This brightly flavored risotto with carrots and feta tastes like comfort food but is full of health!

In the interest of full disclosure, I just want you to know that things are not always peaches-and-cream quinoa-and-broccoli in the Eats Well With Others kitchen abdominal cavity.

This past week, for instance, has been one huge exercise in falling.

Falling off the bandwagon.  Falling into disgust.

Falling into a tub of peanut butter. And chocolate chips.  And white chocolate chips.  And cinnamon chips.  And muffins.  And a tub of that other flavor of peanut butter.

Do you get my drift?


But today starts a new week.  (Yes, my week starts on Wednesdays. I do, in fact, let my Eat.Live.Be. posts dictate the rest of my life.)

And though sometimes it’s so hard to break the vicious sugar cycle.  I’m doing it.  Today.

Because I’m worth it.  Because my first race is on Saturday and I want to rock it.  Because I officially start half marathon training this week (physical therapist-APPROVED) and my body needs NUTRIENTS to keep itself healthy and injury-free.  (And not cinnamon chips.  Definitely not cinnamon chips.)

Because I promised you I would.

Because I promised myself I would.

And just because.

No reasons necessary.


So if you see me on the street and you offer me a slice of cake.  Don’t be offended if I turn it down.

It’s not that I don’t love you.

It’s not that I don’t think it’s delicious.

It’s that I’m prioritizing me.  And one day…I might have enough self control to eat one slice of cake and not let it spiral into a sugar-eating coma binge.


But that day.  Is apparently not today.

It might not be tomorrow.

But I really hope it’s next week.  Cause I already kinda miss cake.


My mini goal for this week is to stay on point.  Weight watchers points, that is.

Every week so far, there have been points that I haven’t counted in.  Which has been fine. I still lost weight. No biggie.

But not for four days in a row.

It’s time to reign myself in.  Count religiously for a week.  And see how I come out on the other end.

It’s just one week.  And if there’s anything I can give myself after everything my body has given me…it’s one week.

Are you with me?  Any mini goals of your own that you want to share?

One of my favorite healthy living blogs is Can You Stay For Dinner?  The author, Angie, lost 135 pounds doing a combination of Weight Watchers and just mindful eating.  And lots of walking.

And unlike most healthy living bloggers…she’s real.  She eats cake.  She doesn’t exercise to extremes.  She doesn’t eat one slice of pizza and then claim to be “so full”.

Recently, a reader emailed her and asked what they should do when they slip up.  Here’s her answer. I think it’s pretty perfect.

Check out Sarah’s, Cate’s, and Patsy’s blogs for more Eat.Live.Be. inspiration!


Risotto. Totally not what you think of when I say “healthy food”.  But the thing about risotto is that it gets a bad rep because restaurants load it up with cream and cheese and more cream.

It needn’t be so!

Traditional risotto gets it’s creaminess from the starch that the arborio rice emits as it cooks, slowly but surely, in the veggie broth.  It’s an all-inclusive kind of deal.  Comes with the arborio rice package.

This risotto in particular is more of a Greek take on the Italian classic.  A bit tangy from the feta and lemon, woodsy from the dill, and a hint of sweet from the carrots.  It’s got all the creaminess you need and then some.  All for about 450 calories a serving (12 WW points).  See, we can do this.  Day one. Done.

Risotto with Carrots and Feta…Eat.Live.Be.
This brightly flavored risotto with carrots and feta tastes like comfort food but is full of health!
Yield: 4 servings
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup feta, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a covered pot. Put the carrots in the stock, lower the heat and very gently simmer.
  2. In a large wok or saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until softened but not brown. Carefully add the rice and stir gently until the grains are thoroughly coated with oil.
  3. Add the dill. Ladle 1 cup of the carrot stock (with carrots included!) into the saucepan with the rice and stir. When it is absorbed, ladle in another cup's worth. Keep stirring in the stock and carrots like this until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender but al dente (20-30 minutes).
  4. When the risotto is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, feta and parsley. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

I am submitting this to Allergy-Free Wednesdays!


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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103 Responses to Risotto with Carrots and Feta…Eat.Live.Be.

