MUSHROOM & BEET BOLOGNESE - The First Messpin it!
MUSHROOM & BEET BOLOGNESE - The First Messpin it!
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  • Susan06/02/2019 - 7:07 am

    I would like to make this ahead of time. Have you done that yet? Will it suffer or be enhanced by an overnight in the refrigerator?ReplyCancel

    • Laura06/02/2019 - 8:38 am

      Hi Susan,
      I would recommend making the sauce in its entirety in advance. I think the flavour could only get better from an overnight rest. From there, I would reheat it the next day and add freshly cooked pasta to finish. When we have leftovers of this dish, the pasta just seems gummy to me the next day and overall the dish feels paste-y to me. I’m really picky about pasta’s doneness and texture though (gotta be al dente), so could be just me.

  • Krystal06/02/2019 - 10:07 am

    You’re making my plant-based Italian heart sing. I didn’t think anything would top those big mushroom meatballs (misguided, I know) but OMG! I’m making this this weekend and then taking a pasta nap. I will never tire of these cozy carby recipes!ReplyCancel

    • Laura06/02/2019 - 11:30 am

      I love pasta naps and their close cousin the french fry coma hehe ;)

  • Ti06/02/2019 - 1:27 pm

    This is amazing. I thought it said BEEF and then noticed it was BEET. It looks so hearty and meaty given it’s meatless.ReplyCancel

  • Carolina Fernandez06/02/2019 - 2:44 pm

    Hi, Laura.. just wondering if the lentils are absolutely necessary..I can’t eat grains for a few days and THIS I need right now!
    Thank youReplyCancel

    • Laura06/02/2019 - 5:15 pm

      You can definitely leave them out! No other adjustments necessary either :)

  • Sarah | Well and Full06/02/2019 - 3:20 pm

    I am SO here for all this carby goodness! I have Italian heritage, and tomato-based sauce + pasta is pure comfort food to me.ReplyCancel

  • Maclean Nash06/02/2019 - 5:17 pm

    This looks incredible. For the sake of time, would using carton cashew milk do or do you think there would be a noticeable difference in taste etc?
    Either way – I cant wait to make this recipe!ReplyCancel

    • Laura07/02/2019 - 7:57 am

      I totally get you on the time save. Carton cashew milk that’s unsweetened would work, but I would go for something a bit richer if you can! Like an unsweetened plant-based creamer (my fave is nutpods) would be perfect here.

    • Franziska07/02/2019 - 3:20 pm

      I made this today and used cashew butter and a splash of water and I guess it did the trick because afterwards it was creamy and almost cheesy. The cashew butter was without any salt or sugar.

      @Laura Thanks so much for the recipe, I am eating right now and it is yum!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jill07/02/2019 - 7:43 pm

    This looks delicious, and I’m really looking forward to cooking it! It would be really helpful to skip a step, like the roasting of the beets. I’ve really enjoyed Love Beets in the past – would you consider those “medium size” or “small?”ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/02/2019 - 11:09 am

      I would call MOST of the Love Beets medium-sized. Sometimes you get a little baby one or a large one in the pack.

  • Natalie07/02/2019 - 10:21 pm

    Do you dice the beets before or after roasting?ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/02/2019 - 9:05 am

      I dice the beets after they’ve roasted and cooled down.

      • Natalie08/02/2019 - 11:05 pm

        Thanks! Made this tonight it was insanely delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Evie08/02/2019 - 9:00 am

    This was very good! Quite a bit pinker from the beets than your pictures – maybe you used golden beets? I’ll definitely make this again.ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/02/2019 - 9:05 am

      I used red beets too! I found that my beets got quite brown towards the end. Nature is funny, right? Glad that you enjoyed the recipe either way :)

  • Julia Runyon08/02/2019 - 11:36 am

    Could this be a good candidate for a slow cooker on a weeknight? Looks like the perfect hearty meal for this time of year.ReplyCancel

    • Laura11/02/2019 - 3:49 pm

      Hi Julia,
      If you were trying this on a slow cooker from start to finish and just putting everything in the insert and turning it on, I’d reduce the wine by half. I’m willing to bet that you wouldn’t need as much of the cashew cream at the end either.

      I’m just worried that it will come out too wet and not nearly as flavourful since you won’t get that direct high heat contact at all. I think it will work okay, but I’m skeptical of whether the finished product’s flavour will be all the way there. Just my honest opinion!

  • Gwyn08/02/2019 - 8:11 pm

    Oooooh, I wanna kidnap this and stuff it in a lasagna recipeReplyCancel

  • Laura09/02/2019 - 1:26 pm

    This looks amazing for these cold winter days! Any suggestions on an alternative to red wine?ReplyCancel

    • Laura11/02/2019 - 3:50 pm

      I would just use a splash of red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar and about a 1/4 cup of vegetable stock. You’re just looking to add a bit of acidity and liquid in this step.

