“I will defend pumpkin until the day I die. It’s delicious. It’s healthy. I don’t understand the backlash. How did pumpkin become this embarrassing thing to love, but bacon is still the cool flavor to add to everything? I don’t have anything against bacon; just don’t come after pumpkin like it’s a crime to love an American staple.”—Anna Kendrick, Scrappy Little Nobody
Personally, I agree with the above passage. I, too, love pumpkin and eat it year-round! Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin pie, oh my! It is a versatile food worth eating year ‘round—especially since canned pumpkin is always available. Plus, I love pumpkin seeds too, but that is another story for another recipe!
Another versatile food I have fallen in love with is riced cauliflower. It is like a white canvas. It can be seasoned and combined in a multitude of ways. From smoothies to salads, from Asian-inspired stir-fries to Tex-Mex influences, and from hearty bowl-based dishes to plated mashed sides, riced cauliflower is one of the most versatile foods with which I cook! This recipe takes its versatility in a new and exciting direction—at least to me!
I like making this recipe ahead, and then packing it my workday lunch. It makes for a warm, cozy meal that makes lunchtime seem a bit more special than my usual cold salad and/or veggie sticks. I also like to make this ahead, and then eat it for breakfast! Yep, you read that right, breakfast. Why not start my day with vegetables. If I can add riced cauliflower to my smoothie, why not eat pumpkin risotto for breakfast?
Finally, this dish can also serve as a tasty side-dish for any meat-based meal. Serve it along side your favorite grilled fish, chicken or steak—add salad, and yummo! Additionally, it makes a great addition to a bowl—if you like creating bowl meals as I do—this is a perfect base to a jam-packed nutritional bowl! In fact, one night, I used it as a base and simply added stuffed mushroom on top. It was amazing!
From my home to yours, I wish you happy, healthy, and homemade meals.
Low Carb, Gluten-free Pumpkin Risotto
2 tablespoons olive oil (If you prefer cooking oil-free, use equivalent amount of favorite broth.)
¼ cup diced onion
Salt & pepper to taste
12-ounce bag riced cauliflower
¼ cup favorite type broth
½ cup pureed pumpkin (or butternut squash)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast if want vegan version)
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley or frozen peas—if desired for color contrast
In a large saucepan on medium heat, add olive oil, onion, salt, pepper, and paprika.
Stir until onion has softened and become translucent.
Stir in cauliflower until thoroughly combined.
Gently pour in broth, stir, and cover with lid.
Allow to simmer (gently bubble) 10-15 minutes. (You may need to stir occasionally to ensure cauliflower is not sticking to bottom of pan.)
Stir in pumpkin (or butternut squash) puree.
Then add Parmesan (or nutritional yeast).
Continue stirring and cooking until cauliflower is soft and mixture is thick like warm pudding.
Stir in parsley or peas if desired as well as more salt and pepper if needed.
Makes 2-4 side servings (depending upon how big serving), or one huge meal-bowl!