Risotto is truly one of the most ideal recipes for meal prep! It only uses one pan, takes 30 minutes to prepare, and requires only a handful of ingredients. Not to forget, it is deliciously creamy and when you add a variety of vegetables and peas to this rice-based dish – a perfectly well-balanced meal.
What is the secret to making this risotto extra creamy, without using dairy products you may ask?
… Tahini of course!
What is tahini?
Tahini is made from sesame seeds from which the outer bran is removed, roasted, and ground. When the sesame seeds are left unroasted, the tahini is considered “raw”.
It is predominantly used in the Levantine, Middle Eastern, Greek, Lebanese, and Turkish cuisines, but has gained global popularity as a flavoursome and versatile health food. Most people consume tahini in the form of hummus, of which it is one of the key ingredients.
Is this meal nutritionally well-balanced?
Contrary to the risotto dishes you might have eaten in the past, this meal prep is a balanced variant. It contains a bunch of baby spinach and a generous amount of mushrooms. It also has an essential dose of protein, served in the form of garden peas. Risotto is of course a rice-based dish and thus contains a healthy dose of starch. Lastly, it contains healthy fats in the forms of olive oil and tahini.
As you may know by now, vegan meals tend to last much longer throughout the week than meals that contain dairy or meat. Regardless, I recommend refrigerating your vegan meal prep meals and consuming your meals within four days of preparing them. This ensures that the meal is still at its most desirable quality – both nutritionally and taste-wise, especially since this meal is not freezer-friendly!
If you don’t have baby spinach on hand, you can easily substitute it for another leafy green vegetable, such as kale. To replace the serving of garden peas, you can easily swop the peas for any beans of your choice. If you don’t have arborio rice on hand, I recommend using short-grain brown rice instead, which achieves a similar creamy consistency as arborio rice.
I recommend serving this meal hot – three minutes in the microwave should suffice.
The recipe for this meal makes three moderate meals. If you prefer to eat large meals, you can simply double the recipe. Personally, I eat a moderate-sized meal, while my partner eats a large meal.
More 30-minute meal prep recipes
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Thai Green Curry with Jasmine Rice
- Sheet Pan recipe: Deconstructed Falafel Bowl with Tahini Sauce
Don’t forget to share your meals with me and other fellow VMPS preppers by tagging your posts with #veganmealprepsunday. I’d love to see how your meals turned out!
Tahini Mushroom Risotto
- 3/4 cup arborio rice
- 3 tsp vegetable stock powder to make vegetable stock
- 3 cups water to make vegetable stock
- 1 TBSP truffle-infused olive oil
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- salt to taste
- 250 g portobellini mushrooms finely diced
- 100 g baby spinach roughly chopped
- 1.5 cups garden peas frozen
- 2 TBSP tahini
- juice of 1/2-1 lemon
- fresh thyme to taste
- vegan parmesan cheese to taste (optional)
- truffle infused olive oil to taste
- Bring water to the boil in a sauce pan and add the vegetable stock powder, then reduce the heat to very low.
- In a saute pan, heat the truffle-infused olive oil on medium to high heat. Fry the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt until translucent and slightly browned. Add in the mushrooms and cook for two to three minutes. You want them to develop some colour, without being fully cooked.
- Add the rice and stir well for a minute or two to allow the grains to absorb the flavours. Ladle in enough hot stock to cover the rice. Then simmer on medium heat for several minutes, stirring constantly until the grains have absorbed all the liquid. Add the remaining liquid, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly, until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is perfectly al dente. This will take 20-25 minutes.
- Defrost the peas by covering them with freshly boiled water and leave them for five minutes. Drain it and add the peas to the pan along with the baby spinach, lemon juice, and tahini. Stir until the spinach is wilted.
- Serve with fresh thyme, a drizzle of truffle-infused olive oil, and some optional vegan parmesan cheese.