  1. Good luck with your half training! Super exciting 🙂 This dish is the perfect way to get back on track. Looks delish!

  2. Kristen says:

    I have been on the fence about whether or not to use aborio or regular rice today. You have tipped the scales. A risotto it is. Lemon, carrots, I like what you did with yours.

  3. Eliana says:

    Amazing risotto Joanna – amazing. And it doesn’t matter how often you fall off the wagon so long as you get back up there.

  4. Simply Life says:

    I love this risotto combo- looks great, as always! 🙂

  5. I love that blog. You know she’s got a book coming out, right? I’d love to meet her. I’ve been trying to find desserts with less sugar–with my IBS, there’s no sense in killing myself and feeling like crap. Want to help me come up with one?

  6. This sounds delightful! And good luck training!

  7. london bakes says:

    Oh love this! The feta in there sounds just amazing.

  8. Sam says:

    Looks so good. And adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks from my favorite restaurant. 🙂

  9. You are going to get there, I know it. And I’m going to keep using you as my inspiration and motivation to get to be able to eat one piece of cake as well!

  10. Mary says:

    This looks heavenly, despite the fact I do not like feta. I’m betting with parm or pecorino, it would be just as delicious. I really like Angie’s blog as well. She is so real and keeps it all in perspective.

    I ate too many sweets yesterday and went to bed feeling gross. I’m looking forward to eating super clean today and the rest of the week as well! I know my body will thank me.

  11. Patsy says:

    I totally hear you on the slip-ups! I am getting “better” about eating just one cookie (have to bake for the kids and all…), but not perfect by any means.

    I am so going to make this risotto! Sounds like if I plan my days right, I can enjoy this for lunches next week. Yum!

  12. Thats an awesome saying “your body keeps an accurate journal…” Can be misleading though for persons with high/low metabolism where the body does not reflect reality. But what is reality? Good risotto without a ton of cream is reality

  13. Katerina says:

    I make risotto very often since it is my son and husband’s favorite! I have never tried to infuse feta in it, can you imagine? And I live in Greece, so funny! This one is a winner Joanne looks very tasty and definitely a healthy meal!

  14. Adrienne says:

    This looks great! Sweet from the carrots and salty from the feta. Count me in!

  15. I am SO making this. I am certain every (counted) calorie will be worth it!

  16. Hannah says:

    I have nothing useful to say about this recipe, but Joanne, you are immensely inspiring. That is all. <3

  17. Rachel says:

    I love Moosewood related cookbooks!!

  18. MM says:

    This is perfect, Joanne! I have some feta hanging around and we’re pulling carrots from the garden before it starts getting too warm. Also, I see lots of lemon and that makes me happy. Love the shot with the lemons on the cutting board–it actually made me smile.

  19. Sarah says:

    good luck with your training! woohoo, how exciting! this sounds incredible. i love how simple it is too!

  20. It’s been too long since i made risotto. This is going to have to change immediately.

  21. I understand how you feel. It seems when I have a little usgar, I can’t control myself and I tend to over due it day after day. I think having mini goals is the best way to go. Thats what I did for my weight loss. I don’t like to lok at the pbig picture saying by summer I’ll lose 20lbs, beacsue it doesn’t happen and I set myself up for disapointment. All you can do is take it one day at a time and I do believe that having a treat here or there is ok. This about enjoying life and if having a cookie, slice of cake is aprt of it, then do it, just not everyday.

    The risotto looks wonderful, I have yet to make risotto, but I will. I still plan on making your sweet poato soup recipe you posted the other day, it’s save in my e-mails.

    Keep your chin up and remember you can do anything you set your mind to!

  22. Amy says:

    You sound like one of those motivational signs from Pinterest. See! Pinterest IS productive! *snort* I have 2 Moosewood cookbooks and I loooove them.

  23. sally says:

    If you must fall, landing in a tub of peanut butter sounds pretty good. I’d like to fall into a bowl of this yummy looking risotto.

  24. Pam says:

    I have had risotto about once a week lately, and this sounds wonderful.

  25. Yet another meal that I want to stick my face into. I really love that you add so many veggies (and feta!) into traditional comfort dishes!!

  26. Danielle says:

    I love the Greek flavors – this sounds great!

