The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Beetroot Speltotto

If you have been on one of our weight loss retreats this June you would have tried our new beetroot speltotto dish. Spelt is a tasty alternative to rice with a nuttier flavour and chewier texture. The sweetness in the beetroot pairs perfectly with this nutty grain. We finish it with goats cheese, chickpeas, garden peas, kale and mint; making a light summery meal with balanced protein and fibre.

We grow a lot of spelt in the UK which makes it a great local grain to use instead of rice. You can buy pearled and whole spelt in most supermarkets or at your local wholefood shop.

For our retreats we use Sharpham Park organic pearled spelt. Pearled spelt is the whole grain with most of the husk removed. Whole spelt is more fibrous, it will take longer to cook and may require more stock. Whole spelt will also have a more of a bite than pearled spelt.


Serves 6
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 celery, diced
  • 1/2 carrot, diced
  • 2 medium beetroot
  • 200g pearled spelt
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • Small handful of peas
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 4 cubes of frozen kale (or 2 small handfuls of fresh kale, stalks removed)
  • 100g chickpeas, shelled
  • 50g goats cheese
  • Salt & pepper

Cook off more beetroot than you need for this recipe and keep some in the fridge to add to salads or to make our Beetroot Hummus recipe.

When cooking this recipe the key is to make sure none of the spelt catches at the bottom of the pan. If you have made risotto before follow the same method, slowly adding the stock a ladle at a time allowing each ladle to be absorbed into the grain. You can use the spelt base and vary the vegetables depending on the season. Remember to balance the protein with a bean or lentil and a small amount of cheese.

Method for Beetroot Speltotto:

  1. First cook the beetroot- this can be done in advance. Pre-heat oven to 200C (180C Fan). Wrap the beetroot in foil then place in hot oven, bake for 30-45 mins or until beetroot is soft. Leave to cool.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat and sweat onions for 5 mins but do not colour.
  3. Add celery, carrot and garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Add spelt and keep stirring. Cook the spelt for the couple of minutes, coating it in the oil and vegetables in the pan.
  4. Put the stock in a pan on a low heat.
  5. Add two ladles of stock to the spelt and vegetables and give a good stir.
  6. Once cool, peel and cube the beetroot then add to the spelt mixture at this stage.
  7. Once most of the stock has been absorbed by the spelt, add another ladle.  Continue to do this making sure after each ladle or two it is absorbed before adding the next. (You don’t have to be stuck to the whole time this is cooking but you will have to stay in the kitchen).
  8. It should take 20-40 mins for all the stock to be absorbed depending on whether you have pearled or whole spelt. Taste to make sure the spelt is cooked, it should have a bite but cook longer if you would like it softer, adding more stock as needed.
  9. Once cooked add the shelled chickpeas, garden peas, kale and half of the goats cheese. Check seasoning.
  10. Serve, topping each plate with the remaining goats cheese and finally the chopped mint.

To make this dish vegan replace the goats cheese with a dairy free alternative. Like a risotto this is a dish best eaten fresh but can be eaten for lunch or dinner the next day if reheated fully.

We are also working on a wheat free version of this dish, we will upload the recipe later this summer but do let me know if you want any advice on grain alternatives!

One Reply to “Beetroot Speltotto”

  1. This looks great I am already regularly doing the mushroom speltotto, but this looks great for summer/ will make a really nice change

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