The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook – Cornmeal Cakes Recipe

I borrowed The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods from the library and I’m loving this book! I hope I have time to write a complete review, but until then, I wanted to blog the details of her cornmeal cakes recipe.

the sprouted kitchen - cornmeal cakes

I made a batch this morning and was extremely impressed. Pancakes are hit or miss with me, usually because I wing it and don’t follow a specific recipe! This time, I followed her directions, well, up to a point. I still put my own spin on the ingredients, but it worked beautifully.

Her original cornmeal cakes recipe also includes cherry compote, but we topped with some of my own homemade Concord grape syrup instead.

Cornmeal Cakes Recipe sans Cherry Compote

Recipe adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte (page 42)

Serves 4


1 cup fine cornmeal or corn flour
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp boiling water
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp chia seeds (or experiment with other seeds, like sesame, poppy or even caraway)
1/4 cup yogurt mixed with 3/4 cup water
1 egg, beaten
coconut oil for pan


  1. Add cornmeal to large bowl, then stir in oil and boiling water. Allow to rest for 5 minutes to soften cornmeal.
  2. In another small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt, then set aside
  3. Add chia seeds, yogurt liquid and egg to the cornmeal mixture and mix until blended.
  4. Pour the dry flour mix into the cornmeal mixture and stir carefully until blended.
  5. Cook pancakes over medium heat in cast iron pan or griddle, adding 1/2 tsp of coconut oil to the pan for each batch.


  • Blending the cornmeal with the liquids beforehand seemed to make it a lot easier to blend in the flour. Sometimes I feel like I’m over mixing.
  • Sara’s original recipe included honey and sugar, but I don’t like adding any sweetener to pancakes since we always top with sweet syrup of some sort. Truthfully, even plain, these pancakes were really delicious! I didn’t miss the extra sugar at all! Anyway, I replaced 2 Tbsp honey with more boiling water. If you want to go by her original recipe, add 2 Tbsp honey with the cornmeal, olive oil, and boiling water, and 3 Tbsp of natural sugar to the dry flour ingredients.
  • Sara made her pancakes with 3/4 cup buttermilk. I had plain yogurt on hand, so I mixed 1/4 cup with 3/4 cup of water, making a full cup of liquid which was 1/4 cup more liquid than the original recipe. I like a really thin batter, and the consistency of this was perfect for me.
  • The original recipe used all butter, but I replaced with olive oil and coconut oil.
  • The chia seeds were my idea. I love adding seeds to pancakes!

I will definitely make these pancakes again. I love the taste of corn pancakes, and next time I’m thinking 1/2 cup of shredded coconut might be a nice addition. Yum!

the sprouted kitchen - cornmeal cakes

No Knead Bread – Redux

My first real experience with homemade bread was no-knead bread was over two and half years ago. I found it terribly sticky & very difficult to work with every time I tried it, and I gave up and haven’t tried again in a very long time.

I stopped messing with no-knead, and concentrated on mixing my bread dough with the bread machine.

But I’ve been getting bored with my bread lately, wanting a more “artisan” bread, so last night, I decided to give no-knead one more shot. After almost 3 years of dough-handling experience, you’d think it would be a piece of cake, right?

Yes, it’s still a super sticky mess, but I’ve learned over the years, that water, not flour is the key for handling dough.

I always make sure my (clean) hands are wet, and I’ve found it’s a lot easier to shape my bread loaves. I admit, this dough is way more stickier than normal and still difficult to handle, but I did it!

no knead bread - artisan and gorgeous

Link to Mark Bittman’s original No-Knead Bread post from NYTimes

Here are my adapted recipe details:


2 cups AP flour
1 cup Whole Wheat flour
1-1/4 tsp salt
approx 1/3 tsp active dry yeast (if using instant yeast, use only 1/4 tsp)

Directions and Notes:

