Disappearing Carrot Almond Lemon Cake

Well, there is a big hunk out of this cake. And I ATE IT! Inspired by Deborah Madison’s fabulous book Vegetable Literacy, it’s delicious. I only tweaked the recipe a bit.
Raleigh City Farm-stand @raleighcityfarm Wednesdays 4-7
has carrots (green onions, kale & French radishes) this week!
  • 4 T melted & cooled + 1 t butter (1t for pan)
  • 1 1/2 C blanched almond flour
  • 2 t fine lemon zest (grated from about 2 lemons)
  • 3/4 C + 2 T sugar
  • 1 1/4 C cake flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature is better)
  • 1/4 t each almond & lemon extract
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract (double strength)
  • 2 C finely grated carrots (not packed cups)
  • Confectioner’s sugar (optional for top)

Heat oven to 375°F. Parchment line a 9″ springform or cake pan, using 1 t butter to stick paper to pan sides & to lightly butter the batter side of the paper. Sprinkle a bit of the almond flower in the cake pan bottom over the buttered parchment.

Mix the almond flour, lemon zest & 2 T sugar in. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder & salt.

In an electric mixer, whip the eggs on high for about 2 minutes. Add the 3/4 c sugar & whip until pale, thick & creamy, about 5 minutes.

Reduce speed to low. Add extracts, almond flour mixture & carrots. Mix until well combined. Add butter & mix until just combined. Fold in flour mixture, combining gently until the dry mixture is just incorporated.

Pour batter into baking pan. (I pull the batter a bit from the center so it bakes more evenly.) Bake 30 minutes until lightly browned & the center springs back. It will most likely have a couple of cracks in the top when it’s done. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.

Remove the cake from the pan & display on a cake stand with a glass dome so you can walk by & easily eat it. Hence the name “disappearing.”

P.S. Sprinkle the top with confectioner’s sugar before serving, if you like. I never made it to this step.

Russian Kale – Two Yummy (очень вкусно) Ways!

Raleigh City Farm FRESH HARVEST NOW Russian Kale. www.raleighcityfarm.org
Toasted Kale Chips with Tasty Nutritional Yeast Sprinkles
Cruciferous Slaw — Kale & purple cabbage join with carrots, seeds, blueberries & a Dijon garlic splash.

TOASTED KALE CHIPS

  • 4 – 6 C kale leaves torn into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 t each white & black sesame seeds
  • Greek seasoning or sea salt & fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F (convection setting preferred). Mix kale with all ingredients. Spread the kale in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 12-20 minutes, checking every 5 minutes or so until kale is crispy. That might mean pulling out leaves as they are done. They are delicious with or without the yeast sprinkles.

NUTRITIONAL YEAST SPRINKLES

  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T olive or avocado oil
  • 4 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 t dry oregano
  • dash cayenne

Mix all together with a fork until the mixture forms crumbs. Sprinkle over warm kale chips.

CRUCIFEROUS SLAW

  • 3 C diced kale (think smaller pieces for a tender bite)
  • 1 C diced red cabbage
  • 1/2 C grated carrot
  • 1/4 C minced parsley
  • 2 T each pumpkin, hemp & sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 C fresh blueberries

DIJON GARLIC SPLASH

  • 3 T olive oil (I used the very best – which has a kick to it)
  • 2 t Dijon mustard – the real thing from Dijon, France
  • 2 t Braggs vinegar
  • 1 clove very finely minced garlic
  • 1 t honey (taste the dressing before you add)
  • Sea salt & fresh black pepper

In a small bowl mix the splash. In a larger bowl add slaw ingredients, and toss with the splash. Serve at room temperature. Top with blueberries to serve. (Sans blueberries, I like this as a sandwich relish too.)

Is this healthy? Yes EAT ALL YOU WANT! Often.

Radishes Roasted For your health!

Raleigh City Farm French Breakfast Radishes are delicious roasted!
Any fresh green topped radishes are great too.

Shop Raleigh City Farm Farmstand Wednesdays 4-7 https://raleighcityfarm.org/farmstand

All you need – Radishes, EVOO, seasoning of choice (Greek follows).

• Radishes • EVOO • Seasoning Greek blend follows. • Balsamic vinegar or Dijon mustard (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° F. I use a convection setting.

Wash your radishes. Wash your radishes again. And one more time. In the commercial kitchen we wash anything with greens at least 3 times to clear the grit. Drain on a clean tea towel. BTW your towels should be washed in non scented, natural detergent.

Radishes are really pretty so try to serve them close to their original design. Carefully remove the green tops. Slice the radishes in half, keeping the roots intact. I’ve tried to keep the greens attached & roast them whole but the greens usually cook so much faster than the roots so separating them works better.

