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20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

Many of you know, probably via my Instagram, I’ve moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I’m loving it. Although, being lost most of the time (especially driving) is a challenge. We’re settling in, and exploring the region is super exciting. We even have a bit of a sliver of sun-kissed yard for the first time in over twenty years – Arabian jasmine, gardenias, pomegranate, and a passionfruit vine! Because of the work being done on the house, we’ve been eating out more, and there have been many times when I found myself saying, “this XXXX tastes incredible, everyone should try this.” Enter today’s post. A collection of recipes from some of my favorite restaurants in L.A. I haven’t been here long, and Los Angeles is huge, so please, consider this a first pass. An excuse to invite some of the amazing cooks and chefs, and their Cali-sensibility, into your own kitchen in the coming weeks and months.  

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

1. Carrot Juice Cavatelli, Tops Salsa & Spiced Pulp Crumble (Rustic Canyon) Jeremey Fox’s cookbook is A+ (so many great ideas) and this was the first thing I cooked from it.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now20 Favorite L.A. Restaurant Recipes

2. Mushroom Toast + Grilled Kale with Shallot-Yogurt Dressing & Toasted Hazelnuts (Gjusta / Gjelina) The Gjusta / Gjelina empire is a must-visit anytime you find yourself in Venice. Whether it’s pizza at Gjelina or baked awesomeness at Gjusta, you can bring some of the magic into your own kitchen. Hard to choose between the mushroom toast recipe and the kale salad though.

20 Favorite L.A. Restaurant Recipes

3. Medicinal Miso, Shiitakes + Sea Vegetables (Plant Food + Wine) A restorative miso soup perfect for short winter days.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

4. Spinach Balanzoni with Brown Butter and Sage (Felix) Wayne kept refreshing the Resy app and somehow managed to get us a prime-time reservation at Felix a few months back when we were staying near Venice. The meal was spot-on. Pasta inspiration forever. Excited for the book to come.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

5. Grilled Asparagus and Brie Grilled Cheese (Butcher’s Daughter) Even though its roots are in New York, Butcher’s Daughter feels like the perfect L.A. spot. I’ve had several great “easy” lunches and dinners there, and like the idea of this grilled cheese at home.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

6. Roasted Carrot, Heirloom Bean and Farro Salad + Baked Onions with Fennel Bread Crumbs (Nancy Silverton) One of the indisputable queens of L.A. food. And one of the people I’d most want to raid the wardrobe of. 🙂 I can’t pick just one recipe, so check out this bean-focused dish (pictured here via Steve of Rancho Gordo) alongside her fabulous baked onions.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

7. Pomelo Salad with Chile, Lime, Peanuts, and Coconut (Night + Market) I’ve written about Kris Yenbamroong’s curry paste from the Night + Market cookbook. Next up a bright citrus-y salad when you need a break from winter dreariness.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

8. Almond Oats with Muesli and Skyr (Destroyer) One of the most interesting lunches I’ve had in L.A. Or anywhere. I’m not the only one waiting impatiently for a cookbook, but I found this oats recipe, which is a sample of how Jordan Kahn reinvents the ordinary.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

9. Chopped Salad (Gracias Madre) Gracias Madre love forever. I miss living close enough to walk to the San Francisco location. Needless to say, this chopped salad is going into full rotation asap.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

10. Punjabi-Spiced Pumpkin (Badmaash) A  fresh take on pumpkin to switch things up this winter.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

11. Gem Lettuce Salad with Chilli, Parmesan and Bread Crumbs (Jon and Vinny’s) I can’t say no to a little gem salad and this recipe took L.A. by storm before I landed.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

12. Kimchi Fried Rice (Baroo) Multiple friends told me that I had to try Baroo before I arrived. It was at the top of my list…and it closed weeks before I was able to get it together and get there. This recipe with pineapple salsa gives a hint at what the hype was about. I’m one of many eager to see what chef Kwang Uh’s next chapter is.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

13. Turkish-ish breakfast (Kismet) I love a savory breakfast over sweet every time. Full stop. This Turkish breakfast from the Kismet ladies accurately re-creates what I miss from Istanbul.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

14. Sorrel Pesto Rice (Sqirl) Yes to all things sorrel. Love that sour note and its electric greenness. And yes to Sqirl. Whenever possible. And thanks to Jessica’s cookbook, and recipes like this, you can have more Sqirl in your own kitchen. After you get the recipe, check out the fun interview on Meike Peters’ fantastic blog. (Stay for the profile of Farmlot 59, which is a local fav here in Long Beach.)

