Spring Recipes

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.