Happy Saturday, friends. How’s everyone doing? These are certainly strange and uncertain times. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine blogging about this topic, under these circumstances! But like many of you, I’ve been reflecting on how I can best serve my community in this time of need — and its been so heartening reading stories of individuals and businesses stepping up to care for one another. I’ve always taken great comfort in preparing nourishing meals for myself, my family and my friends — and that extends to all of you! In light of recent world events and the different realities we’re all currently facing in this unprecedented situation, this week I focused on what I could do here at JustineCelina to help. As we spend more time in our homes over the next few weeks (or months) and adapt to a new normal, we’ll inevitably be cooking and eating more meals at home — something I’m very passionate about. So, I rescheduled the pretty cocktail I had originally slated to publish on Spring Equinox (which is now live!) to bring you 28 Plant Based Recipes Made With Pantry Staples, Frozen Food and Sturdy Produce — the ultimate resource in feeding yourself and your family well, and economically, during this challenging time.
I’ve scoured my virtual recipe box to compile 28 extensively tested, plant-based, inexpensive, easy to prepare, immune boosting recipes from breakfast through dinner (with snacks in-between!). Each of these recipes are free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar, but many also yield large batches — which are perfect for families, meal prep or freezing to ensure you have nutrient dense meal options on hand. I’ve always been one to keep a well-stocked kitchen — the majority of my recipes focus on inexpensive but versatile, plant based, pantry, freezer and fridge staples that pack a nutritional punch. I’ve also sprinkled this mega-post with ingredient substitution ideas and tips for maximizing the life of your produce, so you can make the most of what you have on hand (this is actually how my most inventive recipes are conceived, food never goes to waste in my kitchen!). We’re all in this together — so if you’re craving some time in the kitchen cooking, baking and recipe making, I’ve got you covered!
I’m typing to you from the fringe of the 2019 polar vortex here in Calgary — and man, it’s cold outside (guess I spoke too soon about our unseasonably mild winter weather!). I’m very content to be curled up with a big bowl of Slow Cooker Vegan Mulligatawny Soup with Red Lentils in my chenille sweatpants and fuzzy sock as I edit this post! I hope everyone in affected areas is staying warm, cozy and safe out there.
But what better time than a polar vortex to make a hearty slow cooker recipe, am I right?! Warm up with a batch of my Slow Cooker Vegan Mulligatawny Soup with Red Lentils — an ultra clean, nourishing, protein packed, plant-based spin on a classic English soup with South Indian roots. The best part? You likely have most (if not all!) of these ingredients on hand and this recipe truly couldn’t be easier! A hearty base of red lentils combines with a mirepoix of carrots, celery, onion and apple simmered in an rich, exotically spiced, tomato-based broth with a splash of coconut milk and a kiss of cinnamon. Juicy pomegranate arils, toasted cashews and fresh cilantro garnish my favourite winter soup to perfection — creating a beautiful mosaic of inviting flavour, texture and colour where hearty winter produce sings. If you love vegetable-based curries and warming winter soups but want to try something new, this playful, plant-powered spin on authentic Indian mulligatawny is for you!
Well hello, friends! It’s been a little while hasn’t it? I’ve been spending the past few days soaking up some much needed rest and relaxation in the prairies with my family. In fact, I’m typing to you from my childhood home in rural Alberta! I shot these images and finalized the recipe last week before we hit the road on Friday and headed east to spend the holidays with family and friends. I’m fully embracing these slow, cozy, lazy days between Christmas and New Years Eve and wanted to get this post out for you — I know I’m always craving some major fruits and vegetables after a few days of holiday indulgence! Tonight I’m thrilled to bring you my Vegan Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup with Winter Squash — a no fuss recipe packed full of nourishing, plant based ingredients that eats like a meal!
If this crazy cold snap has you craving some healthy comfort food, whip out your slow cooker and transport yourself to Mexico with my Vegan Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup with Winter Squash! Still entertaining company or hosting family during the holidays and need a break from leftovers? This vibrant recipe comes together with pantry staples, seasonal produce and minimal effort! Hearty winter squash, brown rice, protein packed black beans, bright cherry tomatoes, sweet orange peppers, yellow onion, garlic and a mosaic of spices infuse a tomato and vegetable stock base with feisty mexican flavour — topped off with creamy avocado, crispy corn tortillas, cilantro and a drizzle of Tahini Lime Crema. Jump start your New Years resolutions by treating your body to a bowl of wholesome, post holiday, cold weather comfort!
Do you remember when we did the Wild Rose D-Tox back in March? If you were following along on Insta Stories, I shared (almost) every meal I made during those 12 days. You may also remember me raving about how incredible our Day 1 dinner was — well, today I’m finally sharing the recipe for my Spring Vegetable Stirfry with Coconut Ginger Tofu with you!
