Happy Sunday, friends! There’s something synonymous about autumn and a big, velvety bowl of puréed soup, isn’t there? It’s no secret that I love a good puréed soup here at JustineCelina — in fact, this recipe is the fourth one I’ve published! But his fall, I’ve channelled globally inspired flair and a unique, fruit-forward flavour profile into one of my favourite seasonal staples. The changing leaves and cooler temperatures always invoke a desire to spend my Sundays puttering away in the kitchen in a cozy sweater — and that’s exactly how this recipe came together! A jar of sumac arrived in my PC Insiders surprise box last month and I was eager to experiment, but we were running low on groceries — so I combined a handful of seasonal ingredients to create a simple fall soup that allowed the sumac to shine. We enjoyed it for dinner alongside a salad with a delicious glass of late harvest Riesling. After sharing it on Stories and receiving many requests for the recipe, I knew I wanted to bring it to the blog this autumn!
My Sumac Roasted Carrot Apple Soup is a fruity, exotic twist on an autumnal classic — where seasonal produce staples of carrots, apples, onion and garlic are generously seasoned with sumac and simple spices, roasted to perfection and pureed with creamy cashew milk, vegetable stock, fresh ginger and zingy lemon. This ultra simple, ultra nourishing, family-friendly fall soup is vegan, gluten and refined sugar free and comes together in just one hour with twelve ingredients, including seasonings! If you’re ready to celebrate the height of Canadian apple season and bring some Middle Eastern / North African flair your kitchen, pop out to your local grocery store, pick up some dried sumac (it’s available at Superstore in the bulk section, as well as part of the PC Black Label collection!) and let’s get to work! Sometimes all it takes is a new ingredient to reignite your passion for local, seasonal produce.
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!
I’ve been on a major sweet potato kick lately! I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I go through phases with food — and right now I can’t seem to get enough sweet potatoes. My Roasted Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Tahini Sauce couldn’t be easier to make and it can be on your table in less than 45 minutes! Ever since my New Year Detox Salad with Pink Tahini Dressing recipe I’ve been experimenting with tahini-based sauces and dressings and really enjoy them with roasted veggies and pepitas. Today’s recipe combines all of those things with one of my favourite spring herbs, thyme! The sweet potato fries are infused with fresh thyme and oven roasted — they come out crisp on the outside and soft and velvety on the inside. My Lemon Tahini Sauce combines tahini paste with lemon, maple syrup and a touch of cayenne power for a little kick, resulting in a bright, protein packed sauce. It’s incredible drizzled overtop of the fries and sprinkled with pepitas for some extra crunch! Try this recipe next time you’re looking for light, spring side dish with a fresh, citrusy twist!
I love to make soup in the fall, and squash based soups are my favourite. So, I decided to take all the delicious things I had in my kitchen that were in fresh and in season, and roast them with warming, autumnal spices. I picked up tons of squash and apples at a fresh food market in Creston, BC recently (where they grow their produce on a farm right behind the market), and I combined them with carrots, onions, and some rhubarb from my friend Heather’s garden (you can’t eat more local than that!). I also roasted the squash seeds and use them for a garnish! My Autumn Harvest Soup with Roasted Squash Seeds is the ultimate autumn comfort food — hearty, nourishing and velvety smooth. It’s an ultra clean recipe, if you’re looking for simple dinner ideas this week to help detox from Thanksgiving festivities!
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!
As autumn comes to a close and the holiday season approaches, I’m back today with my Fall Harvest Bowls with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing — an inventive vegan entrée that combines some of my favourite seasonal ingredients in a nutritious, protein packed bowl! Although it’s been awhile since I’ve published a SALAD or BOWL recipe here at JustineCelina, if you follow along with my Stories, you’ve undoubtedly seen me whip these up almost weekly over the past few months. This recipe was originally conceived back in August when I was yearning for my first taste of fall flavours — and after many rounds of testing to make sure it was just right, I’m eager to share the perfected recipe with you!
My Fall Harvest Bowls with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing are an ultra nourishing, 30 minute vegan meal that beautifully showcase seasonal produce and pantry staples, but can be enjoyed year-round. A bed of baby spinach and arugula houses a hearty melange of black glutinous rice, chick peas, fresh apples and shredded carrots — topped off with a tanini-based Creamy Poppyseed Dressing, dried cranberries and roasted pecans. If you’re into meal prepping, you can also whip up a large batch of rice and multiple batches of dressing on the weekend — and have healthy, effortless weekday dinners and hearty lunch options sorted for the week. Come join me in my kitchen for a fresh, vegan bowl brimming with nutrients that celebrates late autumn while fueling you up for the busy holiday season ahead!