Vegetarian Tomato Recipes

If I ever had to describe what I thought summer tasted like, it would be a slice of fresh tomato with a solid sprinkle of salt on top. That is summer. I also tell people that if they ever wanted to know why eating in season is best, do a side by side with a tomato grown from a local farmer versus one grown in a different country (if you can even find one in the summer!) It’s really a stark difference and brings out even more of the delicious flavor.

And so, in honor of summer tomatoes, I thought I’d round-up some of my favorite tomato recipes. There’s tomatoes for every meal!

Mains

Roasted Butter Tomato Sauce Pasta

When it comes to the obvious, summer tomatoes make great sauces. Those sauces work well with pasta, lentil bites, and enchiladas. Of course, don’t stop there. I love roasted and blistered tomatoes as toppings too.

Salads

Sumac Spiced Chickpea Cucumber Salad

I feel like this needs no explanation. Is there anything better than tomatoes in salads during the summer?

Soups

Roasted Tomato Gazpacho | @naturallyella

It’s almost a cruel joke how delicious soup made from fresh tomatoes can be. Sure, gazpacho is great but there’s something delightful with homemade tomato soup.

Breakfast

Za’atar Spiced Pecans and Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Roasted Tomatoes | Naturally Ella

I really love the combination of tomatoes with eggs whether that be in a solid breakfast bowl or as simple as a slice of tomato with fried egg. You could also add tomatoes to omelettes and frittatas.

Sandwiches

Tomato Sandwich with Olive Tapenade and Hummus | Naturally Ella

Finally, nothing screams summer like a sandwich with a thick slice of tomato. I don’t stick to the normal though. Try tomatoes on grilled cheese sandwiches or top on toast. There’s almost no way you could go wrong.

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Our Guide to Barcelona

We love Barcelona and if you are following us on social media you might have noticed that we return there in the summers. Our family has an apartment in the Raval area and Barcelona has therefore become almost a second home to us. It has that rare combination of big city vibe, great weather and long beaches. We have shared a few recommendations on instagram but we wanted to put together a more proper guide of the places we like to visit for good food and family friendly places.

We are leaving out the Gaudí attractions, the Picasso museum and all other regular tourist attractions and focus on good vegetable centered places to eat, great coffee and delicious ice cream. There are thousands of restaurants and places in Barcelona and this is by no means a complete guide. But it’s the places that we often return to or have been recommended by people that know our preferences. If you think we have missed something good, please leave a comment and we might include it when we update the guide.

We have also marked all these places in a Green Kitchen Barcelona on Google Maps so you can easily find them. And to make things even better, we also marked all our favorite playgrounds because they can be pretty tricky to find. (If you don’t have kids you can just close that layer.)

Thanks for following along and enjoy Barcelona!

Cafés

Satans Coffee – This has been one of our favorite coffee bars for years. It’s hidden away in an alley in Gotica. Apart from awesome coffee they serve a couple of cool food options and served quinoa bircher before we did 🙂

Caravelle – This place quickly became one of our favorites. The ambience and service is great and the coffee is on spot. The food are inventive and taste amazing. You can easily ask for your flat white with oat milk and their cow’s milk comes from small farm just outside Barcelona.

Little Fern Cafe – A New Zealand / Aussie style cafe in Pobleneu with lots of modern veggie options and great coffee. We loved the corn fritters and avocado and smashed pea sandwich. 

Federal Cafe – A typical hipster place with cool interior and good coffee. They allow laptops so we go here when we need to work and enjoy a tomato and melted cheese croissant sandwich.

Bohl – If you are looking for smoothie bowls and porridge bowls in Barcelona, this is the place to go. A beautiful location located in the Eixample neighborhood.

Nømad Coffee Lab & Shop – Specialty coffee roasters with 3 locations serving hot coffee and signature cold brew.

Onna Coffee – Serious coffee café, making their coffee with small batch hand-roasted coffee beans. You can find sweet breakfast and match lattes too. Located in the nice neighbourhood Grácia.

Restaurants 

Bormuth – A classic catalan tapas restaurant in Born that we always return to. It’s decently priced and has many good vegetarian tapas options. Try the red pepper and goat’s cheese, the aubergine with honey and the wilted spinach with pine nuts and raisins.

Teresa CarlesFlax & Kale  – This is a vegetarian institution in Barcelona. Famous for their creative vegetarian food, colorful smoothies and beautiful locations. Teresa Carles was the first restaurant but now they have a few more have two sister restaurants and also Teresas Stairway as their third location focused on smoothies and smaller bites. A little pricey but shouldn’t be missed if you are a vegetarian visiting Barcelona.

