Monday, March 12, 2012


Inspired by Chef Chloe, I decided to make some serious cupcakes for my kids 2nd birthday.  I didn't love the frosting the first go-around, so I decided to branch out and mix it up with another favorite of mine.

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
1 cup evaporated cane juice or date sugar (health food store or a really great grocery store will have these)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To make the Chocolate Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sweetener, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.

Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

Frosting a.k.a. Chocolate pudding (From Raw Food Real World cookbook--love!)
2 cups young coconut meat (also known as Thai coconuts)*
3/4 cup young coconut water at room temperature (may add more to thin it)
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/3 cup agave
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 T vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine in high-speed blender (I use my Vitamix) and puree all ingredients until completely smooth.  Chill for a firmer pudding.

I sliced the tops off the cooled cupcakes, spread on some pudding and sliced strawberries, replaced the muffin top and then added a dollop of pudding again and a strawberry.  They were heavenly.

*Young coconuts can easily be found at Asian markets and most 'hip' grocery stores.  I grabbed a youtube link on how to open one for those who haven't tried.  They are amazing for you and are an excellent source of hydration.  Here's a photo so you can recognize it.  These are coconuts when they are green and under-ripe by our standards, but 'just right' in other cultures.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cauliflower Soup

Tiffany and I both get Bountiful Basket (a local produce co-op) and get the occasional veggie that we don't know what to do with.  Cauliflower is one of those for me.  I don't have any recipes that are really good and a whole head is a lot for us to use raw with dip or something.  I got my hands on this recipe and made it tonight...slam dunk.  Husband loved it, kids loved it (minus the chunks--should've creamed it for them), and I loved it.  Wish the photo did it justice.

Cauliflower Soup

1 medium head cauliflower (or other veggie like broccoli or potato)
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup chopped onion
3 Tbsp flour
2 cup vegetable broth
1cup liquid drained from cauliflower (or other boiled veggie)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. salt
Garnish with chopped chves or minced parsley

Cut cauliflower into tiny flouretes.  Cook in boiling salted water.  Drain reserving liquid into container.  Combine olive oil and onion and cook until soft and transparent.  Blend in 3 tbls flour.  Add 2 cups chicken broth, cook, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Stir in cup liquid drained from cauliflower, coconut milk, worcestershire sauce, and salt.  Add cauliflower and heat to boiling.  I ended up using corn starch to thicken it a bit as it was too watery for my liking.

You can double the recipe and combine a veggie with potato or different types of veggies together.  I did half potato and half cauliflower and it was delicious.