Organic everything but the kitchen sink cake

I really enjoy juicing.  It’s so healthy for you too.  When I do juice, often times I will save the pulp and use it later in baking.  I juiced kale, carrots, zucchini, and beets a couple of weeks ago, and (naturally) saved the pulp. I sealed it up in Zip-loc freezer bags, and defrosted a bag this morning so I could use it in my baking.   I decided to bake a carrot cake, which really became an “Everything but the kitchen sink” cake.  It is YUMMY!  In fact, I’m eating a slice even now, as I blog!

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I hate to eat alone, so, I thought I’d take a break and blog you the recipe!  If you get started, you’ll be done in an hour…

Organic Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cake

INGREDIENTS:

Coconut spray (Trader Joe’s) for greasing the pan
2 cups organic, unbleached flour
2 cups organic raw sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon celtic salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons organic pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups canola or grape-seed oil
1 pound fresh or thawed vegetable pulp (or grated carrots)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or slivered almonds
1/2 cup organic white raisins
1/2 cup organic cranraisins

LET’S GET BAKING!

Preheat your oven to 325 F.  Heavily butter/spray and flour 2 round 9-inch cake pans, tapping out the excess flour. Set aside.

Place the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl and whisk together until fully mixed.

In a smaller mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add this mixture to the dried mixture and stir completely.

Add  the pulp (carrots), nuts, raisins and cranraisins and stir to combine.

Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.  Bake the cakes until a toothpick is inserted in the center and comes out clean.  It should take about 50 minutes.

Remove the cakes and cook on racks until completely cool.  Frost if you like!

THE FROSTING

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
8 tablespoons (1 stick butter or Earth Balance), softened
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond milk

Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very smooth and creamy.  Usually this takes about 3 minutes.  With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly add the confectioner’s sugar.  You can add less sugar to begin with.  You kind of have to watch the consistency of the frosting as you go.  Add the vanilla and beat until combined.

Once the cakes have cooled, frost the middle of the cake first, and then do the rest!

Voila!  This is a great way to sneak veggies into a kids diet, who normally will have nothing to do with them.  Just FYI!

Enjoy!

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Mixing all of the ingredients together

934888_10151655198174458_515673601_nCooling on the rack!

320829_10151655562014458_2025209430_nFrosted Yumminess!

The Other Evening, I Was…

Feeling very French!  To welcome the misty evening, as the marine layer set in, I made a wonderful VEGAN MUSHROOM and COGNAC SOUP!   While I don’t have the recipe for the Cognac :), I do want to share this wonderful soup with you!

Here we go!

Vegan Cognac Mushroom Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs white mushrooms, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegetarians can use butter)

2 large leeks, sliced thin (you may use both the light and green parts)

3 cloves pressed garlic

1 teaspoon fresh (finely chopped) thyme leaves

1/4 cup cognac

3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup organic almond milk (coconut milk works well too)

3/4 cup finely chopped parsley (for garnishing)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

LET’S GET COOKING!

In a food processor, place the rinsed and drained mushrooms in batches until finely chopped.  Next, heat the butter/Earth Balance in a pot over medium heat.  Add leeks, and the salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened.  Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the garlic and the thyme, cooking for 2 minutes more until fragrant.

In a separate soup pan, deglaze the cognac and cook 1 minute, or until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the mushrooms, cover and cook for 5 minutes; then take the cover off, cooking 5-7 minutes more, or until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown.

Stir in the broth, the almond or coconut milk and puree with an immersion blender until creamy smooth.  Serve with parsley sprinkled on the top, or a sprig of fresh thyme.

This is fabulous with warmed, freshly baked sour dough bread and a fresh green salad.

Bon appetite!

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Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

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Savory Vegan Portobello Wellington with Shiitake Duxelle & Wine Reduction

With the scent of fall in the air (yes, even in Santa Barbara), I can’t help but turn to the savory side of cooking.  You know, those hearty dishes that warm our tummy and delight our palate!  I’d like to share a wonderful recipe for Vegan Portobello Wellington.  Unlike the typical “Beef Wellington,” this is stuffed with a portobello mushroom, and it’s incredibly tasty.

