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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First Birthday Cake

I made this cake for Maya's 1st birthday.  She ate some, but I probably liked it more.  I was impressed that it was all natural, had no sugar and tasted good.  I liked it warm with whipped cream.  The recipe is from "What to Expect the First Year" and is recommended as a first cake for baby/toddler when eggs are allowed, and if you are allowing eggs - I would think you could use an egg alternative if desired.  I am keeping leftovers in the freezer for snacking and future desserts.

Makes 1 double-layer 9-inch-square cake

2 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 1/2 cups apple juice concentrate (you will use slightly less than this)
1 1/2 cups raisins
Vegetable cooking spray
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tblsps low-sodium baking powder
1 tblsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 tblsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1.  Combine the carrots with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the juice concentrate in a medium-size saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.  Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Add the raisins and process until finely chopped.  Let mixture cool.
2.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Line 2 9-inch-square cake pans with waxed paper and spray the paper with vegetable cooking spray.
3.  Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.  Add 1 1/4 cups juice concentrate, the oil, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; beat just until well mixed.  Fold in the carrot puree and applesauce.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
4.  Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool briefly in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chickpea Cutlets

My daughter Maya (who just turned 1) loved these.  Of course, I broke a cutlet into a manageable pieces for her - great finger food!  She seemed to like the chewy texture and probably the flavor as well.  I was glad to be getting a new protein source into her.

1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated with a Microplane grater
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
Olive oil for pan frying

1- In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead together for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.
2- Preheat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the cutlet dough into 4 equal pieces. To form cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 by 4 inch rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to form a rectangle shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them.
3- Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They are ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Number of Servings: 4

From the Veganomicon cookbook