All posts by Mervin

Easy 5-Ingredient Protein Bars (Peanut Butter Chocolate!)

Easy 5-Ingredient Protein Bars (Peanut Butter Chocolate!)

Friends, behold: the easiest, most irresistible DIY protein bars on the block.

They’re salty, naturally sweet, and topped with (optional but not-so-optional) melted dark chocolate. But most importantly, they require just 5 ingredients, 1 food processor (or blender), and 20 minutes to make.

Let’s do this!

These protein bars are adapted from our beloved 5-Ingredient Protein Ball recipe and feature a few modifications and flavor swaps.

Easy 5-Ingredient Protein Bars (Peanut Butter Chocolate!) from Minimalist Baker →

Chili Green Bean and Egg Spring Rolls

Post sponsored by Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. See below for more details.

What’s my favorite summer food? Anything portable as I feel like I’m always on the move! These spring rolls are packed with cooked green beans, herby noodles, and to bring it all together, fried egg. It’s a perfect on-the-go meal for me!

Loaded up with Vegetables

I think there’s no better thing than having a hand-held option to eat a delicious array of vegetables. It’s easy to load them up with any of the seasonal vegetables. During the summer, you could also add cucumbers, different types of peppers, greens, cabbage, or eggplant.

During the cooler months, this would also work well with carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, chard, and/or kale.

Make it a meal: Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs

Beyond the delicious array of vegetables, these spring rolls are also great as a meal with help from Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. One of the reasons I like using these eggs is because I know they come from small family farms that are dedicated to humanely raising chickens and ensuring care of the land for future generations.


When it comes to spring rolls in the summer, basil is the obvious choice. However, it’s not the only option. A few other ways to jazz up the rice noodles include cilantro, mint, dill, or parsley. Some of these options are better for the fall/winter vegetables but I’ve yet to find a combination I don’t like.

Rice Noodles

I love adding rice noodles to the rolls as a way to bulk up the overall bite. I prefer the smaller brown rice noodles but I’ve also used thicker ones in the past. Of course, you don’t have to use noodles at all. I’ll occasionally swap out the noodles for lettuce or spinach.

The Wrappers

Finally, there are a few different types of wrappers. There’s round/square and white/brown. While I like using brown rice papers, I find they are a bit tougher to roll. I’ve been sticking to the smaller 6” white wrappers, which is what I used for this recipe.

[tasty-recipe id=”38276″]

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. 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

The post Chili Green Bean and Egg Spring Rolls appeared first on Naturally..

Quick Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing

Quick Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing

Sometimes when I’m testing a recipe I want it to be one thing and it turns out to be another. Almost like it has a mind of its own.

Such was the case with this dressing, which was originally supposed to be cashew butter hummus. Sounds good (and weird), right? Well, it turned out to be more weird than good, and then after a series of adjustments it somehow morphed into this seriously delicious miso tahini dressing — and I’m not mad about it.

Quick Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing from Minimalist Baker →

Sweet Corn Soup with Hazelnut-Dill Garnish

Close-up photograph of sweet corn soup with a dill garnish in a dark pink bowl.

I don’t have much to write about this soup other than it’s one of my favorite simple recipes. It’s hard for me to go complicated with summer produce. Between the fresh taste of everything and the heat outside, everything stays minimal.

In terms of the soup, if you can make sweet corn broth, I’d highly recommend it. It just gives an extra punch of corn to the soup which I find so delightful. I’ve even gone so far as to remove the kernels and make the broth the day before making this soup. Or, you can gather cobs and freeze them over the season.

To make the sweet corn broth, I usually use 1 cup of water for each cob I use. Add in onions, salt, and a few herbs- it’s a broth party.

Also, in terms of topping, I love the hazelnut/dill route but it’s completely optional. Top this soup with hot sauce, add some toasted bread, or just swirl in a bit of basil. With a soup this simple, there’s so many flare options.

[tasty-recipe id=”38268″]

Sweet Corn Soup with Hazelnut-Dill Garnishcontinue reading

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Mini Blueberry Galettes

Mini Blueberry Galettes

It’s berry season and we couldn’t be more excited to share an EASY dessert recipe: A flaky crust galette made with just 6 ingredients. Let’s bake!

Blueberries are one of our all-time favorite berries. The perfect combination of sweet and tart, these little beauties are packed with antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber.

And they make the perfect fruit for pairing with a flaky, rustic pie crust.

