An appetizer that’s practically a side dish

Beans are a staple in my diet; they provide me with the protein I need as well as delicious flavor and texture in my dishes. However, as the holiday season winds to a close I have to say I am still obsessed with pumpkin; from September through January I can’t get enough of pumpkin, its light, earthy flavor and pliability from savory to sweet gets me every year. So to blow out the Christmas season my second appetizer was a cauliflower puree and pumpkin hummus dip, courtesy of Healthy Happy Life.

This dip goes well with whole wheat or multi-grain crostini

I made a few alterations to the recipe to suit my own tastes, for instance, maple and pumpkin are a great combination but I wanted the pumpkin to have just an undertone of sweetness so that it tied with the savory cauliflower. I also wanted the cauliflower puree to have a creamier texture so I increased the amount of alternative milk.

Cauliflower Puree and Pumpkin Hummus Dip

The most obscure ingredient in this recipe is apple cider vinegar; it’s worth the buy, trust me. Apple cider vinegar can be used in vegan baking, added to water to help curb your appetite as well as taken as a shot for a sore throat.

Serves 10-12

 

Pumpkin Hummus:

3/4 cup canned organic pumpkin, unsweetened

1 cup garbanzo beans, drained

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)

dash of cinnamon

salt to taste

 

Cauliflower Puree:

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

pinch of salt and fine black pepper

8 tablespoons alternative milk (I used boxed coconut milk)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Wash and roughly chop cauliflower (should be about 8 cups). Chop onion and place both the cauliflower and onion onto 2 baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Shake the baking sheets to distribute the oil and salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until slightly caramelized, then let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 250F degrees.

In the meantime, blend all of the pumpkin hummus ingredients and set aside.

Blend the cauliflower and onion with the remaining oil from the baking sheets and gradually add the alternative milk (for a prettier presentation set aside a couple pieces of onion and cauliflower as a garnish). I did this in two batches since I didn’t want to overload my blender. Blend until smooth then place in a medium baking dish.

Place the pumpkin hummus on top of the cauliflower puree and push the center down with a knife and make large circles to make a swirl pattern. Top with the garnish and drizzle with an additional teaspoon of olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top begins to dry and crack like a crust.

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