Spring Cauliflower Risotto

Ah Risotto...a classic, versatile and personal favorite comfort food. Arborio rice loves to sip on savory broth. With each sip and stir it gently releases its delightfully creamy starches.

Risotto is so versatile, indeed! There are so many combinations of seasonal ingredients to build on the simple flavor of the Arborio rice to create a tasty and filling meal.

Some favorite risotto combinations:

Parsley, asparagus & shrimp

Sausage, basil, kale & red sauce

Mushrooms, peas, tarragon & sweet potato. 

In these times of faux foods and many substitutions, I hesitate to even call this risotto, but I am going to go for it. Because I am one of those people who eat tacos in a lettuce leaf (corn makes me feel terrible) and often sprinkles Diaya on my enchiladas (also in almond flour wraps).

This recipe was developed for a client who does not eat any grains. It is 100% cauliflower based. When I make it for myself I start with a 1/2 cup of rice and add the cauliflower in once the rice is almost done, mainly for all of it's health benefits.

Cauliflower is loaded with Vitamin C & K, it is a great source of fiber, phytonutrients (where the sulfur is), antioxidants (tames free radicals), and omega-3s, just to name a few. Cauliflower's nutrients are best preserved with minimal cooking and ideally with liquid for a healthy saute/steam. That is why in this recipe I used broth/water instead of a fat.

Spring Cauliflower Risotto Makes ~4 servings

1/2 cup broth/water (divided)

1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped, then pulsed through a food processor

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into choice sized

4-5 leaves of fresh mint, finely chopped

Optional :

~3" piece of burdock root, scrubbed, peeled and cut into matchsticks or use a peeler and ribbon it

1/2 pound of chicken sausage

In a medium skillet, on medium heat,  add 1/4 C broth/water cook onions & garlic, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Chop and process the cauliflower. Cauliflower should only be in the processor for about 10-15 seconds. Over processing can release its sulfur, which smells and tastes pretty terrible.

Once the onions and garlic are tender, add the cauliflower,  then add some salt and pepper, stir to combine, add another splash of water or broth and cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stirring 2-3 times. 

Work on prepping the rest of the ingredients. Once cauliflower is cooked, transfer it to a bowl, wipe the skillet, add oil/fat/broth and cook the rest of the ingredients, starting with the chicken if using. Otherwise, if you are going to use burdock, get that going first, cook for about 5 minutes, then add asparagus. Total cook time with the chicken is about 15 minutes, without is about 10. 

Combine everything, toss with the mint, add more salt, pepper and mint to taste. 

Buon appetito!

 

Enchiladas for the win!

Enchiladas are classic yet so versatile and a great choice for week night dinners. Their fillings can use up must-go veggies & meats. Or you can plan ahead for your favorite combinations. Some of our favorites are chipotle chicken & cabbage, or vegetarian style black beans, kale & bell peppers. Recently, I made these because, it is what I had in the fridge and they were amazing!

General recipe:

Preheat oven to 350

1 onion, cut into half moons

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

4-6 oz shiitakes mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced

Choice seasoning: for these ones I used oregano, red pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper

In a medium sized skillet, warm 1 T choice cooking oil (I've been using sunflower a lot lately) over medium heat, toss in onions & garlic and saute for about 5 minutes until onions are tender. Next add seasoning, stir and coat the onions & garlic. Next, add the cabbage and mushrooms and ~1/4 cup of water or broth and cover. This speeds up the cooking process. Cook until veggies are tender about 10 minutes. 

Cashew cream sauce:

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for ~15 minutes

Rinse and strain cashews, add to a blender along with:

1/4 cup water or broth

 2 T nutritional yeast, juice of half a lemon

 1/2 or whole avocado and blend on high until creamy.

You may need to add a bit more liquid for it to pour, it all depends on how long you soaked the cashews.

I've been using these wraps, as I can't do corn anymore :(

Quickly preheating wraps, either in the microwave or preheating oven makes them easier to work with. My trick is, heat them in the pre-heating oven for about 7 minutes, take them out, wrap them in a dish towel to further steam them and then take one out at a time and fill and gently roll them.

