Broccoli, Raisin + Sunflower Salad

Broccoli, Raisin + Sunflower Salad



I’ve had a whole line of early summer recipes to share, which I tested on repeat until getting just right. Inevitably I never got around to photographing and sharing, and then the ingredients in question were past their season and the moment was gone.


It’s been that sort of summer. I’ve been trying to just go with it.




The Recipe Redux challenged us to Beat the Heat with the Slow Cooker/Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker this month instead of turning on the oven or stovetop. But the god’s honest truth? I wiped out//not invited in as many appliances as I can, in the name of less clutter, open space, and more peace of mind. So I don’t have too many kitchen appliances to cook with in lieu of the oven and stove, save our tiny countertop grill.

And also, If you read my last post about eating more soup in the summer (a practice that is still going strong), you’ll know I’m okay with a little summer heat. I’ve been delving more into eating in the way that serves me best these last few years and warm, cooked foods are generally better for me. Our climate is also fairly mild and I’m enjoying being outside as much as possible in this season; the warm days are particularly pleasing. Chameleoning, I call it.

I worked outside in the shade for most of the day earlier this week, and though it was easily in the low 80’s, I had a long-sleeve on for most of it. Later, at a meeting in an unairconditioned house, I put those longsleeves back on and was super comfortable while around the table, everyone else was in shortsleeves and tank tops. The sameish story is true when I work from home, until the end of the day when William walks in the door and must-have-fan/AC. In the evenings, I don my sweaters and socks!

So super cold person here. And summer is my season.




But to keep with the theme for this month, I did turn off the oven/stovetop and I made one of my favorite broccoli salads. It’s a rendition of that mayonnaise, bacon, and sugar-infused potluck dish I remember from summers long ago, but this is one I actually enjoy eating.

Plus, it’s keeping the broccoli forest in my backyard in check!

Paired with easy grilled tofu and some slices of rustic whole-grain bread, or whatever else you’ve got on hand and sounds nice, it’s a dish for these warmer summer evenings.




Broccoli, Raisin, and Sunflower Salad, serves 3-4
I’ve been growing Apollo Broccoli from Territorial Seeds for the last couple years and this variety is a broccoli cross, which has tender side shoots/sprouts that grow continuously from May through December. It looks extra leafy because when harvested and used fresh, the tender buds, stems, and leaves are all sweet and delicious. Make this with the broccoli you have available, but try to limit the from garden/farm/store-to-plate timeframe because some of broccoli’s best nutrients are depleted rapidly by light, heat, and long-storage!

a big bunch of fresh broccoli
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, toasted*
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened coconut yogurt
1/2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

  • Cut the broccoli florets and stalks into small, bite-sized pieces. Place them in a big serving bowl along with the raisins, toasted seeds, yogurt, and salt and pepper. Use your hands or a large spoon to mix everything until the broccoli is coated with yogurt to your liking.
  • Serve right away along with the sides/mains of your choice.

* To toast your seeds, put them in a small saute pan over medium-low and heat until just beginning to smell toasty and turn golden, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir into this salad.


Pineapple Spice Porridge


 It seems these last few months have been a time of waiting.  Just as Autumn swept in, taking summer away practically overnight, and Winter tiptoed so slowly it didn’t feel like the holiday season until the holidays were past–just as these last chilly months have been a time of slowness, gray weather, and nature taking time to retract, heal, and renew–I too, felt the wintery shift to waiting for something to begin again.  It seems that with spring coming, toying with us as it will, one day sunny and bright, the next slashing rain and bitter wind, this waiting season is slowly dwindling away.

The months of planning for the wedding have only a couple more left–it is now the season of our wedding, at least.  As I look toward the future that is beginning to take its course and ponder what I’d like it to bring–I can’t help but hope for simplicity.  Simple moments that are fully lived in the present.  Simple kindnesses shown to others.  Meals prepared with love and simple comforting ingredients.  That is my goal–to take things slowly and with care.

