I'm a Vegetarian

For lent I have decided to give up meat.  I am not giving up fish or eggs or dairy, because I would likely starve. My first cooking experiments started this evening, both in an attempt to feel all vegetarian-y and to put off thesis research for another hour or so.  I don't believe this will be too hard, but it will make me have to give more thought to my meals, and I won't be able to just grab a burger or any old pizza out of laziness.  I will also have to make my own lunches, instead of relying on the meals provided at my office, as they are the opposite of vegetarian - or healthy - or often delicious.  I also live near the healthiest corner in DC - it has my gym, my old yoga studio, a Lululemon, the Whole Foods, and starting Saturday, a Sweetgreen. So tonight, with my darling husband away, I am trying two new recipes.  You can make these too, and let me know how yours turn out!

First, I am making:

Carrot and walnut cake with cream cheese frosting

This maybe took 20 minutes to whip up, if you include grating the carrot and chopping a few walnuts.

  • 2 eggs separated
  • 1/2 C + 1 Tbs raw sugar (I used vegan sugar- I'm such a hippie)
  • 3/4 C + 1 Tbs light olive oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 C + 2 Tbs flour (I used organic whole wheat flour. See above)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (I never measure spices, but you can if you like)
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 C grated carrot
  • 1/3 C walnut halves

Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter (don't use fake butter products. Enjoy your calories, for crying out loud)
  • 3 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2-3 Tbs pure maple syrup

lightly greased 7-inch springform cake pan

Preheat oven to 350.

Separate the eggs, and put the yolks in a large bowl, and the whites into a small bowl.  Ignore whites.  Add the sugar to the large bowl and beat 2 minutes.  Add the oil and baking soda and beat until combined. Fold in flour, spices, baking powder, carrots and walnuts until combined.  This will make a weird cement-looking mix, but apparently that's a good thing. Now beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then fold them into the rest of the batter.  Spoon the batter into the lightly greased springform pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the cake is golden and slightly puffed on top.  Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

To make the frosting, put the cream cheese and butter into a bowl, and let them sit until they are room temperature.  Add the brown sugar and, using an electric whisk, beat for 5 minutes, until there are no lumps and the beaters leave a trail when turned off (I don't know what that means yet, but that's what the directions tell me to do).  Add the maple syrup a little at a time, and beat for another 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and spreadable.  Carefully slice the cooled cake in half to make two layers, and spread the frosting on the bottom layer.