16 Apr, 2014

The Best Lemon Cake Ever!


 

Spring is the time for all things fresh and beautiful!  ” The Best Lemon Cake Ever” is both!  This dense, moist, delectable cake is flavored with fresh lemon juice …

The Organic Kitchen Best Lemon Cake Ever

..and grated lemon zest… I use a microplane to zest citrus, only scraping till the white shows through, then moving to a new area.

The Organic Kitchen Best Lemon Cake Ever

It’s fairly predictable that a lemon cake would have lemons in it…but this cake does have  a surprise ingredient: grated butternut squash. Use a “Y” peeler to peel squash (a regular peeler won’t do the job!) and then grate with the large holes of a box grater or use a food processor.

The Organic Kitchen Best Lemon Cake Ever

Don’t worry picky eaters, the cake doesn’t taste like butternut squash…

The Organic Kitchen Best Lemon Cake Ever

…it tastes like heaven! (Cue angels singing)

The Organic Kitchen Best Lemon Cake Ever

The grated squash simply makes the cake more moist and when you cut into it there are beautiful orange flecks running through each slice.

Now the glaze! Always use freshly squeezed juice. I use this handheld juicer. Don’t add too much juice! This glaze should be really thick! (as I will over emphasize below)

The Organic Kitchen Best Lemon Cake Ever

The Recipe: The Organic Kitchen Best Lemon Cake Ever

For the cake: you will need a bundt cake pan

½ cup soft butter
3 cups all purpose flour
1t baking soda
1t salt
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup coconut oil
2 large eggs
1T distilled white vinegar
2 t vanilla paste (I use Neilsen Massey! Get 4oz here, or 36 oz here)
¾ cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups grated butternut squash (use a ‘y’ peeler to peel and box grater or food processor to grate
Juice of one lemon
Zest of two lemons (use a microplane like this)

Position rack in center of the oven and preheat oven to 325. Butter and flour a Bundt pan.

Pace flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar for one minute. Add coconut oil and beat for another minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beat. Add vinegar and vanilla.  Add half the flour/ baking soda/salt mixture, lemon juice and zest, mixing low until just combined. Add half the buttermilk and mix well. Add remaining flour mixture, mix, add the rest of the buttermilk. Mix well and then gently stir in grated butternut squash by hand. Spoon batter into prepared Bundt pan. Smooth top with a spatula and bake for about 45-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before icing.

Icing:

2 1/2cups powdered sugar
Juice of 2-3 lemons
zest of one lemon

Place zest and powdered sugar in bowl. Be sure to add lemon juice to sugar a little at a time and whisk. Icing should be really thick, I mean REALLY THICK, like molasses.  If you make it too thin, it will run off the cake and pool on the plate. When I say thick I mean barely pourable…hate to beat a dead horse but even when people take my class and see how it’s done, they tell me they went home and made it too thin…so…don’t do that! Mix well and then drizzle over cooled cake.

Notice the orange flecks of butternut squash? They will show in each slice!

The Organic Kitchen Best Lemon Cake Ever
Pour on the glaze…

The Organic Kitchen Best Lemon Cake Ever

…and you have baked yourself the Best Lemon Cake Ever! It’s the perfect dessert for Easter dinner!

Speaking of baking and Easter…. Check out these Homemade Easter Egg Dyes  and DIY Food Coloring for Baking!

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs from Homestead Honey
More Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs from Live Simply
Crimson Easter Eggs from Nourishing Minimalism
How to Dye Easter Eggs using Onion Skins from Real Food RN
Making Natural Food Coloring for Baking from Eat Play Love More

PicMonkey Collage

May I Please Ask a Little Favor?

We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Any and all sharing on social media is very appreciated! Also, if you make any purchases using Amazon I would love it if you would use the affiliate links on this page (in post or the right sidebar). Your cost remains the same but I receive a small commission that helps keep this website up and running. Thanks for your support!

