THE PERFECT CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE FROM “SIMPLY VIBRANT”

The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake (vegan + gluten-free, date-sweetened) from "Simply Vibrant" - The First Messpin it!The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake (vegan + gluten-free, date-sweetened) from "Simply Vibrant" - The First Messpin it!Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassofpin it!Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassofpin it!Squeezed - The First Messpin it!
I needed this vegan chocolate cake recipe in my life. Mostly because: cake, but also because its inherent virtuousness (still talking abut cake) really uplifted and inspired me.

I used to focus a lot of energy on making vegan desserts that were also somewhat nutritionally virtuous. I would exasperate myself beyond belief doing it! (see these cookies) I don’t have the patience for the trials and errors of baking, especially when you start taking away gluten, sugar etc. I told myself that if I was going to enjoy a treat, I would just make it an all caps, full-on, sugar and everything T-R-E-A-T. I reassured myself that hearty savouries were my strong suit, and that healthy desserts weren’t worth my time and energy anymore.

But this cake. It’s fudge-y, dense, undeniably chocolaty with so much beautiful fragrance from fresh orange, and it’s easy to make! It’s also entirely sweetened with a mix of dates , applesauce, and orange juice. Another thing: it’s gluten-free! And vegan, obviously. The level of achievement this cake ascends to… it’s exhausting and awesome.

And I can’t even take credit for it! The recipe is from the brand new cookbook by Anya Kassoff of the Golubka Kitchen blog, with transcendent photography by her daughter Masha Davydova. I’m very bad at staying up to date with everything in blog land, but I always check when Anya has updates. Her recipes hit the right note of produce-focused, perfectly attuned to what level of satisfaction the season demands, and very smart flavor pairings.

I had seen an earlier galley of Simply Vibrant, but I didn’t know how much I needed this dose of inspiration until the physical book showed up at my door. We’re in that deep, lingering last stretch of Winter, and I’m admittedly slipping into a staid routine with all of our meals. Anya’s style speaks to exactly what we’re all craving I think: seasonal shifts on international flavours, streamlined and intuitive cooking methods, and a nourishing plant-powered undercurrent that is present but not in-your-face.

Even the section breakdown of the book speaks to the way that I think a lot of us find ourselves eating these days (Morning Porridges & Pancakes, Salads & Bowls, Just Veggies, and a chapter devoted to Noodles, Pasta & Pizza, among others).  Recipes I’m looking at for the near future Broccoli Stem Riceless Risotto, the Gluten-Free Onion Pizza Crust technique, Creamy Steel Cut Oats with Rainbow Chard and Pine Nuts, and the Tomato and Eggplant Green Mung Dal.

I can tell you with certainty that Anya’s recipes are foolproof. For a person that owns many cookbooks and blogs about food for a living, it (surprisingly!) takes a very special body of work to get me to cook from a recipe to a tee night after night. Simply Vibrant inspires me to do that. This book is going to be my new fave for a long time.

The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cake (vegan + gluten-free, date-sweetened) from "Simply Vibrant" - The First Messpin it!The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cake (vegan + gluten-free, date-sweetened) from "Simply Vibrant" - The First Messpin it!The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cake (vegan + gluten-free, date-sweetened) from "Simply Vibrant" - The First Messpin it!The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cake (vegan + gluten-free, date-sweetened) from "Simply Vibrant" - The First Messpin it!The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake (vegan + gluten-free, date-sweetened) from "Simply Vibrant" - The First Messpin it!The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake (vegan + gluten-free, date-sweetened) from "Simply Vibrant" - The First Messpin it!
THE PERFECT CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE
Reprinted from Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff (affiliate link)
Print the recipe here!
SERVES: Makes 1 bundt cake, or 10 mini bundts
NOTES: Anya’s original recipe calls for one big bundt cake, and I’ve left the baking time/instructions for that version here. If you have mini bundts like I do (this pan by Nordic Ware), I’ll let you know that I got 10 total out of this recipe, and that they took about 18-20 minutes to cook.
-This cake is for lovers of chocolate + orange together. There’s just no way around it!
-Skip the chocolate sauce glaze at the end if you want this to be totally sugar-free.
-To make this nut-free, I recommend replacing the almond flour with sunflower seed flour, which I talk about making in this post. Anya notes that you can just use more brown rice flour as well!
-Anya suggests garnishing the cake with chopped pistachios and more orange zest. I used dried rose petals because I was out of pistachios, but also because ROMANCE.

FOR THE CAKE:
1 cup soft Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons neutral coconut oil, at room temperature, plus extra for oiling the pan
1 cup brown rice flour
½ cup almond flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of sea salt
zest of 1-2 oranges
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
⅓ cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

FOR THE GLAZE:
¼ cup finely chopped dark chocolate
1 teaspoon neutral coconut oil

Soak the dates in hot purified water for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a bundt pan with coconut oil.

Combine the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a large bowl; mix thoroughly.

Reserve ½ cup of the date soaking water and add it to a blender along with the drained dates and orange juice; blend until smooth. Add the applesauce, coconut oil, and balsamic vinegar, and pulse to combine. Pour the date mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan, transfer it to the oven, and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for at least 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a plate or cake stand.

Make the glaze: Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler setup until liquified and combined. Pour the glaze over the cake and garnish as you please (more orange zest, chopped pistachios or dried rose petals).

 

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  • Debbie D10/02/2018 - 5:18 am

    I can’t think of a recipe that gets me out of a rut. I have been trying several recipes each week. Last week was Greek. Week before was Moroccan. Not sure what this week will be. There are a couple of recipes that are my go to. One is a tofu sunflower seed butter spicy dish that tastes like a spicy, Asian peanut dish (I don’t do peanuts). Love, love, love it! In fact, just thinking about it is making my mouth water. May have to make it this week!ReplyCancel

  • Nina10/02/2018 - 5:42 am

    Hi, thanks for the posting. I ha e to avoid coconut oil and dairy butter, do you think could I substitute with Rapeseed (Canola) oil?ReplyCancel

    • Bernadette10/02/2018 - 10:19 am

      OMG, stay away from Canola oil! The industry is trying to claim it’s healthy, but it’s not. Not even the “organic” one. Try avocado oil instead. I use it all the time when I want a mild oil that doesn’t alter the flavor of my foods. It’s also great for sautéeing, frying, etc. because it has a very high heat cooking temp. & it’s very healthy. I use it for just about everything.ReplyCancel

      • Laura10/02/2018 - 11:00 am

        I agree with Bernadette on avocado oil! I use it all the time in both baking and cooking. If you can get a good local sunflower oil in your area, that’s also a great option.
        -LReplyCancel

  • Karlie10/02/2018 - 5:58 am

    Definitely baking or making a fancy meal of some sort. Reminds me how much I enjoy the slow process of cooking. These look beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Hélène10/02/2018 - 6:06 am

    My favorite recipe would be soup ! Never seems to fail meReplyCancel

  • Anja10/02/2018 - 6:16 am

    Homemade Pizza always gets me out of my rut! There’s endless possibilities, it’s so versatile and it requires so much time and love! Making the dough from scratch, watching it rise and kneading the sweet soft yeasty ball is just the most satisfying thing ever. My favorite thing is to gather the whole family in the kitchen and let everyone create their own pizza with a huge buffet of toppings. Plus, living in a no-oven, tiny kitchen apartment makes using the home oven back at my parents’ extra special. :) I’ve already got my eye on the sweet potato crust pizza in Anya’s gorgeous book.. ;) Love, AnjaReplyCancel

  • Nidhi Behl10/02/2018 - 6:45 am

    My to go recipe to escape from a meh kitchen phase is definitely a rendition of my childhood favourite, khichadi! Lentils + Veggies + Basmati Rice cooked quickly in the pressure cooker and topped with a “tadka” or tempering of ghee+ caraway seeds+ minced garlic+ caramelised onions. All served with a powdered mix of fried garlic + smoky red chile powder!!! YUM….ReplyCancel

  • Mar10/02/2018 - 6:49 am

    I love all kind og legumes stews with some brown rice and greens!ReplyCancel

  • Susie Brown10/02/2018 - 7:02 am

    I get out of a cooking rut by trying some sort of new fun Asian recipe. I find Asian food to be such an interesting combination of flavors; you can take the same few bottles and create completely different recipes.ReplyCancel

  • Alexandria Hardy10/02/2018 - 7:30 am

    Homemade bread always does it for me. THIS looks divine!ReplyCancel

  • Hilaire10/02/2018 - 7:35 am

    Buddha bowls always get me out of a cooking rut! I think mainly because you don’t reallllllly need a recipe for it & it always comes out so good! I usually stick to rice or quinoa as a base, roasted sweet potatoes, onion/shallot, avocado, tomato, garlic, and a tahini based dressing.ReplyCancel

