Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pasta, Peppers, Pesto, and Purple Carrot Cake

This post brought to you by the letter P! I made all these P foods to take to a Super Bowl Sunday dinner.

I made Penne Pasta, Peppers & Onions & Sausage, Pesto, Perfectly Steamed Broccoli, Vegan Parm, and Purple Carrot Cake, and there’s also a store bought Pan Baguette.

Penne Pasta
(inspired by Penne Vodka in Vcon)

Serves 6-8

1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 28 oz. cans fire roasted crushed tomatoes
½ cup dry wine
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. granulated sugar
½ t. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup almond butter
¼ cup fresh basil, minced
1 pound penne pasta

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add in tomatoes, wine, spices, and sugar. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, prepare pasta; drain but don’t rinse. Add almond butter to tomato sauce and mix thoroughly. Add in basil, then pasta. Gently mix to coat.

Peppers with Onions and Sausage

Thinly slice one onion, one red pepper, and one green pepper. Saute in olive oil until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add in one link of Italian style sausage, sliced. (I used Everyday Dish seitan sausages.)


Makes 1 cup

2 cups fresh spinach
¼ cup fresh basil
¼ cup other greens, such as dandelion or mizuna (or more spinach)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup pistachios or pepitas, or a combination of both
¼ cup olive oil
½ t. salt
pepper to taste

Mix all together in a food processor until smooth.

Here’s my super Super Bowl dinner plate:

Purple Carrot Cake

For some reason, I got it in my head awhile back that as soon as purple carrots came to the market, I had to make a Purple Carrot Cake. Finally, I was able to buy some.

I wanted an amazing purple-flecked cake, but that’s not what you’re going to see. You can’t even really see purple carrots in a cinnamon spiced cake, which I made, and the purple actually looks black when baked. I double checked this, because being the food nerd I am, I baked a tiny white cake version.

Purple carrots have an orange center, so you can see a little orange color, and they don’t taste any different. Be careful handling them – they stain!

I dedicate this recipe to our favorite Chocolate Covered Vegan, Katie. I look to Katie for lots of recipe inspiration. Aside from being a fellow Texan, Katie and I share many food loves – chocolate, peanut butter, oats, broccoli, and anything purple. I don’t make many carrot cakes, Naturally I looked in blogland for a recipe, and I found Katie’s Bugs Bunny Cake recipe. I needed to make a portable cake, and her recipe was for a 9 x 13 cake – perfect. She said it was a hit, so I used her recipe as a go-by and combined it with an awesome (nonvegan) recipe from a local chef. The cake I made was also a hit. Don’t wait for purple carrots to make it!

Thanks for your help, Katie! Here’s my recipe.

Purple Carrot Cake with Tart Cherry Sour Cream Frosting
2-1/4 cups AP flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. fresh nutmeg
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 T fresh minced ginger
1 t. vanilla extract
2/3 cup canola oil
3 EnerG eggs
2 cups grated purple carrots
1 cup diced mango
½ cup toasted pecan pieces
½ craisins (or raisins) soaked in ¼ cup spirit of your choice (I used an orange liqueur)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. In a stand mixer, combine sugars, ginger, vanilla, and oil. Mix well. Mix in eggs. Gradually add in flour mixture and mix well. Stir in carrots, mango, pecan pieces, and craisins. Spread in 9 x 13 pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Tart Cherry Sour Cream Frosting
¼ cup tart cherries (Razzcherries would be great here!)
¼ cup nondairy milk
2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. rum or brandy
¼ cup vegan margarine
¼ cup vegan cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, combine cherries and milk. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer 4 minutes until cherries are soft and plump. Remove from heat and when cooled, puree with the vanilla and rum; set aside.

Combine the margarine and cream cheese in a mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add in puree, then slowly add in powdered sugar. Spread over cooled cake.

That’s All Folks!


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Perfectly precious and pleasant "P" foods!! :-)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

You have no idea how excited I was to see those purple carrots! I've never seen purple carrots before. And then I read your super-sweet words and was even more excited.

But oh my goodness, do you want to know something ironic? You were going to be my "blogger of the day" in my next post, and here was part of what I'd written up about you:

Today’s Blogger of the Day is Diann, of Atxvegn. I love Diann for many reasons: we share an affinity for broccoli, purple, and higher-level vocabulary words. Plus, we’re both Texan vegans. You can’t get much cooler than that!