Toss the greens with olive oil & seasoning in one bowl & the roots in another. Place roots on one side of a parchment lined pan. Roast for about 10 minutes. Add greens to pan spread in one layer. Roast for 5 minutes. You want the greens just crisp not burnt so watch them.

Serve. Drizzle with fresh EVOO. If you like, mix the EVOO with a bit of Dijon mustard or Balsamic vinegar. Great cold too.

  • Greek Spice Blend *3x for fresh herbs
  • 1 T dry oregano*
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1 T dry marjoram*
  • 1 T dill weed*
  • 1 t parsley*
  • 1 T lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper

MUSINGS about radishes. Radishes can be spicy hot. Roasting mellows the heat, as does steaming or blanching. You can parboil & then quickly ice & add to your salads to calm their dominant bite. Or enjoy a crunchy fresh one.

Boasting vitamin C & potassium & fiber &…, radishes BOOST IMMUNITY, regulate blood pressure & EASE & even PREVENT respiratory problems.

Oui! French Escape Madeleines

Let’s go to the 18th century when baking in molds began. Oh wait…let’s read Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and dip our petit madeleines in our London Fog (bergamot tea, foamed almond milk with vanilla syrup) & selectively remember why we just know that now & then cake comforts us. Enjoy your sweet life!
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3/4 t vanilla 1/2 t almond extract or vice versa depending on your taste or traditional = 3/4 t vanilla 1 T lemon zest
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter melted set aside to cool + 2 T butter melted to oil tin
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/4 t salt (or less)
  • 1/2 t baking powder

Tendre, s’il vous plaît. Whisk flour, salt & baking powder in small bowl. In mixer with wire whip, beat eggs & sugar 6-8 minutes until light & thick. Add flavorings. Fold in flour mixture, gently. Take 1/4 c of the batter & mix with the 1/2 c melted butter until the butter is incorporated. Then thoroughly fold this butter batter into the egg, sugar, flour batter, gently. Cover & refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile oil molds VERY WELL. EVEN if you have non stick molds, oil them well. The butter helps the petit cakes brown too. Preheat oven to 350° F.

Organize your tea ingredients: Begamot (Earl Grey) Tea, almond or milk of choice, vanilla or vanilla syrup, sugar. Make your tea while your cakes bake.

Place 1 tablespoon of batter in the center of each of 22* VERY WELL oiled 3″ x 1.75″ mold. Bake 10 to 14 minutes. (Ovens and atmospheres vary.) They are done when the edges are just brown. You can test with your finger by pressing gently. If it’s done it’ll resist a bit & spring back. Remove from oven. Wait 1 minute (no longer) & with a table knife coax your madeleines onto a wire rack to cool. (OR DON’T WAIT – I like one warm from the oven.) Store in air tight container or freeze.

Eat within a few minutes. (Did I say that?) I meant days. (I am a glutton for anything French or cake like or filled with glorious memories.) I am pretty sure the benefits of bergamot & black tea totally counteract the sugar sins.

Some folks like them sprinkled with (more) sugar. I like mine naked with Earl Grey tea. ENJOY!

*The shells in my tin are about 3″ x 1-3/4″. There are 24 shells but this batter made 22 perfectly. (Rumor has it you can use real bivalve shells.)

Heaven… Artichokes & Oysters

Inspired by my new housemate Thomas Keller via Masterclass. I learn something new with EVERY interchange. These days, I am talking back to “Chef” as I fondly address him.
  • 1 T avocado oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, sliced 1/4 inch
  • 1 large shallot sliced thinly
  • 6-10+ garlic cloves, smashed & peeled
  • 1 large carrot, sliced diagonally & thinly
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 c Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 C + water
  • Bouquet Garni: 3 thyme sprigs, 8 peppercorns, 2 large bay leaves, parley sprig (Chef puts these in cheesecloth.)
  • 2 cups water with juice of 2 lemons to keep artichokes from browning. (I strained this “lemonade” after use and am drinking it.)
  • 4-6 large artichokes, leaves, stem & thistle removed. Keep in lemon juice & water as you work as they quickly oxidize. Clean the heart that’s left so all of it is edible. (I added the stems that I had trimmed as well but I did compost all of the leaves.)
  • 12 oysters
  • 4+ T Kerry Gold butter, clarified
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Maldon Salt flakes

In a sauté or saucepan large enough to hold the hearts & liquid to cover them, add oil and sauté the shallots, fennel & carrots with salt until just limp. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add bouquet garni, liquids & simmer for about 10 minutes while you prepare the artichokes.

Place the artichoke hearts in the pan. Adjust liquid so it just covers the hearts. Submerge a clean (all natural with no dyes) tea towel over the hearts to keep them moist. Cover.

