Welcome back for another seasonally inspired RECIPE, beautiful people! I’m currently typing to you from my impromptu outdoor office at my childhood home in rural Alberta on this gorgeous August afternoon. The bees are buzzing, the butterflies are fluttering and the sweet scents of summer crops are lingering on the country air — it’s the ideal setting to publish my Summer Bounty Salad with Saskatoon Cider Vinaigrette, don’t you think? If you’ve been reading JustineCelina since last summer you may remember the delicious, clean Wild Saskatoon Berry Crumble I came up with after a friend let us forage their farm to take advantage of the plentiful crop. It was saskatoon overload (in the best way possible!) so I took the opportunity to work on a few more saskatoon themed recipes — but because of my intensive testing process I wasn’t able to publish them before the season ended. Excited to bring those recipes to the blog this summer, we headed south in search of fleeting saskatoons and canola — and we ended up finding a beautiful field of canola (annual photos coming soon!) with wild saskatoon bushes growing alongside it. Honestly, what are the chances?!
My Summer Bounty Salad with Saskatoon Cider Vinaigrette is inspired by the abundant seasonal produce and herbs available at our local markets (and in the wild!) at the height of summer! This colourful, local, ultra fresh salad can be on your table in 15 minutes and is brimming with incredible, heart-healthy, antioxidant-rich superfoods and nutrients. Straight from our Alberta farms to your table, a vitamin-infused bed of baby spinach and arugula showcases a striking mosaic of freshly picked saskatoon berries, garden peas, shredded golden beets, crisp radishes, fresh mint, sunflower seeds and scallions — dressed with a punchy Saskatoon Cider Vinaigrette celebrating Alberta’s favorite berry. Enjoy this feel good salad as a light, plant based entrée whenever you’re in the mood for something quick and nutritious, or as a beautiful accompaniment to grilled fish (it’s great with with trout or salmon), meat or tofu!
I’m not really sure what’s happened — but this year, my love of cocktails is outshining my love of sangria (hey… no hard feelings sangria — we had a really good run!). I’ve also been dreaming of publishing a lavender lemonade for years — but funny enough, it’s never made it’s way onto these pages. I had the most delicious lavender lemonade the summer before I started blogging at some small town in interior British Columbia on our way back from a music festival — and I’ve been determined to create an equally delicious lavender lemonade ever since! That said, I know there are tons of lavender lemonade recipes out there, but now that I have a few solid years of COCKTAIL development under my belt and some incredible, unique, delicious ingredients in my bar, I thought I’d give it a go this summer!
So, while I fully intended this recipe to be a vodka-based lavender lemonade, as I moved though a rather intense testing process (remember when I mentioned I was cocktail testing over the long weekend?), I ended up swapping lavender for lilacs and vodka for gin — and I’m so glad I did! My Japanese Lilac Gin Lemonade tastes like summertime in the country and is very near to my heart — incorporating Japanese Lilac blossoms from the tree at my childhood home in rural Alberta, honey from the hives just across the stream and Eau Claire Distillery‘s award winning Parlour Gin distilled from the flourishing barley crops and unique botanicals of Alberta’s prairies. This floral-kissed, lightly effervescent lemonade was created with a thoughtful, hand crafted, farm-to-glass approach and made for lazy summer days on the patio, easy entertaining and watching the sunset behind glowing fields of canola! Join myself and my Connecting Over Cocktails crew to indulge in a summer inspired cocktail menu (check out their creations at the end of this post!) and enter to win bottle of the best gin I’ve ever tasted, along with a Tour & Tasting for 2 at Turner Valley’s Eau Claire Distillery! Cheers to hot summer nights, refreshing gourmet cocktails and the celebrating the bountiful offerings of this beautiful land!
Wow, has it ever been a minute since I published a non-cocktail recipe — let alone a salad or bowl! Remember that post I published back in January about sharing things as I feel inspired to, rather than sticking to my very rigid, previously very balanced, editorial calendar? Scaling back on extremely time consuming content in order to get our SPACE REFRESH series off the ground (did you know I test my recipes 3 – 7 times on average and that can translate to over 30 hours of work?)? These changes resulted in a steady stream of cocktail recipes during the first half of 2018 (they’re a blast to create also relatively simple to test!) — one of which landed me my first Style Me Pretty Living feature, so I guess it all worked out! And while my adventures deep into cocktailing this year have been a lot of fun, sometimes you just need to dry out a bit and eat a kale salad — you feel me?!
