Cathy Fisher's "Too Good to Believe These are No-Fat Vegan" Carrot Cake Muffins
"You Could Have Fooled Me" Feta "Cheese" from Catherine Dorrell
I had the world's best recipe for Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Silly naive me thought it was a healthy dessert. What can I say?
At least a cup of oil, a cup or two of sugar, a stick of butter, 1 box of confectioner's sugar and 8 ounces of cream cheese.
I made it for every special occasion. The frosting was at least 1/2 inch thick. I'd eat it for breakfast.
Not sure where I got the recipe--but I'm guessing it came from my sister--the master baker.
And then there's feta cheese.
I really had no problem giving up cheese, but, feta was different. It's not very fatty, and its salty piquant flavor added just the right zing of flavor to so many Mediterranean dishes.
Welcome Back Carrot Cake & Feta Cheese!
I hadn't realized how much your were missed.
Let's Start with the Carrot Cake Muffins
On Monday I discovered Cathy Fisher's Straight Up Food blog & I couldn't wait to try her Carrot Cake Donuts.
On Wednesday my husband decided to give the recipe a try--but make them as muffins. The Lab Rat LOVES muffins & for some reason, he likes making them.
He planned to try Cathy's "cream cheese" frosting, too, but when he couldn't find any raw cashews at the grocery store he gave up that plan.
Let me tell you--these muffins absolutely DID NOT NEED frosting.
They taste exactly how I remember carrot cake tastes. Fantastic. I brought some samples to work yesterday & they were an "out-of-the-ball-park-hit"! Everyone asked for the recipe. That's a clue.
Knowing I was going to post Cathy's recipe today I decided to give the frosting a try. I was sure it was going to be amazing. On the way home from work I picked up the raw cashews I needed for the recipe & went to work making it last night.
The frosting looked great--but, sadly or happily (depending on how you look at it), it did not do a single thing for these muffins. The Lab Rat downright hated the taste of the frosting. We think it was the lemon juice that the recipe called for. I could tinker with it, but why? Who needs the extra cashews or dates?
"Better Skip the Frosting" Carrot Cake Muffin
I recommend you double this recipe which makes only 12 muffins.
Use silicone muffin cups--the muffins will slip right out. Couldn't be easier.
Recipe adapted from Cathy Fisher's Straight Up Food blog
For recipe on one page, click here
5 plump medjool dates, pitted & chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins (yes, golden)
1/2 cup warm water
1 3/4 cup rolled oats (process into flour--it's healthier this way)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 of a ripe banana, diced
1 cup non-dairy milk (soymilk, rice milk, almond milk)
1 1/2 cups of grated carrots Note: 5/12 I omitted the word "cups"
Fold into the mixed batter:
1/2 cup additional golden raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees--rack in center position
2. Combine the dates, 1/4 cup of raisins & 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl to soak for at least 15 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3. Process the rolled oats in a food processor until it resembles flour. If you don't have a food processor, substitute oat flour, but you might need to use less. Batter will somewhere between a cake batter & a cookie batter, if that helps.
4. In a large bowl, mix oat flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves.
5. Transfer soaked dates, raisins & water into a high-speed blender & blend until smooth. Add the 1/2 banana & non-dairy milk to the blender & blend until it's all smooth.
6. Add this wet mixture to the dry ingredients & gently fold together with a big wooden spoon. Agan, batter will somewhere between a cake batter & a cookie batter, if that helps.
7. Fold in the grated carrots, raisins and walnuts.
8. Divide the batter into 12 muffin cups or tins (use papers if you don't have silicone cups) & bake for about 20 minutes. You'll know it's done when you can lightly press on a muffin & it bounces back a bit. They'll continue to set up as they cool.
Hope you make a double-batch! Next time we'll make enough batter for 24 muffins. Our dozen were gone in 2 days.
This Feta Could Have Fooled Me! Maybe I'm Just Easy to Fool
The Lab Rat's First Harvest Just-Picked Baby Bok Choy with Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Peppers, Herbed "Feta" & a Squeeze of Lemon
Hello, Greek salads! Salad greens, kalamata olives, capers, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta & this creamy Greek salad dressing
Hello, feta sprinkled on top of my favorite Mediterranean Lentil Salad
Hello, my favorite Bulgur, Swiss Chard, Chick Peas & Feta Casserole from Martha Rose Shulman
Hello making new recipes with the flavors of lemon, spinach & feta
Hello spinach feta pizzas
This simple recipe comes from the June 2012 issue of VegNews.
Recipe adapted from Catherine Dorell's Herbed Feta.
"These salty cubes of mock feta are a great substitute for the traditional cheese found in Mediterranean recipes. The longer they sit in the brine, the tastier they become." Catherine Dorrell
For recipe on one page click here
Makes 2 1/2 cups
1 16 ounce package of extra-firm tofu, ct into 1/2-inch cubes. I used NaSoya's new sprouted extra-firm tofu.
2 cups of water
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (you could add more)
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablepoons of fresh basil (or 2 tsp. of dried basil)
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
(Options to consider: a few red pepper flakes, some capers, maybe some dill weed or seeds)
In a large saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool & then refrigerate overnight. When ready to use, drain the amount of feta you are going to use. Leave the remainder in a sealed container with the brine. Should keep for 3-5 days becaused it's immersed in briny liquid.
If you try these recipes, let me know how they work out for you!