All posts by Mervin

A List of Summer Picnic Bowls

This coming weekend I’m planning a break from the fog. If all goes well, there will be sun-bright days, star-lit skies, pine trees, bare feet, and eating outdoors. There will be a river. There will be a grill. There will be a cabin. All the necessary components for California mountain summering. I’m incredibly excited. As soon as we solidified our plans I started going through my archives looking for ideas for good picnic-style salads to make, and found myself drafting a list of contenders. It occurred to me that it might be helpful to post the list here as well. Most of these salads are the sort that can be prepped, in large part, ahead of time. And they’re all meant to be served family-style as part of a larger spread. I hope it’s helpful, pictured above is Joshua McFadden’s Cucumber Salad – a current favorite. Here’s to long weekends, long days, and summer adventures. xo -h

Sriracha Rainbow Noodle Salad – This is a salad you’ll crave every day. A radiant, color-flecked tangle of noodles, cabbage, shredded carrots, pickled sushi ginger, and an abundance of cilantro, basil, and scallions. It has tofu and peanuts, coconut, ginger, avocado, and hemp seeds. The dressing(!) – it’s simple but strong, and steps in with an assertive spicy sriracha-lime punch.

Mung Yoga Bowl – The kind of bowl that keeps you strong – herb-packed yogurt dolloped over a hearty bowl of mung beans and quinoa, finished with toasted nuts and a simple paprika oil.

Vegan Tempeh Taco Salad – All the things you love about a taco, in salad form. Crushed tortilla chips bring the crunch, black beans and crumbled tempeh coated with taco seasoning brings the substance, and a strong, smoked paprika-apple cider dressing pulls everything together.

California Barley Bowl – Plump barley grains tossed with sprouts (or greens), nuts, avocado, a bit of cheese – all dolloped with a simple yogurt sauce.

Avocado Salad – thinly sliced avocado arranged over simple lentils, drizzled with oregano oil, toasted hazelnuts, and chives.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo – Roasted delicata squash and kale tossed w/ orzo pasta & salted yogurt dressing. For summer you can swap in seasonal squash or vegetables in place of the delicata.

Coconut Corn Salad – SImple. Butter a skillet add corn, fresh thyme, red onions, toasted almonds and coconut, and finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

Yellow Bean Salad – A summer yellow bean salad with a green chile-spiked, cilantro-flecked, and coconut milk dressing, toasted pepitas, and (if you want to make a meal of it) pan-fried tofu.

Heirloom Tomato Salad – A favorite tomato salad, made with roasted and ripe tomatoes, capers, mozzarella, almonds, and chives.

Ginger Soba Noodles – Soba noodles tossed with a creamy-ginger dressing and topped with crispy tofu, tarragon, and toasted delicata squash seeds.

Shaved Fennel Salad – Shaved fennel, arugula, zucchini coins, feta, toasted almonds.

Buttermilk Farro Salad – Farro with shaved radishes, zucchini, and fennel tossed with a tangy herbed buttermilk vinaigrette.

Continue reading A List of Summer Picnic Bowls…

Black Bean Tacos with California Avocado-Sweet Corn Salad

Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Sweet Corn Salad | Naturally Ella

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

I’m squeezing in one last avocado recipe into June since it is still California Avocado month! This works out especially well because with temperatures well over 100˚F for the past week, I’m making more items that are fresh and require little cooking. Enter these tacos with a fresh avocado salad. These tacos use my favorite spiced black bean recipe which is then topped with this simple sweet corn salad. This salad is perfect when you’re able to get your hands on fresh sweet corn because the raw flavor is wonderful- there’s no need to always cook corn! Plus, I think sweet corn and avocados should always go together! Read more and see the recipe.

The post Black Bean Tacos with California Avocado-Sweet Corn Salad appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Loaded Summer Vegan Nachos

Perfect summer days call for perfect Loaded Summer Vegan Nachos. We were feeling for some delicious appetizers to share with friends and family during those summer get togethers. Keeping it light and healthy with homemade cashew sour cream and fresh veggies, and we’ve got ourselves a winner.  Regular sour cream is often loaded with unhealthy fats. […]

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Bean Bake with Greens and Turnips

 Bean Bake with Greens and Turnips | Naturally Ella

My first experience with turnips didn’t come until I joined the CSA. In fact, it was my first day on the farm and I was sent home with gorgeous Hakurei turnips. Of course, these were only one variety of turnips but over the years, I’ve experimented with most. Each turnip has a lovely, fairly mellow flavor that is perfect grilled, roasted, or added to a stir-fry. This bean bake uses the entire turnip (if you’re lucky enough to find a bunch!) The greens are slightly wilted and combined with my favorite large white beans then topped with thinly shaved turnips. This bake is hearty enough for a dinner- especially if you serve it with a slice of crusty bread. Read more and see the recipe.

