From Scratch / Wild Rice + Mushroom Ricausso

dyptic (1 of 1)

Ri·CAU·sso 

: A dish so good I had to make up a word to describe it.

: A deliciously creamy way to make a simple, dairy-free risotto using whole grain rice.

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What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of risotto? Cream, butter, cheese, a sore wrist (from stirring, c’mon)? With RiCAUsso, roasted and whipped CAUliflower mimics the rich texture of slow cooked starchy aroborio-based risotto. It’s a shortcut of sorts, but it allows you to use wild rice which is high in protein, calcium, vitamin A and iron. This means you get all the good-for-you without sacrificing the good-flavor-mmm.

RiCAUsso was inspired by an evening in the woods with only cauliflower, wild rice, mushrooms and a bottle of white wine at our disposal. Culinary inspiration often comes from limitations. A cold night upstate with good friends and only a few ingredients available had me craving rich, rustic and warm.

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Comfort food warms you in the moment with it’s fatty, creamy texture but often leaves you feeling a little uncomfortable in the morning.  By substituting difficult to digest dairy for fiber and antioxidant-rich cauliflower, RiCAUsso is a healthier way to feel warm and cozy from the inside out. 

Ingredients/You only need these

1 head of cauliflower

4 cloves garlic

3 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used cremini)

3-4 sprigs of fresh or freshly dried thyme

1 cup uncooked wild rice, about 3 cups cooked

1 medium yellow onion

1 small shallot

fresh thyme

white wine (optional)

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Directions/Easier than it looks

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Prepare the wild rice by bringing 1 cup rice and 3 cups filtered water to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until rice is tender but not chewy. This will take anywhere from 40-50 minutes depending on how wild your rice gets.

3. Break cauliflower head down into florets. Wash and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tsp sea salt. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread florets out in one layer. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and browned. Stir occasionally so the cauliflower roasts evenly.

4. As the rice and cauliflower are cooking,  slice mushrooms, onions, shallot and garlic. Warm about 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Sautée onions, shallots and garlic until translucent. Add in mushrooms and a pinch of sea salt, sautée until the mushrooms release their moisture (about 2 minutes). Cook for about 5-8 more minute stirring occasionally, or until all moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are reddish-brown. Add in thyme and white wine, stir for 30 seconds more.

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5. Once the cauliflower is finished roasting, let it cool slightly and transfer to a blender or food processor. Slowly add in 1/4 cup increments of filtered water or vegetable broth and pulse until creamy. I ended up using about 2 cups of water, but this could vary depending on the cauliflower. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

6. Once the rice is finished cooking, drain out any excess water. Add mushrooms and creamy cauliflower to the pot and mix until well incorporated. It should become a rich, thick pot of goodness in a matter of seconds. Add more thyme, salt, pepper or white wine to taste. I like to have my vegetable to grain ratio be about 50/5 0, although the more vegetables the merrier.

7. Serve with a fresh, green salad and some good friends. If you don’t have any good friends nearby, share this dish with a handsome stranger and you’ll be friends in no time.

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From Scratch / Kale Pesto Vol. 1

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Why hello there sexy, vibrant greens! Smooth and creamy, rich and light, this pesto gets around. It’s delicious versatility is matched only by it’s abundance of nutrients. The trick is to add in (some might say, sneak in) greens like creamy steamed broccoli and earthy, bold kale. Approach is key, by steaming the broccoli and kale you can create a rich and fluffy texture that eliminates the need for excess amounts of high- fat and calorie-dense oil and cheese.

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Rich in calcium as well as fiber and protein (that’s right there is protein in vegetables!)  kale and broccoli add something special to the classic pesto. Health-hero Walnuts add protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc to the mix.  Let’s not forget the foundation of flavor, Basil. High in vitamin K ( your bones best friend), Basil is much more than a garnish.

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LEAN GREEN KALE PESTO

Ingredients / what you’ll need

1 cup Raw Walnuts

1 cup Basil packed, destemmed

1 cup Broccoli florets

1 cup Kale, destemmed

2 medium Garlic Cloves

1/2 Lemon, juiced

2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt

Black Pepper, to taste

1/4 cup cold pressed Olive Oil

Directions / fresh and easy

1. Chop broccoli and kale. Bring water to boil and steam until veggies become vibrant green, about 3 minutes with lid on.

2. Chop walnuts and garlic. Pulse in a food processor with olive oil.

3. Add steamed kale and broccoli, chopped basil leaves, and lemon juice to food processor. Pulse until smooth.

4. Add water incrementally until desired consistency is reached.

5. Add salt, pepper and honey to taste.

This recipe is simple enough to whip up for quick Quinoa Pasta & Veggie dinner and tasty enough to impress your guests with a pesto Socca Flatbread. It’s delicious as a spread, a dip or a dressing.  Enjoy!

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From Scratch / Almond Milk

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Let’s get one thing straight, I love almond milk.

Maybe you like almond milk. Maybe you drink it in your tea (or coffee), but you’ve never truly loved until you’ve made it yourself.

It’s rich and creamy. It’s a little sweet and nutty.

It’s packed with protein, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and iron. It’s good for your heart, skin, bones and muscles.

And, to seal the deal – it’s unbelievably easy.

I, too, resisted making it at home. I hesitated and stalled. Then one night, I just poured some water over a cup of raw almonds and the rest was history.

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Ingredients/what you’ll need

yields 3.5 cups

Nut milk bag or turkey stuffing bag or cheese cloth

1 cup raw almonds, soaked

3.5 cups water

2-4 raw dates, I prefer less sweet and stick with 2

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch salt

AM3

(dreamy)

AM2

(creamy)

Directions/see how easy it is

1. Before bed, or at least two hours before you press play on your blender, submerge 1 cup raw almonds in fresh filtered water.

2. Drain and rinse almonds.

3. Add soaked almonds, 3.5 cups filtered water, two dates, cinnamon and vanilla to blender.

4. Blend! Blend slowly, increasing from low speed to high speed until nuts are completely broken down.

5. Pour mixture through nut milk bag/turkey basting bag/cheesecloth. I used a turkey basting bag here and my french press liner to make less of a mess. I like to use a big bowl and then do about 2 turns of pouring, then gently squeeze to release the rest of the milk.

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6. Pour into an adorable jar and keep in the fridge for up to seven days.

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