Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Paleo Lemon Pudding

With an abundance of fresh lemons, I've been craving lemon pudding.  I've found something rather unique   -- and while one of my taste-testers wouldn't exactly call it "pudding", she did call it yummy.  I liked it alone as a pudding, and also as a fruit dip.  The texture is similar to hummus, though smoother.  Fresh strawberries made a nice pairing.

Lemon Pudding
inspired by this recipe
350 grams of roughly chopped cauliflower (that's about 3 cups, but I do recommend you weight it, if possible)
1 1/2 c. almond milk
1/4 c. honey
2 t. vanilla extract
zest from one large lemon
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Add cauliflower, almond milk, honey, extract and zest to a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, uncovered. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until cauliflower is very soft. Remove from heat.

Add in lemon juice and pour into the blender. Blend on high for 1 minute, or until very smooth. Pour into a clean bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Refrigeration helps the flavors meld and really transforms this pudding. Do not skip this step!
The ingredients, before simmering.
The pudding.

Cauliflower Leaf Spirals

 A few months ago, I decided to try my hand at growing cauliflower.  Only one snowy head grew, and it was infested with bugs.  :(  I will do more research for better success next time.  However, all is not lost!  My neighbor was admiring my little garden, and pointing to the cauliflower leaves, asked if I was growing kale.  That's when I decided to find out if I could eat cauliflower leaves.  And the answer is, yes, I can.

My first experiment was a stir fry.  Instead of cutting the leaves from my plant, I pulled the little leafy parts from a head of cauliflower I bought at the store (the part I usually throw away).  I chopped those up and stir fried them with carrots and onions, with some herbs and fresh lemon juice.  Delicious.  Then I researched (which, of course, means I googled it).

I found a recipe for Cauliflower Leaf Spirals and decided to attempt to modify it for Paleo.  It was good, but I'm not sure I'm done tinkering with it.  I share with you my experiment:

First, I cut six healthy leaves from the cauliflower plant.
I made the paste-like filling (recipe below).

I cut the leaves in half, lengthwise, then spread the filling.

After the leaves are stacked in fours, roll tightly, and steam.

Once steamed, cool and slice into spirals.

Fry in coconut oil.

I wish I'd fried them a little longer.  The leaves become deliciously crispy as they're fried. The coconut flour makes a perfect texture for the filling, but as coconut flour tends to do, it does suck the moisture from your mouth.  I believe combining the coconut flour with mashed cauliflower or butternut might be good.

Cauliflower Leaf Spirals
6 large cauliflower leaves
1/2 c. coconut flour
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. curry powder
1/2 T. sesame seeds
1 c. water
Coconut oil for frying

Wash the leaves, then slice lengthwise, removing the center rib.  Combine the dry ingredients, then stir in water until the mixture becomes paste-like.

Spread the filling on each leaf half, then stack four of them together.  Roll tightly.  Steam for 6 minutes in the microwave.  Let cool.  Slice into spirals (I did three spirals per roll).  Fry in coconut oil until golden brown.  Makes a very lovely appetizer.

Frozen Lemonade

Oh, my friends.  This is tasty refreshment.

It's a rather warm 80° today, both inside the house and out.  But there's a pleasant breeze, so I'm taking the opportunity to air out the house.  In addition to the open windows and all the fans running, I'm cooling down with this lovely beverage while I prepare to write up a few of the recipes I've been collecting for you.

Join me.

Frozen Lemonade for One

Handful of frozen fruit (I chose cherries, but berries or peaches would be delightful too.)
Juice from three lemons (sorry, I didn't measure -- I was too excited to start drinking)
Handful of crushed ice
A little water
A drizzle of agave

Puree in blender.  Adjust flavors to your liking.  Sit back and relax.