Culinary Medicine: Cancer Prevention

Using food to prevent cancer. Lots of fruits and vegetables are key says Dr. Jennifer Bolton, a registered dietitian at Project Wellness 365, and professor at Metropolitan State University in Denver. She shared a great recipe that’s loaded with vegetables, a cauliflower quinoa risotto primavera.

Cauliflower Quinoa Risotto Primavera


  • 2½ cups cauliflower florets, cut in 1-inch pieces, stems well-trimmed
  • 1½ Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3½ cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen baby green peas
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. Place cauliflower in food processor. Pulse until cauliflower resembles crumbled feta, about 15-20 pulses; there should be 2 cups chopped cauliflower to set aside. Use leftover to add to soup or salad.
  2. In heavy, wide, large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.
  4. Add shallots and cook until golden, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, until grain makes constant crackling, popping sound, about 5 minutes. Carefully add 2 cups broth, standing back as it will spatter.
  6. Cover, reduce heat and simmer quinoa for 10 minutes.
  7. Add cauliflower, carrots and 1/2 cup hot broth and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  8. Add peas and enough broth to keep risotto soupy, about 1/4 cup.
  9. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until quinoa is al dente or to your taste and vegetables are tender-crisp, adding broth 1/4 cup at a time, as needed. Risotto is done when liquid is mostly absorbed and the mixture is slightly wet, but not soupy.
  10. Off heat, stir in cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Leftover risotto keeps for 3 days, covered in the refrigerator, and can be served at room temperature as a whole-grain salad.

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 120 calories, 4.5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 14 g carbohydrate, 
5 g protein,  3 g dietary fiber, 280 mg sodium.

Thank you to Cook Street School of Culinary Arts for supporting this culinary medicine series and to Metropolitan State University for donating the food for this recipe.