This recipe was originally created by The Chalkboard Mag for
Gluten-Free Dreams: Almond Spice Cake With Coconut Cream

Food should be nourishing, delicious & not over-complicated. It sounds simple, right? It can be hard to find sweet treats that fit this category, and while you can’t live off a cake and call yourself healthy, it’s comforting to know there are better alternatives available to nourish that sweet tooth 😉

It’s topped with a layer of coconut whipped cream. Because really, the only thing better than a grain-free, refined sugar-free, spice-filled cake is one that’s got whipped cream frosting on top.


For the cake:

  • 2 ½ cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

For the coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Garnish with:

  • honey
  • raisins
  • nuts
  • cinnamon sticks
  • coconut whipped cream


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 9-inch round pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
  3. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, agave, eggs, and extracts. Pour into flour mixture. Blend well and then add raisins and nuts, if desired. Pour into the pan outfitted with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and flip onto a cake platter.
  5. Decorate with coconut whipped cream and whatever ingredients you like.

For the coconut whipped cream:

  1. Set the can in the fridge overnight so that the coconut fat solids separate from the coconut water.
  2. Open the can and carefully pour out the thick coconut cream. With an electric whisk, beat the cream, agave and vanilla extract on high until peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. If not serving immediately, place the bowl of whipped coconut cream in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and then beat it again right before serving it.

For more recipe inspiration, check out The Chalkboard. Photo & recipe credit: Sweet Laurel Bakery & The Kitchy Kitchen.

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How To Make A Perfect Macrobiotic Bowl From Well & Good

This post was originally posted on May 5th, 2015.

macro-bowlHave you ever spied a stunning bowl of grains and vegetables on Instagram and wondered a) what in world of deliciousness is that? And b) how you could have some, too?

Whatever it was, we’re betting it has roots in Macrobiotics, a healthy way of eating that gained major popularity stateside in the ’90s. Although it lacks the trendiness of some current nutrition crazes, the Macrobiotic Diet has informed tons of others, like vegetarian, South Beach, and even Paleo itself. But what, exactly, is it all about?

Chef Lee Gross is here to explain, and teach you how to whip up a perfect macro bowl at home. Gross, who worked as Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal chef, is now the consulting chef at Los Angeles’ M Cafe, which is known for its menu of macrobiotic dishes, plates, and bowls.

What is Macrobiotics and the Macrobiotic Diet? A lot of the principles and teachings have been taken from Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as Japanese traditions, explains Gross.

Chef Lee Gross of M Cafe. (Photo: M Cafe)

“Macrobiotics is about balancing ourselves with the natural world—and the easiest way to do that is with our meals. We get further and further away from this balance if we choose [to eat] processed industrialized foods,” he says.

Gross was actually thinking about joining the PeaceCorps in 1998 when he learned about Macrobiotics at the Omega Institute and Michio Kushi, who is credited with bringing Macrobiotics to the West, at the Kushi Institute. Once he discovered the diet’s focus on eating mindfully, “my whole profession and perspective on food shifted,” he says.

What’s the foundation of a Macrobiotic meal (or macro bowl)? Each meal is a combination of grains, vegetables, beans or fish, and fermented foods. The bowl part, however, is optional. “Taking a macrobiotic meal and putting it into a bowl is just for the convenience factor,” Gross says. But hey, it sure it pretty enjoyable and photogenic this way.

So…how can you make one? Gross admits that while there’s no “correct” breakdown for a Macro meal, he has some suggestions for making the most delicious, well-rounded one possible.

1. Start with a whole grain that makes up about 20 to 30 percent of your plate. It could be anything from quinoa to brown rice to millet. Kushi’s original recommendation called for 40 to 60 percent of grains, but lately people have been lowering the amount of grains and upping the veggies, he says.

2. Vegetables can make up about 40 to 60 percent of your plate or bowl, Gross says. Within that it’s important to have three categories of vegetables—round (like onions or squash), leafy (like kale), and root veggies. How the vegetables are prepared fall into two categories: quick cooked via steaming or sautéing, and long cooked, like stewing.

3. Beans, soy protein, and sea vegetables can comprise about 5 to 10 percent of your plate or bowl. Think: tempeh or tofu. Plus sea vegetables like nori, hiziki, a wild Maine kelp, and dulse. “They’re an important and often overlooked source of valuable nutrients and trace minerals,” explains Gross.

4. It’s important to also include fermented foods, like naturally fermented pickles, explains Gross, “instead of brined pickles, which do not contain active probiotics.

5. Soup is another thing you can add to your macro plate or bowl. “You can experiment by adding a miso soup or kombu soup broth during the winter months for an instant stew-like macro bowl,” Gross says. “You can also change up the routine and make it a noodle bowl by swapping the whole grain for buckwheat soba or udon noodles.” —Molly Gallagher

For more information, visit

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A Day On Not A Day Off

MLK QCard-2



The 21st annual celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held at the Beverly J. Martin School gymnasium, 302 W. Buffalo St., Ithaca.  

