Category Archives: Uncategorized

Goth Hummus

Let me start by saying, this was initially called Black Tahini Hummus, but once we started in on the goth hummus thing, it stuck. I wanted to post this early enough that you’ll have time to track down the ingredients In case you want to bring it to a Halloween party, which I highly recommend. The two ingredients that can be a bit tricky to source are black tahini, and black garbanzo beans (or black chickpeas). I’ll post photos of each down below for reference. I made this for the first time last November (well after Halloween), and made a note to self to write up the recipe this year. Really, it’s just good hummus made with black ingredients. And if you have a pantry better than mine right now, yes, absolutely substitute fermented black garlic for standard garlic.

Goth Hummus / Black Tahini Hummus Recipe

Goth Hummus / Black Tahini Hummus Recipe

Goth Hummus / Black Tahini Hummus Recipe

Goth Hummus / Black Tahini Hummus Recipe

The original shot I posted to Instagram. I added some extra black garbanzos on top (which I forgot this time)….but it adds a nice bit of texture.

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Pasta with Baby Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pesto

Last week, on Instagram, I posted an on-the-fly, super-quick pasta dish I made for lunch. It was cute, little, elbow pasta tossed with the last of a jar of pesto, a few handfuls of baby kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a shower of lemon zest. So good! So easy! A number of you requested the recipe, and I’ve included it down below. If you’re blessed with the good fortune of having access to a Meyer lemon tree, by all means, use those. Otherwise, regular lemons will do the job just fine. Enjoy! -h

Pasta with Baby Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pesto

Pasta with Baby Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pesto

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Roasted Carrot Polenta with Sage and Walnuts

Roasted Carrot Polenta with Sage and Walnuts | Naturally Ella

During the fall, polenta is one of my comfort meals of choice. It’s the perfect base for a myriad of flavors and toppings. Sometimes I go vegan, sometimes I go heavy on the cheese. This particular carrot polenta features the carrot puree I just featured as a component. Roasted carrots and garlic pureed together form one of the levels of creaminess (so much so that you could ideally leave this vegan).

Read more and see the recipe.

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Roasted Carrot Puree | Cooking Component

Roasted Garlic Carrot Puree | Cooking Component | Naturally Ella

It’s no secret that I love roasting vegetables. The sweetness that comes from the caramelization is quite apparent in carrots. This puree is often on hand during the cooler months. Carrots are fairly inexpensive and there’s really so much you can make with a solid carrot puree.

This puree is fairly hands-off, just a bit of chopping. As you can see below, the options are endless with this puree. I love using the puree to add creaminess to risottos, as a filling for stuffed pasta (think these butternut squash shells, but with this carrot puree), or as a simple spread on toast.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Roasted Carrot Puree | Cooking Component appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

Pasta night is often the quickest way to get dinner on the table with minimal effort. The end of a long day? Pasta. Need something both adults and kid will eat? Pasta. That said, I feel like weeknight pasta preparations have evolved quite a bit in recent years with lots of creative ideas bubbling up. You see a lot of vegetable-centric pastas, and plenty of experimenting with different shapes, and ingredients. I thought I’d highlight a few weeknight pasta ideas, specifically ones with less than ten ingredients – actually, a few are in the eight ingredient range, not counting salt, pepper, and olive oil 😉

A couple tips / tricks. If a heavy cream sauce feels too indulgent (or if you’re vegan), swap in homemade cashew (or almond) milk, it’s a nice substitute without as much of the decadence. Experiment with some of the alternative pastas out there, I like to rotate between regular pasta, whole grain pasta, and chickpea pasta. All are great, and bring their own personality and nutritional profiles to the table.

1. Classic Stuffed Shells (101 Cookbooks)
The best part about stuffed shells is that you can prepare them days ahead of time. These are topped with red sauce, and filled with ricotta. Crowd pleaser for kids & adults. Get the recipe here.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

2. Weeknight Ponzu Pasta (101 Cookbooks)
This is the pasta preparation to make when you want to keep it light, clean, and healthy. Lots of bright green broccoli, green beans, garlic, and pasta tossed with a simple ponzu sauce. Trade in roasted winter squash as the seasons shift from away from tomatoes. Get the recipe here.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

3. Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta & Cauliflower (Green Kitchen Stories)
A beautiful, vegan riff on spaghetti al pesto. Bonus points for working in spinach and cauliflower for an extra healthy dinner. Get the recipe here.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

4. Healthy Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms (Happy Kitchen Rocks)
Roasted winter squash is pureed into a vibrant sauce in this autumn beauty. With sage and walnuts. Get the recipe here.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

