Archive for January, 2016

What is that? Friends ask of the tray  atop my China cabinet. Thin white stalks topped with green heads resemble a crowd of emo kids with bangs falling across their faces.

  These are sunflower sprouts- one of my favorite salad, sandwich or soup toppings. Easy to grow, they need a sunny spot and about a week and a half to harvest with a snip of kitchen scissors.

How to:

1-2 cups organic, raw unhulled sunflower seeds

A tray or cookie sheet with a 1-1/2 inch lip


Organic planting mix

Spray bottle 

Soak the seeds in water overnight. Line the tray with one to two layers of damp newspaper. Cover paper with a thin layer of planting mix, distribute the seeds evenly over the mix, spray with water until the soil is evenly moist. Cover with two more layers of damp newspaper. After two days, when the seeds begin to sprout, remove the paper and mist daily, keep the seeds moist but not soggy. When they reach about 3 inches tall and the hulls begin to pop off, harvest by gently trimming 1/4 inch from the roots.

Rinse and remove any hulls. Serve over salads, soups or in sandwiches. 


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Crazy Chocolate Cake

Mom just called to ask for a good cake recipe, I sent her a complex Blueberry Lime cake recipe from Extraveganza that I love but haven’t the patience to make. 

She called back and said “but do you have a Chocolate cake recipe?” As if no other kinds of cake exist. 

Oh, I love how my mom makes me crazy, and how like me she is when it comes to multi step recipes- we haven’t got time! 

Sometimes called “crazy,” “easy,” “mix up cake,” this is a simple  version that uses more whole grain flours and lighter sweeteners.

Dry ingredients- sift together into a lightly greased 8×8 inch square baking pan.

1/2 cup unbleached flour 

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup whole wheat graham flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 cup dried date sugar

Wet ingredients: create a well, in the flour mixture, for each ingredient below.

1/4 teaspoon vanilla  

6 tablespoons canola oil

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar 

In a large measuring cup combine 1 cup warm water with 1/2 cup liquid agave or raw honey, mix until dissolved.

Pour water and sweetener over the flour mixture, mix gently together with a fork until well combined.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 35-40 minutes. 


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This became warm comfort food on a rainy day.

Hash Brown Potatoes 

4-5 russet potatoes

1-2 Tablespoons oil for cooking

1-2 Tablespoons Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joe’s 

Water or vegetable broth for cooking (I like Trafer Joe’s Miso Ginger broth)

Salt to taste

Grate the potatoes and soak in filtered water for about 10 minutes. Then heat oil in a large skillet, add the shredded potatoes in batches that cover the pan in about 1/2 inch layer. Add water or broth, about 1/4 of an inch, cover and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove lid, add a drizzle more of oil, potatoes will begin to form a golden brown crust underneath, flip the potatoes over with a wide spatula, brown the other side, serve hot with barbecue sauce or ketchup.

Barbecue Sauce (or ketchup)

1 can organic tomato sauce 15oz

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

1/8 cup liquid sweetener, agave, brown rice syrup, molasses or honey

1 Tablespoon 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s 

1 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt

4 Tablespoons vinegar (Balsamic, apple cider, red wine or rice)

Mix all ingredients well, best if flavors marinate overnight: refrigerate in a covered container.

For Ketchup omit liquid smoke, and 21 seasoning. For creative options try adding orange zest, sautéed onions, minced pickles or peperocini to the sauces.

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