El Jardi – A little tapas and drink bar hiding inside a garden in the middle of busy Raval. They often have live music in the afternoons and then it’s well worth stopping by for a drink and a snack.

Bar Lobo -A fancier tapas bar on a quieter street just behind La Rambla. The food is good and the location is pretty although a little expensive. It’s a good place to bring friends to as they have a big outdoor seating area in the sun, but you might want to reserve a table first.

Tantarantana – An old favorite tapas restaurant in Born that we have visited for years. Food and service are great and they make the best fried aubergine.

Honest Greens – New cool and huge restaurant and café with breakfast, lunch and dinner and a separate coffee bar with healthy-ish treats and snacks. Perfect if you are around Plaça de Catalunya and are looking for something green. Extra points for their kombucha on tap.

The Green Spot – A fancier vegetarian restaurant right in the beginning of Barceloneta. We have tried their charcoal pizza with zucchini and smoked burrata, root carpaccio with spirulina and iced turmeric latte with espresso.

Parking Pita / Parking Pizza – These two neighbor places were recommended to us by a bunch of people but we went there without checking their opening hours and came before they were open for dinner (kids life!). We didn’t have time to go back but will def try it next time we are in town. The photos on their instagram look great.

Sopa Barcelona – We haven’t made it here yet but heard that we should go for good vegetarian food and soups. Might be worth a visit if you are in the Poblenou neighborhood.

Baldomero – We haven’t made it here yet, but it has been recommended to us by many. And the photos on their instagram looks aesthetically pleasing with shades of pink and a communal style kitchen.

Väcka – A small vegan place with lots of fun and creative vegan burgers, waffles, vegan cheeses and cakes.

Ice Cream Bars

Gocce Di Latte – A great ice cream bar between Born and Barceloneta. We often stop by here own the way back from the beach. They have an all vegan location around the corner.

Amorino gelato – Super touristy but our kids love that they shape their ice cream into roses. They have serval locations in the city, we usually go to the Portaferrissa street.

Dela Crem – Several people tipped us about this ice cream place which is located on a cosy walking street with several nice cafes and restaurants a little north of Plaça Catalunya. The salted pistachio ice cream was insanely good and their coffee and mascarpone too.

Bar Campana – Located next to a cute courtyard in Born. Worth a stop for their coffee ice cream and good nougat flavors too.

Paralello Gelato – Artisinal ice cream shop. We actually never made it here but it’s on our list for next time.

STORES

Veritas – This is an organic supermarket where we go if we want decently priced and clean ingredient products like nut butters, plant milks, quinoa, vegan ice creams, kombucha, veggie sausages, the best tempeh and tofu. We often stop by here during our first days and stock up on things that we enjoy to keep at home. 

La Bouqeria – The classic market in Barcelona filled with colorful and creatively displayed fruit and vegetables, (sweetened) fruit juices, nuts, cheeses, restaurants (and meats)

Santa Caterina Market – This is a similar market to La Bouqeria but indoor with a little less tourists.

Ferment 9 – An entire shop and workshop space devoted to ferments like sauerkraut, kimchi, vegetables and kombucha. If you love bubbles and gut friendly bacterias, you must stop by and if you haven’t tried it yet, go and get your ferment addiction started.

Origo – An organic sourdough bakery in Graçia, in case you get tired of the standard Spanish baguette type of bread.

Things to do with kids

There are small and fun playgrounds spread out in every neighborhood in Barcelona so it’s easy to find somewhere to stop by. If you are looking for larger playgrounds, check out the parks Joan Miro, 

Labyrinth de Hoerta – Take the metro here and walk up through the peaceful garden, watch the old fountains and then get lost in the large garden labyrinth. We usually bring lunch and have it there as there aren’t any good food options. They have a pretty fun playground as well. 

Tibidabo Amusement Park – A little tivoli on top of a mountain with a view over Barcelona. It’s a fun day trip if you have kids but bring food as they don’t have many vegetarian options other than fries and popcorn.

Beach – Barceloneta is a long beach that can be reached within a 15 minute walk from La Rambla. It’s well taken care of and have lots of lifeguards although water can get a little dirty as with most city beaches. If you rent a bike, it’s worth riding a bit further away to Bogatell beach and further on. Water gets cleaner and it gets a little less crowded. If you are in Bogatell, you should also take a walk up the beautiful Rambla del Poblenou after the beach.

