Wild Mushroom “Risotto”

High blood sugar, sedentary lifestyles, and excess body fat are three underlying causes of insulin resistance, a characteristic typically associated with type 2 diabetes but that is now also associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past ten years, research has discovered that metabolic changes, caused by lifestyle and aging, impair “insulin signaling” and play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. So what do you eat to promote your metabolic health and prevent insulin resistance?  

The key is to focus eating a diet high in produce and plant foods that includes whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and this “risotto” is a delicious way to do that. Risotto is typically made by slowly adding hot broth to short-grain rice, but this variation uses riced cauliflower instead. The result is a creamy, risotto-like texture that’s significantly lower in carbs and higher in fiber to minimize glycemic impact. Mushrooms add a source of vitamin D, a nutrient that’s key for brain health, while thyme and Parmesan impart rich flavor into the dish.

Wild Mushroom “Risotto”

Created by Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD
Makes 6 Servings (1 cup each)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8 oz fresh wild mushrooms, sliced (any mix of crimini, shiitake, baby portobello, oyster, or button)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 (12-oz) pkg fresh cauliflower crumbles 
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Heat ½ Tbsp oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned and beginning to soften. Season with ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Remove mushroom mixture from skillet, and wipe skillet clean.
  • Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add cauliflower rice, broth, and thyme, and bring to a simmer.  Cover, and cook 10 minutes or until cauliflower is crisp-tender. 
  • Remove lid and stir. Cook, uncovered, 10 to 12 minutes or until there is no more liquid. Gently stir in mushrooms, cheese, and remaining ¼ tsp each salt and pepper. Serve immediately. 
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