Initially this recipe it was a team effort, with both of us tossing ideas around and throwing things in the pan while this stirfry came together. And we both couldn’t stop eating it! It was the best recipe to come out of our D-Tox. Since the premade sauces and condiments I would typically use in a stiryfry-style dish (think soy sauce, fish sauce, peanut butter, etc.) weren’t permitted, we went in a completely different direction! The result was a colourful medley of spring vegetables in a coconut milk-based sauce — flavoured with garlic, ginger, lime and simple pantry spices ontop of a bed of brown rice, finished with toasted almonds for some extra crunch and protein. In my quest for nut based milks with a D-Tox friendly ingredient lists (not an easy feat, my friends!), I found Almond Breeze’s Unsweetened Almond Coconut Beverage and am thrilled to be partnering with Almond Breeze again today to bring you my Spring Vegetable Stirfry with Coconut Ginger Tofu! It’s totally Wild Rose D-Tox friendly and it’s also totally delicious, even if you’re not doing a detox. This easy to prepare, unconventional spring stirfry is light, clean and nourishing — perfect for weeknight dinners!
I’ve been testing this recipe since December — and it feels so good to finally publish it! Typically I go through 3 – 5 rounds of recipe testing and for my Roasted Purple Cauliflower with Red Pepper Romesco, the fourth time was the charm. If you’ve been following along on my socials, you may know that I had an unfortunate accident with a new kitchen knife on Easter Monday, sliced my index finger and wound up in the ER. Ironically, I was recipe testing. I’ll save you all the gory details because this is a food post after all, but long story short — I ended up with 5 stitches, one very sore finger, minimal nerve damage and a mild reaction to a Tetanus shot that left me with a rash all over my upper body (it’s been a rough couple of weeks!). So if it’s seemed a bit quiet around here, that’s why. It was such a struggle to do pretty much everything during the first week while I was healing up, but my stitches came out Thursday and I’m on the mend. The whole thing was pretty scary and I’m just incredibly grateful it wasn’t any worse! Thank you for all your well wishes and your patience as I attempted to navigate through life at a slower pace these past couple of weeks.
Now, onward and upward! After a week of being terrified to use my kitchen knife and not being able to actually wield it to chop anything, we decided to start the Wild Rose D-Tox on Monday. This is my 6th time doing it over the years and it’s not that much different than my regular, plant based diet — minus anything fermented (yes, that includes alcohol!), tropical fruit and the occasional indulgence. I like to think of it as spring cleaning for my system — and one that was definitely needed after feeling so out of whack last week with my Tetanus shot, taking painkillers (I prefer not to take medication unless absolutely necessary — we didn’t even have any Ibuprofen in the house!) and having to resort to a lot of frozen leftovers (thankfully, my recipe testing process affords a well stocked freezer!). Fast forward to late this week and I finally got my groove back — I was happy to be the kitchen again and feeling inspired! I used this past week as an opportunity to slow down and really focus on what I’m putting in my body to help it heal. I perfected my Roasted Purple Cauliflower with Red Pepper Romesco yesterday and I’m happy to report that it’s completely Wild Rose D-Tox friendly — I can’t wait to share it with you!
Today’s recipe marks a milestone in my blogging career. Today I’ve published 200 blog posts. 200 blog posts?! It’s crazy to think I’ve been blogging for 1 year and 9 months (what?), but I guess that’s what 2 posts per week amounts to! It just so happens that my very first post was a recipe, as was my 100th blog post. So if you’re interested in taking a look through my archives, enjoy, but be warned — when I first started JustineCelina I took all my photos in square format on my iPhone!
Anyway, onto the real reason why you’re here today — the recipe! To be honest, I can’t believe this is the first curry recipe I’ve published. I make curries often, typically with whatever veggies and spices we have kicking around (you know how it goes around here!). In the winter especially, plant based curries are a staple in our kitchen — and my Curried Winter Vegetables with Roasted Acorn Squash is healthy comfort food at it’s finest! A medley of onions, garlic and ginger are caramelized, then accompanied by a flavourful trio of carrots, peppers and celery simmered in a decadent, tomato based curry sauce dancing with rich Indian spices and just the right amount of heat. Roasted Acorn Squash houses the Curried Winter Vegetables in a nourishing, edible bowl — a playful, hearty spin on typical bread-based options. This recipe yields a generous amount of curry that freezes well, so you can stock the freezer with healthy options to help fuel January’s resolutions when you’re running short on time!
You may have noticed a bit of a theme here at JustineCelina this month — between our September Digital Blooms, my summer-meets-fall style content and our introduction to Autumn flowers I’ve been embracing the summer-to-fall transition in full force! This year, I’m definitely ready for the seasonal changes that September brings, not to mention the plethora of delicious foods that accompany it! And what better way to celebrate autumn’s arrival tomorrow than with a festive chili recipe that combines the best of both seasons?
My colourful Indian Summer Vegan Chili is inspired by the fleeting, transitional month of September when we’re able to enjoy the abundance of both summer and fall in our kitchens and on our tables. The recipe incorporates summer tomatoes and corn with autumn squash, carrots and peppers along with an array of complimentary vegetables, spices and seasonings. It’s a sweet and spicy, comforting dish brimming with clean, plant-based protein — and it’s approved by meat eaters, plant eaters and vegans alike. I hope it inspires you to explore your local farmers markets and bring September’s bounty home with you this autumn!