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!
It was a cold, rainy spring Saturday in Calgary. I’d just had a beautiful, inspiring lunch at Shokunin the day prior with fellow food blogger Heather’s Eats. During lunch, my Maki roll came garnished with gorgeous edible petals and chef Darren stopped by to chat with us about his vision for the restaurant. Earlier that week I had tons of photoshoots involving flowers and the leftovers were scattered all over my living room in a beautiful mess. Rebecca Dawn Design and I had been chatting about ideas for edible flower posts, so that was dancing around in the back of my head. I had a whole bunch of carrots and yellow peppers that needed to be used up, and a can of coconut milk sitting half-full in the fridge. I was craving a comforting, pureed soup and realized I hadn’t made one since the fall! It seems that on dreary, grey days I crave the most colour — and I’ve been really into yellow in fashion this spring.
All these things inspired this fresh, nourishing and colourful spring soup recipe! The best part? You only need 10 ingredients (including seasonings) to make my Rainbow Carrot & Yellow Pepper Soup!
Did you know I have dinner with my college girlfriends (almost) every week? We’ve been doing it since 2008 — so over the years, we’ve shared a lot of meals together. At our last girl dinner, we were chatting about what each of our signature dishes are — I was curious about what they’d say my signature dish was, because I strive to keep things fresh in my kitchen! The answer was ‘something fresh and Asian-inspired, or a make-your-own entrée salad’. And fair enough! Those are my favourite things to eat (and to serve when I’m entertaining). You’ll find lots of those recipes here on the blog!
So, I decided to turn one of my ‘signature dishes’ on its head and use new ingredients in new ways. I revisited tofu, which I’ve marinated with savoury, sesame flavours and finished with a golden crisp. I made the creamiest Asian-inspired sauce with no peanut butter in sight (hint: the secret ingredient is cooked carrots)! It was also my first time making zoodles (spiralized zucchini ‘noodles’) and I’ll chat more about it in this post. My Carrot Cashew Zoodles with Crispy Sesame Tofu is an ultra-light, ultra-fresh spring stirfry brimming with clean, plant-based protein. Cheers to stepping outside of your comfort zone in the kitchen!
Who else is sick of winter?! I know I’ve definitely been craving some colour in my life lately! So this week, I’ve teamed up with Litehouse Foods and The Food Bloggers of Canada to bring you a fresh, colourful entrée salad recipe that can be on your table is less than half an hour! My Pomegranate Hibiscus Salmon Salad combines mixed greens and peppery arugula with strawberries, yellow peppers, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, almonds and red onions — topped with a fresh fillet of wild sockeye salmon. It’s created with Litehouses’s Pomegranate Hibiscus Dressing, from their new Green Garden line. I also give you a behind-the-scenes look into my creative process of shooting and styling imagery for photoshoots and blog posts!
I can’t seem to get enough beets lately — especially roasted beets! Do you guys go through intense phases with food, too? This salad combines all the winter produce I love, in one huge superfood salad. My New Year Detox Salad with Pink Tahini Dressing is overflowing with ultra-clean, nourishing ingredients, antioxidants, and tons of plant-based protein to help keep your new year health and nutrition goals on track. Oh, and the dressing is bright pink! Remember how I mentioned I’ve been feeling inspired by pink hues lately? In this recipe, I show you how to make a gorgeous (and delicious) Pink Tahini Dressing, with all natural ingredients. Stay tuned for a fresh, fun and colourful spin on winter produce!
Fall flavours are great and all, but this week I needed to switch things up — I was craving something light, fresh and colourful! Today I’m sharing the recipe for my Tangled Thai Salad — a simple, healthy salad overflowing with veggies and plant-based protein (including the best Ginger Peanut Sauce, ever). I love to make a big salad for dinner when I feel like I need a some extra nourishment, and the extremely brown landscape in Calgary lately has left me craving come colour! My recipe is a crowd pleaser — I’ve served it for many girl dinners (for those of you who are new, I have dinner with my college girlfriends every week!). I also share my tips for making your salad look pretty when you’re serving it as a main course — because we eat with our eyes first, right?!
This is a pretty nerdy confession… but it’s really fun for me to try to recreate restaurant dishes I love at home! I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what ingredients were used and attempting to make restaurant-inspired cuisine — it pushes me out of my comfort zone and I end up combining ingredients I wouldn’t usually pair together (like the Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing in this recipe). My Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls are inspired by the Viva Bowl at NYC’s Local Thyme (where I ate lunch almost every day during my time in Manhattan!) — but with my own spin, and tons of extra veggies! Did you know that today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day?