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14 Apr, 2014

Spring Salad with Asparagus and Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette


 

Asparagus is a delicious flowering spring vegetable and believe it or not was once classified in the lily family, along with garlic and onions. See what you can learn in 20 seconds on Google? For the next few months I will pretty much be tossing asparagus into everything, starting with this Spring salad…which is perfect for Easter by the way!

For more Easter recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page!

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

For greens I use an organic lettuce mix of frisee, spinach, purple cabbage and arugula. Then I top with salad with…

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

Pancetta…

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

…roasted hazelnuts …

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

…soft Italian Asiago…

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

…and blanched asparagus spears.

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

Then this salad is drizzled in the most amazing Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette made with olive oil, honey, chipotle chili powder

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

…and my favorite vinegar of all time, this White Balsamic by the Malpighi Family of Italy!

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

When combined you have a sweet, spicy dressing that is perfection on this mouth watering salad.

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

Gorgeous even before it’s dressed!

Spring Salad with Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

The Recipe: Spring Salad with Asparagus and Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

Serves 4

4 cups organic greens (I use a mix of frisee, spinach, arugula and cabbage)
4 thick slices pancetta, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup soft asiago, grated on large holes of cheese grater
4 asparagus spears, cut into 1″ pieces and blanched
1/3 cup roasted Hazelnuts (sometimes called Filberts)

Cook pancetta till crispy, place on paper towels till cool then chop. Set small pot of water to boil. Cut asparagus into 1″ pieces. Place asparagus into boiling water for three minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water, set aside. If the hazelnuts you purchased are raw, toast them by placing them in a pan on medium heat till they are toasted. Allow to cool and then use fingers to peel off the brown skin. Grate cheese. Place all ingredients on a platter and toss.

Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
3 T White Balsamic (I highly recommend this one!)
1 T honey
1/2 tsp ground chipotle chili powder (more if you like it hotter)
sea salt, one pinch
few turns freshly ground pepper (I love this battery operated pepper grinder)

Place all ingredients in a glass container and whisk or shake. Lightly dress greens and toss. Serve.

Can I please ask a little favor?

We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Any and all sharing on social media is very appreciated! Also, if you make any purchases using Amazon I would love it if you would use the affiliate links on this page (in post or the right sidebar). Your cost remains the same but I receive a small commission that helps keep this website up and running. Thanks for your support!

Scroll down for main course recipes ideal for Easter

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Easter Meal Ideas that Would Work Perfectly with This Salad!:

Lemony Risotto with Asparagus Tips from Jar-O-Honey
Marinated Roast and Red Potatoes from Raia’s Recipes
Spinach and Onion Crustless Quiche from Just Enjoy Food
Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin from A Happy Health Nut
Homemade Honey Baked Ham from Divine Health from The Inside Out

Happy Easter my friends~ Linda Spiker

 

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11 Apr, 2014

Lime Chipotle Corn Off the Cob


 

I love a sweet crispy corn on the cob. But you know what I love even more? A sweet, spicy corn off the cob. This is The Organic Kitchen’s ‘Lime Chipotle Corn Off the Cob’…

Chipotle Lime Corn Off the Cob

We start with organically grown non-GMO corn (getting harder and harder to find by the way). I got lucky and found some at Whole Foods Market.

Chipotle Lime Corn Off the Cob

Then we use a sharp knife to shave the kernels right off the cob into a bowl. If you do it on a cutting board the kernels fly everywhere. (I love my Wusthof 8″ Chef’s knife!)

Chipotle Lime Corn Off the Cob

Sauté corn in a pan with butter, add lime juice, sea salt (I use Maldons) and some chipotle chili powder and you have yourself a sweet, spicy side dish everyone will love!

Chipotle Lime Corn Off the Cob

 

The Recipe: Lime Chipotle Corn Off the Cob

Serves 4-6

5 ears yellow or white corn, kernels cut off cob
3 T butter (vegans use coconut oil)
juice of half a lime
1-1 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (adding 1/2 tsp at a time, tasting between additions)
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Place butter in medium sized pan on medium heat. When butter is melted add corn and sauté for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Add a couple pinches of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook a couple more minutes and taste. If corn is done but still crispy remove from heat. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over corn and stir. Add 1/2 tsp chipotle chili pepper at a time, tasting between additions. When it’s hot enough for you toss again and serve!

