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!
After an indulgent holiday season, I always look forward to getting back on track and into a routine that supports my overall well being in January. During the first week of each new year, I find myself searching my FOOD archives for my healthiest winter recipes — and know you’re doing the same, as my views on these posts skyrocket. So, I created my 20+ Healthy Recipes to Kick Start The New Year roundup! This mega post contains over 20 of my healthiest, freshest, plant-based recipes incorporating all the gorgeous seasonal produce available to us in early January, for easy browsing reference. From breakfast through dinner, with nourishing snacks, fresh juices and smoothies along the way, you’ll find everything you need to create a healthy January meal plan in this post! As always, my recipes are free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and most are vegetarian / vegan. I’ve indicated these categories in this post with convenient labels so you can easily find what you’re looking for!
Although I do my best to maintain my plant-based diet over the holidays, I firmly believe in balance — you better believe I indulge in my fair share of treats as well! As someone with dairy and gluten sensitivities, I find my digestion can easily get thrown out of whack when I’m not being as mindful while I’m eating, drink and being merry. My favourite ways to kick start my metabolism and get things running smoothly again is by treating my body to lots of colourful fruits and veggies, juices and smoothies, hearty salads and bowls, plant-based entrées and simple, wholesome soups. I also aim to keep my snacking to a minimum and give the baking and the booze a rest (you won’t find any snacks, baking or cocktail recipes in this roundup). Who else is having a dry January this year? If you’re in need of some fresh recipes to help fuel these first few weeks of the new year with intention, you’ve come to the right place — pour yourself a mug of herbal tea and come peruse my all-time-favourite, nourishing winter recipes!
In preparation for the holidays each year, I relish in the process of pouring over all the festive content I’ve created here at JustineCelina over the past 5 years to get inspired (now 25 posts and counting!). Given all the challenges 2020 has presented, I wasn’t surprised to see my holiday content trending earlier than ever, as people seem to be craving an an extra dose of joy this season. So, I thought it was the perfect time to update my Ultimate Holiday Inspiration Roundup post, featuring a collection of my favourite holiday-themed posts across categories, for easy browsing reference! Although this Christmas in quarantine is unlike any we’ve experienced before, I’m committed to finding joy, continuing to create and make things beautiful, embracing new traditions and making new at-home memories — and I hope I can inspire you to do the same. If you’re looking for creative, fun and attainable ideas to inspire you to eat, drink, DIY, decorate, entertain (within your own household!), dress and glam in style this holiday season, you’ve come to the right place!
Whether you’re in search of modern decor ideas, casual holiday-at-home outfit ideas, how to choose the perfect red lip, gift ideas for the ladies in your life, easy cocktails or plant-based festive recipes, simple DIY projects, flower arranging tips, or entertaining inspiration for 2 – 4, I’ve got you covered! You know the drill — put on your coziest robe, pour yourself a delicious glass of your favourite festive libation (may I suggest my Homemade Dairy Free Coconut Rum Eggnog?) and cozy up with me to celebrate the holidays JustineCelina style. Cheers to a happy, healthy and joyous holiday season!