All posts by Mervin

Favorites List (10.13.16)

A few favorites for the weekend! -h

Mezcal Sunrise

Climbing the Eye of God

– Reading: this, next up this

Turmeric Popcorn

– Watching: this Frontline

Watching this never gets old.

Mr. Money Mustache’s retirement (sort of) plan

Behind the Scenes at Santa Maria Novella, the World’s Oldest Pharmacy

Medical Mountaineers

Buddy Benches – bring on the adult versions too! 🙂

– Vote. And, also, vote with your dollars.

A Minimalist Architect’s Surprisingly Vibrant Tuscan Home

Vitamin C Tea

Chained to the Stove: What It’s Really Like to Write a Cookbook

The Lost Frescoes of Rajasthan

The Birth of Sake (video)

Cosmic Doughnuts

Continue reading Favorites List (10.13.16)…

Stuffed Delicata with Chimichurri Black Beans

Stuffed Delicata with Chimichurri Black Beans | @naturallyella

One of my goals every fall is to cook my way through all the hard squashes. Each one is so unique and versatile that it’s a shame to stop with butternut squash. Outside of butternut, delicata is one of my favorites. That’s because it cooks quickly and my favorite part is that there is no peeling required. This stuffed delicata has an easy vegan filling that highlights a favorite condiment of mine. Read more and see the recipe.

The post Stuffed Delicata with Chimichurri Black Beans appeared first on Naturally Ella.

8-Ingredient Zucchini Lasagna (GF)

8-Ingredient Zucchini Lasagna (GF)

Whoa. Like whoa.

Guys, you’ve never had lasagna like this before. Trust me.

What sets this 8-ingredient lasagna apart from the rest is two things: Veggie ‘noodles’ and a brand new-to-me vegan ‘ricotta cheese.’

Have you guys tried macadamia nut ‘cheese’ yet? You know how I love my tofu ricotta, but this macadamia version is ridiculously easy (no soaking required!) and very close in flavor and texture to the real thing!

View, Print or Pin 8-Ingredient Zucchini Lasagna (GF) from Minimalist Baker →

Roasted Rutabaga Pasta with Cashew Sauce

Roasted Rutabaga Pasta with Cashew Sauce | @naturallyella

I have a weak spot for creamy pasta. It’s on the short list of my favorite comfort foods. When I started my cooking journey, one of the first things I taught myself to make was a perfect Alfredo sauce. Ever since, it’s branched out from there. More recently, I’ve been excited about this lemon cream sauce (and the vegan almond version). But the cashew sauce in this rutabaga pasta might be my current favorite. It’s easy and can be thrown together fairly quickly. Just remember to soak the cashews! Read more and see the recipe.

The post Roasted Rutabaga Pasta with Cashew Sauce appeared first on Naturally Ella.

The Best Vegan Gluten Free Cornbread

The Best Vegan Gluten Free Cornbread

Growing up, cornbread was one of my favorite side dishes, especially alongside chili. My mom would serve it with butter and maple syrup and I would go nuts. It’s no wonder – I’ve always loved carbs.

In the past few years I’ve attempted vegan cornbread with success. However, I had yet to crack the code on vegan, gluten free cornbread.

Without eggs, gluten free baked goods tend not to rise and miss that crumbly texture necessary in cakes and quick breads.

View, Print or Pin The Best Vegan Gluten Free Cornbread from Minimalist Baker →

Root Vegetable Cassoulet

Root Vegetable Cassoulet | @naturallyella

Whenever I make a vegetarian version of a meat-based staple, I’m hesitant to use the same name. They aren’t the same thing and really shouldn’t be compared. However, the idea and inspiration shine through, especially in the recipe. This root vegetable cassoulet is stewed and hearty, echoing it’s meat counterpart. In place of the meat, I used solid fall root vegetables. They pair perfectly with the mirepoix and hearty cannellini beans. The best part of this vegetable cassoulet? It takes less time than the meat version; ready in about an hour. Read more and see the recipe.

The post Root Vegetable Cassoulet appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Apple & Cinnamon Tray Cake


It’s not like I don’t appreciate a good apple cake. And I still think David is an okay guy. But paired together, they have simply been too much for me this week. Sometimes I really wish David would just settle for good. He has literally baked and photographed this cake e-v-e-r-y damn day this week. I know, apple cake every day sounds like an October dream. But when it is served along with constant whining that: “It’s under baked”, “The apples don’t look nice on this” or “It’s way too much cinnamon on top”, it kind of takes the pleasure out of eating it. And with 57+ other things on our to-do-before-the-baby-arrives list, I just couldn’t believe my eyes when he started baking one more cake last night.

