13 Vegetarian Holiday Main Dishes

13 Vegetarian Holiday Main Dishes | Naturally Ella

As I get older, holiday dinners become a bit of an “oh no, it’s three days away” affair. We keep our dinners small, but still delicious. In honor of my procrastination, I wanted to share 13 vegetarian holiday main dishes that can satisfy all your guests. For many years, I’d always make a quiche as the main but over the years I’ve done everything from stuffed squash to hearty stews. We’re non-traditionalist and I kind of like it that way.



These are some of my favorite, standard holiday recipes. As I mentioned above, quiche is an easy go-to (that reheats well for breakfast the next day). Also, the butternut squash shell recipe is a sure-win. What’s not to love about pasta, cheese, and squash?



Jerk Roasted Kuri Squash with Bulgur Salad | Naturally Ella

While I tend towards the quiche, I’ve also done my fair-share of vegan main dishes. I find squash, having a hearty flavor and the ability to serve in large pieces, works well as a main. I like the idea of having a fork/knife meal and vegetable ‘steaks’ work well for this (like the celeriac recipe below.)



Whole Roasted Tikka Masala Cauliflower | Naturally Ella

Inevitably you will probably have one gluten-free person at the table. I like to make a dish that is vegetarian by default but also happens to be gluten-free. These are the recipes people love because they are so full of flavor, even the meat eaters will grab a few bites.


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Instant Pot Chickpea Cauliflower Korma

Today’s recipe is a fantastic mash-up of sorts. It’s an Insta-friendly riff on the Chickpea Cauliflower Korma recipe in Jennifer Iserloh’s The Healing Slow Cooker. I paired it with the high-impact Indian-spiced Simmer Sauce from Coco Morante’s The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook. If you have a simmer sauce on hand, whether it’s this aforementioned one, or a store-bought version you love, this couldn’t come together more quickly. It’s the perfect vehicle to get all sorts of goodness into your body in one, delicious sitting.

Instant Pot Chickpea Cauliflower Korma

I love this recipe because it’s absolutely packed with power ingredients, including a nice range of fragrant spices. I like to think I get a lot of spice in my diet, but I think the real key is integrating spice blends into lots of meals. Not just a few times a week, but daily. For example, the simmer sauce has coriander, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and whatever spices are in your garam masala blend. It’s how you shift from single notes to a chord.

Instant Pot Chickpea Cauliflower Korma

No problem if you don’t have an Instant Pot, a stovetop version is a breeze as well, and I’ll include guidelines for that down below!

Instant Pot Chickpea Cauliflower Korma

Side note – Another way to get a medley of spices and power-ingredients into your meals are pastes. That’s part of the reason I love strong curry pastes like this one, or a boosted miso paste like this one.

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160 Vegan Christmas Recipes!

160 Vegan Christmas Recipes!

Christmas is right around the corner so it’s the perfect time to share just a few (read 160) vegan recipes to make your holiday a little brighter – and tastier.

Behold, a delicious spread of breakfast ideas, appetizers, sides, entrées, and yes – always yes – desserts. We even shared a few drink ideas to cozy up with by the fire.

These recipes make delicious offerings for holiday meals and gatherings, but they would also make greats!

160 Vegan Christmas Recipes! from Minimalist Baker →

Cinnamon & Hazelnut Dusted Brussels Sprout Salad


Well this feels a bit weird. Writing about winter food in the middle of the night from a cute little house with a tiny swimmingpool in warm and humid Bali, Indonesia. We decided to skip Christmas this year and instead bring the kids on a sort of honeymoon holiday, so we left Stockholm last week and will stay here in Bali for a couple of more weeks. We’re mostly airbnb-ing around the island and have already experienced lots of beautiful places, monsoon down pours mixed with sunshine, excellent tempeh (and crunchy sweet tempeh), creepy insects and countless fruit platters and smoothie bowls. Traveling with three kids is definitely trickier than just one or two but we’re learning to adapt. And at the end of each day it still feels so rewarding seeing the world with them and talking about all the funny and weird travel related subjects that pop-up in their heads. Several years ago we wrote a blog post (and a chapter in our travel book) about traveling with kids and we’re thinking about writing an updated version with more guidelines and tips that we’ve picked up as our crew has grown. Let us now if you’d be interested in that.

