Clodagh McKenna‏, Carrot Cake with Orange Blossom frosting

Makes 1 Cake (10 portions)

INGREDIENTS:

3 eggs

140ml/5floz vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing

220/7oz light brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

350g/12oz grated carrots, (grated weight)

100g/3½ oz golden raisins

100g/3½ oz walnuts, chopped

200g/7oz self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the orange blossom frosting 

300g/10½ oz cream cheese, chilled

70g/2½ oz butter, at room temperature

300g/10½ oz icing sugar, sifted

1 orange, zest only

2 teaspoons of orange blossom water

METHOD:

1.          Preheat the oven to 180°C and oil and line a 13 x 23cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2.        For the carrot cake: beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, grated carrot, raisins and chopped walnuts.

3.        Sift in the rest of the dry ingredients and bring the mixture together using a wooden or large metal spoon until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you’re using a ceramic baking dish then you’ll need to add 15 minutes to the cooking time.

4.       Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for about five minutes before removing. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

5.        For the orange blossom frosting: beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until well combined. Add the icing sugar, orange blossom water and finely grated orange zest and mix until the frosting is smooth and thick. Using a palette knife, spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake, dipping the knife into a bowl of hot water if the icing is hard to spread out.

6.       Decorate with orange zest on top of the frosting.

Recipe: Hearty Minestrone Soup with Farro@ClevelandClinic

This recipe takes a classic Minestrone soup and turns it into a scrumptious one-dish wonder. Adding the ancient grain farro makes this soup hearty and gives it a nutty flavor. With cabbage, kidney beans, carrots, onion and tomatoes, you get lots of cholesterol-lowering, energy-boosting ingredients.

Ingredients

1 large yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
4 ribs celery
4 large carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
15-ounce can whole tomatoes
6 cups water
½ cup farro
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ of a head of savoy cabbage
15-ounce can (no-salt) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
¼ cup grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Chop the onion and garlic. Slice the celery in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise into small pieces. Do the same with the carrots. (You may have to quarter them lengthwise if the carrots are especially fat.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and let cook for 1 minute. Then add the tomatoes (break them up with your spoon as they cook), water, farro, thyme, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Split the cabbage in half and remove the core. Then slice one-half of the cabbage head into ½-inch wide strips (about 4 cups). Add the cabbage and beans to the soup and simmer until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve topped with grated Parmesan.

Nutrition information

Makes 4 servings

Each serving contains:

Calories 380 (about 3½ cups)
Total fat 11g
Saturated fat 2.5g
Trans fat 0g
Protein 14g
Total carbohydrate 56g
Fiber 12g
Sugar 13g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 530mg
Recipe developed by cookbook author Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness