Simple Spiralized Summer Salad w/ Peanut Sauce Dressing

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with BELLA Housewares. Thank you for supporting the growth of Food Heaven! As Registered Dietitians who counsel hundreds of people on improving their diets and overall health, our nutrition recommendations can typically be summed up into three simple words: eat more plants. By plants we mean anything that […]

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The post Simple Spiralized Summer Salad w/ Peanut Sauce Dressing appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Beet Tartare with Sesame Labneh + Amsterdam

Beet_tartare_with_labneh_1

Earlier this year we were in New York to launch Green Kitchen at Home. We had a blast doing a live cooking session at Food52, teaching a cooking class and had a book signing in a tiny but packed little store in Greenwich Village. But what I really wanted to talk about today was our night off. When we tucked baby Noah (formerly known as Gabriel) to sleep in his stroller and headed to ABCV for dinner. Side note: You should know that for being a food writing couple, Luise and I very rarely go out and eat at proper restaurants. With kids, it’s just easier to do takeaway or pick places where it’s okay that they climb, run and crash. Also, fancy restaurants make me feel awkward. But we had an epic evening at ABCV. We tried the tasting menu of which I can’t even remember half of the dishes. But I know that there were simple crudités with lots of spreads, some kind of soft beet carpaccio/tartar with a little bit of sting to it, a whole roasted cauliflower with turmeric tahini dressing(!), avocado lettuce cups, roasted shiitake and a couple of desserts. And what made the evening even better was that Noah slept through almost the entire dinner (thank you jetlag!).

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_2

We have been talking about that beet carpaccio (and the cauliflower with tahini turmeric dressing) a few times since we got back. And when Luise recently spotted a recipe for roasted beets and sesame labneh in the latest issue of Jamie Magazine, we started talking about it again. Looking through our recipe archive, it is pretty obvious that we’ve got a love for beets. They are sweet and mildly earthy, have an awesome color, can grow in our harsh Swedish climate and are cheap! What’s not to love?

So a couple of days ago, we picked up a few bunches of beets, started cooking and here we are. With some kind of beetroot tartare (mixed minced beets), dollops of sesame labneh and a few suggestions on what can be used to scoop it into your mouth, apart from crackers. And as a last minute contribution, we are also offering a less fancy way of serving this, inside a rye waffle toast (yup, you might want to scroll down to it right away).

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_4

This recipe is great as a starter, at a buffet table or a party. It’s pretty and impressive, creamy and delicious with plenty of flavor from fresh dill and mint and a little sting from horseradish. Since we love yogurt just as much as we love beetroots, we invited labneh (yogurt’s fancy cousin) to the party. We totally stole the idea to mix tahini into labneh from that Jamie Mag article. You should too.

You need at least two hours to let the yogurt drain into labneh cheese but I’m still going to claim that this is an easy recipe – only a few ingredients and apart from draining the yogurt, it’s all pretty quick.  I imagine that a quick cheat version could be accomplished by simply using thick yogurt without draining it and buying pre-cooked beetroots. I can’t promise that it will be as good, but it’ll at least be quick and effortless.

Okay, I can hear Isac trying to teach baby Noah how to roar like a lion with the only result that little brother cries like a baby. So I better post this now before major chaos is breaking out. No proofreading needed because yolo. Enjoy the recipe and check out info below re Amsterdam. Ciao!

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_5

Beet Tartar & Sesame Labneh
Serves 4

Recipe is inspired by a recipe from Jamie Magazine, Aug 2017 and a dinner we had a ABCV NYC.

