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Put your winter woes aside, friends. Spring is arriving in slow trickles, whispers, pops and things that go whooooosh. The sun is borderline blinding me as it streams down onto my desk and I cannot be bothered to draw that shade. We’ve waited too long. The grass is shifting from yellow-green-brown muck to actual fresh, emerald-hued blades (that rustle in the wind! So great.). There’s a mighty anticipation of what is surely wonderful–it’s just around the corner, the most minuscule shred of time longer.

Still, there’s nothing definitively “spring” available at the markets currently. It will be a while before the ground fully thaws and turns those seeds and roots into something nourishing and delicious (looking at you asparagus, breakfast radishes, wild leeks and peas). Until then, some more cool-weather items and sprouted goods will appease my craving for fresh, totally crisp, high-vibe things. Are you all kind of feeling this now too? The need for crunchy, fresh, higher-water-content kind of foods? I’ve been wanting giant salads and green drinks all the time. I think my body is ready for a seasonal warm up, so I’ve been giving myself what I need to move on to the next seasonal moment. Plenty of vegetables, fresh juices, herbal tea and So. Much. Water.

One of the local grocers always has a wonderful selection of fresh sprouts. There’s daikon radish, various herbs, pea shoots, wheatgrass and my favourite: sunflower sprouts. I picked up a pot of them for a radicchio salad with some cider-pickled beets I had made and a bit of sprouted wild rice. I decided at the last second to make these into more of a portable salad thing with a sweet, chive-flecked vinaigrette to take the bitter edge off of the radicchio wrap. They ended up being exactly what I wanted. The sprouted rice is chewy, the beets are still crisp and nicely acidic, sprouts for freshness and hemp seeds for nuttiness. If you enjoy cheese, a happy sprinkling of sheep’s milk feta would be quite pleasant I think.

I offer instructions for pickling the beets in the refrigerator style here. I love doing this with winter vegetables and it couldn’t be easier to rig up. Equal parts water and vinegar of your choice, spices, herbs, little salt and sweetening, all heated up. Pour it on top of vegetables packed in a jar, put the lid on and leave it in the fridge for 5-7 days. Super low maintenance and plenty of crunchy, tangy things for salads and snacks throughout the week. Sprouting the wild rice is similarly low key. Just place the rice in a jar, cover it with plenty of water and put a lid on it. Change the water twice a day for 2-3 days until you start seeing the white of the rice coming out and some curling up in the grains. Delightfully chewy complex carbohydrates are now at your disposal (back in the high life again, guys). If you can’t wait a couple days to sprout it, you could always stir in some cooked wild rice on the more al denté side. The chew-factor is so important.

I would love to know how you all ease into the warmer weather as it slowly seeps in. Do you cook up and eat anything special? Start going to yoga more? Do you obsessively seek out green things? Are you contemplating a juice fast/feast? (I feel like everyone around me is) Do you listen to awesome throwback 80s-style jams? I’m so curious about all of yous :)

xo
Laura

Oh and! A lovely gal I know has started a thoroughly rad book blog called Algonquin Side Table. It’s wonderful for decidedly casual readers like myself because Rebecca’s voice is so approachable. This week, she asked me to take part in a bit of a bookshelf interview, all pertaining to cookbooks and works on food! If you’d like to sneak a look at my bookshelves and take in some of my favourites you can check it out here.

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sprout + crunch radicchio cups w/ honey chive vinaigrette and avocado recipe
serves: makes 8-12 cups
notes: If you don’t love the bitter quality of radicchio, you could sub a head of boston/butter lettuce in.

cider-pickled beets ingredients:
1 medium golden beet, peeled
1 bay leaf
black peppercorns
1 white from a green onion (I only used this because I had a few)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp raw honey or agave nectar

honey chive vinaigrette ingredients:
2 tbsp white balsamic or wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp raw honey or agave nectar
salt + pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped chives + extra for garnish

radicchio cups ingredients:
1 large head of radicchio, core removed
1 heaped cup of sprouted or cooked wild rice
3/4 cup chopped cider-pickled beets
big handful sunflower sprouts
1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
1 batch honey chive vinaigrette
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled + pitted
salt + pepper