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

15. Zhoug (Mh Zh) It was a warm evening post Spring EPCF, and Mh Zh (pronounced like mez-zeh, I think) has only a handful of seats. We sat outside on chairs sinking into the gravel, plates piling up on our oil drum table,  people were hiding the beers they BYO’d and everything was perfect.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

16. Sesame Ginger Matcha (Moon Juice) For the matcha-heads.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

17. Our Favorite Romesco (Botanica) Love these ladies and everything they’ve built at Botanica. Spot on food, service and the space itself is perfect for a meal anytime of day. For all of you outside L.A. – they have a great recipe section on their site. 

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

18. Sweet Potato Tacos (Guerrilla Tacos) I’ve only had a chance to have these once at Guerrilla Tacos, now it’s time to make them at home.

20 Favorite L.A. Restaurant Recipes

19. Roasted Rainbow Cauliflower Tacos (Trejo’s Tacos) It’s L.A., so we have to have one celebrity sighting – Danny Trejo’s taco spot isn’t just a vanity project – it’s well-loved. Vegan tacos are a bit of a thing down here, so check out this taco recipe.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

20. Homemade Horchata (Ana Maria’s) Check out Ana Maria’s in the famed Grand Central Market. I’m (slowly) working on an L.A. guide, in the meantime, it’s safe to say – no culinary visit to LA is complete without a stop at here.

20 L.A. Restaurant Recipes to Cook Now

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5-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Thumbprints

5-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Thumbprints

Friends! I’m so excited to share my new favorite cookie with you just in time for the holidays. They’re so easy to make, ready in 20 minutesrequire no baking and just 5 ingredients, and they’re naturally sweetened! Let’s (not) bake!

The base for these cookies starts with creamy, salted peanut butter sweetened with maple syrup.

For gluten-free flour I used almond flour for its light texture, somewhat “cakey” flavor, and ability to absorb moisture without over-drying (like coconut flour can).

5-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Thumbprints from Minimalist Baker →

1-Bowl Vegan Coconut “Snowball” Cookies

1-Bowl Vegan Coconut “Snowball” Cookies

It’s about that time of year—time to bake cookies all day and lounge in stretchy pants, am I right?

These cookies are a riff off our Easy Vegan Macaroon Cookies (but somehow even better)! They’re tender, perfectly sweet, and coconut-y, which is why they remind me of snowballs. I couldn’t resist. Let’s do this!

This recipe requires just 7 ingredients, 1 bowl, and less than 30 minutes to make!

1-Bowl Vegan Coconut “Snowball” Cookies from Minimalist Baker →

Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Chimichurri

Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Jalapeño Chimichurri

When it comes to roasted squash, I’m all about big flavors. Give me all the spices and herbs. This adobo acorn squash is the perfect example. The squash is roasted in a great mix of spices and finished with one of my favorite herb sauces. Perfect as a side or add a cup of pinto beans or chickpeas to make it lunch.

Acorn Squash or Bust (not really)

One of my favorite sections in the grocery store is the section that houses winter squash. Some stores have the standard: butternut, spaghetti, and acorn while other stores branch out with red kuri, blue hubbard, and delicata. I love them all for many different reasons and honestly, acorn is usually towards the bottom of this list.

However, acorn works really well for recipes like this adobo squash. I find that acorn, when not overcooked, holds it’s texture well. The flavor is mild enough to support a bit of character in pairings. And, it’s one of the easier squashes to find at regular grocery stores. However, if I were to sub it for something else, I’d choose red kuri (because you don’t have to peel) or butternut squash. You could also make this recipe with sweet potatoes!

 

Crispy Quinoa

Crispy quinoa is one of those items that is easy to do and can make a big impact on the overall texture of the dish. Over the years, I’ve changed the ratio of components in this recipe. Originally it started as a quinoa bowl with acorn squash but it’s now become acorn squash with a smattering of quinoa. I like to make quinoa for dinner one night and find a way to use crispy quinoa in the next day’s meal.

