With the holidays just around the corner and the height of entertaining season upon us, I’m elated to share my go-to Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas in my first dedicated ENTERTAIN post in… gulp… 3 years! The absence of entertaining content here at JustineCelina in recent years has happened authentically, as we’ve scaled back on entertaining in general — simply because life is busy (I’m sure you can relate, especially at this time of year!). Although we love to have an apartment full of company eating, drinking and be merry during the holidays, I’m all about making this festive time of year as fun, stress free and healthy as possible — and that’s what this post is all about! Whether you’ve been with me for years or are new to my cozy little corner of the internet (welcome!), you’ll know I also love to incorporate better-for-you food and drink whenever we’re hosting or attending a party — because I believe in balance and mindful choices in every season of life.
Earlier this month as I pulled out our festive decor and entertaining essentials I discovered Kombrewcha — a delicious, 4.4% ABV hard kombucha made from organic ingredients. As a plant based eater with a sensitive stomach thanks to numerous food intolerances, I’ve long enjoyed kombucha as a way to help keep my digestion on track — especially during the holidays! I also love to mix this effervescent, probiotic-rich, fermented tea into my COCKTAILS (if you follow along with my Instagram Stories, you’ll know I’ve been developing kombucha cocktails since last summer!). This holiday season, I was absolutely delighted to find a better-for-you beverage that incorporates all of my libation must-haves (made from incredible ingredients and free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar!) in a convenient, ready-to-enjoy format. Tonight I’ve partnered with this new to Alberta brand to host a casual holiday dinner party and share my tried and true Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas — complete with my best decor, styling, hosting, food and drink, fashion and beauty tips to create a festive and memorable evening. Cheers to a happy, healthy and joyous holiday season!
As autumn comes to a close and the holiday season approaches, I’m back today with my Fall Harvest Bowls with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing — an inventive vegan entrée that combines some of my favourite seasonal ingredients in a nutritious, protein packed bowl! Although it’s been awhile since I’ve published a SALAD or BOWL recipe here at JustineCelina, if you follow along with my Stories, you’ve undoubtedly seen me whip these up almost weekly over the past few months. This recipe was originally conceived back in August when I was yearning for my first taste of fall flavours — and after many rounds of testing to make sure it was just right, I’m eager to share the perfected recipe with you!
My Fall Harvest Bowls with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing are an ultra nourishing, 30 minute vegan meal that beautifully showcase seasonal produce and pantry staples, but can be enjoyed year-round. A bed of baby spinach and arugula houses a hearty melange of black glutinous rice, chick peas, fresh apples and shredded carrots — topped off with a tanini-based Creamy Poppyseed Dressing, dried cranberries and roasted pecans. If you’re into meal prepping, you can also whip up a large batch of rice and multiple batches of dressing on the weekend — and have healthy, effortless weekday dinners and hearty lunch options sorted for the week. Come join me in my kitchen for a fresh, vegan bowl brimming with nutrients that celebrates late autumn while fueling you up for the busy holiday season ahead!
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.
Lately I find myself craving simplicity in all areas of life, including what I fuel my body with. My no-bake Hazelnut Oatmeal Golden Raisin Energy Bites are reminiscent of your favourite cookie, elevated with a healthy, plant based, protein-packed, antioxidant-rich spin! This incredibly easy recipe comes together in just 10 minutes with 9 intensively nourishing ingredients — including fibre-rich quick oats, omega-packed flax meal, my new favourite vanilla protein powder, Bulk Barn’s decadent hazelnut butter (my most recent culinary obsession!), scrumptious golden raisins, pure Canadian maple syrup, creamy vanilla extract, Himalayan pink salt and a kiss of cinnamon. As always, they’re free free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and absolutely delish!
I’ve been really inspired in the kitchen lately and have so many recipes I’m excited to share this season, but these golden balls of energy have become a staple (if you follow along with my Stories, you’ll know how many times I’ve whipped these up recently!). I love to meal prep a batch on Sundays to ensure I have a quick snack or post-workout fuel whenever I need it. Sometimes I even make a double batch and freeze them! In fact, I’m headed out to finish photographing the second part of my Spring 2019 Lookbook this afternoon and have a few tucked away in my bag for a quick, nourishing snack on the run. Add the ingredients to your grocery list and whip these tasty little bites up today for a wholesome, nourishing, family-friendly snack you can enjoy all week! Join me today for my new favourite energy bite recipe and a chat about sustainability, zero-waste and the little changes I’ve been making to reduce my environmental impact.