  • Maren10/02/2018 - 7:58 am

    My favorite ‘recipe’ to get me out of a cooking rut (tbh, I’m stuck in one right now!) is to get creative myself. I usually drink a smoothie for breakfast but I got really lazy over the winter months and ate one of two overnight oats variations everyday. This morning was the first morning in weeks that I used my blender and made a smoothie from scratch (funny enough it was a variation of chocolate and orange) – which then triggered new ideas for office snacks and also reminded me that there is more to life than buddha bowls;)ReplyCancel

  • Aoife10/02/2018 - 8:09 am

    A simple mung tarka dahl gets me out of a cooking rut, tarka can be made with coconut oil or ghee.ReplyCancel

  • Shaun Dubreuil10/02/2018 - 8:25 am

    I usually turn to a Thai curry when I need to get out of a rut. Lots of veggies, warm and tasty! It makes me feel capable in the kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Christine10/02/2018 - 8:26 am

    Soup! Making a delicious, veggie vibrant pot of soup with a decadent splash of high quality olive oil and a gentle squeeze of lemon always brings me out of a slump!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle10/02/2018 - 8:27 am

    A giant kale salad with all the avocado gets me out of an eating rut every time.ReplyCancel

  • Gosia10/02/2018 - 8:28 am

    Hi,

    I love Anyi’s recipes, even though they sometimes require ingredients difficult to get in Poland, where I live. But her sense of taste makes every dish a true winner.
    My answer for the giveaway: Whenever I want to get out of a cooking/eating rut I make falafels. I tend to avoid deep-fried food, and when it comes to falafels it’s quite a challenge ;). I try to find ways to make oven-baked falafels not mushy and dense OR dry. My favorite so far are falafels with dates (I simply add soaked dates to the base). I know it might sound strange, but it’s really delicious. And NOT sweet ;), at least not too sweet – sweetiness of dates work great with savouriness of falafels, freshness of herbs and hot spices.ReplyCancel

  • Tania10/02/2018 - 8:42 am

    Any recipe using a variety of different greens or featuring an array of roasted vegetables usually gets me drooling and ready to tackle the kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Pennie10/02/2018 - 8:42 am

    Baking is my go to, when I need to get out of a rut in many ways in my life. and I do believe this cake may be the next one i use to do it. And being GF & Vegan, looks like a win-win ib my life!! Thanks for posting it!ReplyCancel

  • Cindi10/02/2018 - 8:53 am

    I can’t say that I get into a rut because I love trying new recipes all the time!ReplyCancel

  • Tammy10/02/2018 - 8:55 am

    I just recently found your blog, and am THRILLED with your writing style and most importantly, your recipes and the ease of making them. And, of course, the TASTE! Every single recipe I’ve tried so far has been spot on with the family. Even a nearly 18 year old growing guy:) ~ what generally gets me out of a cooking-same-ol-same-ol-rut is actually having a good hearty breakfast…for dinner! I make yummy steel cut oats in my Instant Pot (LOVE my IP!), pancakes (with vegan whipped cream…yum-o!) with a big ol’ side o fruit and a pot of coffee. That usually fixes me right up and I’m ready to tackle the (food/cooking) world again! Thanks for the opportunity to win!ReplyCancel

  • Jan10/02/2018 - 9:02 am

    January/February = rut (in Ontario). I bought a crapload of greens and they are in my frig. Waiting to be juiced.
    Waiting to make an “Oh She Glows” recipe – Out-the-door Chia Power Doughnuts. Sound inspiring. With juice of course!
    And will try this recipe for Valentine’s Day:)ReplyCancel

  • Joyce Shapiro10/02/2018 - 9:17 am

    Wonderful, wonderful and more wonderful – your recipes, creativity and photos! Thank you for all you do and share!

    My inspiration for “rut removal” is to return to basics – the simpler the better – centuries old recipes which bring out the essence of a fundamental (read inexpensive) food – such as cabbage, onion aborio rice, and broth, caramelizing the cabbage – or fennel slightly charred in just a hint of olive oil, touch of broth and seasoning. Reminding my taste buds and mind of the excitement of flavor gained from the gifts of the earth with little effort from us! Enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel10/02/2018 - 9:24 am

    Chocolate black bean brownies with peppermint….Yummy!ReplyCancel

  • Jonette Talbott10/02/2018 - 9:27 am

    I love to cook and rarely get in a rut but the few times I do recipes from a new cookbook inspire me.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Lea10/02/2018 - 9:28 am

    I don’t have a favorite recipe to get me out of a rut but what I do is tackle something that seems a little intimidating. Yes, I challenge myself. I make something that is complicated or uses a technique I haven’t tried before. The reason for this is because if I am successful, which I often am, it makes me feel so good and then inspires me to do more and try more. Thanks for introducing me to Anya. I can’t wait to try this recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Carla10/02/2018 - 9:32 am

    Baking always helps me get out of a cooking rut. It’s very calming and reminds me why I enjoy being in the kitchen so much.ReplyCancel

  • Morgan10/02/2018 - 9:33 am

    A recipe that gets me out of a rut: cookie and Kate’s banana bread. I veganize it and oh my its heaven!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie10/02/2018 - 9:34 am

    What gets me out of a cooking rut is to take the time to actually make a new recipe. Lately they have been recipes from The First Mess and I can’t wait to try this cake recipe for Valentines Day :) I usually get so inspired that I make a slew of new recipes until life gets too busy and I stop and then forget how much I enjoy both cooking and eating new foods!ReplyCancel

  • Diana10/02/2018 - 9:38 am

    It’s not a specific dish, but when I cook from a new recipe and it turns out great, I always feel inspired to keep the momentum going and try more new things. I’ve stumbled upon so many gems this way and it’s really what keeps my love of cookbooks alive!ReplyCancel

  • Kayley10/02/2018 - 9:39 am

    Chocolate chip pancakes have always been my favorite food and they are simple to make, so they can help get me out of a rut.ReplyCancel

  • Sara10/02/2018 - 9:43 am

    Zucchini or banana bread! So easy, but so delicious. It inspires incredible creativity too because of the endless variations and add-ins you can do!!!ReplyCancel

  • Barb10/02/2018 - 9:55 am

    I’ve never had so much fun cooking as when I discovered eating plant based! There is such a phleora of delicious plant based recipes available that I can’t wait to try a new recipe almost every day. No rut here….in fact, even though hubby raves about many dishes, he knows he will most likely not see it again! I’m excited about finding an excuse to make this yummy cake and oh so tempted to buy this cookbook!ReplyCancel

  • Sue10/02/2018 - 10:05 am

    I love making dinner with white kidney beans. The basic recipe starts with onion, garlic, beans, rosemary and thyme. After that, it’s whatever is on hand; canned tomatoes, rice, greens, a splash of wine ….. easy and tasty on these cold winter evenings!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy S.10/02/2018 - 10:12 am

    Various re-creations of a Taco Bowl save the day for me. I keep canned beans, brown rice/quinoa, tomatoes, avocado, taco sauce, cheese on hand. Sometimes, I top it off with coleslaw and a variety of what’s on hand.ReplyCancel

  • Marie10/02/2018 - 10:16 am

    These cakes look to die for and very inspirational! To get me creative in the kitchen again, I love doing a vegan risotto, ideally with mushrooms and saffron and other goodies in there :)ReplyCancel

  • Marilyn10/02/2018 - 10:23 am

    You had me at chocolate + orange, I love that flavor combination and the mini bundts are soo cute! I think the recipe that always takes me out of a rut is ramen, I feel inspired after I create a really good flavorful ramen that looks and tastes really good. Second for me is pancakes, I have been making them from my pre-teen years and still love to and the many variants is always inspiring . Thanks for the beautiful recipe and I must say from the snippets you showed that book looks gorgeous ReplyCancel

  • Lesley Richer10/02/2018 - 10:28 am

    One recipe that always gets me out of a rut is a red lentil dal with coconut milk, spinach, and carrots. It is a vibrant meal and is hearty, especially in the cold Canadian winter.ReplyCancel

  • Deb C.10/02/2018 - 10:30 am

    Too get out my cooking/eating rut I love to make a good home made
    vegetable soup with bone broth. I use all the fresh seasonal veggie’s I can find and then include some organic frozen ones.
    Great comfort with a good crusty bread! Yum!ReplyCancel

  • MAURA10/02/2018 - 10:43 am

    I try a new recipe to break out of a rut with meals!ReplyCancel

  • Patty10/02/2018 - 10:43 am

    Making Brand New Vegan’s amazing cauliflower tacos recipe always lifts my spirits. Something about pulverizing the cauliflower, walnuts, and mushrooms in the food processor seems to revitalize me. Then cutting up all the veggies to top the tacos reminds me what a healthy eater I am. Fast, delicious and easy. What rut?ReplyCancel

  • Marisa Smeraldi10/02/2018 - 10:45 am

    My best friend is a super picky eater and much more of a PB&J kind of “cool”, but when we lived together she would make this orzo salad with capers, pine nuts and spinach that is so simple but SO GOOD we would literally just leave spoons in the fridge and just shovel it in our mouths any time we were in the kitchen….not our classiest moment but I have no regrets! She shared the recipe with me when we moved out of our apt and it’s still one of my favorite breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack options!ReplyCancel

  • Shilpa Kumar10/02/2018 - 10:47 am

    I need this cake in my life. A meal that gets me out of my cooking rut is soba noodles with lots of fresh veggies and tempeh!ReplyCancel

  • Charlene10/02/2018 - 10:57 am

    My usual winter go too’s are hearty soups, I love lentil soups. I like to put the crockpot on in the morning, it’s comforting to come home from work to the wonderful smells of dinner and all I have to do is add a salad.