Sesame labneh
2 cups / 500 g Greek or Turkish Yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
Beet Tartare 
1/2 kg / 1 lb  beetroots
2 tbsp capers
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp horseradish (or mustard)
1 handful fresh dill
1 handful fresh mint leaves

salt & pepper
Topping
1 handful pistachio nuts, finely chopped
fresh dill, chopped
fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tbsp capers, halved
lemon slices
olive oil
Serve with
rye bread crisps, tender gem lettuce or cucumber slices
Start by making the labneh. Add salt to the yogurt and stir until smooth. Wrap the yogurt in a cheese cloth or other clean thin cloth and tie it over a bowl for about 2 hours or more to allow liquid to be drained (meanwhile, cook the beetroots). You can leave it for 24-36 hours if you prefer a thicker labneh but 2 hours and a gentle squeeze (to get rid of some extra liquid) works fine. Stir in tahini, transfer to a serving bowl and top with a little bit of olive oil.
Peel the beetroots, divide them in quarters and cook in salted water for approx 20 mins min or until tender. When ready, let cool and then transfer them to a food processor along with capers, lemon juice, horseradish, fresh dill, mint and seasoning. Pulse a few times until the beetroot has the consistency of course grits. Not too much though or you will end up with a sauce. You can also dice them finely. Arrange the beet tartare on a large serving plate. Fold in large dollops of sesame labneh and top with pistachio, fresh herbs, capers and lemon slices. Add a drizzle of olive oil and serve with crackers or thin rye bread crisps (thin rye bread pieces toasted in a pan or the oven for a couple of minutes), tender gem lettuce or cucumber slices to scoop with.

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_6

Beet & Labneh Rye Waffle Toast

We made this Waffled rye bread toast with the leftovers.  It’s a family favorite and we’ve got another recipe and the whole story behind this method in our latest book. Here are some quick instructions: Simply smudge labneh on two pieces of dark rye bread, add some spinach, fresh dill and mint and a thick layer of beet tartar. Brush a hot waffle iron with butter or coconut oil, combine the two slices and place inside the waffle iron, pressing together lightly. When you’re bread has got a nice and brown waffle pattern, the toast is ready. Cut the waffle toast in half and eat it while it’s hot.

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_7

AMSTERDAM & ANTWERP – 7-9 September.

Green Kitchen at Home is being released in Dutch next week and to kick things off, we are coming to Amsterdam and Antwerp for a couple of press events, signings, dinners and talks.

We will have a little talk, signing and dinner at the bookstore ‘t Stad Leest in Antwerp at 19.30 pm on 7 September. Tickets can be booked here.

We are having a little talk + Q&A and a book signing at Limon in Amsterdam on 9 September between 10.30-11-30. There will be nibbles from the book served and we will end with a book signing. There will also be a lunch afterwards (between 12.00-14.00) and we will try to move around so we get the chance to chat with all of you. You can either buy tickets for both the talk and lunch, just the talk or just the lunch. Follow this link to read more about it in Dutch: Greenkitchenbooks.nl

Sweet Corn Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes and Avocado

Sweet Corn Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes and Avocado | Naturally Ella

Post sponsored by California Avocado. See below for more details.

Even though we don’t have any little guys in school, Mack’s schedule is such that it feels like he is in school. I pick him up from care at 3:30 and from there it’s a long slide into dinner. He’s in the kitchen “helping” me but most of the time I’m throwing together something simple so that I can play with him. This sweet corn polenta takes a little prep and time but it’s so delicious this time of year, it’s worth every bit of time.

Using sweet corn for fresh polenta is nothing like using polenta from the bulk bin. The flavor is all summer corn. Add to that the tomato-avocado salad, it’s the best of summer in a bowl. For this polenta, I like to use just-rip avocados. They hold their shape a bit better when cubed and tossed with the warm tomatoes.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Sweet Corn Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes and Avocado appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Beet Tartar with Sesame Labneh + Amsterdam

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_1

Earlier this year we were in New York to launch Green Kitchen at Home (we’re also coming to Amsterdam in September – more info below). We had a blast doing a live cooking session at Food52, teaching a cooking class at Sur La Table and had a book signing in a tiny but packed little store in Greenwich Village. But what I really wanted to talk about today was our night off. When we tucked baby Noah (formerly known as Gabriel) to sleep in his stroller and headed to ABCV for dinner. Side note: You should know that for being a food writing couple, Luise and I very rarely go out and eat at proper restaurants. With kids, it’s just easier to do takeaway or pick places where it’s okay that they climb, run and crash. Also, fancy restaurants make me feel awkward. But we had an epic evening at ABCV. We tried the tasting menu of which I can’t even remember half of the dishes. But I know that there were simple crudités with lots of spreads, some kind of soft beet carpaccio/tartar with a little bit of sting to it, a whole roasted cauliflower with turmeric tahini dressing(!), avocado lettuce cups, roasted shiitake and a couple of desserts. And what made the evening even better was that Noah slept through almost the entire dinner (thank you jetlag!).

