All posts by Mervin

Avocado Chickpea Salad

Avocado Chickpea Salad | Naturally Ella

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

The second the temperature gets above 60˚F, it’s hard to pull me back inside. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m sitting on my patio, soaking up a bit of afternoon sun. So it should come as no surprise that I start to also focus on recipes that go well in a picnic setting.

This avocado chickpea salad is a bit of an amalgamation between this egg salad recipe and this chickpea deli salad from Sprouted Kitchen. It’s meant to scooped up with a solid cracker or served on a perfect slice of bread.

Best of all, it uses mostly pantry ingredients (like my favorite chickpea) but is still fresh tasting with help from the herbs and the California Avocados. Also, I made a batch of these crackers (with sesame oil) which helped me use up a few seeds I’ve had stashed in the freezer!

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Avocado Chickpea Salad appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Melissa Clark's Instant Pot Hummus (with Variations)

I’ve been having quite a lot of fun playing around with different Instant Pot recipes over the past few months, but one recipe has emerged as a breakout. It’s the one that keeps my Instant Pot on my counter instead of under it. You ready? It’s the hummus from Melissa Clark’s Dinner in an Instant. I find myself making it once or twice a week (no joke!). Because, who doesn’t need nearly effortless containers of hummus in their refrigerator all week?

Melissa Clark's Instant Pot Hummus Recipe

The recipe yields a silky, smooth hummus, and once you nail the method, the variations you can do are endless. I love to take it in different directions, and the version you see photographed here is fortified with a couple generous handfuls of spinach. I’ll also including notes related to a few other favorite variations down below as well. Because, as much as I love classic, straight-forward hummus, I also like to make an herb version, a spinach hummus, there’s a beet version, and (pictured here) berbere spiced hummus – maybe my favorite version yet?!. It goes on and on.

Melissa Clark's Instant Pot Hummus Recipe

Melissa uses some interesting techniques here, and it results in a beautifully smooth, billowy hummus – without having to peel each individual chickpea! I think the biggest positive impact on the texture comes from making an ice watery paste with tahini, garlic, and lemon juice, and then working in the chickpeas from there.

Melissa Clark's Instant Pot Hummus Recipe

Melissa Clark's Instant Pot Hummus Recipe

Hummus Variations:

Berbere Hummus (pictured above): The version pictured here is flared out with berbere, a spice blend typical to Ethiopia and Eritrea. I like the berbere recipe in Josef Centeno’s Baco cookbook. But if you don’t have it, google around for another version online. To make the berbere-accented hummus, add 1 tablespoon (or more to taste!) of berbere spice to the blender with the other ingredients. Also, sprinkle on top of the hummus, after drizzling with olive oil.

Beet Hummus: throw a small, peeled (yellow, orange, or red) beet or two into the pot long with the chickpeas, and proceed with recipe. Alternately, you can add the beet raw to the blender.

Herby Miso Hummus: Add a dollop of this wintery miso paste to the blender,

Turmeric-soaked Chickpeas with Yuzu and Black Pepper Hummus: I’ll post my technique for these chickpeas soon (working on it!), I season that hummus with a generous splash of yuzu juice, you can find alongside Japanese ingredients on occasion in well-stocked grocery stores. Also, lots of freshly ground black pepper.

If you don’t have an instant pot, you can still use these ideas, just start with cooked (canned will work) chickpeas. Also, for reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1

Continue reading Melissa Clark’s Instant Pot Hummus (with Variations)…

Spring Picnic Bread

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As picnic season finally is upon us, we are kicking it off with two new favorite things. One is a bike and the other is a bread. We have been dreaming of a Danish cargo bike for years and years, and last month we finally splurged on this one. It’s the perfect vehicle for us because we can fit all three kids in it, with seatbelts and all. It’s ideal to bring home heavy grocery bags with. And it’s environmentally friendly. All practicalities aside, it is also lots of fun to ride around with and we are roaming from playground to picnic spots without a hitch. We just pack a few blankets, a big smoothie, a rhubarb compote and this beauty of a bread.

We created this recipe for these kind of picnic situations. We wanted something spring-y and savory that would be more moist than a bread and not too heavy or complicated. It’s basically like a savory muffin that we bake in a sheet pan. It serves many, is easy to make, super moist and flavorful and you can make lots of variations on it.

