Sweet Potato Wedges with Peanut Sauce | Naturally Ella

One of the challenges I love when cooking for others is to help change the narrative a bit around indulgent food. I eat decently 90% of the time but usually once a week, I kick back and eat something completely different. It’s normally something fried and it’s usually always delicious (my favorite is fried cauliflower with a runner up of loaded french fries).

However, sometimes I’ve just have a crap day and want something that tastes indulgent but is actually full of goodness. Enter these sweet potato wedges. This recipe contains three amazing parts that come together for, in my mind, a perfect meal. Roasted sweet potatoes are topped with a delicious peanut granola and luscious peanut sauce. It could be an appetizer but I’ve been known to call these dinner. Also, I think this idea would be amazing with Laura’s perfectly crisp sweet potato fries!

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Peanut Sauce | Cooking Component | Naturally Ella

This sauce is one of those “you could buy it from a bottle but don’t. Just don’t.” recipes. Peanut sauce has roots in many difference cuisines but more often than not, I see it served with generic spring rolls at restaurants. This is a tweaked version I’ve been making for years and it’s out of ingredients I always have on hand. My version is a westernized Thai peanut satay sauce (meaning I start with peanut butter, not whole peanuts as I rarely have peanuts on hand). However, it’s fast, flavorful, and a good companion to grains and produce. Best of all- it’s highly adaptable.
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Jerk Roasted Kuri Squash with Bulgur Salad | Naturally Ella

Post sponsored by Frontier Co-op. See below for more details.

One of my favorite ways to serve squash is a dish that showcases the beauty of the squash. Usually this means the squash is left in a semi-whole state and stuffed. These roasted kuri wedges have a bold flavor matched with an easy bulgur salad topping. Perfect for the holidays or as a dinner for impressing your friends.

These jerk roasted kuri squash quarters are a bit of a mix between a traditional jerk marinade and the jerk seasoning. The marinade typically uses all whole and fresh ingredients (even down to fresh allspice berries if available). However, for ease of the recipe, I used Frontier Co-op’s ground allspice along with a bit of cinnamon to add warmth. Traditional jerk marinade also uses scotch bonnet peppers but I cook for crowds that need a bit lower heat level.

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13 Vegetarian Pasta Recipes for Fall

For along time I distanced myself from pasta. In my earlier life, being a new vegetarian in rural midwest was hard. However, restaurants made a try, usually with a pasta dish. I also made a lot of pasta in my early days because it was easy. I got really burnt out on pasta. However, many years later and a better balance in dishes, I’m happy to add a solid dose of pasta recipes back into my repertoire. Below are the 13 vegetarian pasta recipes I turn to when the weather gets cooler. Some are rich, some are vegan but all are delicious.

The Vegan

My whole goal when making a pasta vegan is to make my husband not question it. Pack it full of flavor (and garlic) and it seems like these dishes are always a win. Nuts and nut-creams are your friend. Play into the nut flavors as well- I love using pecan and walnut milks for a base, especially during the fall.

 

The Baked

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Cream Sauce | @naturallyella

There is nothing quite like pulling a cheesy, hot pasta bake from the oven. It’s up their on my cozy comfort food list. Lasagna is always delicious but my preference lies in stuffed shells (like the butternut squash pictured above!)

 

The Vegetable-Heavy

Brussels Sprout Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce and Walnuts

My biggest complaint about restaurant pasta dishes is the pasta to vegetable ratio. Often it’s 90% pasta with a few measly vegetables tossed on top. These dishes are my rebuttal where most reach a 50/50 pasta to vegetable ratio.

Bulgur Lentil Ragu with Parsnip-Rutabaga Mash | Naturally Ella

I will start out saying I’m a bit hesitant to call this ragu given there’s no meat and it’s not served on pasta. And yet, here I am, calling it lentil ragu primarily because it’s the closest thing to describe this bulky sauce. Traditional ragu is made using stewed meats but do a quick search and you will see that most people use lentils for a solid vegetarian substitute. I took this and went one step more by adding bulgur.

