Peanut Butter Banana Chickpea Shake (5 Ingredients!)

Peanut Butter Banana Chickpea Shake (5 Ingredients!)

Behold: the coolest new shake on the block, made with wholesome ingredients like bananas, dates, peanut butter, almond milk, cacao powder, and chickpeas. YES, chickpeas!

Let’s do this!

This shake is easy to make, requiring just 5 minutes, 1 blender, and 5 ingredients. (Cacao is optional, but recommended for chocolate lovers!)

Why Chickpeas?

Peanut Butter Banana Chickpea Shake (5 Ingredients!) from Minimalist Baker →

Sweet Potato Pear Pasta with Mascarpone

This post is in partnership with California Pear.

I find seasonal food changes come in the form of pasta so this is no different. This pasta features half pasta and half roasted vegetables/fruit (yes, I said fruit). Add to that an easy ‘sauce’ of cheese and you’re ready to eat.

Sweet potatoes, it’s time

It seems fitting that the first fall recipe I’m sharing features sweet potatoes. It’s my jumping off point and once I start, it’s months full of sweet potatoes, squash, and root vegetables. This pasta is also great with roasted butternut squash (or really any slightly sweet hard winter squash). However, I snuck one extra thing in this pasta that you might not be expecting.

Straight-on image of bosc pears

California Pears

Since we’re still in the midst of California Pear season, I wanted to find a savory way to really enjoy pears and this pasta is it. I chose to use the Bosc variety for one purpose: texture. By adding the pears later in the roasting process, the pears brings texture to dish through a bit of crispness.

Mascarpone Cheese

I love mascarpone cheese but it feels really rich to me, so I only use it occasionally. This pasta dish is the perfect companion. The mascarpone essentially becomes the sauce and the richness of the cheese balances the earthiness from the potatoes and the sweetness from the pears. You could swap this out for nut cream if wanting to go vegan.

Serve it with

Finally, this pasta desires a solid green salad to balance the richness and not surprisingly, maybe a drizzle of chili oil for the pasta.

[tasty-recipe id=”38459″]

Image of two bowls of pasta with roasted orange sweet potato and a glass of red wine.continue reading

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What I Feed my Child (with Recipe Ideas)

I, not surprisingly, end up in conversations about food and kids. What will the child eat, what will they not eat, how do they experience new things. It’s such a heavy thing for parents because we want to do right by our child but it’s not easy (especially as they develop their own palate).

For example, my son proclaimed that sweet potatoes taste like garbage (his exact words) and that the pasta I made last night tasted rotten. I’ve learned to accept this and work with what he does like, which luckily is quite a bit.

I will also say, I never try to hide vegetables. He knows what we’re eating and understands the raw/cooked forms. The only time I hide vegetables is when I’m trying to sneak winter squash past my husband. We try and keep excited. Vegetables are always a part of our meals.

One of the things I felt best suited us is that he eats what we eat and I require that he at least try it. If he takes a bite and chews it, I know he liked it (contrary to his words). If he wants to spit it out, I know he really didn’t like it. Over the years, I’ve found a few general recipes that I know will almost always be a hit (with really any kind of vegetable). I live by the idea that it doesn’t pay to push and that persistence helps.

I will also say, if you’re really looking into the world of feeding tiny humans, Sara from The Sprouted Kitchen is wonderful and has a few posts on this that can be found in her recipe section under ‘feeding babies.’ Pop over there and check that out as well.


I love this medium. There’s cheese, there’s an easy way to add protein (beans), and the vegetable variations are endless. I’m stuffing the enchiladas with greens and roasted vegetables while the quesadillas are the perfect for finely diced vegetables and beans.


Spinach Quinoa Cakes with Garlicky Yogurt | Naturally Ella


Handheld food! What child can resist something they can eat with their fingers with messy dip? Best of all, fritters are an easy win for everyone in the family and I’ve found ways to make them year-round. We usually use hummus or yogurt sauce as a dip and combine it with a salad (or sliced vegetables for my son). Also, leftovers pack great the next day for lunch!


Bulgur Vegetarian Chili


This one surprised me a bit but my son loves soup, especially tomato soup and chili. With the weather turning a bit cooler, I’m excited for weekly soup dinners. I keep the soups kind of mild but still add in spices where I can (this lentil stew is a surprising hit but it helps he gets excited about cinnamon!) Get a bit of crusty bread and you’re good to go!


Spicy Peanut Sauce with Brown Rice Noodles and Veg | @naturallyella


It’s probably no surprise that pasta can be an easy win. I go heavy on the vegetables and always pair the pasta with salad. I like to mix up the sauces and occasionally I’ll add a handful of chickpeas to the dish, just to help bulk up on protein.



The surprising one: risottos are like creamy pasta (at least that’s what I tell my son). Similar to pasta, a risotto is a great way to eat whole grains and tons of vegetables. Play around with cheese or take it vegan with the help of sunflower cream.


Halloumi Burrito Bowl with Roasted Potatoes | Naturally Ella


Finally, there’s always fried cheese. An easy way to please the whole family, halloumi is eaten quite a bite in our home. There’s tacos, there’s skewers, there’s burrito bowls- how can you not love it?


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Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken (30 Minutes!)

Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken (30 Minutes!)

This chicken recipe has quickly become a go-to for weeknight grilling. Why? Because:

  • It’s easy.
  • It’s fast (start to finish in 30 minutes!).
  • You likely have the ingredients on hand right now (~10 ingredients give or take a spice).
  • You don’t need a grill! (It’s just as delicious baked or cooked on the stovetop on a grill pan or in a cast iron skillet.)
  • The seasoning technique can be applied to fish, other meats, cauliflower steaks, and even tofu and tempeh.

Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken (30 Minutes!) from Minimalist Baker →

Zucchini Lentil Fritters with Spread and Extra Veg

Zucchini Lentil Fritters with Spread and Extra Veg

I have another recipe that started as an instagram-only recipe but rightfully deserved a place on the site. Lentils are a staple in my kitchen and one ingredient that people always want more inspiration for (because you can only eat so much lentil soup!)

Zucchini and other alternatives

Obviously I realize zucchini season is coming to an end but if you’re like me, there’s still a bit of summer produce hanging on. These fritters work perfectly with raw zucchini. However, I think you could do a similar concept with shredded winter squash or root vegetables.

The spread

Really this dish comes together because of the spread- I’d highly recommend not skipping it. I usually turn to hummus for this job but really any kind of spread would work. Think romesco, pureed vegetables, or whipped feta or goat cheese.

Vegetable Salads, for topping

The final part of this bowl is the fresh topping. During summer this is easy: tomatoes, cucumber, loads of fresh herbs; it’s hard to go wrong. During the cooler months I like to do a salad with hearty greens or even a pile of roasted vegetables.

A note about vegan

I did not try this but I think you could totally turn this into an easy vegan meal. Use your favorite egg replacer (think flax-egg) then serve over a vegan spread and top with more fresh vegetables. It’s hard to go wrong!

[tasty-recipe id=”38419″] continue reading

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Raw Fruit Crisp (10 Minutes!)

Raw Fruit Crisp (10 Minutes!)

Recently we’ve been suffering from a serious case of lazy cook syndrome.

The kind of thing where you want food but you can’t even. Yeah, that’s where the late summer heat has us: hungry and helpless. Has that ever happened to you?

Like for instance, recently I was eating dinner and wanted fruit crisp for dessert but couldn’t be bothered to make a whole thing of it. So, I just cut up some fruit, put it in a bowl, made a “crisp” topping in the food processor, and ate half of it.

Raw Fruit Crisp (10 Minutes!) from Minimalist Baker →

Meyer Lemon Focaccia

You can make this. I promise. Even if you don’t think you’re much of a baker. It’s a golden crusted focaccia draped with whisper thin rounds of Meyer lemon, studded with black olives, and a showered with sliced almonds. The dough is herb-flecked with a generous boost of hemp seeds, and a percentage of rye flour if you happen to have some on hand. It’s the same one I posted to my Instagram feed, and It’s the one focaccia recipe you need! 

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

The Pre-bake:

The shot above is what the focaccia looks like prior to baking. I used an enameled cast-iron baking pan, but(!) you can absolutely make the focaccia free-form (just shape it on a standard baking sheet). A third option is a cast iron skillet. I baked the last version I did in a 9-inch cast iron skillet. Experiment and have fun with it!

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

Focaccia Inspiration

I’ve been on a bit of a focaccia bender lately after making Nigel Slater’s Cranberry Focaccia for New Years Eve (from The Christmas Chronicles). I forgot how simple and satisfying it is to make, and all the different ways you can top it based on what you have around the kitchen. You can adapt the recipe with all sorts of alternate toppings! Have fun experimenting.

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

Choosing the Correct Yeast:

This recipe calls for instant yeast, and I’m including a shot of the exact yeast I used for reference below. You can add it directly to the dough. Different than active dry yeast.

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

If you make this, or a riff on it, tag me on Instagram (heidijswanson) so I can see :)!

Continue reading Meyer Lemon Focaccia on 101 Cookbooks

Bulgur Tomato Frittata with Feta

Close-up photograph of a frittata with cherry tomatoes, bulgur, and feta.

I realize that by mid-September, the feel of fall is in the air. The temperatures are dropping, the trees are just beginning to change, and we’ve had months of summer produce. And yet, here I am, sharing a tomato recipe. I actually find this time of year magical. It’s the time when summer and fall produce overlap. It’s also the time when I get to make recipes with summer produce that use a hot oven.

The Frittata

I stick fairly close to my original frittata recipe. I’ve found there are many ways and proportions to make a frittata but I love mine a bit more on the egg-heavy side (think just one big, open-faced omelette). Over the years I’ve changed my fat to use heavy cream versus whole milk. I find it really creates the perfect, smooth texture.

Also, if you have leftovers you can reheat the frittata in the oven or you can turn the frittata into a tasty grilled-cheese sandwich.

Summer or Fall Vegetables

As mentioned, I’m living my best late-summer life right now. However, as I’ve mentioned before in other frittata recipes, it’s one of the ultimate base-recipes. Frittatas can really support most seasonal produce. Ready to jump into fall? Try adding roasted or steamed squash, sweet potatoes, or greens.

I also love to top frittatas with salads. Try a simple arugula salad dressed with a vinaigrette. The arugula will slightly wilt on-top, creating the perfect cooked/fresh combination.

Grains (and GF swaps)

Similar to the produce, grains are interchangable. I usually use leftover grains from dinner or quick cooking grains like bulgur or quinoa. I will also say, I like grains to be a big part of this frittata. However, you could easily back-off and use only half of a cup. This way the grains are more of a partner and less of a star.

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10-Minute Chocolate Truffles (Date-Sweetened)

10-Minute Chocolate Truffles (Date-Sweetened)

If you’ve ever craved truffles and you’ve wanted them FAST, this recipe is for you.

Not only are these quick and easy to make requiring 7 ingredients, 10 minutes, and 1 food processor. They’re also healthier than your average truffle, relying on dates for natural sweetness, cacao powder for antioxidants, and cashew butter and almond flour for plenty of healthy fats and protein.

Let’s do this!

10-Minute Chocolate Truffles (Date-Sweetened) from Minimalist Baker →