I came across this wonderful recipe on another blog site, and I just had to share!  Virtually Vegan Mama has some amazing recipe’s!  Check it out:

http://virtuallyveganmama.com/2011/05/portobello-wellington-vegan-dinner-party-time.html

INGREDIENTS FOR PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM, CARROTS AND POTATOES:
4 portobello mushrooms
1 sheet vegan puff pastry (your local health food store should carry this)
3 1/2 ounces of shiitake mushrooms
1 cup white button mushrooms
2 cups baby spinach
3 small shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, stemmed
7-8 gold Yukon potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
8 ounces baby carrots
1/2 cup red wine
1 3/4 cup organic vegetable stock
3 tsp. of Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
2 tbsp. of date syrup
1/4 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
2 pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. of olive oil
LET’S GET COOKING!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the Red Wine Sauce: Combine 1/2 cup red wine and 1 cup vegetable stock in small saucepan. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp date syrup and set aside. Reheat on low right before serving and drizzle over portabello wellington.
To make the Duxelles: In a food processor, put the spinach, shiitake, button mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and tarragon and pulse until finely chopped.  Set aside.
Take 2 teaspoons of Earth Balance Butter to a large sauté pan and set over medium heat. Add the mushroom mixture, 1/4 cup vegetable stock and sauté for 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with a pinch of black pepper and set aside to cool.
For the Portabello Mushrooms: Gently scrap gills from Portobello mushrooms with a spoon. Place mushrooms on baking tray lined with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, set aside. Cut pastry sheet into 4 equal parts.  Using a spoon, cover each mushroom with a layer of duxelles (make sure to fill the back cavity of the mushroom with the duxelles).  Place a mushroom in center of each pastry sheet, cavity side up.  Fold the pastry around the mushrooms and enclose entirely, press down lightly with fingers to make sure it is sealed completely.  Place mushrooms, with folded side down, on baking tray lined with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat. Drizzle olive oil over the top.

Bake mushrooms in oven until pastry is golden brown for 20-25 minutes.

For the Red Wine Reduction:  Combine 1/2 cup red wine and 1 cup vegetable stock in small saucepan. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp date syrup and set aside. Reheat on low right before serving and drizzle over portabello wellington.

SIDE DISH SUGGESTIONS:
Maple Syrup Glazed Baby Carrots with Maple Syrup:
Combine 1 tbsp date syrup, vanilla and 1/3 cup vegetable stock in small bowl, stir to combine. Melt 1 tsp. Earth Balance butter to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add carrots and sauce; simmer on medium heat until carrots are cooked through about 20 minutes. Deglaze the pan with more vegetable stock if needed.
Roasted Yukon Gold Potato’s with Rosemary
Dice up 7-8 peeled potatoes and place in a bowl.  Finely chop 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary and add to the potatoes. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes until tender and browned.
SERVE WITH A GREEN SALAD, AND SOME WHITE WINE, AND YOU HAVE A LOVELY SAVORY MEAL THAT’S PERFECT FOR HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING!
Buno Appetito!

Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

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I just love Paella

I absolutely love Paella (pronounced pie-AY-a). I love Spanish culture–the food–the wine–the flamenco dancing–the passion.  Traditionally, Paella was made by agricultural laborers in Valencia, a region on the East cost of Spain.  It was cooked over an open fire in the fields using a mixture of rice, snails and veggies (beans) in a pan over an open fire .  Paella, was all about community, and everyone ate it right out of the pan!  Those who had more money, added chorizo and chicken, and seafood didn’t get added until the late 18th century.

The dish was actually a “rice and beans” dish, with butter beans,and runner beans, which were replaced by artichokes in the winter, plus tomatoes. The spices included garlic, pimentòn (sweet paprika), rosemary, saffron and salt; the dish was cooked in olive oil.  It has evolved into literally one of the most popular dishes in Spain and the world over.

So, I have a great recipe for Quinoa Vegetable Paella.  Sort of an adaptation of the original recipe, for those who don’t want shellfish, chicken and rice.  It’s a healthier version…

INGREDIENTS:

1 onion, chopped

3 – 4 cloves of crushed garlic

1 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

1/4 tsp. saffron

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika (important that you use the Spanish version)

Dash cayenne pepper

1 14- ounce can diced tomatoes

1 red or yellow pell pepper, chopped

1 14-ounce can yellow, orange or red bell pepper, chopped

1 14-ounce can light red garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

3 cups cups vegetable broth

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced

1 package fresh or frozen peas

1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and cut into quarters

1 jar green olives, drained

Salt & Pepper to taste

LET’S COOK!

Make the quinoa according to directions.  In a deep skillet, saute the onion and the garlic in a deep non-stick skillet in olive oil until soft.  Add the quinoa and saffron and cook, stirring for another 2 minutes.  Now add remaining vegetables, except the zucchini, along with the  2 3/4 cups vegetable broth and the seasonings.  Bring it all to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, and cook uncovered for approximately 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, check to see if more broth is needed.  If it looks dry, add the remaining vegetable broth. Place zucchini on top of the quinoa and re-cover.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until heated through and the quinoa is done.  Remove the cover, stir in the peas and cook uncovered until the peas are warm and all of the liquid is absorbed. Arrange the artichoke hearts on the very top and serve.

Healthy and delicious!

Ole!

Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

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