My favorite vegetarian chili uses bulgur. It’s a perfect way to bulk up a meal with a meat-like replacement. Is it the same as a traditional ragu? Not even close. And yet, it’s delicious in it’s own way. The red lentils breakdown to form a thick sauce base and the bulgur is really the star. Don’t plan on using other lentils- the split red lentils work best.

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Chipotle Butternut Squash Crepes with Cilantro Crema | Naturally Ella

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

With the time change, our weekday dinners become a bit cozier. It’s dark by the time we eat and the temperature has dipped to the point of craving a hot, filling meal every night. These butternut squash crepes have hit the spot numerous times recently. The slightly spicy squash is stuffed into cornmeal crepes and topped with a cilantro-crema. Paired with a lovely glass of La Crema Monterey Chardonnay– it’s a perfect, complete meal.

A couple notes: you can go one of two ways with the crema. If you can find Mexican crema at your grocery store, go that route. However, I know not every store stocks it and because of that, I’ve included a stand-in replacement. Either are delicious. Also, I’ve started making my own chipotles in adobo sauce with help from the recipe in Nopalito. This book is inspiring and I can highly recommend getting a copy.

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Roasted Beet Galette with Ricotta | Naturally Ella

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

With Halloween in the rearview mirror, my brain turns to the holidays. I love planning holiday meals and while we typically go 90% traditional, I like to occasionally throw something fun into the mix. Last year I shared three different full menus (vegan, vegetarian, + gluten-free)- this year I’m going a bit more low-key. To kick off November, however, I thought I’d share one of my favorite savory galettes.

This beet galette is beautiful and delicious. It’s a bit time intensive but it’s worth it (and a bit of prep ahead of time can make quick work of the assembly and cooking). I love using a combination of Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour to make the galette base. This is the base I use for sweet and savory free-form pies (both of which are beautiful for the holidays!)

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25 Vegetarian Root Vegetable Recipes | Naturally Ella

I didn’t eat many root vegetables as a child. Sure, there was the occasional dip tray that had carrots but that was about as close to a root as I got. To be honest, I don’t really remember the grocery store stocking roots outside of beets and carrots. However, I’ve come a long way (and so has the grocery store) and now it’s my turn to inspire you to eat your roots. Grab those parsnips and don’t shy away from celeriac. Each root has a unique flavor and they all work well in cold weather comfort food.

Beets

Beets are not for everyone (hi mom) but I still share a solid amount of beet recipes. They are beautiful to grow, can be consumed from root through greens, and the different varieties help add a pop of color to recipes. I typically roast beets whole then cut into slices. Also, I rarely peel beets if I’m just cooking for my family.

 

Carrots

Carrot Curry with Kale and Paneer | Naturally Ella

My broken-record phrase: carrots are my workhorse vegetable. They are easy to find, cheap, and can be used in a myriad of recipes. About the only way I don’t eat carrots is on pizza (but who knows, maybe I’ll change that soon!)

 

Celeriac

Grilled Celeriac with White Bean Puree | @naturallyella

The gnarliest looking vegetable of the bunch, celeriac’s slightly sweet flavor is perfect for soups and other hearty meals. I find the flavor to be a bit more mild than some of the other root vegetables making it perfect to be the star of the recipe.

 

Parsnips

Parsnip and Thyme Galette | @naturally (from The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen)

Good on their own or paired with other vegetables, parsnips are perfectly pleasant. I use them quite a bit in place of carrots and I love them roasted/tossed in salads. Look for smaller parsnips- the really large ones are a bit more hit/miss on the texture and flavor.

 

Turnips

Bean Bake with Greens and Turnips | Naturally Ella

Turnips are always the vegetable that look beautiful at the market but most people just don’t know how to use them. Like beets, use the roots and the greens (the bean bake is a favorite of mine to use both at the same time!) I love turnips roasted but they also work well paired with other root vegetables.

