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Cauliflower Faux-sotto

1 fat – 2 vegetables – 1 starch – 1/2 milk

Every now and again, I get the worst cravings for food. I’m never quite sure what it is that sets me off–maybe a picture in a magazine, a menu I’m working on for a client, some decadence on Pinterest, or who knows what else. All I know is that, when those cravings strike, I’m like a pit bull with a bone and can’t get it out of my head!

I went through a phase about a month ago where I needed to recreate some of the richest Italian food I could think of. It about drove me nuts, but it was also such a joy to get a mouthful of “sausage” in my on-plan Stuffed Eggplant or enjoy crispy-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside Zucchini Tots. This week’s recipe satisfied my craving for rich risotto (which just so happens to rhyme with no-no), but I call it Faux-sotto (which makes it awesome to eat).

What makes it faux? The substitution of cauliflower for the Arborio rice in traditional risotto. It’s best to use a food processor to process your fresh cauliflower florets into tiny, rice-sized pieces. Then, by adding some brown rice and cooking low and slow, just like the real thing, you achieve a consistency that will completely fool the palate in both texture and flavor. Enjoy this as a vegetarian entrée or serve it alongside grilled chicken, fish or steak to round out the meal. I like to toss grilled shrimp or scallops right into the risotto at the end of the cooking time.

Here’s one last tip: The recipe states that the fresh herbs are optional, which they are, but I encourage you not to skip them. Use any herbs you may have on hand, like basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, tarragon and more. The fresh herbs not only brighten the dish, but trying different herbs each time you make this really changes the whole flavor of the dish, too. So you won’t get bored.

Bon appetit!

–Kim K.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. margarine, divided
  • 1/2 C. mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 green onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C. cooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 C. cauliflower florets
  • 1 C. skim milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs (optional)

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, melt half of the margarine and swirl pan to coat bottom. Add mushrooms, scattering across bottom of pan. Let sit without stirring until well browned; about 5 minutes. Toss and add green onions. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes without stirring. Add minced garlic, rice and half of salt and pepper. Stir well.

In a food processor or blender, pulse cauliflower florets until they reach the consistency of rice. Add to skillet. Stir in milk and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is soft.

Remove lid and add remaining salt and pepper, along with any fresh herbs you may like, finely minced.

Makes 2 servings