GIANT VEGAN MUSHROOM MEATBALLS & GARLIC BREAD - The First Mess #veganrecipes #healthyrecipespin it!GIANT VEGAN MUSHROOM MEATBALLS & GARLIC BREAD - The First Mess #veganrecipes #healthyrecipespin it!View full post »

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  • Cathy16/01/2019 - 6:49 pm

    For what it’s worth as I am not really a social media kind of gal, I ADORE YOU and your recipes and cannot live without them!! Well, that is stretching it a bit… I cook vegan food for my employer (chiropractor) once a week and usually have at least one of your recipes on board. So, basically, you get all the credit and I wanted to say Thank you for what you do!!
    I hope your 2019 is prosperous and peaceful.

    Thank you again and again,

  • Ashley16/01/2019 - 7:29 pm

    You are my go to for comfort food. First, I made my first ever successful vegan cinnamon rolls on Christmas. Then this week, I make bomb bbq cauliflower salad. And now this?! I can’t wait to give it a try!ReplyCancel

  • cindy17/01/2019 - 1:49 pm

    I am so making this!!! I just bought your cookbook and have bookmarked about half of it to make. I’m so impressed with your creativity, photography, energy and writing. I’ve been a vegetarian for 25 years now and have fallen into a routine with the things I make. I didn’t even think I could go vegan because I love yogurt and cheese but, with your amazing recipes, I think I can mostly do it. Thank you for doing this. I ready your story. Sometimes all it takes is a little push from someone and bam, you’re off on an adventure that is life changing for both yourself and everyone you touch.
    People – buy the cookbook – it’s amazing!!!ReplyCancel

MASALA ROOIBOS CHAI LATTE & CONCENTRATE - The First Mess #vegan #dairyfree #healthyrecipespin it!MASALA ROOIBOS CHAI LATTE & CONCENTRATE - The First Mess #vegan #dairyfree #healthyrecipespin it!View full post »

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  • Kristin12/01/2019 - 12:25 pm

    I look forward to your beverage+links posts — thanks for keeping this series going!ReplyCancel

    • Laura15/01/2019 - 7:34 pm

      So glad that you’re enjoying it Kristin! Thanks for this <3

  • Lily Diamond12/01/2019 - 12:49 pm

    Thank you for my weekend beverage, reading, and listening, my friend. Also: I want to make literally everything you’ve posted this week. And thanks for the link love ❤️❤️❤️.ReplyCancel

  • Almila Kakinc-Dodd12/01/2019 - 9:11 pm

    Yes to the bounty that feeds our vision and our minds with this round-up. Ever grateful for supporting our piece & your presence in the empowering and cosy corner of the often overwhelming WWW.ReplyCancel

  • Eva O' Brien12/01/2019 - 10:02 pm

    We’re big chai-makers in this house, and this recipe looks perfect! Thank you! We also like to add a piece of chaga to our brew (we find it a lot growing on birch trees in the woods around here, lucky us!), it gives it a nice deep colour and taste, and of course oodles of health benefits.
    Have a beautiful Sunday :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura14/01/2019 - 8:59 am

      I love that, Eva! Good for boosting the immune system this time of year :)

  • Kim13/01/2019 - 9:24 pm

    Hi there I love chai and as someone who can’t dribk caffeine LOVE this option which will help my bridgehead spending habit I’ve gotten into. To clarify – is it loose rooibos tea you add to the pot? Much thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura14/01/2019 - 8:58 am

      Hi Kim,
      Thank you for this! Yes, it is loose leaf tea.


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  • Krystal09/01/2019 - 10:56 am

    You had me at pickled jalapeño ranch. ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/01/2019 - 8:23 am

      It’s my favourite thing in the whole world right now! So good on grain bowls, veggie burgers, as a raw veggie dip… so many things :)

  • Emily09/01/2019 - 12:08 pm

    I love that the cauliflower are not fried! They look absolutely delicious and much healthier than versions that require frying. I am definitely trying this at home!ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/01/2019 - 8:24 am

      They still get that nice bit of crunch/crispness on the edge too. Not totally the same as fried, but still so delicious. Hope you try it an enjoy!

  • Karlie09/01/2019 - 5:07 pm

    This salad looks AMAZING! Do you pickle the jalapenõs yourself or do you buy them that way?ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/01/2019 - 8:25 am

      I buy them pickled! Trader Joe’s has these hot and sweet ones that are unreal. SO good! I’m sure it’s really easy to pickle them yourself though.

