sprouted kitchen

I'm not cynical enough to believe that people don't keep their New Years resolutions. I admit to giving an eye roll with the regulars in my pilates class. It's true. It will be crowded for the next two months and then go back to normal, but setting goals is never a bad thing. It's motivating to make a promise to yourself and follow it through with your best intentions. To believe you are capable... which is sometimes the toughest part. This year, Hugh and I continued a tradition we started a few years back. We bundle up and head to the top of the highest hill in town that looks out at the Pacific coastline. It's our spot. It is the place we got engaged and also the home of our new-year-goal-sharing-session. I will chalk it up to the most vulnerable conversation we have all year. Sharing your hopes and dreams, maybe dissapointments from the year past, with the person who matters most to you, can be a heavy moment. Heavy in a way that fills your soul. 

Earlier in the day, I sectioned my lined paper into six categories and tried to use my best hand writing to make note of the big things I hope for 2013. And I don't use the term big lightly. My list didn't have things like learning to salsa dance or loose five pounds (not that those aren't respectable goals), it was composed of huge markers like buying a house, going on a big trip to Europe in the spring, starting another book and other such things. It almost felt like a fake list when I looked at it. It scares me just as much as it motivates me. This year we will strive to check the items off both of our lists. Maybe none of them. Maybe all of them if I can push the fear out of my head. Either way, while life continues to build on itself, it feels good to start fresh with an entire sparkly new year ahead. 

On the subject of lots of people at pilates, I believe it is the season for light salads. The one here is creamy from the tahini dressing and naturally sweet with the beets and carrots. If you're keeping away from dairy, tahini is the answer to a craving for creamy dressing. It's the perfect kind of thing to make a little extra of so you can pack it for lunch the next day.

I intended to write a whole foods focused detox plan for the site, but I waited too long. January is on its way and Hugh dug up my whipped cream maker and while we're finding reason to top anything slightly appropriate with the stuff, writing a detox plan just didn't feel right at the moment. I contributed to the Action Plan that comes out in Whole Living this month, and I am completely behind how they design their detox plan, so pick up the January/February issue and take a peek at that if you are looking for ideas. 

Dream big. Eat lettuce. I'm coming for you, 2013. 

sprouted kitchen


Inspired by Grace Parisi at Food + Wine

I changed the original recipe around because I had already roasted a bushel of beets (both red and yellow, hence the bleeding coloration of the beets in the photo). My recipe below reflects using beets that are already roasted, but you can click back to the original if you want to start with raw, baby beets. I also used full sized carrots and cut them down to a similar size of a young carrot. 

  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow beets, roasted and peeled, cut into 1/2'' wedges
  • 3 carrots, halved, large halves quartered if needed
  • sea salt + pepper
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. orange or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 12 cups mixed baby lettuces
  • 1/3 cup cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds, white or black or mixed

sprouted kitchen

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the carrots and beets and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring once or twice, until the carrots are crisp-tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add the honey and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly glazed, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl to cool.

Whisk the remaining tablespoon of vinegar, tahini and citrus into the skillet along with the cumin and a generous pinch of the chopped parsley.

Toss the baby lettuces, remaining parsley and garbanzos with a light coating of the tahini dressing. Plate the greens and top with the carrots, beets and sprinkle the sesame seeds. Serve immediately. 

* You can prepare the salad a day in advance by making the carrots and beets as directed, and keeping them covered in the fridge overnight. The dressing can also be kept covered in the fridge for up to a week. Toss everything and assemble just before serving. 

sprouted kitchen



sprouted kitchen

Be it through email, while teaching classes, or during Q+A for some book events, people seem to be curious how I cook and eat with Hugh as our food preferences are a bit different. I can't say I even noticed until strangers started asking. Making two versions of certain foods has become second nature, I know him pretty well, so it doesn't take much extra thought at this point. I made a lentil bolognese yesterday and put mine on a big bed of greens and his on toasted bread with melted cheese... and a mini bed of greens, of course. No need to reinvent the wheel, just tweak it a bit. He likes a sweet breakfast, I prefer savory. He will always choose the burger on a menu, I will always choose a salad. He drinks black coffee, I like a drop of cream. Because others were asking, I started noticing our food preferences and it has transformed into our joke as well as a self-imposed Instagram hashtag - #skhisandhers.