    I have been in a really bad cooking rut this year so I ordered myself a couple of new cookbooks one being “The First Mess”, thank you for such a wonderful cookbook, it’s my new favourite nightly read. I’ve tried several recipes, one of my new favourite recipe is Creamy Harissa Lentils with Cauliflower Rice, it will knock your socks off, so flavourful, love it. Another one is the Brussels Sprout Salad with Lime and Miso, licked the plate clean. So thank you Laura for bringing excitement back into my kitchen.

    Cheers CharleneReplyCancel

  • Tracey10/02/2018 - 10:57 am

    I’ve been eyeing this new cookbook and this cake looks scrumptious . I find when I am in a cooking rut I like to go back and re-make something from a past successful recipe. Usually this involves pasta and legumes. I also agree with a couple of other commenters who mention soup, especially with the current wintry conditions.ReplyCancel

  • Morgan McCleeary10/02/2018 - 11:07 am

    When I am in a cooking rut, I love trying a brand new recipe full of fresh veg, especially when I can share it with friends!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Mauceri10/02/2018 - 11:08 am

    Thank you so much for the giveaway! I don’t have a specific recipe that gets me out of a rut, but I really love to hop on Pinterest and type in a few ingredients to see what comes up. Usually that leaves me feeling inspired!ReplyCancel

  • callie lathem10/02/2018 - 11:14 am

    It can be hard when I am feeling a little less inspired in the kitchen. What I usually do is talk to my Momma and best friend to see what they are cooking :) I also love to bake a loaf of bread to just remind myself of the goodness we can create at home.ReplyCancel

  • Christine H10/02/2018 - 11:15 am

    I don’t bake a lot (but I love to cook), so anytime I bake something, that gets me feel like a “real cook” :-) (like I’m using ALL of the possibilities for my kitchen!) This recipe sounds like a great reason to get back in the kitchen and bake!ReplyCancel

  • Nina10/02/2018 - 11:23 am

    This chocolate cake though, I will have to make it as soon as my exams are over! I don’t have much time to cook atm so everything I make is VERY simple but the other day I made this recipe (http://www.whatscookinggoodlooking.com/whats-cooking-good-looking/2016/11/22/harissa-coconut-milk-baked-delicata-squash-with-lentils-toasted-almonds?rq=delicata%20lentils) and it was so easy and maybe requires 10 minutes of preparation and then the oven does all the work, it’s amazing and so delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Smadar10/02/2018 - 11:23 am

    Gorgeous looking cakes! Actually, baking tends to get me out of a rut because I do it so rarely… but it’s always fun.ReplyCancel

  • Matthew Jones10/02/2018 - 11:24 am

    Eastern (European) Cuisine on a plate, vegetable bulgurReplyCancel

  • Chelsea Forrer10/02/2018 - 11:28 am

    Holy; talk about a virtuous cake! This looks amazing and I love the fact that I can eat it and feel indulgent but not have to feel bad about it one bit. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and introducing us to Anya. Now I can’t stop thinking about what other recipes she also has. As for a recipe to get me out of a rut I love butternut squash cashew “cream” sauce with lentil pasta. I can add any green vegetables to it and it reminds me that eating delicious and comforting food that also happens to be healthy is what I should strive for more of.ReplyCancel

  • Dana10/02/2018 - 11:37 am

    I lovemaking savory oatmea of some sort. Collard greens, beets, Other seasonal veggies. Quick easy and healthy for a single lady with not a lot of free time in the kitchen :)ReplyCancel

  • Heidi10/02/2018 - 11:42 am

    A big pot of soup with vegetables from my CSA always lifts my spirits.ReplyCancel

  • Dana10/02/2018 - 11:49 am

    I love making savory oatmeal of some sort. Collard greens, beets, nutritional yeast.ReplyCancel

  • Julia Christensen10/02/2018 - 11:50 am

    My favourite recipe to get me out of an eating rut is usually a bowl: either roasted veggies and some veg protein on rice with a yummy sauce, or a huge salad with lots of different textural components. When I am on the road or visiting family for the holidays, I find that my body starts crying out for a big bowl of veg, and the same thing happens when I am eating on auto-pilot. Bowls with different bits thrown together with a tasty dressing usually brings me out of it.ReplyCancel

  • Angelica10/02/2018 - 11:53 am

    My go to is a recipe for Kale and Wild Rice salad. If I can’t think of anything to make I always turn making the same salad.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi C.10/02/2018 - 11:53 am

    Pickling makes me so happy in the kitchen and really helps me out of any cooking rut. I just learned how to make “pickled greens” using Tree Collards. Tree Collards are a perennial collard green that growers up to 10 feet tall! They are an awesome plant to have in your garden.ReplyCancel

  • Niko10/02/2018 - 11:57 am

    Crepes with a little bit of lemon sugar always do the trick for me. Reminds me of the crepes I’d have with my parents as a kid.ReplyCancel

  • Claire10/02/2018 - 11:58 am

    There’s a Moroccan lentil soup that I make that gets me out of my rut! I don’t use that flavor profile frequently so I feel like it wakes up my taste buds :)ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne10/02/2018 - 11:59 am

    Hi Laura!
    This cake looks awesome! It should get me out of my ‘rut’ – I typically use a bit of sugar and mostly spelt flour for baking – so excited to try this!
    For me the thing with a rut is being stuck with same recipes in rotation, which are the standard for a reason, being usually quick and delicious…so trying a new recipe, or reading up on variations of usual ones is a good way to escape and get some new flavours in. Ethnic food is my go to, particularly Indian and Thai.ReplyCancel

  • Shauna | Linden & Lavender10/02/2018 - 12:00 pm

    My favourite recipe that gets me out of a rut is Spinach and Halloumi Curry that I originally found on My Wholefood Romance. I have made it so many times that I am confident in switching up some of the ingredients if I don’t have any on hand. Plus, curry’s taste different every time so it is quite satisfying.ReplyCancel

  • Caiti Jansen10/02/2018 - 12:00 pm

    When I’m in a rut, I always make burrito bowls. Guacamole is godsend when I am interested in no other food!ReplyCancel

  • Heather10/02/2018 - 12:03 pm

    Mexican food will always pull me out of a rut. Some kind of tacos or enchiladas with scratch made salsa always feels vibrant and fun. It also lends itself to having a few friends over and casually eating while standing in the kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Tova Nathanson10/02/2018 - 12:03 pm

    I always find that making a good dressing/sauce gets me inspired to try something new. I can easily experiment with new flavours/new combinations this way, and this creativity is often just what I need to feel good.ReplyCancel

  • Chrissy10/02/2018 - 12:05 pm

    These cakes look incredible, and that cookbook sounds absolutely amazing!
    One of my favorite recipes is minimalist baker’s sweet potato buddha bowl.. whenever i don’t know what to make for dinner, i fall back on this and it never disappoints!ReplyCancel

  • Julia10/02/2018 - 12:07 pm

    When I’m in a rut, I need to find a real “Recipe” with a capital R. Something that uses a little technique (like emulsifying a sauce), maybe a little layering (like a casserole or a terrine), a full-on list for the Farmer’s Market (with something a little hard to find, that inspires me to talk to someone other than my usual vendors). Something that reminds me that cooking can be an event, rather than just a chore!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura10/02/2018 - 12:08 pm

    Basically any roasted veggie topped with tahini lemon sauce helps get me out of a cooking rut. Either that or Gado Gado – super simple and easy to make, but very tasty.ReplyCancel

  • Anna Morris10/02/2018 - 12:14 pm

    Wow, I’ve never seen a baking tray like that before, love the different shapes. My recipe for getting out of a rut is apple and blackberry streusel cake which is really easy and gets me back into baking if I haven’t for a while.ReplyCancel

  • Lilly10/02/2018 - 12:22 pm

    I know this is going to make me sound like a suck up but the tempeh bacon from your book is life. BLTs heal all wounds. If I’ve been eating the same salad for three days that bacon always brings me back.ReplyCancel

  • Spring10/02/2018 - 12:27 pm

    My eating ruts tend to be carb heavy (bread, pasta etc…) so I like to jump out of that rut with a quinoa bowls topped with tons of veggies, home grown sprouts, sour kraut, and a wicked sauce.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda | Whats Cooking10/02/2018 - 12:31 pm

