The Best Almond Meal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan + GF)

The Best Almond Meal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan + GF)

Say hello to the only cookie you’ll ever need.

No, but seriously.

These really are my new favorite cookie. And, by new, I mean an old favorite (that’s been veganized)!

If you’ve tried these Almond Meal Cookies with Coconut and Chocolate Chips, you already know how amazing they are. However, the recipe does require an egg, and a reader recently suggested/asked if I had tried veganizing them.

The Best Almond Meal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan + GF) from Minimalist Baker →

Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spelt

Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spelt | @naturallyella

I was slow to warm up to spaghetti squash. I had fallen in love with the smooth texture of acorn and butternut squash. Spaghetti squash was different and highly unappealing. However, my thoughts have changed and I now like to use the unique texture to my advantage. This twice baked spaghetti squash is a little on the time consuming side of cooking but it’s a great alternative when you’re not feeling mac and cheese. Cook the spelt and squash ahead of time, this will greatly speed up dinner! Read more and see the recipe.

The post Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spelt appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Quinoa Gado-Gado Bowl (30 Minutes!)

Quinoa Gado-Gado Bowl (30 Minutes!)

We’ve nearly made it through January (!), and I don’t know about you, but my body is still craving vegetable-rich, healthy entrées.

One of my easy, go-to meals is gado-gado – a traditional Indonesian dish we discovered when we went to Bali way back in 2013. The concept is simple: rice topped with raw or lightly steamed veggies and a spicy peanut sauce.

That’s my kind of meal (and you better believe I ate plenty during our trip).

Quinoa Gado-Gado Bowl (30 Minutes!) from Minimalist Baker →

Chili Lentils over Sweet Potatoes

Chili Lentils over Sweet Potatoes | @naturallyella

There’s a small sandwich shop in my hometown that is a staple. The food isn’t anything special but the tradition around the restaurant is there. Half the menu consists of loaded potatoes smothered with meats, nacho cheese, steamed vegetables, and of course, chili. I’ve made chili loaded fries before but these chili lentils are a bit easier and just as delicious. Make sure you find or make a solid chili powder- it’s the foundation for the entire meal. Read more and see the recipe.

The post Chili Lentils over Sweet Potatoes appeared first on Naturally Ella.

How To Make the Creamy, Toasted Coconut Milk of Your Dreams

Let me start by saying, if you already make your own nut milks at home, you have to try this. I mean – walk to your kitchen, turn the oven dial, and get some coconut in there. You have to trust me here. I started making homemade toasted coconut milk a few months ago, and it has become one of my favorite things. It’s creamy, rich, nutty, and intense. I enjoy it immensely on its own, and as an ingredient in other preparations as well. It’s a real flavor punch. Imagine all the ways you can use it to make some of your favorite preparations even better. It’s great in chai tea, in morning oatmeal, baked oatmeal(!). You can use it in a wild range of sweet preparations, but it’s also good as a way to add a little je ne sais quoi, to broths, soups, and weeknight curries.

You can see how it comes together in a video of the process here, and you can find the recipe down below, as well as a few notes. Let me know if you make it, and if you do, please let me know how you’re using it!

A couple notes. If you want to totally geek out on this, play around with the toastiness of your coconut. If you toast coconut deeply, you’re going to have a different profile than a more lightly toasted coconut. I tend to ride the dark side of the spectrum, but it’s wild the difference between a milk made with lightly toasted versus dark. Both delicious, just different.

Toasted Coconut Milk

Toasted Coconut Milk

Also, like all pure coconut milk, it will separate. And it solidifies in the refrigerator. Use it as you would canned coconut milk, and expect it to behave similarly (i.e. you might need to warm it up a bit, and give it a good stir before using)…

Continue reading How To Make the Creamy, Toasted Coconut Milk of Your Dreams…

Simple Vegan Potato Salad

Simple Vegan Potato Salad

Sometimes, you just need a classic. Today is one of those days.

Say hello to my vegan-ized version of potato salad. Creamy, savory, and hearty, it requires just 10 ingredients. What’s not to love?

This potato salad is made with red potatoes – my favorite – for the ultimate potato salad texture. (Yellow potatoes tend to get too soft + I love the red skin for a pop of color.)

Fresh, chopped vegetables – I went with bell pepper, celery, and onion – add plenty of crunch and plant-based fiber.

Simple Vegan Potato Salad from Minimalist Baker →

Smoked Paprika Potato Spinach Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

Smoked Paprika Potato Spinach Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese | @naturallyella

Click around the site and you can get a feel for my food likes and dislikes. Mushrooms and tofu are limited while sweet potatoes and quinoa are featured nearly once a week. Smoked paprika is another flavor I use quite a bit. It’s smoky, earthy, and sweet all at the same time. The potatoes soak up this flavor and the blue cheese is such a sharp contrast that it works well wit the smoky flavor. One note: make your blue cheese dressing. It’s easy and so much better than the store-bought dressings. Read more and see the recipe.

