Mains/ Recipes/ Savory

Butternut Squash Cauliflower Risotto (Vegan)

We’re approaching that unique moment when the weather begins to tip into the winter, and colder weather triggers a survival instinct in our bodies. It tells our bodies to insulate or, in simpler terms, pile on the fat. Which explains why a few consecutive frigid days can make it that much harder to resist a slice of pizza or Chinese take-out.

This year, I’m arming myself with healthier comfort foods. I am certainly going to indulge – winter is long, and I love nothing more than a snowy night with Thai food and a movie. But for those afternoons at the office when I’m craving something warm and savory, I plan on having healthy options to get me through the day.

I had half of a butternut squash leftover from last week’s zoodle marinara, so I decided to incorporate it with some cauliflower rice. Risotto is the ultimate comfort food, but eating a big bowl of rice at my desk doesn’t bode well for my waistline. I found this recipe online and was inspired to cook a simpler version. It made about 3-4 servings and will hold me over until I can indulge in something truly unhealthy this weekend!

Ingredients:

2 cups of cubed butternut squash

1 head of cauliflower, blended into rice but not yet cooked

2 cups of raw spinach

1 8oz container of white mushrooms, cleaned and de-stemmed

1.5 cups of vegetable broth

Olive oil and sea salt

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, toss the butternut squash in a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a few dashes of salt.

IMGP7409Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast until easily pierced by a fork – roughly 20 or 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer into a small bowl to cool. Keep the baking sheet handy and the oven turned on.

Meanwhile, slice your mushrooms into thirds. When the squash has been transferred off of the baking tray, go ahead and spread the mushrooms across the sheet and pop into the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Divide your broth by 1/2 cup and 1 cup. Using a blender, combine the cup of broth with the cubed squash until silky smooth.

IMGP7417In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the 1/2 cup of broth and the cauliflower rice and stir. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Pour in the butternut squash mixture and stir very thoroughly. Add sea salt and olive oil (about 2 tablespoons), and stir once more. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

IMGP7427Lastly, add in the mushrooms and raw spinach, and stir until the spinach is wilted.

IMGP7432Remove from heat and serve with optional olive oil, salt, pepper, and cheese for garnish.

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