Everyone I talk to is on the January cleanse. Juice is in! Cookies are out! Here's the thing, though: there are a whole lot of lovely people out there (I'm going to guess somewhere around 1/12 of the population) with birthdays in January. Let alone promotions, milestones, and "that week sucked"s.
Celebrations should not go un-celebrated just because it's the beginning of a new year and some of us (me, I'm talking about me) didn't stick to last year's resolutions.
I'm writing this from my couch while eating "brunch" of leftover salad rolls from last night's dinner. Is it still brunch if it was supposed to be your lunch and you just got hungry really early?
Which is to say: veggies for dinner, veggies for lunch (brunch), and cake still has its place. We're just going to put some veggies in it for fun.
1 1/4 cup coarsely grated carrot
1 1/4 cup coarsely grated beet
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 medium eggs
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon buttermilk
Preheat your oven to 375. You can either bake this is a loaf pan or 8x8; either way, use a piece of parchment paper to go down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side. This will make taking it out so much easier. The two sides not covered with parchment can be greased with butter or oil.
Start by popping your sunflower seeds in a frying pan over medium heat. Allow them to toast until nutty and fragrant while you get everything else mixed together. Take them off the heat to cool (mostly so you don't cook the eggs by accident when you mix everything together).
Grate all your veggies into a large bowl and then add all of your dry ingredients, except the icing sugar, and toss to coat well.
In a separate bowl beat your eggs until well mixed and add in the oil. Add this to the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into your prepared pan and push down to flatten - this is a fairly thick batter, you know, because of all of those vegetables, so you need to help it out a bit.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before using the parchment wings to lift it onto a cooling rack. When it's completely cool mix together the icing sugar, buttermilk, and pinch of salt to make your glaze and pour over the top.
Feel free to doll it up even more by sprinkling chopped nuts or candied ginger over the top.