Pear Salad with Gorgonzola

Pear Salad with Gorgonzola | @naturallyella

Pear salad with gorgonzola is one of the classic fall combinations. It’s possibly overdone but still well worth sharing again (and again). This recipe is one I first start working with in 2010 but it’s morphed into the version below. I use to cook the pears but I found the crispness from the fresh fruit much better suited. I also love using frisee in this salad, especially for Thanksgiving. It’s a great make-ahead salad that is the perfect addition to your holiday dinner. Read more and see the recipe.

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Vegan Meatballs

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Hey! We’re happy to be back with a new post after some away-time. The reason for our absence is that we have been busy cuddling with our new family member. We are calling him Little Brother until we have decided on his real name (so difficult this time!). We are all feeling well and are mighty happy (even though our mornings have become a tad more chaotic)

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He’s a sleepy little fella.

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We decided to revive a section that we started last year and then forgot all about. We called it Homemade Whole Food Staples and today’s recipe fits right in. In our preparations for little brother’s arrival we have been filling our freezer with food and these vegetarian meatballs/ vegan polpette have proved themselves really useful. They are quick to make, freeze well and are easily heated. We use them as a protein rich supplement to many dishes (see a few examples below) or as a simple main dish with pasta and a sauce. 

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Since we have so many egg-based patties in the archive, we made these vegan, using chickpeas as the protein source and binder. They are literally filled with vegetables and have almond flour and potato starch as thickener. Kind of like a vegetable packed falafel. Not only are they really healthy but they are absolutely delicious too, with sweetness from the carrots and peas a savouriness from the spices. 

Just like with our apple cake recipe, I have been experimenting A LOT to get the amounts right as I wanted to have the option to both cook them in a frying pan (for times when you just want to fry up a few) or in the oven (for larger batches). They get smoother texture in the frying pan but it is a bit more fiddly to get them evenly fried. My favorite method is to make a huge batch (double batch if you can fit it into your blender), roll them and place on two trays. I then under bake them slightly and let them cool entirely before filling the freezer with them. Because they are slightly under baked, I can reheat them without risking that they get dry and boring. They can be reheated either in a pan or in the oven.

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Here we have served them with some quinoa and a vegetarian lentil bolognese. They work really well with a pesto sauce as well.

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Here they appear in one of our #gksbowls with, golden krauts, garlic-fried kale, carrot ribbons, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, a sunny egg, za’atar and a drizzle of tahini.

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And here we’re about to roll them inside a wrap. There are lots of other possibilities. Isac prefers munching on them as a hand-held snack (although he is pretty tired of them at this point as we have served them with almost every meal for the past couple of weeks …).

Vegan Polpette
Makes 30

We use nutritional yeast to add some extra depth to the flavour. It’s easily found in health food stores or online. If you are not vegan, it can be replaced with some grated cheese. Or simply leave it out.

1 onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 inch / 2,5 cm fresh ginger, peeled
2 medium carrots or 3-4 smaller (200 g / 7 oz), peeled

1 cup / 130 g frozen sweet peas, slightly thawed
1 x 400 g / 14 oz tin chickpeas OR 1 ½ cup / 230 g cooked chickpeas, rinsed
a handful kale, coarsely chopped and thick stems discarded 

½ cup / 50 g almond flour (can be replaced with breadcrumbs)
4 tbsp potato starch
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp allspice

Set the oven to 360°F / 180°C (if you are baking them) and cover a baking sheet with baking paper. Grate onion, ginger and carrots on a box grater or using the grating attachment on a food processor. Switch to the regular knife attachment on the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until the chickpeas have been mashed, with small bits and pieces of the peas and carrots still intact. With moist hands, roll the  into balls using roughly 1 tbsp of batter for each ball and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. You can flip them a few times if you like them rounder but I usually skip this and settle for one slightly flatter side. It’s easier. If you are freezing them right away, let them bake for a few minutes shorter, then let cool completely (they firm up as they cool down), transfer to freezer containers or bags and place in the fridge or freezer.

To make them in a frying pan, simply fry with a little oil on low/medium heat (they melt and get flat on too high heat) for about 10-15 minutes. Flip/roll them often to get them evenly fried.