    This looks perfect! I’ve been hesitant about gf v desserts too. They’re hard to experiment with. These are so happening! As for the giveaway question, I’d say your lentil sweet potato stew does it for me. Last week I did it without the slow cooker and it was done in 10 mins. So easy so flavorful. Over basmati brown rice, it’s a killer recipe! Thank you thank you for what you do! XoReplyCancel

  • Natalia10/02/2018 - 12:35 pm

    Some chocolate brownies are always a winner for me! Such a lovely post, Laura! i already love Anya’s blog and have her 1st book, but can’t wait to have this 2nd one too! Thanks for this giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • Lacey K10/02/2018 - 12:38 pm

    Honestly, no specific recipe or cuisine really inspires me like a trip to the farmer’s market. Seeing all the gorgeous produce and farmers who work hard to grow it for us inspires me to make sure I do the produce justice and make it delicious!!
    This cake looks divine and I have almost everything to make it… may be my valentine’s day treat :)ReplyCancel

  • Nesrien10/02/2018 - 12:55 pm

    I’m a busy working grad student, so a simple meal of sauteed onions and garlic + whatever spices+ seasonal veggies+and because it’s winter, something to make it creamy and cozy (coconut milk, roasted and pureed pumpkin, etc)+finished with lots of greens. Easy, quick one pot meal that can be made endlessly varied! I don’t think I ever made the same combination twice.

    Love your blog and cookbook, Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Victoria10/02/2018 - 1:05 pm

    I’ll try a couple of things to get out of a rut – go back to a comfortable routine – overnight oats, groundnut stew. Or! go to the farmer’s market and just get inspired.ReplyCancel

    • Angela10/02/2018 - 1:36 pm

      This may seem incredibly boring but my comfort/rut recipe is cooked rice topped with roasted broccoli and kale with chunks of garlic, red pepper flakes and anything else my cubboard can spare. Big bowl meals are my absolute fave. Also, these tiny little cakes…wow!ReplyCancel

  • Shirley Tam10/02/2018 - 1:09 pm

    This looks amazing!!!!!! My favourite chocolate coated orange rind in cake form xo. Love me a good warming soup to get me out of a cooking stalemate. From Moroccan Red Lentil, Mushroom or a Tomato Fennel soul, I can basically throw something together with whatever is in the fridge or pantry. Paired with roasted garlic toast and that’s a match made in heaven!ReplyCancel

  • Sarai10/02/2018 - 1:14 pm

    What takes me out of my eating rut are muffins. I’ve mastered a ‘base’ recipe to which I add whatever I find interesting at the supermarket: dried fruit, savory mixings, different nut combos… It’s just amazing how versatile they are. I’m sure this recipe would work for muffins too!!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth10/02/2018 - 1:16 pm

    Soup is a favourite and I can make so many variations from what’s in the fridge. My daughter always says she loves it when I don’t know what to make for dinner because I then come up with the best things from scrounging around in the fridge!ReplyCancel

  • Teena McElroy10/02/2018 - 1:18 pm

    I just love trying new soup recipes. Always searching for a good minestrone.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Hadley10/02/2018 - 1:23 pm

    We like to make homemade pizza for a treat. Homemade dough and then we make a lemon pizza first and the second one is a loaded vegetarian pizza. Even the leftovers (if any!) are super delicious. I am thinking though that after I try the recipe for the chocolate orange cake my answer might change!ReplyCancel

  • josi10/02/2018 - 1:27 pm

    hmm. a tough question i had to think about. i’d say it’s a soup made of lots of chopped veggies, lots of herbs, plantbased sausages and austrian soup-noodles. my to go comfort foodReplyCancel

  • Anagha Bharadwaj10/02/2018 - 1:27 pm

    There isn’t really one recipe that gets me out of a rut – I have a hard time getting into food ruts because I always want something new!

    I deal with this by freezing all leftovers – so I usually have several things on hand I can munch on!ReplyCancel

  • Chiara10/02/2018 - 1:29 pm

    A big bowl of noodles will almost always get me out of a cooking rut. A couple of my go-to recipes are Mark Bittman’s cold peanut noodles or this recipe from over at Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/04/stir-fried-chow-mein-four-vegetables.html. There’s something so comforting and always appealing about a soy sauce soaked bowl of egg noodles.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie10/02/2018 - 1:33 pm

    Pizza! That’s what always gets me out of a cooking/eating rut. Basic, I know ;)ReplyCancel

  • hungry10/02/2018 - 1:35 pm

    what gets me out of a rut..? is not about any recipe but to share -whatever-i-made- with beloved friends. looking forward to cook and comfort someone important to me, inspires me always!
    best wishes from austria (happy about worldwide shipping ^^)ReplyCancel

  • Pina Armata10/02/2018 - 1:44 pm

    Going to my Italian cultural roots and finding ways to twist the “classics” (like lasagna) into plant only meals seems to always get me out of my cooking rut. I get so inspired and intrigued to search for ways to make plant-only meals. “The first mess” recipes gets me fired up and jumping into the kitchen so it definitely looks like “Simply Vibrant” will do the same! Would love to try it out. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Lisa10/02/2018 - 1:45 pm

    Not sure about a specific recipe but I try to sneak in new recipes often. My Facebook memories reminded me the other day of a good one I haven’t made in literally a year. Spicy sweet potato and green rice bowl. It is amazing. Now that I’ve got an instant pot I can quickly and easily add a meat for my meat eaters in the family.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie10/02/2018 - 1:46 pm

    Anytime I can take familiar ingredients and put a new twist on it, it usually pulls me out of a cooking rut. Just made some granola with tahini and medjool dates (and no sugar) from Jenny Mustard’s site. This may be cheesy, but every year I look forward to making your sweet potato and blood orange soup when blood oranges come in to season. Its a staple at my home now! So warming that it almost gets me out of the “when is winter going to freaking end already” doldrums.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley10/02/2018 - 1:59 pm

    A healthy tasty soup usually gets me out of a cooking rut. They’re just so cozy and warming and you still get to feel good because they can be so healthy too! And there are so many possibilities from fancy recipes to just create something delicious out of leftovers. Soup is the jam!ReplyCancel

  • Katie10/02/2018 - 2:13 pm

    I’m pretty good at putting together soups and pastas without a recipe. Last night, I wanted to make something quick, and sauteed garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, and kale, then through it together with cooked pasta, 1/2 c. pasta water, and a bit of feta. Simple and delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Mélissa10/02/2018 - 2:21 pm

    Pasta alla Norma! ( from Saveur.com – I often make this vegan )
    The roast eggplant and simple fresh ingredients, prepared slowly step by step give me patience to follow recipes again – and the result is so delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Erica C. Barnett10/02/2018 - 2:23 pm

    There is a Tuscan kale caesar salad that ran in Bon Appetit years ago that I can make by heart at this point. It’s incredibly lemony and flavorful and doesn’t involve any cumbersome massaging—great for getting out of a winter cooking rut.ReplyCancel

  • Noemi10/02/2018 - 2:42 pm

    Risotto of any kind. I just love the process: it’s not only a heartwarming dis, but it also clears the mind and the soul while being made. I can’t wait to celebrate spring soon with some asparagus and goatcheese one! ReplyCancel

  • M.E.10/02/2018 - 2:54 pm

    I have turned to vegan Mac and Cheeze to get me out of cooking ruts for a long time. It is quick, easy, and I can modify it somewhat depending on ingredients on hand. End result is a warm and comforting meal that makes me want to get back into the kitchen more.ReplyCancel

  • Emily10/02/2018 - 2:55 pm

    I feel like I have been in a cooking rut for the past 6 months. At the moment, food is about utility and, as a result, the majority of my meals are quickly thrown together with minimal attention to the process or flavor. When I need to get out of a rut, I often turn to salads. There is something to be said for a thoughtfully composed mixture of colors and textures rather than just dumping the contents of my crisper drawer into a bowl with a splash of vinegar and oil. I think I’m due for one of those. THANK YOU for reminding me that it is worth it to care.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica10/02/2018 - 2:58 pm

    I think the best way for me to get out of a cooking rut, is to just cook. Sometimes the process of deciding what to make is overwhelming when there are so many amazing recipes out there. So I will just start with making grains, roasting veg, and as I cook, I start to feel more inspired on what to make.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah10/02/2018 - 3:02 pm

    My get out of a rut recipe would be my sweet potato curry! It’s a straight forward recipe but always a goodie!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah10/02/2018 - 3:03 pm

    A coconut curry dish with veggies, rice or quinoa gets me out of a cooking rut.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly10/02/2018 - 3:42 pm

    Crock-Pot chicken chili. Always gets me out of my rut!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Fallihee10/02/2018 - 4:29 pm

    Anything with lots of spices and herbs. Lately, I’ve been loving really green soups with lots of spiced nuts and seeds on top!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda K10/02/2018 - 4:37 pm

