Raw Oreos

Raw Oreos

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so I couldn’t resist sharing another healthier dessert. You in?

This 7-ingredient recipe starts with blended nuts and is sweetened with dates! Coconut oil adds a little more moisture and “crunch” when chilled, and salt balances everything out. Oh, and don’t forget the cacao powder for that quintessential chocolate flavor. Swoon.

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Once you have your “dough,” it’s time to roll it out and cut it into shapes.

Raw Oreos from Minimalist Baker →

The Most Popular Recipe Last Month

I’m always quite a bit surprised to see which recipes pop the most throughout the month. And, it’s always fascinating to see which recipes end up being most popular. For example, looking back on last month, I was sure this Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts was going to be the lead contender, or at least get up there. But it barely made the top ten. Instead, have a look. Here are the top three recipe for January!

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Kahlua

1. Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Kahlua: This was the most popular recipe on 101 Cookbooks last month! The chili is Kahlua-spiked and combines chili powder and good dose of chipotle for depth of flavor. I’m guessing the weeknight-friendliness of the slow cooker in general was what put it in the top slot.

Instant Pot Dynamite Cold Tonic

2. Instant Pot Dynamite Cold Tonic: Coming in a close second was this head-clearing, sniffle-blasting tonic. It has flavor like a stick of ginger dynamite. Unfortunately, I think we can thank this year’s nasty cold and flu season its popularity. If you need to jolt a head cold into submission, consider starting here.

The Best Pizza Dough - Peter Reinhart's Napoletana Pizza Dough

3. The Best Pizza Dough: A classic from the archives! Peter Reinhart’s Napoletana Pizza Dough method. It is always delicious, and a great staple to have in your weeknight repertoire.

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Two-ingredient Candied Citrus Pops

Get ready. These are my new favorite thing, and I suspect they might end up being your favorite thing too. Imagine plump, juicy, citrus segments coated in thin, crunchy, sugar shells. You bite through the crust, and the citrus explodes with a wave of sweetness. It’s a concept I wish I’d thought of myself, but it’s actually a recipe by Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen, featured in Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook. Amanda was inspired by a street food vendor in Beijing. And, it’s funny, there is a beautiful photo of her grapefruit pops in the book, but it was her description of the street vendor, and the way his slices lit up the entire street that charmed me into trying them.

Candied Citrus Pops

A couple things to note before making these. It’s helpful to have a block of foam from a package, or the kind of foam you might use to arrange flowers. This helps your pops stay upright after you candy them. The other consideration is how hot to let the sugar get. Amanda recommends going to 275 – 300°F – or until the mixture is light brown. I like the pops that go a bit darker than that, you get a lot of caramel and molasses notes that play of the citrus in magical ways. The blood orange segments I did in the darkest sugar mixture were a complete revelation. But this is all personal preference, so experiment to figure out where you’d like to be on the spectrum. One last thing I’ll mention, if your mixture doesn’t get hot enough, the candy shell won’t set.

Candied Citrus Pops

I found the easiest citrus to deal with was anything easy to peel, with minimal seeds, and small to medium in size. Some of the grapefruits were tricky to peel and keep intact. Kishu mandarins, on the other hand, are a dream to work with (pictured). Play around – this is peak citrus season and this make for a dramatic snack, treat, or dessert!

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Einkorn and Soy-Mustard Dressing

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Einkorn and Soy-Mustard Dressing | Naturally Ella

During the later winter months, I start moving away from heavy meals. I crave simple, fresh meals. This einkorn salad has been a favorite of mine for years. I love the warmth of the einkorn paired with the Brussels. You could easily leave the Brussels raw and do more of a slaw- also delicious! I like using pre-cooked Einkorn berries since they take a bit of time to cook. You could also make this salad with quinoa (if you’re in a time pinch!)

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Einkorn and Soy-Mustard Dressing appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Green Falafel Bowl

No surprise, the cornerstone of this recipe is the golden-crusted, spinach falafel. If you look at the photo, you’ll see the pan-seared patties hanging out in the 5 o’clock position. They’re crusted, golden, browned on the outside, tender and lemon-flecked on the inside. They’re also packed with good-for-you spinach and chickpeas. I make them in big batches, freeze them, and eat them (allll the time) as snacks, or in bowls like these.

