Gluten-Free Cornmeal Waffles with Sorghum Strawberries | Naturally Ella

I love reading cookbooks because it gives an eye into the kitchen of someone else. You can tell ingredients or combinations a person favors. It can be telling about their past, what they’ve experienced, and the things they love. Sorghum syrup is one of those items you might see in my kitchen. It all started with my family’s rye bread recipe. Since it lived in my kitchen, I started to use it more mostly in breakfast recipes. It’s a unique taste but it pairs well with strawberries. It is also a lovely companion for the flavor of these cornmeal waffles. Read more and see the recipe.

Lemon Vinaigrette | Component Cooking | Naturally Ella

If there’s one thing I tell people to start making at home right away, it’s dressing. Homemade salad dressing is as easy as whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. From that base, the possibilities of dressing are endless. While most people say you want a dressing that is 1 part acidity (lemon juice or vinegar) to 3 parts oil. My dressing tend towards 1:2 as it all depends on what you’re adding to the dressing. Read more and see the recipe.

Spiced Sweet Potato Skewers with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce | Naturally Ella

Post sponsored by America’s Dairy Farm Families and Importers, in Partnership with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. See below for more details.

Even though we grill out all year, I tend to increase my grilling during the spring months. I like to soak up as much time as I can outside, which is a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day. This year, I’m teaming up with the dairy community and kicking-off on Earth Day by highlighting how our farmers are making dairy more sustainable while focusing on the land and animal health. Delivering the best care to their cows makes sure we have access to fresh, quality dairy products from milk to cheese. It’s no secret that I love my dairy foods and I’m a firm believer that dairy can be part of a well balanced diet with whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

I will grill pretty much anything and grilled sweet potato has been one of my favorites throughout the years. The light char, the heavy sprinkle of spice, and creamy yogurt sauce makes it a satisfying grilled meal. This yogurt sauce is the perfect example- easy to whip up and can have a myriad of uses as a dressing for salad, grain bowls, and even enchiladas.

Read more and see the recipe.

Spinach Asparagus Soup with Lemon Sunflower Cream | Naturally Ella

I’m not one to often turn asparagus into soup. I think the crisp texture of asparagus makes the flavor better. This soup has changed my mind. I keep it simple with the base but the spinach adds a bump in nutrients (and green hue!) To make this soup easier, you could swap heavy cream for the sunflower cream but I do like the bit of earthiness that comes from the sunflower. Read more and see the recipe.

Cashew Cream | Naturally Ella

I was a bit slow to use cashew cream. I’ve never been shy about using heavy cream but over the years, my diet has tended a bit more towards vegan. This cream is a really useful recipe whether you’re trying to eat vegan or not. The cream sauce can be thick and used as a dip or spread, thinned slightly to be a sauce for pasta or enchiladas, or even a creamy vegan salad dressing.

There are numerous recipes out there for cashew cream that call for 2 parts cashews to 1 part water. I found that for most use cases, like pasta sauce, I want the cashew cream to have more sauce consistency which means a tad more liquid. I’ve also found, with the help from a high-speed blender, long soaking periods weren’t necessary. Read more and see the recipe.

Cilantro Scramble with Spiced Black Beans | Naturally Ella

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest and Instagram. It’s a wonderful space to find ideas and be inspired but at the same time, it can feel overwhelming. It can feel easy to think that all those beautiful photos of food are out of reach. This cilantro scramble is two-fold. For starters, it uses my black bean component (which is such a great building block for recipes like this!) Secondly, it was suppose to be an omelette but it stuck and turned into a scramble. Instead of trying for the perfect omelette, I wanted to share this scramble instead. Because guess what? It’s just as delicious. Read more and see the recipe.

Herb Asparagus Frittata with Mozzarella | Naturally Ella

There is hardly a better catch-all for vegetables than a frittata. I could easily riff on a frittata recipe every day (it was the frittata recipe that led me to creating all the base recipes for the cookbook). Raw, roasted, leftovers- most types of vegetables are welcome. This asparagus frittata uses a roasted asparagus mixture I use to make an asparagus soup. It takes a little longer to roast but the flavor is a favorite. Add more herbs as desired or swap out the cheese- both are easy ways to add more layers of flavor. Read more and see the recipe.