Chipotle Lime Corn Off the Cob

You know what would be great served with this corn? These fish tacos! And don’t forget that tomorrow is National Grilled Cheese day. No I did not make that up. For my grilled cheese recipes click here.

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Please take a look at my awesome cookbooks here available in hardcover, eBook for iPad and PDF for computer! And subscribe, share and in general show me the love on any social media!

DISCLOSURE: I make a small profit (tiny really) from purchases made through affiliate links in this post. It allows me to keep this fabulous site up and running! Let it be noted that I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust! Pinky swear!

 

 

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8 Apr, 2014

Fresh Fish Tacos!


Spring is here and my blog has a brand new look thanks to the Blog-doo babes!  I am posting my first spring recipe to celebrate. When it comes to spring recipes, fresh is the name of the game and these fish tacos are as fresh as they come. They also happen to be   full of antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein and are gluten and dairy free.

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

I top these tacos with my fresh salsa recipe but you can also use your favorite store bought salsa or pico de gallo if you don’t have time to make your own.

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

These tacos are so fresh and flavorful you will hard pressed to find better in a restaurant!

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

For me, tacos are all about the tortilla, a lousy tortilla can ruin an otherwise great taco! I always buy my corn tortillas at my favorite Mexican restaurant. Luckily it happens to be right next to whole foods market where I buy my fish. These tortillas are handmade daily.

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

I use two different fish for this recipe. My favorite, salmon, and my husbands favorite, halibut. Halibut is in season from April to October but Sprouts carries an all natural frozen halibut fillet in the off season that cooks up great.

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about buying fish:

1. It’s best not to buy fish wrapped in plastic. You should be able to smell the fish you are buying. I always buy mine from a fishmonger I trust. If he is handling it, cutting it etc… he will know if it’s not fresh.

2. Always buy fish the day you plan on making it.

3. When selecting fish always point to the piece you want. In stores the freshest fish is placed in the front of the window, closest to you, and the fish from the day before is placed in the back, closest to the fishmonger. So when you are looking at the fish closest to you and ask for it, he pulls it from the back. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with that fish from the day before, it’s just not the freshest…and you want the freshest!

4. If it’s available to you, use wild caught salmon. Click here to read why.

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

I season the fish with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and garlic powder, then I sauté it in coconut oil, butter or ghee. If you are using two kinds of fish, like me, try to keep them separated in the pan.

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

Then just build your taco! Place the fish, hearty romaine, salsa and fresh sprigs of cilantro, drizzle with lime and voila!

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

The Recipe: Makes four tacos

12 oz fresh halibut or salmon (or 6 oz of each) cut into 1″ cubes
sea salt (I use Maldons)
freshly ground pepper
2 T coconut oil, ghee or butter
1 lime quartered
handful of cilantro sprigs
fresh salsa or pico de gallo (recipe below)
4 corn tortillas

Cut fish into 1″ cubes, lightly season with sea salt. pepper and garlic powder. Place large pan on cooktop on medium heat. Add a couple tablespoons of coconut oil, butter or ghee. When melted add fish to pan, turning as each side browns. Fish should be done in about 8 minutes.

Salsa Recipe:

2 medium tomatoes, diced
½ of one medium white onion, diced, see how here
¼ of one green bell pepper, diced
½ -1 tsp serrano chilis finely chopped, see how here
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of half a lime
sea salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients except Serrano chili. Add 1/2 teaspoon at a time, mixing and tasting in between additions. When the heat is right, cover and refrigerate till serving.

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

Fresh Fish Tacos from The Organic Kitchen

Truly gorgeous and so delicious…not to mention healthy and light. My cookbooks are chock full of more delicious recipes like this one! So please take a look and subscribe if you haven’t already!