Monday, January 19th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Performances by Honey Child Soul Quintet and John Simon  

A luncheon—free and open to the public 

This year’s theme “MYTHACA—Facts and Fiction”

will be facilitated by guest speaker Godfrey Simmons

The day is organized by the Greater Ithaca Activities Center; the Multicultural Resource Center; the Cornell Public Service Center; the Center for Transformative Action; GreenStar Cooperative Market; Student Leadership, Engagement and Campus Activities at Cornell University; Cornell Dining; Ithaca College Office of  Multicultural Affairs, Cooperative Extension of TC;  Challenge Workforce Solutions and and community members

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The Winter Market is Back — Starting This Saturday!



The Ithaca Farmers Market again returns to The Space @ Greenstar for the winter months, bringing you fresh local produce, from sweet spinach and kale, to root vegetables, pastured meats, apples, cheeses, preserves and more. Plus, get your freshly baked pastries, hot coffee, breads, hot prepared food, and artisanal gifts also!

Markets are held Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Space from January 10 to March 28. Please enter at the intersection of Fulton and Court Streets, and you will be directed by an attendant to park in the lot there. After March 28th the market returns to its Steamboat Landing pavilion.

The Space has been newly renovated and serves as a beautiful, cozy and warm venue for our winter market. The Ithaca Farmers Market Board of Directors and management wishes to thanks Greenstar for being so generous with their lovely new community space.

From the farmers in their passive solar greenhouses, harvesting spinach, to the chefs in their kitchens and the artisans in their workshops, thank you for your support of our efforts to continue cultivating earth and community in the new year and throughout our winter months.

Come for groceries, come for brunch, come for gifts, or just come to reconnect with friends, community members and family. It’s all happening at the Ithaca Farmers Market’s Winter Market.


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Creamy Tumeric Latte


* Originally posted here on

Turmeric is the vibrant orange-yellow spice affectionately known as the magic sword against inflammation, birthed in India and crowned centuries ago as one of the great dosha balancers in ayurvedic medicine. With all the healing benefits, you can taste the inherent goodness with each sip. It is just as delicious as it is nutritious. Drink up!

*Serves 1


1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1 heaping tablespoon fresh turmeric root, grated (or use approximately 2 teaspoons turmeric paste – see below)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated (or 1 teaspoon ground)
1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
Raw honey or stevia to taste

*Note: To make the turmeric paste combine 2 parts turmeric powder with 1 part boiling water. Mix and store any extra in the fridge up to 5 days.


Gently warm the almond or coconut milk in a small saucepan. Do not boil. Add turmeric, ginger and cinnamon. Next, combine coconut oil with milk and heat together until melted. Use a wire whisk or immersion blender to create a foam. Continue to stir until frothy and heated through.

Stir in honey or stevia to taste. Sip, savor & enjoy.

– See more at:

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Mmm… Meyer Lemons


Guess what, Meyer lemon season is here! I could probably write a blog post a day about a different ways to use this amazing little gem. The Meyer Lemon is a cross between a true lemon and either a common orange or a mandarin. The result is a “not very sour” lemon. A lemon you could actually bite and eat with joy. One or two of these yellow gems make it into all of my shopping baskets during their 2 month season.
Here are a couple of my standard recipes to make.

Meyer Lemon Salad Dressing
zest of 2 Meyer lemons, divided
juice of 2 Meyer lemons (6 Tbl.)
3 Tbl. olive oil
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

Whisk to together olive oil, lemon juice , salt and pepper. Add ½ the zest. Toss the dressing with romaine leaves or mixed greens. Sprinkle the remaing zest on top of the salad. Serves 4.

Meyer Lemon Pasta Sauce
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
juice of 2 Meyer lemons (6 Tbl.)
1 8oz. package mascarpone cheese
1tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
a few grinds fresh black pepper

Whisk together lemon zest, mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Cook 1 pound of pasta according to package directions. Reserve about 3 Tbl. of the pasta water. Return pasta to the pot. Over low heat, stir in the sauce. Cook until just warm. Add pasta water, if needed, to keep the sauce fluid. Try adding 8 cups washed arugula or spinach by tossing the greens with the sauce and pasta, until just wilted. Serves 4

Meyer Lemon Veggie Dip
zest of 4 Meyer lemons
juice of 4 Meyer lemons (¾ cup)
1 16oz. package 2% Greek yogurt
1tsp. salt
a few grinds fresh black pepper
2 scalions, diced

Mix together lemon zest, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and scallion. Serve with veggies.

The salad dressing is a good way to change up the good old kale salad or on a light butter lettuce salad. The pasta sauce can impress a few dinner guests. My favorite is the veggie dip. It is easy to make and bring to work. The afternoon Greek yogurt becomes lunch instead.
The juice and zest are both so tasty you really do not want to miss out. You can stock up now and store the juice and zest in the freezer for the hot summer months. Or throw one in your basket and take a bite, you may be surprised.

