Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What are Street Lemons?

If you drive around my town these days, especially in the older, established areas, you will find citrus trees loaded full of lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits.  Our climate is ideal for citrus and it seems every house has at least one fruit-bearing tree.  

My sister told me that she recently made some lemon bars out of "street lemons."  

"What are street lemons?" 

"Oh you know, when you are on a walk, they are the lemons you get from trees that are hanging into the street."

(Don't worry, she didn't trespass, just "gleaned" from neglected trees that were already dropping fruit everywhere) 

Because I have several grocery bags of lemons generously given to me by my family from their over-abundant trees, I am trying to incorporate lemons in our meals as much as possible.

This day, I was craving a pasta dish, so I decided to make a creamy lemon pasta.  I served it with a side of baked salmon seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. 

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Spinach and Artichoke Hearts 

16 oz brown rice spaghetti
2 tsp coconut oil
6 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly (I love this new gadget I got!)
Juice from 2-3 lemons
8oz cream cheese (organic or non-dairy)
2 tbl capers
1 can artichoke hearts
8oz baby spinach chopped
Fresh ground salt and pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Drain, rinse, and set aside.  

In a large, deep skillet, heat coconut oil over medium.  Add garlic slices, and cook for about a minute, taking care not to let the garlic burn.  Add lemon juice and cream cheese, and heat until cream cheese is melted, being careful not to let it boil, reducing the heat as necessary.  Add capers and artichoke hearts and heat thoroughly, about 3 minutes.  Add pasta and spinach and toss until sauce completely coats pasta and everything is mixed throughout the pasta.  Season to taste with fresh ground salt and pepper.  Serve by itself or with a side of your favorite seafood (baked salmon or sauteed shrimp and my favorite choices).

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