Bulgur Lentil Ragu with Parsnip-Rutabaga Mash

Bulgur Lentil Ragu with Parsnip-Rutabaga Mash | Naturally Ella

I will start out saying I’m a bit hesitant to call this ragu given there’s no meat and it’s not served on pasta. And yet, here I am, calling it lentil ragu primarily because it’s the closest thing to describe this bulky sauce. Traditional ragu is made using stewed meats but do a quick search and you will see that most people use lentils for a solid vegetarian substitute. I took this and went one step more by adding bulgur.

My favorite vegetarian chili uses bulgur. It’s a perfect way to bulk up a meal with a meat-like replacement. Is it the same as a traditional ragu? Not even close. And yet, it’s delicious in it’s own way. The red lentils breakdown to form a thick sauce base and the bulgur is really the star. Don’t plan on using other lentils- the split red lentils work best.

Read more and see the recipe.

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Pumpkin & Kale Salad + Just Married!

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Hey guess what, we just got married! In a beautiful greenhouse in Rosendal’s Garden in Stockholm, surrounded by our closest family and friends (+ ALL their kids) and accompanied by live jazz music and gorgeous food. Even though I proposed to Luise in the back of a campervan on New Zealand almost three years ago, we pulled this wedding together – from idea to ”I do” – in less than five weeks. With three young kids, constantly overflowing mailboxes and an unhealthy always-need-to-be-in-control tendency, we realized that if we don’t do a quick and spontaneous wedding, we probably won’t get hitched until we are retired. So instead of our dream wedding going on for three days and nights in the Italian country side, we aimed for an informal and cosy autumn gathering in one of our favorite Stockholm locations. It turned out so much better than we could ever have hoped for and we are now officially mr and mrs.

We let the chefs at Rosendal take care of all the food (which was a huge relief). Our only instructions for the lunch buffet (lunch is much easier if you want friends with kids to attend) was that we wanted hearty salads and food roughly in line with our own philosophy. Typically, we didn’t get any photos of the whole buffet table, but there were roasted vegetables, butter tossed potato and chanterelles, slaw with pickled mustard seeds, hummus, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, a goat’s cheese salad with shredded beets, herb sauces and lots and lots of cake. All seasonal and local, pretty decorated with fruit and flowers. And so good!

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Another salad that they prepared was made with roasted pumpkin, cavolo nero and buckwheat and we have recreated our own version of it here below. We never got the exact recipe from the chef so this is a pretty loose interpretation of how we remembered it (after a couple of glasses of champagne). So we are sharing that today, along with a few snaps that David’s sister took at the wedding. Forget everything I’ve previously stated about marriage. This was fun! And I feel damn fortunate to marry the most beautiful woman I know.

Lots of love from us!

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The kids were more interested in the fireplace than the camera …

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This is a gorgeous and rustic recipe perfect for this season. It would also be ideal for Christmas, maybe with some cinnamon added to the dressing. One of the things we really love about this is that you don’t need to peel the pumpkin, just cut into wedges and you can even keep the seeds on. Some of the seeds might get a little burnt but the one hanging on to the slices add a nice crunch. We cover the pumpkin wedges in dressing both before and after roasting to give them a delicious coating.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Cavolo Nero & Buckwheat
Serves 4

1 Hokkaido squash, Kent pumpkin or other small winter squash/pumpkin variety
200 g / 4 cups dinosaur kale (cavolo nero) or regular kale, thick stems removed 
1 cup / 250 ml / 170 g raw buckwheat groats, rinsed

Dressing
125 ml / 1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 lemons, juice + zest
1 cm / 1/2 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
Sea salt & pepper

To serve
Pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup / 75 g toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup / 150 g feta cheese

Set the oven to 200°C / 400°F fan mode. Divide the pumpkin in half and then cut it into wedges. Leave any seeds that are hanging on to the wedges and discard the rest. Stir together the dressing, taste adjust the flavors. Pour about half of it in a bowl and toss the pumpkin slices in it (keep the remaining dressing in the bowl). Place on a baking tray and roast for about 25-30 minutes. We like it a little burnt towards the edges. When roasted, carefully loosen the wedges from the tray and brush them with the remaining dressing in the bowl.