  27. Megan says:

    I go through very small spurts when I do ok without sugar, but mostly I develop huge cravings for it. I’d have a hard time turning down a piece of cake any day. Good luck! Feta should definitely help… it’s almost as good as cake. 🙂

  28. Faith says:

    Love this. Ugh, I was down on myself for a slip-up yesterday (I won’t even say how many cupcakes I ate). Not even sure why I did it since I felt like complete crap after putting all that sugar into my body. But today is the start of a new week for me too. XO

  29. Joanne, you are right. It is all about getting back on track. Every day is a new day. Keep it up with the WW points! 🙂

  30. Jenna says:

    Oooh, I’ve heard wonders about that Moosewood Restaurant cookbook, which gives me even more confidence that this recipe is amazing. If I can just assemble the patience so stir the risotto . . .

  31. Mary says:

    This sounds quite delicious, Joanne. I love the addition of feta. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  32. SallyBR says:

    Feta and carrots… this is just superb!

    Risotto always makes our dinner feels special, so I’m pinning this one for soon

    (I lover her blog, Can you Stay for Dinner? – her will power is incredible, what a journey she went through, and just keeps going, better and better)

  33. Proud of you Joanne! Excited for you and the start of your new journey :). It’s all about moderation, right! Risotto is one of my favorite foods to cook and eat. Love this recipe!

  34. Roz says:

    Gosh Joanne, your blog and your posts are just a God-send to me! I, too, joined W.W. and have downed 10 biggie pounds this past month of January. You keep me inspired. You keep me laughing. You keep me going, girl! And this risotto recipe will be made very soon. Man, do I miss risotto. Oh how I miss pasta. But wow, am I loving how to eat more mindfully and prepare recipes more healthfully! And boy, do I love my clothes fitting more loosely. And yea, I’m in this for the long haul. Many blessings to you, Roz

  35. All power to you, Joanne 🙂

    YAY for Moosewood – so good. Much as I love my risotto loaded with cream, I also love that it can produce that texture on its own without any help.

  36. Shannon says:

    You ARE worth it!!! and i’ve been a little lax as well lately, so trying to clean up my act as well. you’re totally right about risotto, though, it’s only unhealthy if you don’t make it 🙂 this looks delish!

  37. Mo 'Betta says:

    Hmmm, I have been debating WW for a while. This risotto sounds amazing! I love lemon and feta. I am pretty much in love with everything lemon right now! Of course, I was just thinking abt making scones *sigh*

  38. Beth says:

    This looks delicious and so filling. I was surprised that it would be 450 calories, but I know that feta brings both flavor and calories. What a great way to start your week!

  39. Hey Joanne, been while since I visited… weight watchers huh… I wish everyone ultimate success. They are always ranked among the best system.

    and always love your risotto ideas!


  40. Good luck with your week of counting. I often find I have to really watch what I eat after a week of not caring so much to help get me back on track.

    This risotto sounds amazing. Like I needed more carrots in my life 😉

  41. Lyndsey says:

    mmm…I not only li8ke the looks of this, but I’ll bet it tastes great too. I have everything already to make it….always a good thing! So it’s good to know when I am walking down the street with a piece of cake I’ll understand…

  42. Big Dude says:

    Good looking dish Joanne. We just got a risotto lession at a cooking class this weekend.

  43. Great looking dish! I didn’t realize you do points. I started WW to get back to eating better, when cookies for breakfast became a regular thing.

  44. Candace says:

    Can I seriously make risotto without wine? I don’t think I ever have. I don’t need the cream or the cheese…well…maybe I need a little cheese and feta totally works…but I love it when the wine hits the pan. In any case, you have never once steered me wrong. This risotto looks delicious. If I can have risotto AND WW then maybe I will take the plunge and join. I’ve been considering it for the last couple of months. You’ve just given me yet another reason to go for it.

  45. Ben says:

    Yeah, you go girl! Good luck on your race Saturday. Can I now have some of that delicious risotto? 🙂

  46. Lora says:

    I love this risotto. Just a few ingredients and so flavorful!

  47. now that I can do. I’ll just act like I didn’t eat that glazed donut 10 minutes ago. womp womp.

