Posts Tagged ‘cauliflower’

Happy Halloween! Green Noodle-worms and Spooky Trees

I sort of get off on the whole theme thing with my children. Just once in a while, you know….and of course Halloween is here, and what could possibly beg to be themified more than Halloween? Anything involving pumpkin does not go down well with my girls, (not even butternut squash or sweet potato). Amelia once declared butternut squash was “too sweet” which I thought was rich coming from her; she would purposefully  inhale the smoke if a chocolate factory was burning down! That said, butternut squash doesn’t taste anything like chocolate (not even smokey chocolate).

So anyway……..I thought I would go for green. You know, green, that conjures up images of green-faced witches,  slimey goo, and Frankenstein. Or, if you’re me, chlorophyll  🙂

Chlorophyll, I have heard, has a molecular make-up almost identical to that of haemoglobin, except at the centre, there is magnesium instead of iron. Furthermore, while I cannot go into this any more than what I remember from GCSE Biology, it harvests the suns rays and transforms it into food, which just fills me with delight and gratitude for the Creation and all lessons contained therein. All green leaves are very rich in minerals too, especially calcium and iron, and in general as humans, we don’t consume enough leaves. Moving down the food chain is a positive step forward for your health in my opinion.

One ideal green pasta sauce would be home-made pesto, but I was using what I had in the house; thanks to the blessed Tesco reduced shelf, I had about 8 avocados, ready to use, and all of them LOVE avocado pasta. However I felt like, it being a Halloween theme, the green needed a little more ……vibrance.

So I threw in a bottle of food colouring.

Just kidding. That really would be scarey.

I threw in some spinach.

Young spinach is so very nutritious, while being very mild in flavour. Perfect for kids smoothies (and grown-ups), salads, and obviously, green halloweeney avocado-based sauces.

Our green sauce is simply a food processed mixture of some soft avocados, a handful of babyleaf spinach, a pinch or two of sea salt, and some Nutritional yeast powder, because they all enjoy that.  It’s nothing complex in terms of flavour….but avocado is creamy and relatively neutral tasting.If so inclined, you could create some amazing sauces with slightly punchier flavours, and smother your wholegrain pasta with creamy, nutritious, unheated, unprocessed healthy fat.

So when I was in Tesco, I saw a cauliflower variety pack labelled “Ideal for Halloween” and couldn’t resist adding some spooky “trees” to our green noodle-worms. I was pretty sure they would be so excited to see purple trees, and spikey-spooky Romanesco cauliflower trees. (I know I am) I stress, excited to see them. They don’t really like eating it much though,so I also did some broccoli trees which they love don’t mind eating. I think I’ll be eating quite a bit of steamed cauiflower later.

(later)

Here it is. We used wholewheat noodles, and also made some purple and orange Halloweeny coleslaw (which I forgot to photograph, with Cashew mayonnaise, a recipe suggestion is here)

 I am absolutely amazed! Amelia who- quote- HATES- cauliflower, tucked into this and proffered various surprised “Hmmmmmm. Not bad. Prefer the green ones, but the purple and the spikey one’s aren’t bad.” (praise inDEED. Especially as they were a little aldente….) Ellie, (who has flirted with raw cauliflower, though it ended unhappily) crooned little songs “spooky purple trees, yummy spooky trees…..can I eat the raw ones in the kitchen?”  Then, I wasn’t sure if I had overdone the babyleaf spinach when Amelia asked “is this pesto?” Me: “No’ it’s avocado sauce.” (pause as she tries it, eyeing it’s extra-green hue suspiciously) “Mmmmmm. I love it!” (Note to self: Always add babyleaf spinach to avocado sauce!)

Thank you God for both purple and wierd-but-beautiful spikey edible plants!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Chlorophyll levels are reduced when the veggie is cooked, but it is only reduced in very significant amounts after quite prolonged cooking times, like boiling broccoli for 20 minutes. Eat plenty of greens raw, and opt for things like steaming for a few minutes when cooking.

P.P.S Their “dessert” is being provided by the local neighbourhood, and trust me, it won’t be appearing on this blog!  🙂  Happy Hallowe’en. Eat some plants y’all.

Raw Cauliflower salad, thanks to Ellie

Ellie and Amelia have a friend, and one day he arrived to play, chewing on a whole raw cauliflower head. I know. I was shocked too. Kind of cool though! I offered him strawberries and he said “no thanks, I’ll have my cauliflower first”.

Me and his Mum, my good friend, were chatting about it, and ever since then, Ellie had been bothering me to buy some cauliflower.I was a bit “yeah yeah” , as nobody in the house goes wild for it, and I thought she was just copying her friend  Jaxon, and that I would end up with a big head of cauliflower that I didn’t want that much.

Then one day at the tills in Tesco, she is whining at full volume “Muuuum! WHEN are you going to buy me some raw cauliflower, you NEVER do!”

Seriously. How do you say no to that? Even with the whine.

So anyway (after she had modified her tone) I grabbed a  head of cauliflower, and she said “Can I eat it RIGHT NOW?”  “Sure beautiful, let the lady scan it first.” The cashier was highly amused and I was pretty curious as to how this would pan out.

So she grabs the cauli, and starts razing the tops of the florets off with her teeth while letting out little noises of satisfaction. I wish I could have bottled that moment. The cashiers face was a picture. It was a great moment for a plant-loving mother.

Then her moans of delight turned to disgust as she tried the leaf. Thus ended her love affair with raw cauliflower. At least, for now. Whether she was traumatised by her leaf experience, or perhaps just the fickleness of her tender 4 years, she politely returned it to me and said she never wanted to eat it again, thank you for buying it though Mum.

And so it was that I had a big head of cauliflower (minus about 6 bites) in my fridge, which I never normally buy. And it sat there till my fridge had various endie-bits of veg, and I decided to give it a crack in a raw salad. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be very great eaten raw, but I like a challenge.

Here it is. And it was so good that we made another one the next day!

And with the rest, I did a curry with red lentils, cauliflower and broccoli, and plenty of extra cumin. (It was a big cauliflower head.)

Both the salad and the curry were inspired by recipes on the website Choosing Raw (Here is her original salad recipe, and here are her gorgeous looking curry wraps)

There are no precise measurements in this recipe. It IS after all, a bowl of raw veg, so you cannot go wrong.The orange makes it!

  • 2 big handfuls of chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1-2 handfuls of small broccoli florets
  • a very small grated carrot
  • a small avocado chopped. Generally always a good idea  🙂
  • small handful of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds
  • Small handful of raisins
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 an orange  (or a whole one if your salad is bigger) You can also use a fork to tease out as much pulp as you can get, without getting the outer segment skins.
  • A big glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • A good splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste

My eyes have been opened to raw cauliflower. Thank you Ellie!

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