  1. Whisk dry flour, salt and yeast together in large bowl.
  2. Add water and using a wooden spoon, mix until blended – the original recipe suggests 1-5/8 cups of water (which translates to 1-1/2 +2Tbsp of water) – I found it wasn’t enough so I added more water to ensure it was a “shaggy mess” of dough.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit, undisturbed for at least 12 hours. The dough will expand and become bubbly.
  4. After its all-day or overnight rest, using wet hands, sweep and scoop the dough from the edges of the bowl. It’s going to be a sticky, hard-to-handle mess, but do your best.
  5. Wet hands again, and carefully pick up dough, shaping it into a round loaf. Place it (flat) on a large piece of parchment paper. Lightly sprinkle a little flour (whole wheat or white) on top. Allow to rest/proof for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  6. A few minutes before the dough is ready, set oven to 450F and place a heat-proof covered baking pot inside (enameled cast iron is best). Original no-knead recipes online state to heat oven & pot for 30 minutes, but I find that to be a energy waste, plus it’s not good heat an empty pot for too long. I have found that it works just as well, with 10-15 minutes of preheat time
  7. Carefully remove hot pot and gently transfer the dough to the pot, keeping the parchment under the dough and in the pot. Cover and bake for 20-30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes. I baked for 20 minutes covered, and 20 minutes uncovered.
  8. Remove bread from pot, allow to cool on rack, then eat and enjoy!

I’ll probably try 2 cups of whole wheat and 1 cup of AP flour next, and eventually work up to 2-1/2 WW & 1/2 cup AP. I know I messed with 100% whole wheat no-knead breads in the past, and it really wasn’t great, but I wasn’t as experienced, so we’ll see how it goes.

UPDATE 2013/02/13: I’ve tried 1 cup AP flour and 2 cups whole wheat and it makes a denser loaf. I’m happier with a 50/50 mix but I’ll keep experimenting. I’ve also found that its easier to keep a tighter bread shape when I use my 2 quart cast iron pot for proofing (with parchment) and then transfer the dough with the parchment to my larger 4 quart cast iron. It helps keep the bread from spreading out while it’s proofing.

no knead bread - artisan and gorgeous

I made tuna sandwiches for lunch and the bread was soft with a chewy crust! Delicious!

no knead bread - artisan and gorgeous

no knead bread - artisan and gorgeous

Kickstarter Home Aquaponics Self Cleaning Fish Tank

Thanks to Eating Rules, I found this cool project on Kickstarter, so I kicked in a couple of bucks. It’s a wonderful idea, using fish waste water to fertilize the plants!

I love that they want to manufacturer in US, and they really seem to care about the quality of the product. I know I’ve seen their mushroom boxes at Whole Foods. I admit it was always a bit too expensive for my budget, but someday, I might splurge!

The Navels are Here! The Navels are Here!

I stopped at the grocery to get a couple random items, and I was so excited to see bags of California navel oranges!

Of course I grabbed a bag.

I adore CA Navels, I think they are my favorite fruit! I miss eating oranges in the summer, by November/December, I’m struggling through “citrus withdrawals” – I count the days until they are in season again!

Whoo hoooooo! I think they seem early this year, but I won’t complain!

November Gratitude: Appreciation for Technology

The other day, I phoned my local bank to complain about their new online banking interface. Since the change, I’ve found it very user-UNfrendly and wanted to express my views.

Then the recent Saturday Night Live skit kept popping into my head. You know, the one where the tech reporters were confronted/humiliated by the Chinese iPhone peasant workers. It was hilarious and sad at the same time.

The skit exaggerates some recent iPhone complaints (like the iPhone is too thin and too light) – and then brought out the factory workers who proceeded to put the tech reporters in their place, for being so petty.

In case you didn’t see it, here’s a link.

(My favorite line is “hmm, what product does America make? Hmm, does diabetes count?” Classic!)

Anyway, the point of this post is my revelation. Am I so jaded and spoiled that I can’t recognize and appreciate the awesomeness that is online banking?

I can save gas and time, forgoing a trip to a physical bank branch and actually pay bills, transfer money, check my banking balances and view transactions. Why am I complaining???

I got a grip and realized how lucky I am! (haha, I felt bad enough to actually call back the branch and apologize for my rudeness.)

I’m grateful that there are so many wonderful technologies at my disposal, making my life easier! I need to stop and find appreciation in the gifts I’ve been given!

Life is good!

Grateful: Giving Thanks in November

November is the perfect time to give thanks.

I started a separate Gratitude Blog a couple of years ago but I don’t post very often. I figured this month it would be a good to once a day, pause, and feel a moment of gratitude for something wonderful in my life that day or week.

I might not be able to blog every day, but I’m going to set an alarm on my phone for a gratitude moment.

To start off today, I am so very grateful to live in a community with many awesome public libraries that offer free access to as many books that I can handle! I found a new (for me) library in Methuen today, as I was closeby picking up apples at a local farm. The library is beautiful and I found a bunch of wonderful cookbooks to borrow.