 

Rutabaga

Roasted Rutabaga Pasta with Lemon Cashew Sauce | @naturallyella

I find rutabagas’ flavor to be one of the more recognizable on this list. It’s a bit sweet but also on the bold site. It works well on it’s own, especially in hot, comfort dishes.

 

Sunchokes

Sunchoke Latke with Poached Eggs | Naturally Ella

Newer to my cooking repertoire, sunchokes are a bit of a pain to work with but the flavor is worth it. The latkes are a winter favorite, especially for a lovely weekend breakfast.

 

Whole Roasted Tikka Masala Cauliflower | Naturally Ella

I am a bit surprised that it has taken me this long to share a whole-roasted cauliflower recipe but I was waiting for the perfect version. Turns out, the perfect version existed with a little help from one of my favorite recipes on the site: tikka masala lentils. This paste is a vegan recipe’s best friend. It’s full of flavor, mixes well as a sauce or marinade, and freezes well (I always make a triple batch!)

This tikka masala cauliflower is perfect for dinner, either for a family or as a holiday addition. I would recommend serving this with a chickpea or lentil salad, for a boost of protein. You could also replace the millet with quinoa. Read more and see the recipe.

Broccoli Frittata Sandwich | Naturally Ella

Leftovers seem to be a constant battle in our house. I could easily eat the same thing for multiple days in a row but my husband isn’t so keen on that. This leaves me constantly trying to reinvent leftovers (or just cook smaller batches- it’s the reason almost every photo I post only has one or two bowls in the set-up.)

This broccoli frittata sandwich is a go-to in our house, primarily because whenever I make a frittata, there’s at least one slice leftover. Sure, you can reheat a frittata but why do that when you can smash it in a grilled cheese sandwich?

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Coriander Sweet Potato Soup with Buckwheat Granola | Naturally Ella

It feels as though every year I come up with a new sweet potato soup recipe that becomes my new favorite. I have a smoked paprika version, a turmeric version, and now this coriander recipe. This soup is so good, though, that it would have been sad not to share. The combination of coriander with a faint cinnamon undertone works amazingly well with sweet potatoes. Add to this, my current granola obsession and you have a perfect fall meal.

I would recommend making a big batch of this granola. It’s not on the sweet side but it plays equally well with this savory soup and a more sweet yogurt parfait. You could also spice it up a bit and add your favorite flavorings, like cinnamon, to the mix.

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Roasted Carrot Polenta with Sage and Walnuts | Naturally Ella

During the fall, polenta is one of my comfort meals of choice. It’s the perfect base for a myriad of flavors and toppings. Sometimes I go vegan, sometimes I go heavy on the cheese. This particular carrot polenta features the carrot puree I just featured as a component. Roasted carrots and garlic pureed together form one of the levels of creaminess (so much so that you could ideally leave this vegan).

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Roasted Garlic Carrot Puree | Cooking Component | Naturally Ella

It’s no secret that I love roasting vegetables. The sweetness that comes from the caramelization is quite apparent in carrots. This puree is often on hand during the cooler months. Carrots are fairly inexpensive and there’s really so much you can make with a solid carrot puree.

This puree is fairly hands-off, just a bit of chopping. As you can see below, the options are endless with this puree. I love using the puree to add creaminess to risottos, as a filling for stuffed pasta (think these butternut squash shells, but with this carrot puree), or as a simple spread on toast.

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Sweet Potato Pasta with Walnut-Sage Sauce | Naturally Ella

I think in a different life, I’d be an herb farmer. There’s something so dreamy about being surrounded by herbs and I’ve found that it’s about the only thing I can easily grow in our small patio garden. If I’m having a stressful day, I walk outside and pick a bit of marjoram to rub in my hands and smell. I swirl rosemary twigs in my water and add thyme to as much as I can.

Sage is one of the herbs that does well in our potted garden. It’s also an herb I’m always experimenting with in different recipes. This sweet potato pasta uses fresh sage in a pesto-like sauce combined with nut cream. The end result is a unique fall pasta that also happens to be vegan.

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