Balsamic-Marinated Portobello Pizzas

Balsamic-Marinated Portobello Pizzas

Friends, are you ready for a flavor bomb?! I hope so, because that’s what you’re going to get with these Balsamic-Marinated Portobello Pizzas. Swoon!

Plus, just 10 simple ingredients required for this savory, satisfying entrée or side. Let’s do this!

I shared a similar recipe on the blog years ago, but the concept has been much improved here!

This new version begins with marinating hearty portobello mushrooms in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and red pepper flake (optional).

Balsamic-Marinated Portobello Pizzas from Minimalist Baker →

Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls with Seared Tofu

Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls with Seared Tofu

I’ve eaten a lot of spring rolls in my life but these have to be some of the best.

Why? A secret, crunchy ingredient: crispy sautéed shallot!

Inspired by the spring rolls at Elizabeth Street Cafe in Austin, these are the perfect rolls to serve alongside your favorite Vietnamese-inspired dishes (Banh Mi anyone?) or — with the addition of some tofu — they are definitely entrée worthy.

Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls with Seared Tofu from Minimalist Baker →

Spring Vegan Recipes for Lunch and Dinner

Beyond the fruits and vegetables at the market, the core recipes I make are cyclical. During the winter months I go heavy. Extra cheese, butter, and more pasta than I care to admit. Then, when spring comes around, I find myself overly craving fresh and loads of greens.

Why Spring Vegan Recipes?

I also find myself tending towards more vegan recipes. I love making vegetables the star and in vegan recipes, there’s nowhere to run except to vegetables. Below are some of my favorite spring vegan recipes to get you excited for cooking in the new season.


Asparagus Stir-Fry

One beautiful thing about California springs: cool evenings. It may feel warm during the day but by the evening, we’re back into sweaters. For this reason, I still find myself gravitating towards a little bit of comfort I find in winter. These recipes are packed full of flavor and some of my favorite weeknight dinner.


Sesame Turnips with Soba Noodles | Naturally Ella

I’ll admit, vegan pasta isn’t always high on my list but I’m a sucker for a good vegan cream sauce. The kale pasta and the ginger noodles are two of my favorite ways to make a solid noodle dish vegan.


Avocado Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas | Naturally Ella

This category should be bigger but the truth is, most nights I wing a salad with whatever I have on hand. But, the below can at least get you moving in the right direction.


Beet Wild Rice Salad with Pistachios | Naturally Ella

I really should have labeled this category ‘recipes that are great but don’t really fit into one niche’. These are random but oh so delicious.


Wild Rice Soup with Carrots | Naturally Ella

Similar to the main dishes, I find the spring weather still allows for a bit of soup. But I definitely change it up. Gone are the sweet potatoes and squash. Instead there’s a lot of green and my favorite: carrots.

Hand-held Goodies

Herbed Cucumber Avocado Spring Rolls

Finally, perfect for packing a lunch or a picnic: the hand-held vegan spring recipes. Spring rolls are top of mind because it’s so easy to pack them full of goodness. All these recipes will keep for a few hours which means I’ve even been known to haul them up a mountain.

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Garlic Dill Sunflower Dip

Garlic Dill Sunflower Dip

If you’re like us, sometimes you consume so much hummus on a weekly basis you just need an alternative to switch things up. Something without so many beans? Anyone else?

If this is you, look no further than our tasty hummus alternative: sunflower seed “hummus” dip! It has all of the amazing flavors of classic hummus, plus herbs (!), and it utilizes nutritious soaked sunflower seeds in place of chickpeas!

Garlic Dill Sunflower Dip from Minimalist Baker →

No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites

No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites

I created these carrot cake bites not only for spring, but as something quick and easy you can whip up for celebrations like Easter, birthday parties, baby showers, and more! They require 9 basic ingredients (that you likely have on hand right now), 1 food processor, and just 30 minutes to make!

They’re also naturally-sweetened, grain-free (if you’re into that kind of thing), rich in healthy fats, and flavored with health-promoting spices like ginger and cinnamon!

No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites from Minimalist Baker →

Roasted Strawberries

This is a recipe I tucked into the final pages of a cookbook I wrote eight(!) years ago. You’d likely miss it if you skip the little recipes that tend to find their way to the miscellaneous or accompaniment section at the back of many cookbooks. It might seem a bit of a shame to take a basket of the season’s sweetest, most fragrant strawberries and roast them. But this is an alternative I love. There are few things better slathered on a flaky buttered biscuit, hot crepe, or piece of toast. Or, scooped over your favorite yogurt. A little bit of special magic.
Roasted Strawberries
When it comes to roasting these strawberries, you know you’re on the right track when the juices from the roasting berries seep out onto the baking sheet and combine with the maple syrup to form a thick and sticky, just-sweet-enough-syrup. At the same time, the flavor of the berries cooks down and concentrates. The port adds a surprise hint of booziness, and the balsamic delivers a dark bass note. The recipe can be doubled or tripled, just be mindful not to crowd the baking sheet.

