Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lemon Coconut Cake

A little bit tart, occasionally sour and lots of sweet. That sums up my friend Liz who just celebrated her birthday, and the cake I made for her. Looks like the cake was a success and I love the different flavor combination. And it is always great to celebrate with a good friend!

Lemon Coconut Cake

Lemon Coconut Cake:
½ cup Soy Margarine
1 ½ cups Organic Raw Sugar
½ cup Silken Tofu, blended
1 cup Almond or Coconut Milk
½ cup fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Vanilla
2 ½ cups Unbleached White Flour
½ cup Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
1 Tb Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt

Lemon Frosting:
1/2 cup Margarine
3 cups Powdered Sugar
3-5 Tb Lemon Juice
1 cup Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)

Cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Add the tofu and blend. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and blend some more. Slowly add the almond or coconut milk as the beaters continue mixing. Add the flour, baking power and salt and blend until just mixed in. Put in the shredded coconut and stir in with a spatula until incorporated. Fill two greased 9-inch cakes pans with equal amounts of batter. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. When cakes are done, the top should spring back when lightly touched.

Frosting: Blend the powdered sugar and margarine together. Add lemon juice, a little at a time, until you reach the desired texture.

To assemble the cake, frost the top of one 9-inch cake. Add the other cake layer on top and frost it as well. Go around the sides with more frosting making sure to cover the entire cake. Sprinkle the coconut flakes onto the frosting (top and sides), patting it into the frosting to make sure it sticks. Serve with a birthday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Curry Veggie Split Pea Soup

This is the time of year that I can really get into veggies! I am trying to visit the farmers markets and check out all the local offerings at my local natural food store. I have been eating a lot of salads and have found that making bean spreads work great in place of a traditional salad dressing. I have used hummus, bean & artichoke dip and I even had success blending up black beans with a green tomatillo salsa.

Soups are also great for veggies. Although I avoid making soup when the temperature is above 90°F outside, the summer here has been mild and soups can be so easy to conjure up. Here is my latest creation.

Curry Veggie Split Pea Soup

1 ½ cups Green Split Peas
4 cups Water
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 Potatoes, diced
2 large Carrots, chopped
1 small Onion, chopped
1 bunch Kale, chopped
2-inch piece of Ginger, minced
2 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Garlic Granules
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional)

Bring the water and split peas to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes. Add the broth, potatoes, carrot, onion and ginger and cook an additional 15 minutes. Add the spices and kale and simmer until kale is soft, about 10 minutes.

These spices are how I like it. You may find starting with less salt and pepper and adding more as you go will cater to your own taste buds. I really like ginger, so cut down on this is you are not as much of a fan. Soups are great in that they can easily be altered to your own liking.