PS! Make sure to check back next week as we have an exciting give-away coming up together with Vitamix!

Radicchio Salad with Lentils and Roasted Acorn Squash

Radicchio Salad with Lentils and Roasted Acorn Squash | @naturallyella

When it comes to planning meals for small or large gatherings, I keep two things in mind: dietary restrictions and highlighting the beauty of each season. This radicchio salad with lentils and roasted acorn squash is definitely a dish of beauty. The best part? The squash roasts long enough so the skin is tender and there’s no peeling involved. Or if eating the shell isn’t appealing, quarter the squash and use them as serving bowls instead- just as beautiful! Read more and see the recipe.

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Lentil & Eggplant Lasagna

Lentil & Eggplant Lasagna

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…LASAGNA!

Isn’t that how it goes?

OK, I know it’s ice cream, but lasagna ranks up there for me on levels of food excitement.

Shall we make yet another healthy, vegan, gluten free version (e.g. – Eggplant Roll Ups, Zucchini Lasagna, Spaghetti Squash Bake)? Yes, I think we shall.

This lasagna is easy to make, requiring just 10 ingredients and extremely simple methods.

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Kale and Chickpea Stew

Kale and Chickpea Stew | @naturallyella

Post in partnership with Muir Glen Organic. See below for more details.

Sometimes I miss the snow. I miss the excuse of not leaving the house because you can’t get out the door. I miss the calming effect snow has as it falls. Most of all, I miss the cozy feeling of curling up on the couch with a hearty bowl of stew, watching the snow fall. This chickpea stew is the hearty type of meal best served when the temperatures are low and you have a crusty loaf of bread on hand. Best of all, this chickpea stew is the type of meal where I always have everything on hand so it comes together quickly and easily!

Read more and see the recipe.

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Best of October

Best of October

Friends. How are you?

We’ve been travelling around Asia the last several weeks and are back home getting settled into our normal routine. I always return from travelling changed in some way. This time it was a realization that I struggle with being content and patient.

Travel exposes us to new cultures, cuisines, and landscapes and pries me out of my comfort zone, which is good! But I inevitably find myself missing familiar comforts from back home, like a long run in our neighborhood or a green smoothie.

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Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder Review

Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder Review

My search for the perfect vegan protein powder has been a complicated one, meaning, I have never been able to find one I truly like (until now).

Despite this, I kept hearing recommendations from friends and readers about their favorite brands so I knew there was more out there to explore.

So, I decided to do a formal, side-by-side review of some of the most popular vegan protein powders on the market to see which ones delivered and which ones weren’t worth the hype (so you don’t have to!).

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Thai Sweet Potato Quinoa

Thai Sweet Potato Quinoa | @naturallyella

Cooking for me is an ever evolving and growing process. Like with most everything one learns to do, practice makes better (as a musician I never prescribed to practice makes perfect). This thai sweet potato is a great example of what I mean. It started as a simple sweet potato salad from a few years ago that needed updating. The original recipe was fine, but it lacked balanced flavors. The end result of the revamp is this hearty and cohesive Thai sweet potato salad. Excellent packed for lunch or as a side to dinner! Read more and see the recipe.

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Curried Carrot Soup

Curried Carrot Soup | @naturallyella

It’s easy to overlook carrots when you’re staring at all the beautiful fall produce. For the longest time, I viewed carrots as things I used for dip or had as a snack. Eventually carrots broke out of that routine and I started using them as a shining main ingredient. This soup is an easy, one-pot dish made extra creamy using red lentils. Make an extra large batch and freeze to eat throughout the fall and winter season!

Read more and see the recipe.

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Gluten Free Onion Rings

Gluten Free Onion Rings

It’s that time of year when we put on our stretchy pants, watch sporty things (or, copious amounts of Netflix), and eat all the comfort food.

Care to join?

Anytime we go out to eat I’m tempted by the appetizer menu.

However, I always end up passing because 1) There aren’t many veg/gluten free options and 2) Portion sizes are typically mammoth so there’s no way I’ll be able to finish my entrée with a stack of onion rings already down the chute.

View, Print or Pin Gluten Free Onion Rings from Minimalist Baker →