Simple Red Fruit Salad

A favorite red fruit salad, and arguably so much better than old-school fruit salad! It’s perfect as spring rounds the bend into summer. A simple, seasonal fruit salad made with plump strawberries, sweet cherries, lemon zest, and coriander brown sugar. Five ingredients. So good.
Simple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown Sugar
And when I say simple, I’m not kidding. For a bit of something special, I ground a bit of brown sugar with coriander seeds to add to the fruit, liking the way the coriander’s citrusy, green notes played off the flavor of the strawberries and cherries. Just a little tweak, but enough to bring a hint of unexpectedness to a bowl of radiant, seasonal fruit. If you’re stuck on traditional fruit salad, consider making the jump to a red fruit salad!

Simple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown SugarFruit Salad
I first started making this fruit salad in the early days of the QUITOKEETO project, when a lot of it was happening at the house. Laugh/ cry. Friends would stop by and just shake their heads. The towers of boxes, the tape guns, the bins of items we’d sourced – it was all a bit much. We did many shipments from the dining room and kitchen island, and I thought you might like a look at the process. But, in the midst of it all, we would always try to break for a quick lunch.  This ruby-hued beauty came out of one of those lunches.

Simple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown SugarSimple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown SugarSimple Red Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Cherries, Lemon, and Brown Sugar

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Creamy Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl

Creamy Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl

Sometimes your food just needs to be extra.

Like, you don’t just want it to taste good. You also want it to look beautiful.

Those two needs are happily met in this SUPER creamy Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl that’s ready in 5 minutes with just 5 wholesome ingredients.

Frozen banana creates the creamy, sweet base. Frozen raspberries (or other berry of choice) add a bit of fruit flavor and antioxidants, while frozen dragon fruit creates that gorgeous hot-pink hue.

Creamy Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl from Minimalist Baker →

Zucchini Soba Bowl with Tahini Sauce

Side-angle shot of spiralized carrots and zucchini tossed with noodles and tahini sauce.

As I look back through the site recipe catalog, one thing is apparent: I’ve become a lazier cook over the years. Some of this is due to having a child but the other comes from keeping things simple to highlight a few flavors or ingredients. Home cooked meals don’t have to be complicated (unless you want them to be- that’s cool too). I want to go to a restaurant and eat something I wouldn’t make at home and for the most part, I want to keep home meals simple and fresh.

That being said, I’m back with another quick, summer recipe. I’ve mentioned my love of tahini before and this sauce is constantly in our meals. It’s worth it to get a good jar of tahini- the flavor is so good. So this soba bowl is all about the fresh summer vegetables and the tahini sauce: a perfect light summer dinner.

Read more and see the recipe.

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Spicy Rainbow Chopped Salad with Peanuts

The base of this rainbow hued chopped salad is a new-to-me, homemade, red curry paste. I can’t stop using it, and it was the perfect back note to this salad situation, where every bite is a flavor explosion. The curry paste went in the dressing. Once you’ve made the dressing, blood oranges, crispy shallots, peanuts, radicchio, herbs, brown rice, scallions, and tofu are tossed with it. I’ll be honest, this isn’t the most weeknight-friendly recipe (here’s a link if you’re looking for the easiest dinners, or quick recipes in general), but it’s so good, you’ll want to give it a try at some point when you aren’t crunched for time.

I’m posting the red curry paste I used on its own page, it’s the A.P.C.P. – All-Purpose Curry Paste from Kris Yenbamroong‘s Night + Market Cookbook. If you’re inclined to make your own curry pastes, you’re going to want to take this one for a spin. I love it, and have been using it in everything lately – curry pots, this salad, spring rolls, chopped salad, etc. Enjoy!

Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chopped Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chopped Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chopped Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chopped Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chopped Salad with Peanuts

Spicy Rainbow Chop Salad with Peanuts

I noticed a lot of you are using the winter green miso paste and lemongrass turmeric paste from my site, & this should round out your collection!

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3-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

3-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

They’re here! My new favorite (no-bake) cookies are here!

And good news. They only require 1 bowl, 5 minutes, and 3 ingredients! Let’s (not) bake!

It all starts with oats and dates blended together. Then peanut butter gets thrown into the mix. The result is a cookie dough that’s perfectly tender, salty, and sweet!

Form into discs and press down with a fork for those classic cross hatch marks.