Pea Couscous Risotto | Naturally Ella

Post sponsored by La Crema. See below for more details.

I’ve always had a soft spot in my cooking for pearl couscous. Is it the healthiest choice? Not by a long shot. Is it delicious? Yes, yes it is. This small pasta cooks quick, soaks up every flavor, and has a lovely texture. I can’t get enough which is why when I saw the idea for couscous risotto, I tucked the idea away.

I love riffs on risotto. Sure, it’s not traditional but these alternative risottos tend to be a little more fun and in the case of this couscous risotto, faster. I love the earthiness of the wheat couscous paired with the pops of sweet peas. It’s all brought together with a glass of La Crema Pinot Gris that hints at a lightness of lemon. Read more and see the recipe.

Homemade Red Harissa | Component Cooking

If there’s one thing that rules my component cooking, it’s sauce and sauce-like recipes. Making a sauce or two a week can bring all your meals together. I can’t remember how I started making harissa but it’s become a favorite component of mine. The smoky, spicy flavor works well with many different recipe types and is a perfect partner for vegetables and legumes.

Red harissa paste is most prominent in North African and some Middle Eastern cooking. From what I can tell, each region does harissa differently. While I love a traditional harissa, my variation is based on ease of use/what I have on hand most often (roasted red peppers and chipotle peppers). My version is also on the slightly more mild side thanks to a heat-avoiding husband. I recommend trying a few different variations to find which combination of flavors you like best. You can also buy store-bought red harissa but the flavor is not as good as homemade!

Read more and see the recipe.

Ginger-Soy Cabbage Quinoa Slaw with Almonds | Naturally Ella

One of the reasons I love cooking is the constant flow. Sure, there are recipes I never change. But, a recipe I may have loved years ago can also morph and chang into something new. This quinoa slaw is a perfect example. It’s a combination of two different recipes from the site that have worked themselves into one. Yes, it’s like a slaw but with the bulk of quinoa and almonds, it’s easily a lunch salad.

Read more and see the recipe.

Chipotle White Bean Tacos | Naturally Ella

Growing up, the liberal arts college in my hometown would hold an international celebration every year. It was, by far, one of my favorite things to attend. The college had a sizable student population from different countries and this event allowed all those students to showcase items and food from their cultures. When you’re in a rural midwestern town, it can be an eyeopening (and delicious) experience.

These tacos are based on a hazy memory of delicious, spicy tacos. I wasn’t the biggest fan of tacos back then (shocking, I know), but these still tacos still hold. After a bit of research, I found the tacos were most likely a variation on the classic chicken tinga taco which has a base of a spicy chipotle tomato sauce. These white bean tacos are my riff on tinga tacos using canned tomatoes for ease of use.

Read more and see the recipe.

Spiced Chickpea Fritters | Naturally Ella

If I can turn something into a fritter or cake, I will. They are comforting, easy, and can be a perfect addition to a weekly meal plan. I’m always a fan of these cauliflower cakes and quinoa cakes, but these chickpea fritters are a solid all-season recipe. If you have cooked chickpeas on hand, you can most likely make these fritters. For the spice, I use Ras El Hanout for a Moroccan flair but you could easily swap that out for something less involved. Read more and see the recipe.

Garlicky Kale Grilled Cheese with Gouda | Naturally Ella

Asparagus Hummus Toast | Naturally Ella

Post sponsored by Arla USA. See below for more details.

One of the hardest parts about cooking is finding a balance between family members. Most of the time I cook one dish and everyone eats the same meal but occasionally I get a wild hair and make a few different items. This most often happens with lunch. I pack my husband a quick lunch in the morning while Mack and I eat together in the afternoon. I partnered with Arla to bring you these three different recipes featuring their cream cheese and cheese slices made from quality, natural ingredients. Read more and see the recipes.

Spiced Black Beans | Component Cooking | Naturally Ella

In my list of components, these spiced black beans are at the top. We eat a lot of quesadillas, tacos, and enchiladas around our house. Having these beans on hand makes these meals much faster and tastier! I typically cook large batches of dried black beans with minimal added flavors then freeze them. From there, I thaw and use the cooking liquid to make these spiced black beans. I love to mix up flavors when I cook these beans. Sometimes I go the spicy route while other times I throw in a handful of cilantro. Read more and see the recipe.