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Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

This has been a favorite recipe ever since I initially posted it in 2008. I threw together a zucchini-flecked ricotta cheesecake after a summer visit to the farmers’ market. The green and yellow squash skins along with a nice amount of chopped dill visually pepper the interior of this savory cake. I used just enough egg to hold things together, creating a simple batter made primarily of ricotta cheese but also flavored with a bit of garlic, shallots, lemon zest, and a few straggler ingredients I found lounging around the kitchen seeking higher purpose. Lighter and less egg-y than a quiche it takes a while to bake, but minimal time ahead of that. Along with a few sides, it would be a welcome addition to any picnic basket, camping trip, or brunch.


Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Keep in mind this is a ricotta based cheesecake – not one based on cream cheese. The texture is going to be different (and delicious) in its own right .

Continue reading Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake…

2017 Runaway Nutrition Retreat in Bali, Indonesia

If there were one word to describe our retreat in Bali it would be magical. PURE MAGIC. From the activities, to the participants to the resort, this retreat was one of our all-time favorite experiences. Imagine 8 days of great conversation, amazing food and new adventures. The best part was that we got to focus […]

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The post 2017 Runaway Nutrition Retreat in Bali, Indonesia appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Q&A Minisode: Choosing Plant-Based Milks

Hey there! Today we’re answering one of your questions about plant-based milks. Which one should you pick? Is one superior to another? Listen in to get the full scoop.  OVERVIEW: When it comes to milks, we usually recommend taking into account tolerance, preference, and nutritional value. What do I mean by this? Well for many, […]

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Halloumi Burrito Bowl with Roasted Potatoes and Guacamole

Halloumi Burrito Bowl with Roasted Potatoes and Guacamole | Naturally Ella

I find that most of the best recipes I create are sheer happenstance, a coming together of odds and ends in my kitchen. A few weeks back, I whipped together some of these halloumi bowls with leftover potatoes from the breakfast enchiladas, the last lonely avocado in the refrigerator, and the halloumi I’d been hoarding for some time. One bite and I couldn’t believe how delicious this halloumi burrito bowl was. I posted to social and turns out, quite a few other people thought so too.

And so, here’s the official recipe, fairly close to how I made it the first time. The combination of roasted potatoes with salty fried cheese and creamy guacamole- it’s close to my perfect meal. If you’re having trouble finding halloumi, look for it at your local co-op or ask your store if they can order it. Last resort- I’ve made my own paneer before then added a sprinkle of salt to the fried cheese. It’s not halloumi but it’s still fried cheese. Read more and see the recipe.

The post Halloumi Burrito Bowl with Roasted Potatoes and Guacamole appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Curry Chickpea Burgers with Coconut Cabbage Slaw

Curry Chickpea Burgers with Coconut Cabbage Slaw | Naturally Ella

This recipe is in partnership with Nugget Markets. See below for more details.

Any time I move or travel some place, grocery stores are usually first on my list to find. I have a pretty high standard and it’s rare that a store has everything I need. I’m the type of person that usually goes to two or three different stores on a weekly basis (which is obviously not feasible for most!) This is why I’m excited to partner with Nugget Markets for this recipe. Not only can this store be my one-stop-shop but it also happens to be a local store in the Sacramento and Bay area.

Nugget is family-owned and operated as well as a proponent of locally grown and produced foods. One of the things I love most about the store is their labeling system. Vegan? They highlight this on their labels to help you find items faster. Plus, they even pass my cheese test: they carry halloumi! Best of all- if they don’t carry something, they will gladly try and find it (super helpful as you can imagine I’m always looking for different ingredients!)

These curry chickpea burgers are part of their exploration of purple ingredients this summer. There are so many beautiful purple produce items and one of my favorite is cabbage. The deep purple color is the perfect burger topping, especially when tossed with coconut milk and paired with curry. These burgers are based on my favorite chickpea burger and come together fairly quickly. These are also easily vegan if you swap the egg for your favorite substitute.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Curry Chickpea Burgers with Coconut Cabbage Slaw appeared first on Naturally Ella.