But now he is finally pleased with it, and the photos. So here it is: A Simple Apple Cake (overly tested like it was some kind of advanced science project). Seriously though, it is a really good cake. I can’t really tell the difference from the one he did in the beginning of the week but I’m just happy that we can finally move on to more pressing issues. I’ll leave it to David to talk about the flavours. /Luise




Thank you for that flattering introduction. Obviously Luise has no idea what she is talking about. The first cake had way too much cinnamon on it and I hadn’t separated the eggs in the batter so it didn’t rise properly. The photos looked terrible too.

I have a long history of not liking apple cake. I have learned to love it now but I do still think that many cakes are too sweet, some are too dry and other have too much apple pieces mixed with the batter. This one is inspired by a slice of apple cake that we tried at the farmer’s market earlier this autumn. It was perfect. Moist, flavourful and with lots of cinnamon and large apple pieces on top and a hint of grated apples in the batter. Ever since we tried it, I have been making my own versions of it. And as Luise so lovingly pointed out, it has taken a few attempts to get it right. We are using one of our favourite flour mixtures to get a good texture. Oat and almond flour adds nuttiness and richness and rice flour keeps it light. I like to bake it in a small tray to get the right height (roughly 2,5 cm / 1 inch), but it works well as a thick cake in a traditional cake tin as well. Instead of serving it with the traditional vanilla custard, we prefer a ginger-spiced greek yogurt which adds a nice tartness to balance the sweetness in the cake. /David



Apple & Yogurt Cake
Serves 12

Dry Ingredients
100 g / 1 cup rolled oats
100 g / 1 cup almond flour
100 g / 3/4 cup rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground vanilla or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Wet Ingredients
100 g / 3.5 oz butter or coconut oil, at room temperature
125 ml / ½ cup maple syrup 
or runny honey
1 apple, rinsed
180 ml / 3/4 cup cultured buttermilk (or yogurt)
3 free-range eggs, separated

2 apples, rinsed
2 tbsp melted butter
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Ginger-Spiced Yogurt
1 cup unsweetened yogurt
1 knob (roughly 2,5 cm / 1 inch) fresh ginger
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F bake mode, grease a 30 x 22 cm / 12 x 9 inch tray or springform cake tin and line it with parchment paper.

Place the oats in a food processor and blend until the texture resembles coarse flour. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Make a well in the centre and set aside while preparing the wet ingredients.

Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the bowl of a stand mixer along with the maple syrup and mix until well combined and creamy. Add the buttermilk and egg yolks and mix until smooth. Grate the apple coarsely (with peel), add to the stand mixer and mix until just combined, set aside.

Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients, followed by the egg whites, into the dry ingredients until just combined, making sure not to over mix as the cake will be compact otherwise.

Pour the cake batter into the tray. Cut the two apples in thin slices and place them on top of the batter, pushing them down just slightly. Brush the slices with melted butter and the dust the cake with cinnamon. Bake for approx. 45-55 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely. Store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container and it will keep for a few days.

To make the yogurt, simply scoop it into a bowl, grate the fresh ginger into it, add maple syrup and lemon and stir until combined. Taste and adjust the flavours after preference.


Apple Pie Crumble Bars (Vegan + GF)

Apple Pie Crumble Bars (Vegan + GF)

Wow. Apple season is here (at least in the Pacific Northwest!) and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

When I worked at a sandwich shop in college I used to bring a granny smith apple in every day for my mid-morning snack. I literally ate an apple a day everyday for like two years. That’s love!

This recipe takes my love for apples into new territory. They remind me of apple crisp and apple pie and apple strudel all wrapped into one!

View, Print or Pin Apple Pie Crumble Bars (Vegan + GF) from Minimalist Baker →

Turmeric Popcorn

I posted a photo to Instagram over the weekend. A snapshot of a catch-all stretch of counter space, where I tend to keep recipe clippings, a journal, receipts, and snacks that I can grab on my way out the door. In the aforementioned photo there was a jar filled with turmeric popcorn, and a few of you asked for the recipe. Done! Here you go. I like to add all sorts of things to popcorn, and in this case it was: turmeric, saffron, nutritional yeast, sesame, and toasted coconut. I do a green version as well, and can post that down the road a bit, if you like. In the meantime, enjoy!
I’ve posted the recipe here >>>>>>.

Turmeric Popcorn Recipe
Turmeric Popcorn Recipe

Continue reading Turmeric Popcorn…