Chickpea Crepes with Roasted Vegetables and Chipotle Compound Butter

Overhead photo, close-up, of yellow chickpea crepes topped with parsnip and carrot pieces and chipotle compound butter

I love recipes like this one. There are three components, all in their own way delicious and solid. Straight-forward roasted vegetables look like the star but I actually think it’s the chickpea crepes and the chipotle compound butter.

Compound butter and do a little dance

There’s nothing quite like compound butter. Butter is pretty fantastic as it is but when you start playing with flavors that like to tango with the creamy fat, it’s a new level.

What can you add to butter? Truly a lot. Garlic, ginger, herbs, spices, truffles, and sun-dried tomatoes just to name a few. From there you can use these butters on bread, tossed with roasted vegetables, as a pasta addition, added to steamed vegetables, or tossed with homemade french fries (a favorite of mine).

I think what I love most about this particular butter is that it’s smoky without being overly spicy. The chipotles add just the right amount of heat that helps to balance some of the butters richness. The butter makes more than you need, so plan to use it again later in the week.

Chickpea crepes: you need these

I’m not joking, you need these. Chickpea crepes have a subtle flavor but are naturally gluten-free and have a bit of protein. The are such a solid base for numerous veg-friendly meals.

One note, these crepes are different than socca. Socca is thicker. These crepes are my traditional crepe recipe with a couple small tweaks to accommodate the chickpea flour.

Roasted Vegetables

Finally, I know the vegetable combination might be a bit surprising here considering I’m known for squash and sweet potatoes. However, I love the carrots and parsnips together. Not only is the color beautiful, the mellow earthy flavor is the perfect compliment to the crepes and chipotle butter.

Of course, you have options. Swap the carrots and parsnips out for sweet potatoes, squash, other root vegetables, or summer flavors like peppers, green beans, and corn.

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Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh

This might be the best tempeh recipe I’ve highlighted to date. It features a simple ginger and garlic-spiked orange glaze that plays off the nutty, earthiness of pan-fried tempeh beautifully. Unlike many other tempeh recipes, there is no need for a long marinade time with this one, making it great for a last-minute weeknight meal.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh
The recipe comes with a bit of a story, originates in a book I suspect many of you haven’t seen yet, and started with an email I received one morning last September from Australian cookbook author (and natural foods enthusiast) Jude Blereau. It read,

Dear Heidi, My name is Jude Blereau and I’m a Natural Foods Chef and author from Western Australia. I’m currently in San Francisco, having a fabulous time(…) I’d love the opportunity to have a chat with you and meet you. We do similar work I think, though with our own different slant. Hoping we can meet…

The name sounded quite familiar to me, I did a quick scan of my cookbooks, and spotted her book immediately. It was a thoughtfully composed volume of natural food recipes that I had tucked into my suitcase on my journey back from New Zealand a couple years ago. The minute I discovered Wholefood in a bookstore in Wellington, I knew I was reading along with a cook I had much in common with. Flash forward a couple years (and emails) later and we are chatting over coffee and croissants at Tartine Bakery here in San Francisco.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh
We talked about all sorts of things, and I asked Jude if she’d let me highlight one of her recipes here on the site. She told me she had a new book just published in Australia, and that she’d send the new one to me upon her return. Today’s tempeh recipe is from Jude’s new book – Coming Home to Eat: Wholefood for the Family published by Murdoch Books. It is beautifully written, delicately designed, brimming with great recipes, and punctuated by a handful of photographs (by Geoff Fisher and Michelle Aboud) that help set the aesthetic tone of the book perfectly.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh
My hope is that Coming Home to Eat will get U.S. distribution sometime in the near future, but as far as I know, that could take some time. Meanwhile, you can follow Jude through her site or her blog. And if you find yourself in Perth looking for a cooking class experience or natural chef training program – Jude’s the one to track down.

And thank you for reaching out Jude, I look forward to visiting you in Perth someday. You books an inspiring, and your enthusiasm infectious. I hope our paths cross again soon. -h

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Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

Sit tight! This is one of my very favorite recipes. It’s a boosted wellness honey – bright rosy pink, vitamin C packed, and bursting with flavor. This honey tastes like a thousand Sweet Tart candies were crushed up and dissolved into it. It’s tangy, sweet and sour, and ups your honey game immediately.

Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

I tend to make a big container of this Vitamin C Honey a few times a year with whatever powdery Vitamin C ingredient magic I have on hand. This batch has rose hips and hibiscus, and some echinacea. It’s an electuary of sorts.

Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

Little jars of it make the best gifts. Or a little spoonful after a meal to satisfy a sweet tooth. If you love PB&J sandwiches. Make one with this honey in place of the jelly.

