Try This Vegan Risotto that Even Italians Would Envy

Eating healthy and nutritious meals can be very challenging at times due to a number of factors. For example, most people find it overwhelming to decide what ingredients to choose, how to combine them and what proper serving sizes should look like on a plate. Moreover, there is another tendency revolving around the concept of eating healthy that is pretty dangerous: some people tend to believe that in order to eat better, one has to spend considerable amounts of money on expensive ingredients. The result is that they end up buying take-out or eating junk food on a daily basis because of their lower prices.

In this article, we wish to encourage you to eat better and include more nutritional ingredients in your diet. We’ll help you organize your meals properly and debunk the myth that in order to eat healthy one has to spend more money. We'll also include a recipe that you can make on a budget with healthy ingredients to start your path to a better and nutritious diet on the right foot. 

Organizing your plate

If you ever struggled with identifying how to combine ingredients that are better for your health and what a proper serving size should look like, the Healthy Eating Plate guide could be very useful.  Basically, what this guide states is that your dish should be divided into three sections: half of the plate should only be vegetables and the other remaining half should be divided into other 2 sections, one for whole grains and the other for healthy proteins

When it comes to vegetables, try to include as many colors as possible: greens, like spinach or lettuce; red, like tomatoes or bell peppers; orange, like carrots or pumpkin… A great idea, and an extra tip, is to include at least 3 colors in every meal!

Proteins can come from meat like chicken or beef but also from beans and nuts if you happen to have a plant-based diet. Whole grains that you may use are wheat, barley and rice. Rice is a great whole grain to have always in your pantry: it is extremely versatile and its variants can be included in a number of different dishes!

Debunking myths

Many people avoid cooking and end up having fast food on a daily basis because they believe that buying healthier ingredients is more expensive and time-consuming. However, it does not necessarily have to be that way. 

If one sticks to seasonal produce like vegetables and fruits they will not only be fresher and more flavorful, they will also be more affordable. Also, practicing meal planning can help to avoid overspending. This is very helpful before going shopping since you'll end up buying only what you need! 

Bulk-buying whole grains can also help you save money. They can be used in a wide variety of dishes and are extremely versatile. To create cheaper and healthier meals you could start by having different kinds of whole grains at home: wheat, barley, brown rice or Arborio rice, like, for instance. 

For example, below you'll find a recipe for a vegan risotto that even Italians would envy.

Affordable and nutritious vegan risotto


  • 1½ cups of arborio rice.
  • 5 cups vegetable broth.
  • 1 finely chopped onion.
  • 3 cloves of garlic.
  • 16 oz Mushrooms.
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
  • ⅓ cup of chopped parsley.
  • Vegan parmesan cheese.
  • A pinch of salt.
  • Olive oil to taste.


  1. In a large pot pour some olive oil and heat over medium-heat. 
  2. Once it's hot enough, add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Bring all these ingredients to medium heat and cook for about ten minutes. 
  3. Add the arborio rice and stir until the grains are translucent and lightly perfumed. 
  4. Pour the vegetable broth and cook until the rice is soft, which will take about 20 min. 
  5. If you see that the vegetable broth has disappeared but the rice grains are still uncooked, add more broth to the soon-to-be risotto. 
  6. While the rice is cooking, heat some olive oil in a skillet. 
  7. Add the sliced mushrooms and salt to taste. Cook them until golden. 
  8. Reduce the heat and pour the balsamic vinegar, cook for another three minutes until the balsamic vinegar has thickened.

Once the rice is fully cooked, serve a portion in a bowl, top with your glazed mushrooms, chopped parsley, some vegan parmesan and enjoy!.