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_2

We have been talking about that beet carpaccio (and the cauliflower with tahini turmeric dressing) a few times since we got back. And when Luise recently spotted a recipe for roasted beets and sesame labneh in the latest issue of Jamie Magazine, we started talking about it again. Looking through our recipe archive, it is pretty obvious that we’ve got a love for beets. They are sweet and mildly earthy, have an awesome color, can grow in our harsh Swedish climate and are cheap! What’s not to love?

So a couple of days ago, we picked up a few bunches of beets, started cooking and here we are. With some kind of beetroot tartar, dollops of sesame labneh and a few suggestions on what can be used to scoop it into your mouth, apart from crackers. And as a last minute contribution, we are also offering a less fancy way of serving this, inside a rye waffle toast (yup, you might want to scroll down now).

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_4

This recipe is great as a starter, at a buffet table or a party. It’s pretty and impressive and got plenty of flavor from fresh dill and mint and a little sting from horseradish. Since we love yogurt just as much as we love beetroots, we invited labneh (yogurt’s fancy cousin) to the party. We totally stole the idea to mix tahini into labneh from that Jamie Mag article. You should too.

You need at least two hours to let the yogurt drain into labneh cheese but I’m still going to claim that this is an easy recipe – only a few ingredients and apart from draining the yogurt, it’s all pretty quick.  I imagine that a quick cheat version could be accomplished by simply using thick yogurt without draining it and buying pre-cooked beetroots. I can’t promise that it will be as good, but it’ll at least be quick and effortless.

Okey, I can hear Isac trying to teach baby Noah how to scream like a lion with the only result that little brother cries like a baby. So I better post this now before major chaos is breaking out. No proofreading needed because yolo. Ciao!

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_5

Beet Tartar & Sesame Labneh
Serves 4

Recipe is inspired by a recipe from Jamie Magazine, Aug 2017 and a dinner we had a ABCV NYC.

Sesame labneh
2 cups / 500 g Greek or Turkish Yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
Beet Tartar
1/2 kg / 1 lb  beetroots
2 tbsp capers
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp horseradish (or mustard)
1 handful fresh dill
1 handful fresh mint leaves

salt & pepper
Topping
1 handful pistachio nuts, finely chopped
fresh dill, chopped
fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tbsp capers, halved
lemon slices
olive oil
Serve with
rye bread crisps, tender gem lettuce or cucumber slices
Start by making the labneh. Add salt to the yogurt and stir until smooth. Wrap the yogurt in a cheese cloth or other clean thin cloth and tie it over a bowl for about 2 hours or more to allow liquid to be drained (meanwhile, cook the beetroots). You can leave it for 24-36 hours if you prefer a thicker labneh but 2 hours and a gentle squeeze (to get rid of some extra liquid) works fine. Stir in tahini, transfer to a serving bowl and top with a little bit of olive oil.
Peel the beetroots, divide them in quarters and cook in salted water for approx 20 mins min or until tender. When ready, let cool and then transfer them to a food processor along with capers, lemon juice, horseradish, fresh dill, mint and seasoning. Pulse a few times until the beetroot has the consistency of course grits. Not too long or you will end up with a sauce. You can also chop them finely. Arrange the beet tartar on a large serving plate. Fold in large dollops of sesame labneh and top with pistachio, fresh herbs, capers and lemon slices. Add a drizzle of olive oil and serve!