If, however, you don’t want to mess with frying quinoa or you’re not working with leftovers, a few toasted seeds will do. Swap the quinoa out for toasted pepitas or almonds.

 

Chimichurri

Easily one of my favorite components, I make chimichurri quite regularly. It’s a great way to use any leftover herbs you might have from your week of cooking. It’s also a major reason why I grow oregano and Mexican oregano. Make a regular-sized batch and use on tacos, grain bowls, morning eggs, or as a finishing sauce for soups.
 

Make it Vegan

Finally, to make this recipe vegan, drop the yogurt and use either a tablespoon or two of olive oil. You could also swap in your favorite, non-flavored dairy yogurt or use a cashew cream. I like the coating the yogurt provides so I’d be more likely to go with the latter.

Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Jalapeño Chimichurri

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Black Sticky Gingerbread

I’ve experimented with a good number of gingerbread recipes in the years since I highlighted Regan Daley’s Black Sticky Gingerbread. There were single, double, and triple ginger gingerbreads. Cakes that were spice-kissed, and others with experience at first and second base. They’re all good, really. But hers is the one I keep coming back to when it counts. And because it has been hiding in the archives for so long, I thought I’d run my updated version today complete with tweaks, and fresh insights.
Black Sticky Gingerbread
Back then, here’s what I said, “…The Black Sticky Gingerbread comes together like the cake that it is – straight-forward, unfussy, with a bit of kick and attitude. Melt the butter with the sweeteners, stir in a few eggs, fold in the fragrant spices and flour, spike it with some freshly grated ginger, and pour the batter into the prepared pan. The cake is outrageously dark, dense, flavorful, and delicious. Not the prettiest cake you’ll ever make, but one of the tastiest. The burnt-caramel-esque crust that forms on the top of the cake is outrageous, and that was the first part of the cake to go.”Black Sticky Gingerbread
It all holds true. I’d love to know if any of you give this a try over the holidays, or if you make any personalized tweaks to it! xo -h

Continue reading Black Sticky Gingerbread on 101 Cookbooks

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

A good brothy noodle soup is great anytime of year, but it’s particularly good in the middle of winter. And you have options! Between the broth, the type of noodles, and whatever else you put in the bowl, the possibilities are nearly endless. Below you’ll find a collection of A+ noodle soups to try. There are interpretations of classics like pho and ramen, alongside seasonal ideas, and unique seasoning approaches. Enjoy! – h

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

1. Winter Green Miso Noodle Soup (101 Cookbooks) The noodle soup above is built on my green miso paste. Simply add water, whatever fresh noodles, and some winter greens, and you’re good. 

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

2. Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba (My New Roots) Perfect winter combination and colors. The combination of sesame seeds and sautéed shiitake mushrooms on top looks wonderful.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

3. One-Pot 5-Spice Chickpea Noodle Soup (Will Frolic for Food) A hearty soup made with rotini. It highlights an array of five spices along with a combination of balsamic, apple cider vinegar, and yogurt to create a rich stew-y soup.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

4. Shiitake and Spinach Miso Soup (A Beautiful Plate / Love and Lemons ) Originally from the beautiful Love and Lemons cookbook, this recipe will inspire you to source some perfect shiitake mushrooms. Two cups of spinach means you’ll get a healthy dose of greens.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

5. New Year Noodle Soup Recipe (101 Cookbooks) This is an all-time favorite traditional Persian noodle soup. It features thin egg noodles, borlotti beans, herbs, turmeric, cumin, and all sorts of other ingredient magic.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

6. Chickpea Noodle Soup with Parsley and Lemon (Occasionally Eggs) Chickpeas, carrots, cayenne and a squeeze of lemon make this a good candidate for cold season.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

7. Chickpea & Sweet Potato Noodle Soup (My New Roots) This is one of those recipes that makes taking out the spiralizer worth it.  

 

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

8. Kimchi and Buckwheat Noodle Egg drop soup (Nyssa’s Kitchen) For kimchi fans. This one is for you. Kimchi + Egg drop soup – you know it is going to be good. 

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

9. Really Great Vegan Ramen (101 Cookbooks) Here’s my take on a vegan ramen. Bonus – all the components are great on their own (if you have leftovers), and there are seasonal ideas, for year round ramen. 

