Cilantro Sweet Potato Tostadas

Cilantro Sweet Potato Tostadas with Mashed Black Beans | Naturally Ella

Ever since having a child, I’ve noticed small changes in the way I cook. For the most part, Mack eats everything that we do (sans most salt). He polished off these chili lentils, this barley risotto, and even this lentil pilaf (much to my surprise).

The small changes come in individual items, like mashed sweet potatoes. Mack loves sweet potatoes which results in a large quantity on hand, ready to eat. These sweet potato tostadas were born out of leftover mashed sweet potatoes. The combination with the crispy tortilla and spiced black beans makes for the perfect dinner.

Read more and see the recipe.

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Coconut Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is one of my signature breakfast and brunch moves, for all the typical reasons. Make ahead, check. Adaptable, check. Many five year olds love it, and most forty year olds too. Check, check. There are versions of it in my last two books, and I’m constantly riffing on the general concept based on what is in season, and what I have on hand. This version is extra special – banana, coconut, vanilla, coconut milk, and some winter citrus, all baked into fragrant, golden-topped magic. The concept couldn’t be simpler. In fact, I suspect many of you have everything you need on hand right now. Butter your baking dish, layer of fruit, top with dry ingredients, finish with wet ingredients. Bake. The secret wink I included in this version is a final drizzle of warm coconut milk accented with a splash of rose water.

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Coconut Baked Oatmeal Recipe

Coconut Baked Oatmeal Recipe

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Our 3 Favorite Quick Treats

Cottage cheese with apple and ginger honey

Our daughter’s school teacher sent along a pale blue little text book for her to draw and write in during our recent trip to Cape Town. Considering that Elsa’s previous writing experiences mostly consisted of scribbling random letters from the alphabet and signing her drawings (often reversed), we honestly didn’t expect this journal to be anything more than a sketch book. But to our surprise, she filled the pages with both drawings and sentences about her days. She is no Donna Tartt just yet. Her letters look a little wonky, she spells words exactly as they sound and writes without space between (so it all looks like a long hashtag): ”weesaasharkindeseetodey”. But regardless of how much or little that happened every day, she found something to write about, she tried her best to get the spelling right and she filled that book with memories.

The connection I am trying to make here is that this blog is Luise’s and my journal. And we have been bad at filling it lately – with memories and recipes. Ever since the children outnumbered us, it has been difficult to write. Not only due to lack of time and sleep, but we’ve also been looking for meaning, relevance and motivation. We have been doing this for more than seven years now and I have personally come to a point where I want everything to be so damn perfect every time that I often get stuck in this circle of “this is not good enough”But seeing Elsa’s journal made me realise that we don’t always need the grandest of recipes or ideas. Sometimes a simple 5-minute snack or treat can be good enough.

Okay, I don’t really think one snack is good enough. So we are actually sharing three today!

These recipes are all great options when you need a late afternoon pick-me-up, a post workout treat or simple Tuesday dessert. Although different in their execution, they can all be made in a breeze and all of them also happen to include tahini. If you haven’t tried tahini with sweet flavours before, consider this your lucky day. It’s the bombest flavour combo!

First up, easy but epic stuffed dates.

gks_stuffed_dates

I shared these stuffed dates on instagram a few weeks ago, calling them ugly delicious. Although a lot of people seemed to think that they weren’t ugly, I still argue that this isn’t a very glamorous dish. Frozen raspberries, grated ginger and tahini, mashed into soft dates is preferably something that is enjoyed under dim light in front of a tv series. Unhulled tahini is excellent for this dish because of it’s richer tones. And if you’ve got a dark chocolate bar (70-80%) lying around, you can break it up and cram small pieces of chocolate into the date along with the other ingredients. It’s probably the quickest and easiest sweet firework your mouth will ever experience.

