Low-Fat Arancini | Porcini Mushroom Arancini | Reflux Recipe | Low Fat Recipe

Low-Fat Arancini | Porcini Mushroom and Mozzarella Arancini | Risotto Balls

Arancini (‘Risotto Balls’) are a delicious light meal, buffet food item for parties or as a starter

This is a recipe for low-fat, reflux-friendly baked porcini mushroom arancini

These arancini are baked, not fried.  This makes quite a few arancini – you can either reduce the quantities or you can freeze leftover ones and then re-heat them in the oven.

This recipe should suit most reflux* sufferers, but if you’re following the very rigid reflux induction diet from the ‘Dropping Acid‘ book, you will need to make the following changes:

  • Make the changes in the risotto as indicated in the risotto recipe
  • Do not use mozzarella – these arancini are equally delicious without the gooey cheese filling

Ingredients (this will make approximately 60-65 arancini)

  • Porcini mushroom risotto (see recipe), cooled & refrigerated – this works best if you make the risotto the previous day so it can be refrigerated overnight, but if you don’t have time to do this, make the risotto in the morning and give it as long as possible in the fridge.  If it’s still warm, it will be harder to shape into balls that don’t fall apart
  • 5 slices wholemeal bread, toasted
  • 40g porridge oats
  • A sprinkling of fine sea salt
  • 150g mozzarella, torn into small pieces (approx. 1cm squared)
  • Spray cooking oil (e.g. Frylight Olive)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) or 220° if it’s not fan-assisted.

While the oven is pre-heated, prepare your ingredients: 

Toast the slices of bread, let them cool a little, then tear them and place them in a food processor with the porridge oats and a generous sprinkling of salt.  Blitz them to a medium-fine consistency (not a powder, but not too big and lumpy either).

Drain the mozzarella and tear into small pieces, about 1cm squared.

Now it’s time to start making the arancini: 

Take a small amount of rice into your hand (use vinyl or latex gloves to stop the rice sticking to your hands).  The amount will be something you develop a ‘feel’ for – you’re aiming for risotto balls that are approximately the size of a golf ball. Squeeze the risotto a little bit, to help it stick together, then make a well in the palm of your hand.

Place a small piece of mozzarella into the well, close up the well and roll the risotto into a ball, ensuring the mozzarella is fully enclosed in rice so it doesn’t leak out.

Once you have shaped a risotto ball, roll it into the breadcrumbs and place onto a non-stick oven tray.

Repeat until you have made all the risotto balls (you will need 2-3 large oven trays).

Spray all the arancini with 1 cal spray cooking oil and place in the pre-heated oven.

Cook for 30 mins and serve – if you have them as a starter, you would typically have these on their own, but they also go nicely with a side salad.

Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Reflux-Friendly, Gloriously Low-Fat, Gloriously Good

*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified.  The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux.  If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you.  I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management.  The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet. 

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Low-Fat Porcini Mushroom Risotto | Low Fat Recipe | Reflux Recipe

This low-fat, reflux-friendly porcini mushroom risotto is delicious on its own

or when you make it into low-fat baked arancini (risotto balls)

This recipe should suit most reflux* sufferers, but if you’re following the very rigid reflux induction diet from the ‘Dropping Acid‘ book, you will need to make the following changes:

  • Substitute the butter with a tablespoon of olive oil
  • Do not use any parmesan cheese

The quantities below make 8 generous portions, as I like to make lots and turn some or all of the risotto into arancini (risotto balls) – any leftover arancini can be frozen and re-heated.

Ingredients (for 8 generous portions)

  • 700g arborio rice
  • 100g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1l boiling water
  • 100ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 20g butter
  • 2.5l chicken stock (or vegetable stock), made with the strained mushroom soak (milk & water), topped up with biling water to 2.5l, plus 5 Knorr Stockpots (or the equivalent amount of good quality stock cubes to make 2.5l of stock)
  • 40g grated parmesan

Method

Soak the mushrooms for 20 mins in 1 litre of boiling water mixed with 100ml cold semi-skimmed milk.

Heat the butter in a large stock-pot (cooking the risotto is even easier if you use a non-stick stock pot).  Remove the mushrooms from the water/milk soak and squeeze all liquid out with your hands.

TipLift the mushrooms out of their soak without going to the bottom of the bowl you’ve soaked them in, as there will be lots of sediment settled in the bottom.  The soak will still be very hot, so take care not to burn yourself.  Wearing latex/vinyl gloves may help and will also stop your nails discolouring from the mushroom soak. 

