Risotto is traditionally made with a high-starch rice that is first cooked in oil and then hot broth is slowly added with near constant stirring for approximately 20 minutes to draw the starch molecules into the cooking liquid to create a very creamy and smooth texture. However, rice is a grain and therefore not considered part of the Paleo Diet. In addition, as a gluten cross-reactor, it’s off the table even for an occasional indulgence for many people with overt gluten sensitivity (see Gluten Cross-Reactivity UPDATE: How your body can still think you’re eating gluten even after giving it up).
The good news for those risotto-lovers out there is that it’s totally possible to replicate that delightful creamy risotto texture and flavor with riced vegetables. Bonus: not only does this technique save on those 20 minutes of constant arm-fatiguing stirring, but it substantially increases the nutritive value of this comforting dish (see The Importance of Nutrient Density and 3 Ways to Up Your Nutrient Game).
This recipe uses parsnips in place of rice, which have sufficient starch content to replicate that classic risotto texture. In addition to containing good amounts of manganese, phosphorus, and vitamins C, E, K1, B5, and B9, their subtly nutty flavor is a great paring with beef broth, beef and mushrooms.
Another reason I love Paleo risotto is that it’s a delicious non-soup way to add bone broth to our diets. You can absolutely use homemade beef broth for this recipe (you may have to adjust the salt up or down in this recipe depending on the salt content of your broth), but I have fallen in love Kettle and Fire Bone Broth because it’s the only shelf-stable, high-quality boxed bone broth on the market. It’s just so convenient to be able to keep broth in my pantry, and not clog up my limited freezer space. Plus, I can put boxes of this broth in my check luggage for traveling, meaning that a morning cup-o-broth from my hotel room is super easy. And, if you’re interested in trying Kettle and Fire Bone Broth, they’ve given my readers a 20% discount taken off automatically in your cart when you click on a link from my website (no coupon code required). (Note for my AIP readers, the beef broth from Kettle and Fire does contain black pepper.)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 Tbsp evoo
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1/2 medium white onion, diced
- 1 lb groud beef
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups (1 box) Kettle & Fire Beef Broth, divided
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or 1/4 cup wine (red or white)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 2 lbs parsnips (6-7 cups riced)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon (1 tsp dried tarragon)
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- To rice parsnips: Peel parsnips and chop into big chunks. Place in a food processor and pulse until pieces are fairly uniform in size and about the size of a large grain of rice. Two pounds of parsnips (about 5-6 medium parsnips) should yield 6-7 cups once riced.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onion and carrot. Saute until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground beef to skillet and cook, stirring to break up the beef, until browned, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, 1 cup of broth, wine (or vinegar) and salt. Increase heat to high and cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated, 5-8 minutes.
- Add parsnips and remaining 1 cup of broth to pan and stir just to mix. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook 8-10 minutes until parsnips are tender and mushy, stirring once or twice during that cooking time. If veggies start to stick because the pan is running dry, add another few tablespoons of broth or water to the pan. If you’re largest skillet isn’t big enough for all of these ingredients, you can remove the beef mixture before adding the parsnips and then mix the beef mixture back in right before serving.
- Add coconut milk and tarragon and stir to incorporate. Turn off the heat and let sit on the stovetop covered for 2-3 minutes more. Taste and add additional salt, if needed.
- Garnish with chopped parsley if desired. Serve!