Buttered Fava Bean Salad with Soft-Boiled Eggs | Naturally Ella

Fava beans always look so enticing at the market. The big pods with fresh beans tucked inside lead to dreaming about future recipes. And yet, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. Fava beans have a two-shelling process which is a bit labor intensive. But, I’ve found time and again, it’s worth it.

If I could, I would eat this fava bean salad for lunch every day. The delicate, just-cooked bean flavor is a perfect companion for the rich butter, light dill, and hearty rye breadcrumbs. This is everything I could ever want in a salad. One quick note, you can eat fava beans without going through the second shelling process. Young, tender beans don’t have a tough exterior. However, I’ve found more often than not, the beans I pick up are not young. For the full experience of this salad, go through the entire shelling process.

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Carrot, Feta, & Pistachio Salad with Orange Blossom Toss | Kale & Caramel

Cooking is a constant push forward in my life. I’m constantly challenging what I know, what ingredients I use, and even how I use common ingredients. It is exciting and overwhelming all at once. One of the areas I’m pushing myself this year is to step out of my rut with herbs. I have my favorites but there comes a time to move past those and explore more. So I planted lovage, tarragon, and savory. On top of this, there’s a few herbs I’ve always grown but rarely use in my cooking. Mint being the prime example.

In perfect timing, my friend Lily just released her blog-titled book, Kale & Caramel. In a time where the release of cookbooks feels overwhelming, it’s always a treat to receive a book that radiates passion and creativity. Each chapter is focused on a specific aromatic herb or flower with recipes that highlight each. This orange blossom toss is from Lily’s book and while it’s in the orange blossom chapter, I chose it because of the mint. It’s a beautiful balance of the floral and herb flavor with one of my favorite vegetables.

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Fruit Chutney/ Rhubarb Chutney | Component Cooking | Naturally Ella

Chutney is one of my favorite condiments. It’s highly adaptable to what might be in season, it can be spiced up or dressed down, and can be the star of a recipe or a nice topping. The term chutney is a pretty loose one that can encompass many different types of condiments that traditionally used in Indian cuisine (called Chatni in Hindi). However, chutney was picked up by the British during colonization. They used the term chutney and here we are.

This fruit chutney is my base for all cooked fruit-based chutneys. There are recipes out there for coconut, herb, and peanut- the possibility of chutneys is quite endless (this is a good start to chutney.) I primarily use chutney to pair with curry but there’s a myriad of ways to use this wonderful condiment. Read more and see the recipe.

Oat Teff Pancakes with Fresh Berries | Naturally Ella

You may think, based on photos I’ve shared or things I’ve written, that my pantry is perfectly organized. It may be organized for a few days but eventually, it becomes overrun with grains, legumes, and canned items. Usually once it gets out of control, I start cooking my way back to organized.

For a month or so, I’ve had a loose bag of teff waiting to be used. And so, I made these teff pancakes. I ground part of the teff and cooked the other part (a good reason why having a grain mill is awesome). Of course, if you don’t have a grain mill, you can buy flour or use 100% oat flour and mix in the cooked teff. These are gluten-free and can stand up to change.

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Carrot Curry with Kale and Paneer | Naturally Ella

I have a self-admitted problem of sidelining greens. I’ll eat them every day but rarely are they the key to the recipe. Sure, most salads wouldn’t be salads without the greens. Yet, it’s rarely about them. I labeled this carrot curry but in reality, the kale is the core. The carrots are pureed into a creamy curry sauce that cooks the kale. It’s ultimate vegetarian comfort food. The paneer is also just a bonus. I’ve been into easy cheese making as of late and paneer is a good place to start. You can always leave it off or replace it with tofu.

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Spelt Gnocchi with Fava Beans and Walnut Sauce | Naturally Ella

One of the things I love about this site is that it has served as documentation of my life through food. Sometimes, it’s directly in the writing about the recipe. Other times, it’s less noticeable through an overall trend. For example, I can’t remember the last time I posted a recipe that takes longer than an hour. I love sharing quick and easy but sometimes a meal is well worth the time. Yet, after having a child, time has become a precious commodity in rare supply.

However, as Mack turns two, I’m starting to find my rhythm. I’m finding ways to be more mindful of my time. Making gnocchi has always been a therapeutic process. This spelt gnocchi requires time but the end result is worth it. There are shortcuts to this meal (like using regular pasta) but if you have the time, make this recipe in it’s entirety. Also, if you can grind your own spelt flour, you should. The flavor from freshly ground spelt in these gnocchi push it over the top. Read more and see the recipe.

