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Fried Egg Cauliflower Grain Bowl

Close-up overhead photograph of a grey bowl with farro, hummus, roasted cauliflower, and a fried egg.

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

It is really amazing that I do not have more grain bowl recipes on this site. A grain bowl is by far the biggest staple meal for our family. Need a filling breakfast? Grain bowl! How about a last-minute dinner made from leftovers? Grain bowl!

You can practically make a grain bowl any way but I have a few tips that might help you make it even better or easier!) For starters, try using components. Whip up some roasted vegetables and grains on the weekend, making this a practically instant meal during the weekdays.

Also, use whatever egg method your like best. I skip around depending on what I’m feeling that day (and one of the reasons I love keeping Pete and Gerry Organic Eggs on hand!) Pan-fried, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, or scramble all work great in this recipe.

Grains for days

The foundation of the bowl but easily changeable. I love using farro because it’s hearty and provides an amazing texture to the overall dish. However, you could easily use quinoa, millet, sorghum, or barley.

If you’re in a hurry and did not prep the grains ahead of time, I’d recommend using bulgur. It’s quick and delicious, making this meal from scratch a bit quicker.

Overhead photograph of a cup of coffee and grey bowl with grains and a fried egg.

The Eggs: Pete and Gerry Organic

I’m excited for another partnership with Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs this year. One of the reasons I love using their eggs is because I know the company is deeply invested in protecting the land, since they’re a Certified B Corporation. The eggs are also produced humanely, making sure the chickens are well-cared for.

Grain Bowl: Hummus, forever.

Next in line for the components: hummus. I know this isn’t for everyone but I can’t eat a grain bowl without it. It’s the binder and helps bring a bit more flavor to the overall recipe. Best of all, you can use any kind of flavored hummus you like.

I typically go with roasted garlic hummus but roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, lemon-dill, or beet hummus all work.

Vegetables

Finally, the vegetables. The beautiful thing about these grain bowls is that the cauliflower is easy to replace. Carrots, squash, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans- every seasons holds a few different types of grain bowl options!

Also, if you don’t feel like turning on the oven, I’ve been known to steam the cauliflower then toss it with a smoked paprika compound butter. A little decadent but oh-so-good.

Side-angle photograph of a fried egg on-top of farro, hummus, and smoked paprika roasted cauliflower.

[tasty-recipe id=”37861″]

Overhead photograph of a grey bowl with fried egg on-top of paprika roasted cauliflower, farro, and hummus.continue reading

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Turmeric Cashews

Some fascinating emails have come through my in-box over the past decade. One example arrived back in 2015 from Erica Sonnenburg, which led to this write-up shortly thereafter. Erica and her husband, Justin Sonnenburg, are researchers at Stanford where they study the collection of bacteria that inhabit our gut. It’s called the microbiota. Her name struck me as familiar because the Sonnenburgs, both Ph.D.s, were included in Michael Pollan’s article – Some of My Best Friends are Germs from May 2013. Her note went on to say they often cook recipes from 101 Cookbooks because many of them have the hallmarks of “good microbiota food”. This immediately made me feel great, but also sparked many questions that have been dancing around my head ever since.
Turmeric Cashews
When it comes to broad strokes, I get it. You want to encourage, nourish, support your internal bacterial community. The good bugs. And there are some general “best practices” in life that help. But, for me, the real, well-researched, specifics beyond that start to get increasingly hazy. I immediately wanted to know from her, which recipes exactly, and why? How exactly do I befriend and support my microbiota? How much does food impact it, and what are the other major factors? Best beverages – beer? wine? smoothies? In short, I wanted to know what sort of things I was doing in my day-to-day to support (or hurt) my unique-to-me friendly bugs, so I could continue to do more to support my microbiota.
Turmeric Cashews
Erica went on to tell me about the book they were working on – The Good Gut. It establishes the case for the importance of gut microbiota, and documents their research and findings. They’ve done a lot of work to start to understand the role of diet in this realm, and what they’re finding is that a diet rich in dietary fiber (plant matter) helps to keep the microbiota happy. Also, because different microbes feed on different things, diversity in your diet is key. Broadly speaking, you’re after a wide range of beans, whole grains, seeds, and vegetables. And you’ll want to consume foods rich in microbiota accessible carbohydrates. It’s a fascinating read that goes well beyond dietary recommendations. They are doing the direct research into what makes your microbiota happy, and have some amazing findings based in good science.
Turmeric Cashews

The back of the book includes a recipe section to set the tone for this type of beneficial food choice. These turmeric cashews became one of my favorite snacks of the week. They’re substantial and filing, and microbiota friendly. I used the recipe in The Good Gut as a jumping off point, and flared it out with a few extra spices. They were extra special because I used turmeric gifted by Tara (Seven Spoons) when I saw her last recently. She told me the turmeric is from her maternal grandfather’s estate in Dehra Dun (Dehradun) in Uttarakhand, in the north of India – beautiful turmeric. I’ve exhausted my turmeric supply from Tara, and fortunately I’m now able to source this special turmeric from Diaspora Co. 

