risotto with baby bellas and greens, lower carbs

I guess arborio rice is a bad carb, seeing as how it's been polished to a white rice state. So trying to aim lower with bad carb intake means reducing the percent of arborio rice compared to the veggie flavor ingredients in risotto. This translates into decreasing the usual cup of rice by a third and increasing the veggies.

The inspiration for this dish came from a newspaper recipe calling for spinach only and blue cheese (isn't that what Roquefort is?). Feta was as close as we could get. The crumbled feta from Trader Joe's seems to last forever in the fridge. Hmm. We are not questioning this miracle—just periodically checking for mold each time it comes out for another use. And we had a leftover zucchini on hand, plus some baby bellas (portabello/a mushrooms) that we were using for salads a few at a time. The salads have been given much higher priority lately. On the other hand bob is losing weight so once this recipe reaches completion, he goes for thirds finishing up the pot. The extra feta applied directly onto the second and third servings made it especially delicious. Even without the extra hit of fat, it is quite tasty.


2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, juliennned
2/3 c arborio rice
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 heaping t veggie broth paste, or equivalent
1 T butter
3 medium baby bellas
1 6oz bag prewashed baby spinach
1/4 c parmigiano
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
freshly ground black pepper to taste
serving option
more feta sprinkled on top


  1. Yet another risotto, eh? You know the drill. By now, autopilot.
  2. Start the teapot with a couple cups of water boiling.
  3. Peel and chop the onion. We use our plastic mandoline substitute.
  4. Clean and julienne the zucchini. Same deal.
  5. Sauté the onion in olive oil in a big flat deep nonstick pan.
  6. Throw in the zucchini after a few minutes. Keep going, say 8 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile sauté the mushrooms in butter in another small nonstick pan. About 5 minutes. Then turn off heat.
  8. Stir in the rice and let cook a minute. Then add 2/3 cup of boiling water and press in the garlic and incorporate the veggie paste. Stir around. Dump in the mushrooms. Stir around. Etc.
  9. Simmer, adding in a half cup boiling water or so when needed, until al dente. Maybe 20 minutes or less. Less.
  10. Meanwhile toss in the baby spinach leaves a handful at a time, stirring into the rice mixture until they wilt. Continue until all the spinach joins the party.
  11. When done, remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, grate in some pepper.
  12. Serve, with optional additional feta on top of each serving, or at least on the diet partner's serving.


  1. Maybe stopping at seconds would have been better, but the full impact of thirds did not fully materialize till a few hours later. Next time, moderation. Remember that diet partners.
  2. Illustrations available.
rslowcrb.htm: 18-aug-2006 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]