Tahini & Berry Stuffed Dates
Makes 10

10 soft dates
1 tsp fresh ginger
3 tbsp tahini (preferably unhulled), almond butter or nut butter of choice

20 fresh or frozen raspberries
a handful desiccated coconut
dark chocolate (optional)

Open up all the dates, discard the stones and place the dates on a plate. Grate the ginger over the dates and then fill them with approx 1/2-1 tsp tahini per date and two slightly mashed raspberries (and a small piece of chocolate, if using). Top with a scattering of desiccated coconut. Indulge.

Berry_tahini_smoothie

We obviously think smoothies are the ultimate quick treat, having written a whole book about them. They are easy to make, easy to improvise and easy to like. This recipe is not from the book but it combines many of our favorite smoothie ingredients mentioned in the book into one master smoothie which we often make in family size and portion out in mini bottles. Berries are always great in smoothies being low on sugar and high on freshness. Avocado and banana makes it exceptionally creamy. Dates add a caramel tone and cardamom, ginger and tahini blasts the flavours. Depending on the tartness of your berries, a squeeze of lime or lemon can also be good in this.

Berry & Tahini Smoothie
2 large glasses

1 banana
1/2 avocado
2-3 soft dates
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp tahini
1 cup / 150 g frozen raspberries and blackberries
1 cup oat milk or other plant milk

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix on high speed until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavour, add more ginger, tahini or cardamom if needed. Add more milk if it feels too thick. Pour into two large glasses or bottles and enjoy right away or store in the fridge with a lid on.

Cottagecheese_gingerhoney_apple

On a recent car ride from Copenhagen to Stockholm, Luise picked up a snack pack of cottage cheese with topping. It is not something we often buy but it tasted pretty good and we started talking about making our own version of it, adding lots of crunch and more freshness along with the sweetness. The combination of cottage cheese and yogurt is creamy, fluffy, tangy and rich in protein and has become one of our favourite post workout meals lately. We serve it with some chopped apples on top, an easy crunchy topping of toasted buckwheat groats and nuts and top it all with a syrup made of honey, fresh ginger, cardamom and tahini. The syrup should taste quite strong of ginger to contrast the cheese and it’s really what makes this dish special, but if you are not a fan of ginger, use the lesser amount. If you’ve got a jar of our Ginger & Turmeric Honey Bomb at home, that can be used instead.

Cottage Cheese with Apple, Honey Ginger Syrup and Crunch
Serves 2 (hungry people) or 4 (as a snack)

1/4 cup / 50 g buckwheat groats
1/4 cup / 35 g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup / 250 g cottage cheese
1/2 cup / 125 ml plain thick yogurt (turkish or greek style yogurt)
1 large apple
1 1/2-2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp tahini
1/2–1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Dry toast buckwheat groats, hazelnuts and salt in a skillet or sauce pan on medium heat for approx 10 minutes, stir every now and then. While it’s toasting, divide the cottage cheese on two plates or four bowls. Discard the core from the apple and chop it in roughly 1/2 inch / 1 cm pieces. Scatter the apple pieces over the cottage cheese. When the buckwheat and nuts smell fragrant and look golden, turn off the heat and scatter it over the cottage cheese and apple. Without rinsing the skillet/saucepan, use the after-heat in the pan to stir together tahini, honey, ginger and cardamom – it only need a little heat to combine easily. Drizzle generously over the two plates and finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Dive in!

Kale Chip Nachos (30 Minutes!)

Kale Chip Nachos (30 Minutes!)

I used to make these nachos all the time as a “single lady dinner” on nights spent by myself or with girlfriends who were also into “hippie dippy” meals. Where my fellow hippies at? (Raise your hands!)

I love this meal because it’s healthy, satisfying, and comes together so quickly! Plus, Mexican food for the win. Let’s make nachos, shall we?

These nachos are simple, requiring just 7 ingredients and 30 minutes to prepare!

Kale Chip Nachos (30 Minutes!) from Minimalist Baker →

Vegetarian Comfort Food Recipes

Vegetarian Comfort Food Recipes | Naturally EllaI like to think that the vegetarian comfort food I make is a direct mashup of my midwestern upbringing and my current California state of mind. They are meals that are (or feel) rich and are rooted in many recipes I knew as a kid. However, the recipes are heavy on fresh produce. The result is a list of vegetarian comfort food recipes that can please an entire family but pack a good amount of nutrients. Below is just the beginning of what’s in the archives. The good news? A lot of these are family favorites that even my little guy with eat.

