Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

Post sponsored by Cascadian Farm. See below for more details.

Whenever my parents are in town visiting, we find ourselves eating breakfast out quite a bit. One of the places we hit serves their own version of blueberry cornmeal pancakes that are as large as the plate. While I like them, I’ve found I can make a similar variation at home that I love a bit more. I enjoy using frozen blueberries in place of fresh because they create a juicer pop when eating. The secret, I’ve learned, is to toss the blueberries with a bit of cornmeal then let them slightly thaw before adding them to the pancakes. The cornmeal soaks up juice which helps the pancakes to set better while cooking. Read more and see the recipe.

Curried Eggs with Spinach | @naturallyella

Some of my best recipes come from epic brainstorming sessions with friends. We usually start with one meal that one of us had and riff from there. A recent conversation left me with curried eggs that were poached in tomato sauce. This recipe is a variation on that idea and a mix with the North African dish, shakshuka. I keep the ingredients simple, using a mild curry paste and diced tomatoes as the base and add a handful or two of chopped spinach. It’s the perfect way to smother toast for breakfast or pile on cooked grains for dinner. Best part, it’s ready in under 30 minutes. Read more and see the recipe.

Pea Soup with Freekeh and Pesto

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

Some of my favorite spring days are after rain has moved through and the temperature is cooler than the day before. It’s the type of day where I still want to cozy up with a good book and a cup of soup before the hot summer months hit. I usually use freekeh in grain bowls but the nuttiness and slight chewiness work really well in soups. Plus, it’s quick cooking which means this pea soup comes together for a fast meal. This pea soup is best right after cooked but can be eaten the next day (you might need to add a splash or two of vegetable broth to thin out the soup). Read more and see the recipe.

Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Homemade Ranch

As I make my way back through older recipes, I’ve realized how much my cooking style (for the site) has changed over the years. While the the recipes from yesteryear are good, I’ve found myself branching out into new flavors, ideas, and recipes. It’s a good thing but don’t be fooled, there are still recipes from the archives that I use quite a bit. One of my favorite recipes is from four years ago and it’s super simple: smother a potato with chickpeas tossed with buffalo sauce. I still have a weakness for buffalo sauce and this buffalo chickpea salad is an updated version of that older recipe. Many recipes call for cooking the chickpeas in the sauce but I much prefer to fry the chickpeas, then toss them in the sauce. This way, the tangy buffalo sauce mixes with the cool ranch. Read more and see the recipe.

Spicy Lentil Tacos with Radish Salsa | @naturallyella

May is one of the best months because it’s officially the open of many farmers’ markets across the United States. Fresh produce is everywhere and it’s one of my favorite ways to get new recipe inspiration. When Frontier Co-op asked how I use farmers’ markets to Cook with Purpose, I knew I’d be making tacos. These tacos highlight two of my favorite spring treats: fresh baby greens (like spinach and arugula) and crisp, red radishes. The freshness of the greens and radish salsa balance the spice-forward lentils. A perfect spring meal that is easy to throw together and highlights a couple of my favorite farmers’ market treats! Read more and see the recipe.

Cajun Millet Cakes with Lemon-Greens | http://naturallyella.com

Some time back, I had a happy accident when I overcooked millet. I thought I didn’t have enough water, so I kept adding water and cooking for longer. Once I realized what I had done, it was too late. The millet clumped together and could not be used for the salad I had intended it to be used for. However, the clumpy/sticky mess I created was perfect for frying. I shredded cheese, added a few herbs, and cracked in egg in the mixture- the result was the start of this recipe. These millet cakes can be eaten on their own with a sauce but I like the lightness of the greens in lemon dressing to pair with the bit of kick from the cajun seasoning. These cakes are best eaten right after making (so they are still crisp). Read more and see the recipe.

Cheesy Millet Polenta with Roasted Asparagus

One of my favorite things about writing The Homemade Flour Cookbook was the chance to step outside the normal bounds of how I use grains/flours. There is a fun in-between of the whole grain and flours that can serve a few different uses. Cracked grains work great for morning porridge or as soup thickeners. Or in the case of this dish, polenta. This millet polenta is one of my favorite recipes that I use time and again. The texture is similar to corn-based polenta but is made from pulsing the whole grain in a blender to make a course flour. Better yet- the millet polenta sets up just like traditional polenta, meaning leftovers can easily be fried the next day. Read more and see the recipe.