Simmer on low. Cook until the hearts just yield to a sharp point. I use a toothpick or skewer. It’s easy to overcook these so check frequently. It will take at least 10 minutes but maybe up to 30 depending on your artichokes.

When almost done, remove the hearts & keep warm. (I had a waiting saucepan on low heat & recovered them with the tea towel.)

Add the oysters to the vegetables, cover. Simmer about 2 minutes until the oysters are barely heated. They’ll continue to cook as you shell them. Open the oysters & set aside. (Clams or mussels would be great too!)

Heat the clarified butter. Add the 2 garlic cloves & cook for 1 minute.

Place your veggies on a service plate. Add the artichoke hearts, cut into cubes. Arrange oysters on the side. Drizzle the entire plate with the garlic butter. VERY lightly sprinkle with a bit of Maldon Salt.

I drank the broth. Ate all the garlic & licked the pan.

Hmmmm, maybe a crusty baguette would be a nice addition.

ENJOY!

Healthy Herbes de Provence

C’est bon et bon pour vous.
  • 1 T Fennel Seed 
  • 2 T Summer Savory
  • 2 T Thyme
  • 2 T Basil
  • 2 T Marjoram
  • 2 T Parsley
  • 1 T Oregano
  • 2 T Rosemary
  • 5-6 Bay Leaves (or 1 t ground Bay Leaf)
  • 2 T Lavender Flowers
  • 1 T Tarragon*
  • 6 Black Peppercorns
  • YOU CAN USE ALL FRESH or MIX FRESH & DRY HERBS IN THIS BLEND AND FREEZE. Allow 3 times the dry amount for fresh and of course you’ll have to grind your dry herbs, mince your fresh ones & blend. Storage info follows.

To mix, you can use a suribachi (I love this Japanese grinding bowl bowl with a rough unglazed center that I learned about from Alice Waters.); mortar and pestle; or an electric spice grinder. (I have a Cuisinart SG10 which holds all of this mix.) You can also use ANY BOWL and a wooden spoon.

When mixing spices grind the largest ones first…ie. peppercorns and bay leaves. When these are relatively small, add the all the remaining herbs & blend to your preference, coarse to very fine. Try to have consistent particle sizes of all the herbs so you have true blend of flavors for your recipe.

Store AIRTIGHT in a dark/tinted GLASS container for up to 6 months. Beyond that your flavors and nutrients will dim. You can freeze your blend (IN FREEZER PROOF AIR TIGHT GLASS NOT METAL OR PLASTIC) and maybe get 12 months. (PLASTIC is toxic next to any food! It is NOT airtight. I love Ball straight-sided freezer safe jars! Here’s Dr. Weil’s view about SILICONE which might be an option…https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/cooking-cookware/cooking-with-silicone/

I have also mixed my blend with olive oil, plopped teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined tray, frozen and popped out into my BALL jars and returned to freezer. Pre-measured with an extra boost of EVOO. 12 months maximum storage but I use within 6 months.

MAGIC HEALTH

This is just a teeny bit about the health gifts.

As a nutritional chef, I have learned that this blend is loaded with LIFE — phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. Remember more is not necessarily better. Taste your foods as you cook to see what is your spice preference.

  • Fennel – Carminative (antiflatulent), galactagogue (increases breast milk supply), expectorant/antitussive (relieves chronic cough), anti-colic, stomachic (aids digestion), anti-inflammatory (supports overall wellness). I LOVE FENNEL!
  • Savory – Anti-oxidant (see oregano blog https://chamberslife.com/?s=oregano for information about antioxidants), anti-septic, anti-fungal, expectorant, stomachic, aphrodisiac, thirst quencher.
  • Thyme – Antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, anti fungal, expectorant, anti-candida, vermifuge (expels parasites), carminative, antitussive, antispasmodic, diaphoretic (skin redness increasing blood flow for musculoskeletal/arthritis/rheumatism pain relief).
  • Basil – Antidepressant, detoxicant, headache relief, lung support, digestive.
  • Marjoram – See Oregano.
  • Parsley – Diuretic, blood purifier, digestive, galactagogue, emmenagogue (menstrual flow stimulant), carminative, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant.
  • Oregano – https://chamberslife.com/?s=oregano
  • Rosemary – Nervine (calms nerves), antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, diaphoretic, analgesic (pain relief), antispasmodic (muscle spasm relief), antioxidant, carminative, liver tonic, astringent, circulatory support. I LOVE ROSEMARY! Here’s a little side note about the magic of Rosemary. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/world/what-in-the-world/rosemary-and-time-does-this-italian-hamlet-have-a-recipe-for-long-life.html
  • Bay Leaf – Anti-carcinogen, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, calmative, antiflatulent, sedative, sodium replacement for taste. DO NOT EAT WHOLE BAY LEAVES AS THEY MAY CAUSE CHOKING/GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS!
  • Lavender Flowers – Antibacterial, digestive, cholagogue (promotes bile flow), carminative, nervine (Lavender is amazing, helping with sleep, depression, fatigue, anxiety, etc.), insect repellent. Suggested lavender varieties include Provence, Melissa, Royal Velvet, Buena Vista and English.
  • Tarragon – Digestive, antiflatulent, cholagogue, nervine, appetite stimulant, metabolism booster. *Tarragon has very distinctive flavor can overpower other herbs, so you may want to start with less to see if your taste buds agree. If your tongue feels a little numb when you eat Tarragon, I am told that’s part of it’s magic.
  • Black Peppercorns – Digestive, enhances bioavailability, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, improves cognition, expectorant, antitussive. EAT ON EVERYTHING!