Swimming Pools – There aren’t that many great swimming pools for kids (unless you want to invade one of the hotels). However, if your kids can swim you should go up to one of the two swimming pools on Montjuic. Both places only have deep pools but they are reasonably priced and have 50 meters pools. Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc has an amazing panoramic view over the city but apart from that it’s all very basic with no sunbeds or shadow places. Piscines Bernat Picornell don’t have the view but it has both an indoor and an outdoor pool, lifeguards, sunbeds and a little café.

  

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Herbed White Beans (30 Minutes!)

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Herbed White Beans (30 Minutes!)

If you’ve never tried grilling romaine lettuce, you’re missing out. It adds a new depth of smoky flavor, wilts the lettuce slightly so it’s easy to eat, and is also just kind of fun. Your dinner guests will be so impressed with your cooking skills!

Let us show you how easy this 30-minute salad is!

This recipe starts with heating your grill (or grill pan) and prepping the lettuce by cutting it in half, oiling slightly to prevent sticking, and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Herbed White Beans (30 Minutes!) from Minimalist Baker →

Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

There is an incredible amount of zucchini coming out of our garden right now, and I’m focused on using it. This means ignoring recipes that call for small quantities of zucchini, turning my attention to making things that can put a real dent in the supply. Enter this simple, garlic-boosted pasta. It uses two pounds of zucchini, and is endlessly adaptable.Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

Pasta Choices

I used long, slender bucatini pasta this time around, but enjoy this recipe with a wide range of pasta shapes. It’s nice with whole wheat pasta, or even some of the alternative lentil noodles. It’s particularly good with textured, short pastas because the sauce and garlicky zucchini chunks get caught up in every bite.
Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

Favorite adaptations

Once you have your smashed zucchini sauce and pasta as a foundation, you can take this in a lot of different directions. We’ve been finishing it off with lots of halved cherry tomatoes plus garlic bread crumbs in place of the sliced almonds. The flavor pop of sweet from the tomatoes alongs with the crunchy crisp of the breadcrumbs is great. Alternately, you can boost the whole situation nutritionally by stirring in a few handfuls of thinly sliced kale that you’ve massaged with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice. You can also make more Asian-inspired, brothy version by adding more water to the zucchini, add a dollop of favorite curry paste, and use rice noodles. Top with crispy, grilled or oven roasted mushrooms and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Or, simply add a few dollops of pesto to the smashed zucchini sauce to up the summer basil factor.

Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

Other ways to use up zucchini

I like this super quick, sautéed zucchini – similar in spirit to today’s recipe, it is also extra garlicky, and you get those nice browned bits where the zucchini hits the pan. You see it pictured over noodles as well, but I often enjoy it over quinoa or farro. And, this one is an oldie (posted in 2010), but these quick pickled zucchini are always nice to have on hand.

Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream

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Smoked Farro Plum Salad

This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. See below for more information.

Is there anything better than a fresh salad during the hot summer months? No, at least not in my book. Even better is a salad that uses the delightful stone fruit. It’s a salad favorite of mine and when it’s an anchor for the smoked farro and maple tahini dressing.

Summer Stone Fruit

During the summer, I’m lucky if I actually get to use the stone fruit to bake. It’s a family favorite. However, I make sure I sneak a few fruit salads in because they are just absolutely delightful. The sweet from the fruit pairs well with the hearty grains and smoothness of the tahini.

Beyond the plums, you could use peaches or even cherries. If you’re looking for easy, I’d go with peaches. Plums, as delicious as they are, can sometimes put up a fight when trying to remove the pit.

Bob’s Red Mill Farro

It’s no secret I love using Bob’s Red Mill Farro. This hearty grain is a cooking staple. It’s used for grain bakes, bowls, risottos, and of course, salads. The warm, mild flavor of this grain is such a great companion for vegetables. A few of my favorite ways to use it: zucchini grain bake, kale risotto, and this tomato salad.

Smoking Grains?

I’m obsessed with finding as many ways to eat grains as I can and when I first saw this technique in a cookbook, I thought it was genius. However, it wasn’t until we got a smoker that I got really excited.

I don’t like overly smoky flavors a lot but it can be wonderful in small bits. This plum salad was the perfect excuse. It just adds a bit of extra flavor with those beautiful summer plums. If you don’t have a smoker, you can use this technique. Or, I happen to know, this salad is also delicious without smoking the grains.