I woke this morning needing a breakfast of this description–one that would take a little longer than the normal splash of yogurt and fruit.  A little more thought into the spices.  That’s what this porridge has brought for me today–simple ingredients and the compensatory time to ponder what the future brings.

Pineapple Spice Porridge, serves 2
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal or other similar hot breakfast cereal
dash of ground ginger
dash of ground cinnamon
dash of allspice
1 star anise
dash of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, finely minced
plain yogurt, optional
honey, optional
Add spices and water to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in cereal, pineapple, and vanilla.  Cover and turn down to a low simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes.   Turn off heat, stir and then let sit a couple more minutes.  Remove star anise.  Spoon into a bowl with yogurt and honey, if desired.

Through the Long Days of Winter–Grapefruit Yogurt Cake


While I’ve spied a few crocuses and daffodils making their way from the wintry soil in my regular jaunts around the neighborhood lately, winter seems to have settled deep within my bones.  I feel a persistent chill, and I hover over my cup of tea, mostly because it is a thing of comfort–of warmth.

Perhaps it is not only the cold weather, but the feeling of isolation after moving to a new place, or the thoughtful hours of reflection I’ve pondered as this season of Lent has begun.  In these hours I feel as if spring will never come.

But things are not all as dreary as they sometimes seem.  The sun has been shining lately, through peaks in the clouds and rain, and wind.  And winter has one or two perks–A bounty of delicious citrus is to be found and I’m eating it up as if it’s going out of style–which to be fair, it is.  At least until next year.


Though my go-to citrus fruits are fresh oranges, I couldn’t help but load up on the many pretty pink grapefruit each time I’ve gone to the store.  And since the Daring Bakers have asked for a quick bread/muffin this month, I decided to use up my bounty and satisfy a particular craving in designing this recipe.  For me, this is mostly a sweet reserved for the end of the day.  But since these cakes are hardly sweet–and a bit tart in that way grapefruit always is, with my favorite oaty texture–you can choose to eat them as a breakfast muffin or an afternoon snack or whenever the fancy strikes.  I experimented several times with the recipe in both a loaf cake/quick bread and a muffin form.  Bake in a loaf pan for a moister texture, and in a muffin tin for a more bready feel.

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Give this cake a try if you’re suffering through the long days of winter as I am–with the rain pouring down against the windows, and a cup of black tea in hand.  If you’re longing for a bit of cheer and something spunky to get you through until spring shows itself again–bake your way through a grapefruit or two–cozy yourself next to the oven, and smile because we’re nearly through.


Grapefruit Yogurt Cake, makes 1 9×5 or 8.5×4-inch loaf
Recipe updated: 2/26/22
30 minutes | Bake:  40-50 minutes | Serves: 8-10 

2 Tbs. /14 gr ground flax seeds (or 2 eggs)
6 Tbs. / 90 ml hot water (omit if using eggs)
1 cup /113 gr quinoa flour
3/4 cup / 120 gr brown rice flour
1/4 cup / 30 gr  tapioca starch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
3/4 cup / 150 gr organic cane sugar
½ cup / 113 ml plain non-dairy coconut yogurt
3/4 cup / 185 ml fresh grapefruit juice
3 Tbs. / 40 gr coconut oil
zest from about 1/2-3/4 of a large grapefruit

  1. Set the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Oil and flour the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch or 81/2 x 4-inch loaf pan. The smaller pan will yield taller slices. 
  2. Mix the ground flax seeds with the hot water in a small dish and set aside to form a thick slurry.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder and soda, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar together. Set aside.
  4. In a small measuring cup mix yogurt and grapefruit juice.
  5. Beat the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and coconut oil with a whisk in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the flax slurry and grapefruit zest, and incorporate well. 
  6. Add half the flour mixture and half the grapefruit juice and yogurt mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add the remaining flour and liquids and mix once more until the batter just comes together.
  7. Bake until the loaf or muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 45-50 minutes for a loaf .
  8. Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. 
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature, or once cool, slide into the fridge for a day or two, as the flavors really develop overnight.