Make the cider-pickled beets: cut the beet in half lengthwise and then cut each half into thin slices. Pack them into a clean 2-cup+ capacity jar, leaving about a 1/2 inch of space at the top. Tuck the bay leaf, black peppercorns and green onion bulb into the jar too. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the apple cider vinegar, water, salt + agave/honey. Bring it to a boil and pour the mixture into the jar with the beets until all of the slices are covered. Put a lid on the jar, place it in the fridge and let it do its thing for 5-7 days.

Once you’ve removed the core from the radicchio, carefully pull off whole leaves. Once you have 8-12 or so, wrap them in damp paper towel until you’re ready to fill them.

Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey/agave, salt and pepper until combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk the vinaigrette together. Add the chives and whisk once more. Check for seasoning and set aside.

Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the sprouted wild rice, chopped pickled beets, sunflower sprouts, hemp seeds, all of the honey-chive vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Toss until everything is evenly mixed.

Place the radicchio leaves on a platter and spoon the wild rice + beet mixture into the cups. Dice the avocado and garnish the cups with it. Sprinkle some extra chopped chives on top and serve.

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  • Anouk27/03/2013 - 5:23 am

    Spring! Oh how I look forward to the flowers & trees showing of their colors again… For now, we’re still enduring frost here in Belgium. But: sun is shining today! Still enjoying soups though :) But also some salad of course (lamb’s lettuce – yum!). Juice fast not really my thing – smelly breath alert! – I prefer some crunch so would rather go on a salad feast & a juice/smoothie to start the day (you should really try the mango-mint smoothie from the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook!).
    //warm hug//ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin27/03/2013 - 6:43 am

    what a perfect meal to ring in the beginning of spring. i love eating more salads during this time, too. unfortunately, it hasn’t felt like spring around here much, as it just snowed again on monday! i’m so ready to start gardening in the warm sun and eating delicious raw wraps like this one ;)ReplyCancel

  • erin27/03/2013 - 8:55 am

    BEAUTIFUL! Seriously, these look just perfect and make me even more excited for spring (even though there is still now where I’m at!)ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf27/03/2013 - 9:35 am

    I am SO ready for Spring. Sadly it’s 2 degrees centigrade in the UK and absolutely frosty as anything! Once Spring arrives though I’ll be feasting on beautiful salads like this!ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan27/03/2013 - 10:17 am

    Absolutely gorgeous, as usual!ReplyCancel

  • Angela27/03/2013 - 12:18 pm

    Creative,healthy and beautiful = perfect;)It’s snowing outside my window so a bowl of warm soup is what I need now. But I’m waiting impatiently for young spring vegetables and greens.ReplyCancel

  • Eileen27/03/2013 - 2:03 pm

    These little cups sound so refreshing and springy! I even have my own pickled beets all ready to use, hanging out in my kitchen cupboard–and golden ones, no less. :) Love it!ReplyCancel

  • teri c27/03/2013 - 3:25 pm

    So when you made the pickled beets, they were raw correct? look great but only have had them cooked…ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright27/03/2013 - 5:41 pm

      Hi Teri! Yes, the beets are raw when you pour the pickling liquid onto them. They stay nice and crunchy. I find the earthy flavour isn’t as pronounced.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Jacqui27/03/2013 - 5:38 pm

    These are so gorgeous Laura! I ease into warm weather by opening up every window in my house any chance I get! 60 degrees and sunny, yep! Nothing beats fresh air, but I definitely have been getting my salads on!ReplyCancel

  • Shira27/03/2013 - 10:20 pm

    Oh heavens me! This post has so many things I love….firstly I am with you and can’t wait for those first shoots to break through back home (yup we are still here on holiday!) – and sprouts are the most perfect solution for the waiting! I made something similar recently with radicchio as bowls – they are so, so beautiful. Currently planning the list of things I want to pickle…starting with those amazing looking beets. What a fantastic tip. thanks Laura!ReplyCancel