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_6

Beet & Labneh Rye Waffle Toast

We made this Waffled rye bread toast with the leftovers.  It’s a family favorite and we’ve got another recipe and the whole story behind this method in our latest book. Here are some quick instructions: Simply smudge labneh on two pieces of dark rye bread, add some spinach, fresh dill and mint and a thick layer of beet tartar. Brush a hot waffle iron with butter or coconut oil, combine the two slices and place inside the waffle iron, pressing together lightly. When you’re bread has got a nice and brown waffle pattern, the toast is ready. Cut the waffle toast in half and eat it while it’s hot.

Beet_tartar_with_labneh_7

AMSTERDAM & ANTWERP – 7-9 September.

Green Kitchen at Home is being released in Dutch next week and to kick things off, we are coming to Amsterdam and Antwerp for a couple of press events, signings, dinners and talks.

We will have a little talk, signing and dinner at the bookstore ‘t Stad Leest in Antwerp at 19.30 pm on 7 September. Tickets can be booked here.

We are having a little talk + Q&A and a book signing at Limon in Amsterdam on 9 September between 10.30-11-30. There will be nibbles from the book served and we will end with a book signing. There will also be a lunch afterwards (between 12.00-14.00) and we will try to move around so we get the chance to chat with all of you. You can either buy tickets for both the talk and lunch, just the talk or just the lunch. Follow this link to read more about it in Dutch: Greenkitchenbooks.nl

Chimichurri | Cooking Component

Chimichurri Verde | Naturally Ella

We are a sauce family. It’s one of the food items my husband is most opinionated about. He’s usually a sport with most things I make but his top complaint is when something doesn’t contain a sauce. Because of this, sauces make up a large portion of my component list. Like this chimichurri verde, most are quick and fresh- a perfect companion for vegetables (and some fruits!)

I’ve found the history behind chimichurri not very solid. Most references are that it hails from Argentina but with no specific origin. There are a few theories about where it came from and the name behind- this article gives a brief rundown. Chimichurri is mainly linked with grilled meats (specifically steak) but as mentioned, it’s a wonderful companion for vegetarian cooking.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Chimichurri | Cooking Component appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Green Bean Curry

Green Bean Curry | Naturally Ella

In the realm of curries, it is hard to pick my favorite. There are so many different flavors that one could highlight through fresh herbs and spices. One of my go-to sauces in the past year has been this green curry sauce. It’s a loose riff on Thai green curry. Traditionally, green curry that comes from central Thailand is made with shrimp paste, kaffir limes, and green thai chilies (specifically prik kee noo suan).

My green bean curry variation leaves out the shrimp paste and uses readily available ingredients like regular limes and jalapeño peppers. If you can find the more traditional ingredients, I recommend making your own green curry paste (this is a shrimp version and this is one without). However, you can often find green curry paste at the store (the flavor just isn’t as strong/good as homemade!) Read more and see the recipe.

The post Green Bean Curry appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Podcast: Choosing Safer Beauty & Body Products

Today we’re going to be talking about natural beauty and body products. This topic has become increasingly popular, and since what we use on our bodies impacts our health, I thought it would be great to make this topic an episode. We’re chatting with Megan Roosevelt, who’s a registered dietitian and the founder of Healthy […]

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The post Podcast: Choosing Safer Beauty & Body Products appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Pear Cooking Guide

Post sponsored by California Pears. See below for more details.

With pear season in California off to a good start, I thought I would share with you a bit about using pears. One of the things that makes me excited about pears right now is the overlap with summer produce, especially fruit. Pairing fresh pears with berries makes for a delicious yogurt or pancake topping. A pear-berry jam is also wonderful and on current heavy rotation with our nut-butter sandwiches. Beyond that, I’m also fresh off canning about 15 pounds of Bartlett pears. Currently lining my shelves are spiced pears and a lovely pear chutney I’ll be thankful for come February.

Similar to apples, pears have different roles in my cooking and baking. Some pears hold their shape well even when cooked, making them perfect for baked goods. Other pears break down easier making them perfect for sauces and pear butters. Of course, there are also the perfect pears for snacking (an easy win with my son!)

