Pinto Bean Tostadas with Nopales and Eggs

Pinto Bean Tostadas with Nopales and Eggs

Today’s post is a little different. Sure, there’s a recipe but this recipe is to help promote an organization that is near and dear to my heart: the Food Literacy Center. September is Food Literacy Month in the state of California.

What does that meant, exactly? Well, as the Food Literacy center describes it: ‘understanding the impact of your food choices on your health, the environment, and our economy.’

Here in Sacramento, the Food Literacy Center is in the schools, inspiring kids to eat vegetables through cooking and exploring. I’ve been in the classes, watching the kids eat beets and radishes with excitement. These kids then take the excitement home and often help push their families towards more.

FLC was the first organization I got involved with in Sacramento and it’s been amazing to watch the growth.

Here’s where you come in. For Food Literacy month, we’re trying to raise money through a friendly ‘veggie of the year’ competition with local chefs. I’m on team nopales, hence this recipe! It probably goes without saying that food education is one of my top passions and I think one of the most important things we can do.

If you believe in the power of food education, please consider donating.
This is such an important mission and hopefully one that will continue to grow.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Pinto Bean Tostadas with Nopales and Eggs appeared first on Naturally Ella.

No-Bake Lemon Poppy Seed Donut Holes

No-Bake Lemon Poppy Seed Donut Holes

Ready for something sweet (but secretly healthy)? I have just the thing.

No-bake vegan donut holes! Yes, it’s a thing. Let’s do this!

This 30-minute, 10-ingredient recipe starts with dates and nuts (walnuts or cashews or both), which creates a sweet, slightly nutty base.

Next come coconut and almond flour for a fluffy, cake-like feel. This is what makes them more the texture of cake or donuts than an energy bite.

No-Bake Lemon Poppy Seed Donut Holes from Minimalist Baker →

Pear Custard Tart with Cinnamon

Overhead shot of an 11" tart filled with pears, custard filling, and a sprinkle of cinnamon

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

It’s rare that I post dessert recipes but don’t be fooled, I love my desserts. This custard tart has been around for years and has made it’s way through all the seasons. However, this pear version is my favorite. Using slices of bosc pears makes for a beautiful presentation and the custard filling is the perfect partner.

Since September is farm to fork month in Sacramento, I’m partnering with California pear to chat a little about organic Cal pears. If you were to chat with the local pear farmers, you would learn that most of the farms have been in their families for over 100 years. These farming families are multigenerational and the caring for the land is a top priority. Pear farmers are in the process of transitioning more of their land over to USDA certified organic pear orchards as a way to prepare for future generations.

Best of all, organic California pears can be found at Raley’s new Market 5-ONE-5 in downtown Sacramento. This market is a neighborhood store focused on providing local, natural food (including organic California pears!) Just walking through the store is inspiring- I always leave with so many new recipe ideas!

A look at California Pears

Read more and see the recipe.

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Mini Crispy Eggplant Pizzas

Mini Crispy Eggplant Pizzas

Who likes eggplant? (Unite!)

Who likes pizza? (OK, seriously, who isn’t raising their hand?)

Who’s stoked about combining the two? Me!

Let’s do this!

This 10-ingredient dinner or side is adapted and inspired by my Crispy Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan, only I took it a step further by adding pizza sauce and vegan cheese!

The base starts with thinlysliced eggplant (the thinner the better), which is then dipped in gluten-free four, almond milk, and finally a crispy breading comprised of cornmeal, vegan parmesan cheese, and gluten-free bread crumbs.

Mini Crispy Eggplant Pizzas from Minimalist Baker →

15 Late-Summer Vegetarian Recipes

I always find this time of year to be a bit strange. Sure, I’m ready for cooler fall weather but given it’s still summer, I’m still into all the tomatoes and zucchini. It’s like we can’t be in transition, it has to be summer or it has to be fall. People throw tomatoes and grilling out the window for Pumpkin and crockpots.

It’s okay to enjoy the transition. To still hold onto summer and enjoy the cooler weather. And so, I thought I’d share a few of my recipes that I think make for the perfect transition meals. These are the recipes that are still heavy on the summer product but tend to be a bit more rich and comforting. It’s the best of both seasons, all while enjoying the summer bounty into lat summer.


Egg Pesto Potato Skillet |

One of the reasons I love this time of year most is that I feel like my weekends are slowing a bit and I’m more apt to make a solid breakfast. Pancakes, waffles, and Dutch babies make a return while my egg dishes take on a bit more preparation. Best of all, most of these recipes can also be adapted to use fall produce.

Multigrain Dutch Baby with Peaches (I’d use pears this time of year)
Zucchini Egg Skillet
Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes (Use whichever berries you can still find)
Pesto Potato Skillet
Pesto Summer Squash Toast with Egg


Overhead Shot of Chickpea Tomato Bread Salad with Arugula Pesto

I think fall salads are the best. As the weather cools a bit, greens make a return. And so, you have fresh greens and all the summer produce. The combinations are endless (and delicious). Just a word of advice: keep cooked chickpeas on hand. They can make any salad an instant full lunch (or dinner!)

Chickpea Tomato Bread Salad
Green Summer Salad
Chickpea Dumplings with Corn Soup
Spiced Chickpea Cucumber Salad
Roasted Sweet Corn Salad


Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce

This is my favorite category for late-summer meals. I always feel a bit strange cranking up my oven on a hot day but with the cooler nights, I’m all about the hearty, rich dinners. Pasta and grain-based meals top the list.

Summer Paella
Farro Zucchini Bake
Green Bean Curry
Summer Vegetable Pasta
Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Roasted Tomato Sauce

continue reading

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Favorites List (09.08.18)

Some links, recipes, and reading for the weekend. Enjoy!