Beer or whiskey are Hugh's drinks of choice. I can't say they're mine, I'm a wine or gin lady myself, so we crafted two drinks that are easy to make individually, or something fun to make with friends as you're ringing in the New Year this weekend. Because gin is an herbal spirit, I wanted something that I could work just a bit of rosemary into. I poked around my favorite sites and remembered Heidi posting a gin cocktail a while back. Found it! It was exactly what I was looking for and her photos are always quick to convince. The cocktail is perfectly sweetened, easy on the eyes, and just the thing in the throws of citrus season when the oranges are sweet and juicy.

sprouted kitchen


Recipe from 101Cookbooks

I prefer the slightest wisper of rosemary taste, so I made a small amount of the rosemary syrup, enough for 4ish drinks. If you think you'd like more of that flavor or want the syrup on hand, triple the recipe. Heidi says it keeps for about a week in the fridge. 

  • // rosemary syrup //
  • 1/4 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. rosemary leaves

  • 3 Tbsp. gin
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh squeezed and strained blood orange juice
  • 1-2 tsp. rosemary syrup
  • sparkling water, lemon sparkling water or tonic

To make the syrup, put the sugar, water and rosemary leaves in a small pot. Simmer the mixture for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let it infuse about ten more minutes. Strain the mixture and set aside.

Fill a tall glass three quarters of the way with ice cubes. Garnish the insides with thin slices or blood orange or rosemary sprigs if you'd like, just be sure they sit under ice cubes so you're not getting furry rosemary in your mouth. Add the gin, fresh juice, rosemary syrup and top it off with the sparkling water. Add a dash of this or that to your taste and cheers!

sprouted kitchen

Hi folks. This is Hugh.

Often times I am a creature of habit, and that is certainly the case when it comes to ordering cocktails. The Old Fashioned (bourbon) is my go to. That being said, I've had some really good versions (simple, pure) and some really bad versions (too much bitters, half an orange, mystery mixer filling up the glass), and there are few drinks less enjoyable than a poorly made Old Fashioned... maybe that mason jar of green "juice" Sara brings home every once in a while from the yoga studio in the harbor... I dunno. Anyway.

The version below is based off of an Old Fashioned I had at the Tasting Kitchen, a spot that knows their cocktails. This is a very simple drink, and as with most things you'll find on Sprouted Kitchen this simplicity can shine through using good ingredients. Find some bourbon or rye whiskey that you enjoy, Angostura Bitters, some fresh citrus and you're off to a good start.


  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • Angostura Bitters
  • orange
  • lemon
  • ice (I leave a couple ramekin-sized tupperwares filled with water in the freezer for Old Fashioned purposes)
  • 1 1/3 ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey

Add just a pinch of sugar, between an 1/8 and a 1/4 teaspoon. Hit the sugar with two splashes of bitters (the image below looks like more than that, as the bitters had time to bleed around the cup while I reached for the camera, so if you're following along and measuring visually, it shouldn't look like that much). Add orange and lemon peels, about 2 inches each, and muddle with the sugar and bitters. Add the ice and whiskey, and stir thoroughly.

sprouted kitchen

sprouted kitchen

sprouted kitchen



sprouted kitchen


I knew it would work it's way into my writing at some point, but I have yet to mention here that I spend some of my days working at Trader Joes. While the blog and cookbook are my love and dream, I really enjoy being around people, having that routine and the great healthcare benefits :) This is relevent because I spend a majority of those days at the demo station. If you shop at a Trader Joes market you know the sample booth in the back. Everyone loves a free snack, it's a popular corner. I waver between loving and hating it, for reasons that those who have worked in the service industry can likely relate to. As you may assume, I meet a lot of people in the work of giving away free food. I've explained food allergies and a number of diets, I've walked aisles helping an older fellow just learning to cook for himself, whose wife had passed days earlier and I've planned a romatic dinner menu for a man surprising his wife. But I also meet people who solely have mac n' cheese and frozen orange chicken in their carts, some who refuse to cook with anything but microwave, or those enraged that in mid-December, our strawberries are white (the NERVE!). I have seen and heard the gamut of relationships that people have with their food. I love ice cream and dark chocolate peanut butter cups as much as the next guy, but eating well is your responsibility. Sometimes I want to scream from behind that corner, it is not always easy or quick or cheap or tidy but you taking care of your insides is important. Period.