  • Bartlett: All around solid pear. Works well both raw and cooked, also great for canning.
  • Bosc: Bosc pears have a crisp texture when raw which translate into a pear that holds it’s shape beautifully when cooked. These pears are the go-to variety for baked goods and desserts that use halved or whole pears.
  • Seckel: This smaller pear is, in my kitchen, the perfect toddler snacking pear. These sweet pears are also wonderful used in desserts or sliced for a cheese tray. Seckel pears’ size makes them perfect for canning whole too.
  • Comice: These pears are my choice for snacking. They are one of the sweeter varieties and while you could cook with them, they are best eaten raw as a snack or I like to thinly slice them for a salad.
  • Red: The red pear is often the star of baked goods. This pear is similar to the Bartlett pear but has a beautiful, deep red color. These are my choice pears for salads but they also are beautiful when showcased in baked goods. Because of the color, I like to find ways to leave the skin on for serving!
  • Forelle: Similar in size to a Seckel pear, these make for another wonderful snacking pear. Forelle pears have a sweet flavor but I prefer their firmer texture to some of the other varieties. If I’m going on a road trip, these are the pears I bring along for a solid snack!
  • French Butter: These pears are most popular in the baking and dessert recipes because of their creamy texture. French butter pears are also known for having a bit more juiciness than the other varieties- making them a good candidate for pear based sauces and marinades.

Pear Chutney

Savory Pear Ideas

Salads: Pears are a perfect addition to salads. There are classic combinations with blue cheese and pecans but I also love using pear with fennel, arugula, and even thinly shaved radish.

Grilled Cheese: Slice the pears thin and add to a grilled cheese for a sweet kick.

Pizza: Similar to the grilled cheese, add sliced pears to pizza with a bit of blue cheese!

Sauces: One of my favorite pear applications: chutney (pictured above). The sweet from the fruit lends itself well to the savory compote, especially when it has a spicy kick to it! Pears are also a great base for homemade salsa with cilantro and lime juice.

Roasted Vegetables: I like to use pear with roasted winter squash for savory grain bowls and salads- the sweet from the roasted pear is the perfect compliment to the earthy squash flavor.

Recipe Inspiration

Ginger Pear and Goat Cheese Endives | Naturally Ella

Amaranth Porridge with Roasted Pears, Maple Pecans, and Yogurt

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with California Pears.. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week. |

The post Pear Cooking Guide appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Creamed Corn Barley

Creamed Corn Barley | Naturally Ella

Creamed corn is one of those items that I always look fondly upon from my childhood. I can really only relate it to the holidays, specifically my family’s ‘recipe’ for corn casserole. Nevertheless, the idea of creamed corn makes me happy; just not from a can. Also, at least for this recipe, there’s no cream in sight.

One of this season’s cookbook pick-ups helped guide me a bit on this. Jeremy Fox’s On Vegetables relies on corn, and only corn, to make creamed corn (and a subsequent vegan polenta which is amazing.) I took the method and applied it here to make an extremely simple dish. Between the starch from the sweet corn and the barley, a risotto-like texture is created. It’s comfort food, vegan style. Read more and see the recipe.

The post Creamed Corn Barley appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Watermelon & Halloumi Salad with Magic Sauce

Watermelon_halloumi_salad_1

Hello! This is David & Luise. Remember us? During our almost eight years of blogging we have never stayed absent for two months before. We’re going to do what we always do in these situations and blame the kids. Wether we miss a dentist appointment, forget to answer a text message, get a parking ticket or are two months late with a blog post, it’s always our kid’s fault. But in this case it’s actually somewhat true. We simply underestimated how much time and attention three kids on summer holiday takes. They have soon much energy. I (David) have been thinking of ways to connect them (and with them I mean Isac) to the power grid so that they (he) could replace a nuclear power plant or two. And I could perhaps cash in a Nobel price for saving the world. Anyway, after a couple of weeks of feeling bad about not having a single second over to blog new recipes, we instead decided to give ourselves a summer break from it all. So we have been trying to keep up with our children’s pace (obviously impossible) and play on their rules (also impossible because they ignore rules) this summer.