      • Laura12/02/2019 - 11:45 pm

        Thank you so much! Just finished making and eating it and the substitution worked great — it’s delicious!! I will definitely come back to this again and again, especially if I need a meal that seems special or impressive. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Ali10/02/2019 - 2:26 am

    No apologies for carbs!! I’m loving it!ReplyCancel

  • caren magill10/02/2019 - 3:32 pm

    Hey there!

    I just met your website and I’m in love – from your photography, to your stories and your recipes – it’s all amazing. Also love that you’re from Toronto, too.

    I grew up in Richmond Hill. I live in California now and I can’t say enough about the winters here. Snow is just not my jam.

    So glad I found you!


  • Renée10/02/2019 - 8:04 pm

    the very best vegan bolognese sauce I’ve made so far. So rich and creamy. And satisfying. Thanks Laura.ReplyCancel

  • Kerry-Anne15/02/2019 - 12:58 pm

    Delicious! Made it last night for the whole family, and it was a hit. Will make again for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie17/02/2019 - 9:05 pm

    This is delicious!!! Made as is with the thyme and coconut amino recommendations, but I did sub ground turkey for the lentils. Very delicious!!! Also, best excuse to buy wine.ReplyCancel

  • Pia25/02/2019 - 3:13 pm

    Laura, you’ve got me drooling! This sounds and looks amaying and I so need to try it. Also, nothing wrong with carb heavy meals, keep ’em coming ;)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah26/02/2019 - 2:02 pm

    Mine is definitely pink but this is SO GOOD!ReplyCancel

  • […] tortilla soup. What’s with me and mushroom recipes lately? See these meatballs and this epic bolognese. Guess it’s just a Winter craving kinda thing! This is that point in the year where I keep […]ReplyCancel

  • Friday Faves | foodiecrush01/03/2019 - 9:01 am

    […] And then add them to this bolognese.  […]ReplyCancel

  • Gabrielle03/03/2019 - 10:25 pm

    Hi Laura!

    I finally took time to make this recipe. I have been following your blog for a while now, I also own your book and this is by far one of your best recipes. I am a flexitarian and I can easily say that this recipe has more depth and flavor to it than many meat bolognese sauces.

    Thank you so much for sharing, I will make this a staple at my house.ReplyCancel

  • Anita05/03/2019 - 2:04 pm

    I really enjoyed this recipe–it gets printed and a permanent home in my recipe folder. Delicious.ReplyCancel

  • McKenzie06/03/2019 - 9:37 am

    I make nearly all of your recipes, as a rule, but this one was DAMN good. I’m totally making it for my vegan-skeptical in-laws!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Nelson08/03/2019 - 7:06 pm

    This was so very good. But…i think i used a few too many beets because the color was a deep magenta. We loved it, but i think many couldn’t tolerate the color. But so delicious–best to make it a day or two before you serve it just to let it develop. thanks for the great recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Kristen Sciacca10/03/2019 - 8:56 pm

    I never ever leave comments, but I must say…this was amazing.. Good bolognese is one of the few things I have really missed since going plant based.. You made this Itallians snowy Maine day today!!ReplyCancel

  • […] out our sauce out of convenience, but you could also make some thick cashew milk like I did with this recipe. I’ll include this option in the recipe […]ReplyCancel

  • Katie19/03/2019 - 7:22 am

    This took a lot of work, but it’s tasty! I ended up throwing most of the veggies in at once, to save active time, and then let it all simmer for almost two hours. Loved the earthiness. Please keep up the Italian recipes! The mushroom lentil meatballs are still one of my favorites!ReplyCancel

BEET & BLOOD ORANGE SPICE SMOOTHIE - The First Messpin it!View full post »

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  • Hallie Lauren Sharpless02/02/2019 - 10:53 am

    This color is stunning! I can’t wait to try this combination, I’d never thought about adding AB to a citrus smoothie but it sounds so heavenly with the banana!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth02/02/2019 - 2:02 pm

    This smoothie looks beautiful and sounds amazing for a cold winter day. I”m still loving each and every happy hour post. There are always multiple links that I’m so glad to read and that little piglet drinking milk has my heart feeling like it will burst right out of my chest from love. Grateful for all you bring to this space. Enjoy your weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Devon03/02/2019 - 3:37 pm

    Just made this and LOVE it! I added pomegranate and a pinch of ground cloves. I got a produce box with tons of beets in it, and this was a great way to put some to use. I’ll definitely be making this again :).ReplyCancel

  • Gaby04/02/2019 - 8:43 am

    This was one of the most interesting tasting smoothies I’ve ever had! I made it as directed but added frozen zucchini instead of ice cubes. I never would have put this together. Great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Malone04/02/2019 - 6:04 pm