But enough about that now. The goal of the day was simply to share this little salad before Christmas is over. I realize that it’s a little late and many of you have already planned your holiday menu. But if you happen to be searching for a side dish that also could work as a main salad and is both pretty and damn tasty, you should give this one a try. We made this recipe a couple of times in the weeks before we left. Crunchy roasted brussels sprouts have always been a popular dish in our house but what we’ve done lately is adding coconut chips to the tray and also dust everything cinnamon and finely chopped hazelnuts which adds a super nice nuttiness to the dish. Dried apricots add sweetness and chewiness, lentils make it more filling and blood orange more festive and fresh. We serve this salad with a simple yogurt dressing but you can skip that if you want to make it vegan. Or drizzle with tahini instead. We love this little dish and hope you will too.

That’s it. The last post of the year. Have a wonderful holiday with lots of good food and we’ll be back in the beginning of January with more recipes, videos, anecdotes, maybe some Bali photos and what not. Thank you for following along! Hugs and kisses.
– David, Luise and the kids.


Brussels Sprouts & Blood Orange Salad

500 g brussels sprouts
olive oil or coconut oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
sea salt & pepper
1 handful coconut flakes / chips

100 g / 1/2 cup uncooked black lentils
500 ml / 2 cups water, to cook
olive oil to drizzle
salt and pepper
1/2 lemon, juice

2 blood oranges
1 handful dried apricot
1 handful hazelnuts
1 cup natural yoghurt
1/2 lemon, juice
1 large handful fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.

Trim bottom of brussels sprouts and cut them in halves. Place in a bowl, drizzle with a few tablespoons oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and salt and toss to cover all. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until they are soft, golden and have crispy edges. A few minutes before the brussels sprouts are done, take out the tray and scatter over a handful of coconut chips, drizzle with oil and cinnamon and place the tray back in the oven and roast until golden.

Meanwhile, prepare the lentils. Place rinsed lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes, check the exact time depends on your the specific type lentils. They should be soft and chewy, not mushy. Pour into a sieve to remove any excess water. Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Peel and slice the blood oranges, chop the dried apricots and finely chop the toasted hazelnuts. Place the yogurt in a small bowl and stir in lemon juice, chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste

Arrange the roasted brussels sprouts and coconut chips on a serving platter together with the lentils. Add sliced blood oranges and scatter with dried apricot and hazelnut dust. Finely add dollops of yogurt sauce and chopped parsley.

Instant Pot Indian-spiced Simmer Sauce

I’m slipping this incredibly fragrant and feisty Indian-spiced simmer sauce in here this morning in preparation for a recipe I’m going to post tomorrow (I’ll put the link here when it’s ready). This tomato-based, ginger-slammed, garam masala-boosted simmer sauce is a riff on Coco Morante’s version in The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook, and I suspect it will become a staple sauce for many of you. The recipe makes about six cups of sauce – perfect for using some, refrigerating some, freezing some. And no worries if you don’t have an Instant Pot, I suspect a stovetop, or even a slow cooker version of it would be equally wonderful. I use it as the base of the recipe I’ll post tomorrow, but I’ve also used it this week on a cauliflower pizza crust, along with a sprinkling of chickpeas, and a bit of paneer for Indian-spiced pizzas (quick lunch), and I’m going to use it on a garlicky, whole wheat crust tonight for dinner. It’s nice as a sandwich spread, a dipping sauce for broiled broccoli, or for chana masala. Generally speaking, it’s just flat out delicious, and you’ll have no trouble thinking of clever ways to use it up. If you make some some today, I promise you won’t regret having it on hand to make quick work of tomorrow’s recipe. Consider it a homework assignment! 😉

Instant Pot Indian-spiced Simmer Sauce

I made a few tweaks to Coco’s recipe. I used fire-roasted tomatoes because I thought it’d give the sauce some nice depth, and it’s what I had on hand. Fantastic. Also, I slashed the pressure release time way down, opting for ten minutes of natural pressure release, because the extra 15 minutes seemed like too long for me to wait for something that smelled as good as this did! Enjoy!

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Golden-crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu

In the April 1998 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine there was a recipe for Sesame Asparagus and Tofu. I ripped it out, cooked it a hundred times in the twenty years since, and still have the clipping. My technique has evolved a bit, and I like to use the seeded tofu component on (and in) all sort of things – grain bowls, wraps, or to top a plate of grilled vegetables. But, it’s also perfect paired simply with boiled (or grilled!) asparagus or broccoli, or served over blanched green beans, as pictured here. A smear of favorite chile oil, or a shower of sliced scallions seals the deal.

Golden-crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu

A couple of tips! Be sure to use extra-firm tofu. Also, play around a bit. I call for sesame seeds here, but like to add hemp seeds to the mix on occasion as well.