While the pumpkin is roasting, cook the buckwheat groats in 2 cups water for 7-8 minutes until soft but not mushy. Drain any remaining water and leave to cool off a bit. Add the remaining half of the dressing to a large bowl. Tear the kale leaves into smaller pieces, place in the bowl and use your hands to massage them until they soften up. Add the buckwheat to the bowl and toss so it’s all mixed. Arrange the kale and buckwheat on the tray (or a serving plate) together with the pumpkin wedges. Scatter with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and crumbled feta cheese. Enjoy!

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Wedding photos by Johanna Frenkel.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Hi everyone, I thought it might be helpful if I posted a round up a handful of a few of my favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipes. There are a bunch on the site that are inherently vegan and many more that can easily be made vegan with a minor tweak or two (which I’ll note in this list). I’ve also done a separate post for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes and suggestions as well. Also, here is where you can find a full directory of the vegan recipes on 101 Cookbooks throughout the year. Vegan Thanksgiving recipes:

Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts – A quick and easy brussels sprouts recipe that will convert the biggest skeptics. Vibrant green, tender brussels sprouts that become deeply golden and crusty where they touch the pan. Skip the Parmesan cheese finish to make it vegan.

Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Saffron Garlic Mashed Potatoes – These are incredible. Cloud-like potatoes drizzled with a saffron garlic olive oil, and topped with a toasted almond, coriander, sesame sprinkle. Simple, but with a enough of a twist to make them special. Use your favorite non-dairy milk, and olive oil for the vegan version – equally delicious!

Saffron Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Maple Grilled Tempeh – A fantastic salty-sweet grilled tempeh recipe. The marinade is made from a simple (but effective) combination of maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic and ground chipotle pepper.

Maple Grilled Tempeh Recipe

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Apples – Another favorite way to cook brussels sprouts. Shredded brussels sprout ribbons, apples, garlic, pine nuts, and tofu in a skillet with a hint of maple syrup.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Apples

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans – A favorite green bean recipe – dill, green beans, leeks, salt and olive oil. That’s it – five ingredients, one skillet – tasty green beans.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad – So tasty! Pretty, scalloped-edged cross-cuts of the delicata squash, a few small potatoes, chopped kale, radishes, Marcona almonds – and a bold miso harissa dressing.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad Recipe

Caramelized Tofu – One of my favorite tofu recipes, caramelized strips of tofu served over sauteed shredded brussels sprouts. It come together quickly and uses just one pan.

Caramelized Tofu Recipe

Hazelnut & Chard Ravioli Salad – I made this last year and it makes a great vegetarian main dish, you can make it vegan by using a vegan ravioli and omitting the Parmesan cheese. Plump raviolis tossed with toasted hazelnuts, sautéed ribbons of chard, and caramelized onions. It’s finished off with snipped chives, and lemon zest. You can prepare most of the components ahead of time.

Hazelnut & Chard Ravioli Salad

Broccoli Crunch – A great broccoli recipe, one of my favorites! Tiny green florets, crisp apples, crunchy shallots, candied nuts and slivered red onions are tossed in a barely sweet, creamy almond vinaigrette. Add baked tofu or pan-fried tempeh and you can easily turn this side into a main course.

Diana Henry’s Uzbeki Carrots – The most interesting carrot recipe I’ve attempted in a long time – infused with fragrant spices like saffron, cumin, and cinnamon. Punctuated by dried fruit, savory from caramelized onions and tomatoes, with spots of fresh, green herbaceousness from mint, and chiles, and cilantro. Things just get increasingly delicious from there. Use olive oil, and a sweetener other than honey, skip the optional yogurt, and it’s vegan.

Diana Henry's Uzbeki Carrots

Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup – This Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup couldn’t be easier to make – roasted winter squash, coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and sea salt come together in a pot of vibrant, rich, flavorful soup. Total crowd pleaser. Use coconut oil or olive oil in place of the butter in the beginning and it’s vegan.

Miso Sesame Winter Squash – Inspired by a Bryant Terry recipe – roasted winter squash (and tofu) with a miso, maple, sesame, citrus sauce.

Miso Sesame Winter Squash

Roasted Pumpkin Salad – A roasted pumpkin salad made with wild rice, tiny, caramelized red onions drizzled with a simple, creamy sunflower seed dressing. Use agave nectar in place of the honey in the dressing to make it vegan.

I’m going to leave the comments closed – with the idea that this is more of a reference post.

