When I lived in Venice, Italy, I enjoyed risotto almost every day. But sadly, it’s loaded with carbs, so I ended up gaining weight. Traditional ingredients for Risotto alla Milanese are arborio rice, aged Parmiggiano Reggiano, and saffron. I’ve resolved the problem with this Paleo-Vegan adapted recipe, so you won’t gain weight. It’s super-low in carbs and quicker to make. With Cauliflower Rice, you don’t have to stand over a hot stove stirring for 20 minutes! Ha Ha! It’s an easy low-carb dish that is much healthier and easier to digest than traditional risotto. My non-dairy “cheese” sauce is deliciously rich, and tastes just like traditional “Milanese” risotto. Saffron is one of my favorite spices, which is the pistils of a crocus, and must be delicately plucked from the flower by hand. No wonder it’s so precious! Hint: This dish is very easy to make, but you must follow the instructions exactly. Serves 6.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional) I used low-carb shiitake mushrooms. Porcini or wild mushrooms are traditional.
- 1 medium to large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1/2 cup homemade vegetable broth, bone broth, or filtered water
- 1/4 cup warm homemade broth or warm filtered water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup coconut butter, or 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked 2-6 hours.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 envelope or 3 pinches saffron strands
- 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast (for a cheese flavor)
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons unprocessed salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley to garnish
- Pour olive oil into a large skillet. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until it begins to soften. Add mushrooms, if using, and sauté until they begin to soften.
- Place small florets into a large food processor and process until they are rice-sized pieces. Mine is an 11-cup and I had to do this in 3 parts. Place the “riced” cauliflower into the skillet and add 1/2 cup broth or water. Cover and cook over medium heat until soft, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Meanwhile prepare the sauce.
- Add all ingredients to any blender (I used my little 2-cup Twister). Add warm broth, lemon juice, coconut butter (or soaked cashews), olive oil, saffron, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic, if using. Blend well until smooth and creamy.
- Pour sauce over the cauliflower in the skillet. Stir it in and cook over medium heat until cauliflower is al-dente, about the texture of rice. Do not overcook or it will be mushy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley, and serve.