Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowls

Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowls

Tempeh and I have a rocky relationship. And by that I mean I keep trying to like it and I just don’t.

But (big but), things have changed recently! That’s good news, guys! I finally found a way to enjoy it to the point that I have to stop myself from eating too much of it (the true sign of a food you enjoy).

I’ve tried steaming tempeh before, I’ve tried mixing it into things, but was never quite happy with the texture or flavor.

View, Print or Pin Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowls from Minimalist Baker →

Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup

Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup with Popped Sorghum | @naturallyella

The end of summer is approaching. As such, I find myself using certain ingredients over and over. Right now, I’m trying my best to keep and eat tomatoes until they aren’t fresh anymore. Likewise, tomato soup is featured on so many menus. However, a solid homemade recipe is a must. That’s because it’s about three things for me: caramelized roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and a good amount of fresh herbs. The cook time of this recipe is a bit longer than some. But there is not a lot of prep beyond chopping onions. Read more and see the recipe.

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No Bake Vegan Protein Bars (4 Ingredients!)

No Bake Vegan Protein Bars (4 Ingredients!)

Protein, protein, PROTEIN! (Said in loud, hulky voice.)

That’s what I’ve jokingly been saying recently as I shovel mass amounts of food into my mouth.

I’ve been trying to add more protein into my diet (as always), but it’s hard work! Namely because it’s challenging to remember that you need nutrients more than chocolate (even though chocolate is totally more fun).

I recently realized after a number of failed attempts at vegan protein bars that I should totally just make my own.

View, Print or Pin No Bake Vegan Protein Bars (4 Ingredients!) from Minimalist Baker →

Purple Kale, Aubergine & Blackberry Salad

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At first, it was a coincidence. When we looked at the vegetables we had brought home from the market this weekend, many of them just happened to have purple, violet and dark lavender tones. We talked about how that huge bunch of purple kale could make a beautiful salad base together with the rainbow chard, mint flowers and purple sugar snaps. It was at that point my obsessive side took over. “Let’s ONLY DO purple ingredients!” I shouted into Luise’s ear. She turned her head towards me with that hesitant look she always has when I get one of my “brilliant” ideas: “Ok, slow down now, let’s talk about the flavours first”. Of course I didn’t hear her as I was already writing a list with all the purplish ingredients I could think of: “aubergine, purple cauliflower, plums, figs, olives, blackberries, grapes, beetroot, red onion, …”.

Some recipes are born out of genius flavour combinations or new preparation methods, this one simply started out as a colour. Luise did however quickly gain back control and started shifting focus to the flavour and combination of vegetables as well.

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In the end, I think we managed to combine both flavour, colour and texture in a great way. We roasted aubergine and purple spring onion in warm spices until soft and sweet. Massaged the kale with a flavourful dill, mint, lemon and honey dressing to round off its flavour and make it less sturdy. Cooked black lentils were added as a filler, along with rich and creamy avocado (even though it’s more black than purple – and green inside!). Hazelnuts are not purple at all but they added a nice crunch to the texture. Juicy blackberries made a perfect topping.

Purple_kale_salad_3 Purple_kale_salad_4

The result was beautiful, a true harvest salad. Maybe not as purple as I first imagined (basically because most vegetables loose their colour when they are cut/baked/cooked), but still with lovely deep hues and so many interesting flavours – a mix of herby, sweet and tangy.

When the salad was assembled it still felt like we missed a creamy element, so we tried the honey roasted feta that we had seen on New York Times Cooking last week. It was perfect. Burnt and caramelised on the outside and almost melted on the inside. It completely ruined the dark purple theme but flavour- and texture wise, it was worth the sacrifice. You’ll notice that I smudged it in mashed blackberries as a poor attempt to camouflage it.

Purple_kale_salad_5 Purple_kale_salad_6

We should perhaps add that this wasn’t our kids favourite dish. They picked out the blackberries, avocado and feta cheese from the salad, leaving the raw kale to us. I guess purple isn’t their colour…

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Purple Kale & Blackberry Salad with Roasted Honey Feta

Vegans can just skip the feta cheese or replace it with hummus. And replace honey with maple syrup.

Baked vegetables
1 aubergine / eggplant

4 spring onions or 2 red onions
2-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 pinch ground cayenne
¼ tsp sea salt
1 handful hazelnuts

Cooked lentils
½ cup uncooked lentils (we used black lentils)

1 ½ cup water
1 pinch sea salt

Dressing
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice
2 tsp honey or more to taste
sea salt & pepper
1 large handful mixed fresh dill, parsley and mint

Other salad ingredients
4 stalks curly kale, green or purple
4 stalks rainbow chard or spinach
2 avocadoes
1 small handful snap peas
1 punnet fresh blackberries, halved

Roasted feta with honey (from NYT)
1 block feta cheese, patted dry
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

Start by preparing the baked vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Wash and cut the aubergine into large cubes and trim and slice the onions, then place in a mixing bowl. Stir together oil and spices in a small bowl, pour the oil mixture over the aubergine and onions and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until very soft and golden, check every now and then to prevent from burning, the baking time depends on the size of the vegetables. Add the hazelnuts halfway through.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils in a saucepan with the water for 15 minutes or until tender and can be mashed easily between two fingers. Add sea salt towards the end of the cooking time. Drain any excess water and leave to cool.