Life is good!

My Healthy Food Budget: October Month 12 / Final

Healthy Food Budget Weekly Total: $100.19
Healthy Food Budget Monthly Total: $397.23
Healthy Food Budget Yearly Total: $4821.97

My healthy budget goal is to eat seasonal (local if possible,) home-cooked meals while sticking to a $400 monthly budget for all food including groceries, dining out, entertaining, vitamins/supplements, and gardening.

There’s two of us eating (mostly) 3 meals per day. My husband occasionally eats take-out lunch at work, & that $ comes out of his personal cash stash.

October – Month Twelve, Week Four – Final

This week, I spent $100.19, for a grand monthly total of $397.23. My final yearly total is $4821.97.

Weekly Totals:
Dining Out: $14.66
Groceries: $85.53

Yearly Totals:
Dining Out: $955.09
Entertaining: $163.64
Gardening: $79.71
Groceries: $3522.19
Vitamins/Supplements: $92.99

So this is it! The last week of the last month of my year of conscious food budgeting!

I learned so much SOOO MUCH this year! It’s still an ongoing process, but really, I’m quite proud of how much I accomplished in the last 12 months.

I found that meal planning (on my iPad using the “Notes” app) helped tremendously, as did making a strict shopping list.

I use the Shopper iPhone app to write my lists and track item pricing. I set a goal for each store, and tried very hard to stick to it. There were a few impulse add-ons, but I also put a lot of items back on the store shelves that I didn’t necessarily need that week.

So, how much has changed? Well, last year (Nov 2010 to Oct 2011), I spent over $7,000 for food! $500-$700 per month! This year, I cut my food spending to $4822, and I am thrilled! I’m hoping to keep up my $400 monthly budget for the next year too.

Weekly Spending Details

Alpine Butcher $2.43: (Tues) Italian sausage & free coupon for 1lb ground beef

The Meat House $16.37: (Tues) Used $25 groupon for $10 discount off my order. 2 large Chicken cordon bleu, 1lb ground 92% sirloin, 1lb garlic cheddar sausage

Whole Foods $37.75: (Fri) Shell-on pistachios, (2) peanuts, sucanat sugar, red grapes (sale), organic pears, organic apples, (4) whole chickens (sale .99/lb)

Meat CSA $8.35: Chicken legs (Luckily, products from the Meat CSA are paid in full, so technically no real money is actually spent, but I apply the cost to my budget as we consume it.)

Miscellaneous Grocery $18.13: Apples, bananas, grapefruit, desserts, and DH’s splurge of Cadbury Eggs

Week of Meals

  • Sunday: Soup with fresh broth, veggies & leftover chicken
  • Monday: Baked eggs & veggies (pepper, scallions, celery) over bulgur grain
  • Tuesday: Chicken cordon bleu (made by local grocer)
  • Wednesday: Pasta with freezer tomato veg sauce
  • Thursday: Leftover frozen pizza with carrot ginger soup
  • Friday: Chicken legs, potatoes, and salad
  • Saturday: Take out pizza
  • Sunday: Fried egg sandwich (went to family birthday lunch earlier)
  • Monday: Pasta with frozen tomato veg sauce
  • Tuesday: Homemade pasta dumplings (me) and Bread pizza (DH)
  • Wednesday: Chicken breast with roasted potatoes, cornbread, and small salad

How it Breaks Down by Store – Yearly %

(Groceries & Entertaining Costs Only)

Whole Foods $1225.31 (33%)
Market Basket $674.82 (18%)
Meat CSA $422.39 (11%)
Trader Joe’s $360.18 (10%)
Wilson Farm $213.88 (6%)
Ocean State Job Lot $149.96 (4%) $112.69 (3%) $105.73 (3%)
Local Farm: $84.48 (2%)
Local Egg Farm $79.50 (2%)
Wilmington Farmers Market $51.90 (1%)
All Others: $156.70

Interesting, Whole Foods has a strong lead at 33%, but compared to 64% last year, I’ve really reduced my spending there, buying more from local farms, Market Basket and Trader Joe’s.

Looking Forward

I certainly will continue to keep on my budget. Publicly posting actually helped me keep me accountable, so I don’t want to stop updates, but I might post monthly summaries instead of weekly. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m thankful to everyone that took the time to read my budgeting saga, but truthfully, I really blogged the details for me. It’s been a great year, and I’m really excited to start fresh in November! :)