Bella Italia – Plant Based Carpaccio with Healthy Brown Rice Risotto and Dairy Free Panna Cotta


Welcome Back to YouRoots! Today we are celebrating Italy – Bella Italia! We are doing a plant based take on some traditional Italian dishes, the final product turned out amazingly and are packed full of nutritious, delicious wholefoods! Just the way we like it at the Back To YouRoots kitchen!

The menu for today involves three dishes – Tomato Carpaccio with Healthy Brown Rice Risotto and Dairy Free Panna Cotta! The dessert was definitely the star of the show considering how simplistic it was to make, but isn’t dessert always the best part, especially when it’s made with minimal ingredients?


Tomato Carpaccio:

  • 2 tomatoes sliced in ⅛ and peeled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste balsamic vinegar.

Brown Rice Risotto:

  • 3/4 cup of whole grain brown rice
  • ¼ cup of Wild Rice
  • 1 cup of veggie stock
  • 1 cup of soy milk or almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of fresh thyme and Italian parsley.

Coconut Pana Cotta:

  • 400ml of coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp of cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp of date sugar.

One thing you will start to notice is you will see a trend with some of the ingredients we are cooking with, which means less trips to the grocery store for you.

First off, let’s get the oven pre-heated to 120c for the Tomato Carpaccio. Take the tomato and cut it into 4 – 6 wedges depending on the size of the tomato. Next you will want to take off the skin and get rid of the seeds. A quick way to do this is to take the wedge, press it against your cutting board and use your knife to cut just below the skin, you will lose a little bit of the tomato and that’s ok, practice makes perfect! Taking out the seeds should be fairly straight forward. As you finish preparing each wedge, place it onto the a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, fresh basil and salt, pepper. Mix it together on the baking sheet, it should look something like below. Bake in oven on very low heat 120c for 20 min.

Take the dehydrated tomatoes and place on plate drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a little more fresh basil. This dish pears very well with some fresh breads, we always encourage you to buy freshly baked breads with minimal ingredients as the majority of breads you find in the grocery store are packed full of preservatives and refined sugar. Be mindful in how you plate it, this is a great appetizer, very unique and sure to impress! Use the photo below as a good example on how to make this dish shine!

Time to get the main course going our take on a traditional Risotto, however we are using brown rice and wild rice instead of the traditional Arborio rice as we always promote wholefoods. Prep your veggies, chop the onions, mince the garlic and dice the mushrooms. Heat a pan, once heated and add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a pan. Saute chopped onions, garlic until golden brown add apple cider vinegar, veggie stock, soy milk, brown and wild rice, salt, pepper, mushrooms, green peas and simmer until tender for about 20 min or longer if needed. Add Italian parsley and serve. We also added a few other herbs and garnish to help with the presentation, we love our herbs at the Back to YouRoots kitchen!

It’s really that simple and is incredibly delicious! I wonder how Gordon Ramsay would feel about our Risotto, would he throw it across the room or say not bad? I’m in the middle on that one!

Time for our dairy free Coconut Pana Cotta! You will want to prepare this dish a few hours before serving it.

To start, take your cornstarch and add it a tiny amount of water, mix it with a spoon, this will greatly help with the consistency of the dish. Now bring the coconut milk to a boil, add in your cornstarch water mixture and simmer for one min. Fill in desired bowls (smaller the better) and refrigerate for 2 hours. Garnish with fresh berries and enjoy!

Thanks again for taking time out of your day and we really hope that you are finding value out of our blog posts and a few laughs from our videos. Stay tuned for another weekly blog post with another great recipe.

If you have any feedback or comments, good or bad, please let us know below, we welcome all feedback as we are always looking to improve. From the both of us remember to be positive, live with purpose and eat nutritious and delicious wholesome plant based foods!

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We are inspired by nutritious, honest wholefoods ingredients that we use in our own everyday diet, that the average consumer might not know how to prepare.

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