Related Links:

The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health

Cute Family. And You Should See Their Bacteria

Some of My Best Friends are Germs

Continue reading Turmeric Cashews on 101 Cookbooks

A Vibrant Beet Caviar

I’m lucky to be the occasional recipient of Josey Baker experimentations. The other day Josey handed me a still-hot loaf of 100% einkorn bread – substantial, fragrant, a dark brown crumb with a craggy top-crust. It smelled like a great brewery – all malt, and grain, and warmth. And it begged to be treated right.
A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe
The first question to come to mind was slicing strategy…the consensus was: 1) Allow the bread to cool completely. 2) With this loaf – not too thick, not too thin. Not to digress too much, but when it comes to toast, the thickness or thinness of the slice is key. Some breads lend themselves to a thick slab – Blue Bottle Cafe (in downtown San Francisco) cooks an egg-in-the hole of Acme’s pain de mie. Perfect. There are other breads I like thinly sliced and extra-toasted – Josey’s rye comes to mind, also Anna’s Daughters’ Rye – a beautifully distinctive local bread. Once this was sorted, Josey got on with his afternoon, and I started thinking about what I’d eventually put on the bread.
A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe
Silvena Rowe’s book had been in my bag for a few days, I was reading it when I was on the bus, or waiting on a coffee. So I started paging through, and settled on a beet spread I knew would be beautiful – the sweet earthiness of the roasted beets accented with toasted walnuts, chives, dates, a bit of booziness, and a swirl of creme fraiche.A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe

Silvena has written a couple of other books I have in my library – I suspect a good number of you might find them inspiring as well. I first purchased Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean, and then Orient Express: Fast Food from the Eastern Mediterranean.A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe
The beet caviar was a nice accompaniment to the einkorn, and I imagine it would be brilliant as a spread or dollop on just about anything – from toasted pita, to a harvest soup. A swirl would be nice in risotto, or as part of a mezze spread. Enjoy!

Continue reading A Vibrant Beet Caviar on 101 Cookbooks

Vegan Baked Beans on Toast

Photograph of Vegan Baked Beans on Toast, topped with microgreens

For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve made it my mission to share the joy of beans on toast. I realize, it’s a bit of a funny mission. However, beans on toast is a magical thing and if you like beans, you should eat them on toast.

Growing up in the midwest, baked beans were a thing for nearly every family get-together. And yet, I never ate them. I avoided them, in fact. I’m not sure if it was the flavor, the texture, or just that I wasn’t a big fan of any bean. Luckily all of that has changed and now I have my favorite vegan baked bean recipe to share.

All the beans

When it comes to bean varieties, small navy beans are the traditional baked bean. I’ve also been known to use great northern. I’d also highly recommend checking out Rancho Gordo and using their Yellow Indian Woman Bean or their Alubia Blanca. I picked up a bag and the texture of these beans is perfect for a long-baked dish.

The sweetener

I usually stick with molasses, maple syrup, or honey but I have a weakness for dark muscovado sugar. This unrefined cane sugar has all of the molasses, making it a rich/moist sweetener. Paired with an extra bit of molasses, it makes these beans really shine. Of course, if you can’t find muscovado sweetener, use a bit more molasses or swap for brown sugar.

Keep it vegan

Traditional baked beans use bacon and while I could definitely swap in something more substantially meat-like, I don’t care. For me, the bacon brings the smoke and that’s why I can’t recommend enough picking up a bottle of smoked salt. Paired with the smoked paprika, you’re good-to-go, sans bacon.

Also, look for vegan Worcestershire sauce. Annie’s has a solid one and sometimes stores carry at least one other variety. This sauce is good to keep on hand for an extra boost of fermented goodness to many meals.

