Recipes

I’m back. I have missed writing and sharing with you all and feel like I have all these pent up thoughts ready to explode. It’s been difficult get organized, focused, and back in action. For some reason it has seemed completely overwhelming! Today, I am starting – one post at a time, right? 

We recently celebrated our daughter’s 4th birthday {isn’t she sweet?} and I decided to bake my first cake for the occasion! I can’t remember ever baking a cake from scratch on my own. I have made cookies and cupcakes and muffins and brownies, but never a cake. {And never a pie, either, but we’ll save that attempt for another day}.

This cake was moist, flavorful, and had one of my favorites as a star ingredient: coconut. I found this recipe online and made a couple of minor changes and I just have to say that this was the.best.cake.ever. I am not a huge cake fan, which is probably why I hadn’t ever baked one.

I will post the recipe, with the ingredients I used here for your convenience, but please note: it is not my creation, it is just simply too good not to share! Click here for more detailed pictures and instructions. I do have to warn you, this particular recipe is not allergy friendly. I didn’t make it with any substitutions to make it gluten or dairy free, although I am sure it would be fantastic prepared that way as well.

Carrot Cake with a Twist

Carrot Cake with a Twist

Ingredients

  • 1 pound finely grated carrots
  • 4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups cane sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 2 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Instructions

  1. Prepare two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper and oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coarsely grate the carrots in a food processor using the grater attachment.
  3. Next, chop them into finer pieces with the medal blade attachment in the food processor
  4. Mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest.
  5. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.
  7. Add the finely chopped carrots, coconut, and golden raisins.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  9. Bake cakes for about 30-35 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
  10. Let cakes cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.
http://wholesomemama.com/recipe/carrot-cake-with-a-twist/

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. To assemble the cake: Once the cakes have completely cooled, remove from the pans and peel off the parchment paper from the bottom.
  3. Put the cake on a cake turn table.
  4. With a thin serrated knife, slice off the very top of the cake by using a sawing motion.
  5. Then cut the cake in 2 equal layers.
  6. Slide the layers onto a cardboard round or any other flat surface.
  7. Put about 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese icing.
  8. Using an offset spatula spread the frosting evenly over the surface of the first layer.
  9. Repeat for the rest of the layers.
  10. Place about 2 cups of the icing on the top of the cake and spread evenly.
  11. Spread the icing onto the sides of the cake.
  12. Lift the cake off the turn table and place on the serving platter.
  13. Using the spatula spread the frosting and create swirls on the cake.
  14. Press coconut onto the sides and sprinkle the top.{Note: I don't have any fancy cake decorating tools/equipment, so I just place the cake on a large plate and frosted it using the back of a large spoon :)}
http://wholesomemama.com/recipe/carrot-cake-with-a-twist/

{ 1 comment }

Have you ever cooked with kale before? Kale is a dark, leafy green commonly known as a “superfood” meaning that it is packed with nutrition. It comes in several varieties – I used the curly kale for this recipe.

Up until a few years ago, I had never eaten kale, let alone known how to prepare it! My friend, Angie, shared this recipe with me when I asked her how to cook with it as I really had no idea where to begin. I think it is delicious and hope you will too.

Pasta with Kale, Cannelini Beans & Fresh Herb Vinagrette

51

4 Servings

Pasta with Kale, Cannelini Beans & Fresh Herb Vinagrette

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pkg. Trader Joe's brown rice spaghetti (8 oz.)
  • 1 15 oz. can cannelini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped (any variety)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pieces cooked and crumbled bacon (I use Trader Joe's uncured, nitrate-free applewood smoked)
  • salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
  • olive oil
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese (omit for dairy-free)
  • fresh herb vinagrette (recipe follows)

