2018 Available at: [Accessed June 2018].
      4. NHS. Healthy Eating Pregnancy [Online] Available at: [Accessed July 2018].
      5. NHS. Foods to avoid in pregnancy [Online] Available at: [Accessed August 2018].
      6. British Nutrition Foundation. Nutrition and supplements during pregnancy [Online]. 2015. Available at:[Accessed July 2018].

      Last reviewed: 7th September 2018

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