Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Cream Sauce

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Cream Sauce | @naturallyella

When feeding a group of people, large or small, I’m always trying to figure out how to prep ahead. I want to have a more hands-off experience so I can enjoy time with friends and family. I often make stuffed shells to avoid a cooking frenzy. In fact, these squash stuffed shells (and a few ricotta variations) have made an appearance at quite a few get-togethers. It’s a lot of cooking time but not a lot of hands on time. Bonus: everything can even be made ahead of time! These squash stuffed shells are also a great fit for a more traditional Thanksgiving. It’s a perfect side for those eating turkey and makes for a great main for everyone else.

Read more and see the recipe.

The post Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Cream Sauce appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Your Complete Guide To Plant-Based Proteins

Protein, protein, protein. It’s probably all you’ve heard about lately. That’s because protein is a vital macronutrient that plays a major role in almost all of our cellular functions. Other macronutrients also include carbohydrates and fat, all of which are equally important for a healthy, functioning body.  We’re here to guide you through the vast […]

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The post Your Complete Guide To Plant-Based Proteins appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Penne Pasta Salad (30 minutes!)

Penne Pasta Salad (30 minutes!)

Welcome to recipe #3 of my Thanksgiving Week Extravaganza!

That’s what I’m calling it because it’s everything I would ever want to eat at Thanksgiving and it’s all happening in 1 WEEK. I know, it’s a lot to take in. Are you prepared for all this deliciousness?

In case you missed it, Creamy Fall Soup in Acorn Squash Bowls and Roasted Squash, Pecan & Pomegranate Salad are already on the table.

Continue to Penne Pasta Salad (30 minutes!) from Minimalist Baker →

Using your Underutilized Steamer

From what I can tell, steaming is a fantastic, under-utilized cooking technique. There are a number of ways to go about steaming – bamboo baskets, plastic microwave steamers (I’m not a fan of heated plastic), and ceramic steamers. I find myself using steam as a cooking technique increasingly for a number of reasons. It’s deceptively fast. It maintains much of the vibrancy and vitally of ingredients. It’s one of the most healthful ways to cook, and (as you’ll see) it’s surprisingly adaptable. I get a lot of questions about this steamer in particular. It makes appearances in some of my photos and Instagram videos, is a best-seller over at the studio, and I use it for cooking a couple of times a week.

A bit of backstory, I came across the aforementioned ceramic-based “modern” steamer a few years back, bought one for myself, and liked it so much that I eventually started stocking them in the Quitokeeto shop. Like many cooks, up until that point, I used inexpensive bamboo steamer baskets, and was completely fine – using the baskets to steam dumplings or vegetables, primarily. That said, the baskets weren’t used often enough, and I hesitated to upgrade my steamer set up, suspecting a new steamer would be another single-use culinary object that would collect dust. But that hasn’t been the case. I use mine a few times a week, love it, and am coming up with new ways to use it all the time. I drafted a list of all the ways I currently use my steamer and posted it here as a reference. Whether you have a steamer like mine, bamboo baskets, or an insert for a larger pot – dumplings, tamales, eggs, are all fair game. You can browse my list of steamer ideas and inspiration here.

Steamer Inspiration & Recipe Ideas

Continue reading Using your Underutilized Steamer…

Roasted Squash, Pecan, & Pomegranate Salad

Roasted Squash, Pecan, & Pomegranate Salad

Thanksgiving Week Extravaganza recipe #2? Squash!

Do you remember what I did last year? I made a Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Casserole (yes, a hot dish) for Thanksgiving. And? It was amazing! My aunts even made it at my grandma’s house for the big day! The Midwesterner in me was so proud.

I wanted to incorporate squash and sweet potatoes again this year, because, carbs. But I wanted to simplify and class things up a bit.

Continue to Roasted Squash, Pecan, & Pomegranate Salad from Minimalist Baker →

Romanesco Black Lentil Pilaf

Romanesco Black Lentil Pilaf | @naturallyella

My favorite recipes are rooted in something familiar but include a twist to make it more unique and fun. Pilafs are usually grain-based but this lentil pilaf highlights one of my favorite legumes: black lentils. Paired with roasted romanesco, a spice-laden dressing, and dates, the pilaf is unique, beautiful, and tastes amazing. One word of advice: don’t try to swap red lentils for black! French, green, or brown are all better alternatives!
Read more and see the recipe.

