Recipe: Low-Carb Mushroom “Risotto”

It’s been well documented on here many, many times that my ultimate comfort food is mushroom risotto. It’s rich, creamy, comforting and can be rib-achingly heart. And it’s that last point that lead me to devising this recipe. Sometimes I want the flavour and creamy texture, but I also want something lighter. Something that doesn’t make me want to spend the rest of the evening napping. This is perfect.

Substituting cauliflower “rice” in place of my beloved risotto rice not only squeezes more veggies in my dinner, but it increases the nutritional value and lowers both calories and carbs. Of course it’s not a ‘healthy’ dinner as there’s plenty of cheese and cream involved, but it is less guilt-inducing and certainly makes my tummy feel happier (too many carbs don’t really agree with me – I say with a sob as pasta, bread, rice etc is life!). Making a mushroom risotto with cauliflower rice just means I can enjoy my favourite meal more often!

Recipe – Generously Serves 1

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or around 15g of butter
  • 1 small onion, or two shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch dried thyme (or 1/2 tsp fresh)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 large handful of sliced mushrooms, I prefer to use chestnut ones
  • 2-3 dried mushrooms, crumbled
  • 1 cup stock, vegetable or chicken
  • 1/2 a cauliflower, riced in a food processor (I use a mini chopper)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of creme fraiche (I used half-fat)
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach, either to serve, or wilted in right at the end

In a medium pan, heat the butter or olive oil over low heat and add the onion/shallot, celery and thyme. Fry until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and continue to cook for around 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms (fresh and dried) and fry until golden brown, adding a spot more butter or oil if it’s looking dry.

Add the cauliflower and stock and, stirring frequently, cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and stir in the creme fraiche and cheese, and season well (plenty of black pepper!). Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 3 minutes, then stir in the spinach (if you want it wilted) and serve with extra parmesan.

Cauliflower is being use in a lot of inventive ways in the food blogosphere right now (check out my recipe for Cauliflower Cheese Pizza Bases). Whilst I’m definitely not a fan of depriving myself (if I want a proper pizza I’ll damn well eat one) I do like making little healthier switches so I can enjoy my favourite foods and still fit into my skinny jeans.

Have you tried doing anything ‘unusual’ with Cauliflower?