This post was originally published here on February 4, 2015. I’ve since updated the recipe slightly and added new (and better!) photos. Enjoy!
And just like that, we’re right smack into the middle of January. Seriously, how does this time go by so fast? I feel like I say that as we approach the end of every day/month/year. But it just seems to be true. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
So how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? It’s a damn good thing that I didn’t make any regarding food, because whoa nelly would I have broken them all this weekend. Shattered them, actually.
I don’t know what got into me. Well, I know exactly what got into me: a couple of bags of Valentine’s Day candy. Seriously, I don’t know what it is about Valentine’s Day candy, but it’s my favorite and I can’t ever seem to resist it. And with the stores pushing the Holiday’s earlier and earlier each year, I’m doomed from the start of January until mid-February.
Side note: My friend Christina wrote a little Valentine’s Day candy review this past week and it’s a fun read, if you’re into that sort of thing.
So it’s back to soups and smoothies for me for the next couple of days. And this Kale and Apple Soup is one I’ll be enjoying on the regular.
Now, don’t go and immediately write this soup off as some weird dieter recipe. Sure, it’s packed full of greens and it can certainly be labeled “healthy”. But it also has a little bacon, which gives it a rich, luscious taste. And it’s not at all thin, watery and one-dimensional. Those are not good characteristics for soup, or otherwise. Nope. This Kale and Apple Soup has body, a touch of sweetness from some maple syrup and a little bit of heat from a heavy sprinkling of red and black pepper flakes to finish it off. It’s a recipe that I’ve been making for a couple years now. And it’s one I always go back too when I feel the need to be a little bit kinder to my body.
The soup recipe itself is dairy free. Although I do love adding a little drizzle of heavy cream on top. But you can certainly skip that part, if you prefer. No big deal!
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
So…am I being a total jerk for posting a cake recipe during the second week of January?
If I am, you guys can totally tell me. Be honest.
Well…maybe not too honest. I don’t want my feelings to get hurt.
But here’s the thing: I like cake. I like baking it. I like sharing it with friends. And I like eating it. So I’m going to continue to do those things. Maybe with a little less frequency than I was doing in December. But I’m not going to abandon desserts altogether. Deprivation doesn’t jive well with me. Someone always ends up getting hurt in the end.
And this Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel is just barely crossing the threshold into the “dessert” category. The cake itself isn’t too terribly sweet. In fact, I’d say it’s definitely leaning more on the cornbread side of the equation than on the cake side of the equation. And if you skip the glaze, it would totally be acceptable to enjoy a slice (or two!) at breakfast or brunch. No one would judge you.
The fennel seeds were a last minute addition, spurred by the all mighty Google machine. When I was researching recipes, I found several sweet cornmeal cake recipes (usually Italian or Brazilian in origin) that used them. And that sounded like a pretty good idea to me. So I gave it a go. And holy moly, it might just be my favorite part of this recipe. So whatever you do, definitely don’t skip the fennel seeds!
I’m sharing this Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel as part of our monthly seasonal eating round-up organized by Becky from Vintage Mixer. At the start of each month, Becky posts a guide outlining which fruits and vegetables are currently at their peak, along with recipe suggestions for how to use them. You can find her January produce guide here. And then myself and a few other bloggers make new recipes to further highlight those ingredients. Check out the links below to see what everyone has created for the month of January. And follow along with the hashtag #eatseasonal on social media to see even more inspiring seasonal recipes!
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
January Eat Seasonal Recipes
Healthy Tangerine Julius Smoothie by Letty’s Kitchen
Leek and Turnip Soup by Vintage Mixer
Apple Almond Bircher Meusli with Winter Fruits by Simple Bites
Saucy Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Curry and Mint by Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Garlic and Herb Spaghetti Squash Boats by She Likes Food
Peanut Butter Crusted Sweet Potato Fries by JoyFoodSunshine
Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Harissa Vinaigrette by Project Domestication
Winter Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Cranberry-Mustard Sauce by Cafe Johnsonia
Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta by Kitchen Confidante
Maple Orange Teriyaki Salmon Bowls by Flavor the Moments