The more I hear, the more I am thankful for good food. I'm thankful that I have been inspired to learn to cook, that I enjoy the process, that we can afford good quality ingredients, and the knowledge to know the difference. I have a community, you people, who engage me in this passion and send me emails and leave comments that you care about good food too and that makes me want to share it. Thank you for nurturing this in me. Yes, we offer you recipes and photos, but you give me so much.

Wishing you a Christmas filled with wonderful food, even better company and time to soak it all in. 

sprouted kitchen


Barely adapted from Food + Wine November 2012

I am bringing this salad to two Christmas meals as I imagine it will hold well. Everything can be prepped in advance, kept in bags and then tossed all together when it's time for dinner. It's a simple salad, so take the liberty to add some toasted nuts, shaved asiago or chopped hard boiled eggs if you want to make it even more filling. As with most things around here, alter to your taste. 


  • 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes (about 2 large), cut into 1/2'' cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt + pepper
  • 2 large apples, diced (granny smith, fuji, honeycrisp etc.)
  • 8 cups packed baby greens (arugula, kale, red romaine...a mix looks pretty)
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced



  • // dressing //
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper


sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'.

Put a drizzle of olive oil in a pot and add the quinoa to toast over moderate heat for two minutes. Add 1 1/3 cups water and bring it to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15-18 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa and set aside to cool. 

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil and hearty pinches of salt and pepper. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 25 minutes until golden. Let them cool. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the cider vinegar, mustard, olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper. Add the cooled quinoa, potatoes, apple, greens, parsley and onionand toss everything to coat. Serve immediately.

sprouted kitchen



sprouted kitchen

My parents are hosting Christmas dinner for the extended family this year, which gives me some say in what happens with the food. As the cook in my immediate family, it's my place. I think about food, I read the magazines, I like organizing and making's only fair. I prefer the non-traditional - trying new dishes, keeping things fresh, maybe even leave cheese off a few dishes (!), NOT having turkey and stuffing. My dad is requesting the later and I quote him, "I don't want any of that esoteric shit." This is a man who would qualify roasted squash or some sort of kale salad as esoteric. Oy. Wish me luck. Whatever the food, I am really looking forward to it. My mom sets a beautiful table, my grandma will make a few innocent while still slightly offensive comments and my sister and I will be silly at our corner of the table.

It got me thinking of dishes that are exceptional in their own right, for their simplicity or purity, before getting creative with them. I can't say there is much of that on this site, besides Hugh's coffee posts. I could even argue this topic is subjective between those preferring the traditional versus the modified, but a classic brownie recipe is something I need to have in my back pocket. If I am going to identify myself as a food blogger, there needs to be a brownie recipe on this site. It's an unspoken expectation. Not one with black beans or applesauce or mashed banana but let's start with straight up buttery, rich brownies. The kind I would eat warm with a scoop of ice cream and feel guilty about.

I had my mind set on a classic brownie recipe. I flipped through David Lebovitz' Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes because with a title like that and a reputation like his, I knew there would be a brownie recipe and it'd be exceptional. Holy moly was my gut correct on this one. First off, they are crazy easy and let's be honest, everyone apreciates that. These brownies are decadent, very rich, and deeply chocolatey, so much so that even one with a fierce sweet tooth can have one small square and be satisfied. These are fudgy brownies but not so fudgy that you feel like you're eating underdone batter. The recipe reigns from a friend of Lebovitz' who co-founded Scharffen Berger so these are no cocoa-cakey brownies, this is chocolate in all its glory. Excellent on their own, and still a perfect canvas for adding in what you please. THAT is the brownie recipe I want. A la mode of course.

sprouted kitchen

sprouted kitchen

BROWNIES // Makes 12

Adapted from David Lebovitz Ready for Dessert

David notes that the minute long stir to incorporate the flour is crucial for everything staying together. I used oat flour, which gave reason for a slightly crumbly brownie but they stayed together just fine. If you use GF certified oat flour, these are gluten free. I grind my oat flour from old fashioned oats, so it's a tad coarse as you'll notice in the photos. Once the brownies are baked, I don't believe it compromises the texture at all.