Add the mushrooms to the stockpot with the butter, along with a generous pinch of salt.  Keep the heat high but stir frequently to make sure the mushrooms don’t stick or burn.

Meanwhile, make the stock: Strain all sediment out of the mushroom soak (water/milk), top it up with boiling water to make 2.5l of liquid and add 5 stockpots (or enough stock cubes to make 2.5l of stock).  Stir vigorously for the stockpots to dissolve in the water.

After a minute or so, add the rice and stir to let it absorb the butter and mushroom flavour.  Stir to make sure it doesn’t stick and once the rice looks slightly glossy from the butter (should take no longer than a minute), add the stock.

Pour enough stock onto the rice to cover it, stir gently and once it’s started simmering, turn down the heat to keep it simmering gently.  Leave it to simmer, keeping a close eye on it but resisting the temptation to over-stir as you don’t want to break the rice grains.

Top up with more stock every time most of the stock has been absorbed.

Keep this going until the rice is cooked, but still with a bit of bite (‘al dente’).  This should take approximately 20 minutes, but as rice is a natural ingredient, how long it takes and much stock you end up using is variable.

Make sure the risotto isn’t too dry at the end (so add very little stock each time as you’re nearing the end of cooking).  You want it to be slightly wet as it will absorb more as it stands and, when you add the parmesan, this will also make it drier.

Stir in the grated parmesan and leave to stand for a few minutes before serving.

For those not on a low-fat diet / reflux diet, you can serve this with more parmesan to grate onto each dish at the table.

Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Reflux-Friendly, Gloriously Low-Fat, Gloriously Good

*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified.  The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux.  If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you.  I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management.  The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet. 

Tomato Risotto | Risotto al Pomodoro

How to make a simple tomato risotto

Tomato Risotto | Risotto al Pomodoro

Ingredients (for a 2-person meal or a 4-person ‘Primo’ – first course – or light meal)

  • 300g Italian rice (e.g. Arborio)
  • 1 medium-large onion, finely chopped
  • 50g lightly salted butter, plus an extra knob of butter to add at the end
  • 1tbsp sundried tomato purée
  • 1tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • 300ml tomato passata
    • TIP: If you prefer your risotto to be less strong on the tomato flavour, use less passata but compensate by using more stock
  • 700ml vegetable stock (If you’re not feeding vegetarians, use chicken stock instead – either home made or made with stock cubes, as it gives the risotto more depth of flavour)
  • Salt, to taste/if needed…check towards the end of cooking time for the risotto
  • Grated parmesan, approx. 2tbsp plus enough for each person to sprinkle on their own portion

TIP: Quantities of tomato passata and vegetable stock can be adjusted, as described above, to suit different tastes; in any case, the actual quantity of stock used will depend on a number of factors: the exact rice used, the ambient humidity, the temperature you’re cooking at, etc. As long as you add the stock a little bit at a time and don’t add any more until all the liquid has been absorbed, you will be fine.

Method

Melt the butter and oil in a non-stick saucepan or stockpot, on a low heat.

Add the finely chopped onion and soften, still on a low heat, until translucent (this should take a couple of minutes), then stir in the sundried tomato purée.

Add the rice and stir it in for up to a minute, to allow the flavours to infuse the rice grains.

Add the passata and stir.

Cook on a low heat, stirring regularly but gently (don’t over-stir as you may break the rice grains) until the passata has almost completely absorbed into the rice, then add a small amount of stock (50-100ml at a time, at most).

Continue to cook on a low heat, stirring regularly to make sure the risotto doesn’t stick/burn to the base of the pan, until the stock has almost completely absorbed into the rice, then add another small amount of stock.

Repeat this process until the rice is cooked; this can take up to 40 mins (check cooking times on the pack of rice), but it will depend on lots of factors, so let your eyes and taste-buds guide you: you need the rice to be a sticky, thick risotto. The rice needs to be soft but still have a distinct rice-like and slightly ‘al dente’ consistency (i.e. not have disintegrated/turned mushy).

Stir a knob of butter in at the end of the cooking time, along with a couple of tablespoons of grated parmesan. Serve immediately and provide additional grated parmesan to be sprinkled onto each individual portion.

TIP: If you use the risotto as an ingredient in Supplì, you will need it to be drier than it would be if you were eating it on its own. Also, in that case, do not add the final knob of butter or the parmesan.

Risotto – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!