  48. kankana says:

    If I could run miles after miles like you do .. i wouldn’t worry about all the sugar intake ! This risotto .. healthy or not, looks too yum to miss.

  49. Tessa says:

    Looks good. Risotto is one of things I have never made, but it is definitely on my list! I’ve had a rough week or so off the bandwagon too – things get stressful and immediately I start eating worse 🙂 Back on for both of us!

  50. Christine says:

    Yummy! I’ll be climbing right up on the health wagon with you. Jan. sucked and so did I…junk food! So it’s back to the commitment to be healthier. The quote on the photo is perfect, my bod kept an exact record of what I inhaled last month! Darn!

  51. Reeni says:

    I have the same issues! I NEED dessert! Especially on the weekends! I’m good 5 out of 7 days – that counts for something right? This is a great way to keep on track, I could eat this for lunch or dinner. Full of yummyness.

  52. I’ve always done best when I track my food. When I stop, I gain weight. I haven’t been journaling which is why I’ve packed on a LOT of weight over the last 6 months or so. I actually started back up. Usually I just use, look up the calories and just keep it on a spreadsheet. But some friends convinced me to use sparkpeople so I’m doing that this week. It takes more time which is what is annoying but hopefully it will get easier. I wish you well with the points!

    I have like 5 risotto recipes that I am dying to try, this one sounds awesome, thanks!

  53. I didn’t know there was a healthy version of risotto but leave it to you to come up with one!

  54. A great idea for a healthy risotto which we love!
    Thanks Joanne! 🙂

  55. Nicole, RD says:

    Congrats on the weight loss! And PT-approved racing? Saturday? WOOT! I am racing Saturday, too. And like yourself, I think it is that fact and that fact alone that may keep me from going into DKA this week!

    The risotto looks simple, clean, and perfect! 🙂

  56. Pam says:

    Good for you for getting back on track. I am trying to do that too… it’s hard! Loving this healthy yet totally flavorful risotto. It looks fantastic!

  57. Lori says:

    Part of me thinks its the time of year. I seem to fall off the wagon in the middle of winter as well. Hang in there, we’ll get it back together. 😉 This dish is a great way to start a healthy week (regardless of whether that week starts on Wed or Mon).

  58. Deborah says:

    Talk about falling off the wagon – hello red velvet week! Let me tell you – as much fun as it is, I’m ready for a detox! I LOVE risotto, and I’m loving this take on it. I’ve never had feta in risotto, but I definitely want to try it now!

  59. daphne says:

    I totally understand where you are coming from.. but well done in trying again! that is what matters!! Looking at the risotto- i am sure it is much better than cake… ;p

  60. mhmm looks yummy! I hadnt had risotto in a while and my pantry is full of rice bags so I ll try your recipe once. I am just wondering from where I can get feta cheese. do u think I can use paneer instead of feta?

  61. Johanna GGG says:

    carrots feta and dill is such a class combo but so much nicer in risotto – have bookmarked this one – I tried making a muesli slice this week but it fell apart and seems so much more healthy as muesli – though I think that is taking the broken biscuit theory to extremes

  62. Maureen says:

    Your risotto looks better than any cake I’ve looked at today. Yum. One day at a time. 🙂

  63. Gloria says:

    this risotto look amazing Joanne!

  64. You are definitely an inspiration to me. I like to pretend that I’m eating super healthy right alongside you. Although, that sentiment about the body being the best journal shoots me in the butt everytime 😉 Your risotto looks mouthwatering!

  65. That Girl says:

    I think everyone needs a “fall” week once in a while. It reminds you to get back up!

  66. Raina says:

    Definitely okay to fall off the wagon sometimes, as long as you get back on, and when you get back on, you don’t fool around; you go totally healthy. I tend to fall off a lot more and then sometimes I am hanging on while the wagon is still going while I am running to catch up…lol Your risotto sounds fantastic with wonderful flavors:)

  67. teresa says:

    yes! i love this! just because we let ourselves indulge a bit doesn’t mean it’s over and time to give up. we can always recommit, sometimes i feel like i have to recommit for a few days before it really sticks.

    a gorgeous risotto like this looks like just the thing!

