All posts by Mervin

1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Crackers

1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Crackers

This recipe is for the carb and cracker lover who is ready to up their game and make their own at home. (Trust me. It’s not as scary as it sounds.)

Or, if you ever make your own almond milk, you likely have leftover pulp! You can put it to good use in these crackers. (Yet another reason to try this recipe.)

What I’m saying is: These delicious crackers make excellent use of ingredients you likely have in your pantry right now.

1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Crackers from Minimalist Baker →

Marinara-Smothered Lentil Bites with Mozzarella

Marina-Smothered Lentil Bites with Mozzarella | Naturally Ella

My obsession for these lentil bites knows no end. We keep an extra large batch of the bites in the freezer so that we can always have an easy meal, ready to go. This dish relies on my favorite pantry tomato sauce and a bit of cheese. These bites can be eaten by themselves, on top of grains, or smothering pasta. I’ve also been known to make meatball sandwiches with this recipe- perfect for dinner!

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Marinara-Smothered Lentil Bites with Mozzarella appeared first on Naturally Ella.

12 Recipes for When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking

12 Recipes for When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking

Having one of those days? You get home and the very last thing you want to think about is what to make for dinner. Fear not! Instead of ordering in, I’ve compiled 12 of my favorite vegan go-to recipes that are ready and on the table in 30-minutes or less!

Recipes in order of left to right, top to bottom: Kale Chip Nachos // Thai Spring Rolls // 5-Minute Detox Salad // Asian Kale Salad // Quinoa Gado Gado Bowl // Kale Sweet Potato Curry // Vegan Alfredo // Lentil Bolognese Zucchini Pasta // Garlicky Kale Salad // Portobello Butternut Squash Tacos // Pea Pesto Pasta // Chickpea Bolognese //

Enjoy these quick, easy + nutritious recipes!

12 Recipes for When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking from Minimalist Baker →

Q&A Minisode: How to Fight Sugar Cravings

If you haven’t already heard, we’re starting a Q&A section on our podcast. You can record your questions right into the podcast page on our website, and we’ll record our reply into a mini-episode. You can also questions on your phone, and send to usas a voice-note. This weeks question is about sugar addition. The listener asks what […]

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The post Q&A Minisode: How to Fight Sugar Cravings appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Vegetable Quinoa Fried Rice

Disclosure: We’ve partnered with SmartMade™ to create this Vegetable Quinoa Fried Rice! Sure, we’re dietitians, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love good food. In fact, one of our favorite dishes to order at a Chinese restaurant is fried rice. Can you blame us? It’s an ever-so-crunchy delight that’s packed with flavor. Having said that, part of […]

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The post Vegetable Quinoa Fried Rice appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Quinoa and White Bean Risotto with Brassicas

White Bean Quinoa Risotto from the First Mess Cookbook

One of the things that excites me most about food, besides eating it, is the sharing of ideas and inspiration. One recipe could lead to 100’s of variations which in return, could lead to 100’s of more variations. There’s an element of play, which I always encourage. Today I’m sharing a recipe from a blogger I think is one of the most inspirational plant-based women in the field. Laura from The First Mess is always coming up with new combinations and ways to cook with regular pantry ingredients. Her new blog-titled book, The First Mess, just hit shelves. If you are into plant-based recipes, which if you’re reading this site, I have a sneaking suspicion you are, I cannot recommend her book enough.

This quinoa risotto was one I tested and I knew the moment I tasted it, I wanted to share it once the book launched. Laura uses a white bean puree mixed with a bit of lemon and nutritional yeast to form the creamy risotto base. Best of all, thanks to quick cooking quinoa, this risotto is much faster than the traditional rice-based version!

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Quinoa and White Bean Risotto with Brassicas appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Healthy Vegan Fudge (30 minutes!)

Healthy Vegan Fudge (30 minutes!)

This recipe tested my patience. I almost threw in the towel. Aren’t you glad I didn’t?

This fudge started as avocado truffles, which then morphed into avocado fudge, which inevitably ended up being a flop because, as hard as I tried to ignore it, I could always taste (and smell) the avocado in the background. Back to the drawing board.

Next, I went for a vegan chocolate-inspired approach with cocoa butter and coconut oil.

Healthy Vegan Fudge (30 minutes!) from Minimalist Baker →

Vegetarian Picnic Recipes

Vegetarian Picnic Recipes | Naturally Ella

When I was in college, at the first sight of spring, we would haul all our books out into the grass and stay there for hours. Coming out of the Chicago winter meant that anything 60 (with sun) felt amazing (even though we probably looked a bit out there in shorts!) And of course, I’d always haul out snacks too. I love a good picnic whether it’s after a long hike, a swim at the beach, or a quick rest area stop on a road trip. Over the years I’ve really upped my picnic food game and below are just a few of my favorite vegetarian picnic recipes.

Sandwiches and Wraps

Curried Cauliflower Wraps | Vegetarian Picnic Recipes

I have to admit that the sandwich feels a bit boring in comparison to the other items on this list. However, there are numerous ways to make a veg sandwich exciting. Layer on the vegetables, make some fun sauces, and if all else fails, egg salad!



Cucumber Peanut Salad | Vegetarian Picnic Recipes

Picnic salads have to be hearty- usually no light greens involved. I love using whole grains, firm greens, and legumes. Don’t be afraid of big spices and lots of herbs.


Grain Bowls/Salads

Spelt Grape Salad with Chickpeas | Vegetarian Picnic Recipes

Give me a good grain-based salad any day. There are so many combinations that it is easy to feel inspired. I usually just pick up whatever is fresh at the market and cook up one of my favorite grains. During the warmer months, I love fruit in my salads- so refreshing!


Legume Bowls/Salads

Black Bean Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes | Vegetarian Picnic Recipes

Whenever we leave the house for stretches of time, I always make plenty of protein-heavy meals and snacks. These legume bowls and salads are hearty, filling, and hold up to time in a cooler.

Click to see more picnic ideas.

The post Vegetarian Picnic Recipes appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Vegetarian Lunch Ideas: One Sauce / Three Lunches

This post is about taking one favorite tomato sauce, and working it into three different lunches. The lunches I had in mind are work, school, or on-the-go type lunches that don’t require reheating. The basic idea is you tweak the main sauce a bit day by day, and create a pasta bowl (day one), a lazy chana masala (day two), and a spicy dipping sauce for quinoa patties (day three). The video goes into all the specifics, and you can see how I pull together a handful of weekday friendly lunches (with some diversity) using a lot of the basic ingredients many of you already keep on hand. The general idea is this – even if you’re busy, these lunches aren’t crazy to throw together, especially if you plan ahead a bit.


Related, meal prep has a tendency to make my head explode a little. I love the idea, but find it overwhelming. I’m always trying to find middle ground, and to simplify, but not-oversimplify 😉 So, I’ll include a few tips that work for me here. The main thing that keeps things easy is the following:


EVERY WEEKEND: Good to keep on hand

– Cook a favorite grain (quinoa, brown rice, etc.)
– Cook a favorite pulse or bean (lentils, mung beans, etc.)
– Hard-boil 6 – 12 eggs (if you eat eggs)*
– Wash, cut, & prep a few quick-cooking vegetables (kale, broccoli, asparagus)


If you’re into this general idea, please let me know(!), and I can show you how I build off other core recipes or ideas (for example, I do a week based on my favorite saag paneer). Hope you find some of this helpful! -h

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