[tasty-recipe id=”37875″]

Overhead photo of a piece of toast topped with vegan baked beans and broccoli microgreens.continue reading

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Glissade Chocolate Pudding

I’ve done chocolate pudding many, many ways over the years. And it’s nearly always good. But from this day forward if you come to my house for dinner, and I decide chocolate pudding might be a nice finish to the meal, this is the recipe I’ll be using. 
The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook
It’s from a whimsical, illustrated French children’s cookbook published by Random House in 1966, La Patisserie est un Jeu d’Enfants, with text and drawings by Michel Oliver. The pudding completely caught me off-guard, in the best way possible.The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

French versus American Chocolate Pudding

This is not like a typical American chocolate pudding, it has no milk, cocoa powder, or cornstarch – which makes sense because it is from a French book. This is more of a deep, concentrated, dark chocolate mousse, although if you’re used to chocolate mousse that has whipped cream folded in, it’s different from that as well.
The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

Tips & Tricks

The key here is good chocolate, then a gentle touch bringing a short list of common ingredients together, and the bit of patience required to let the pudding cool and set. That last part makes all the difference. Time in the refrigerator allows the pudding to set into the densest dark chocolate cloud imaginable, the consistency of whipped frosting. 

The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

Choosing the Right Chocolate

I’ll make note in the recipe below, but you’ll want to use good-quality chocolate in the 60-80% range – semi-sweet to bittersweet. Aside from the chocolate, you’re only adding a bit of water and butter, a sprinkling of sugar, and two eggs, so don’t skimp on the quality of ingredients here, there’s really no place to hide.
The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbookThe Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

As you can see up above here, the book itself is incredibly charming. The edition I have alternates French and English pages, so you’ll have a page in French, then the same page in English. The French title for this recipe is “Glissade” which they’ve translated on the following English page to Slippery Chocolate Pudding – which made me smile. Keep your eyes peeled, you can find copies of La Patisserie est un Jeu d’Enfants (Making French Desserts and Pastry is Child’s Play) here and there if you look around.

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My Go-To Guacamole

My Go-To Guacamole

Over the years I’ve made dozens of batches of guacamole at home, each one a little different and more nuanced than the last.

I’ve tried varying quantities of ingredients, using limes vs. lemons, playing with different spices and textures, and I’m happy to report I’ve perfected my perfect go-to guacamole!

Let me show you how easy it is with just 1 bowl, 10 minutes, and 8 ingredients required!

My Go-To Guacamole from Minimalist Baker →

Five Crazy Good Chocolate Recipes

I could do a list of twenty chocolate recipes here, but why mess around? Valentine’s Day is this week, and less is often more with chocolate, so let’s lock it down to an all-star list of five crazy good chocolate recipes.Five Crazy Good Chocolate Recipes

1. Chocolate Puddle Cookies – A cookie I encountered while visiting Portland, Oregon years ago. It’s an incredible crackle-edged puddle of chocolate with a texture that made me think of the collision between a soft meringue and a fudgy brownie.

Five Crazy Good Chocolate Recipes

2. An Incredible No Bake Chocolate Cake The easiest chocolate cake you’ll ever make. And it’s always a huge hit. If you like the sound of a truffle cake, this is for you.

Five Crazy Good Chocolate Recipes

3. Glissade Chocolate Pudding A chocolate pudding that is hard to beat. From this day forward, if you come to my house for dinner, and I decide chocolate pudding might be a nice finish to the meal, this is the recipe I’ll be using.Five Crazy Good Chocolate Recipes
4. Violet Bakery Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake This is exactly what you want when you’re craving a homemade chocolate cake. The chocolate factor is deep and strong. The cake itself is rich, moist, and tender.

Five Crazy Good Chocolate Recipes

5. Homemade Chocolate Bars / Dark Chocolate Energy Bites The easiest chocolate cake you’ll ever make. And it’s always a huge hit. If you like the sound of a truffle cake, this is for you.

Continue reading Five Crazy Good Chocolate Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

Winter Date-Night Dinner Ideas

Roasted Radish Salad with Butter-Thyme Dressing | Naturally Ella

In the grand scheme of weeks, my husband and I don’t get out very much. We work, we hang out with our son, we repeat. However, our times after our son goes to bed are ones we cherish. It’s the time we unwind. The time we connect with each other about our day. That time is extremely special.

While most nights we eat dinner as a family, some nights I reserve for a ‘date night’. We spend our unwinding around the table, enjoying a meal that’s a bit more involved than our normal dinners. Most of the time I prep ahead and finish while my husband is working his way through bedtime routine. This way, when he’s done, we’re ready to eat.