[tasty-recipe id=”38233″]

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week. continue reading

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Ginger Miso Green Beans

Overhead photo of green beans in a white enamel pan.

I’ve been sharing more recipes on instagram as a way of testing out what people might like to see as more permanent on the site. But, these green beans were actually more of my favorite. I love the ginger/miso/butter combination. I feel like I could eat it on so much. Add a touch of lemon and sesame seeds- that’s the entire recipe!

Summer Green Beans

It may be obvious based on the recipes on the site but just in case it’s not: I love green beans. When they are cooked perfectly, the green beans are a bright green color, have a nice mild flavor, and the slight crispness of the texture is perfect.

If you want to try this mix with something else, I think lathered on grilled sweet corn would be delicious. You could also toss roasted sweet potatoes in the fall or asparagus in the spring.

Make it Vegan

I’ve made this vegan, quite easily, with the help of miyoko’s butter. I’m not a fan of all their products but I love their butter. It melts beautifully and has a nice, salty flavor. I will say, you might need to cut back a bit with the miso. The saltiness from the miso and the vegan butter can be a bit too much.

What to serve it with

I love these as a summer side because they are easy and fairly quick. Serve as a side to some halloumi skewers, a pasta dish like these stuffed shells, or my favorite, this zucchini farro bake.

[tasty-recipe id=”38238″] continue reading

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Sheet Pan Meal: Curried Sweet Potato & Chickpeas

Sheet Pan Meal: Curried Sweet Potato & Chickpeas

Sweet potatoes and chickpeas are two of my favorite foods, and curry powder is one of my favorite spice blends, so it was only a matter of time before the three collided.

This dish is made entirely on one baking sheet — our favorite kind of dinner. Let’s do this!

This 1-pan meal starts with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and cabbage, which are added to a baking sheet and drizzled with oil to help them tenderize and crisp.

Sheet Pan Meal: Curried Sweet Potato & Chickpeas from Minimalist Baker →

Sweet Corn Polenta with Baked Beans

Sweet Corn Polenta with Baked Beans

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BUSH’S® Beans. All opinions are 100% mine.

There’s a distinct smell to my Grandmother’s very blue kitchen that I remember: Baked Beans. Thinking back, I feel like nearly every time I went over to her house, she had a pot of beans on and almost my entire family loved them. I came later in life to my love of beans. This sweet corn polenta topped with baked beans is my nod to her (complete with ‘cornbread’ base). It’s a simple dish but a perfect bowl of comfort.

Sweet Corn Polenta with Baked Beans

The Beans: BUSH’S® Organic Baked Beans

I’ve teamed up with BUSH’S® Beans to make this recipe happen. Those beans cooking in my grandma’s kitchen were almost exclusively Bush’s®. Of course, they don’t only make Baked Beans- they actually have a solid line of regular organic beans too. I also love that the company is still family owned (for over 110 years!) and is located in the heart of Tennessee.

I’ve found BUSH’S® Organic Baked Beans an easy way to build flavor and add protein for a meatless meal the whole family can enjoy. Plus it’s fun to use Baked Beans in a slightly non-traditional way!

Polenta

When it comes to the polenta, I almost always go with dried polenta and cook it for awhile. You could, however, use the premade polenta found it tubes. It would drastically reduce the cook-time for this recipe and help you get dinner to the table in about 15 minutes.

Sweet Corn: your options

Polenta topped with beans could easily become a boring texture. Enter the fresh sweet corn! Even after cooking the polenta for 20 to 25 minutes, the sweet corn holds a bit of it’s texture. This slight crispness cuts through the polenta and the beans, making the whole dish even more interesting.

Sweet Corn Polenta with Baked Beans

Cheese

I think the best part, beyond the beans, is the cheese. I like using a sharp cheese mixed into the polenta. Try using sharp cheddar, gruyere, or an aged gouda.

[tasty-recipe id=”38222″]

Sweet Corn Polenta with Baked Beans

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Green Cauliflower Rice (20 minutes!)

Green Cauliflower Rice (20 minutes!)

Now that you know how to make green rice, let us show you how easy it is to make green cauliflower rice! It’s a great alternative if you’re grain-free, or just wanting to get more vegetables into your diet. Let’s do this!

This 8-ingredient, 20-minute recipe is easy to make, and starts with ricing your cauliflower.

Our favorite method is using a food processor with the grater blade.

Green Cauliflower Rice (20 minutes!) from Minimalist Baker →