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!
Summer is just around the corner — and I have the perfect, easy-listening tunes for all your sunshiny adventures! My May 2019 Soundtrack is a short n’ sweet, feel-good, 28 track playlist ideal for road trips, entertaining, long walks in this beautiful weather or unwinding on vacation. As always, it features an eclectic mixture of genres spanning musical categories — there’s something for everyone!
A handful of May’s standout tracks include Jon Bryant’s Ya Ya Ya Ya, MOOD ROBOT’s Safe and Sound, The Head and the Heart’s People Need a Melody, Work Drug’s Belize, Saib’s Shanghai Nights, Easy Life’s Sunday, Prince Fox & Quinn XCII’s Space, Far Caspian’s Conversations, Jye’s You on My Mind, Jaymison’s Pretty Mama, Slumberville’s Honolulu and Medasin & Kathleen’s Nice to Meet You. Happy listening!
I decided, spur-of-the-moment, to clean out the pantry one Saturday morning earlier this month… which usually leads to an impromptu cooking session! The product of my weekend cleaning spree was this completely unplanned granola recipe — and of course it was delicious, because I didn’t write anything down (#foodbloggerfail). As things go around here, almost every time I bake or cook without an agenda, it ends up being a recipe that I deem to be blogworthy (and thankfully, granola ingredients are pretty easy to dissect!). At the request of my Insta Story friends who got a sneak peek at the initial batch of this recipe, I threw it into testing so I could share it here with you!
As you might guess, my Protein Packed Cherry Almond Granola is made with… well, pantry staples! In fact, I bet you have most of these ingredients kicking around your kitchen right now. A nutritious, antioxidant rich blend of oats, almonds, pepitas, shredded coconut, cocoa nibs, dried cherries and a plant based vanilla protein powder (it may seem crazy, but it adds tons of extra protein and natural sweetness to this granola!) combine with coconut oil, organic Canadian maple syrup (eh?!) a kiss of cinnamon and a dash of salt to create a versatile granola that can be enjoyed in your breakfast bowls, smoothie bowls, parfaits and alone as a snack all summer long. As I sit here editing this post, I’m noshing on a bowl with fresh BC cherries, nut milk and one of those frothy lattes! Oh, and did I mention it comes together in 20 minutes?
If you’ve been following along on social media, you may have read or heard a few times how exhausted I was feeling at the end of last week. There are some incredibly exciting things happening behind the scenes right now that can’t wait to share with you soon — but it’s been a ton of work getting them off the ground! I’ve mentioned previously that I’m a major workaholic (I absolutely love what I do!) and sometimes it can get the better of me. I’m definitely more mindful of it these days since balance is something I seem to be constantly pursuing. It can be really difficult for me to step away from my work — especially since I find myself really getting in a groove creatively and wanting to keep up the momentum. But, as I’ve also mentioned previously, I need to remember that while consistency is important in producing great creative work, so is taking care of myself so I can stay inspired and not completely burn out (which I was on the verge of last week). I’m sure many of you fellow creatives can relate!
So, I took this weekend to rejuvenate and rescheduled every commitment I had. Friday evening we grabbed sushi and wine at our favourite place (Kabuku downtown if any of you Calgarians are wondering), gave each other massages set to spa music and went to bed before midnight (yes I know, we’re old). Saturday I chatted with my oldest friend on the phone for 2 hours, caught up on some housework, blog work and basic R&R. I’m talking skipping my daily HIIT workout and doing research for upcoming projects and content from bed with a big cup of freshly ground, french pressed coffee and a big messy bun — and not getting out of my pyjamas until I took an amazing, 45 minute shower (I actually had time to wash my hair!). I even did a face mask, which I used to do every Sunday evening, but sadly haven’t had the energy for lately. On Sunday, we decided to make the most of this beautiful, early autumn weather and head west towards the Rocky Mountains for a wine picnic. I hope you enjoy coming along with us in this photo diary of our Mini Mountain Getaway!
Getting out of the city on the weekend, even just for the day, always refreshes and re-energizes me! This summer I’m learning that I don’t have to travel far to satisfy my wanderlust, and that there are so many amazing things to see and do right in my own province. On August long weekend we headed to Lake Louise for the day and hiked to the Lake Agnes Tea House — it’s a moderate hike with beautiful views that takes about 3 hours round-trip. At the top of the trail there’s a lovely tea house perched on Lake Agnes (and very friendly chipmunks!). Here’s a collection of my favourite images.
Last weekend we were getting ready to go for a hike at Lake Louise and I decided (last minute, of course!) to make some trail mix for the road. It turned out to be really delicious (even the chipmunks liked it!), so today I’m sharing the recipe with you. My Toasted Trail Mix is more like a mixture of trail mix and granola — it’s full of awesome, nourishing, all-natural ingredients, and brimming with antioxidants to help fuel your day. It gets nice and toasty in the oven, and the toasted flavour is complimented by a bit of maple syrup, cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne powder for that little bit extra! I also like to enjoy this trail mix on top fruit parfaits and smoothie bowls to kick my breakfast up a notch — it’s a versatile recipe that I love having in my kitchen.
We spent last Sunday exploring the Grassi Lakes area just outside of Canmore, Alberta nestled in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It’s a beautiful short hike with two crystal clear, shallow lakes at the top of the trail. I wanted to get out with my new lens and do some adventuring before New York, so here’s a collection of my favourite images from the day.