3-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies from Minimalist Baker →

BBQ Chickpea Loaded Potato with California Avocado Ranch Dressing

Overhead shot of mashed bbq chickpeas on top of baked potatoes, served with a drizzle of green avocado dressing.

Post sponsored by California Avocados. See below for more details.

June is California Avocado Month for good reason. A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to head south and see firsthand what goes into bring an avocado to your table. There’s so much technology behind it (the sorting process alone is amazing) and the farmers behind the fruit really care about the trees and the avocados. California has 4000 avocado growers that produce 90 percent of the avocado crop in the United States.

And so, in honor of avocado month, I’d thought I’d share a fun/unique way to use avocados (that isn’t toast!) My family has a weakness for ranch and a bit of love when it comes to combining it with bbq. these bbq chickpea loaded potatoes are the perfect veg-friendly way to get protein into your meals and appease some of those people that might still crave some of the meat-potato flavor.

In terms of the avocado ranch dressing, the avocado acts in place of the mayo. It’s the perfect swap in my book and with enough herbs, the dressing tastes really similar to my more traditional homemade ranch. Best of all, this dressing is perfect if you happen to leave an avocado on your counter a day or two too long. Softer avocados are a blenders best friend.

Read more and see the recipe.

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An Incredible No Bake Chocolate Cake

I suspect this will be the easiest chocolate cake you’ll ever make. And it’s always a huge hit. It’s the sort of easy dessert that is perfect for summer (and entertaining!) because you don’t need to heat your oven. I think of it as a no bake chocolate cake, you wouldn’t be far off calling it a slice-able truffle. Or, imagine an espresso-spiked, velvety, chocolate mousse you were able to cut into beautiful wedges. Sounds incredible, right? If you have ten minutes,  some dark chocolate, cream, and something to infuse the cream with, you’re in business. I also have some non-dairy variations as well.
The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

When this Sort of Chocolate Cake is Perfect

This is the sort of thing I’ll throw together if we’re having friends over for dinner and I run out of steam on the dessert front. It’s less trouble to make than it is to go out and buy something. A small slice really goes the distance. It’s intense, it’s hardcore chocolate. Paired with a touch of whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream) it’s a total crowd-pleaser. I infused the cream used in the cake with espresso adn allspice in this version, but you could play it straight. Or take it in any direction you’re inclined – there are dozens of great suggestions in the comments.
The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Pan

This is a small but mighty chocolate cake. The choice of pan warrants a mention. You end up with with ~ two cups of batter, and for the most part you can pour that into any small-ish, parchment-lined cake pan you like. The parchment is important if you ever want to get the cake out of the pan. For this cake, I used a little loaf pan I like, but I’ve done this in small spring-form pans, and on occasion little tart pans. Just keep in mind, a bigger pan will mean a thinner slice. A small loaf pan like this yields a deeper slice, and so on. It’s hard to screw up – I mean, it’s a slice-able truffle cake. In the lead photo I’ve used a 6-inch springform pan. In the shot below, I’ve used a small loaf pan.

In a pinch – a number of you have mentioned that you simply pour the chocolate mixture into individual muffin tins, or dessert cups, allow it to set, and served this way. Brilliant! Less cake like, but I suspect no one will complain. 😉

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Variations

If you want to avoid heavy cream, there are a number of substitutions that work well. I love using cashew cream in place of the heavy cream called for in the recipe. Make cashew cream by combining 1 part cashew nuts + 1 part water and process in a high speed blender until silky smooth. No need to strain. Coconut milk also works nicely as a substitution.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Finishing Touches

I like to bring a bit of extra flavor (and some pretty) with a dusting of cocoa powder, a few dried rose petals, and a sprinkling of cacao nibs. Others like to finish things of with a few berries. Generally speaking, if it pairs nicely with chocolate, go for it. A few toasted nuts, or crumbled cookies wouldn’t be unwelcome.
The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Chocolate

Because this cake is all about the chocolate, you don’t want to skimp on quality. I’ve been using Guittard Organic 74% Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers for this cake. It works beautifully. I often use it straight, meaning, without the added espresso or allspice noted in the recipe. So it’s just the beautiful chocolate notes coming through. San Francisco family-run chocolate represent! But, any good chocolate between 70% – 80% will work. 