Haha sound familiar? It's scary how similar we are (in a good way, of course!).

Risa said...

Delish-looking recipes; I'm going to try the penne for dinner tomorrow. We love those fire-roasted tomatoes!

Catherine Weber said...

Purple carrots are so much fun. We took the kids I teach to the farmer's market a bunch last summer, and enjoyed purple carrots one week! They thought the carrots were hilarous!

River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

This Post is full of Phenomenal P foods! The Pasta looks Positively Perfect, the Peppers with onions and sausage look so Palatable, and the Purple carrot cake is giving me Powerful Palpitations! :)

PS: CCV is so Purdy! :)

Anonymous said...

Your pesto looks delicious - I love that it has pistachios and pepitas! And spinach too.

Yum purple carrots!

Jes said...

I love the purple carrots! I'll have to keep my eye open for them at our farmers market.

Andrea said...

I want to come home from work, call out,"honey, I'm home..." and find a nice big pot of that penne bubbling on the stove...

Chris said...

What a carrot cake!! I think I was getting a little sick of the ubiquitous slice of carrot-studded brown cake with white icing, especially those little frosting carrots. Where can I get my hands on some of those intriguing purple carrots?

Virginia said...

i have never heard of purple carrots! ya learn something new everyday!

Anonymous said...

The penne pasta look so amazing! Seriously, I'd love a plate full of those right now. Thank you for providing both the recipe for the pasta and the cake.

Anonymous said...

I love your Super bowl P theme! You just sound like so much fun, Diann! Seriously - Chase is a lucky kiddo.
I've never seen purple carrots, but i'm gong to try to find them - my daughter would love that! Even if they don't cook up purple, it's still cool!

MeloMeals said...

What a perfectly productive person you were! Everything looks fabulous.. love the purple carrots. I'll bet they are even better for you than regular carrots.

btw, for your post below, (I don't want to be entered in your contest).. but I LOVE broccoli and I can't think of one favorite way to have it. hehe

Vegan_Noodle said...

Hmmm... I'm guessing you were rooting for Pittsburg? Love the P-themed foods! Too bad the cake didn't turn out to actually be purple, but still very cool concept. And it looks delicious!

allularpunk said...

it all looks so amazing! and purple carrots!? want!

Anonymous said...

The penne pasta just may be dinner for Friday night...Yum! I love cooking with cherries.

If anyone is interested just found this great Valentine’s Day cookbook packed full of cherry recipes and best of all it is free.

I downloaded it yesterday and I am already planning a great dinner with my partner. With money being tight this year, I was looking for some unique ways to have a great Valentine’s Day and this will certainly help. Here is a link if you want to download it: http://www.traversebayfarms.com/valentines-day-recipes.htm

jessy said...

aaaaahahaha! i love this post! so awesome! your pasta, pesto, peppers 'n sausages all look super yummmmmmmm!

i had no idea purple carrots even existed! so cool! i am going to keep an eye out for them - they're gorgeous! thanks for all the recipe, Diann! wahoooooo!

oh yeah - and i found those raw salsas at my local natural foods store & bought the relish. sooooooo goooood! i think i'm hooked!

Anonymous said...

I've never seen a purple carrot in person, but I'll bet that this cake would taste just as good with any color of carrot... Looks amazing!

Lisa said...

your game day spread looks delicious, as does the cake. And I'm with everybody else, gotta look for those purple carrots!

steph said...

ah, that pasta looks great!

Amy said...

Your P foods all look perfectly delicious!

kmouse said...

Oh my gosh yum yum yum!!! I want some of that cake!

jd said...

I can't get over how delicious that pasta looks!

And those carrots are amazing...

Anonymous said...

woo, my tongue is twisted but all those P foods look great! I've never seen purple carrots. They look terrific in the cake, though!

Anonymous said...

You are the most fun ever! I want letter themed foods for all my meals now!!!!

Oh, and I think your tuile cookies were pretty. So there!

Liz Ranger (Bubble Tea for Dinner) said...

haha, I love the P theme! too bad about the purple not showing up, but that pasta looks good enough to frame anyway! mmm almond butter penne, can't go wrong there at all.

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