    Oh this is just what my weekend needed!!! Chocolate and orange
    Anya’s cookbook looks beautiful and you make it sound so divine!
    My go-to is a soup recipe I came across years ago from Bella Bonita. Carrot yam and ginger. So simple but nourishing and cleansing too. It’s even my fall back for guests and I always get compliments!ReplyCancel

  • Tess10/02/2018 - 4:48 pm

    Gah! I can almost smell the waft of chocolatey orange through the pictures (DROOL).
    I definitely get in recipe ruts; my fave when I need to bust out of it is the My New Roots srublanksn beet curry with kale malung, which I like to do on quinoa with coconut yoghurt. It reminds me of the beauty of a well crafted recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • Elvira Didoni10/02/2018 - 4:51 pm

    My favorite recipe is minestrone soup. Always different and always so good!
    Thanks for all your recipes inspirations!ReplyCancel

  • Sylvia10/02/2018 - 5:16 pm

    I guess my go-to would be my variation on Waldorf salad that I created out of a combination of cravings and frustration years ago. Very simple but so satisfying – apples, walnuts, craisins, broccoli florets, and a simple light coleslaw style dressing. I have been known to eat this for lunch every day for weeks it is so satisfying and filling :-)
    While I am not vegan, I do go to vegan recipes often because the creative use of fruit and veg makes any meal so much more nutritionally well rounded and usually beautiful as well :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kelly10/02/2018 - 6:06 pm

    I would have to say homemade bread – yum! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • laura10/02/2018 - 6:41 pm

    there are two road to take when stuck in a rut…the familiar comforting road home or out on the limb of new and exciting. when i am cooking for myself sometimes it is challenging to energize the desire with the scents and tastes that I know i will respond to when i could just have another pancake for dinner..So either i will peruse the cookbooks and begin an adventure to the unknown with inspiration and curiosity or start rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ easy eggrolls that will satisfy immediately the need for speed and spice.ReplyCancel

  • Peggy10/02/2018 - 6:46 pm

    When I get in a cooking rut I seek out one of my favorite cookbooks – either to be reminded of a forgotten favorite, or to be inspired with something new.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Craven10/02/2018 - 6:51 pm

    These heavenly little chocolate orange cakes are currently baking in the oven and I cant wait to try them!! I have Anya’s first cookbook The Vibrant Table and would love to add her new book to my collection. When I am in a cooking rut I usually get inspiration from a cookbook or one of my favourite food blogs. There is nothing that gets me more excited to cook or bake than beautiful food photography! Once I have found a recipe that excites me I try and let my creativity shine by putting my own spin on it.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle10/02/2018 - 6:59 pm

    I like to experiment with different soups to get out of a cooking rut!ReplyCancel

  • Nadia10/02/2018 - 7:01 pm

    This looks sooo delicious! I would love to win a copy of Anya’s cookbook! Thank you for a lovely giveaway. When I’m in a rut, I turn to your Moroccan chickpea stew. It’s hearty and delicious, and making it inspires me as I see the beautiful veggies, smell the wafting spices and enjoy the Moroccan flavors when it’s all done.ReplyCancel

  • Laura10/02/2018 - 7:04 pm

    That cake looks amazing! Whenever I’m in a cooking slump, I make green goddess rice. How can I not love cooking again after eating a bowl (or two) of that deliciousness?!ReplyCancel

  • Jan10/02/2018 - 7:06 pm

    A big pan of roasted veggies ALWAYS breaks me out of a rut!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • thefolia10/02/2018 - 7:06 pm

    These look sinfully delicious…happy feasting.ReplyCancel

  • Alicia Webster10/02/2018 - 7:55 pm

    Any sort of roasted vegetable in mole sauce. Rich, hearty, spicy, and served over rice or quinoa–what’s not to like ? Especially on these cold, cold days that we have been having lately.ReplyCancel

  • Lena10/02/2018 - 7:55 pm

    Really any kind of soup or stew. I made the chickpea saffron soup from your book recently and I need lived how quick, easy and filling it was, and also how tasty it was cold for lunch the next day. I work full time and often don’t get home until 8:30 or 9 so I often find myself falling into a rut of eating scrambled eggs for dinner because they’re so easy. But whipping up a batch of soup for the week is always a good reminder of how easy cooking can be. I also find it comforting that no matter what is going on I can still feed myself something nutritious and tasty, and this, maybe cheesily, has felt very empowering lately.ReplyCancel

  • nicole10/02/2018 - 8:02 pm

    this time of year, my go to is curry with coconut milk and brown rice (no recipe). i love to get in the kitchen and start mixing it up with different spices and vegetables (butternut squash is my favorite). there’s something so nourishing, warming, grounding and inspiring about a simple curry.

    i honestly also follow golubka kitchen regularly and will often try their recipes for inspiration. my favorite soup (butternut squash, cranberry, fennel, leek and pear) is from golubka as is my new fav breakfast porridge (butternut squash and millet). you sensing a theme? ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Kristen10/02/2018 - 8:22 pm

    I have never been a recipe person, but IG has helped a lot with that! Once i started cooking vegan, it was hard to figure how to start. But seeing pictures and reading realistic blogs has helped. Many times my “snapping into place moment” is the synchronicity of what i See on IG with what i See at the market. That’s when i get excited!! i think, “oh i know what i can do with that!”ReplyCancel

  • Eileen10/02/2018 - 8:30 pm

    These cakes are so beautiful and the description of orange scent just blows me away! I’m not sure what recipe blows me out of a rut–right now I am thinking a huge green salad with basic vinaigrette because I am just ready to be done with winter foods. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!ReplyCancel

  • cheri10/02/2018 - 8:30 pm

    Bread of any sort is always a feel good thing for me. The chocolate orange cake sounds yummy with oh so good ingredients.ReplyCancel

  • Kierstyn Butler10/02/2018 - 8:57 pm

    My favourite meal/recipe that gets me out of a food rut is a roasted vegetable Budda bowl. Countless different veggies (usually whatever I have on hand) some greens, grains, roasted chichpeas and a delicious sauce to top it off! I love the versatility of Budda bowls and roasted vegetables are my favourite!ReplyCancel

  • I feel like I’m in a cooking rut right now! A good breakfast recipe for something like pancakes or baked oatmeal tends to get me out of my ruts since breakfast is usually my favourite meal. :)ReplyCancel

  • Marlene @ Idle Hands Awake10/02/2018 - 10:20 pm

    Mmmmm this looks AMAZING! I’m trying to cut out wheat as my neurologist recommended (for migraines) so I’m on the hunt for yummy treats like this. As for food ruts, I get in them a LOT and my favorite hot artichoke dip (from the classic Uncheese Cookbook) always helps me get reinspired!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon Lang10/02/2018 - 10:33 pm

    These cakes look fantastic!
    My favourite recipe for getting out of a cooking rut would have to be kichadi! The simplicity of it and the versatility is so wonderful. Not to mention the grounded feeling it brings! It feels so nourishing and like I’m literally feeding my soul.ReplyCancel

  • Jessie10/02/2018 - 10:38 pm

    This cake looks delicious! My favorite meal to get out of a rut is some kind of Indian food. I love the delicate balance of spices and flavors in this cuisine, and it always makes me feel inspired!ReplyCancel

  • jacquie10/02/2018 - 10:41 pm

    a fresh fruit crumble :)ReplyCancel

  • Katie10/02/2018 - 10:44 pm

    I find that baking cookies gets me out of my rut.ReplyCancel

  • Abby10/02/2018 - 10:45 pm

    Any time I make curry I get my mojo back for weeknight cooking.ReplyCancel

  • Annie10/02/2018 - 10:49 pm

    A simple tomato soup inspired by Heidi Swanson. I’ve done both the roasted tomato and the simple tomato soup by Heidi but the quicker one has inspired me lately to make more healthy yet easy meals. I recently had twins so time is sparse but I love cooking (and eating delicious food!) so I will scour my favorite food blogs to specifically find dinner recipes that take the least amount of time / use the least amount of pots and pans. The best part of the soup is adding your favorite toppings, though it is delicious on it’s own as well and lasted long enough to have it for lunch one or two days later.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica10/02/2018 - 10:55 pm

    I usually don’t get into a cooking rut, but can get bored with certain flavors or times of year and the quality of what is avalible. I love make roaste sweet potatoes and pepper and making a peanut sauce and serving over brown rice. I also love making marinated/roasted tofu with coconut kale.ReplyCancel

  • meryl kramer11/02/2018 - 12:23 am

    Thanks for this great recipe! When I’m in a rut in the winter, I make homemade almond milk hot and cold beverages, roasted Brussels and squash and dip in tahini sauce… that nourishes me and satisfies. Chocolate in any form is my favorite dessert:)ReplyCancel