Spinach Berry Popsicles with Cereal

Every summer I set a goal to make a lot of ice cream. We love ice cream and it’s a really fun treat during the hot summer months. However, time and planning is never on my side. Instead, we become all about the popsicles. These berry popsicles are a staple for us because they are healthy but manage to curb my major sweet tooth. All it takes is blending a few ingredients together and sitting patiently for the few hours it takes to freeze. There’s a lot of different popsicle molds on the market right now but if you’re really in to making your own, I highly suggest purchasing this set. Read more and see the recipe.

Vegetable Lo Mein

I mentioned quite a bit that I take a lot of inspiration from chefs/restaurants. I love being able to pull different flavors and ideas from those meals then use those to make an everyday recipe. Sometimes, however, the everyday meal stems from the takeout, the guilty pleasure. I have a weakness for Americanized Chinese food but my one complaint is that it never has enough vegetables for me. The ratio is usually 10 parts rice or noodles to 1 part vegetables. This vegetable lo mein is my rendition that flips the ratio to be heavy on the vegetables and lighter on the noodles. The best part, you can easily play around with different vegetables, leaving out ones you might not have on hand. Read more and see the recipe.

White Bean Salad with Pea Shoots and Grilled Bread

Post sponsored by Sub-Zero. See below for more details.

I’m rounding out salad month with inspiration for including salad when grilling out. I love homemade croutons but during the warmer months, it’s not worth heating up the oven. Instead, I like to brush baguettes with a olive oil and grill until crisp. The cubed, grilled baguette is a perfect substitute for croutons and makes for an extremely hearty salad. This white bean salad is exactly the kind of salad I want when grilling out. Read more and see the recipe.

Three Grain Pilaf with Roasted Asparagus

It’s no secret that I love grains as a base for meals but one of may favorite things is to mix grains. It’s not always the easiest given almost every grain has a different cook time but the method below is perfect. I cook the sorghum by itself then add the millet and quinoa. The sorghum adds a nice chewy texture while the millet and quinoa add more heft. This grain pilaf with the roasted asparagus should go on your next picnic menu (or even a work-lunch menu). Or if you’re like me, you can just make it for a light dinner! Read more and see the recipe.

Sesame Soba Noodle Bowl with Edamame

Post sponsored by Cascadian Farm. See below for more details.

No matter how well I plan for a week of meals, I always seem to cut it close before I head back to the market/store. The refrigerator starts to feel a bit bare and usually the last dinner is a ‘toss together whatever I have left’ meal. However, one of my secret weapons is stashed in the freezer: shelled edamame. This sesame soba bowl is a perfect example of why I keep edamame in the freezer. With a few pantry staples, like soba noodles, you’re only 20 minutes away from a solid dinner. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or those times when you haven’t made it to the store. Read more and see the recipe.

Braised Potato Salad with White Beans

After being a vegetarian eater at numerous family picnics (that were not vegetarian friendly), I came to really care about side dishes. As in, if I had to eat a side dish, I kind of wanted it to feel like it could potentially be a meal. This potato salad is the result of those feelings. It’s a perfectly wonderful side dish but I was also happy eating it for lunch (read, I ate it for quite a few lunches). The white beans add bulk/protein while the yogurt dressing helps it to feel lighter. And this braising method is my new favorite way to cook potatoes- soft, tender potatoes that hold together with a crisp crust on one side. I couldn’t ask for a better potato. Read more and see the recipe.

Clumpy Granola with Stewed Rhubarb from the cookbook Chickpea Flour does it All

It always feels like I am on the eternal quest to find the perfect granola. A granola that has just the right amount of clumps, not too many ingredients, and works well from yogurt parfaits to a crunchy salad topping. It’s a lot to ask from a granola and while I’ve yet to reach that granola perfection, this clumpy granola recipe comes close. This recipe comes from Lindsey Love’s (Dolly and Oatmeal) new cookbook: Chickpea Flour Does It All. Which as you can guess, contains all recipes that use chickpea flour in some facet. For this granola, the chickpea flour acts as a binding agent, creating the perfect clumpy granola. I loved this technique so much that I updated my minimal 5-ingredient granola to use a bit of oat flour. I’ll never go back to using a granola recipe that requires eggs! Read more and see the recipe.