Happy winter solstice, beautiful people! I’m back today with my Homemade Dairy Free Coconut Rum Eggnog — a festive holiday beverage that’s been in my family for decades, but has recently undergone a contemporary, plant-based makeover! I have so many cherished memories of our neighbours making this eggnog for everyone on our country road to enjoy on Christmas Eve (it never lasted long!). Unfortunately, over the years as I developed a dairy sensitivity I was no longer able indulge — that is, until last holiday season! I decided it was about time to give my favourite eggnog recipe a clean, dairy-free makeover by swapping milk and heavy creams with coconut-based alternatives, regular eggs for the free-run, local, farm-fresh variety, table sugar with 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, spiced rum for Eau Claire Distillery’s seasonal, Limited Edition Gin Rummy, infusing our homemade eggnog with cinnamon sticks and topping it off with decedent dark chocolate shavings. As always, this festive cocktail is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and has become my favourite healthier holiday indulgence!
We actually perfected this recipe last holiday season (who remembers the Stories?!) shortly after I discovered Eau Claire Distillery (I’ve since used almost every single spirit they make in my COCKTAILS!). During our lazy, cozy days in the country between Christmas and New Years Eve, I took a trip to the visit their distillery in Turner Valley with my Mom (who loves gin) and my brother (who was home from New York and loves cocktails) for a tour and tasting — and that’s where my love affair with these incredible, farm-to-glass, artisinal spirits began. For their Christmas presents, my Mom and brother chose a bottle of their favourite spirit, on me. Gin Rummy was Jared’s spirit of choice — a unique, wintery, gin-meets-rum remix boasting warm notes of winter spice with a botanical, herbaceous backdrop. It was actually this limited edition spirit that inspired the makeover of our favourite holiday eggnog recipe — as soon as it hit my lips, I knew it was the missing ingredient! As we enjoyed the second batch of experimental eggnog for New Years Eve, my family confessed they actually liked it better than the original version — and that’s when I knew I had to share our update Homemade Dairy Free Coconut Rum Eggnog with you! To celebrate our one year anniversary and thank you for your support this year, I’ve teamed up with Eau Claire Distillery to give away a bottle of Limited Edition Gin Rummy, along with a Tour & Tasting for 2 at Turner Valley’s Eau Claire Distillery (check out the bottom of this post for details on how to enter!). Cheers and happy holidays!
It’s been almost exactly one year since I published a baking recipe — but I promise, my Gluten Free Pumpkin Turmeric Muffins are worth the wait! Believe it or not, I’ve never actually baked with pumpkin here at JustineCelina, although I have integrated it into seasonal breakfast bowls, smoothies and energy bites (what can I say — I love pumpkin!). And what’s not to love? Besides being incredibly delicious, it’s also brimming with along with loads of fiber, vitamins A, B6, C and E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron (great for us plant-based eaters!), magnesium, phosphorus riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese. Coupled with the mega dose of healing, anti-inflammatory turmeric, fresh ginger and classic fall spices at play, these seasonal muffins also boast a wide array of health benefits and medicinal, healing qualities. I’ve mentioned many times previously that I believe you can treat yourself and nourish yourself at the same time — and these sweet n’ spicy seasonal muffins are the perfect example of that!
My Gluten Free Pumpkin Turmeric Muffins are free of dairy, gluten, refined sugar and oil — and a fantastic way to start your day while sneaking in tons of nutrition, even when you’re on the run! With the holidays just around the corner, these are incredibly busy times and I’m always looking for simple, nutritious options to help me stay on track with my health and fitness goals. Pumpkin puree (use a good quality store bought version, or snag my easy homemade recipe here), pure Canadian maple syrup, decadent coconut milk, freshly grated ginger and a kiss of pure vanilla combine with warming fall spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice to create a light and fluffy, plant based muffin to help you power through your day. Enjoy them at breakfast, as a mid-day snack, or as a lighter alternative to more calorie-laden pumpkin-based desserts. This deceptively ‘free from’ recipe and can be enjoyed by plant-baser eaters, people with food allergies and sensitivities and anyone that loves delicious seasonal baking!
Autumn definitely is upon us here in Calgary. The leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping and I find myself craving all things cozy. Cashmere clad, I’ve been pouring over my recipe archives and adding all of our favourite fall recipes to the menu! If you follow along with my socials, you’ve likely seen them trickle into my feeds, but today I wanted to try something different and round up my 20+ Favourite Plant Based Fall Recipes for you here at JustineCelina for easy reference! It’s been so much fun taking a walk down memory lane and digging up my old recipes (and old, pre-professional photos — don’t judge me!) to appreciate just how far I’ve come on my blogging and recipe development journey over the past 3 and a half years!
While I’m always working on something new (currently I have 8 autumn recipes in testing!), I’ve also published so many incredible recipes over the years here JustineCelina — and I’ve scoured my virtual recipe box to share the very best of the season with you! I’ve rounded up my all-time-favourite fall recipes across culinary categories, from breakfast through happy hour. My recipes are free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar and simple, seasonal and packed full of awesome, fresh ingredients — perfect to make after a weekend grocery run or trip to the farmer’s market! If you’re looking for some fresh, plant based culinary inspiration this fall, you’ve come to the right place. From my kitchen (and they kitchens of 10 of my Canadian food blogger buds!) to yours, I hope this roundup inspires you enjoy autumn in all its abundance.
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!