I know, I know. Vegetables are good. They’re healthy, they’re full of vitamins, and under the right circumstances they can be very tasty.
The thing is, salads on the Dukan diet can get very boring. I’m a Greek girl, I need loads of olive oil in my salad; since that’s not allowed, I have to think outside the box. But I don’t like soup, I’ve ran out of ideas for side dishes, and so many veggies just taste bland to me, so what’s left? How many mushrooms or pumpkin can I roast, how much celery root can I purée before I get tired of them?
Luckily, there’s always baking to turn to. I’ve baked numerous carrot cakes, added beets to my chocolate cupcakes, made vegetarian egg muffins, but I need to be more creative.
So I made veggie cakes. Just a simple tweak to my basic muffin recipe: I just increased the veg to filler ratio by about 150%, and got all my veggies in nice little bite-sized cakes to munch on. This way I can feel virtuous and get my vitamins at the same time
This recipe leaves much room for experimentation, of course.
Any vegetable that can be diced or grated and isn’t too watery can work brilliantly in this kind of baking. I went with what I had in the fridge, but anything from celery root to zucchini or butternut squash, to name a couple, would work brilliantly.
Start by getting your mise-en-place ready. I’m pedantic about my dicing but you certainly don’t have to: just chop or grate your veggies and set them aside.
Preheat your oven at 160o C and prepare your basic cake batter:
Add the skim milk powder, baking powder, egg, cream cheese, grated cheese and spices in a mixing bowl and give them a whisk. In a separate bowl or measuring jug, add the soya mince to the stock and let it soak for a few minutes. Add that to the batter and mix everything together.
Now grab your chopped vegetables and just dump everything into the mixture and give it a stir. If the cheese you’re using isn’t salty enough, you might want to add more salt.
Next comes the optional ingredient: I’m using chopped chicken slices for this, but turkey or ham would work just as well.
Add about 2 tablespoons of mixture to each cupcake mold. The mixture will be quite stiff, really pack it in there. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top if you wish.
30′ should do the trick, but if you find that the bottom still feels a little wet, you can unmold them, place them on a lined baking tray and return to the oven for a few more minutes to form a lovely crust.
And there you have it – a nice little army of veggie cakes…
… golden brown and delicious, and ready to be devoured!