The post Romanesco Black Lentil Pilaf appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Creamy Fall Soup in Acorn Squash Bowls

Creamy Fall Soup in Acorn Squash Bowls

We’re in the final countdown to Thanksgiving festivities and I have yet to provide you with an entrée option. Not to worry! Acorn squash to the rescue.

PLUS, I have an exciting announcement! This is the first recipe in a week-long series I’m calling Thanksgiving Week Extravaganza, wherein I post a recipe every day leading up to my Thanksgiving round-up on November 23!

That’s right: EIGHT recipes that will cover your mains, sides, appetizers, and of course, dessert.

Continue to Creamy Fall Soup in Acorn Squash Bowls from Minimalist Baker →

Hot Blender Chocolate + Vitamix Competition

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We’ve had intense snow falls and cold days here in Stockholm for the past week. A weather that calls for furry sweaters, warm soups, spicy stews and large cups of hot chocolate. Our favourite chocolate recipe is thick, rich, creamy, vegan and insanely delicious. And we are sharing it here today, along with a competition to win a Vitamix blender (further down in this post). We actually make our chocolate directly in the blender, which not only saves dishes but also makes it perfectly frothy. This recipe is based on one of the recipes from our smoothie book, but we have adapted it slightly for our current mood. We have also added a few mashed blackberries to each glass/cup before serving, for a bit of complexity and a hint of berry flavour (which work really well with chocolate). This is of course entirely optional in case you are a hot chocolate traditionalist.

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We use soaked cashews, soft dates and salt for a plant based creamy sweet milk. Cacao powder, cinnamon, ginger add chocolate flavour and tahini or coconut oil makes it richer. If you can only find dried dates, you can pre-soak them along with the cashew nuts to make them easier to blend.

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Win a Vitamix!

As a belated celebration of our Green Kitchen Smoothies book (which now is out in UK, US, Australia, German, Swedish, Danish and Polish), Vitamix has kindly agreed to give away one of their new S30 blenders (the one we have used in this post) to one of our readers. It’s a smaller but strong model which we have been trying at home for the past month. To win it, you simply have to share a smoothie related photo on instagram (it can be either a smoothie you have made from our book, the cover of the book or one of our smoothie photos that you can find online) using the two hashtags #GKSVitamix and #GreenKitchenSmoothies. We will draw a winner on 7 December so it can hopefully arrive before Christmas. The competition is open for everyone in the US and UK. Good luck!

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Hot Cashew Chocolate
Serves 2-4

Important: Before you start, make sure your blender is approved for hot liquids. Otherwise, add cold water to the blender instead of hot and heat the chocolate on the stove after it has been blended.

Hot chocolate ingredients
½ cup / 65 g cashew nuts
2-3 cups / 500-750 ml filtered water
4 fresh dates, pitted
3 tbsp cacao powder
2 tsp tahini (preferably
unhulled) or coconut oil
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt 

To serve
Blackberries, fresh or thawed frozen 

Soak the cashew nuts in water for 3-6 hours. If you are in a hurry and have a strong blender, soaking them in hot water for 30 minutes is also possible. Drain and rinse the nuts and add them to the blender. Boil the water in a kettle. Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients to the blender. Add 2 cups of the hot water to the blender. Close the lid carefully. Start blending on low speed and then increase to max speed. It should be ready and smooth after about 30 seconds. Taste it and add more water if it’s too thick or more cacao, dates or salt to taste.

Serve immediately. If you like, try mashing a few blackberries in the bottom of the glass before serving. It creates beautiful streaks of colour and adds a delicious berry tone to the the drink.

We have received no compensation for this post. We simply asked Vitamix if they’d be willing to give away a blender to a reader because we think Vitamix is awesome and we think you readers are awesome!

Shaved Parsnip Salad with Parsley

Shaved Parsnip Salad with Parsley | @naturallyella

For me, the key to holiday meals are the dishes I can easily make ahead of time but they still add to the overall meal. This parsnip salad adds crisp, freshness when paired with the rich curry but could also stand on it’s own. In fact, I mixed leftover salad with cooked black lentils from the pilaf and had another complete lunch. I find the flavor of the salad gets better as it sits and the parsnips don’t lose their crunch.
Read more and see the recipe.

The post Shaved Parsnip Salad with Parsley appeared first on Naturally Ella.