Tangy Delicious Vitamin C Honey

I’ll note this in the recipe down below, but use my recipe as a jumping off point. Play around! If you can’t find one of the ingredients I call for, no big deal. Leave it out, or add another spice or powder you like! Pitaya powder is tricky to source (and pricey), you can totally leave it out, and maybe crush up some freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries instead!

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5-Minute Mushroom Latte (2 Ways!)

5-Minute Mushroom Latte (2 Ways!)

If you’re like me, you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of medicinal and adaptogenic mushrooms.

Until recently, I never would’ve dreamed of putting mushrooms anywhere near my coffee or hot chocolate, but now I’m putting them in my morning lattes, smoothies, evening hot chocolate, and beyond! Let me show you how easy it is to make 2 delicious mushroom “lattes” at home in just 5 minutes.

5-Minute Mushroom Latte (2 Ways!) from Minimalist Baker →

Roasted Sweet Potato Baked Eggs

Close-up, overhead photo of roasted sweet potatoes with baked eggs nestled in among the sweet potatoes.

Some recipes are born from a love of making some of my recipes easier. I love to whip up a good quiche or frittata but sometimes I like to keep things simple (really simple). This baked egg dish is about as easy as it gets, once you get quick at dicing.

The Sweet Potatoes

Don’t throw this recipe out if you don’t like sweet potatoes. It’s really the concept of baked eggs that I would recommend. Any vegetable that goes well with baked eggs, and can be roasted, is a possibility here.

During the winter months, try different varieties of squash. During the spring, roasted asparagus is a nice touch (but I’d skip the first roasting step- no one likes mushy asparagus). And finally, in summer, roasted sweet corn and peppers rounds out the year. You could also mix two recipes and use something along the lines of this sunchoke hash.

Alliums

There are a few items that you can tell I love, just by the amount I use them in recipes. Shallots are at the top of the list. Sure, they are can be more of a pain to prep but the flavor gets me every time. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory, all with a small hint of garlic.

Of course, you can go with something a bit more forward. Try a bit of minced garlic added in with the sweet potatoes. During the spring months, green garlic can also add a nice flavor (and a bit of color contrast!) Or, go with the solid stand-by of minced yellow onion.

Vegan (a complete overhaul)

For almost every recipe I give, I can almost always turn it vegan. That is, however, a bit harder when baked eggs are the star of the show. I’d say if you’re bent on doing something similar, roast the sweet potatoes and turn it into a tofu scramble. Not the same but still delicious.

Spicy Baked Eggs

Finally, switch up the herbs. I’ve made this with a bit more savory elements and it’s delicious. Coat the sweet potatoes in a bit of curry powder, berbere spice, or a simple mix of cumin/coriander. It takes a bit of reworking the herbs but the end egg bake is delicious.

Overhead photo of roasted sweet potatoes and baked eggs, topped with rosemary and goat cheese.

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A Simple Brown Rice Sushi Bowl

I first published this recipe in 2007, on page 156 in Super Natural Cooking – the Sushi Bowl. Looking back at the recipes included in that book, this is one that has remained a personal favorite of mine (top five for sure), and from what many of you have told me, it has long been a favorite for many of you as well. Simply stated, we are talking about a de-constructed sushi roll – brown rice, tofu, avocado, toasted nori and green onions served with a tangy, sweet citrus-soy dressing. When I don’t have toasted nori on hand, I swap in a handful of crushed kale chips. 
Brown Rice Sushi Bowl

The Citrus Dressing

This dressing rules. You do a quick simmer of a bit orange and lemon juice, and then season it with a bit of brown sugar and rice vinegar. I wrote the recipe calling for orange and lemon, but I often make the dressing with grapefruit or blood orange juice, and it is exceptionally good – puckery citrus sweetness coating the grains of rice throughout each sushi bowl.
Brown Rice Sushi Bowl
So! If you love avocado rolls, this is a tricked out version, in bowl form. So simple, especially if you have cooked brown rice at the ready. This is the sushi bowl from lunch today, made with kale chips in place of toasted nori. 

Sushi Bowl-ing

When I originally wrote this recipe, it was conceived as a lazy day way to enjoy my favorite sushi roll ingredients. In an attempt to pre-empt comments related to sushi & bowls, I’ll leave you with this. I think there is occasional confusion with the idea of a sushi bowl, because the perception is that sushi is the roll itself. But, as Haruhiko mentions in the comments down below, “Sushi is a term that technically refers to the seasoned rice itself. There’s makizushi, inarizushi, chiraishizushi, etc., and what they have in common is the seasoned rice. You don’t need raw fish for sushi to be sushi.” xo Haruhiko! Hope this helps!