Prepare the dressing by mixing oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Chop the herbs finely and add to the oil mixture. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Remove the stems from the kale and coarsely chop the leaves. Finely slice the chard. Place all in a large mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp of the dressing and massage for a couple of minutes until soft. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Mix the lentils with the remaining dressing and pour them over the kale and chard mixture. Cut the avocado into cubes, slice the snap peas and roughly chop the hazelnuts. Add to the salad bowl together with the roasted  aubergine, onions and hazelnuts. Toss slightly to combine and then scatter blackberries on top. If you like to serve the salad with the baked feta cheese, follow the instructions below.

Keep the oven at 400°F / 200°C. Pat the feta cheese dry with a kitchen paper, place in a small ovenproof dish covered with baking paper and cover with oil. Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes, until soft but not melted. Melt the honey. Remove the cheese from the oven and turn the heat to broiler. With a baking brush, paint the cheese with the melted honey. Place back in the oven and broil until the top starts to brown. Use a spatula to immediately move the cheese to the salad, or serve it on the side.

How to Dry Herbs

This is the time of year I find myself drying herbs. In part, it’s because I tend to come across special, unusual varietals in the spring and late into summer – caraway thyme, pineapple sage, fresh coriander. Some will appear for a week or two, then aren’t seen again for another year. Other times, it is the herb flowers that get me – I like to use them throughout the year, and the one way to guarantee a supply is to dry them. It couldn’t be simpler, so I thought I’d share my method for those of you who may have missed it the last time I wrote about it.

How to dry herbsHow to dry herbs

I tend to group any herbs I’m going to dry into small bunches. Leaves are stripped from the bottom few inches of each stem, and a bit of twine secures each bundle. A push pin or strip of washi tape is typically enough to secure the herbs anywhere high and dry – walls, bookcases, fireplace mantles, cabinet knobs, and the like are all fair game around here.

How to dry herbsHow to dry herbsTo dry chive flowers, you’ll want to trim them from their stems and place on a flat surface for a week or so. Toss every couple of days so that all sides are exposed to air.How to dry herbsBe sure your herbs are completely dried before transferring them to a sealed container. Any moisture can result in mold. Also, after a few days of drying, your herb bundles will contract a bit from dehydration. You may need to tighten the twine a bit.

Let me know if you have favorite herbs I should try to seek out. I love the offbeat, slightly unexpected thymes, sages, and lavenders. I’m sure there there are others I should know about as well!

Continue reading How to Dry Herbs…

Kamut and Plum Salad

Kamut and Plum Salad with Goat Cheese | @naturallyella

At our house, fruit is always in high demand. In fact, it’s our go-to snack. For instance, on any given day, Mack eats his weight in fruit. Well, maybe not, but it feels that way. As a result, it’s rare that I make a recipe with fruit. That’s because it just never lasts long enough. Recently, however, we’ve had a few plums that were slow to ripen. By the time they were ready, I had dreamt of this plum salad. For one thing, kamut has a wonderful, slightly sweet wheat flavor. Then, it’s paired with spicy arugula and smooth goat cheese for a home run recipe! Read more and see the recipe.

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We’re coming out with a Plant Powered Cookbook!

Soooo…. This has probably been our best kept secret of 2016. We’re officially, honestly, truly, and absolutley releasing our very own cookbook!! This is our dream come true since we started our blog 5 years ago. The book includes 100 original, simple and delicious recipes that you’ll love (all photographed by the amazingly talented Toni […]

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Quinoa Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Quinoa Chickpea Buddha Bowl

This summer has been a glorious mix of amazing weather, trips to the farmers market, and travels to new cities. Since summer is on its way out (booo) I thought it appropriate to highlight one of my go-to meals recently: This 7-ingredient kale, quinoa, chickpea Buddha Bowl.

It may seem simple and just like any other wholesome bowl, but the flavors meld together perfectly, it’s a nutrient powerhouse (with 22 g protein per serving), and its simplicity is the best part (anyone can make it)!

View, Print or Pin Quinoa Chickpea Buddha Bowl from Minimalist Baker →

Vegetarian Sushi Bowl

Vegetarian Sushi Bowl with Green Tea Rice | @naturallyella

Post sponsored by Stash Tea. See below for more details.

Whenever my husband and I talk about ordering sushi, I always go for the vegetarian options full of vegetables. As a result, I hear endless amounts of grief about never ordering ‘real’ sushi. But, I never feel like I’m missing out. This sushi bowl is easier than sushi to make but I still get all the flavors. However, this particular vegetarian sushi bowl has a special ingredient: green tea. We always have green tea on hand (it got me through pregnancy). When adding it to the rice, you get an earthy flavor, a bit akin to nori (which I rarely have on hand). Read more and see the recipe.

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Podcast: Diabetes Management Part 2

Since diabetes management is such a loaded topic, we broke things up into 2 parts. Last month, we spoke about risk factors for diabetes, signs/symptoms, getting a proper diagnosis, and the process of self-monitoring glucose (blood sugars) at home. This month, we’ll be go over diabetes-related complications, how to cope if you’re diagnosed with diabetes, medication […]

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