SOURCES & REFERENCES, ETC.

www.katolenyardley.com The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies by Katolen Yardley

www.thymeherbal.com Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen by Brittany Wood Nickerson

Dr. William Li https://drwilliamli.com author — Eat to Beat Disease

Rebecca Katz – AMAZING RECIPES! She so gets the flavor thing — MAKE — www.rebeccakatz.com/recipe-box/triple-triple-brittle

And last but not least — I love this podcast because Dr. Gundry has a plethora of health professionals as guests whether he agrees with their views or not. So if you are a sponge for health info this is your go to… …https://drgundry.com/the-dr-gundry-podcast/

TREASURE FIND Vegan Bouillabaisse

TRY THIS Faux Seafood Stew – IT IS AMAZING!
Inspired by GENIUS Chef Tal Ronnen. https://www.plantforwardkitchen.org/tal-ronnen
Although they say when you change one ingredient the recipe is yours, this one is definitely MORE Chef Ronnen’s. The ingredient list is long but the recipe is super EASY.
  • STOCK
  • 8 c filtered water
  • 4 Sencha tea bags or 4 t Sencha tea
  • 2 6-inch by 8-inch pieces of dried kombu
  • 2 T avocado oil
  • 1 onion, unpeeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk cut into chunks
  • Sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 fresh 4-inch thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 t whole black peppercorns
  • 2 large allspice
  • 1/4 c astragalus root pieces
  • 1/2 c Sauvignon Blanc
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring the water to a boil. Add tea & kombu. Remove from heat & let steep 15 minutes. Meanwhile heat the avocado oil & sauté the onion & celery with a sprinkle of salt until onion is transparent. Add remaining ingredients, except wine & cook about 1 minute. Add wine & cook 1 minute. Add the stock & simmer for 20 minutes. Strain stock into another pot. Toss or eat the vegetables. Yields 6 cups of stock.

  • SOUP
  • 1 t saffron threads, place in 2 T water
  • 1 T avocado oil
  • 2 c chopped leeks, white & light green parts only (Think 1/4″.)
  • 2 – 3 c chopped fennel bulb (Think 1/2″.)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb mushrooms cut into largest bite size pieces. THINK DRAMA. (Chef’s recipe called for 1.5 lbs oyster & lobster. I had maitake & oyster on hand. Dr. Andrew Weil http://www.drweil.com/health is a great believer in the immune-enhancing and cancer-protective properties of shiitake, oyster mushrooms, maitake, enoki, etc.
  • 8 artichoke hearts (fresh, frozen or canned) cut into halves
  • 4 Italian parsley sprigs & stems, minced
  • 1 navel oranges, finely zested & juiced (Have a second orange on hand in case you decide you’d like more citrus flavor.)
  • 8 ounces diced Italian tomatoes
  • 2 T Pernod TASTE AFTER 1 T ADDED.
  • TASTE FIRST. You may or may not need this — 1/4 c Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 t herbes de Provence (Recipe coming.)
  • Sea Salt or Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Rouille (Recipe follows.)

Sauté the leeks & fennel in the avocado oil for 2 minutes. Tasting along the way…add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT MUSHROOMS. Simmer 10 minutes. Add mushrooms & simmer 10 minutes. Adjust flavor to your taste just before serving. Meanwhile, prepare ROUILLE.

  • ROUILLE
  • 1/2 c vegan mayonnaise
  • 1.5 roasted red pepper (jarred is fine)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 3-inch by 4-inch +/- baguette, remove crust & tear into pieces
  • 1.5 t Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
  • 1 T lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • Cayenne, a pinch to taste
  • Sea salt

Toss everything except olive oil, cayenne & sea salt in a Blendtec mini or your favorite machine that pulverizes everything. Pulverize until very smooth. With the machine running slowly add the olive oil. When you have a creamy emulsion, taste & add cayenne & salt to taste.

SPOON the SOUP into a bowl. Top with ROUILLE. SMELL IT. Add a crusty piece of garlic smeared baguette. ENJOY!