Pasta

I have a major pet peeve when it comes to pasta served at restaurants. The bowl arrives only to see there’s just a speckle of vegetables lost among a see of pasta. My equation for pasta is usually 1/2 vegetables, 1/2 noodles. If you have the time, I recommend trying your hand at homemade pasta. There’s also a few companies making some lovely pasta from locally grown grains- look for these at your local Co-op or Whole Foods.

 

Polenta

Cheesy Millet Polenta with Roasted Asparagus

I have a major weakness for a giant bowl of cheesy, creamy polenta. It’s a perfect base for a pile of roasted vegetables and occasionally a fried or poached egg. Polenta comes in different grinds of coarseness and I typically like a medium or coarser grind. The result is a polenta that has a bit more texture. One of my favorites is the organic polenta from Bob’s.

Read more and see all the recipes.

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Cracked Einkorn Porridge with Stewed Blood Oranges

Cracked Einkorn Porridge with Stewed Blood Oranges | Naturally Ella

Having grains in your pantry gives you an arsenal of ingredients to use. One grain can be used in many different forms. For example, einkorn is a delightfully chewy whole grain that also makes a beautiful wheat flour. However, I like the in-between state. A state where the whole grain is pulsed in a high-speed blender until the majority of grains have cracked, like in this cracked einkorn porridge. The cracked grains bring the texture while the flour helps thicken the porridge. I use a similar technique to make polenta out of millet. Master cracking grains at home and you can have endless breakfast porridges.

Read more and see the recipe.

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1-Bowl Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins (GF)

1-Bowl Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins (GF)

Remember those Vegan Banana Nut Muffins I made recently? If not, you should make them. Like, STAT.

Well, as I was writing the post, I realized I had yet to make my second favorite flavor of muffin in gluten-free form. That had to change, obviously.

Spoiler alert: It totally worked and they’re totally delicious.

This is another 1-bowl recipe! It also requires simple ingredients you likely have on hand right now.

1-Bowl Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins (GF) from Minimalist Baker →

Tandoori Cauliflower Wrap

Tandoori Cauliflower Wrap with Feta-Yogurt Spread | Naturally Ella

Post sponsored by Flatout Flatbread. See below for more details.

I’ve not been shy about how important I feel vegetarian cooking and spice go together. While I love a simple roasted vegetable tossed with olive oil and salt, there’s also something to be said for a vegetable that is heavily spiced. This tandoori cauliflower is a good example. The tandoori spice mix relies on an equal mix of cumin, coriander, and paprika- all of which make a lovely companion for the cauliflower. Paired with the feta-yogurt and this could easily eat the cauliflower just dipped in the yogurt spread! Make a batch of the cauliflower on the weekend to use with eggs in the morning or this wrap for lunch.

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Make Ahead Vegan Samosa Shepherd's Pie

This recipe uses a number of my favorite techniques: mashing, slathering, and drizzling. Imagine a Shepherd’s pie meeting the flavors of an Indian samosa. That’s where we’re headed. Shepherd’s pies are typically lamb or meat based, but this is a veg-friendly version. You make a hearty, flavor-packed, vegan base using split peas (or lentils), chopped mushrooms, spices, and crushed tomatoes. Layer this under a thick slather of mashed potatoes and baked until the top is golden and a bit crusted. If I know the week ahead is going to be a crusher, I’ll assemble everything over the weekend, and all I have to do is pop it in the oven a bit later in the week. Give it a go, this has been on repeat all winter.

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I forget to mention this in the video, but you can certainly create smaller, individual pies – they’re cute, and people love getting their own. And you can absolutely swap in sweet potatoes, just give them a quick peel first.

Make Ahead Vegan Samosa Shepherd's Pie

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