  • Rosa11/02/2018 - 12:40 am

    I don’t have one particular recipe to get me out of a rut, but rather I try something new! I love Indian curries, stews, Greek, Thai, and experimenting with all things plant-based. Recently made your Moroccan Stew from the First Mess Cookbook and loved it.ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia11/02/2018 - 12:48 am

    When I’m in a cooking rut, I like to make tamales! I vary the filling based on what I can find at the farmer’s market. So tasty!ReplyCancel

  • Suzan11/02/2018 - 1:12 am

    A recipe that always gets me out of a rut is a delicious focaccia recipe by David Tanis. It’s simply perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Mary11/02/2018 - 1:26 am

    Nothing like having company to up my cooking game. Not only does it get me out of a cooking rut, it also makes me clean. I love to make babaganoush for the snack before dinner, artichokes with aioli, a salad and pasta with mushroom stoganoff. I’ll have to include these chocolate cakes for my next dinner party(maybe Valentines Day). I have Celiac disease and truly appreciate a good gluten free vegan dessert. Thanks for sharingReplyCancel

  • Beth P11/02/2018 - 1:45 am

    I’m Canadian and trying to eat more vegetables. I can only eat so much coconut, cashews, and dates, I dream of eating locally and there is not one single coconut tree where I live. In fact there is 6’ of snow in my driveway. I hunger for comfort food: onions, carrots, celery and regular potatoes, thyme, sage, garlic. Like chicken pot pie without the chicken! Now, that I would cookReplyCancel

  • Linda11/02/2018 - 2:49 am

    My favourite recipe to get me out of a cooking rut is kimchi fried rice.ReplyCancel

  • Jae11/02/2018 - 3:45 am

    When I am in a cooking rut I always seem to lean towards the Big Comfy Sweet Potato recipe as posted by My New Roots. I’ve found it to be a fail-proof recipe and there are so many ways to vary the dish depending on what you’re feeling like and/or what’s in the pantry. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Jen11/02/2018 - 7:18 am

    This cake looks so good! I will definitely be making it soon :-) I don’t have a particular recipe which gets me out of a rut, but I find that taking some time to sit on my bed and flicking through my small cookbook collection (including The First Mess, Oh She Glows, Yum Universe, Deliciously Ella with Friends) really helps. I usually find a recipe which I’ve been meaning to try, but had forgotten about until that moment. Although sometimes merely the act of seeking out inspiration and admiring the beautiful, colourful photos does the job. I also just find this so relaxing, that I usually stop caring about the rut altogether.ReplyCancel

  • Marta11/02/2018 - 9:06 am

    I feel your “pain” regarding deserts! It always amazes me how I can spend a whole day happily cooking all kinds of savoury and when it comes to baking my kitchen always seems like Armageddon hour… But I do feel very warm inside when I finally have a good “healthy” option to try out! I would really love to try out the recipes in this book: it sounds so comforting and straightforward! So, it is hard to choose one food that always takes me out of my rut, as I go a lot for soups and roasting my veggies… but I do have a special place in my heart for lasagna – I like to make mine with said roasted veggies (depending on the season and on what I already have on my fridge), a creamy cashew white sauce, and spinach “green” pasta <3ReplyCancel

  • Tamara11/02/2018 - 9:07 am

    I rarely encounter a rut because I make dozens of new recipes a week :)ReplyCancel

  • Candice T.11/02/2018 - 11:36 am

    My go-to “recipe” in the winter would have to be some sort of hearty stew or a salad — packed with legumes, a grain, and the best produce that the season has to offer!ReplyCancel

  • Cristin11/02/2018 - 12:48 pm

    I have a recipe for homemade pasta sauce that pushes me out of a rut by reminding me it’s worth it to cook from scratch and watch every ingredient enter the pot!ReplyCancel

  • Saniel11/02/2018 - 1:03 pm

    Some sort of veggie burger..someone is always using something different beans, vegetable, grain or spice we got to try. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Laine11/02/2018 - 1:22 pm

    This book is looks so beautiful! For me noodle bowls always get me out of a rut. They give me the opportunity to build a simple, nourishing meal that never gets old. I browse my local farmer’s market for an array of veggies then work “ backwards” in choosing the type of noodle to form the base. This always inspires to be creative while remaining flexible.ReplyCancel

  • Chandna11/02/2018 - 1:37 pm

    A recipe that gets me out of a cooking rut….some naan pizza! I top my naan with a bunch of veggies before it gets baked till crisp. Makes the whole family happy!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia H.11/02/2018 - 2:05 pm

    The First Mess cauliflower soup with lemon and rosemary got me out of a rut AND was my first go at soup making! So yummy and easy! http://thefirstmess.com/2013/02/20/vegan-roasted-cauliflower-soup-recip/ReplyCancel

  • Ramya11/02/2018 - 2:27 pm

    Finding a new recipe and baking always gets me out my cooking rut :) for example most recently I baked a pumpkin chocolate chip loaf :)ReplyCancel

  • Kökény Réka11/02/2018 - 2:27 pm

    I have a mindblowing brownie recipe that my whole family adores, and the whole thing is always gone in less than a day. It’s a recipe that I’ve come to rely on for a quick and easy, but decadent and satisfying dessert, and it’s popularity means I can come back to it time and again without being a bore!ReplyCancel

  • Antonia11/02/2018 - 3:06 pm

    Hmm! Chocolate and orange, topped with pistachios – definitely going to try this!
    When I find myself in a cooking rut, I usually end up flippig through Amy Chaplin’s cookbook for the gazillionst time (although I have many cookbooks I really like and cook from regularly) – Amy Chaplin’s approach to eating just always reminds me of the fascination I felt when I started to cook & bake with new-for-me ingredients or cooking methods a few years ago. And that fascination always rubs off again on my daily cooking motivation :)
    Would love to find new inspiration in Anya’s new book!ReplyCancel

  • Marisa Smeraldi11/02/2018 - 3:42 pm

    Would the measurements stay the same if i just used regular flour? I’m lazy and cheap and not concerned about gluten…ReplyCancel

  • Kristen11/02/2018 - 4:08 pm

    Stir fry. So simple and the ingredients can change to my whims :)ReplyCancel

  • Sherry11/02/2018 - 4:48 pm

    Rose petals! Such a beautiful touch on this gorgeous-looking cake, Laura, which I will be making this week, you can be certain. Oh yes, it’s the time of year when those routines that seemed comforting in recent months are starting to wear a bit. I’ve been feeling it too (but how unsurprising to find my own seasonal moods reflected back again from this favourite of blogs). I am not sure there is just one recipe that overcomes this slump, although the bowl approach can help, since it’s so infinitely variable; North African and Middle Eastern cuisines have a combined brightness and richness that is inspiring when things are dull; maybe the best trick, though, is to step away from the screen for just a moment to page through some of my cookbooks, which are often neglected these days in favour of online recipe sources (I suppose that would seem to include this site, but I DO, happily, have the First Mess book on my shelf too!). There is always a trove of things I’ve meant to try but never have, alongside things I’ve enjoyed in past and forgotten about. Both are exciting! Thanks so very much for the delightful giveaway, and the prompt to think again about how to re-inspire ourselves.ReplyCancel

  • Lori11/02/2018 - 4:49 pm

    When I get in a cooking rut, it’s usually when I try to get too “fancy”,meaning too many complicated recipes that take too long to make and leave me frustrated. Returning to old favorites gets me back into the “fun” part of cooking with results guaranteed to please the whole family. Then I can start to try new things again. Thanks for the give away, would LOVE LOVE new cookbook!ReplyCancel

  • Anna11/02/2018 - 5:45 pm

    In such moments I make the onion soup from your cookbook and feel as if I was a cook working in a pricey restaurant ;)ReplyCancel

  • Renée11/02/2018 - 6:00 pm

    Just reading your description of the book gets me excited to cook. When I’m in a rut, I sit down with my fave cookbooks and I look for something I haven’t tried and make it on Sunday. That’s a good way for me to start the weekly food prep with more enthusiasm.ReplyCancel

  • Libby Sullivan11/02/2018 - 6:12 pm

    I like looking at the cookbook Jerusalem when I’m in a cooking rut. I particularly liked the root veggie slaw recipe recently.ReplyCancel

  • Marta11/02/2018 - 7:13 pm

    Hi Laura!
    These mini bundts are sooo cute! I need to get me a similar mould! I love baking cookies and cakes. Anything with chocolate chips (more like chunks!) and toasted nuts. And buckwheat flour, which makes everything taste amuhzing! <3
    MartaReplyCancel

  • Mimi Chau11/02/2018 - 8:20 pm

    These cakes look dreamy. One dish that helps me get out of a cooking rut is a warm and comforting soup with plenty of veggies and legumesReplyCancel

  • Isabelle11/02/2018 - 9:20 pm

    This beautiful post popped up in my inbox this morning and immediately caught my attention with the combo of orange + chocolate!!
    I can always get out of an eating/cooking rut with a flavorful recipe of vegan quinoa Caesar salad, especially if I’ve made the quinoa in advance! ;)ReplyCancel

