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« Fresh-Start Winter Challenge Menu, Plant-Strong Week 2 | Main | Fresh-Start Challenge, Week 1, Day 6 -- Spicy Peanut Noodles »

Fresh-Start Challenge, Week 1, Day 7 -- Ginger-Glazed Carrot Cake

Today, you start with a favorite Cook for Good breakfast: toasted Good Whisk Bread with peanut butter. For lunch, have carrot sticks you prepared yesterday. For dinner, have Cuban Black Beans on rice that you made on Day 3 and the last of the Vinaigrette on salad mix. Cooking ahead is really paying off!

Spend your cooking time making Ginger-Glazed Carrot Cake. Bake it as cupcakes or as a single layer which you vow to cut into twelve servings, some for tonight and the rest to jumpstart Week 2 of the Challenge.

This is my favorite weekday breakfast: peanut butter on toasted homemade bread, fruit, and hot tea. It keep me feeling full and energetic until I refuel at lunch.

Because tomatoes and cucumbers aren't in season, we'll have Cuban Black Beans on Rice with salad mix and the last of the Vinaigrette. I rarely buy salad mix, but it can be a handy shortcut when you only have 20 minutes to cook. Add  another fruit or vegetable side if you'd like.

Making Ginger-Glazed Carrot Cake

Grate carrots by hand to get a little exercise and save electricity or use a food processor for maximum speed. You can grate ginger using the food processor too. Just peel it, slice into thin disks across the "fingers" of the ginger, and drop the ginger disks into the food processor while the steel blade is going a top speed.

grated and chopped carrots in a food processor

Plant-Strong Note

Make these changes to my Ginger-Glazed Carrot Cake. You'll get a cake that is moist and a little flatter, but has an irresistible tropical aroma. (Note: this is an improvement over my first suggestions for a no-cholesterol carrot cake.)

  • Use two cups grated carrots (240 grams)
  • Use 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • Replace one egg with a flaxseed "egg": mixe 1 tablespoon flaxseed with 1 tablespoons water, heat briefly (microwave for 1 minute), stir with a fork to get an eggy texture, and cool to room temperature. Yes, that's just one tablespoon water, not the usual three tablespoons for a flax egg. This keeps the cake from being too moist and from taking too long to cook.
  • Replace the other egg with 1/4 cup applesauce.
  • Grease the pan well, line with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper. Bake cake for 30 to 35 minutes (5 or 10 minutes longer than usual). 
  • For the glaze, use coconut spread in place of butter.

Making cupcakes fast using an ice-cream scoop

I use an old-fashioned ice-cream scoop to dip out even portions of batter. Leave room for the cup cakes to rise.You can bake the cake in a regular cake pan too, but cupcakes make it easier to control portions and to freeze some for next week.

using an ice cream scoop to make cup cake sized carrot cake portions

Want to avoid using paper cupcake holders?

Grease the muffin tin well before baking, then let the pan cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Use  a plastic knife to loosen the cupcakes, then gently lift onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread the ginger glaze on the cupcakes as soon as you take them from the pan. (I have not tried this in the egg-free carrot cake recipe above. In general, cakes made using flax seed stick to pans more than traditional cakes.)

Put the muffin tin under the wire rack to catch drips. Eat one serving of carrot cake tonight and freeze the rest for next week.

using a muffin tin to catch drips when making Ginger Glazed Carrot Cake cupcakes

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