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!
Wait I’m confused… what season is it? Watermelon is still front and centre at my local grocer and yet it’s snowing (oh, how I wish I was kidding). As I edit this post, I’m enjoying a glass of crisp rosé in a poncho and fuzzy slippers — and I finally have to cave and turn the heat on! While the weather in Calgary has been less than desirable, late summer harvest has been kind to us with local tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuces popping up everywhere — and I’m taking full advantage. If you, too are in the mood for some healthy comfort food to weather the storm, you’ve come to the right place! Today I’m elated to continue my partnership with Inspired Greens and bring you my Vegan Fiesta Buffalo Tofu Bowls with Tahini Lime Crema — the meal that kept us nourished during our paint-a-thon this summer. I literally came up with this recipe by throwing what we had on hand into a big salad bowl, mixing it up and serving it. Upon first bite, I knew I’d be publishing it — after all, unusual circumstances typically lead to some of my most inventive recipe ideas!
My Vegan Fiesta Buffalo Tofu Bowls with Tahini Lime Crema are a healthy, plant based, 30-minute meal alternative to the pub food that my delicate stomach can absolutely not handle anymore. Seriously though — if chicken wings, a plate of loaded nachos and a burrito had a vegan love child, this would be it! These festive, protein rich bowls are brimming with Alberta grown, seasonal produce including Inspired Greens Red Butter Lettuce — remixed with JustineCelina kitchen staples like quinoa, black beans, olives, Buffalo Tofu (a completely addictive, plant based alternative to hot wings!) and Tahini Lime Crema — a versatile sauce we always have in our fridge that’s good on just about anything. This, my friends, is the ultimate vegan comfort food with a fresh, early autumn spin!
To say I went poke crazy in Vancouver this spring would be a major understatement. Typically, I don’t eat meat very often (I’m actually not vegan, although I eat that way about 90% of the time and have included a vegan option in this recipe) — but anytime I travel, I love to immerse myself in local cuisine. It’s such a treat to be able to indulge in fresh seafood on the coast! After making one too many poke runs when I landed back home in Alberta, I decided to take matters into my own hands and develop a recipe for the ultimate gluten and dairy free poke bowls at home! My Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls with Citrus Ponzu & Sriracha Aioli are an explosion of traditional Japanese flavours infused with a west coast vibe and all the fixings — a mashup of sustainable, sashimi grade ahi tuna, avocado, carrot, cucumber, mango and grilled asparagus adorn a bed of organic brown rice and tender greens, topped with a scratch made, Gluten Free Citrus Ponzu, drizzled with Sriracha Garlic Aioli and garnished with roasted sesame seeds, nori and scallions. They’re even better than the poke bowls I fell in love with by the sea!
I’ve partnered with Inspired Greens to bring you a lightened up version of the classic poke bowl where I’ve used a blend of Inspired Greens MultiLeaf Trio and organic brown rice as the Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl base. If you follow along with my adventures over on Instagram, you may remember their beautiful bouquet of Alberta grown living lettuce from earlier this summer — and as someone who’s passionate about local, plant based eats, I’m elated to continue working Inspired Greens and officially introduce you here at JustineCelina. Their greens add a fresh, flourishing texture and gourmet flair to these summer friendly poke bowls — they’re also a breeze to work with, helping to reduce meal prep time!
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!
Want to eat the rainbow this spring? My Mediterranean Rainbow Buddha Bowl is inspired by the vibrancy of Mediterranean culture, sun drenched days and fresh, colourful ingredients! These festive, nutrition packed Buddha bowls are an explosion of plant based flavours, textures and colours sure to leave you feeling fully satisfied, but never stuffed. An unconventional medley of quinoa, chick peas, cucumbers, pickled beets and carrots, olives and medjool dates are topped with zingy Lemon Za’atar Vinaigrette, a generous dollop of Sabra Greek Olive Hummus and a kiss of fresh mint. The best part? These jubilant Buddha bowls can be on your table in less than 30 minutes and enjoyed year round!
As a hummus lover, I’m thrilled to be partnering with Sabra Canada to bring you my Mediterranean Rainbow Buddha Bowl today! Although typically I’m a very from-scatch cook, there are certain pre made items I enjoy picking up when I’m short on time — and Sabra hummus is one of them. It’s almost exactly like what I make at home (gluten and dairy free with a very simple, clean ingredient list) but with far less effort and tons of flavours options readily available! If you love hummus (and entertaining) just as much as I do, stay tuned for details on how to enter the #DipInWithSabra contest towards the bottom of this post for your chance to win a unique, in-home dining experience for yourself and 14 friends this season!
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!