Think of these ideas as more of a starting place. I just worked my way through the archives and picked out the recipes I most enjoy. Everything has a main, a side vegetable, a salad, and dessert. Every meal is loaded with vegetables and I’m relying on my friends to bring the dessert (because we all have to play to our strengths!)

Berbere Chickpeas and Chard with Farro | Naturally Ella

No 1. The Unusual Flavors Date-Night Dinner.

I’m leading with this set, primarily because it uses some bolder flavors and some less-common produce. I love the spice level with the berbere seasoning and the balance of the tender turnips. Plus, I know people are often looking for more recipes with chard and turnips. Best of all, you could easily swap out the chard and just use turnip greens (a bit more on the bitter side but would work well with the flavor of the berbere!)

Pumpkin Paneer Curry | Naturally Ella

No 2. Curry, forever.

I feel like one of the ways I show a person I love them is by making fried cheese. Sometimes that fried cheese is used in tacos, other times, it’s curry. This pumpkin curry has a smooth, velvety sauce which I like to balance with a bit of heat from the chili roasted broccoli.

Lentil Broccoli Bites with Lemon Cream Sauce

No 3. A Variation ‘Meat’ and Potatoes.

My husband was never a ‘meat and potato’ kind of guy. However, I find that it’s hard to always escape my Midwestern food upbringing. These dishes are about as close as I get. Lentil bites smothered in a cream sauce provide the ‘meat’ while the romesco potato salad stands in for a more traditional mashed potato.

No 4. Vegan.

I think this might be one of my favorites. This vegan meal shows you don’t need to overload a veg meal with cheese. The risotto’s creaminess comes from a delicious walnut cream while the spicy cauliflower and avocado salad help balance the richness.

Kale Pasta with Sunflower Cream Sauce | Naturally Ella

No 5. Lemons, Winter’s friend

Winter in California is all about citrus. I love the sunflower cream sauce with the pasta. It’s bright, light, and vegan. Paired with a beautiful persimmon salad and a fun take on beets; it’s hard to go wrong. This meal is sure to put a smile on your face.

Spinach and Red Lentil Masala | @naturallyella

No 6. Flavor for all.

Finally, I like to come in with big flavor. Nearly everyone who makes the lentils find it becomes a staple. The flavor is amazing and it’s one of the more filling vegetarian mains. I like to balance this with a lot of vegetables. The green beans are a nice, easy side while the radish salad showcases this beautiful vegetable in a unique and fun way. Don’t miss the teff brownies either- they probably should have been dessert for every meal.

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A California Panzanella

This is a wildcard panzanella. And it is very Northern California inspired. I first featured a grilled version of it in Super Natural Cooking after enjoying a quirky sandwich while driving up the California coast to a spot near Anchor Bay. The sandwich was a mix of oven-roasted tomatoes, peanut butter dressing, grilled tofu, and sprouts, all pinned between two slices of multigrain bread. Odd yet completely delicious. I liked it enough to rework it into this twist on panzanella, the much-loved Italian bread salad.
A California Panzanella
This version in Super Natural Cooking is grilled. This version you can make using your oven instead. Just remember, when the weather warms, roll out your grill – toast the bread, and cook the tofu slabs that way.
A California Panzanella
You have some options with the tomatoes. When cherry tomatoes are abundant, and in-season, I love to toss them in a bit of olive oil, and roast them on a sheet pan in a hot oven until browned and blistered. But, you can also use chopped, sun-dried tomatoes, the ones packed in oil are best here. Kind of raisin-y in texture.
A California Panzanella
This is a great way to use up day-old bread. It’s even better than using a loaf of fresh because the bread ends up more structured and hearty.

Continue reading A California Panzanella on 101 Cookbooks

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

One of my favorite cold-weather soups – green lentils (or split peas), topped with a curried brown butter drizzle, and pan-fried paneer cubes. Some of you might recognize it from Super Natural Every Day.
Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

It’s a soup I revisit often, and these photos are outtakes of it that ran in an early issue of Kinfolk magazine. I did a short little essay about winter (volume two!), and it ran alongside with some pictures Wayne and I contributed. 

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

Here’s the deal. The magic here is the curried brown butter drizzle. Don’t skip it. Also, a good chunk of hearty sourdough really elevates the whole experience. Or! Some good naan or paratha.

Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter
You can certainly explore a vegan version though. You could infuse some olive oil or coconut oil with spices, and brown some tofu in place of paneer. A different beast, but also really good. Not brown butter good on the flavor front, but still good. 😉Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter
I also want to note there are some great variation ideas down in the comments. 

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