This year, one of my goals is to get more of my tried and true recipes out of my recipe box and onto these pages. I currently have 50+ recipes in my archives and am always whipping up something new, but eventually I will get around to sharing them all (I’m also working on a fun recipe-based project, set to launch later this year!). My Vegan Cardamom Carrot Cake Smoothie is an ancient recipe hailing from my pre-blogging days when I used to just post my recipes on Instagram with pictures I took on my iPhone. It became a fast favourite in our kitchen that we eventually forgot about during the process of starting JustineCelina and deep-diving into recipe development. Earlier this year I pulled this recipe out of my archives and threw it back into testing so I could finally publish it this spring — and I’m so glad I did, because this rediscovered gem has become a staple!
My Vegan Cardamom Carrot Cake Smoothie tastes exactly like carrot cake batter but is packed full of heart healthy, anti-aging, digestion-aiding ingredients. Gorgeous heirloom carrots, hearty pear and fresh ginger combine with frozen bananas, pineapple, gluten free quick oats, vanilla protein powder, creamy cashew milk, dried apricots, a splash of bright lemon and a medley of warming, anti-inflammatory spices to create a nourishing, spring-inspired smoothie. The next time you’re craving the essence of carrot cake, indulge in this sweet and spicy smoothie to treat yourself to some incredible health benefits!
Wow, it’s been a hot minute since I published a salad or bowl recipe! As a plant-based eater, I truly live on fruits and vegetables, but often feel many of my everyday meals may be too simple to publish and therefore they don’t make their way to these pages. This winter has been laden with soups, slow cooker creations and tons of roasted vegetables — and as it draws to a close, I find myself craving bright, fresh, spring-inspired flavours! I initially whipped up this salad after a workout (did you know you can browse my favourite home-based workouts here?) when we were low on groceries, so I cleaned out the fridge and rummaged through the pantry to pull together a meal — and the results were surprisingly delicious. When I shared my impromptu lunch over on Stories I received an overwhelming response about your interest in ultra simple lunch ideas! So, I tested these experimental bowls a few more times to make sure they were just right — and they’ve since become an all-time-favourite in the JustineCelina kitchen!
My Vegan Power Salad with Lemon Dill Dressing is a raw, protein packed, ultra simple, seasonless bowl full of plant-based goodness that can be on your table in less than 20 minutes! Chick peas, green lentils, broccoli, orange pepper, red onion, garlic stuffed olives and an abundance of fresh dill combine with a zingy, lemon based dressing to create a powerhouse vegan salad brimming with clean, lean protein, fiber and vitamins. The best part? There’s absolutely no planning ahead or cooking involved and you may just have all the ingredients on hand. Lighten up your weekly meal plan as we transition into spring with this flavourful, herb-forward, hearty salad — prep it this weekend and you’ll have healthy lunches sorted for the week!
Clean COCKTAIL lovers, I’m back with 2019’s first better-for-you libation! I’ve actually been testing my Gingered Cara Cara Grapefruit Paloma since last February — but because my recipe testing process is so intense, believe it or not, my star ingredients went out of season by the time I had it perfected (call me crazy, but that’s how committed I am to the perfect cocktail!). So, I waited until the height of citrus season this year to publish the recipe — and I’m so glad I did, because the results are absolutely delicious!
Have you ever had (or heard of) a Paloma? In true JustineCelina style, I’ve elevated this traditional Mexican cocktail with a fresh, plant-based, seasonal spin. My Gingered Cara Cara Grapefruit Paloma is a simple, refined sugar free, 6 ingredient ode to citrus season in cocktail form! Freshly squeezed Cara Cara orange, Ruby Red grapefruit and vibrant lime juice combine with Reposado tequila, spicy ginger beer and a Himalayan pink salted rim to create a jubilant, citrus-centric tipple bursting with vivacious Spanish flavour. Escape the depths of our Canadian winter and transport yourself to a sun-drenched, white sandy beach in just 10 minutes — no plane tickets required!