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I’m going to argue that this is the type of soup that needs to be made to order. While many soups and stews get more complex and enticing after a day or so in the refrigerator, I don’t find that to be true when it comes to soup of the broccoli variety. Am I alone here?
A Favorite Broccoli Cheddar SoupDay-old broccoli soup always smells very strong (and not in a good way) and tastes overcooked, as if from a can. The good news is this version couldn’t be simpler to make, and it’s perfect for those times when I feel like I need something with a serious nutritional punch. I give the soup a bit of an unexpected twist by topping it with golden, crunchy, mustardy croutons. Which you can skip, but I wouldn’t.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Topping Ideas

Aside from the croutons, this soup likes crusty, toasted walnut bread, or olive bread. It likes a good sheep feta in place of cheddar if that’s what you happen to have on hand, or a kiss of harissa whisked into a bit of olive oil. I know people like to pair broccoli with blue cheese. Personally, I find that to be over-powering, but if you really love blue cheese, that might be another direction to explore. If you have any other ideas, let me hear them – I make this soup often enough that I need fresh angles to work!

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5 Ways to Cook Vegetables

Jerk Roasted Kuri Squash | Naturally Ella

Preparing vegetables will always demand some extra time and care. However, these days we’re all trying to get more vegetables into our daily lives. Knowing more general ways to cook them only works in our favor.

The transformation from raw to cooked never ceases to inspire and once you learn the overall cooking processes, you can tackle any vegetable like a pro. Below is just a start of ways you can experiment with vegetables but hopefully this inspire more vegetable cooking in your kitchen.

Blanching

Blanching is a quick cooking process that involves submerging vegetables in boiling water for a short period of time. This process helps vegetables lose that extreme crispy bite that might be too much for some meals. Blanching works great for items like asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower but can also be great for greens.

How to blanch

To blanch, bring a pot of salted water to a boil with a bowl of ice water nearby. Drop in your prepped vegetables and let them cook for only a few minutes. The timing will depend on the heartiness of what you’re cooking. Spinach will take around 30 seconds while broccoli could be minutes. You want them to still be bright, colorful, and crisp but not crunchy. Strain the vegetables and transfer to the ice bath.

How to use blanched vegetables

I like to use blanched vegetables for vegetable cakes, stir fries, or if I plan on pan-frying the vegetables after blanching. Getting blanching under your fingers is also a good thing to have in your pocket if you ever plan on freezing vegetables (which helps seal in color, flavor, and nutrients.)

Example uses blanched vegetables:

Broccoli Melts
Broccoli Pesto Pasta
Garlicky Yogurt Green Beans

 

Roasting

One of my favorite ways to cook harder vegetables like squash is by tossing them in oil and salt and popping them in a 425˚F oven. Let them roast under high heat for 30, 40, 50 minutes – I never really set a timer I just check them occasionally with a fork to test for softness and some good coloring.

How to use roasted vegetables

Roasting vegetables is a great way to lock in flavor and have a bit of char-flavor to the items. Roasted vegetables are perfect as a side but I love adding them to all kinds of meals including pizza toppings, tacos, pasta, and salads.

Example uses roasted vegetables:

Sweet Chili Roasted Sweet Potato Spring Rolls
Roasted Tomato Sauce
Einkorn Risotto with Roasted Asparagus
Chili Roasted Broccoli

Chile Roasted Broccoli | Cooking Component | Naturally Ella

 

Steaming

I often times forget about this option when I am preparing vegetables. When I think about cooking a sweet potato or a hard winter squash, I sometimes get mentally cornered into thinking that turning on the oven is the only way to get the job done.

Steaming takes a fraction of the time, and is easier to clean up because there is no greasy oil or crusty bit of veg stuck to the pan. I highly recommend picking up a steaming basket. This makes steaming a bit easier because you can lift the vegetables out at the end of steaming.

How to steam vegetables

For steaming, all the vegetables should be roughly the same size, to cook evenly. Place about 1” of water in the bottom of a pot. This water should not touch the steaming basket, though. Bring that water to a boil, add your vegetables, turn the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the vegetables are just-tender. The vegetables should be bright in color still (similar to blanching).

Remove the steaming basket and run the vegetables until cold water to stop the cooking process then season as desired! Steamed vegetables do well when finished with fats like olive oil, homemade aioli, or other types of rich sauces.

How to use steamed vegetables

Steamed vegetables make for great side dishes. I also like to use steaming if I plan on pureeing something into a sauce or soup. You could also use as a filling for enchiladas, frittatas, or grain bowls.

