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Challenge: Savoring Spring

Bacon & Asparagus Faux-Risotto

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Spiralized yellow squash takes the place of rice in this lightened up version of a classic spring risotto. Creamy cauliflower gives the richness you'd expect in this type of dish without the regret, but the addition of a hint bit of bacon and cheese keep the flavors decadent!

Bacon & Asparagus Faux-Risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 large {or 2 small} summer squash
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 ½ cups asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup white wine {or broth if you prefer}
  • 1 ½ cups riced cauliflower {or just cauliflower florets}
  • About ½ cup almond milk {or regular milk or chicken broth, your choice}, divided
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan
  • Salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Spiralize your summer squash according to directions. You'll want the thinner "spaghetti" noodles. Once the squash is spiralized, place the "noodles" on a cutting board and, using a large knife, chop it into "rice". {I tried this by pulsing in the food processor but it came out a little too mushy every time. It only takes a minute or two to chop it by hand.} Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the diced bacon until it is browned and crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Set aside.
  3. Toss the chopped onion and asparagus pieces into the rendered bacon fat and saute until the onions are soft and translucent and the asparagus is tender. When the pan starts to become dry, pour in about ¼ cup white wine or broth, scraping up the brown bits. Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated.
  4. While the veggies are cooking, cook cauliflower. I used frozen riced cauliflower with ¼ cup of almond milk added to the bowl and heated it in the microwave for about 4 minutes, but you can also just simmer fresh cauliflower florets and almond milk in a saucepan until it's fork-tender. Basically, you just want soft cauliflower, it doesn't matter how it gets that way.
  5. Pour the cauliflower and ¼ cup of almond milk, smashed garlic clove, olive oil and a pinch of salt into a high speed blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. You may need to add up to ¼ cup or so of almond milk while it runs to make sure the mixture is smooth and creamy; add a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Pour the cauliflower sauce into the skillet with the onion and asparagus and toss to coat. Fold in the "riced" squash, coating it completely with the sauce. Cook for about 4-5 minutes to soften the squash, but make sure not to overcook so it doesn't lose its texture.
  7. Sprinkle in the bacon and cheese and fold until completely incorporated. Serve hot.

Recipe Tags

If you don't have a spiralizer, you can simply use a grater or mandolin with shredding option to create squash "shreds", and then chop into "rice" as directed in the recipe.

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