Creamy Millet Porridge with Roasted Strawberries | Naturally Ella

When it comes to morning porridge, I tend to stick with oatmeal (it’s the easiest to satisfy even the littlest member of the family). However, if I’m just cooking breakfast for myself, I make a cracked grain porridge. Running a grain in a coffee grinder or blender for a few pulses creates a mixture that will become lush without even trying. This creamy millet porridge has long been a favorite. Add your favorite toppings including fruit, nuts, and seeds then you’ve got a filling, nutrient dense breakfast. Read more and see the recipe.

Fried Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce and Quinoa | Naturally Ella

There are three kitchen tools I will always have: a good chefs knife, my flour grinder, and my high speed blender. Everything else I could do without (I’ve even learned my stand-mixer is a nice-to-have). With these three things, I can do pretty much anything I could ever want. You might balk at the flour grinder but once you start grinding your own flour- you won’t go back. And the blender? It’s booted my food processor off the counter.

This fried cauliflower is made because of the romesco sauce. If you’ve never tried this sauce before, I cannot recommend it enough. A few toasted nuts are combined with roasted red pepper, herbs, and spices to form a powerful sauce (and the reason for mentioning the blender!) You could also make the sauce in a mortar and pestle but I love the creaminess the blender lends. Read more and see the recipe.

Beet Wild Rice Salad with Pistachios | Naturally Ella

There are times I go into developing recipes where I expect failure. I expect that certain flavors won’t work well together or textures won’t be appealing. The reason I still try? This wild rice salad is a perfect example. The salad has some strong flavors that in theory, I thought would work well together. The resulting salad was better than even I expected. The earthiness from the beets and wild rice are brought together nicely with the pistachios. However, it’s really the lemon and salt that meld everything.

In terms of the wild rice, I have soft spot for this grain. It’s one of the few items that can be easily traced back in the history of the United States. It’s a upper midwestern staple that is also produced in California. Just be prepared, it’s not like white/brown rice. The flavor is is more pronounced which is why I love it in this salad. Read more and see the recipe.

White Bean Chard Bake | Naturally Ella

There’s never a week I go without having greens in the house. Spinach, kale, and chard are always in rotation. I also always have pots of greens growing on my patio. When I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to do something similar but with greens. This chard bake is a solid base that you could easily add herbs and spices as you see fit. White beans and cans/jars of stewed tomatoes are also always stocked in my pantry. During the summer months, you could make your own tomato sauce and use that in place of the canned tomatoes.

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Berbere Black Lentil Stew | Naturally Ella

Post sponsored by nuts.com. See below for more details.

I think there is no better way to experience a city than through restaurants. I first fell in love with Ethiopian food when living in the Chicago area and ever since, I’ve kept a recipe for berbere spice in my repertoire. Traditionally this spice is used in dishes like Doro Wot (a long cooking spiced chicken stew) but I’ve found it works beautifully with lentils. The spice blend makes for a rich stew, even though the base of this lentil stew is vegan.

I’ve teamed up with nuts.com to bring you a few flavorful black lentil recipes throughout the year. They asked me if there was a hard-to-find ingredient I wanted to highlight. I chose black lentils and they sourced organic black lentils to add to their site, making hearty recipes like this lentil stew even easier to make. Black lentils are always hit and miss at my local stores but I always like to keep them stocked in my pantry (which is why I’m excited I know where to order them now!)

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Whole Wheat Crepes | Component Cooking | Naturally Ella

If I were to keep a list of items cooked most often in my kitchen, crepes would come in first. I love whole wheat crepes for breakfast in place of pancakes, wrapping ice cream for dessert, or using in place of bread for wraps, sandwiches or even enchiladas. Most recently, we’ve taken to smearing nut butter and a date-chia strawberry jam for toddler friendly roll-ups.

The key to whole wheat crepes is the consistency of the batter and the heat of the pan. The batter should be thin enough that it easily covers the pan. The pan should be warm enough that as the batter hits the pan, it begins to cook. Get the master crepe recipe under your fingers and the possibilities are endless.

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Coriander Cauliflower Amaranth Salad | Naturally Ella

I was raised in a household that collected things. We visited antique stores looking for Wallace Nuttings and spode dishes. It was a big part of my childhood and while I didn’t always like it,I have an appreciation for it now. Fast forward, I don’t collect antiques but there are two things my house is currently full of: coffee mugs and cookbooks. Once a month I head to the local used bookstore to pick up used cookbooks. I thumb through them, collecting ideas that might have once been forgotten or never caught on.

This particular recipe can be credited to Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way. The author has a no-nonsense approach to grains and some small, but powerful ways of using whole grains. One of my biggest complaints with amaranth is that it doesn’t cook like other pseudo-grains (mainly quinoa). Turns out, I wasn’t completing the process. If you give cooked amaranth a good rinse, the end result is less porridge, slightly more quinoa-like texture. Perfect for grain bowls, pilafs, and even this amaranth salad.

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