5. An Excellent, One-pan, Protein-packed Power Pasta (101 Cookbooks)
Another slightly unconventiona ine-panl pasta preparation made with crushed tomatoes, kale, and cooked lentils. Boost it with a thread of tahini, some lemon zest, and/or a kiss of saffron. Seven base ingredients and you’re in business. Get the recipe here.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

6. Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree (Smitten Kitchen)
Yes to this. Roasted veg blitzed into an eggplant and tomato sauce for your rigatoni. Accented with mint (or basil), Parmesan, and toasted pine nuts. Get the recipe here.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

7. Ditalini Risotto (Bon Appétit)
I like to make this brilliant (yet simple!) Camille Becerra recipe with a flavorful veg broth. Love the idea of cooking the ditalini like you would risotto. Super clever! Get the recipe here.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

8. Harissa Spaghettini (101 Cookbooks)
I link to this whenever possible. Eight ingredients – most of which you definitely have on hand, between you and this flavor-punched tangle of kale-flecked goodness. That harissa in your refrigerator? This needs to be its destiny. Get the recipe here.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

9. Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes (101 Cookbooks)
I’ve also done this round-up of great (and simple!) weeknight pasta sauce recipes. So, if you’re not seeing anything here that seems quite right, hop on over for more ideas. Sauce Recipes.

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

Weeknight Pasta Ideas with Less Than Ten Ingredients

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Prune & Berry Crumble Breakfast Bars

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Sunsweet, but all opinions are our own. Most people know that prunes help keep you regular. But did you also know they have an important role in bone health, too? With World Osteoporosis day approaching on October 20th, we decided to highlight the power of prunes for helping to strengthen […]

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Podcast: Why Being A Dietitian Is a Great Career Choice

Each fall, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors FNCE (Food & Nutrition Conference Expo), the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition experts — more than 10,000 registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition science researchers, policy makers, health-care providers and industry leaders attend the annual meeting — and address key issues affecting the health of all […]

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Sweet Potato Pasta with Walnut-Sage Sauce

Sweet Potato Pasta with Walnut-Sage Sauce | Naturally Ella

I think in a different life, I’d be an herb farmer. There’s something so dreamy about being surrounded by herbs and I’ve found that it’s about the only thing I can easily grow in our small patio garden. If I’m having a stressful day, I walk outside and pick a bit of marjoram to rub in my hands and smell. I swirl rosemary twigs in my water and add thyme to as much as I can.

Sage is one of the herbs that does well in our potted garden. It’s also an herb I’m always experimenting with in different recipes. This sweet potato pasta uses fresh sage in a pesto-like sauce combined with nut cream. The end result is a unique fall pasta that also happens to be vegan.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Sweet Potato Pasta with Walnut-Sage Sauce appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds: Three Ways

Toasted pumpkin seeds are the tiny, edible trophies you get for carving pumpkins. That’s just how it needs to be. Don’t carve a pumpkin (or any winter squash for that matter), without toasting or roasting the seeds. The question is, what’s the best technique? There is some debate about the best approach, but I’ve settled on a foolproof method over the years. It’s super easy, and I’m going to share it here. Take note, there are a couple points of departure you’ll see in my technique (compared to most). First! Some people boil the pumpkin seeds prior to toasting. No need. Second, I now season and spice the pumpkin seeds after baking, and I’ll talk more about why.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Different pumpkins, different seeds: Pumpkins aren’t the only winter squash with seeds. And seeds from different squashes have different sizes, shapes and textures. Play around with white “ghost” pumpkins, blue Hokkaido, butternut squash, and all the other beautiful winter squash varietals out there for a range of seeds. Also, if you’re going to roast the squash as well, they’re often much better tasting versus carving pumpkins.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Different sizes of seeds: Smaller seeds roast more quickly, so adjust your baking time (less). Aside from that, treat them the same as you would regular “carving” pumpkin seeds. Pictured below (top to bottom): delicata squash seeds, butternut squash seeds, carving pumpkin seeds

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

How to Clean & Make Pumpkin Seeds: Place a colander (or strainer) in a bowl filled with water. The seeds float, so this set-up makes separating the seeds from any stubborn pumpkin flesh much easier. Scoop the seeds from your pumpkin and transfer to the colander. Separate the seeds from any pumpkin flesh and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen cloth.

The best technique: Bake the seeds after a good rinse, after drying well, and get as much water off the seeds as possible. I’m convinced the seeds steam less using this method, and crisp more.

When to season? I used to heavily season the pumpkin seeds prior to baking, but I find that if you bake with lots of spice coating the seeds, the spices tend to over bake or even burn. I do much or all of my spice addition post-bake now.

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