Green Falafel Bowl

That’s a long way of saying, if you have the falafel, you can pull together a pretty good snack or meal. It could be something along the lines of what you see here, or something different based on what you have on hand. I had some hummus in the fridge (a red beet version of this hummus), some kale, carrots, and cucumber that needed to be used, and some pita. Also, some herb stragglers. The pita and carrots went into the oven, I cooked the falafel in a skillet, and chopped up the rest. Let’s say you didn’t have any of that, but you did have some romaine, yogurt, and a garlic clove. You could do falafel lettuce wraps instead, smashing the garlic into a paste and adding it to the yogurt along with a bit of salt. Use that as your sauce. The name of the game here is adaptability.

Green Falafel Bowl

Cooking methods: Once you’ve formed the falafel you have a range of cooking options. If you smush them a bit, and pan-fry them in a bit of oil, you’ll get the best golden crust. Sometimes I bake them (450°F), also pretty-strong contender. I’ve even tested them in an Air-fryer, and they’re one of just a handful of things to exceed my expectations in it (7 minutes at 390°F, shake the basket, and do another 7 minutes).

Vegan version: I’ll note this in the recipe headnotes below as well. To make the falafel vegan, you can use flax “egg” (5 T. water + 2 T. ground flax seeds whisked together), and skip the cheese.

Green Falafel Bowl

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Naturally-Sweetened Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Naturally-Sweetened Vegan Chocolate Mousse

The day has arrived! My take on healthy (avocado-free) chocolate mousse is here. Let’s do this!

The base for this easy, 7-ingredient recipe is cocoa butter and cacao powder, which make a rich chocolate base when combined. Next comes coconut milk for creaminess and a little natural sweetness.

Then add dates for natural sweetness and even more thickness. Once it’s all blended, put it in the fridge to chill until firm and cold.

Naturally-Sweetened Vegan Chocolate Mousse from Minimalist Baker →

Chicory Soup & Camino Photos

As you drive south on Oakland’s Grand Avenue toward Lake Merritt, on the right hand side, you’ll notice a beautiful exposed brick building. Its lines are symmetrical, and the roof is tiled with waves of red terra-cotta. There are beautiful wood beams framing street-side windows expansive from sidewalk skyward. Camino is a special restaurant owned by chef Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain. It’s a place that tells you a lot about the two of them through a whole range of details – some loud, others more quiet. A wide open interior with long tables of family-style seating frames an open hearth where much of the cooking takes place. Camino is known for impeccably sourced ingredients made into meals prepared in open fire. It’s also known for having great style – you see it in everything from the food, to the cooking vessels, to the custom crown chandeliers, and the arches of hand-cut paper masks on the walls when I walked in the other night. Russ and Allison hosted a dinner at Camino last week to celebrate the release of Near & Far. They do this sort of thing on occasion, where they host an author, and bring people together for a meal related to a (typically) newly released cookbook title. For an author, it’s magic – to have a night where the Camino staff focuses on your recipes and cooking style, friends at every table.

Chicory Soup Recipe

So, I wanted to share a few things today. First, some photos from that evening. Second, a recipe for Chicory Soup. It is one of my favorite recipes from Near & Far, and it was one I was worried people might skip over. When I saw that Russ was going to do a version of it – so thrilled. It’s a brothy, restorative barley soup with chicories punctuated with flecks of preserved lemon, a bit of chile confetti, and a silky dollop of creme fraiche. I could eat it everyday with no complaints. Russ sources and likes to cook with Anson Mill’s whole farro piccolo, and did a version with that for the dinner. The flavor was so nice and pronounced. And you all know how much I like soba-yu (scroll forever)- whether you use barley or farro, this soup has some of that spirit woven in.

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xo to anyone who grabbed my camera and took photos that night while I was signing books. Mostly Wayne 😉 Also, hop on the Camino mailing list to be notified of future dinners – they’ve hosted some of my favorite people in the past including David Lebovitz, Yotam Ottolenghi, Chad Robertson, Deborah Madison, and James Oseland. Next up for them is Hartwood with Eric Werner and Mya Henry.

Camino Restaurant
3917 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA

San Francisco Booksigning Party: Mark your calendars! We’re having a booksigning party in San Francisco THIS SATURDAY on October 3rd – 4-6pm. It’s my only San Francisco event, it’s free (ideally with the purchase of a book), I’ll be signing, and I’d love to see you there. Here are the details and invitation. Please come! Santa Cruz, Seattle, and New York, are up after SF. xo-h

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