  • Jeannine Billups09/01/2019 - 7:39 pm

    I’ve only made the Pickled jalapeno ranch so far and it’s AMAZING!!! How long will this last in the fridge?ReplyCancel

    • Laura10/01/2019 - 8:26 am

      So glad you like it! It will keep for 5-6 days.

  • Elizabeth10/01/2019 - 6:48 pm

    I am soooo not a salad person. I’m vegan and I love veggies, but even the most beautiful salads leave me feeling unsatisfied. That being said, this salad looks amazing to me. I can’t wait to try it!ReplyCancel

  • Heather10/01/2019 - 7:02 pm

    I’ve been Marie Kondo-ing my whole house EXCEPT my kitchen for the past week. It feels really good, but my kitchen is my safe space, my sentimental space, my CHURCH. ehhhh, a bit dramatic but you catch my drift.

    I appreciate the attempt to work with what you’re workin with though, and in the case of chickpea flour I’m stoked bc I actually have that (unlike cassava). So thank you! (and thank you sweet sweet Marie for her inspiration to us all) Looking forward to making this.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica11/01/2019 - 1:09 pm

    We had this for dinner last night and it was delicious! Three carrots from all of us! Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah11/01/2019 - 5:34 pm

    This looks great except I’m allergic to cashews, do you have a replacement idea?ReplyCancel

    • Laura11/01/2019 - 8:28 pm

      Macadamia nuts, pine nuts, raw sunflower seeds, or even good quality tahini would all be great! If you’re going with tahini, I’d start with 1/3 cup and add more if you think you need it. You can blend and taste as you go.

  • Allison Iris-Fong13/01/2019 - 3:07 pm

    This looks so good and exactly the kind of meal I need right now! Question – My body doesn’t do so well with chickpeas, is there a substitute for the chickpea flour?ReplyCancel

    • Laura14/01/2019 - 8:57 am

      Hi Allison, I have made this with both Cassava flour and brown rice flour and it the recipe still came out great.

  • Amanda Maguire16/01/2019 - 11:38 am

    My mouth is literally watering from this recipe. It’s not a “I want to make this” feeling either, it’s “I NEED to make this RIGHT NOW.” I think I will add it to my weekend to-dos. Ha! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Ellen16/01/2019 - 11:16 pm

    Delicious! Used franks/butter combo for the cauliflower instead of BBQ-but other than that followed the recipe. It was very filling.ReplyCancel

pin it!HEARTY CHOCOLATE OAT SMOOTHIE - The First Messpin it!View full post »

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  • Kathryn Mader05/01/2019 - 3:41 pm

    Am drinking this as I type. Delicious! Thank you because I love nothing better than a chocolate smoothie.ReplyCancel

  • jacquie05/01/2019 - 3:41 pm

    Hi – that shake looks so great but i don’t use banana’s. Is there something i can use as a substitute?


    • helen05/01/2019 - 6:57 pm

      maybe try some avocadoReplyCancel

    • Laura06/01/2019 - 10:35 am

      In the recipe notes I suggest frozen cauliflower or zucchini. You may have to add a date or something similar to sweeten it up. If you’re up for it, cooked and then frozen sweet potatoes substitute beautifully for bananas (if you like the taste). I also love diced frozen pear as a smoothie thickener and I think it would work well here. I’ve heard of people using firm tofu as a thickener for smoothies as well!

  • Katrina Newman06/01/2019 - 7:40 am

    Do you think you could lose the banana altogether? I’ve never liked them.ReplyCancel

    • Laura06/01/2019 - 10:37 am

      Hi Katrina! See my suggestions to Jacquie above. Helen’s suggestion of avocado is also great! You may want to add a date or something to adjust for the sweetness there.

  • […] Hearty Chocolate Oat Smoothie on The First Mess.  Such a treat! […]ReplyCancel

  • christiane06/01/2019 - 1:35 pm

    Made it this morning as a snack since my 3 years old son was asking for chocolate. Made as is without the ice and it is absolutely delicious!!!
    yum, the banana is sweet enough so I did not need to add any dates or other sweetener. It sure satisfies my sweet tooth in a healthy way.