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

10. Vegetarian Pho (Happy Yolks / Green Kitchen Travels) An beautiful, inventive take on pho – bok choy, bean sprouts and basil with fennel.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

11. Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodle bowls (Pinch of Yum) Love the mix of colors in this one. Based on rice noodles and a mix of veggies, swap out the fish sauce for one of the veg versions out there and this is a hearty, straight-forward weekday meal.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

12. Vegetarian Pho Noodle Soup (Omnivore’s Cookbook) Here’s another pho, but a different technique is used to prep the ingredients. Deep smoky flavors are created by charring ginger and onions.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

13. Vegetarian Ramen with Garlic-Ginger Broth (The Roasted Root) All the greens, four or five different shades(!) layered on top of rice noodles.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

14. Vegetarian Ramen Bowl with Spicy Brussels Sprouts (Naturally Ella) A ramen bowl with a wild card – brussels sprouts roasted with sambal oelek.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

15. Vegan Ramen Spicy Noodles (Love is in My Tummy) Time to get your kombu on.20 Super Noodle Soups

16. Chinese Vegetarian Noodle Soup (中式素汤面) (Omnivore’s Cookbook) This veg noodle soup features tofu marinated in maple syrup, kale and an optional “detox vegetable broth.”

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

17. Mushroom and Spicy Tofu Udon Soup (But First Plants) This is one you’ll want to try if you can find some good, fresh udon noodles. Sriracha and sesame seeds provide a flavor twist.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

18. Green Miso Soba Soup (Fork Knife Swoon) This miso + soba combination uses a healthy dose of onion, ginger and garlic to provide a good clearing of the sinuses.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

19. Ginger Miso Udon Noodles with Five-Spice Tofu (Healthy Nibbles and Bits ) Here’s another take on miso with ginger, but this time with udon. Ground coriander and a five-spice blend for the tofu offer unique flavors for a noodle soup.20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

20. Turmeric Miso Soup with Shiitakes, Turnips and Soba (Lindsey Love) Here’s a soba soup that uses fresh turmeric, yellow miso and the surprise: turnips.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

21. Vegetable Miso Soup with Soba Noodles (Marie Reginato) This is another miso soup recipe that creates a solid flavor base with kombu / kelp, so seek it out at the store (also easy to find online). Cabbage and sweet potato provide a winter veg base, but you could adapt this to different seasons.

 

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

Continue reading 20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter on 101 Cookbooks

Vegan Lentil Fesenjān (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)

Vegan Lentil Fesenjān (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)

We’ve been big fans of Fesenjān for years now—ever since John’s aunt introduced us to it at a Persian restaurant in San Diego. Traditionally prepared for special occasions, Fesenjān is perfect for colder months. It’s hearty, comforting, savory-sweet, and so simple to make. Let us show you how!

This recipe is simple to make, requiring just 9 ingredients.

It starts with toasting walnuts and sautéing onions to create a rich and hearty base for the stew.

Vegan Lentil Fesenjān (Pomegranate Walnut Stew) from Minimalist Baker →

Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey Butter and Pistachios

Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey Butter and Pistachios

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

Constant inspiration is one of my favorite things about food. It takes one bite to take you down a road you might not have explored before. This is one of the reasons I’m always game to try something. You never know what will ignite your next love.

Those are strong words for a recipe about squash but I mean it. On a harvest in October, a restaurant catered lunch in the grove. The location was ace but it was the first dish they brought out that put it over the top. Roasted delicata squash smothered with a whipped butter. It was magical and everything I wanted in one bite. This recipe is a nod to that dish.

This recipe is the perfect companion on your holiday table. It’s minimal on ingredients but the overall flavor has a big impact. Of course, you don’t have to wait for your holiday meal to enjoy this dish- I’ve happily eaten this for dinner on a few occasions!

Roasted Delicata Squash

Of all the winter squash, I lean towards using delicata more often than not. It’s a versatile little squash that requires no peeling and tends to be a bit more quick cooking compared to other varieties. Delicata works well as a side, like in this recipe but I love it in tacos, on top of pizza, and stuffed.

