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Super simple all veggie risotto


Super simple all veggie risotto

Serves 4–6 as a light meal

This clever take on risotto uses cauliflower 'rice', made by blitzing cauliflower in your food processor. Add peas and asparagus (or any veggies you like) for a delicious plant-powered meal. And, instead of rounding out your risotto with extra butter and cheese, stir through some tahini for instant creaminess and a boost of calcium.

Why you and your body will love this

For good health, most of us need to be eating more veggies every day and this clever dish effortlessly sneaks in a couple of extra serves in the cauli rice base alone. Along with all the nutrients from the veggies, you get the creaminess of a traditional risotto minus the extra calories.

All veggies are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients. They help protect against heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer – and may also help to prevent weight gain.

Cauliflower is a veggie super-star. It's a member of the cruciferous family, along with cabbage, kale and bok choy. Health experts recommend eating several serves of these veggies a week, which may help to lower the risk of many cancers.  

You'll need

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 leek, well washed, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 medium cauliflower, including the stalk – about 600–700g

8 stalks of fresh thyme, leaves picked

Zest of 1 lemon

2½ cups (625ml) vegetable stock, heated

1½ cups (225g) frozen baby peas, thawed

2 bunches fresh asparagus, tough stems discarded, cut on the diagonal into 3 cm lengths

⅓ cup (90g) tahini

Juice of half a lemon, or to taste

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To serve (optional, but delicious)

Drizzle of olive oil

Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Fresh parmesan cheese, finely grated

Handful of sunflower seeds, lightly toasted  

Lemon wedges

What to do

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the leek, onion, celery and garlic and a good pinch of salt. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. While the onion mixture is cooking, cut your cauliflower into rough chunks and slice the stalks. Put these in the bowl of your food processor and give them a quick pulse, just until the cauliflower is about the size of rice grains. You'll be able to work with about half a cauliflower at a time in a large food processor, or quarter of a cauliflower in a small food processor. Remove any large chunks of cauliflower that remain in the food processor and add these to the next batch. Repeat until you have used all the cauliflower.
  3. When your leek–onion mixture is soft, remove the lid, turn up the heat and add the cauliflower rice, thyme leaves, lemon zest and another pinch of salt. Stir for a minute to coat the cauliflower with the flavours.
  4. Add 2¼ cups of the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, and reduce the heat so the mixture is just simmering. Cook uncovered for about 4 minutes, giving it a quick stir now and then, until the cauliflower is almost tender, but still has a bit of bite to it.  
  5. Stir through the peas and asparagus. Cover the pan and cook for another 2 minutes until the veggies are just tender.
  6. Whisk the remaining ¼ cup of stock and tahini together. Add the tahini mixture, and stir while the risotto simmers for another minute or so, until the mixture is creamy.
  7. Turn off the heat, add a good squeeze of lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
  8. Serve in bowls, topped with a drizzle of olive oil, a scattering of parsley, grated parmesan and toasted sunflower seeds, and a wedge of lemon on the side.


There are lots of other uses for cauliflower rice. Try steaming or microwaving it until just tender, stir through a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a little salt to taste and serve with curries or casseroles instead of regular rice.

You can also stir-fry cauliflower rice to make an all veggie fired rice, or use it raw in salads in place of couscous or bulgur wheat.


Healthy eating and regular physical activity are important parts of living well through menopause. But if symptoms of menopause are affecting your daily life, it's time to take back control.

Start today by completing the Menopause Symptom Checklist. Then take the results to your doctor to talk about managing menopause well.


©Pfizer 2017

Pfizer Australia Pty Limited. Pfizer Medical Information: 1800 675 229. Level 15-18, 151 Clarence St, Sydney, NSW, 2000.

PP-DUA-AUS-0119, 07/2017

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