Sweet Potato Hash Egg Skillet

Sweet Potato Hash Egg Skillet | @naturallyella

It’s around the beginning of February that I start to lose interest in winter produce. I’ve been eating squash and sweet potatoes for months and in California, the weather is turning to spring. We still have a bit of time before spring produce hits the market which means more creative winter recipes. This hash egg skillet is simple. It’s perfect for breakfast or a light dinner and at the base you only need two ingredients: sweet potatoes and eggs. Jazz up the skillet with fun toppings or reach for different spices. Read more and see the recipe.

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An Excellent, One-pan, Protein-packed Power Pasta

One-pot meals are the savior of weeknight cooking, and this pasta is one of my go-tos. It’s pasta and lentils simmered in crushed tomatoes, finished with lots of chopped kale, saffron, swirls of tahini and chopped almonds. I made a video of how it comes together, but the jist is to simply place most of the ingredients into a big pan or skillet with boiling water, simmer down until the pasta is tender, and plate in shallow bowls with your favorite toppings (I include a list of suggestions). Variations couldn’t be easier once you get the hang of the technique. The recipe is included here, and you can also see how I pull it together in the video. As I mention in it, you can easily do a vegan version of this, or use whatever gluten-free pasta you like. I think the reason I always come back to this recipe is because you’ve got greens, protein from the lentils, and a range of whole healthful ingredients all in one pan. It’s a total crowd-pleaser, and leftovers are A+ as well.

Also! A few of you have asked where to find a list of all my videos in one spot. There will always an up-to-date list on this You Tube page. I’m also posting the shorter ones to Instagram. If you subscribe on You Tube, you won’t miss any, that’s probably the safest bet. In addition to the recipe videos, I’m super excited to post more travel videos. I’m working on one from a trip to (beautiful, sunny!) Tucson, Arizona last week, and a separate video of what I made to take along with me as travel snacks. So, if you subscribe or follow on one of those channels, you’ll likely get the heads up. I also link in the 101 Cookbooks newsletter (sign-ups are sprinkled all over)….The videos are far from perfect (especially the ones I’m in laugh/cry), but they’re so fun to make, and my hope is that I’ll get better at it over the course of the year – 2017 goals! 😉 xx! -h

An Excellent One-pot Pasta Recipe

Continue reading An Excellent, One-pan, Protein-packed Power Pasta…

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Pesto

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Pesto

I have a serious thing for potatoes (because carbs), but this recipe elevates it to an obsession.

We’ve all had breakfast potatoes and mashed potatoes and french fries, but what about smashed potatoes? Yeah, get ready for crispy, tender potatoes with a flavor explosion.

Carbs + sauce for the win.

These potatoes are easy to make, requiring just 9 ingredients and about 1 hour to make!

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Pesto from Minimalist Baker →

Quinoa Potato Cakes

Quinoa Potato Cakes | @naturallyella

Post sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. See below for more details.

Our bottom drawer of our kitchen island is dedicated to potatoes of all kinds. At any given time I keep a handful of sweet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, and Russet potatoes on hand. I’ve found I can pretty much make any type of meal from a variety of potatoes. These potato cakes make for a nice base for fried eggs, a topping for salads, or even eaten by themselves. The quinoa provides an extra boost in nutrition- a perfect way to round out the potato cakes! Read more and see the recipe.

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1-Bowl Vegan Banana Nut Muffins (GF)

1-Bowl Vegan Banana Nut Muffins (GF)

My very favorite kind of muffin on the planet is banana walnut. Always has been, (likely) always will be. The only flavor that comes close is Double Chocolate Chip (which I’m officially adding to my gluten-free experimentation list!)

I’ve made Gluten-Free Banana Bread for the blog but have yet to deliver on a solid muffin recipe. That had to change.

This recipe is simple, requiring basic ingredients and just 1 bowl to prepare!

1-Bowl Vegan Banana Nut Muffins (GF) from Minimalist Baker →

Spinach Fennel Pizza

Spinach Fennel Pizza with Red Onions | @naturallyella

There are days I feel like I could solely blog about pizza and tacos. I find it beyond fun to come up with different combinations of toppings and fillings. The possibilities feel endless. This fennel pizza is a perfect example of what winter pizza looks like in our house. The flavor of fennel is uplifting when paired with the spinach and onion plus the fronds provide the right amount of freshness to the cooked pizza. Read more and see the recipe.