Continue reading Roasted Strawberries on 101 Cookbooks

Easy Tofu Pad Thai

Easy Tofu Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of our FAVORITE takeout dishes. It’s on weekly repeat around here!

We’ve shared an incredible Noodle-Free Pad Thai in the past, but sometimes it’s nice to have the filling, noodle-y goodness that comes with a more classic version of the dish.

This simple plant-based version of Pad Thai takes just 30-minutes to prepare and delivers a hefty helping of flavor. Let’s do this!

Easy Tofu Pad Thai from Minimalist Baker →

Harissa Cauliflower Lentil Stew with Lemon

Close-up photograph of an overhead white dutch oven with red lentils, tomato sauce, and cauliflower.

Lentil Stew: my go to recipe

I always feel like I’m never cooking with lentils enough. Sure, we make these lentil bites in some form every couple of weeks. However, for something so cheap and easy, I feel like they should be a one to two times a week meal. This lentil stew is flavorful and a perfect excuse for more lentil usage.

What about lentil types? I’m sure a few of you will wonder if you can use a different type of lentil. Truth is, you totally could. However, I really love how soft and almost non-existent the red lentils become in this stew. Plus, they keep the color a beautiful red. Neither issue is a deal-breaker for the recipe, just a couple things to be aware of if you do want to use green, black, or Le puy lentils.

Why do I cook them separate? Many recipes call for cooking lentils in tomato sauces but I always have mixed results with this. Sometimes the lentils take awhile to soften while other times it appears the lentils will never soften. While this could be age of the lentil, it’s hard to tell before you jump into cooking. Instead of having comments fill up my inbox about non-softening lentils, I choose to cook them separate.


Harissa is one of my go-to additions to spice things up a bit and there are many different recipes and brands on the market. If you’re curious, NPR has a lovely article about the what and the where of harrissa. I have a mild-harissa that I use occasionally but more often than not, I look for small jars/tubs full of spicy flavor.

My main directive here: taste before you use. I’ve found harissa on every spice level and the last thing you want is to over-use and make something so spicy that it’s inedible. This is the harissa I’ve been using and I picked it up at my local Whole Foods.


I left feta off the top because I didn’t have the day I shot the recipe. However, it’s a lovely and most-welcome addition. Crumble a bit on top before serving.


When I posted about ways to preserve lemons, many people asked me how to use preserved lemons. This lentil stew is the perfect example. Instead of the lemon zest at the end, chopping up some preserved lemon is the perfect swap.

How to Serve it

The original recipe calls for topping a hearty bowl of brown rice. However, over the years, I’ve gone back and forth. Sometimes I use grains as the base but more often that not, I eat this stew as is with a nice bit of bread. I’ll often pair it with a light salad and say this is a solid weeknight dinner.

Vegetable Choices

Finally, this stew is forgiving when it comes to the vegetables. The cauliflower is great but diced sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or even hearty greens would work well with, or as a replacement, for the cauliflower. Just watch cook-time. Some items might take a little longer, like the sweet potato.

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Flavored Protein Powder Review

Flavored Protein Powder Review

Since you’ve enjoyed our Vanilla & Chocolate protein powder reviews so much, we decided to round out the collection with a review of flavored plant-based protein powders!

Similar to our prior reviews, we did a formal, side-by-side review of some of the most popular plant-based protein powders on the market. We chose flavors that we thought sounded delicious! Our goal was to see which protein powders delivered on taste and nutrition, and which ones weren’t worth the hype (to save you the time and money of doing your own research).

Flavored Protein Powder Review from Minimalist Baker →

5-Ingredient Vegetarian Fish Sauce

5-Ingredient Vegetarian Fish Sauce

Have you ever tasted fish sauce? We don’t recommend it! But stick with us…

Fish sauce is a popular Asian condiment that imparts a salty, robust, ocean flavor that can make a great dish taste even better! It is commonly used to add depth of flavor and saltiness to dishes such as ramen, stir fries, marinades, dipping sauces, and more.

While coconut aminos can make a close plant-based substitution, sometimes you just need that extra “fishy” flavor to send a dish over the edge.

5-Ingredient Vegetarian Fish Sauce from Minimalist Baker →