But now we are back, with plenty of new recipe ideas and projects. Lots of other things have happened during the summer. We almost bought ourselves a tiny smoothie bar in a park, we burnt pancakes from Green Kitchen at Home inside a jam-packed little book store in Bath and we have planned the release of the European languages next month, but we’ll find time to talk more about all that. For now, let’s just talk food. Before the summer and watermelon season is all over.

Watermelon_halloumi_salad_3

This recipe has been going on repeat all summer. It’s actually a combination of two recipes which we recently realized work brilliantly together. A simple watermelon and halloumi salad and our Magic Green Sauce. We first got the idea to combine watermelon with halloumi from a recipe photo in a supermarket pamflett and from that combo, we’ve added some chickpeas, cherry toms and pumpkin seeds to make it less of a side and more of a meal. It’s a really nice combination. Rich and chewy halloumi, sweet and fresh watermelon, crunchy pumpkin seeds and a tangy, flavorful and slightly spicy sauce. If I wasn’t such a humble guy, I would say that it’s probably one of the best watermelon salads you’ll try this summer. Luckily, I’m super humble and will just say that it’s pretty good.

A simple vegan option would be to replace the halloumi with marinated tofu. Just make sure to squeeze out the liquid before marinating it, so it soaks up all the flavor. Quinoa, black lentils or rice could also be a great addition if you want to make this salad more substantial.

Here is a little salad assembling action by Luise.

Watermelon_halloumi_salad_4

Watermelon_halloumi_salad_6

Technically, the Magic Green Sauce is just our take on Chimichuri with a more hippie name. We use lime juice instead of vinegar and have added a little avocado to give it the right balance between creamy and chunky and also a few drips maple syrup to round off the sharpness from the other flavors. The magic lies in its ability to transfer any simple dish into something flavorful. Apart from this salad, we also use it on scrambled eggs, as a dip for raw crudités, inside rye sandwiches and on top of shakshuka. We have made it with a number of different herb combinations and found that anything goes (but parsley, cilantro/coriander and mint is still a fav).

Watermelon_halloumi_salad_5

Watermelon & Halloumi Salad with Magic Green Sauce
Serves 4

Watermelon & Halloumi Salad
1 kg / 2 lb watermelon
200 g / 7 oz halloumi

150 g / 1 cup good quality cherry tomatoes 
1 can / 200 g / 1 cup cooked chickpeas 
60 g / 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds / pepitas
2 large handfuls Mâche lettuce (or any tender lettuce)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lime
Salt

Magic Green Sauce
1 large handful (30 g / 1 tightly packed cup) mixed fresh herbs (we used parsley, cilantro and mint)
1/2 cup / 120 ml olive oil
Juice from 1 lime
1 tbsp capers
1 tsp maple syrup
1 clove garlic
1 small chili
1/2 avocado
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

Start by preparing the sauce. Add all sauce ingredients to a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely mixed, check the flavor and consistency and add more salt, herbs or oil if needed. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chops herbs, capers, garlic and chili, mash the avocado and mix everything in a bowl together with olive oil, lime juice and maple syrup. Add salt to taste. Then set aside.

Dice the watermelon and halloumi, quarter the tomatoes and rinse the chickpeas. Toast the pumpkin seeds on medium heat in a dry pan with a little salt until they begin to pop, then transfer them to a chopping board and chop coarsely. Add a little oil to the pan and fry the halloumi for a couple of minutes until golden on all sides.

Arrange the lettuce in a bowl or on a serving platter. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, watermelon and halloumi. Squeeze over a little lime juice and drizzle with oil and toss until mixed. Top with pumpkin seeds and Magic Green Sauce, with extra in the side. Enjoy!

*****************

PS!
We are off to Rome now to celebrate that it was 10 years ago that my drunk feet tried to seduce dance Luise on a club by the Tiber while simultaneously using ALL my Italian pick up lines on her (took me approx 1 hour before I realized that she was Danish and not Italian 🤣). We’re bringing all the kids this time so PLEASE hit us with good places to eat, fun playgrounds, outdoor pools or your favorite gelato bars. Grazie!