500 Calories or Less: Mushroom Risotto

500 Calories or Less: Mushroom Risotto

This is one of our favourite less-than-500-calorie meals. It’s perfect if you’re looking for 5:2 diet plan ideas or just fancy something lighter for dinner. The 500 calories fast days are the most challenging part of the diet. The point of the 5:2 diet is that you give your body two fast days and five days where you eat normally, albeit slightly healthier. The diet has become one of the nation’s favourite weight-loss options, and the fast days needn’t be as scary as they sound.

This delicious easy mushroom risotto, packed with vegetables, can really help you and your family up your 5-a-day intake. The wild mushrooms and almonds make a delightful combination – earthy and nutty – with the added al dente texture of the arborio rice. If you have any leftovers, make sure you store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within two days and thoroughly reheat in the microwave or oven before serving again.

Being on a diet doesn’t mean missing out on your favourite treats. We’ve got many low-calorie versions of classic meals, including curry, stir-fries, sandwiches and more. And, of course, we’d love to hear how you’re getting on with your 5:2 diet progress, so feel free to comment below and let us know all about it.

Serves: 3-4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 314 per serving


• 15g dried porcini mushrooms
• 30g butter
• 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
• A few sprigs of sage
• 150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
• 150g arborio rice
• 300ml hot vegetable stock
• 300ml unsweetened almond milk

To serve:

• 2 knobs of butter
• About 30g unblanched almonds, split in half
• 100g wild mushrooms, well rinsed


Add the dried porcini mushrooms to 150ml of just-boiled water and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Strain, keep the liquid, and chop mushrooms.

Meanwhile, warm the butter in a pan. Add the red onion, garlic and a sage sprig and fry for about 5 minutes. Next, add the porcini mushrooms with the chestnut mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the rice, turn up the heat, and pour the mushroom-soaking liquid. Let it cook until almost evaporated.

Pour in about half of the stock, occasionally stirring until it has been absorbed, then add the rest of the stock, stirring until absorbed.

Add the almond milk and stir until creamy and tender. It will take about 20 minutes. Season well, and take out the sprig of sage.

Warm a little oil in a small pan, add some sage leaves and cook until just beginning to crisp. Take out and drain on kitchen paper.

Add a knob of butter to the pan, along with the almonds, and cook until browned, then tip them onto the paper. Add a little more butter and fry the mushrooms. Season well. Spoon mushrooms on the risotto and scatter the nuts and sage leaves on top. Enjoy!

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