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Ithaca Wine Fest presented by Chemung Canal Trust Company

On Saturday, December 13, join nearly two dozen Finger Lakes wine makers and cheese makers at The Space@GreenStar for this brand-new event. General admission tickets are $30 and include a commemorative wine glass and unlimited wine & cheese tastings. Only 50 VIP tickets will sold at $45 and include 30-minute “early bird” entry and a food-and-wine pairing demonstration by local author Laura Winter Falk and signing of her book, “The Culinary History of the Finger Lakes”. Tasting times are 12pm-2pm or 3pm-5pm. For information or for tickets, visit

Vendors include:
Americana Vineyards , Bet the Farm Winery, Finger Lakes Distillery, Ports of New York, Damiani Wine Cellars, Heron Hill Winery, Hosmer Winery, King Ferry Winery, Sheldrake Point Vineyard, Six Mile Creek Winery, Hector Wines, Red Newt Vineyards, Cayuga Ridge Estates, Wagner Vineyards, Leidenfrost, Sunset View Creamery, Engelbert Farms, Muranda Cheese, Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery, Crosswinds Farm Creamery , Kenton Cheese and F. Oliver’s Oils and Vinegars.

All proceeds benefit CCE-Tompkins.

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Healing Blueberry Ginger Oatmeal by Breakfast Criminals


Check out this glorious recipe by Breakfast Criminals, one of my favorite breakfast recipe bloggers. It is perfect for this cold weather and cold season!


Directions: Mix everything except banana in a pot and cook until ready. Then, top with banana, more blueberries, ginger, bee pollen and coconut chips, if you wish (I’m obsessed with Dang!), mulberries and kiwi can add a nice touch too. Enjoy the goodness!
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Support Local at the Awesome Indie Art Market

The Awesome Indie Art Market features Local Art, Craft and Food, with something for everyone on your list.
If you haven’t taken your holiday photo yet, Rachel Philipson’s Photo Booth is your opportunity. Props provided or bring your own!
Cool Swag Bags for the first 30 people each day and free Awesome Indie Art Market Postcards by Artist Jim Garmhausen.

Tonight 12/5-
5-6:30 Live Old Time Music by Anyone’s Guess (made up of 4 of the 6 Beaver Creek Boys)
The premiere of the long awaited new issue of Fresh Dirt! They’ll be for sale and we’ll be giving some as prizes
The launch of the 2015 Guide to Being Local! They’ll also be for sale with some given as prizes
Healthy Food for All and the Youth Farm Project will be the recipients of a portion of sales of the 2015 Guide to Being Local

Tomorrow 12/6-
12:00-2:30 Live Music by London McDaniels
3-6:00 Free Face Painting
1-4:00 DIY Holiday Projects

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Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County’s 2014 Annual Meeting & Local Foods Breakfast


Dear Friend of CCE-Tompkins,

Please join us on Wednesday, December 10 from 8:00-10:00a.m. for our 2014 Annual Meeting & Local Foods Breakfast. This year, we’ll meet at The Space @ Greenstar, at 700 West Buffalo Street in Ithaca. We’ll look back at some accomplishments from 2014, and look ahead to plans for the coming new year! Celebrate with us the accomplishments of Nancy Potter, Family & Community Development Issue Leader, and Audrey Cooper, Diversity & Inclusion Educator with CCE and with The Multicultural Resource Center. Join us also in recognizing our retiring board and committee members.

Share your thoughts on our major program directions. Meet community members, collaborators, and others who share an interest in Extension’s work. We invite your input on how our work can support your interests and needs, and those of your community! A brief election of new officers will conclude the event.

Learn about “Engaged Cornell”, the university’s new initiative to integrate community engagement into nearly every facet of the Cornell experience. Our featured speaker Judith Appleton, Cornell University’s Vice-Provost for Land Grant Affairs, will outline how this new effort might interface with the work of local governments, organizations and businesses.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast of primarily local foods. Selections include scrambled local eggs, home fried potatoes, local bacon and/or tempeh bacon, fresh fruit salad, and assorted breads with juice, coffee and teas. $10 per person in advance. Some scholarship assistance is available. Please reserve by Friday, December 5th to ensure a seat.

Reserve Online

New this year, you may PAY or RESERVE online at Simply visit the PEAKS link above to charge your tickets, or to reserve your seats and pay for them by check or cash at the door.
It’s fast, easy, and secure!

About Peaks: PEAKS is an online fundraising tool that helps to raise money for social justice causes and organizations in the Ithaca/Tompkins County area. PEAKS is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension and has raised nearly $400,000 for area organizations since 2011. Learn more about PEAKS at
Register By Phone

You also may call (607) 272-2292 to charge your tickets by phone. Please reserve by Friday, December 5 to ensure a seat.

Please contact Ray Weaver, Public Affairs Coordinator, at or (607) 272-2292 with any questions regarding PEAKS, the 2014 Annual Meeting & Local Foods Breakfast.

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