Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

Simple pasta sauce recipes are weeknight lifesavers. They’re great not only on pasta, but on all sorts of vegetables and grain bowls as well. Often if you’ve got a decent condiment selection on hand, or some fresh herbs, or simply some nuts, you’re on your way to a great sauce. Also, don’t limit yourself to using these as pasta sauces, often they’re just as fantastic over simply roasted, steamed, or sautéed vegetables. Or, as spreads on sandwiches and flatbreads!

1. Five Minute Tomato Sauce (101 Cookbooks)
I make this more than just about any other sauce in my repertoire. All you need is a handful of ingredients, and one saucepan. No need to simmer for hours, a kiss of lemon zest keeps this tomato sauce fresh and bright and perfect for all sorts of pastas, pizzas, and casseroles. The perfect weeknight tomato sauce. And, actually(!), here’s a post of three ways I work it into lunch as well. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

2. Brown Butter Balsamic Sauce (101 Cookbooks)
I love this simple balsamic sauce tossed stuffed winter squash stuffed pastas. Or, sweet potato anything. It’s a sauce that hits squarely on the decadent side of the spectrum, with a generous amount of browned butter as the base, but it is delicious, and really hits the spot now and then. The balsamic cuts the butter with its acidity, and I like to add plenty of something green and slightly bitter to balance everything out beyond that – in this case, arugula. And a bit of lemon zest, which perfumes everything beautifully. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

3. Hemp Seed Alfredo (Blissful Basil)
Absolutely love this hemp seed take on alfredo sauce. Pictured here with zucchini noodles. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

4. Harissa & Olive Oil Sauce (101 Cookbooks)
If you have some harissa on your condiment shelf, you’re halfway there. Paired with olive oil, the harissa forms the base of a brick red, garlic-charged sauce. Perfect tossed with your favorite pasta, and veggies. Pictured here with whole wheat spaghettini, kale, black olives, and pine nuts. Legit, fantastic weeknight option. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

5. Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce (Real Food Whole Life)
I like the combination of tomato, pumpkin, rosemary, and sage in this creamy sauce. Robyn uses coconut milk here, but you could also use a thick nut milk like cashew or almond. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

6. Vegan Alfredo Sauce (The Bojon Gourmet)
I love using homemade cashew milk as a substitute for heavy cream or even coconut milk. It is silky smooth, and full of body, and works as a brilliant vegan alfredo sauce base here. Soak the cashews while you’re out fo the day, and this sauce comes together in no time. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

7. Red Pesto Sauce (101 Cookbooks)
Sun-dried tomato fans, this one has your name on it. Pictured here with goat cheese raviolis and served them on a bed of baby spinach. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

8. Lemon Almond Sauce (Naturally Ella)
Creamy, dairy-free, and spiked with lemon and black pepper. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

9. Pounded Walnut Sauce (101 Cookbooks)
This Mona Talbott recipe is a hearty, pounded walnut pesto of sorts, with marjoram and parsley. And I love it. Particularly as the weather chills, and you’re looking for more substantial fare. It’s nice with a short farro pasta, but really, it’s incredible on just about everything. You could even skip the pasta and just enjoy it with roasted vegetables. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

10. Creamy Chipotle Sauce (Dora’s Table)
Six ingredients work themselves into chipotle-based magic. This is good on noodles, but also as a finishing touch on tacos, or as a component in salad dressings (great with structured lettuces). Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

11. A Favorite Pesto Sauce (101 Cookbooks)
About ten years ago we had a pesto and gnocchi night with my visiting Italian friend Francesca and her mom. They are from Genoa, and her mom makes a beautiful pesto (and perfectly light, potato gnocchi to go along with it). She offered to share her method with us, and we’ve all reaped the benefits ever since. If you love pesto, you really have to try her technique. Get the recipe here.

