Saucy Portobello & Butternut Squash Tacos

Saucy Portobello & Butternut Squash Tacos

You guys, there are no words.

These tacos are insane. Spicy, saucy, hearty, and utterly delicious.

This is a must try!

These tacos were inspired by my love for fall and winter squash – especially butternut squash. Plus, they are easy to make, requiring just 30 minutes to prepare. What’s not to love?

The core ingredients are roasted, spiced butternut squash and saucy, sautéed portobello mushrooms.

Continue to Saucy Portobello & Butternut Squash Tacos from Minimalist Baker →

Slow Cooker Rutabaga Gratin with Millet

Slow Cooker Rutabaga Gratin with Millet and Gruyère | @naturallyella

Post sponsored by Crock-Pot® Brand/Mirum Shopper. See below for more details.

When it comes to holiday meals, I’m type-A (plan everything to the minute) cook. I have a schedule for every facet of the meal, to the point of where I have alarms in my phone. (In fact, I still have labels from last Thanksgiving. My morning alarm is called ‘beans and stuffing’ from last year’s Thanksgiving.) For those of you who are a bit more relaxed in your meal planning, this rutabaga gratin is the best kind of holiday meal recipe. Place everything in the slower cooker in the morning and let it cook while the rest of the meal is prepared. It’s rich, creamy, and the perfect addition to any holiday meal! Read more and see the recipe.

The post Slow Cooker Rutabaga Gratin with Millet appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Broiled Saffron Dates

If you’ve been to my house at any point in recent months, you’ve likely had these dates. They take only slightly more effort to make than placing dates unadorned on a plate. And, there must be something unusually captivating about them because people always ask me how to make them. I think the idea stems from a flight I took years ago from San Francisco to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was sitting next to a young man, dressed head to toe in hemp, on his way to a spiritual retreat. 🙂 We started chatting, and he offered me a date from little plastic baggie. He proceeded to tell me the dates were an Ayurvedic staple for him on flights. Massaged with ghee, ginger, and saffron, they weren’t pretty in the plastic baggie, but they were a flavor revelation. In this version I soak saffron in a small amount of almond extract, and toss it with melted ghee (or clarified butter) and dates. I usually opt out of the ginger. Place the dates in an oven-proof baking dish and broil just long enough for the insides of the dates to get unctuous and tacky, just long enough that the skins start caramelizing. Serve warm. They’re good as part of a cheese spread, or as a sweet bite at the end of a meal – simple with a bit of a wink.

Broiled Saffron DatesBroiled Saffron Dates

Also! I’ve started to post event information related to Near & Far on this events page. I hope to see, meet, and chat with many of you at each of them! Event information here. xo -h

Continue reading Broiled Saffron Dates…

Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie

‘Tis the season for pumpkin everything.

Yes, even though October is over I’m still going strong with my pumpkin addiction and will be for a while. (Don’t even get me started on pumpkin butter – oy).

I partly blame this pumpkin pie green smoothie. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

This smoothie comes together in 5 minutes, using 1 blender, and requires just 6 ingredients.

View, Print or Pin Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie from Minimalist Baker →

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.

The post Pear Salad with Gorgonzola appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Vegan Meatballs


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)


He’s a sleepy little fella.


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. 


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.


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


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.


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.

The post Radicchio Salad with Lentils and Roasted Acorn Squash appeared first on Naturally Ella.

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.

View, Print or Pin Lentil & Eggplant Lasagna from Minimalist Baker →

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.

The post Kale and Chickpea Stew appeared first on Naturally Ella.