HeraldScotland's newest food blogger Jacqueline Currie explains her journey on the Paleolithic path and shows us how to make rice-free risotto.

When I first heard about the Paleo diet I was intrigued but instantly dismissed it, thinking that as a vegetarian, the so-called 'caveman' style eating probably wasn't for me.

At the time I was eating what I considered to be a healthy vegetarian diet - lots of veg, wholegrain pasta and bread, quinoa, cous cous and soy products and hitting the gym 4-5 times a week, yet I just couldn't seem to shift the weight that had steadily crept on over the last couple of years and I never had any energy.

Nutrition has always been an interest of mine so I was never one to succumb to faddy diets that involved starving yourself or replacing food with chemical-laden shakes, and after I had read up on Paleo a bit more I decided to give it a go - albeit, firstly as a vegetarian! I lasted six weeks and then coerced myself into eating meat for the first time in my life.

Nine months later (after cutting out all grains and refined sugar)  I've lost 24lbs (and counting), I have so much more energy, I sleep better and it's made me really mindful of what I'm putting into my body. I have since become passionate about showing you don't have to eat chicken and broccoli for dinner every night and that there is usually always a way to Paleo-ify your favourite meals, so you shouldn't feel like you're missing out on anything.

I intend to share my experiences with Paleo here and post some of my Paleo creations, starting with a 'you won't believe it's made with cauliflower' risotto!

Risotto has always been one of my favourite meals to cook - there's something about the constant stirring that I find extremely relaxing. 

Plus its versatility means you can conjure up a tasty risotto from whatever veg you have left in your fridge - ideal for those end of the month budget dinners.

Rice isn't part of the Paleo diet but I don't see that as a barrier to missing out on staple meals like risotto. The humble, often overlooked cauliflower has enjoyed some newfound popularity lately with low carb dieters using it as a substitute for everything from pizza bases to rice and so I decided to recreate my favourite risotto dish using cauliflower instead of Arborio rice. The end result is a delicious, creamy dish, perfect for those autumnal nights. The best bit? Cauliflower takes on other flavours very well, so chances are you won't even taste it. It's also an amazing superfood as it contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals - definitely deserving of a regular place in your diet. Unless you are strict Paleo and/or don't eat dairy, I would highly recommend adding the goat's cheese. I like to serve this with grilled chicken but it's equally delicious on its own (just don't serve it with crusty bread!).

Sage and butternut squash 'risotto'

Serves 2


1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 litre organic & gluten free vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried sage

Salt & pepper to taste

Goat's cheese (optional)


1. Toss cubed butternut squash in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20-30 minutes at 200c until soft.

2. Place cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until the consistency resembles rice.

3. Meanwhile, sauté shallots and garlic in ghee/butter for a few minutes. Add cauliflower and stir to combine, followed by the sage.

4. Add the stock one ladleful at a time and stir on a medium heat until absorbed.

5. Continue adding stock until finished, stirring occasionally. Add crumbled goats cheese if using, then mix in butternut squash and serve.