Single-Serve Vanilla Cake

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Have you ever wanted just one piece of cake? Me too. Basically, all the time.

Have you ever baked a whole cake and had the willpower to just eat one slice? Yeah, me neither.

Cake makes my soul happy, but my waistline unbelievably unhappy. I firmly believe in indulgences though, and I find that if I restrict my diet so much to exclude delicious treats like cake, I binge on them like crazy later. So instead, I did some investigating on how to create a single-serve cake that would satisfy my cravings, but put the brakes on how much I can eat.

Microwave mug cakes were all the rage on Pinterest a year or two ago, and I’ve made them before, but with less than stellar results. My mug cakes were always goopy on the inside, but kind of tough on the outside, and the fact that they were baked in my mug meant that frosting and layers were kind of out of the question.

Instead, I powered up my oven, pulled out my smallest oven-safe Pyrex container, and got a-baking.

Lesson of the day: sometimes, a microwave oven doesn’t cut it, and you need the real deal to get something delicious.

In the end, I got a perfect little cake that was moist-yet-firm, and evenly baked. I whipped up a little nutella buttercream frosting because I’m super indulgent like that, and threw on a few colorful sugar sprinkles, and voila! Deliciousness just for me, myself, and I.

ps. play with this recipe and create new flavors by adding fresh fruit or nut extracts!

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Single-Serve Vanilla Cake
Serves: 1!
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 1/2 Tbsp liquid egg whites
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup flour
1/8 tsp (heaping) baking powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 Tbsp milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a small oven-safe, glass container (I used a small Pyrex container without the lid, about 6″ diameter)
  2. In a bowl, use a fork to whisk egg whites and sugar until well combined. Add in butter and vanilla extract, and whisk well. Add flour, baking powder and salt, and stir to break up lumps, until the mixture is uniform and smooth. Stir in milk and combine.
  3. Pour batter into Pyrex container, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cake is set, the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely and decorate with your frosting, sprinkles, and/or fruit.

 

 

Herb and Goat Cheese Omelet

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What’s a girl to do when she’s woken up by her grumbling stomach? Devour a huge breakfast, of course!

Weekend mornings are the best. I mean, for real, what’s better than waking up with the sun, lingering under the covers for a few extra minutes of warm happiness, and then slowly stretching upwards and outwards to welcome the day? Probably nothing. I, like any red blooded American, live for the weekends. They are slower, and happier, and since Chirag comes home on the weekends, Saturdays and Sundays are instantly more fun.

During the week, I’m constantly pressed for time in the mornings, and find that I’m rushing to get out the door by 6:30am, and my breakfasts usually consist of a quick microwaveable scramble or a make-ahead muffin or breakfast sandwich. My favorite part of the weekends is that I can take my time and eat something fresh, healthy, and balanced. Also, this recipe gave me a chance to use up some fresh herbs I had in my kitchen. Any combination of herbs would taste great and fresh in this recipe, so you can use whatever you have on hand, which makes life 100 times easier on a lazy weekend morning.

Not to completely divert from the point here, but goat cheese is magical. Especially when you buy the kind that is mixed with herbs and olives.

Anyway.

Long story short, weekends = the best. Weekend breakfasts = the best of the best. The end.

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Herb and Goat Cheese Omelets
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
8 large eggs
1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning or 1 Tbsp finely minced fresh herbs (eg. parsley, oregano, rosemary, basil, tarragon, sage), plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp olive oil, divided
2 oz soft herb goat cheese
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish
Parmesan cheese, shredded, for garnish

  1. Whisk eggs, herbs, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
  2. Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a skillet. Pour 1/4 of the egg mixture into the pan, and allow to set. Sprinkle 1/2 oz goat cheese, 1/4 cup spinach, and 1/8 cup green onions onto the the omelet and cook for an additional minute or until spinach as slightly wilted. Repeat to make 4 omelets total.
  3. Garnish with fresh herbs, green onions, and Parmesan cheese, and serve hot.

 

 

Seared Tofu with Chili Sauce

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You know those weekends where you find yourself without any housework, work-work, or social engagements, and you can spend the whole weekend parked on your sofa watching movies? Those magical weekends that come few and far between? I lived it last weekend, and it was truly fantastic. I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated throughout the weekend, and thoroughly recharged by Monday morning. In fact, I’m still riding my weekend restfulness into Wednesday, which is amazing. What a few good nights of sleep can do for your body!

Over the weekend, I was left to my own devices. It snowed several inches, my friends were busy with work, and Chirag was traveling for business, so I was completely on my own. So, I rented a few movies, picked out a new television series to watch on Netflix, made myself delicious meals and snacks, and had a wonderful weekend to myself. The weekend also included yoga pants and unbrushed hair, but we don’t need to go into that much detail about my general laziness.

Anyway, the first meal I cooked at the onset of the weekend was a tofu dish. I love tofu. Sure, it can be mushy and slimy and tasteless, but when cooked and seasoned properly, it can be an excellent vehicle for great flavors. Tofu is a great ingredient that can hold up to a lot of cooking styles. I’ve baked, roasted, grilled, fried and (obviously) stir fried tofu in the past. This time, I chose to sear my tofu, which gave it a great crispy and chewy crust, and a nice soft-yet-not-mushy center. I whipped up a little salty/spicy/sweet chili sauce, and voila! Dinner for one in a flash!

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Seared Tofu with Chili Sauce
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 package extra firm tofu, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp salt
2 sprays, olive oil spray
3 Tbsp less sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp red chili flakes, or more/less to taste
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

  1. Cut tofu in half, and cut each half into 8 equal slices, approximately 3/8″ thick, to yield 16 slices. Place the tofu slices on double-layered paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for five minutes, flip over, and repeat.
  2. Heat olive oil spray in a large non-stick pan over medium heat.
  3. Gently press each tofu slice with a dry paper towel, then place into the hot pan. Sear for 5 minutes, or until a golden crust forms,  flip and repeat.
  4. In the meantime, whisk together the remaining ingredients to form the sauce in a small bowl.
  5. Remove tofu from pan, and top with sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro.

 

 

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