If you follow along with my Insta Stories, you’ll know I’ve been eating this Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Gluten Free Croutons almost weekly since I first whipped it up back in April. In the process, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tested this recipe and it’s since become one of our favourite salads! The best part? There’s no marinating or planning ahead (I’ve really been focusing on keeping it simple lately!) and it can be on your table in 15 minutes. It’s a nutritious, protein packed, plant based spin on a classic that eats like a meal — and I promise no one will know it’s vegan (in a blind taste test, it was praised by meat eaters!). I’m also sharing my secret for flavourful, tender, raw kale! If you’re looking for quick, healthy meal options to add to your summer rotation (or #MeatlessMonday!), I cannot recommend this contemporary spin on traditional caesar salad enough! Continue Reading
I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I shared a pureed soup here at JustineCelina! And would you believe I’ve never actually published a butternut squash soup recipe? Butternut squash soup is a staple recipe in many kitchens during the cooler months — ours included. Although my Autumn Harvest Soup with Roasted Squash Seeds (published back in my early blogging days!) includes butternut squash, it also features a medley of fall produce — including apples, carrots and rhubarb. So, my standard butternut squash soup recipe remained unpublished over the years — you see, as a food blogger, these staple recipes often remain in my archives because I don’t think they’re exciting or unique enough to share. But, this winter I experimented with one of my favourite gourmet ingredients to really elevate this recipe — and here we are!
Today I’m thrilled to bring you my Truffled Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Sage — a luxurious, sophisticated twist on a cold weather classic. With just 10 ingredients, this creamy bowl of vegan comfort is a breeze to whip up and makes a great light lunch or accompaniment to dinner. Hearty butternut squash is oven roasted with onions, fresh sage and garlic — then blended into velvety goodness with vegetable broth, coconut milk, fresh ginger and a touch of heat. To finish things off, it’s infused with an indulgent drizzle of White Truffle Oil (my most recent culinary obsession!) and garnished with crispy sage for a restaurant quality soup you can enjoy at home. Thanks to a couple of elevated ingredients, this isn’t your traditional butternut squash soup recipe — but I guarantee you it’s just as simple to prepare! If you’re in the mood for some nourishing comfort food with gourmet flair to help endure these last few weeks of winter, I have just the recipe — and I’m also sharing my favourite source for high quality, affordable White Truffle Oil!
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! Continue Reading
Wow, it’s been a minute since I published a bread recipe here at JustineCelina! Today I’m so happy to finally share one of the very first loaves I ever developed — seriously you guys, this recipe is ancient. It’s funny — there are so many old recipes like this that I’ve never had the chance to share with you! Currently I have about ten autumn recipes in my archives that have accumulated over the years — since I like to share things seasonally and don’t blog about food exclusively, you can see how they’d really add up. Well, this is one of them! My friends and family are very familiar with my Spiced Sweet Potato Bread recipe, however, this autumn I revamped it to be free of dairy, gluten (both of which I now have sensitivities to), refined sugar and oil. Sounds like a drag right?! Wrong!
My Gluten Free Spiced Sweet Potato Bread tastes like a beautifully spiced, indulgent, autumnal cake — I promise absolutely no one will know it’s a ‘free from’ recipe! A mega dose of nutritious, mashed sweet potatoes and decadent coconut milk mix and mingle with fall spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice to create a dense, cake-like loaf enjoyed by plant baser eaters, people with food allergies and sensitivities and anyone that loves delicious seasonal baking! If you’re looking for healthier or allergy free alternative to seasonal desserts for Thanksgiving or holiday festivities, this Gluten Free Spiced Sweet Potato Bread is my top recommendation. I brought it to a family Thanksgiving dinner and it was a hit — even the picky eaters and little ones loved it! It also makes a fantastic breakfast, snack or clean dessert anytime you’re craving something sweet, spicy and nourishing. If you’re in the mood to bake this weekend (bonus: it makes your home smell amazing!), fix yourself a delicious chai latte, haul out your mixing bowls and throw on your coziest sweater — I have just the recipe!
How was your Thanksgiving weekend, Canadian friends? We had a very busy one traveling all over Alberta celebrating with family and friends before heading to a mountain wedding on Sunday. So, today I’m so excited to bring you a new recipe inspired by my favourite Thanksgiving treat (that sadly I’m unable to fully enjoy due to my dairy and gluten intolerances!) — Plant Based Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites! I’m sure I wasn’t the only one looking to eat a bit cleaner and lighter this week after an indulgent weekend — and that’s was exactly the thinking behind this recipe! It offers all the flavours of traditional pumpkin pie, rolled up into a tasty, nutrition packed little bite. I created them for all my fellow plant based eaters who may also have food intolerances and sensitivities — these simple, no bake little balls of goodness are free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar and they seriously taste exactly like pumpkin pie!
If you love pumpkin pie so much you’d like to eat it for breakfast and dessert… and well, anytime you need a little extra fuel to power your busy lifestyle, this recipe is for you! My Plant Based Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites combine pumpkin puree with a powerhouse medley of nuts and seeds, oats, shredded coconut, medjool dates and local honey (or maple syrup, if you’re vegan!) with cozy, autumnal spices for a portable dose of pumpkin pie whenever and wherever you need it. Make them in bulk, freeze them, pack them for lunch (or for your childrens lunches!), or throw a few in a Ziplock bag and tuck them away in your purse for an autumn inspired, nourishing snack on the run! If you have 15 minutes and a well stocked pantry, I bet you can whip these tasty little bites up right now!