Joining the ranks of people who still live in 2009, I finally set up a fan page for our humble blog. And by humble, I mean seldom-updated and not very popular. But, join us anyways, dammit!
I put “healthy” in quotes, because let’s be honest, cake will never be healthy. It may be low-fat or vegan or sugar-free, but it will never be healthy. It’s cake. It’s meant to be an indulgent treat, an unearned reward for finishing your meal, or having a birthday. It’s no fun if it’s healthy. It goes against the cake-code.
This recipe, taken from Serious Eats, removed some of the fat that comes from using oil. As they mention, it was luck the entire project still worked. I’m one of the people who tends to believe sweet and savory need to stay segregated as far as dessert goes, spiciness is just enough to be noticed but not enough to ruin the idea of dessert
And at 196 calories per slice, at least it’s “healthier” than a usual piece of cake full of shortening, and covered in frosting. I still think it would still be best served warm with some vanilla bean ice cream, which sadly would take the “healthy” completely of the name.
Mexican Chocolate Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold water
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 or 3 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients (flour through salt). Make two small wells in the mixture. In one, pour in the vinegar. In the other, pour in the vanilla extract. Pour cold water over everything. Stir until moistened and a only a little lumpy.
Pour batter into an 8-inch round cake pan. Bake for 30 or 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then carefully pry out and finish cooling on a wire rack.
While cake is baking, whisk together 2/3 cup powdered sugar and 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in small bowl. Add water. Stir to make a thick glaze. When cake is completely cooled, drizzle over cake.
Saturday nights were usually reserved for our traditional beer and pizza night, but with our usual go-to pizza place changing up their recipe to something that barely resembles what we fell in love with we’re currently cooking dinner ourselves. This recipe came from The Flat Belly Diet Cookbook, something I was glancing through while we were relaxing at Borders this afternoon. From my quick read through, the book looked to have several interesting recipe ideas, even if the author was obsessed with repeating the word MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) as often as Rachel Ray needs to use EVOO, yummo, or sammi in every sentence. Needless to say it got grating pretty quickly. If you can look past that you can probably find some tasty recipes. They’re not all vegetarian, but most are easily adaptable.
The original recipe didn’t call for the “chicken”, but we had some extra laying around and decided to toss it in for a little extra protein. The result is a simple, filling vegetable soup with a mild peanut taste; a great creamy recipe for the cold of winter.
Peanut & “Chicken” Soup
- 1 Tbsp Canola Oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth, divided
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 12 oz vegetarian “chicken” strips, chopped
- 2 Tbsp chopped nuts (optional)
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the garlic and 2 cups of the broth. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.
Transfer the soup to a food processor fitted with a metal blade or a blender. Process until smooth
Return the soup to the pot and stir in the peanut butter, lemon juice, and remaining 1 cup broth. Cook for 5 minutes or until the peanut melts and flavors blend. Add the “chicken” and continue to cook until heated through.
Ladle into 4 bowls and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
4 servings (1 ¼ cup each.)
Recently, I had a “friend” ask me to try a candy she picked up while in New York. I put friend in quotes because the candy was picked up in China Town and flavored to match the only thing that I’ve seen to make Andrew Zimmerman nearly vomit: The Durian. So I can only assume my “friend” is actually the devil.
So, does the fact I actually ate one of these things a tougher man than Andrew Zimmerman? I can only assume yes. Does it make me tougher than everyone in the Asian countries where this fruit is banned for its smell alone? Again, I can only assume yes. Sure, I was subjected to a mere fraction of the smell and taste, but this candy had ACTUAL durian flavoring! It’s completely and totally the same thing.
So what did it taste like? Well for people who are fans of both bananas and onions, this is the candy for you. With a texture of taffy, the flavor can only be described as a banana and onion smoothie. If only Jamba Juice offered something like this on their menu. I could avoid it just like I would another chance to eat this candy.
The disturbing thing? It still tasted better than the octopus flavored corn chip I was offered a few months back.
Rereading that sentence, I need to rethink the things my “friends” offer me to try.