    Beautiful smoothie! My white counters are QUIVERING as I think about making this, ha!
    Also… microplastics. All the plastics(!) are stressing me out a lot lately. Once you start to notice them, they’re everywhere. Acrylic fibers, stupid plastic woven produce bags (looking at you, TJ’s), and… glitter. :(ReplyCancel

  • cassie14/02/2019 - 5:55 pm

    made this and included the spinach, flax and chia and it was sooooo delicious. definitely best with coconut milk. had it at room temperature because it’s cold where i am. seriously perfect winter smoothie. i freaking love your flavor combos.ReplyCancel

  • Cassie Autumn Tran17/02/2019 - 11:40 pm

    I love the links you shared! Waking up to joy and a tree that grows 40 types of stone fruit–those are fascinating to read about! Excuse me while I read up and make this smoothie!ReplyCancel


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  • Mary30/01/2019 - 4:06 pm

    It looks so good! I will make it!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Shores30/01/2019 - 6:10 pm

    I don’t know what “buffalo-style hot sauce” is. What would I use? Would chipotle Tabasco sauce work? Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Laura30/01/2019 - 8:25 pm

      Hi Susan,
      Buffalo-style hot sauce is meant to taste like the sauce that’s typically applied to Buffalo-style chicken wings. Could be a regional thing! I use Tessemae’s brand Buffalo-style hot sauce here. Frank’s also makes a version of this sauce that may be more widely available. Ultimately, any hot sauce you like will work fine, but I’d start with just a teaspoon and work up from there to build up the heat to your liking.

      • Susan31/01/2019 - 9:37 am

        Thanks so much! You are always so kind and helpful!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full31/01/2019 - 1:31 pm

    This is the game day food mashup of my dreams! I think I was one of the people who replied to your poll with “anything with buffalo sauce”!! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Mona02/02/2019 - 6:27 pm

    I’m dying to make this, but I don’t have an Instant Pot. Would a stovetop pressure cooker work, or even a regular pot? (Say yes say yes say yes…)ReplyCancel

    • Laura03/02/2019 - 2:32 pm

      Yep, I would just seek out a regular stove top refried beans recipe and simply add the Buffalo/hot sauce at the end of the cooking process to mash through. I imagine a stove top pressure cooker would work just fine, but I’ve never personally used one, so can’t advise on proper procedure. If you’re comfortable with using canned pinto beans, this recipe looks easy and great (just mash the hot sauce in at the end):

  • Carolyn LeDuc-Krehel02/02/2019 - 10:02 pm

    I made this dip to take to a birthday party today. Rave reviews!! Thanks for being the best! Yours is my favorite food blog/site… I have referred so many people to your page :) I appreciate not only your recipes, but also your recommendations for good products. Thanks to you, I now have a turmeric subscription to diaspora. I never even knew there was such a thing haha Anyway, keep up the wonderful work :) Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Mel03/02/2019 - 1:53 am

    Yum! I’m going to make this tomorrow. But I’m soaking my beans overnight and then was going to put them in the instant pot. Wondering if that’s ok because I think the recipe just says put the dry beans right in. Should I adjust the cool time in the instant pot?ReplyCancel

    • Laura03/02/2019 - 2:39 pm

      Hi Mel,
      Just from some quick Googling: adjust the cook time to 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release for 20 minutes. You really can’t overcook refried beans since you need them to be mushy anyway. Just watch for extra liquid and strain some off before mashing if necessary.

      • Mel03/02/2019 - 5:43 pm

        Ok great! I’m excited to serve it up this aft. I think it’s going to be a hit.ReplyCancel

      • Mel06/02/2019 - 1:12 am

        Everyone loved the dip! I have to admit it did take a while to get it together but for a special occasion it is worth the effort. I’m going to make the pinto refried beans again tomorrow and serve them in burritos. Yum! Using Grain beans makes such a huge difference too. So good.ReplyCancel

  • Cassie Thuvan Tran04/02/2019 - 4:14 pm

    Let me be clear–I am SO indifferent to football that it’s not funny. My whole country glorifies an event with a bunch of men in burly equipment with helmets tackling each other and chasing each other down on a field with a football. But yeah, the social and food aspect of any Super Bowl party are the BEST! This seven layer dip looks wonderful–the bean and guacamole layers are always my favorite parts of the layer dip.ReplyCancel

  • Haley E Hansen04/02/2019 - 8:59 pm

    Oooooh this sounds so tasty! I love your vegan twist on the classic appetizer and can’t wait to try this one out!ReplyCancel

WINTER SPARKLE JUICE - The First Messpin it!WINTER SPARKLE JUICE - The First Messpin it!View full post »

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  • MikeVFMK27/01/2019 - 5:00 pm