Simple Weeknight Pasta Sauce Recipes

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Apple & Berry Breakfast Oatmeal Bake

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company, but all opinions are our own. Food waste is a real problem in this country. According to the EPA, an astonishing 130 billion pounds of food is wasted each year – mostly fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains – which has tremendous economic, environmental and societal […]

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The post Apple & Berry Breakfast Oatmeal Bake appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Eight Great Homemade Veggie Burgers

Everyone should have a great veggie burger recipe in their repertoire, and the good news is there are infinite ways to go about it. A base of chickpeas, or rice, or tofu, or grains is typically where you start. And you can accent them with chiles, spice blends, or curry pastes. Signs of a good veggie burger beyond flavor? You want them to hold together in the pan (or, even better, the grill). And if you’re cooking for a crowd, you want to be able to make and shape the patties ahead of time. It’s also nice to have a vegan option on hand. Here are some of the best homemade veggie burgers out there, I’m sure I’ve missed some, but these are a great place to start. -h

1. Ultimate Veggie Burger (101 Cookbooks)
These have been a real favorite for over a decade. They were the first veggie burger I made (chickpea base) where I used the patty as the bun, stuffing that with all sorts of good stuff. You can also make this with black beans, black lentils, white beans, or mung beans in place of the chickpeas. Get the recipe here.

Eight Great Homemade Veggie Burgers

2. Sweet Potato Burger (Hello Glow)
I love this offbeat sweet potato plus millet combination. Spice boosted and served in a sprouted bun, this is some veg burger aspiration. Get the recipe here.

Eight Great Homemade Veggie Burgers

3. Grillable Veggie Burgers (Minimalist Baker)
Longtime veggie burger makers know the keyword here is GRILLABLE. This is a smart rice-based patty boosted with walnuts, and generously spiced. A great jumping off point for infinite riffs. Get the recipe here.

Eight Great Homemade Veggie Burgers

4. Vegan Wild Rice Burgers With Grilled Avocados and Heirloom Tomato Salsa (Gratitude and Greens)
Every time I encounter wild rice I wonder why I don’t cook with it more often. These wild rice burgers are the perfect example. Side note: wild rice freezes quite well, so make extra, and you can pull these together in a weeknight flash. Get the recipe here.

Eight Great Homemade Veggie Burgers

7. Carrot & Halloumi Burgers (Dagmar’s Kitchen)
You can also make these with shredded beets, winter squash, or sweet potato in place of the carrots! Get the recipe here.

Eight Great Homemade Veggie Burgers

8. Vegan Sweet Potato Sliders (Love & Lemons)
Sweet little sweet potato sliders. Clever use of tofu and tahini accented with fragrant rosemary and paprika. Get the recipe here.

Eight Great Homemade Veggie Burgers

5. Zucchini Quinoa Burgers (Food 52)
If you have cooked chickpeas and quinoa on hand, you’re already halfway there. Love the dilly mustard thing going on here as well :)… Get the recipe here.

Eight Great Homemade Veggie Burgers

6. Vegan Cajun Chickpea Burgers (The Almond Eater)
Another great example of how you can play around with a range of spices and flavors. Cajun spices with onion, and green pepper (I like serrano) come together nicely here. Get the recipe here.

Eight Great Homemade Veggie Burgers

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California Tom Yum Soup

This soup is a distant relative of the vibrant, brothy tom yum soup you likely know from many Thai restaurants. Part of its magic is the way (a good version) plays sweet off sour, balancing herbaceousness, feisty heat, and just the right amount of saltiness. There are infinite interpretations of it, but this is how I make it in my (California) kitchen. It has evolved over the years, and this version is vegetarian / vegan, made with a fresh tom yum paste, highlighting whatever seasonal produce is on hand. It evolves with with the seasons, and I like to use any leftover to the next day to add dimension to rice bowls, or as egg poaching liquid, or as the broth in a breakfast congee. Be sure to read the headnotes before you dive into this one. Enjoy! -h