The post Smoked Paprika Potato Spinach Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Black Lentil & Vegetable Bolognese

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Pavarotti’s “Nessun Dorma” (none shall sleep) is blasting on repeat in my headphones. But it’s the opposite case here. All the children are finally asleep and while Luise is taking care of the dishes, I’m trying to channel my inner Italian so we can publish this recipe before another year has passed. We wrote our last blog post in Copenhagen and this one is brought to you from a house we are borrowing, on the slope of the Table Mountains in Cape Town, South Africa. If we keep this trend of travelling south for every post, we will be writing the next one on Antarctica.

It feels a little weird writing about these comforting and wintery pasta bowls from here, but I’m trusting that Pavarotti will help me channelling my inner Italian and get me in the right mood. It’s summer in South Africa, we’ve got lemon trees growing in the garden, there is a small pool, a cute kitchen and Elsa and Isac are keeping occupied by throwing grapes at each other. In short, we are very happy and grateful to spend a month here. Apart from the children’s fights, the scene is vastly different from two weeks ago when we shot this recipe. Isac had pneumonia, Elsa and Gabriel were snoring with colds and we were all cozied up (or more like stuck) in our Stockholm apartment – pale, tired and gloomy, surrounded by cold winter. The only thing we craved then were simple and comforting pasta dishes like this. It’s perhaps not one of our most unique recipe ideas but it is January food at its best, so we thought it might be something you’d also be interested in trying.

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We often make a kids pasta sauce that contains tomatoes, grated carrot, grated zucchini and red lentils. As it simmers, the lentils dissolve into the tomato sauce and it all becomes quite sweet and smoothly textured. It’s a simple way to sneak extra nutrients in a meal that our kids always are happy to eat.

This is a slightly more adult approach on that dish. The sauce has more texture and chunks and a deeper flavour from herbs and red wine. We use black lentils as they stay intact in the sauce. The lentils work as replacement for the meat in the classic bolognese ragu – they both add protein and have a nice and soft, chewy consistency. We combine chopped and grated carrots to get a mix of textures.

You can of course add more veggies if you prefer. We kept it simple and used what we had at home because of sick kids and cold weather, but also because it is what Italians do. “Pochi ingredienti, tanto tempo” (few ingredients, long cooking time) is an Italian expression that I just invented, but I’m pretty sure Pavarotti would agree. Simple cooking with great ingredients is key in the Italian kitchen. However, if you have some mushrooms or an eggplant/aubergine at home, either of them would work excellent in this recipe as well as they add meaty texture to the dish and make it even more vegetable packed.

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Vegetarian Bolognese
Serves 4-6

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 large carrots, peeled
2 sticks celery, rinsed

4 tbsp green olives, stones removed and slightly bruised
1 tbsp fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tbsp fresh oregano, rosemary or marjoram (or 1 tsp dried)
125 ml / ½ cup red wine
100 g / ½ cup uncooked beluga lentils (or puy), rinsed
400 ml / 1 ½ cup vegetable stock (or water)
2 bay leaves
2 x 400 g / 14 oz tins crushed tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
pasta of choice (we used a lentil flour spaghetti)
vegetarian parmesan style cheese
fresh parsley
olive oil

Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Meanwhile, chop one of the carrots and the celery into 1 cm / 1/2 inch chunks and add them to the pan along with olives and dried herbs (if using). Let soften for a couple of minutes, add the red wine and let cook until the alcohol evaporates. Add lentils, half of the vegetable stock, bay leaves, tinned tomatoes, fresh herbs (if using) salt and pepper. Grate the remaining carrot and add it as well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked, stirring from time to time as not to burn the base of the sauce. Add the remaining stock or water, little by little, to loosen the sauce whenever it is looking dry.

Cook your pasta of choice. Serve the sauce stirred through the pasta, topped with a sprinkling of grated cheese, fresh parsley or other herbs and a drizzle of oil.

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PS. We will share some photos and tips from Cape Town in our next post, but meanwhile you can see some snapshots on instagram.

30-Minute Chocolate Donuts (Vegan + GF)

30-Minute Chocolate Donuts (Vegan + GF)

Did you know there’s been a donut pan saga in our home?

I’ve been contemplating making baked donuts for the blog since the very beginning, but I always had a hard time justifying a donut pan when my recipes require just standard, minimal equipment. I don’t even own a stand mixer! Yes, I take this minimalist stuff seriously.

Fast forward nearly 5 years and practically everyone has a donut pan – except me.

30-Minute Chocolate Donuts (Vegan + GF) from Minimalist Baker →