Needless to say, this is also ideal for a brunch or or other weekend gatherings.

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Just like a foccacia, the bread is just a base and you can play with all the toppings. Here are a few suggestions:
• Swap some of the potatoes with grated carrots, parsnip or swede.
• A teaspoon of mustard in the batter would add some complexity to the flavor.
• Add lots of different fresh herbs to the batter.
• Olives or capers could be good on top. Spinach could also be used instead of asparagus.
• You can use a dairy free yogurt instead of buttermilk and leave out the feta cheese if you prefer it dairy free.
• We haven’t tried a vegan version but replacing the eggs with chia eggs (1 egg = 1 tablespoons chia seed + 3 tablespoons water) has worked for us on similar recipes.

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Asparagus & Potato Picnic Bread
Serves 12

Dry Ingredients
100 g / 1 cup oat flour (or the same amount rolled oats, blitzed into flour in a food processor)
100 g / 3/4 cup rice flour (or buckwheat flour or spelt flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt flakes

Wet Ingredients
3 free-range eggs
125 ml / 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil, at room temperature

125 ml / 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk (or yogurt or plant-based yogurt)
1-2 spring onions
3-4 potatoes (2 cups / 250 g)
100 g feta cheese

Topping
3 raw asparagus

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp quality olive oil
2 tsp honey

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

Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir until combined. Make a well in the centre and set aside while preparing the wet ingredients.

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl, then add buttermilk. Finely chop the onion. Peel the potatoes, grate them coarsely and add them to the wet mixture along with the onion. Crumble in half of the feta cheese. Give it a good stir and then pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the flours. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine the batter and then pour it onto the tray.

Use a peeler to shave the asparagus into thin ribbons and spread them out over the batter. Crumble the remaining feta cheese on top. Combine pumpkin seeds, oil and honey and sprinkle them on top as well.

Brush the asparagus with any remaining oil from the seeds. Bake for approx. 35-45 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.

Great to bring on a picnic and serve with a tangy rhubarb compote or chutney.

Enjoy!

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5-Minute Raw Banana Splits

5-Minute Raw Banana Splits

This recipe is inspired by a snack we recently shared on Instagram that you were apparently very into. And because we’ve had it many times since, we figured it was due time to share the details.

Let’s make (healthier) banana splits!

This 7-ingredient, 5-minute recipe is raw (when you use raw nut butter), insanely versatile, and super delicious.

It all starts with ripe bananas scored down the middle to prepare for all the delicious toppings.

5-Minute Raw Banana Splits from Minimalist Baker →

Breakfast Tostada

Breakfast Tostada from The Minimalist Kitchen

I am pretty excited to share this recipe with you. If you’ve been hanging around this site for years, you may remember I had a web design company that I co-ran with Melissa from The Faux Martha. We met in person after following each other in 2012, for a Joy the Baker book signing in Chicago (there are pictures!). From there, the rest was history. A couple years ago, we agreed it was time to close the doors to the design company. We didn’t know what was going to happen but we both wanted to focus on the things we loved. It all feels like ages ago.

Fast forward to now: Melissa has been busy and written one wonderful cookbook. It’s all about pairing down and being ready for dinner: The Minimalist Kitchen. It’s more than just recipes and if you ever say to lose ingredients/feel like you have too many kitchen tools: this book is for you. I’m sharing Melissa’s breakfast tostadas. This recipe is great within a meal plan but I was easily able to adapt it for what I have on hand (as mentioned in the notes!)

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Breakfast Tostada appeared first on Naturally Ella.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

Asparagus is the workhorse of the springtime kitchen. Unlike the fussier darlings (I still love them), fava beans, peas, and artichokes, all of which require copious amounts of preparation time. Asparagus is relatively simple. Instead of partaking in tasks like shelling, trimming, and de-choking, asparagus can be at its pinnacle with a simple trim, quick blanch, drizzle of oil, and dusting of salt. We get pencil thin asparagus here, as well as asparagus thick as a candle – and everything in between. Here are a range of asparagus winners that will teach you how to cook asparagus like a pro. Happy spring, and enjoy!

