Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake

Just by the name, you can tell this is not the original red velvet cake. This red velvet chocolate beet cake is real chocolate, sweet with honey and sugar, moist with vitamin beet, and frosted with chocolate glaze.

Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake | Letty's Kitchen

I never did feel the love for that other red velvet cake—the one made with a 2-ounce bottle of red food coloring and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. All that red food coloring grosses me out. We’re talking red–bright red!

Back in my pastry chef days, I tinkered to improve the classic red velvet cake recipe. I bumped the chocolate up to something you could taste, and used beet powder for the red. Those cakes tasted okay, and the color was less garish, though some thought the color wasn’t red enough to be red velvet.

I kept thinking, why couldn’t you start with a chocolate cake and fold in fresh grated beets, like you fold grated carrots into carrot cake batter?
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Healthy Sun Basket Organic Meals

A couple of years ago a friend turned me onto meal subscription plans—a service with illustrated recipe cards and all the necessary ingredients to turn you into a clever chef. We’re talking easy-to-prepare almost gourmet meals that arrive at your doorstep every week. I wrote about the pros and cons of the Blue Apron plan here. Not long ago, Robbie and I sampled a week of Sun Basket organic meals. Opening the box I felt like the birthday girl all over again. I must say, meal plan services rock for easy and inspired cooking!

Udon noodle bowl from Healthy Sun Basket Organic Meals.

Raise of hands, please. How many people resolved to cook more at home, to eat more plant-based meals, or just eat more consciously this year? How’s it going? Continue Reading…

Turmeric Curry Carrot Soup

Here’s my foodie prediction for 2017! Really, it’s a declaration. Turmeric will be the spice of the year! It’s getting a lot of attention these days for it’s health benefits, and on the horizon, we’re seeing a lot more recipes calling for turmeric. Join me on the bandwagon—put turmeric front and center–with this lightly spiced turmeric curry carrot soup! This post first appeared on Pressure Cooking Today, where I am a contributor.

Turmeric Curry Carrot Soup | Letty's Kitchen

Layer upon layer, this vibrant soup is built for flavor. The onions, garlic, and carrots soften and release their aroma with a brief sauté in olive oil. Curry powder, a blend of turmeric and more than a dozen spices and herbs, of course contributes big time to the pot.

Vegetable broth, the pure essence of veggies and herbs, adds its own flavor depth, and honey-tart apple juice brings in a bit of sweet. A potato provides smooth dairy-free creaminess. With a squeeze of lime to brighten things up, every ingredient in turmeric curry carrot soup hits a corner of your mouth.

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Healthy Tangerine Julius Smoothie {vegan}

You could call it a tangerine almond smoothie, or a tangerine creamsicle drink–both names suggest the flavors going on here. But if you’ve ever tasted the creamy citrus-y vanilla-y trademark orange Julius, your mouth is already watering. This healthy tangerine julius smoothie is a healthful riff on the famous orange beverage.

Healthy Tangerine Julius Smoothie | Letty's Kitchen

Frothy and refreshing, this smoothie gets its start with fresh-squeezed tangerine juice, vanilla almond milk, dates, and a banana. Fresh ginger and turmeric add zing, color, and myriad health benefits.
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Tangerines are on January’s The Vintage Mixer seasonal produce list, and the juicy, honey-sweet orange cuties got me thinking smoothies. A test batch was yummy, but it didn’t have much orange color—and then I remembered an orange spice that had recently come under my radar–turmeric. Continue Reading…

Mexican Black-eyed Pea Salad with Red Pepper

 Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a tradition worth keeping. I mean we don’t want to miss out on all the good luck coming to us the whole year long, do we? Bring on the fortune with this zesty, politely-spiced Mexican black-eyed pea salad.

Mexican Black-eyed Pea Salad | Letty's Kitchen

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Since we’re in Baja Mexico, this year I decided to turn tradition into a salad–with south of the border flavors. Tender little beans with their black-eyed wink, tossed with crunchy diced red pepper and cucumber, and minced fresh green jalapeño pepper and cilantro, all coated in tangy lime vinaigrette, all easy and quick–here comes luck, wealth, and health! Continue Reading…