Golden-crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu

Golden-crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu

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Savory Steel Cut Oats w/ Browned Mushrooms

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company, but all opinions are our own. We know what you’re thinking. Mushrooms. Oatmeal. Really? Yes, really. It’s true. Mushrooms might not be something that comes to mind when you think about a bowl of oatmeal. But we’re here to make a case for why they […]

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Saucy Moroccan-Spiced Lentils

Saucy Moroccan-Spiced Lentils

Lentils know no bounds. They’re the perfect high-protein, high-fiber food that take on just about any flavor you add to them. And speaking of flavor, I love spices. I felt inspired by the flavors of Morocco by this dish. Think paprika, turmeric, coriander, and pepper.

If you’re into saucy, smoky lentils, this recipe is for you. Let me show you how!

This 30-minute recipe starts with cooking your lentils.

Saucy Moroccan-Spiced Lentils from Minimalist Baker →

My Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017

I never really know how a recipe is going to be received until I put it out into the world. Some pop unexpectedly, finding their way into your kitchens in no time. Others are destined to quietly hang out in the archives without much fanfare. Either way, it’s always fun for me to look back on the previous year and make a list of the most popular recipes. It helps me understand what is resonating with you, and it helps me plan for the year to come. There were a few surprises in here (tortillas!), and some no-brainers, like the Last Minute Red Lasagna. Taking a moment like this also gives me a chance to ask what you’d like to see more of in 2018? A good number of you were interested in healthful, vegetarian Instant Pot recipes, that was part of what inspired me to get one and start playing around (curiously fun and surprising!). What else are you excited about? Or what are you already seeing here, that you’d like to see more of. Many thanks in advance. I’ve said it a hundred times, but the most inspiring part of having this site is seeing the recipes make the jump to you. xx! -h

Here we go – the ten most popular recipes of 2017!

1. Vibrant Vegan Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl (101 Cookbooks)
A favorite Buddha bowl made with seven ingredients on green overdrive. You double up on broccoli through a coconut green curry pesto and florets, then toss with a quinoa base. Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

2. Instant Pot Mushroom Stroganoff with Vodka (101 Cookbooks)
A late, but definitive, contender. This was a fast favorite. Made with caraway-spiked vodka, and a hearty mushroom base, you get all of what you love about mushroom stroganoff, without the all the butter and cream. Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

3. Spicy Tahini Noodles with Roasted Vegetables (101 Cookbooks)
Noodles tossed with a quick sauce, topped with an abundance of vegetables, and kissed with chile feistiness courtesy of the condiment shelf. Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

4. An Excellent, One-pan, Protein-packed Power Pasta (101 Cookbooks)
One-pot meals are the savior of weeknight cooking, and this pasta is a go-to. It’s pasta and lentils simmered in crushed tomatoes, finished with lots of chopped kale, saffron, swirls of tahini and chopped almonds. Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

5. Homemade Tortillas, plus Five Ways to Boost Them (101 Cookbooks)
A taco night game-changer, and so so so fast and easy. Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

6. Last Minute Red Lasagna (101 Cookbooks)
I think people responded to this because it is a true weeknight lasagna. No pre-cooking sauces, no pre-cooking noodles. You, literally, stir the first five ingredients together into a vibrant crushed tomato sauce, and start layering. Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

7. Instant Pot Minestrone Soup (101 Cookbooks)
The second of two Instant Pot recipes on the list. You start with dried beans and go from there. No need to use mushy canned beans (and then cook them even more).A standby, if you have an IP. Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

8. Quick Vegan Enchiladas with Sweet Potato Sauce (101 Cookbooks)
Knock-out delicious, in the oven in less that ten minutes, and a healthful alternative to all the heavy cheese versions out there. With black beans, sweet potatoes, and a stealthy turmeric boost.Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

9. Healthful Double Chocolate Cookies (101 Cookbooks)
And rounding out the list with some sweets & treats. A nut-free (school-friendly), double chocolate version of one of the most popular cookies on my site. Made with a banana-batter, shredded coconut, dark chocolate chunks, and oats. Butter-less, flour-less, egg-less, and potentially sugar-less cookies make great after school, travel, or post-workout treats. Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

10. One Bowl Banana Bread (101 Cookbooks)
Everyone needs a great banana bread recipe. This is the one you want if you’re craving classic banana bread flavor and texture, but want as little mess, drama, and equipment as possible. It’s the laziest, one bowl banana bread I know, still with big pay-off. Get the recipe here.

Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2017 on 101 Cookbooks

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