Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pumpkin and Sage "Risotto"

Can we just take a minute to drool over the title of this post alone?  Really any dish with any of those three words in it is a must-try for me, and let me tell you this meal did not disappoint!

I adapted this recipe from Fast Paleo, a really great website for menu inspiration.  Like I said, I'm addicted to cruising the web for recipes, and this site is always a jackpot.  And of course, you don't have to "eat paleo" to enjoy this food--paleo eats just include lots of protein and veggies cooked in healthy fat.  It's pretty hard for food to taste bad if it includes coconut milk, grass-fed butter, olive oil, or avocado.  People often ask me if it's hard to eat this way because I'm depriving myself of so many things, but truly the food I cook now is more decadent than anything I've made before, more consistently delicious, and I feel better than ever.  Truth.

OK, that's my soap box for the day.  On to the main show.

Eats

In case you can't tell, dinner last night was pretty freaking delicious.  And full of veggies.  So I didn't feel badly about going back for seconds.  And thirds.  Holy yum.  Here's how it went down:

Pumpkin and sage "risotto"
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, riced in food processor or grated
  • 1/2 cup stock of your choice
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 can (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh sage and nutmeg to taste, oil of choice for cooking
  • - See more at: http://fastpaleo.com/paleo-pumpkin-sage-risotto/#sthash.LuqXq32O.dpuf
    16oz your favorite sausage
    I onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 head of cauliflower, riced
    1/2c chicken stock
    1T tomato paste
    1 can (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
    2/3 cup coconut milk
    1T fresh sage
    1/4t fresh nutmeg
    s&p

    I riced my cauliflower in my blender: simply chop a fresh head of cauliflower in to large chunks and throw in the blender, then fill the blender to the top with water.  Pulse the contents until the cauliflower is the size of grains of rice (this took about 5 pulses for me).  Then drain the cauliflower in a colander for a few minutes.

    Brown your sausage over medium-high heat in a skillet (I used hot sausage).  Once browned, remove the sausage and set aside.  Keep the drippings in the pan and reduce heat to medium.  Saute your onion for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.  Then add the cauliflower, nutmeg, sage, stock, tomato paste, and s&p to taste.  Simmer covered for 10 minutes.
    Uncover and cook off any liquid that's still in the pan.
    Add the pumpkin and coconut milk, simmer covered for 5 minutes.
    Uncover and thicken to risotto-like creaminess, 5 – 10 minutes.

    Though this was more steps than I typically like to deal with, this ultimately was an extremely easy recipe to make and the end result was so similar to risotto--thick, creamy, and rich.  Plus, this is my first positive riced cauliflower experience!  My other experiments were fails, which I now attribute to not cooking the cauliflower enough in the end (I despise the taste of raw cauliflower).


    The Coach commented that this would be a perfect dish for a rainy day, since it's so warm and comforting and I totally agree.  Pretty much anything with pumpkin can be counted as a comfort food, right?  I really can't recommend this meal enough--I kind of want to make it again, like now...

    Workout

    I'm so pumped to be almost done with this program because I'm getting sick and tired of pushing myself so freaking hard!  Today was 4 rounds through the 100 rep workout, then 8 30/30 sprints on the treadmill maxing out at 10mph.  The sprints were doubly hard because the gentleman next to me had the ripest BO I've ever experienced.  Dear Mystery Stinker: please refrain from wearing a full on sweatsuit to the gym if you have a sweating/smelly issue, because when I am gulping for air I do not enjoy simultaneously gagging.  Thanks.

    *          *          *

     So this weekend marks the end of my Whole30 experience!  I'll probably do some sort of wrap up post if I can get my act together, but for now I will say that I'm enjoying the decrease in sugar cravings, and will also enjoy the alcohol I will be imbibing this weekend :) 
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, riced in food processor or grated
  • 1/2 cup stock of your choice
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 can (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh sage and nutmeg to taste, oil of choice for cooking
  • - See more at: http://fastpaleo.com/paleo-pumpkin-sage-risotto/#sthash.LuqXq32O.dpuf
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, riced in food processor or grated
  • 1/2 cup stock of your choice
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 can (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh sage and nutmeg to taste, oil of choice for cooking
  • - See more at: http://fastpaleo.com/paleo-pumpkin-sage-risotto/#sthash.LuqXq32O.dpuf

    1 comment:

    1. Oh Debs! Today is my day 5 no flour/sugar. For the past 3 days I have been decreasing my artificial sweetener intake. The good news, Im sleeping better! Bad news, Im finding that so much of what I use has this artificial junk in it (not my food of course, but diet soda...duh, and sugar free gum...the list seems to be growing) I am finding it a struggle to cut it all out, i just need a little sweet after lunch so i usually grab a caffeine free diet soda like ginger ale. This is proving more a challenge than i thought, I dont want to cut my "packet" intake in my coffee in the morning only to find at the end or middle of the day I adding it back in because I chewed 10 pieces of gum or end the day with tea (plus the artificial junk). I guess the important thing is to be aware of it. Its so early in the "detox" my cravings are present, and being pregnant aint making it any easier. Trying not to make any excuses for it though. I journey on....

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