  • Jodie07/01/2019 - 11:20 am

    Hands down the best smoothie I’ve ever made. Thank you! Ticked off a ton of pregnancy nutritional requirements and made this pregnant lady very happy!ReplyCancel

  • […] kitchen has been, too. I’ve made and liked the following: hearty chocolate oat smoothie from The First Mess, matcha cocoa from the Buttered Side Up blog and rooibos cardamom blender latte from Nyssa’s […]ReplyCancel


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  • Heather McClees02/01/2019 - 5:27 am

    This is gorgeous! I love the vibrant color and I love lentils to no end. Happy 2019, Laura! Can’t wait to see what you do this year. PS: I am loving having your cookbook in my home too. Seriously one of the most beautiful cookbooks I own. <3ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/01/2019 - 10:59 am

      So glad that you’re enjoying the cookbook, Heather! Thanks so much and happy new year to you as well <3

  • Erin02/01/2019 - 9:25 am

    I was in bed well before midnight on New Year’s Eve too – loved it! Made my New Year’s Day much nicer. :) Happy 2019!ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/01/2019 - 11:02 am

      It’s soooo much nicer to wake up fully alert and ready to start dreaming and planning for the year ahead. Also, because I’m over the age of 30, anything in excess of 2 glasses of wine means I’m glued to the couch the next day lol. Happy new year, Erin!

  • Susan Dodia02/01/2019 - 9:47 am

    Question – we are having an ice storm today and I can’t get to the grocery store. I have just about everything to make this, but I don’t have green lentils. I do have red and yellow lentils. Would either of these make a decent substitute?ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/01/2019 - 10:58 am

      Hi Susan!
      Yellow and red lentils are both “split” varieties, so they will cook faster and become soft to the point of falling apart. It will definitely make the stew creamier! You just won’t get whole lentils with a bit of chew like in the original recipe. Also, red lentils will probably change the bright green colour of the finished soup to more of a brown, but if that’s not a concern to you then don’t worry about it! The stew will still taste great. Stay warm and cozy! :)

  • Aleisha02/01/2019 - 10:28 am

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this and thank you soooooo much for the Instant Pot instructions. Please keep the Instant Pot recipes coming!!!ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/01/2019 - 11:02 am

      Let us know if you try the Instant Pot variation! I freakin’ love mine so there will definitely be more IP goodness in 2019 :D

  • Nicole R02/01/2019 - 11:25 am

    How do you always know exactly what I want to eat? I think this is dinner tonight. Thank you for continuing to share not just your wonderful recipes, but the glimmers of yourself that make your writing so interesting. I know that everything is moving away from blogs toward shorter formats like Instagram, but I love the longer format. Whether you use your reclaimed time to write more blog posts or not, I hope the year ahead brings you satisfaction.ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/01/2019 - 12:46 pm

      Thank you for this kind note, Nicole! I will always love the long format, even if it’s considered old fashioned at this point ;) Happy new year to you.

  • Sadie Jumper02/01/2019 - 1:46 pm

    Wow! This looks fantastic- I can almost taste it, the pictures are so vivid. Definitely going into next week’s menu.ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/01/2019 - 3:10 pm

      Thanks so much, Sadie! Hope you give it a try :)

  • Susan Bittker02/01/2019 - 2:37 pm

    Hi again, Laura – I’ve just made this, and it’s amazing: it took around half an hour from start to finish. What a genius idea to add tahini and lemon juice. The tahini lends richness and a jolt of protein, and the lemon juice lifts it so it doesn’t stick to the ribs so hard. I also added a bit of Korean pepper oil because I like a bit of heat, and some liquid smoke, which is one of my favourite seasoning. This is the lentil stew of dreams!ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/01/2019 - 3:11 pm

      Thanks for this great feedback, Susan. I like a bit of hot sauce or chili oil on top of mine too–although I like hot stuff on almost everything haha. So happy that you enjoyed it!

  • Beverley Haun02/01/2019 - 4:29 pm

    Can you suggest a tahini substitute? My foolish body reacts adversely to sesame, and to most nuts. I can do sunflower seeds.ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/01/2019 - 4:45 pm

      Hi Beverly!,
      I honestly think you could leave the tahini out entirely and the stew would still be super thick and creamy. You can always taste it without and see how you like it. If you think it needs a bit more creaminess from there, you can stir in some unsweetened sunflower seed butter.