Continue reading Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes…

Nikki's Sweet Potatoes

Ten years ago, my friend Nikki shared this recipe with me. She described these sweet potatoes as a sweet potato mash, but with a twist – they get creaminess from a generous splash of coconut milk, crunch from toasted coconut and macadamias, and a kick from freshly grated ginger. For those of you who have been long-time readers, this is the same Nikki who took my site by storm when I posted her Healthy Cookie recipe forever ago. The same Nikki I’ve been friends with since she showed up in my sixth grade class, fresh from Los Angeles, wearing a Swatch watch and white Reebok hi-tops. Both things I’d never seen before. I know a good number of you love this recipe, so I popped off a few fresh photos the other day. The only tweaks I made to the recipe – baking the sweet potatoes without foil, and suggesting an (optional) finishing drizzle of lemon olive oil. It’s a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Enjoy the sweet potatoes! Miss you Nik!

Nikki's Sweet Potato Recipe

I think she hit the nail on the head when she told me she paired it with lots of garlicky, sautéed greens. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, but also an A+ option outside of the holiday as well.

Nikki's Sweet Potato Recipe

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Chipotle Butternut Squash Crepes with Cilantro Crema

Chipotle Butternut Squash Crepes with Cilantro Crema | Naturally Ella

Post sponsored by La Crema Wines. See below for more details.

With the time change, our weekday dinners become a bit cozier. It’s dark by the time we eat and the temperature has dipped to the point of craving a hot, filling meal every night. These butternut squash crepes have hit the spot numerous times recently. The slightly spicy squash is stuffed into cornmeal crepes and topped with a cilantro-crema. Paired with a lovely glass of La Crema Monterey Chardonnay– it’s a perfect, complete meal.

A couple notes: you can go one of two ways with the crema. If you can find Mexican crema at your grocery store, go that route. However, I know not every store stocks it and because of that, I’ve included a stand-in replacement. Either are delicious. Also, I’ve started making my own chipotles in adobo sauce with help from the recipe in Nopalito. This book is inspiring and I can highly recommend getting a copy.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Chipotle Butternut Squash Crepes with Cilantro Crema appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans

This is one of my favorite ways to cook green beans – five ingredients, one skillet. Now I know some of you are married to your traditional way of cooking green beans, but, if you are in the market for a new version, give this recipe a go. It is easy enough that you could conceivably do a test run before Thanksgiving if you like. I cook green beans a couple times a week during certain seasons, and this version with its slightly quirky combination of ingredients is one I come back to over and over. It is light and bright, healthy and delicious. I simply cook a bunch of chopped leeks (or scallions) until they are golden and a bit crunchy, toss in some chopped dill, and then add the green beans. Do your best to not overcook them and you’re all set.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

While I’ve written this recipe as more of a side dish – you can easily bump it up to main dish status. I sometimes use the dilled green beans to fill omelettes (along with a bit of goat cheese). Alternately, you might toss some tofu, tempeh or seitan into the skillet (sauteed until nicely browned or golden ahead of time) along with the green beans. Or you could make a main dish salad by serving the beans over lightly dressed butter lettuce. Plenty of directions to take this one.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

As I note in the head notes down below, this is best made to order, just before serving. I don’t like hot green beans after they’ve been sitting around for long periods of time – they lose vibrancy, and the texture and taste changes as they sit overcooking themselves. You can make this recipe a day ahead of time by cooking the leeks and dill first and setting them aside. And instead of cooking the green beans in the skillet, blanch them in a pot of boiling, well-salted water for about a minute. Drain and dunk the beans in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside until ready to use. Combine the components before serving – you can do it at room temperature, or heated quickly in a skillet or pan before serving.

And I think this goes without saying, but do your best to seek out good green beans. Good beans should be bright green and have a bit of snap when you bend them. Avoid leathery green beans – also avoid beans that are limp, mottled or outright mangy.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

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Fall Buddha Bowl w/ Cashew Red Coconut Sauce

Buddha bowls are one of the latest foodie trends and we’re totally feeling it. To celebrate the fall, we’re bringing you this Fall Buddha Bowl w/ Cashew Red Coconut Sauce. It’ll be the comfiest meal to come home to during a chilly fall day. And what’s best- the rich, creamy coconut sauce driz finish will […]

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