Mini Blueberry Galettes from Minimalist Baker →

Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad

The only zucchini recipes that have my attention right now call for pounds of it. One half cup here, or a medium zucchini there just isn’t going to cut into the supply coming out of the garden. Apparently many of you feel similarly, because a lot of you made the Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream I posted last week (so good! Also uses 2 pounds). Today’s recipe is a panzanella of sorts, a simple bread salad made with torn pieces of toasted multi-grain bread, grilled zucchini, chickpeas, and a simple, garlic-forward ponzu dressing. Like the pasta, it will also put a 2 pound dent in your zucchini haul.

Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad

The recipe

You can toast the bread, and pull the dressing together ahead of time if you like. Beyond that, when you see an opening on the grill, get in there. Grilling the zucchini takes ten minutes or so. This is a great side for whatever else you might have coming off the grill, but I also like it as a light main for summer nights.
Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad


Choosing zucchini: This is a great way to use up larger zucchini. Sliced zucchini with a larger diameter is easier to grill, if you’re not using a grilling basket.

Thickness: You want to get the thickness of your zucchini slices right here. In the recipe, you’ll notice that I I have you slice the zucchini 1/4-inch thick. The main thing is this – I’d rather you err on the thicker versus thinner side when slicing here. This way your squash will maintain some structure. It’s on the grill for a bit, and if you slice too thinly, the slices are more likely to tear or disintegrate. If your slices are right on the money at 1/4-inch-ish, you should be all good.

Bread: I like a good-quality multigrain bread here. Tear bread pieces large enough that the edges get crispy, but the interior stays a bit chewy when toasting.

Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad


– With Crispy Fried Shallots:  I wanted to keep this recipe as simple, summery, and straight-forward as possible, so I didn’t call for any intensive toppings. That said, crispy fried shallots, to finish things off, would be bonus here. If I’d had some on hand, I wouldn’t have skimped using them. I use them in this cilantro salad, and the recipe is included there.

– Spicier! To let everyone dial up the heat to their liking, serve with a little jar of sesame chile oil on  the table. Drizzle to taste.

– With cheese: Not for the vegans in the crowd, but a bit of crumbled feta or cotija cheese is a nice touch here. 

Continue reading Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad on 101 Cookbooks

Grilled Pear and Halloumi Skewers with Chili Sauce

Close-up image of grilled pear skewers.

This post is in partnership with California Pears. See below for more information.

There’s nothing like lighting up the grill in summer, especially because there’s so many delightful fruits and vegetables to put over the fire. These skewers showcase the best. Salty, grillable cheese paired with fresh pears and a tangy marinade: you can’t go wrong!

California Pears!

I’m excited to again be working with California pears to help kick off the season. While you may think of pears as a fall fruit, here in California it’s already pear season. Which, can be really amazing when you think in terms of summer recipes (like these grilled halloumi skewers!)

It’s no secret that I love grilling pears (like this salad I did last year). It’s especially lovely with the Bartlett pears. Need to source California pears? They are now available in many local stores including Albertsons/Vons.

Diced green pears

Halloumi forever

What pairs better with pears than salty cheese? Halloumi is a favorite summer treat of mine because it grills up so nicely. Halloumi can be a bit tricky to thread onto skewers so one trick I have: cut into large piece and tear where the cheese wants to come apart. It’s a bit easier to work with this way and is less likely to crack when putting onto the skewers.

The essentials

Beyond the California Pears and cheese, there are two essential parts to these skewers. The first: onions. Grilled onions are a favorite of mine and really help balance out the salty/sweet. Then, the chili sauce comes in and brings everything together with a little heat. If you don’t do heat, back off the chili sauce and add a splash of soy sauce to the marinade.

California Pears

What to serve them with

I could easily eat these skewers as-is but sometimes it’s helpful to have a base. Try serving them atop a nice grain pilaf or even a bed of greens. These go nice at a back-yard BBQ and work well with all types of summer salads and sides.

[tasty-recipe id=”38257″]

Grilled Pear and Halloumi Skewers with Chili Sauce


Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with California Pears. 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

The post Grilled Pear and Halloumi Skewers with Chili Sauce appeared first on Naturally..

Date-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting (Plant-Based, 5 Ingredients)

Date-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting (Plant-Based, 5 Ingredients)

Friends, behold: Creamy, rich, vegan chocolate frosting that’s sweetened entirely with dates and is SO easy to make!

Dreams do come true. Let me show you how it’s done!

This 5-ingredient frosting is made in about 10 minutes entirely in the food processor!

Start by blending pitted dates until small bits remain, a ball forms, or it gets creamy (this will depend on how fresh your dates are).

Date-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting (Plant-Based, 5 Ingredients) from Minimalist Baker →

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!


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.


Sumac Spiced Chickpea Cucumber Salad

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


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.


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.


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.

continue reading

The post Vegetarian Tomato Recipes appeared first on Naturally..

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!


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.


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.


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.