Nuts

Pistachios are not usually my go-to nut but this side dish was inspired by a recent meal I had that featured something similar with delicata/butter/pistachios. I loved how the pistachio flavor melded with the roasted delicata squash.

I know pistachios are a bit on the expensive side, especially shelled. This roasted squash would also work well with toasted pecans or walnuts. You could also swap out the pistachios for pumpkin seeds. This would keep the beautiful green pop of color.

Crushed Red Pepper

It’s probably pretty obvious if you look at my recipes but I’m obsessed with adding crushed red pepper to things. I love a bit of heat to my meals and this honey delicata squash is no different. However, you don’t necessarily need it. You could also add a sprinkle of aleppo pepper (also borrowed from the aforementioned side dish I had).

Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey Butter and Pistachios

Nugget Markets Fresh to Market honey

You may remember that a few months back I took a trip out to the honey farm where Nugget Markets sources their honey. After that, I stocked up on the honey and have been using it on everything from crepes, in dressing, and in dishes like this roasted delicata squash!

Nugget Markets

I’m excited to partner with Nugget Markets to bring you this simple holiday side dish. I have a slight obsession with Nugget Markets. It’s like all my favorite grocery stores came together under one roof. I can pick-up things from bulk, grab some organic produce, and find all the cheeses I would ever need.

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Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Nugget Markets. 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.

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Triple Ginger Cookies

These are the ginger cookies you want to make. Little cookies spiked with lemon and three kinds of ginger. I can’t get enough of them. Cracked and sugar-crusted on the outside, dense and moist within, these chewy, tender ginger gems invigorate the senses with every bite. Helped, no doubt, by the lively combination of freshly grated ginger, powdered ginger, AND minced crystallized ginger.
Triple Ginger Cookie RecipeTexturally they are far from being ginger snaps, but calling them ginger puffs wouldn’t accurately describe them either – they maintain a certain heft that belies their tiny size. They pair nicely with cold, blustery afternoons. They pair nicely with hot tea.

I should also mention, these are the types of cookies I like to make for parties – the perfect grab-and-go sweet. I say this in part because they deliver a single bite of spicy deliciousness without being too-much – too sugary, too big, too fussy, too ornate, etc. And if that wasn’t enough, the smell that emanates from the oven while they are baking is enough to make one swoon.Triple Ginger Cookie RecipeIt took me a while to get this recipe right where I like it – and I’ve found using one of two flours works best. I had great results using spelt flour, and great results using whole wheat pastry flour. The version you see in the photos is the whole wheat pastry flour.
Triple Ginger Cookie Recipe

Technique (A Little Secret)

And for those of you who read this to the end…my little secret when it comes to making these cookies is this – I mince the crystallized ginger to death. I go at it like I’m trying to turn it into some sort of paste. Some ginger is moister than than others, so you’ll have varying results, but really go at it. A dramatic mince.
Triple Ginger Cookie Recipe

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Sparkling Cranberries

I’ve become convinced that these sparkling, sugared cranberries should be a part of every holiday spread. They glint and wink in the surrounding holiday lights, and lend a striking dash of red to the table. Another great thing is the way they effortlessly make the transition from savory course to sweet. So, for example, I’ve become fond of serving them as part of a cheese spread, but I imagine they’d be nice as the finishing touch on on a tart or clustered atop a crème brûlée or pudding of some sort.Sparkling Cranberries Recipesparkling_cranberries2.jpg

What Type of Sugar?

This is key, and I’ve experimented with a range of sugars here. Some work better than others. In the beginning, I wanted to make them with a maple sugar coating – but the cranberries looked like they had been dropped in dust. The same goes for raw cane sugar, coconut sugar, and Rapadura. So I gave up trying to do a less refined sugar version. Take note, extra-fine grain sugar didn’t work well either – clumpy. Essentially, the best way to get a good sparkling sugar crust on your cranberries is to first roll them in an slightly-chunky organic sugar (something like this), and later toss them in regular granulated sugar. The small grains of the granulated sugar cling to any spots that are still sticky from the simple syrup.
Sparkling Cranberries Recipe

They are simple to make, but you need to do the first step the night before. I like to toss the cranberries in sugar the next morning, and off and on throughout the day so they have time to dry and crisp up. Enjoy, and happiest holidays!

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