Disclosure: I make a small profit (tiny really) from purchases made through affiliate links in this post. It allows me to keep this fabulous site up and running! Let it be noted that your cost remains the same and I only recommend products or services I have personally used and trust! Pinky swear!

 

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31 Mar, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things…. About March


I have so many spectacular favorites from around the world wide web for you this month! But before we get that ball rolling I wanted to let you in on a little news. My blog is getting a facelift! Not major surgery, just a little makeover. The website will be down for three days for ‘recovery’ and then will emerge with a fresher look!

Now on to my favorites…as always, we begin with the mouth watering first…

Food, Glorious Food:

You know I am all about a fantastic salad! Aubrey from Homegrown and Healthy has put together a stellar list of healthy, family pleasing salad recipes in her post 30 Days of Delicious Salads…you may recognize one of mine in there. (hint: upper left photo)

A Few Of My Favorite Things About March

One of my favorite things about spring is the lighter fare and colorful food. Don’t these colorful Grilled Chicken Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce from Honey, Ghee and Me just look like spring!

A Few of My favorite Things About March

Speaking of food, we recently spent some time in Los Gatos visiting my daughter, son in law and grandkids. My grandfather was the town manager of Los gatos for 25 years. It is the most beautiful, quaint town. If you haven’t visited I highly recommend it for a weekend get away. These are pictures I took with my iPhone at the Farmers Market right outside our hotel. Purchasing produce at Farmer’s Markets is a great way to support local growers!

http://www.theorganickitchen.org/blog-tutorials/a-few-of-my-favorite-things-about-march/

Family:

Every parent knows that bedtime is often the most challenging time of the day. This article “How to Get My Bedtime Victory Lap” made me laugh out loud…sure, I can laugh now that my kids are grown.

As far as I am concerned it is never too early to have your kids help in the kitchen and connect them to their food! This post, Kids in a Real Food Kitchen from Live Simply offers a simple and delicious way to involve your children in the meal making process!

My Favorite Things About March

Health:

If you have read any of my articles on inflammation you know consuming too much sugar is a bad, bad thing! But what is an addict to do? This article “Top 10 Big ideas: How to Detox From Sugar” from Dr. Mark Hyman is a must read!

Having a meat aversion while expecting a baby is not uncommon but there is a reason! Learn what the reason is and what you can do about it in this post from Rooted Blessings.

A Few of My Favorite Things About March

Instagram! 

I just love Instagram. If you aren’t on it yet, you are missing out. One of my favorite Instagram accounts is this one from yoga teacher Laura Sykora. If you want to see more of Laura and her darling 4 year old practicing yoga together, click here. You can follow me here….just thought I’d throw that in.

A Few of My Favorite Things About March

Beauty:

We all want to look good but a lot of the time looking good comes at a price! Many cosmetics are loaded with toxic chemicals (including mercury).  Jessica from Scratch Mommy dares to go bare in her post “Does Homemade Foundation Really Work?”

Applying-Foundation-Only-To-One-Side-Of-My-Face-DIY-Smooth-Finish-Foundation-By-Scratch-Mommy.jpg

Books:

I recommend three this month!  Wheat Belly is a fascinating look at the changes that have been made to the wheat we eat and why gluten intolerance is on the rise.

Slim Palate is a cookbook written by a 17 year old boy that lost 100 pounds changing his diet from processed to real foods. This boy has a way in the kitchen!

And last, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by one of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell. A look at why adversity, being discriminated against and having disappointments may not be bad things after all!

Thanks for stopping in. Spring is such a lovely time of year. Time to start new, let go of the past and welcome the possibilities that await!

Enjoy~ Linda Spiker

Disclosure: I make a small profit (tiny really) from purchases made through affiliate links in this post. It allows me to keep this fabulous site up and running! Let it be noted that your cost remains the same and I only recommend products or services I have personally used and trust! Pinky swear!

 

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