    Made this as soon as I saw it. Had all the ingredients on hand and it’s the perfect vibrant pick-me-up this afternoon. So delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Cassie Autumn Tran28/01/2019 - 6:12 pm

    OMG! This is absolutely wonderful for a sweet refresher. I would never pass up feeling sparkly. I’d want to walk out onto the city streets wearing a fancy dress and pair of heels with a glass of this sparkle juice. Hope it brings all the boys to my yard! (yeah, maybe not LOL)ReplyCancel

  • Larissa Shaaked14/02/2019 - 12:50 pm

    This was so great! Had to make it to get me going on your beet bolonaise for dinner! Can’t wait to make it again.ReplyCancel


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  • Olivia23/01/2019 - 7:41 am

    I was just thinking “I need a go to breakfast, something healthy but indulgent” and I checked my email and found this beauty. You never disappoint in the healthy but indulgent category. That bowl of deliciousness!!! What is on the bottom under all the goodies? And what would you recommend to serve this granola with?ReplyCancel

    • Laura23/01/2019 - 7:53 am

      Hi Olivia!
      I have some cashew-based yogurt underneath the granola and fruit in the bowl. It’s from a brand called Forager Project. The vanilla one is pretty good! I like the granola by the handful on its own (ha!), but with whatever yogurt or milk that you like is also amazing. I enjoy mixing it with other cereals if I’m eating it with milk.

  • Marie23/01/2019 - 5:21 pm

    This looks wonderful! I don’t have any sunflower seeds on hand and was wondering if I could sub them for pecans chopped up finely in the food processor. Your recipes are always amazing btw!ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/01/2019 - 8:14 am

      Hi Marie!
      Thanks so much for this. I think chopped up pecans in place of the sunflower seeds would be amazing actually. Kinda wish I had done that! :)

  • Renée23/01/2019 - 8:56 pm

    I’m a huge fan of granolas and these look amazing. I am wondering where you get those fabulous coconut flakes cause I never saw so many large unbroken flakes in a package! I live close to Ottawa and hope I can source some of these beauties. Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/01/2019 - 8:25 am

      Hi Renée!
      I actually buy these at my local HomeSense store in their little pantry section. The brand is called Everland. They seem to always have large flake coconut and the little boxes of coconut cream that I love for making desserts and such. So yeah, I go there to stock up some of my coconut products essentially haha.

      • Katie04/03/2019 - 10:18 am

        Has anybody tried this with standard shredded coconut? I have a ton on hand but am not sure how it would all hold together. This looks AmAzInG and is surprisingly eligible for the elimination diet I’m doing (no gluten OR oats, among other things! missin that granola!). Just can’t convince myself to go buy MORE coconut when I already am so stocked on the wrong kind :/ thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Cassie Autumn Tran23/01/2019 - 9:56 pm

    These look freaking PERFECT! Chocolate clusters that are nutty and a little salty…those snacks are my dream, everything I want and more. I am always kind of worried about creating these types of recipes just because I know for a fact that the batch will be gone in less than 24 hours! LOL! But in all seriousness, I ADORE your creativity. Love the photos so much!ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/01/2019 - 8:26 am

      Thank you for this comment, Cassie! I ate quite a bit of this batch while I was photographing it for this post, so I totally understand your dilemma ;)

  • Jen @ sweetgreenkitchen.com23/01/2019 - 10:34 pm

    This looks so good! And I have to say I recently bought a jar of Seed & Mill Tahini on sale on a whim, and it is hands down the most divine tahini ever! It is quite pricey though, but I will definitely be buying again and using it where it really counts, like drizzled on oatmeal (yum!) Or in this delicious looking recipe! Also, I love that bowl, the shape is perfectly imperfect!ReplyCancel

    • Laura24/01/2019 - 8:29 am

      Yes it really is a next level tahini! I generally also love using tahini from the middle eastern section of the international aisle of the grocery store as well. It’s always perfectly runny, not too bitter, and is definitely a great price. Perfect for recipes that call for a large volume and have a lot of other flavours going on ;)

  • […] Loving this grain free chocolate granola. […]ReplyCancel

  • Rachel19/02/2019 - 2:00 pm

    I made this recipe over the weekend and it was quick and easy! It’s a nice hit of chocolate and sweetness in the afternoon without the refined sugar.

    It is a little sweeter than I prefer for granola so I think I will dial down the maple syrup a little bit in the future and add more coconut oil or another liquid ingredient to make up for the volume change. But I really like that it’s grain free as oatmeal and grains are already a big part of my diet :)ReplyCancel

  • […] Grain Free Chocolate Sea Salt Granola Hunks by The First Mess. Put this on yogurt, ice cream or a smoothie bowl. […]ReplyCancel

  • Maria João Fragoso16/03/2019 - 7:08 am

    I made this and it came out really really good :) my favourite homemade chocolate granola so far. Thank youReplyCancel