California Tom Yum Soup

California Tom Yum Soup

California Tom Yum Soup

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Millet Polenta with Romesco

Millet Polenta with Romesco | Naturally Ella

One of the reasons I tout cooking in small batches of components is because it makes meals super simple and fast. Take for example, this romesco polenta. It seems like I always have romesco on hand (it’s a favorite in our house) and this millet polenta is fast to whip up or reheat. Combine the two and it’s an easy lunch or light dinner. This romesco polenta is also the perfect base for adding roasted vegetables and cooked legumes. A few of my favorite ideas include topping the polenta with roasted broccoli/cauliflower, adding crispy chickpeas, or mixing in sweet potato to the polenta. Any way you prepare this, you will come out with a solid comfort meal.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Millet Polenta with Romesco appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Homemade Chocolate Bars and All the Things You Want in Them

Homemade chocolate bars are fun, you can make them whatever size you like, and can pack them with whatever chunks, spices, nuts, seeds, and goodies you have. The possibilities are endless. Make a bunch, wrap them in gold foil candy paper, or parchment, and place in a drawer – you’re set for the month. Everyone seems to have a slightly different technique, but generally I simply start with the best dark chocolate possible, then add as many extras as the chocolate can hold. To shape your bars You can just slather the mixture across a parchment-lined baking sheet, or allow it to set in a mold (or ice cube tray) of your choice. Have fun experimenting. Some inspiration below! -h

1. Dark Chocolate Energy Bites (QUITOKEETO)
Good-quality dark chocolate crammed with as much good stuff as it can hold. In this case I pack the little bars with lots of chopped nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Then I sprinkle them with things like bee or fennel pollen, crushed rose petals, sea salt, and more nuts and seeds to give them a little extra nutritional boost, and to bump up the pretty! Get the recipe here.

Homemade Chocolate Bars and All the Things You Want in Them

2. Wonder Berry Chocolate Bars (Maison Cupcake)
Some great ideas here, but the wonder berry bar is the one that caught my attention: goji berries, white mulberries, Incan berries, buckwheat groats, hulled hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds. Get the recipe here.

Homemade Chocolate Bars and All the Things You Want in Them

3. Chocolate Mint Matcha Crunch Bars (Miss Marzipan)
A big yes to this one. Also, bonus points for the cute downloadable wrapper – for when you want to go pro on your bars! Get the recipe here.

Homemade Chocolate Bars and All the Things You Want in Them

4. Color-blocked Chocolate with Edible Flowers (Paper & Stitch)
For the white chocolate fans out there. This is super cute, its just too bad you can’t get a similar effect with dark chocolate. 😉 Get the recipe here.

Homemade Chocolate Bars and All the Things You Want in Them

5. Superfood Chocolate Quinoa Bark (Half Baked Harvest)
I love the thinness of these, so you get some real snap. Oh, and the espresso boost! Get the recipe here.

Homemade Chocolate Bars and All the Things You Want in Them

6. Detox Superfood Dark Chocolate Bark(Amy’s Healthy Baking)
A nice combination of dried mango, dried apricots, chia, and almonds. My advice on this one, use more chia than the recipe calls for. I think the only thing I ever call for 1/4 teaspoon of is salt. ;)…Get the recipe here.

Homemade Chocolate Bars and All the Things You Want in Them

7. Superfood Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bark(Simply Sisson)
More of a bark than a bar, but well worth including. SO many nuts and seeds, accented with dried fruit and coconut flakes. More details here.

Homemade Chocolate Bars and All the Things You Want in Them

8. Rose, Strawberry & Pistachio White Chocolate Bark (Now, Forager)
One last example for the white chocolate camp. Rose petals and freeze-dried strawberries plus pistachio and pink sea salt make this a real beauty. Get the recipe here.

Homemade Chocolate Bars and All the Things You Want in Them

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Millet Polenta | Cooking Component

Millet Polenta | Naturally Ella

When I was writing The Homemade Flour Cookbook, I stepped far outside my comfort zone. I had worked for a year at a bakery and for a solid part of that time, was the sole baker in their dedicated gluten-free kitchen. Thanks to this experience, I was no stranger to all of these flours. But writing an entire book about all types of flours pushed me in my recipe development. One of the best accidents came from cooking millet that didn’t grind all the way. The end of result was this millet polenta that taste delicious and works almost identically to traditional corn-based polenta.

