Strawberry-Oats Cake

Farm Fresh Strawberries

Spring is in the air and fresh berries are making an appearance in grocery stores. I bought a box of fresh strawberries yesterday and with some of those berries I baked a strawberry cake for the weekend. It is a substantial cake with a simple recipe. The surprise ingredient is oats and they make the cake more moist and gooey than crumbly. I also added mashed banana (to make it egg-free) and pecans for some extra sweetness and crunch.


Strawberry-Oats Cake

2 cups, all-purpose flour (unbleached)
1/4 cup, oats (old fashioned, Quaker brand)
1 and 1/2 cups, sugar
1 teaspoon, salt
1 teaspoon, baking powder
1/2 teaspoon, baking soda

1 ripe banana, mashed with a tablespoon of lime juice
1/2 cup, plain yogurt
1/2 cup, peanut oil
1 cup, cut strawberries
1 cup, coarsely chopped pecans

In a big bowl, take flour and oats. Add sugar, salt, baking powder and soda. Mix well.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the mashed banana, yogurt and oil. Mix well until thoroughly incorporated. Add the strawberries and pecans. Gently combine.

Lightly oil a deep 7- inch round cake pan. Spoon the mixture into the pan and smooth the surface.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes until firm to the touch or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Strawberry-Oats Cake
A Slice of Strawberry-Oats Cake to Welcome the Sweet Spring Season

Fennel Farfalle ~ India Inspired

Fresh fennel not only tastes great, on research I found that fresh fennel is low in calories, contains beta carotene and foliate. It is good for digestion and has a calming effect on the stomach. All the above makes fresh fennel a power food in my food dictionary. Needless to say I am enjoying being a follower to fresh fennel flavor. And, this is what I have made for dinner today with fresh fennel bulb purchased from last weekend grocery trip.

I paired the fennel with spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Pasta is the carbohydrates. Chickpeas and almond butter filled the protein need. I omitted the routine pasta fare, tomato sauce, oregano etc, instead experimented by adding some traditional Bharath masala. Fennel looked like it was in turmeric heaven and the meal tasted light and delightful.

Fresh Fennel, Sliced Thinly

Fennel Farfalle Pasta
(for 2 to 4 servings for main meal)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon, peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon, fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, skin peeled, sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 fennel bulb
4 cups of spinach, coarsely chopped
8 sundried tomatoes, sliced thinly
1/2 cup, cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon, almond butter
1 teaspoon each – garam masala powder and red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon, turmeric
salt to taste
2 cups, farfalle pasta

Method:
Cut the fennel bulb in half. Remove the outer layer and hard core. Slice the fennel into thin strips. Cut and prepare garlic, onion, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, until just tender.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide pan. Add the fennel seeds and garlic. Toast to fragrance. Add the onion and fresh fennel. Saute for five minutes on moderate heat to pleasant pink color. Add the spinach, sundried tomatoes and chickpeas. Saute, stirring frequently, until the leaves collapse.

Add the cooked pasta and about half cup of water pasta simmered in. Stir in the almond butter, garam masala powder, red pepper flakes, turmeric and salt. Mix well and cook on low heat for another five minutes. Serve the fennel farfalle immediately.

Fennel Farfalle
Fennel Farfalle ~ for Bhojanam Today

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