A Checkered Experiment

Experimental checkerboard zucchini cake

Here is an experiment that probably won’t turn into a recipe in this blog. But I am intrigued, so I figured I would share a picture.

I’ve been thinking about creative things that I can do with my checkerboard cake pan set. Checkerboard cake pans make three layers of cake. You use a divider to put three concentric rings of batter into each pan, alternating between two colors of batter. Then you take out the divider and bake the cake layers. When you stack the layers in the right order and use frosting to stick them together, and you slice the cake open — you find a 3×3 checkerboard inside. Fun!

I’ve posted my recipe for Zucchini Brownies. There is another recipe that I make, which I haven’t posted yet, called Summer Squares. It is a super-healthy cherry-vanilla version of the zucchini brownies. So I mixed up a batch of the ingredients that are common to both recipes and divided the batter into two bowls. I added the chocolate ingredients for zucchini brownies to one bowl, and the cherry vanilla for the Summer Squares recipe in the other bowl. Then I baked it in the checkerboard cake pan set.

I’ve been intrigued by using sweet potatoes to make frosting. So I did that, using a Japanese sweet potato with white flesh. That made a lovely creamy-colored nearly white frosting. But pink is more fun, so I got out a tiny bit of pureed beet from my freezer and added that. Voila — vivid pink frosting!

The resulting cake came out on the gooey side. Because I used teff flour in my flour mix, the white parts are more brown than I’d like. But still, this turned into an intriguing invention.

Someday I will have a checkerboard recipe to share with you……

Cobblestone Farm Market Dinner – gluten-free, vegan, and makes my body oh so happy!

Cobblestone Farm Market Dinner

A few years ago, local folks started a small farmers’ market that is walkable from my house. It is at a place called Cobblestone Farm. They have a newsletter each week, with a recipe.

I call this recipe “Cobblestone Farm Market Dinner” because it is loosely based on a recipe that was in their newsletter.

Its alternate name is “Happy Three,” because it contains lentils, kale, and potatoes — three foods that each make my body very happy, so combining all three into one meal makes a food that I really enjoy.

The newsletter’s original name for this recipe was “Sauteed Greens & Things.”  :)

Whatever name it goes by — yum! This recipe is delightful, and it leaves my body feeling great!

All of the quantities in this recipe are very flexible. Feel free to add more of the things you like! You can make this at any time of year, and it is a glorious celebration of foods that are in season right now.

Cobblestone Farm Market Dinner
Cook time
Total time
This recipe contains three foods that make my body very happy: lentils, kale, and potatoes. Yum!
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: serves 4, depending on which optional ingredients you used
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 1 pint of potatoes, chopped into small dice
  • 1 handful chard, chopped
  • 1 handful kale, chopped
  • 1 handful fennel fronds, chopped (optional)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (I use San-J gluten-free reduced sodium tamari) (for soy-free, replace with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 chopped fresh tomatoes (optional, but good!)
  1. Check through your dry lentils and remove anything that shouldn't be there (small stones, other grains, etc.). Place them in a pot with the water. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are tender, 15 to 30 minutes depending on your lentils.
  2. Either boil the chopped potatoes in just enough water to cover them, until the potatoes are cooked but not yet mushy, which takes about 10-12 minutes, then drain them. OR put the diced potatoes on a cookie sheet, toss with some salt and oil, and bake in a 400 degree oven, turning them occasionally until the potatoes are turning golden brown. (I prefer the oven version, but if the weather is very hot I'll choose the boiled version to avoid heating up the kitchen.)
  3. Meanwhile, if you are using onions, in a big pot such as a Dutch oven, saute the onions in some olive oil. Then add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the greens, and cook until they decrease in volume and are heated through.
  4. Add everything to the big pot or put it in a big mixing bowl. Stir thoroughly.
  5. Taste, and add more salt and/or tamari if needed.
  6. Serve!