  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 3/4 cup natural cane sugar

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1/3 cup oat flour or unbleached all purpose flour

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs for topping

Add-in options (from both David and myself):

  • 1 cup toasted and chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts)

  • 1/3 each cup chopped dried cherries and cocoa nibs

  • 1 tsp. mint extract and crushed candy canes for topping

  • 1-2 tsp. espresso powder

sprouted kitchen


sprouted kitchen

sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350'. Line the inside of a 8'' square pan with parchment or foil allowing the excess edges to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Lightly grease with butter or cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the chocolate and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour, pinch of salt and stir energetically for 1 full minute, until the batter looses its graininess, becomes smooth, and begins to pul away from the sides. Stir in the chopped nuts of preferred add ins.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the cocoa nibs on top and bake until the center is almost set, about 25-30 minutes. Don't overbake. Let them cool completely before lifting out the parchment to remove brownies.

These brownies will keep well for 4 days and can be frozen for one month. For a clean cut, chill the brownies to get even edges and clean the knife between slices.

sprouted kitchen



I have fallen into the black hole that is Instagram. While this space is pretty intentional, I like being able to share snapshots of everyday food and life. The people on there, they are hungry. Hungry for recipes. And while I just want that to be for fun, not for recipe sharing, a few eager voices requesting the recipe from the day I was experimenting with black beans and pumpkin in vegetarian burger form, seemed desperate. I didn't need too hard of a push to make them again. So here we are with a gluten free, dairy free, fiber packed, super easy meal idea.

A veggie burger salad is my go-to lunch, so it seemed appropriate to share a version here. I love food in bowls - my entire meal made easy to eat in one vessel with one utensil. Primarily greens, something crunchy, avocado if there is a ripe one or a bit of cheese if not (both if I can't help myself), with hints of a dried or fresh fruit, a protein and maybe a bit of a grain if both aren't going to be present in veggie burger form. There is a science to this bowl-food habit. While against all things theme-y to post a recipe with pumpkin AFTER Thanksgiving, as we usher in December, I figured now is as good a time as any to give you a fiber packed meal idea. Treats will follow either way, no? Yes.

If you want to peek over to our Facebook page, we are giving away a holiday box from Crustic Bread! Madelaine is a super sweet, hard working, small business owner and she is offering one of her holiday gift boxes (which you can order until Dec. 10th!) to a lucky reader on our Facebook page!


I use canned pumpkin here because it has less water content then when you make it fresh, and I needed that for these to stay together. If you prefer to use fresh, you may need to add another tablespoon of oat flour or breadcrumbs to compensate. The salad is not a "recipe". I just chop the greens pretty small and add oil and vinegar to lighty dress. Nothing fussy, but I listed the components below in case you were interested.

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice
  • 15 oz. can (about 2 cups) black beans
  • 2 Tbsp. flaxmeal
  • scant 1/3 cup panko or coarse oat flour (can be made by blending whole oats)
  • coconut oil for cooking

// salad // 

  • lacinato kale, stemmed and well chopped
  • romaine
  • bit of grated parmesan
  • extra virgin olive oil (I used the lemon one from Nudo;- very subtle)
  • rice vinegar
  • pinch of salt + pepper


In a food processor, combine the garlic, scallions, pumpkin, olive oil, chili powder, salt and cumin. Run to combine. Add the rice and half of the beans and pulse ONLY a few times to just mix (we want minimal mixing here so it doesn't become a paste). Add the flaxmeal, oat flour and pulse them in. Add the rest of the beans and give it one or two more pulses (I add the beans in parts because I like the flecks of them in the patties). The mixture should be pretty tacky with texture to it. Not smooth. The mixture can be made in advance and kept covered in the fridge until ready to use.

Form the dough into four patties, about 1/2'' thick. Heat a thin layer of coconut oil over medium high heat in a large (non stick preferable) pan, working in batches if you need to. Once the oil is hot, gently add the patties to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until you get a golden crust, flip and cook another 2 minutes.

Prepare your salad or bun, top with you patty and garnish with cilantro and avocado if you wish.