– ‘A small-town couple left behind a stolen painting worth over $100 million — and a big mystery‘ (The Washington Post)

This interview (Apiece Apart)

– How to Write a Condolence Note (Cup of Jo)

– Reading this.

This video: Llama Cake

How to Design Your Perfect Kitchen (Curbed)

Rei Kawakubo Revealed (Sort Of) (NY Times)

California’s surf wars: wave ‘warlords’ go to extreme lengths to defend their turf (The Guardian)

KT Achaya’s pioneering scholarship on Indian food (Caravan)

This for dinner.

– The Best 10 Rules to Live by When You Are Young and Ready to Travel. (Steve Sando – also, read his New Yorker profile if you missed it!) 

Chengdu Cool: The Rise of Sichuan’s Homegrown Hip Hop (Guernica)

– Aretha Franklin’s American Soul (New Yorker)

Favorites List (09.08.18)

Continue reading Favorites List (09.08.18) on 101 Cookbooks

Slow Cooker Miso Corn Chowder

I love recipes like this, dead simple and adaptable. You’re looking at a creamy, delicious, slow cooker corn chowder. If you have a bag of frozen corn, an onion, and a few potatoes, you’re well on your way. Wait, don’t nod off! There are a few bright spots beyond the basics. In this recipe, you sauté the onions in ghee, but(!) clarified butter or olive oil will work nicely as well. And you season the chowder with miso, but(!) salt and pepper, or even soy sauce, ponzu, or a curry paste like this or this could take things in an entirely new direction. Try the miso version first, just because its so good. I guess all I’m saying is, don’t let it stop you from making the chowder if you don’t have one the miso or ghee on hand.

Slow Cooker Miso Corn Chowder

The recipe is an adaptation of the Miso-Ghee Corn Chowder from Slow Cook Modern by Liana Krissoff. I boosted my version with yellow split peas, for some extra diversity, and protein bump. Making it more of a one dish meal. She tops hers with a beautiful tomato-furikake salad, and uses fresh corn on the cob, perfect for summer when it comes. I’ve got mine topped with chunks of olives, and walnuts, and thin whispers of watermelon radish. And lots of chives.

Slow Cooker Miso Corn Chowder

Slow Cooker Miso Corn Chowder

Slow Cooker Miso Corn Chowder

Continue reading Slow Cooker Miso Corn Chowder on 101 Cookbooks

Pie Crust Design, These Pie Crust Masters Show you How it’s Done

There’s an art to creating a beautiful pie crust, and it doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you’re looking to move beyond a simple, basic crust this season, there are a host of next-level pie crust design techniques out there to inspire your creations. There’s really no reason you can’t master the basket weave, the leafy border, or the fluted edge! Have fun with these.
Pie Crust Design, These Pie Crust Masters Show you How it's Done

1. Pie Crusts Classics
Thomas Joseph shows us a nice range of pie crust design options – a leaf border, a braid border, a honeycomb top (a favorite!), a classic lattice top crust, and he makes it all look easy and doable. Listen up for some of his helpful little tips as well like, how to hide seams.

2. Harvest Leaf Pie Crusts
A really pretty video demonstrating a range of beautiful harvest leaf pie designs. There’s the a mega-leaf pie (cool & unusual!), and a couple of free-style approaches with medium leaves. They all bake up beautifully!

3. Twenty Pie Crimping Techniques
Watch this one for the corkscrew crust, and Caesar’s crown. Measuring spoon is brilliant as well, but I have to admit visibly flinching at the pearl crust ;)…

4. Cookie Cutter Crusts
There is so much that could be said about this video, so many questions I have! 😉 I like the way our Topless Baker friend uses little fondant/cookie cutter flowers to accent his pie, and he really goes for it. Double decker flowers and all! That part kicks in around the 5:15 minute mark – I’ll tee it up for you.

5. Hearts, Flowers, & Polka-dots
There’s a nice graphic sensibility to this collection of crusts. And, the lace technique is new to me. I really love how the ribbon-edged crust baked up – super inspiring! Trying to find the original source video for this one and will update the link when I do.

6. Nine Minutes of Pie Inspiration
There are some very strange pies in this one. But, perhaps there will be something in the mix here that will inspire your own creations in the coming months.

7. Savory Square Basketweave
I sort of love this square basket weave with the sesame sprinkle. For when your basketweave game is strong.

Continue reading Pie Crust Design, These Pie Crust Masters Show you How it’s Done on 101 Cookbooks

Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Biscuits

Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Biscuits

*Note: This recipe was updated and republished on 9/6/18 with new photos and adjustments for improved texture and flavor.

After many requests, I present the Vegan Gluten-Free Biscuit! Many of you may know, but years ago I perfected the Best Damn Vegan Biscuit and damn, it’s good.

Since then, I developed a recipe for Vegan Gluten-Free Shortcake, and in doing so I realized it wouldn’t be much more work to nail the biscuit version down.

Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Biscuits from Minimalist Baker →

Herby Hemp Sauce | Cooking Component

Herby Hemp Sauce with Parsley, Basil, and Chives | Naturally Ella

I feel like the key to a solid, quick dinner is in the sauce. There are endless combinations of grains, beans, and vegetables once you get sauces involved. Plus, this is something my entire family can easily agree on: you can never had too many sauce ideas. Enter in this easy herby hemp sauce.

I keep hemp seeds around for sprinkling on morning oatmeal and waffles. It’s a nutritious little seed that can really help bump up the impact a meal might have. I’ve also found I really enjoy blending them, which led to this sauce. They don’t have a strong flavor which makes them perfect for pairing with a handful of herbs.

Read more and see the recipe.

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