Continuing my quest to find Primal Pronto veggie-inspired meals, I discovered these delicious Green Pea Fritters at The Healthy Chef. Initially, I was just looking for an alternative to Primal Naan Bread and Cauliflower Rice to accompany a family supper of Roasted Cauliflower & Mushroom Curry because, as satisfying as Primal naan bread might sound, since posting the original naan bread recipe I subsequently found out that I need to re-invent it without tapioca flour, (which increases blood sugar even more than wheat flour) and zanthan gum. Yikes! Sorry for the oversight! Plus, cauliflower ‘rice’ and cauliflower curry have zero gastronomic appeal when eaten in combo, so I wanted something new and tasty, preferably vegetable-based, to make our curry meal more appetising.
As it turned out, the Green Pea Fritters were such a hit that I’m including them as part of this week’s blog, so today, three recipe posts for the price of one! Whilst the Green Pea Fritters and Avocado Cream are a perfect stand-alone meal for a fast and simple supper or to serve with drinks, when brought together with Roasted Cauliflower & Mushroom Curry you have several wonderful things that make for a fresh, creative, vegetarian meal fit for entertaining friends. I think the whole thing looks mouthwatering on the plate and it tastes just as good - spicy, savoury, creamy and delicious!
The cauliflower and mushroom curry recipe is adapted from a recipe in Daniel Green’s book, The Paleo Diet but there is one notable exception - if you try to make this curry with “1 tablespoon of chilli powder (or more to taste)” as directed in the book, please do not even think of inviting me for supper! It may simply be a ‘typo’ (I think it should read 1 teaspoon of chilli!) but it would nevertheless be ruinous to the finished dish and most likely would get missed by an inexperienced cook slavishly following the recipe. Thank goodness for Primal Plate’s extensive testing and tasting of all blog featured recipes before posting!
I have added tiger nut flour to the pea fritter recipe to enhance the sweetness of the peas and on this occasion left out the lemon zest in favour of fresh mint because a) fresh mint and peas are a classic and b) the avocado cream has a lemony ‘hit’ all of its own that more than compensates for its absence in the fritters. Plus, it saves the time and effort of grating a lemon!
The pea fritters are very quick and easy to make - it’s just a matter of mixing everything together in a bowl and dropping spoonfuls of the mixture into a hot frying pan (only a few at a time), pressing them flat with the help of a spatula and cooking (for less than a total of 10 minutes) until they’re golden brown on each side. Meanwhile the avocado and cream cheese can be quickly whizzed to a luscious pale green cream in a food processor or with a hand-held blender.
The Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Curry is just as fuss-free and makes a great vegetarian low-carbohydrate option for followers of Paleo and Primal diets.
Put it all together for warming, nourishing mouthfuls of extreme pleasure.
Green Pea Fritters (Serves 4)
300g frozen peas, defrosted
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (about 10g without stalks)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint leaves
2 large organic free range eggs, lightly beaten
100g full-fat soft cheese, softened (I used Longley Farm)
1½ tsp sea salt and a generous grinding of black pepper
1 small organic lemon, finely grated zest only - optional
1tbsp olive oil, for frying
Handful of pea shoots, to garnish - optional
Crush the peas in a food processor using the pulse button. Make sure you keep the peas a coarse texture, this is not meant to be a puree.
Transfer the crushed peas to a bowl, add the parsley, mint, eggs, lemon zest (if using), tiger nut and coconut flours. The ground tiger nuts and coconut flour help to hold the mixture together during cooking.
Season with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.
Soften the cream cheese by breaking it down with a fork then add to the pea fritter batter and combine well.
Heat a little olive oil in a large heavy-based non-stick frying pan over a low heat.
Add heaped tablespoons of the pea fritter mixture to the pan - you should get about 16 bite-sized fritters. To avoid overcrowding the pan you may need to cook them in several batches.
Cook the pea fritters over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes without disturbing them. When they are firm and golden on the underside, carefully turn them over with the aid of a flat-ended spatula.
Continue to cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until the fritters are cooked through and golden brown on both sides.
Immediately transfer to an oven proof dish (or serving platter if you’re handing them out with drinks) and then into a pre-heated hot oven until you’ve cooked the rest of the fritters and you’re ready to eat.
Avocado Cream (Serves 3-4)
1 large ripe avocado
½ lemon, juiced
100g full-fat soft cheese, softened by breaking down with a fork (or use Waitrose Duchy Organic Soft Cheese straight out of the tub).
Peel, stone and mash the avocado with the lemon juice then mix together with the soft cheese, sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste until it is completely smooth and creamy - this is best done in a food processor or with a hand-held blender.
Serve as a dip with Green Pea Fritters or crudités.
Roasted Cauliflower & Mushroom Curry (Serves 4)
1 medium head of cauliflower, broken into small bite-sized florets
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
250g button mushrooms
1 x 2½ cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp Marigold organic vegetable bouillon powder
400ml full-fat organic coconut milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a large handful of fresh coriander, chopped - to garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 200℃ / 400℉ / Gas mark 7
In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Tip onto a non-stick roasting tray and roast for 25 minutes, turning occasionally until the cauliflower is nicely browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a wide, shallow pan set over a moderate heat, fry the onion in the remaining olive oil with the pan lid on for about 8 minutes, stirring from time to time, until softened and starting to brown.
Add the mushrooms and ginger and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring. Stir in the spices and bouillon powder and cook for another minute.
Add the coconut milk and season to taste. Bring to the boil then stir in the cauliflower.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
Ladle into warmed bowls and top with plenty of fresh coriander.
I was in two minds about the Primal Pronto status of the Green Pea Fritters and Roasted Cauliflower & Mushroom Curry because both these recipes are so easy and fuss-free. In the end I decided that Primal Pronto should be defined as: a recipe with 5 or less main ingredients, or one that can be prepped, cooked and on the table within 45 minutes. The Roasted Cauliflower & Mushroom Curry didn’t quite make it on both counts (realistically it’s takes more like 50 minutes to make) but it is still wonderfully warming comfort food that’s simple to prepare. It’s also suitable for vegans.
You can defrost the peas quickly by putting them in a heat proof jug and pouring boiling water over. Allow to stand for a few minutes, then drain well and proceed with the recipe.
The uncooked pea fritter batter can be made well in advance and stored in the fridge overnight. The mixture will make approximately 16 small or 8 large fritters. I use a heaped tablespoon to make the bite-sized ones and a ¼ US cup for bigger ones.
Two large Green Pea Fritters per person served with a medium/soft boiled egg and a dollop of avocado cream is great for a fast and easy low-carb brunch or supper.
If you can’t get button mushrooms for the curry, use closed-cap mushrooms cut into halves or quarters instead.
Carbohydrate 14g Protein 11g - per serving (4 small or 2 large) of Green Pea Fritters
Carbohydrate 5g Protein 2g - per serving of Avocado Cream
Carbohydrate 22g Protein 8g - per serving of Roasted Cauliflower & Mushroom Curry