Example uses steamed vegetables:

Carrot Baked Barley Risotto (calls for roasting but could use steamed carrots)
Sweet Potato Pasta (calls for roasting but could use steamed sweet potato cubes)
Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese (calls for boiling but could use steamed sweet potatoes)

Sautéing

I used to be intimidated by the term sauté – I thought you were only doing it right if you managed to toss the food from your pan up into the air and back into the pan again with a graceful yet incredibly strong wrist action (luckily that’s not so).

How to sauté vegetables

Sauté simply means to fry something quickly in a little hot fat. Cut your vegetables into evenly sized pieces, heat a pan with some oil or ghee, and toss in the vegetables. Coat them in the hot fat, and let the magic of fat and heat work wonders. Shoot for even coloring and frequent stirring until everything is tender and ideally caramelized or tastefully browned.

How to use sauteéd vegetables

Sautéed vegetables work well if you’re already making a meal on the stove-top. Tacos, grain bowls, and egg skillets are all great ways to use sautéed vegetables.

Example uses sauteéd vegetables:

Pan Fried Turnips
White Beans and Potatoes in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Green Bean Stir Fry
Vegetable Lo Mein

Pickling

This isn’t necessarily a ‘cooking method’ but the fermentation nerd side of me can’t overlook the ease and fun of quick pickling vegetables. There is no canning required, just some vinegar, salt, sugar, and spices if you wish. There are many different variations on pickling, which can be found along with instructions here.

How to use quick pickles

Quick pickles are great on sandwiches, as a topping for salads/grain bowls, or as a simple snack. Many different vegetables work well as quick pickles- just play around and find what you like!

Example uses pickled vegetables:

Hummus Sandwich with Pickled Carrots
Avocado Romain Wedge Salad with Pickled Radish
Caramelized Onion and Cheese Toast with Quick Pickles

Pickled Carrots | http://naturallyella.com

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Most Popular Soup Recipes of 2018

No one loves a good soup or stew more than I do. That said, some soups get much more love than others when I post them here. Seeing as we’re deep in the heart of soup season, I thought I’d wrangle a list of the most popular soup recipes on 101 Cookbooks from last year, 2018. If none of those seem quite right, here’s where you can poke around this archive of past soup recipes

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

1. Best Simple Cauliflower Soup – If you are looking for a go-to simple soup with a short ingredient list. Boost it with a favorite yellow curry paste for a variation. 

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

2. Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup – A family fave. This taco soup is a hearty melding of beans, and corn, and taco spices, and quinoa. A great main to build a weeknight meal around.

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

3. Coconut Red Lentil Soup – A long-running favorite here. You’re looking at a special lentil soup, an Ayurvedic dal recipe from the Esalen Cookbook years ago. Red lentil based, curry-spiced coconut broth with back notes of ginger and tomato, with slivered green onions, and curry-plumped raisins.

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

4. White Bean Soup with Pesto Herb Dumplings – Everyone loves dumplings. This is a hearty white bean soup topped with pillowy dollops of herb-packed pesto dumplings. Simple to make either vegan or vegetarian.

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

5. Curried Tomato Tortellini Soup – Another family friendly fave – a lentil and tomato-based stew, dotted with plump, tender dumplings, spiked with a range of spices, and boosted with plenty of spinach. Perfect one-bowl meal.

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

5. Vegetarian Split Pea Soup – Perfect for a busy weeknight, this delicious, simple vegetarian split pea soup is made from the shortest list of ingredients.

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

7. Instant Pot Minestrone Soup – This was popular with Instant Pot enthusiasts. A fairly classic minestrone, made with dried beans, not canned. 

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

8. A Simple Carrot Soup – Another simple blender soup makes the list. The base of this carrot soup is spiked with dollop of red curry paste, and then pureed into silky oblivion.

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

9. Ten Ingredient Alkalizing Green Soup – The quintessential wellness soup. A unique mix of spinach, herbs, garlic, with silky coconut cream, and some green split peas for staying power delivers a potent, alkalizing green soup.

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

10. CAP Beauty No Bone Broth – This mineral-rich alternative to animal bone broth was super popular. 

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

11. The Creamiest Vegan Soup (Cauliflower) – This soup is different than most “creamy” vegan soups I come across. It uses a clever trick to achieve its texture.

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

12. Vegetarian Tortilla Soup – Put in the effort to prep the baked tortilla matchsticks, which act as a perfect contrast to the full-bodied, spicy brothy vegetarian soup.

A List of the 2018 Most Popular Soup Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

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