The weeknight rush to the table doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your desire to eat healthier. It can go hand-in-hand with this simple take on a classic dish. As we’ve adapted to our Paleo/Primal lifestyle, we’re always on the lookout for healthier alternatives. Eating healthy should be good, not complicated. It’s easy to cut the carbs and ditch the dairy with a cauliflower risotto made with a rich, creamy cashew sauce and a salmon fillet seared to perfection. Add in a side of vegetables, and it’s a meal you’ll want on repeat.
1 tsp butter or ghee, additional for basting
1 tsp olive oil
Seasoning of choice
2 fillets of Norwegian wild-caught salmon*
*Bring fish to room temperature
Season fillets with choice of seasoning. (We used Penzy’s Northwoods Fire, Fox Point, and seasoned salt.) Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. In the pan, melt 1 tsp butter or ghee and 1 tsp olive oil. As the fat is heating up and begins to ripple, add the fish flesh-side down. Let the fish sear 5-7 mins, depending on individual thickness. When ready, turn fish and as it’s searing, carefully spoon butter or ghee over top of fish, adding more to pan if necessary. Cook until done. A key point for salmon doneness would be to press the salmon while looking for a texture that springs back at the touch.
Cauliflower Risotto with Cashew Cream
1 medium head of cauliflower, riced
1/4 cup fine chopped shallot
1/4 cup fine chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup fine chopped fennel
1/2 cup chopped crimini mushroom
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken/bone broth*
1/2 large lemon, juiced
1 cup cashews, soaked a few hours
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup heated chicken stock/bone broth
2 tblsp cooking fat/oil
salt and pepper
*Bone or chicken broth is a Paleo-friendly substitute for the traditional use of wine in risotto
Heat bone or chicken broth over medium heat, but do not boil. Using a food processor, rice the cauliflower and set aside. Sauté the shallot, onion, fennel and mushroom together over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Salt and pepper to taste and add the thyme leaves. Take the 1/2 lemon and squeeze all juice from the lemon (should be 1/4 to 1/3 cup) and add it and an equal amount of heated stock to the sauté. This is a Paleo-friendly substitute for the traditional use of wine in risotto. While the stock is being absorbed into the onions and shallots, drain the cashews and add to a high-powered blender with the nutritional yeast and the 1 cup of heated stock. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste the cashew cream and add salt to taste set aside. To taste, this should mimic the hard cheese used in a traditional risotto.
Add cauliflower to the sauté, stir gently until incorporated and liquid absorbed. Add additional stock to the cauliflower in small amounts until cooked through, gently folding and stirring. Fold in half of the cashew cream to the cauliflower and sauté until just absorbed. Add the remaining cashew cream, turn off the heat and gently fold.
Salt and pepper and season each step. Taste each stage to ensure proper seasoning.