1. A Simple Aspragus Soup (101 Cookbooks)
A great starter recipe. Everyone should have a good asparagus soup in their back pocket. This one is tops – fresh asparagus, new potatoes, a bit of green curry paste, and coconut milk are pureed to make this spring favorite. Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

2. Avocado Asparagus Tartine (101 Cookbooks)
An excellent impromptu springtime lunch tartine: avocado smeared across toasted day-old slabs of sesame bread, layered with arugula and garlicky caraway asparagus + toasted pepitas. Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

3. Grilled Asparagus Plate + Cilantro Pepita Pesto (Sprouted Kitchen)
Cheers to spring produce from Sprouted Kitchen. Love this simple preparation with the pesto. It has a surprise kiss of chipotle in it, along with a hint of lime. Perfection. Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

4. Weeknight Ponzu Pasta (101 Cookbooks)
All things green in a quick, weeknight pasta option. It’s feel-good food that won’t weigh you down – ponzu dressing, green vegetables, and the pasta of your choice. Swap asparagus in for the green beans here, and you’re all good. Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

5. Shaved Asparagus and Shell Pea Salad With Rhubarb Vinaigrette (Hungry Ghost)
Spring magic with a rhubarb vinaigrette. Shaved asparagus with all the things fresh and green. Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

6. Asparagus Stir-fry (101 Cookbooks)
A favorite stir-fry recipe. Asparagus and tofu form the base, but it has quite a lot going on beyond that. You get a bite of tang from the lime, heat from the red chiles and fresh ginger, mint and basil cool things down, and a touch hoisin sauce gives you just enough sweetness to balance it all out. Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

7. Fava Bean and Asparagus Salad (Bon Appétit)
Love this Alison Roman recipe. Also, a good opportunity to get your fava peeling fix on, if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

8. Asparagus Cilantro Salad (101 Cookbooks)
I love this salad so much. And, unless you absolutely loathe cilantro, you must try it. Simply cilantro leaves and stems tossed with a simple shallot-forward soy sauce dressing, plus peanuts, and asparagus. So good. Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

9. Grilled Asparagus Spring Rolls (Bojon Gourmet)
Yes to spring rolls. Yes to ginger lime dipping sauce. Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

10. Asparagus Panzanella (101 Cookbooks)
A simple asparagus panzanella – a quick, mustard buttermilk dressing accents good asparagus, alongside crusty shards of toasted bread, and a dusting of sesame seeds. Shred a hard boiled egg over the top and you’ve got an even more substantial meal.Get the recipe here.

10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro

Continue reading 10 Recipes That Teach You How To Cook Asparagus Like A Pro…

Einkorn Risotto with Roasted Asparagus

Einkorn Risotto with Roasted Asparagus

I try and use as few pans as possible when I cook. So when I was writing out this recipe, I realized I dirtied a lot for this einkorn risotto. But, it’s worth it for a delicious spring dinner. There’s nothing better than roasted asparagus during the spring months. Pair that with the warming einkorn base- it’s a winning dinner situation.

One note about making whole grain risottos. I love the result I get when I crack the grains. It doesn’t take long but the extra step provides a bit of flour to help thicken the risotto and make it extra creamy without a ton of cheese.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Einkorn Risotto with Roasted Asparagus appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Scallion Roasted Carrots with Quinoa

Scallion Roasted Carrots with Quinoa | Naturally Ella

Post sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. See below for more details.

I’ve made it no secret that I have a deep love for roasted vegetable grain bowls, preferably with hummus and eggs. This is one of about 5 meals I could eat everyday (which, I pretty much do). I often switch up the vegetables and grains but the formula stays the same. In terms of grains, I usually use leftovers. However, I don’t always have leftovers. This is when I reach for Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa. It’s quick cooking time ensures it’s ready whenever the roasted vegetables are tender, giving grain bowls a chance to reach to the table in 30 minutes.

These scallion roasted carrots are great in either spring or fall. However, I love the tender spring carrots. Spring also happens to be the time I can usually find smaller carrots. You could easily ditch the hummus/egg combo for a cashew or sunflower cream. Also, play around with the flavors on the roasted vegetables. Add in minced garlic or toss with fresh herbs.

Read more and see the recipe.

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