Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto

Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto | Life Healthfully LivedYup. Cauliflower is back.  I know you’re probably getting a little tired of seeing it featured in my dishes but you know what?  You’re wrong.  Cauliflower is the magical unicorn of the vegetable world and I love turning it into all sorts of things from taquitos to sauce to sweet and sour bites to mac n’ cheese.  It’s awesome and you’re going to have to deal with it.

Which should be easy if you’re stuffing your face with this tasty meal.  Most people tend to shy away from risotto because it takes a really long time to cook and even if you follow all the steps it somehow still tastes like you didn’t do something right.  Or is it just me chomping away and still uncooked rice?  Just me? Ok.  Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto | Life Healthfully Lived

Moving on.  If you think risotto is too fussy or you’ve never made it before then you need to try this cauliflower risotto because it is the exact opposite of fussy.  It doesn’t take long to make and you don’t have to stand over the stove stirring until your arm falls off like with regular risotto.  Again, just me?  This risotto is still creamy and rich like regular risotto but it’s also nice and light with all the fresh spring-y vegetables.

One other note about this meal, I really think that what gave this dish the depth of flavor I was going for was the Sherry I used to deglaze the pan.  I know some people don’t like to use alcohol in their cooking (to each their own) and you can use water or broth instead but I don’t think it will have the same taste.  Other than that, this risotto is straight forward and will have you licking your plate clean.  Still just me?

Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower RisottoZucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, riced (you can grate it for bigger pieces which I did or run it through your food processor for smaller pieces)
  • 2 medium zucchini’s, sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup peas, if frozen make sure they’re thawed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup onions, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sherry (I used this one) or other dry white wine or water/broth
  • 1/2 cup water/broth
  • 1/2-2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (or pine nuts if you can shell out the small fortune a 1 oz bag costs)
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions until they’re soft then add in the garlic.  Season this with a little salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the riced cauliflower, adding a little more oil if needed, and season again with salt and pepper.  Cook for another five minutes until cauliflower is soft and just starting to get a little brown. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese over top.
  3. Pour in the 1/4 cup sherry and deglaze the pan.  Cook and stir everything until most of the liquid as evaporated.  Add the zucchini and peas and pour in the water/broth and coconut milk.  Stir everything together and cook until the liquid has reduced by about half.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and parsley.  Top with the toasted almonds and taste to adjust the salt and pepper.  Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto | Life Healthfully Lived

Butternut Mushroom Risotto

The first time that I made risotto did not go well.  I found a recipe online and did everything that it said.  What I was left with was watery and still slightly crunchy.  This was not the “creamy” risotto I had heard so much about.  I pushed the recipe to the bottom of my stack and went on my merry risotto-less way.

Flash forward a few years and I decided to try it again.  This time went much better and I ended up with a tasty and comforting dish.  The only problem was that it took quite some time to get the risotto ready.  Now I don’t mind recipes that take a lot of time, usually on the weekends I specifically choose meals that will take a few hours because I like cooking.  What I don’t like are recipes that take a long time and are kind of boring.  If you’ve ever made risotto you know that it takes a lot of stirring.  A LOT of stirring.  While I liked the taste and texture of risotto I did not like the process of making it.

Join me in the present and I have found a way to make risotto that isn’t totally boring.  The slow cooker.  How I didn’t think of this idea before I have no idea because I am in love with my slow cooker!  This recipe has all the deliciousness of risotto with about half of the stirring.  That is a wonderful thing!

Butternut Mushroom Risotto

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  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic or 3 to 4 cloves minced
  • 2 leeks, dark green parts trimmed off and white parts sliced thin (save the stalks to make homemade broth!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz package of mushrooms, sliced (you can use any variety like button or cremini)
  • 3/4 cup white wine or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups vegetable broths
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 cup pureed butternut squash

 

1.  In a large pan heat a little olive oil and saute the leeks, onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  You want the mushrooms to reduce in size and the leeks and onions to have a little brown around the edges.  Place all the vegetables into your slow cooker.

2.  Using the same pan, add in the 3/4 cup of white wine or broth and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom.

3.  Add the 2 cups of brown rice to the pan and cook over medium high heat until all the liquid is absorbed.  Constantly stir the rice.  This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

4.  Add the rice, 5 cups of broth, marjoram, parsley, and salt to the slow cooker with the vegetables and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours.

5.  The risotto is done once all the liquid has been absorbed.  At the end of the cook time stir in the pureed butternut squash.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

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I made this last weekend and it was awesome.  It’s a really comforting meal and with the ridiculously cold weather coming this weekend this is the perfect dish to warm up with.  It also takes minimal effort and yields a creamy rich risotto.  This is also a good recipe to make a big batch of so you have leftovers for lunch for the work week.

Have a great weekend and make sure that you stay warm!