  • anna11/02/2018 - 9:20 pm

    My go to when I just need a quick baking/cooking fix is granola! there’s soooooooo many creative combinations and I love the snackage I can indulge in right when it comes out of the oven:)ReplyCancel

  • Molly11/02/2018 - 9:33 pm

    beautiful photos of what sounds like a delicious cake! the farmer’s market usually takes me out of a food rut, but I usually just end up roasting whatever it is, like I do everything else :)ReplyCancel

  • Candice11/02/2018 - 10:59 pm

    Yes chocolate and orange – forever together :) For me, a good thick chocolate chip cookie will always get me out of that rut.
    But if I’m going savoury, it’s sourdough avocado toast with a crispy fried egg – not original but always satisfying!ReplyCancel

  • Bianca T11/02/2018 - 11:13 pm

    experimenting with vegan baking!!ReplyCancel

  • Ruthy11/02/2018 - 11:31 pm

    In a rut either this delicious grain-free vegan lasagna concoction that I’ve started sprinkling with a delicious topping inspired by the parmesan in your fabulous cookbook :) or any one of my grandma’s life-changing recipes!!ReplyCancel

  • Victoria n11/02/2018 - 11:50 pm

    I LOVE that mini bundts pan!
    The 2 recipes that get me out of any rut is Thai quinoa balls and beet-za pizza!
    Thai both have enough elements that you can play around with flavours to make them familiar but different flavour emphasis each time. It always starts my brain to have a tangent to how I want to eat it next time and that normally pro,puts me for a new craving and to think of new things to eat :)ReplyCancel

  • Marie Christodulaki12/02/2018 - 12:20 am

    Spicy Ayurvedic rice pilaf! Thinking about what spices to use depending on the season, my mood and general health is always an inspiring and grounding way to look after myself.ReplyCancel

  • Audrey12/02/2018 - 8:04 am

    A big, creative salad!ReplyCancel

  • CLAUDIA12/02/2018 - 8:48 am

    Usually some great Indian or Thai style dish gets me out of the rut. The scents and flavors ar just so intoxicating and make me smile and that turns that frown upside down… ReplyCancel

  • Sandy12/02/2018 - 9:22 am

    I love to make roasted beets when I’m in a cooking rut— they are so pretty!ReplyCancel

  • Leah12/02/2018 - 9:41 am

    This cookbook looks so amazing! I’d have to say the recipe that gets me most out of a cooking rut is red lentil dahl. It’s so easy, quick and moldable to whatever you have on hand! I love serving it with spicy roasted sweet potatoes :)ReplyCancel

  • Anna12/02/2018 - 10:47 am

    Some sort of Asian or Indian inspired dish is what always get me out of a rut!
    This recipe looks really good, will be making it soon in my doughnut pan!ReplyCancel

  • Marie12/02/2018 - 11:10 am

    Fresh herbs and umami packed ingredients (miso, olives, capers..) usually get me out of my cooking rut.ReplyCancel

  • Erin Miller12/02/2018 - 11:28 am

    This book looks GORGEOUS! My favorite “getting out of a cooking slump” recipe usually involves a fridge-cleanout stir fry. Any and all vegetables I have on hand thrown together in a pan (sauce optional) over some brown rice. Suddenly I feel like a productive home cook again! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Luna12/02/2018 - 11:31 am

    Any kind of porridge-like grain-vegetable-bowls, soups, or kitchari. Something deep flavoured and warming, spicy. I could eat it all day long – in fact I do most of the time. Thank you for this chocolate-inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • stacey bradford12/02/2018 - 11:53 am

    Baked goods, mainly banana bread. It’s a great break from the day to day routineReplyCancel

  • Breanne12/02/2018 - 12:06 pm

    If I get in a cooking rut, I either find something fun to bake or get a pre-made meal from Trader Joes, realize I can do better, and start cooking again. :)ReplyCancel

  • Amélie12/02/2018 - 12:12 pm

    I love pearl barley risotto!ReplyCancel

  • Jane12/02/2018 - 12:18 pm

    When I’m in a rut, I make one of the recipes that I’ve categorized as “delicious but time consuming.” Since they’re not recipes I make often, it’s usually a real treat to eat! A few of those recipes in that category for me are:

    http://ohsheglows.com/2016/02/01/next-level-vegan-enchiladas/

    https://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000146.html

    https://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/buckwheat-and-rice-salad-with-dried-cherries-and-hazelnuts-shopReplyCancel

  • Shira Isenberg12/02/2018 - 1:56 pm

    Making a multi-step recipe always gets me out of a cooking rut. It takes a long time, but always worth it!ReplyCancel

  • Laren12/02/2018 - 2:21 pm

    Your weeknight root vegetable dal and soup that you add any veggies and cannellini beans to (can’t remember the name ha) always inspire me to get out of a rut because I get to mix and match the veggies I have in my fridge with the knowledge it is going to turn out great no matter what! I also have your dal recipe memorized so that makes things more fun, too.ReplyCancel

  • Mira12/02/2018 - 2:24 pm

    It sounds boring, but making a good kale salad is definitely a go-to to get me out of an eating rut. Making dinner for friends helps me get out of a cooking rut more than any recipe though!ReplyCancel

  • Karen H12/02/2018 - 3:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful, healthy recipe. I love chocolate and orange together.

    The recipes that get my family and me out of a rut are 1) salad, with refried beans, salsa and guacamole – so simple, 2) Vietnamese spring rolls (salad, cucumber, carrots, tofu, etc rolled in a rice paper and dipped in peanut sauce).ReplyCancel

  • jamie dehner12/02/2018 - 3:13 pm

    I’m not sure I’ve got a recipe to get me out of a rut…they do come along…like writer’s block. I generally look to blogs and recipes at that point and that’s a sure fire help. Just seeing ideas from different peoples and cultures gives you a different spin on “the same old” ingredients – the garden is often an inspiration too but nothing helps like seeing someone put a very different face on things you already enjoy and make. This is a nice recipe, by the way. I appreciate the minimal oil and use of dates for sweetening. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie12/02/2018 - 3:31 pm

    When I’m in a rut, I love to make an elaborate ramen — soft boiled egg or baked tofu, lots of veggies and herbs, ginger, garlic chili sauce, etc. I almost always have plenty of ingredients on hand to whip some variation together, and I’ve been making different versions since I was in middle school so I’m pretty good at it by now ;)ReplyCancel

  • Melanie12/02/2018 - 3:59 pm

    Broth based soup does it everytime for me. It is so versatile, you can use whatever herbs and vegetables are in season, add noodles or not, lots of options or keep it simple. Leave it chunky or blend it smooth. This cake recipe looks and sounds delicious. Thank you for the inspiration and for sharing this recipe with us. Enjoy the journey.ReplyCancel

  • Alana12/02/2018 - 4:01 pm

    My It all depends on the season, but right now it’s the shredded kale cranberry salad from oh she glows. I want it all of the time!ReplyCancel

  • Connie McNally12/02/2018 - 4:10 pm

    A raw veggie pad thai always does it for me. So fresh and vibrant, and a flexible recipe, since it’s really the sauce that makes it pad thai, so whatever fresh I have on hand will do, regular noodles, veggie noodles, seeds, edamame, etc.ReplyCancel

  • leah12/02/2018 - 4:16 pm

    Grain bowls – gets me into the kitchen, I can start chopping and roasting all of the things, and during this time I usually end up coming up with different sauce ideas or other recipes. Afterward, I’m left with a healthy bounty of food and motivation to make something new!ReplyCancel

  • Shoshanna12/02/2018 - 4:46 pm

    Vegetable soup is my go to for when I am in a rut! Using up veggies in the fridge to make something delicious and healthy always remimds me that simple ingredients can be made into something amazing. Expecially when cooking for my mother who need heathly fresh food with her illness! Love the plant based recipes!!ReplyCancel

  • Giselle12/02/2018 - 5:09 pm

    I break out my juicer! It reminds me how fresh citrus can smell and taste and how beautiful green can be.ReplyCancel

  • WB12/02/2018 - 9:36 pm

    My fave get-me-out-of a rut recipe is a vegetarian take on harira, a Moroccan soup. The combination of spices, lentils and chickpeas, and lots and lots of cilantro warms my tummy…and tastebuds!ReplyCancel

  • Yessenia12/02/2018 - 11:34 pm

    My favorite recipe to make would be any kind of soup. Just making the soup you’ll look forward to it, and it’ll warm your soul!!!ReplyCancel

  • Katherine | Beloved Kitchen13/02/2018 - 2:36 am

    Thanks for the post and for introducing this beautiful new book! When I get into a cooking rut I tend to go back to one of my favourite cookbooks, which lately has been Feast by Sarah Copeland. Her recipes (like mushroom almond milk soup) always seem to do the trick! ReplyCancel