Once filling is cooked and sauce is made, spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan and fill & roll the tortillas. Pack them into your baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. ENJOY!

I'm a HUGE fan of this pre-made enchilada sauce.

 

 

 

Kid approved green smoothie

Long weekends call for slow mornings. No doubt I am excited about the school year starting back up next week, but this morning I slept in until 8:30, got up made smoothies, then breakfast burritos/bowls and am finally sitting down to some work at 10:30.

Going with the flow feels so good on a Monday morning.

The structure and routine of school will be good for both my daughter and I to get back into. This summer, without as much structure, and lots of travel we tended to eat meals at different times, based on our sometimes loose, sometimes well planned days. As many of us have noticed, kids do like some structure, they like to know what to expect. It makes them feel safe while they are learning about EVERYTHING.

The expanding minds of our children need an array of whole foods to keep them grounded, growing and good. I get so frustrated when it seems like ALL my daughter wants is fruit and carbs, she does not want things mixed together and ketchup, she wants it on anything savory.

I have to remember that this is just a phase. We model good eating around her, and ask her to try stuff before she knocks it. Remembering back to the first 3 years of how well she ate, I gain a sense of relief.

Smoothies are a great vehicle to get some extra nutrition into ourselves and kids. I love smoothies because they are quick, easy and I can make them a proper meal with the addition of some protein, fat and fruit. I've been making smoothies for years and my family told me today that this is one of the best ever. So well worth sharing.

SMOOTHIE

1 ripe mango

1 ripe banana

3 T Collagen (Hydrolysate)

1 t cardamom

1 1/2 cup of cashew milk

1 date

3 T chia seeds

5 leaves of kale

Pop everything into a blender and blend on high until smooth(ie). Add more liquid for desired consistency.

Life without eggs & a breakfast recipe

This past spring, after having a sore throat for three months (!), I finally got some blood testing done. Low and behold, I have a list of food sensitivities. Corn and egg whites being the most antagonistic. The first week was a breeze and my sore throat subsided in 2 days.

As time went on, I traveled and cooked for my family, I found avoiding all 6 of my food sensitivities very difficult. Even though I know plenty of great recipes that do not include the culprits and knew that I would feel better avoiding them.

Eggs and corn are in A LOT of food items. Corn is a big bummer, as Juanitas corn chips are one of my favorite snack foods of all time and TACOS, the perfect food, no tacos, how will I survive?! Now I proudly eat my tacos on a cabbage or lettuce leaf.

Eggs though are tough. They are in so many baked goods and mayo. My go to morning jam so often included saute of veggies with a soft boiled egg on top. Or a paleo-esque muffin that offered me an awesome protein bang in the morning. 

Now my morning jam is SWEET POTATOES. They are so nutritious & delicious. I'll either roast a couple at the beginning of the week or grate 3-4 of them, and portion them out as desired.

Sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin's C & A. And are super high in manganese, which is a trace mineral that aids our bodies in producing sex hormones, and builds our bones and connective tissues. 

BREAKFAST JAM

1 T ghee

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped

1 t turmeric

Salt & pepper to taste

1 medium sweet potato, grated

3 big leaves of kale

1/2 bunch of fresh parsley (or cilantro)

1/4 cup pepitas (or favorite nut/seed you have on hand)

Your favorite hot sauce

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add ghee, once it is melted add onion and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and turmeric, stir to coat the onions, then add the grated sweet potato, stir. Add 2 T water, stir and cover for about 5-7 minutes. This speeds up the cooking time. Stir once while steaming. Take lid off after 5-7 minutes, add kale, stir, cover for another 3 or so minutes. Test potatoes, add more water if you'd like to speed up the cooking time, otherwise, watch for sticking and let the pan frying get just tender and brown enough.

Finally add the fresh parsley, stir to combine and serve in a bowl, top with pepitas and your favorite hot sauce, kimchee or sauerkraut. And do your best to make it a good day.