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat 3 T. olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and red pepper flakes over the hot oil. (caution: only sprinkle a few pepper flakes if you like it mild!)
  3. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook until onion softens (about 5 min.).
  4. Add bacon and cook another minute.
  5. Add kale and cook until it just begins to wilt (you can add more olive oil if necessary).
  6. Add beans and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and heated through.
  7. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat water and 1 T. olive oil to boil the pasta. Cook until al dente and prepare herb vinagrette.
  8. Drain pasta and return to saucepan.
  9. Add herb vinagrette and toss to coat.
  10. Add kale mixture and toss together as well.
  11. Divide among plates and serve topped with a generous amount of parmesan cheese.
http://wholesomemama.com/recipe/pasta-with-kale-cannelini-beans-and-fresh-herb-vinagrette/

Fresh Herb Vinagrette

51

4 Servings

Fresh Herb Vinagrette

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. assorted fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used 2 chives, 6 basil leaves and a handful of flat leaf parsley)
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 T. dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a sprinkle of dry italian dressing packet (optional, but really good)
  • 3-4 T. olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl or glass liquid measuring cup, place herbs and vinegar.
  2. Mash together with a whisk and let sit a few minutes.
  3. Whisk in mustard and seasonings.
  4. Then whisk in enough oil to make it slightly thickened and mild enough to suit your taste.
http://wholesomemama.com/recipe/pasta-with-kale-cannelini-beans-and-fresh-herb-vinagrette/

Angie also suggests that the Fresh Herb Vinagrette would be great to marinade chicken, toss with some steamed potatoes, or use as a salad dressing.

Speaking of Angie, she has generously shared all kinds recipes, tips, and information with me over the years. I asked her if I can post some recipes from her kitchen here on Wholesome Mama and she said, “Absolutely!”

{She seriously could easily write an entire cookbook with all of her culinary expertise and creativeness so I am grateful to be able to pass on some of her recipes to you!}

What is your favorite way to prepare kale?

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Garlic Green Beans with Tamari Glaze

March 19, 2012

There’s nothing like fresh green beans! This recipe is the perfect mix of sweet sautéed garlic and salty tamari. Feel free to use soy sauce instead if you are not sensitive to gluten. The best part: it is simple, fast and your kids will be asking for more! Print Garlic Green Beans with Tamari Glaze [...]

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Brown Rice Pilaf with Almonds

March 16, 2012

When my husband and I changed our diet to include whole grains, one of the changes we made was switching from white rice to brown. White rice has been stripped of a good portion of its nutrients and contains less fiber. Brown rice has a slightly nutty flavor, and like other whole grains, is more [...]

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Sarah’s Simple Salsa

March 12, 2012

It’s time to spill my secret. {My secret salsa recipe that is!} The secret is this: I use canned tomatoes with green chilies as the base. So simple. I always keep them on hand in my pantry so I can throw this together in no time. I don’t know about you, but Chips & Salsa [...]

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Fresh Spring Rolls & Dipping Sauce

March 9, 2012

I never knew that fresh spring rolls could be so easy to make! The main thing to account for is the time it takes to prep all the ingredients and then assembling them. My dear friend taught me how to make these and shared this recipe with me {hi Angie!} Print Fresh Spring Rolls & [...]

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Fruit Dip

February 6, 2012

There is nothing like fresh fruit! It is perfectly delicious all on its own in my opinion. Sometimes you just want a little something to make it extra sweet. The beautiful thing about this fruit dip is that it is all natural and you can feel good about dipping until your heart is content. Fruit [...]

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Taco Bean Dip

February 3, 2012

You know those nights where you haven’t planned ahead and you still want to prepare a home-cooked meal that all your family members will enjoy? This meal is one of my go-to recipes for our family. I almost always have the ingredients (or some variation of!) on hand and can throw this together at the last [...]

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The Ultimate Chicken Salad

February 2, 2012

I came up with this recipe several years ago and have loved it ever since. This is great by itself, placed on bread as a sandwich, on crackers, or as open faced tea sandwiches as pictured here. Just about every person I have served this to as requested the recipe so I decided it was [...]

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Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

January 31, 2012

I have always made breakfast an important meal everyday. I generally cook a full meal, and try to incorporate a variety of food groups. Most mornings we eat eggs in some form with varying sides. Since we have cut out gluten, I have made less and less carb heavy breakfasts. The other day I decided to [...]

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