No Bake Chocolate Cake

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites

Overhead shot of Chocolate Peanut Butter bites dusted in cocoa powder

I’ve found that I’ve occasionally forget to share some of the recipes we eat most in our house. One of the things we eat a lot of but rarely makes it to the site: snacks. We’re a huge snack family and the tradition seems to be continuing with our little guy. Sometimes our favorite dinner is a platter of snacks.

The peanut butter bites have been a staple of our sweet-tooth snack section. However, my version got a rather large overhaul once I started making Sarah Waldman’s version, from her cookbook. Over the past year or so I’ve been making small adaptions to the recipe, finally landing on the version below.

What I like most is that the recipe doesn’t have to be exact. I’ve made this recipe about 50 different ways, usually using up whatever we have on hand. However, it’s almost always guaranteed we have peanuts and peanut butters on hand, making these peanut butter bites quick and easy.

Read more and see the recipe.

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11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob

Corn season – it’s officially on! It’s the season to eat outside. And, it’s the season to eat with your hands – especially corn on the cob. What follows here is a round-up of corn-centric ideas to inspire you this summer.

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob

Corn on the Cob Basics

  • These recipes are all about celebrating corn – shopping for the freshest corn, still in husk, makes a difference!
  • If you shuck the corn before grilling, keep an eye on it, it can get dried out. Try grilling in the husk to keep in steam.
  • If you boil the corn in a large pot, definitely shuck it before. Salt the water, boil for 3-5 minutes.
  • After cooking, if you want to get the corn off the cob to use in salads, sides and more, check out this method using a bundt pan (video -jump to :25 sec).
  • If you cook a lot of corn and remove it from the cob with the above method, try freezing it for future recipes!
  • Used cobs can be cleaned, placed in a stock pot and simmered to make a corn stock. Use the stock to bump up the flavor in corn-centric dishes (polenta, risotto, chowder).

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
1. Grilled Corn Kale Salad (The Almond Eater)  Throw a few chickpeas in this hearty kale salad, and call it a main. Probably couldn’t resist tossing a few cherry tomatoes while I was at it.
11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
2. Baked Green Chilaquiles with Sweet Corn  (Bojon Gourmet)  A stunner from Alanna – love the idea of making these beautiful chilaquiles with any leftover grilled corn.
11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
3. Corn & Chickpea Bowl with Miso-Jalapeño Tahini (Bon Appetit) If I could only have one salad this summer, this might be it. Chickpeas, avocado, herbs, summer corn, and an herby miso-tahini dressing – fresh, bright, and satisfying! A perfect, summery, one-bowl meal.

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
4. Grilled Corn With Harissa and Mint Recipe (Serious Eats)  This might be the most flavor-forward of all the options here, with a strong combination of harissa and cumin.

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
5. Coconut Corn Salad (101 Cookbooks) Five ears of corn, shaved in quick fashion, sautéed in a bit of butter. Tricked out beyond that with thyme, red onions, toasted almonds and coconut. So good!

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
6. Indian Corn on the Cob (La Petit Chef)  Apparently corn on the cob is an Indian street food thing and here’s a delicious looking version, with chaat masala as a flavor.

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
7. Elote Farro Tomato Salad (the Kitchen Paper)  This recipe takes the classic Mexican elite grilled corn, adds farro and turns it into a delicious salad.

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
8. Green Curry Broth with Summer Corn (101 Cookbooks) A thin green curry broth, fragrant with garlic, lemongrass, and ginger. Punctuated with fresh corn. There’s heat from serrano chiles, and zings of tanginess on account of the fresh lime juice. Spicy and summer in the best way.

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
9. Sofritas Style Burrito Bowls with Tofu, Lime Rice and Grilled Corn (Lauren Caris Cooks)  No one loves a good hippie lunch bowl more than me, and this one fits the bill. Love the grilled corn punctuation.

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
10. Grilled Corn with Sriracha Aioli (Minimalist Baker)  Another vegan masterpiece from MB – this recipe focuses on the vegan aioli, which looks amazing and flavorful.

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob
11. Grilled Cilantro, Lime and Paprika Corn on the Cob (Blissful Basil)  Corn on the cob plus lime is a prety classic combination at this point, this vegan version uses coconut oil as an alternative to butter. 

11 All-Star Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob

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