  68. Leave it to you to make a healthy risotto! Love it. And don’t be so hard on yourself. In twenty years you will look back on your photos from your twenties and wonder why you didn’t see how beautiful you were. Trust me.

  69. Laurie says:

    Joanne, this is making me hungry! I love the creaminess of feta.. and with the risotto consistancy this all adds up to YUM!

  70. Cara says:

    I wish that more people could understand that “falling off” here and there doesn’t kick you off for life. I’m proof! Plus, I think we all get caught up in the mindset that if we don’t eat 18bazillion cupcakes right now, we won’t ever get to eat them again. That’s simply not the case. So rest assured, my friend, there will be cake in your future!

  71. Good Luck with your training Joanne. I look forward to hearing how your week goes.

  72. katiez says:

    In like the chocolate chips IN the peanut butter…. Sigh….
    Love the risotto!

  73. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Delicious and healthy! You can’t go wrong with that as a combination. Blessings my dear, Catherine xoxo

  74. I love reading about your healthy living story. Good for you for getting back on track! That’s what I’m trying to do right now. Or always. Love the sound of this risotto with the feta and dill!

  75. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesdays! This risotto looks DIVINE Joanne!

    Be sure to check back next week for recipe highlights (including the top 3 reader choice submissions and hostess favorites).

    Be Well!

  76. This looks really good! I really need to experiment with risotto more…

  77. This is very motivational!! thanks for sharing and good luck with your training

  78. Hummm…I love risotto! The cream-and-cheese-and-more-cream kind is pretty awesome (let’s be honest) but your version is so much more healthy and interesting! Way to go Joanne!

    Camila Faria

  79. Robin says:

    Yummy! This is so simple and I can’t believe it’s healthy too. Awesome!

  80. Carolyn Jung says:

    You go, girl! You are a stronger person than me. I don’t think I could turn down a piece of cake, especially if it was very, very, very good cake. 😉

  81. Holly says:

    Your pictures are amazing and this sounds delicious!

  82. tigerfish says:

    Can I just…DIG IN? as your risotto looks too good!

  83. Elizabeth says:

    Ha, that’s an excellent quote. Carrot risotto sounds delicious.

  84. Julie says:

    Hi! This looks so delicious. Risotto is one of my favorites and these are great flavors.

  85. Joanne, I love the photo of the squeezed lemons with the measuring cup. You have a great photographic eye. I’ve done Weight Watchers in the past with great success. It’s a good outline for eating in moderation, which we all have a problem with every now and again. Good luck staying on track, and with your race!

  86. I’m so glad to hear you fall off the wagon now and then, Joanne. You always seem so very GOOD when it comes to eating healthy and deliciously. 🙂 I climbed back on the wagon this week and it feels good. Really good. 🙂

  87. elly says:

    Love this take on risotto. I’m not sure how I, of all people, have not thought to add feta to risotto!

  88. JasmyneTea says:

    Brava! I applaud your efforts! I really admire you for posting this.

  89. Jeanette says:

    Love this Greek style risotto! I don’t make risotto because it often calls for so much butter so I’m glad to see this creamy recipe without all the calories.

  90. Trish says:

    I love this risotto. It looks so healthy and so good. Good clean food. Love it.

  91. A Greek and Italian combo – just like me! Looks delicious!

  92. Chris says:

    That is a gorgeous risotto, Joanne. And as far as slipping up, you just have to learn to forgive yourself. I have slipped up many a time. I might even be a pro at it, ha ha.

  93. Erica says:

    What a beautiful dish….Love the addition of dill!

  94. I might just have to make this sadly without the feta right now during my E2 Challenge but it still sounds like it would be delicious even without it. 😉

  95. we all fall and stumble but the beauty is keeping the grace when we stand up. you are an inspiration Joanne. I wish though that i could be more determined and focused (hahaha do i sound so negative?) i hope not.
    happy monday. glad to know there is an alternative to make creamy risotto without all the butter.

  96. Karen says:

    Looks and sounds wonderful!

  97. Casey says:

    I love risotto and you have made a pretty dish out of it.

  98. I can never make enough risotto combinations. This one looks outstanding! I will have to try it out soon. Love your blog BTW!

  99. I just ranted and raved about how much i dont like carrots on facebook. I might end up having to take that back huh?

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