  • Robert Harllee02/01/2019 - 10:41 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was just as advertised and we loved it. Since I was out of celery, I used a bit of shredded celery root. It smelled divine cooking. Next time we are going to use in place of the parsley in the lentils this super peppery arugula home grown from seeds from The Southern Seed Exchange in our hydroponic grow tower. When we thought of doing this we all grinned in anticipation. Cheers!ReplyCancel

    • Laura03/01/2019 - 8:23 am

      So glad you loved it, Robert! Really peppery arugula would be so delicious in this stew. Thanks for reporting back!

  • Sandi03/01/2019 - 7:04 pm

    This looks really good!!
    Question: what is FOMO? ( as in “not the slightest itch of—-“)

    Just wondered…..ReplyCancel

    • Laura04/01/2019 - 10:15 am

      Hi Sandi! It stands for Fear Of Missing Out :)

  • Katherine Duckett03/01/2019 - 9:40 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight and we all loved it! Used the Instant Pot directions and it turned out so delicious. Thank you for the wonderful and healthy recipe. Great way to start the New Year. I have never made a recipe I don’t like from your blog – always so good.ReplyCancel

    • Laura04/01/2019 - 10:37 am

      Thanks so much for this note, Katherine! Glad that the Instant Pot variation worked out and that all of your people enjoyed it :D

  • Julie03/01/2019 - 10:36 pm

    Made this tonight and it was delicious. I ran out of lentils so I used split mung beans. Also I subbed rutabaga for the potato. And the basil I bought from the grocery store mysteriously disappeared and so I used dried basil. Still good!ReplyCancel

    • Laura04/01/2019 - 10:14 am

      So glad you enjoyed it and appreciate your substitution notes!

  • Emily M04/01/2019 - 2:15 pm

    I made this last night and everyone loved it! the gremolata/olive oil finish made something simple look very elegant. Would highly recommend to anyone, veganuary or not :) we ate it with some grilled steelhead trout for a little extra protein. Thanks, Laura!ReplyCancel

    • Laura04/01/2019 - 2:58 pm

      So glad that you enjoyed it, Emily! Thanks for leaving this comment <3

  • Susan Dodia05/01/2019 - 4:57 pm

    I made this two days ago and it was awful, I ended up throwing the rest of it out, it tasted like paste. It smelled great while it was cooking, but I think adding the tahini killed it – it masked the taste of all the herbs and spices and just made it super bland. In the end, it tasted like gremolata on paste. Really disappointed.ReplyCancel

    • Jessi M05/01/2019 - 11:16 pm

      I had the same experience. Smelled great, tastes really bland/bad. Even with the lemon juice it’s just flat. If I had to do it over again I wouldn’t add the tahini, would add some red pepper flakes and double the herbs.ReplyCancel

      • Jessi M07/01/2019 - 3:17 pm

        Update: I heavily salted and hot-sauced the leftovers and it’s edible :) I won’t be making it again, but salvage instructions for others who didn’t enjoy it! Thanks for replying Laura!ReplyCancel

    • Laura06/01/2019 - 10:33 am

      Susan and Jessi: I’m so sorry that this recipe wasn’t to your taste! Soups and stews really do come down to seasoning and adjusting with lemon, salt, chili, tamari, broth etc., and perhaps my instructions were not clear enough on that. And maybe the tahini is just a very personal thing, because there have been a lot of positive reviews on this recipe here and through social media. I will update and emphasize notes on seasoning in the recipe instructions for those who approach this in the future. I really do appreciate your feedback.

      • Lauren06/01/2019 - 2:11 pm

        I just made it and it’s SO SO delicious!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sonja08/01/2019 - 4:13 pm

    This was lovely. I didn’t have enough spinach so it was slightly lighter green in colour. Cooking with tahini is new for me and I was looking for recipes to try the rest of a jar. I maybe a bit less than the recipe called for though. Wish I had some chilli flakes as think that would be good. Subbed the basil for fresh coriander which worked well. A hearty winter stew!!ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/01/2019 - 5:40 pm

      Thanks so much for this Sonja! Coriander would be so great with this combination of flavours. Great substitution!

  • Ann10/01/2019 - 1:01 pm

    I made this for dinner one night and didn’t have any lemons and it was good. I made it again with the lemon and it was AMAZING!ReplyCancel

  • […] Green Lentil Stew with Spinach, Tahini & Lemon by The First Mess.  *green heart emoji* […]ReplyCancel

  • Chrissy14/01/2019 - 10:10 pm

    Hi Laura! BEAUTIFUL recipe! Made it tonight for dinner and am in love! Thank you so much! So bright and hearty and healthy and delicious!

    All the love,