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This is How You Step up Your Guacamole Game

I’m all for a straight-ahead, no-fuss, guacamole. Nine times out of ten, that’s how I approach it. Let the avocado shine. Don’t distract with tomatoes, or pomegranate seeds, or too much lemon, or too much lime. I wrote some thoughts about guacamole basics here. That tenth occasion? I’ll work in a wildcard, or take a surprise approach. Something along the lines of what you see pictured here, a recurring favorite. It’s a recipe I shared years ago in Super Natural Every Day, loosely inspired by a preparation I came across in Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking. Imagine guacamole topped with fragrant, Indian-spiced onions and garlic, green chiles, and mustard seeds. The creamy, ripe avocado melds beautifully the savory bits, and the vibrant cooking oil works its way into all the little valleys. People love this with chips, toasted pita, or naan bread. If you’re in any sort of a rut, give this a try.

A quick side note – I can also imagine a Thai-spiced version being wonderful (with green curry in place of the Indian curry paste.

Indian-spiced Guacamole

Indian-spiced Guacamole

Continue reading This is How You Step up Your Guacamole Game…

Dried Apricot Soup with Emmer

Dried Apricot Soup with Emmer and Potatoes

Cooking brings us together via recipes passed down through generations and different cultures. The act of cooking and sharing a meal can unite us, even in a virtual sense. That is, essentially, why this site exists. It’s a way to learn and understand through something we do every day. I’ve been struggling to stay connected to this space without bringing in current events because cooking, to me, is a way to bring everyone together, even during a time of division. To ignore politics in the realm of food feels too surface, too insincere.

The United States is a country continually shaped by immigrants and refugees. This is most noticeable in the food we eat and the recipes we make. The recipes I create are a melting pot of flavors and cultures. I find it important to keep this in mind, especially when we, as a nation, are beginning to literally and figuratively wall ourselves off. I urge, in this time, that it is all hands on deck. Educate yourself on the issues that matter to you.

Get involved. Join groups, call your representatives, donate to organizations like the ACLU, and help fight for rights of those whose voice may not be heard. We may not always agree on what we’re fighting for but my hope is that food will continue to bring us all together in a way nothing else can.

This particular recipe is from the Taste of Persia cookbook, a beautiful cookbook highlighting recipes from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan. Cookbooks can be a wonderful start to diving into a culture you might not understand. The stories in this book (along with others like Cooking a Home, Soup for Syria, and Delights from the Garden of Eden) have all helped in my journey. It’s a small start, but one that’s been extremely enlightening.

I’ll leave you with a quote, found in the foreword of Cooking a Home. It hit me fairly hard and one I think applies globally:

“Our challenge as Syrians, but also as fellow inhabitants on this planet is to turn our world into a large kitchen, in which we feed the needy, resolve conflict around tables with words and coffee –and not with grenades and bombs— and fill our pantries with tools and nourishment that would raise our youth— and not with chemical weapons and poison gas.”

– Afra Jalabi

Dried Apricot Soup with Emmer

A hearty wheat berry soup with a base of dried thyme, mint, and tart apricots. The soup comes from southern Georgia and is found in the cookbook, Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 1 cup emmer (farro) (rinsed well)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups unsalted or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups tart dried apricots (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (chopped into 1″ cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint (to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, basil, and parsley (chopped)
  • Feta, for topping
  1. Heat a large cast iron or regular pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil followed by the onions. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the onions are fragrant and translucent. 

  2. Add the emmer, stir to coat, and cook for a minute. Add in water and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Add the apricots to the pot, cover, and let cook until the emmer and apricots start to soften, 30 minutes or so (see note). 

  3. Stir in the potatoes along with the dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and add more seasoning as desired. 

  4. Serve the soup with fresh herbs and sprinkle of feta. 

Tips & Tricks: As noted above, the recipe is from Taste of Persia but is written exactly as I made it. I recommend checking out the cookbook for all the possible options for herbs and toppings.

Also, I’ve made this with California apricots since they tend to be more on the tart side (and dried tart apricots can be hard to find).

Get the Taste of Persia Cookbook.

Dried Apricot Soup with Emmer, Potatoes, and Fresh Herbs

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