  • Imola13/02/2018 - 8:39 am

    OMG, this recipe comes so handy as I was looking for a healthy, sugar-less cake for my two-year-old’s birthday. These days we normally prefer bowl-type dishes, so she can pick whatever she wants. That said, yesterday I made your saffron chickpea and rice soup, and she loved it! So comforting in this cold weather!ReplyCancel

  • Lora13/02/2018 - 8:48 am

    Thanks for sharing a unique and beautiful dessert right in time for Valentine’s Day! I can already taste and smell the orange. You asked about recipes that get us out of a rut. One of my go-to’s is Butternut Squash Tacos with lime cabbage salad from Cookie and Kate. https://cookieandkate.com/2016/roasted-butternut-squash-tacos-recipe/ReplyCancel

  • Irena Młynarska13/02/2018 - 9:13 am

    Lentil soups – classic Dal and its numerous variations with brown or green lentils and different sets of spices, which gives completely different, sometimes unexpected but always tasty result at the end.ReplyCancel

  • Sussi13/02/2018 - 9:17 am

    Such beautiful bundts! What gets me out of a cooking rut is making a sauce or dressing – a variation of Isa’s roast pepper and almond is the kick start and then whatever is on hand becomes the mealReplyCancel

  • Micah13/02/2018 - 10:38 am

    I absolutely LOVE tahini and make tahini sauces to drizzle on my food often. If I get a little more creative and add fresh herbs, garlic, lemon juice, etc. and blend it with the tahini, I’m always brought back to remembering that I love being in the kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Amalia13/02/2018 - 1:25 pm

    My go to recipe is the Glory Bowl with the sauce from Whitewater cooks in BC. I’m drooling just thinking about it now!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie D.13/02/2018 - 3:11 pm

    Definitely a Buddha bowl in a mason jar curled up on the couch. Healthy + cozy = DUH!ReplyCancel

  • maria13/02/2018 - 3:32 pm

    Onion soup. All range, from yellow, with a bit of delicate broth taste to the hot spicy red one, with a lot of caramelized red onion and gingerbread spices (that one is a great warmer in winter and every time a bit of surprise, because usually each time a little different proportions of spices are used).ReplyCancel

  • Irena13/02/2018 - 3:35 pm

    Preparing lentil soups is never a routine – classic Dal and its numerous variations with brown or green lentils and different sets of spices, which gives completely different, sometimes unexpected but always tasty result at the end.ReplyCancel

  • angelina13/02/2018 - 3:54 pm

    Yotam Ottolenghi’s hummus from Jerusalem, which may seem pretty every day….but he offers so many ways to ‘dress it up’ with stuff I already have in my fridge. Plus I can add soft pita, or crunchy toast or veggies, and my kids gobble it up no matter what I put on it. I always come away from trying new flavour combos on the hummus with an spark of an idea to pursue in another dish. Most recently- sumac!ReplyCancel

  • Cristina13/02/2018 - 4:15 pm

    Hi Laura,
    Thanks for this opportunity.
    I’d say risotto, good arborio rice, soffritto, asparagus/mushrooms/potatoes/squash/peas and a hearty veg stock. Makes for a very satisfying and comforting dinner.ReplyCancel

  • Shirlie13/02/2018 - 5:31 pm

    Hi, Laura,
    What a great question! My go-to recipe for when I feel bored with my usual ideas is Mark Bittma’s Indian Stuffed Eggplant. I love the flavors and heat from this recipe! Vegan, too. I sub cashews for the peanuts his recipe calls for.
    My daughter requested we try the chocolate orange cake recipe for her classmates for tomorrow. Thank you; I love everything about your blog.ReplyCancel

  • […] In her sweets chapter, this winter dessert is one of the early favorites from the entire book. Laura Wright, author of The First Mess Cookbook raves about the recipe in a beautiful post on her popular blog: […]ReplyCancel

  • Mollj13/02/2018 - 7:19 pm

    Whenever I get bored with all my recipes, I whip up one that always gets me excited to eat dinner – vegan biscuits and sausage gravy. It’s not the healthiest, even veganized, but I serve it with lightly sauteed greens and it just really hits the spot.ReplyCancel

  • Clara13/02/2018 - 9:01 pm

    Hello! Tomorrow, feb14th is my birthday!!!! it would be lovely to receive this beautiful book !
    my fav recipe that keeps me IN tha house is Soca, its incredibly easy and fast and I eat it as a burrito, stuff it with some avocado and greens and chopped beetroot and voila! dinner ready!ReplyCancel

  • […] Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake on The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Liebes14/02/2018 - 11:55 am

    When I’m in a cooking rut I make margaritas! Frozen fruit, lime juice, Patron Citronage and Patron. Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Gracie Hinz14/02/2018 - 12:38 pm

    all nut milks, there is just so much you can do with them!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah14/02/2018 - 12:51 pm

    I bake when I am in a cooking rut…most often muffins or yeast bread. It may not get dinner on the table, but at least it gets me excited to be in the kitchen again.ReplyCancel

  • Jei14/02/2018 - 4:01 pm

    Nut and date cookies. Super easy, fast, and perfect for when I’m looking for something to curb a sweet craving.ReplyCancel

  • Jeffrey14/02/2018 - 6:00 pm

    This cake looks amazing and the ingredients list is awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Ann17/02/2018 - 9:16 pm

    This is a fabulous recipe. Thank you for sharing. Just ordered the cookbook.ReplyCancel

  • Maria Koutsogiannis19/02/2018 - 2:30 pm

    OMG these look so good. Also, the photography is amazing. Thanks for sharing girl :DReplyCancel

  • […] soon as my #whole30 is done I will be making this beautiful chocolate orange […]ReplyCancel

  • Donna in Inwood26/02/2018 - 3:03 pm

    Looks lovely and worth a try, but I can’t do rice flour. (no grain)

    How about cassava flour instead? white rice flour always looks very fine and powdery to me, and Cassava has a similar texture. It also has some starchiness.

    It’s probably a stronger flavor than rice, but maybe the best alternative? Or would arrowroot be better?

    thxReplyCancel

    • Laura07/03/2018 - 4:27 pm

      Cassava is usually the easiest grain-free substitute. I haven’t tried it so cannot guarantee results, but if I HAD to make this one grain-free (which I honestly think might be a stretch given the nature of the cake already), I’d go to cassava first.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Flora05/03/2018 - 12:52 pm

    Wow – your food photography is amazing! These look absolutely mouth watering, I hope mine turn out just as pretty :)ReplyCancel

  • Tara Kelly27/03/2018 - 10:04 pm

    These small cakes look so good! I could have one just about now although I just had dinner. Anyways, I have rice flour but I don’t have almond flour. Can I make almond flour using almonds? Or can use some other replacement such as all-purpose flour? Will the recipe still work for me?ReplyCancel

  • writingpaper11/04/2018 - 5:32 pm

    I tried this recipe … it’s just awesome! My colleague from my job loves this recept very much, I have known for a long time that this is a very useful and tasty dish, but I did not dare to cook it, but in vain, in fact everything is much easier than it seems, my husband was just ecstatic! Thanks again for the recipe. Bon Appetit everyone !!ReplyCancel

  • Tom29/04/2018 - 12:23 am

    I made this cake for my own birthday as I wanted something really healthy and no one else knows how to do this in my circle. For the glaze, I simply mixed 1/4 cup maple syrup with 1/4 cup cocoa powder as it’s less fat. It’s incredibly delicious and rich tasting. Such a great cake .ReplyCancel

  • […] The recipes are brilliant, creative, and always surprise with a unique twist, smart idea or unusual flavour combination. This is one of the many things I love most about this book. If I feel uninspired or bored in the cooking department, I know flipping through its pages will instantly bring the excitement back. This book is truly a gem; it will inspire you to eat more vegetables, cook with what’s in season, and get creative in the kitchen. I’ve got so many recipes bookmarked that I have yet to try. Here are a few very enticing ones from around the web to give you a peak of what’s waiting for you inside: this gorgeous millet polenta, these mouthwatering brownies, these creamy savoury oats and the perfect chocolate cake. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Les recettes sont fabuleuses, ingénieuses et créatives, et surprennent toujours avec une petit touche spéciale, une brillante idée ou une combinaison de saveurs qui sort de l’ordinaire. C’est une des nombreuses choses que j’aime tant de ce livre. Si je suis en manque d’inspiration ou ennuyée, je sais que de parcourir ses pages me ramènera instantanément l’excitation de cuisiner. Ce livre est vraiment un petit trésor; il vous inspirera à manger plus de légumes, à cuisiner avec ce qui est en saison, et à devenir plus créatif en cuisine. Pour vous donner une petit idée de ce qui vous attend, voici quelques recettes du livre partagées sur le web: cette superbe polenta de millet, ces décadents brownies de patate douce, ce gruau salé et ce parfait gâteau au chocolat. […]ReplyCancel

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