This cooking component is easy. Take a blender, food processor, or grain mill set to the coarsest setting and crack some millet. Leave about half the millet whole and create a bit of flour (this is key- it’s what makes the thickness possible). This technique also works with other grains, especially when making whole-grain risottos, but millet is the grain that closest resembles polenta.

Read more and see the recipe.

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Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

Muffins are one of the great gateways to baking. Even people who don’t fancy themselves bakers are inclined to tackle a muffin recipe now and then. These are some long-time favorites. They’re worth making, and worth eating. Many of them also freeze reazonably well, although I’m hesitant to type that sentence ;)….A couple tips – don’t over mix the batter, or you’ll end up with tough muffins. And don’t be afraid to experiment with seasonal fruits, and alternative nuts and seeds.

1. Pumpkin Feta Muffins (101 Cookbooks)
Savory muffin fans, these are absolutely for you. Packed with spinach, feta and Parmesan cheese, black pepper, mustard, and sunflower seeds. They don’t disappoint! Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

2. Turmeric Breakfast Muffins (Green Kitchen Stories)
These are genius. Muffin meets turmeric lassi with(!) a granola top. I mean, just look at the photo. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

3. Buttermilk Berry Muffins (101 Cookbooks)
One of my FAVORITE muffins – berry-streaked with sugar-sparkled tops, big flavor, buttermilk tender texture. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

4. Quinoa Banana Muffins (Healthy-ish)
These muffins combine the perfect trifecta of banana, blueberry, and quinoa. Honey sweetened with a boost of brown sugar, and made with whole wheat flour, they fit squarely in the healthy-ish category. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

5. Oatmeal Muffins (101 Cookbooks)
Crumble-topped with an oatmeal and yogurt base. And when I say, crumble, I mean the type of crumble you put on top of fruit before baking. These are a bit custard-y when hot, and not-at-all when cooled. Craggy, golden-topped, and delicious! Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

6. Carrot Cake Muffins with Spiced Honey Glaze(Donna Hay)
Dates are the primary sweetener in these decadent in these carrot-packed beauties.You can also swap in whole wheat pastry flour (don’t forget to add baking soda and/or powder) for more whole grain goodness. More details here.

Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

7. Banana Bran Muffins(Cook Republic)
Honey-kissed, but with no added sugar beyond that, these whole wheat flour muffins are heary and substantial. You can use whatoever bran you like, wheat bran, oat bran, etc. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

8. Millet Oatmeal Muffins (Alexandra Cooks)
I love love love a millet muffin. These are extra special because they incorporate a generous amount of oats as well. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

9. Lucia Muffins (101 Cookbooks)
Saffron-smacked and riddled with golden raisins, buttermilk battered and barely sweet. Said another way, Lucia buns reinterpreted as muffins. If you love saffron give them a try. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Muffin Recipes to Bake ASAP

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Sesame Green Beans with Quinoa and Eggs

Sesame Green Beans with Quinoa and Eggs | Naturally Ella

Here it is, my last full on summer recipe. My kitchen is starting the transition to fall and thus, so is the site. One of the beautiful things about living in the California valley is that summer produce continues on for some time (we’re still knee-deep in tomatoes). Yet, the weather is definitely feeling more like fall; cool nights and crisp air.

I’ve still been inspired by summer produce which means I have one last summer recipe to share. It features one of my favorite components: sesame green beans. I first started cooking these green beans to use in spring rolls. That spilled over into stir-fries and eventually grain bowls. This quinoa dish is easy and fast, especially if you make the green beans ahead of time. Plus it’s perfect to eat for breakfast or a light lunch!

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Sesame Green Beans with Quinoa and Eggs appeared first on Naturally Ella.