  • sarah27/03/2013 - 10:56 pm

    Lovely photos. I *love* sprouts.
    As for spring, I tend to eat more greens, and walk walk walk. I love walking, and we’ve been stuck inside all winter! Ugh. Also, I don’t pull out 80’s music, but I have been listening to a lot of Sarah McLachlin’s ‘Fumbling Toward Ecstasy’ (one of my most favorite albums, and terribly 90’s and nostalgic.) I spent lots of spring evenings driving around with that cranked, looking for cute boys…ReplyCancel

  • Nicola Galloway28/03/2013 - 3:30 am

    What a gorgeous idea, and your photos are stunning. We are at the other end of the planet so heading into autumn but still salad weather… just. Thanks, NicolaReplyCancel

  • carey28/03/2013 - 10:11 am

    The sun is doing the same, blinding thing through my desk window, and I am totally into it. And there are tiny tufts of grass on the lawn and the beginnings of tulips in the garden — hurray! About GD time.

    There are these little bags of sugar snap peas showing up on the shelves of our natural foods market, and they are SO tempting. But I resist, because I don’t know where they’re coming from, and I know they’ll only disappoint me. Right now, all I want are lots of fresh herbs and little baby greens. Sprouts are where it’s at. I’ve been a pea shot girl for a while now, but I’ll have to give those sunflower sprouts a try! Definitely no juice fasts for me. (I drink a juice and it just leaves me feeling annoyed because I’m still hungry, and I spent $8 on liquid instead getting a salad and a muffin, which is really what I wanted.) Lots of smoothies and walking. And pep talks to mentally prepare myself for the first bike ride of the season, which will make it painfully clear to me what a total lazeball I was all winter.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey28/03/2013 - 10:56 pm

    This was exactly what my body wanted today on this gorgeous 65′ day. You are the queen of veggies, my love. I bow down. To your reader inquiry… I am SO craving GREEN. Green everything. I can’t even look at a loaf of bread right now, which is odd. Smoothies consist of fresh turmeric, banana, and kale… can’t stop won’t stop. I’m not sure if this is quite 80’s throw-back, but I have had an unusual affinity to this song since returning from Chile. http://snd.sc/YjDMJ2 … I’m usually more for the moody acoustic stuff, but… SPRING. I tell ya. It shakes it all up.

    abrazos y besosReplyCancel

  • Lisa the Gourmet Wog29/03/2013 - 3:17 am

    What a beautiful colourful salad. I absolutely love golden beet, and this makes the vegetable shine.ReplyCancel

  • hungryandfrozen30/03/2013 - 1:05 am

    Funnily enough, even though this recipe suits you for heralding spring, I think it’s just what I want to eat now that autumn’s nearly through and we’re coming into winter – just because I love all those bitter, sour, spicy flavours and I think they’ll be just what I need to counteract all the million stews and soups and so on that I’ll be eating this season. Just hope I can find some of those beauteous golden beets…ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne31/03/2013 - 12:26 pm

    YES! This is exactly what I want to eat this time of year. Spring is finally, finally here in Kansas City—Cookie and I just went on an epic walk in 60 degree weather, clear skies—and I’m ready to fill up on salads and green things. Be gone, winter fluff!ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae01/04/2013 - 1:46 pm

    I half-ass made these for lunch today and they were delicious. Just what the doctor ordered, in fact. As the warmer weather creeps in, I long for vegetable loaded eats and long morning runs. I eat a lot of big ass salads in the summer, but I think I could get used to fancy little wraps like these.ReplyCancel

  • Sonja03/04/2013 - 9:48 pm

    These look amazing! I’ve never tried a radicchio cup but it’s a perfect idea. Wonderful for pre-spring — before all the spring produce comes forth!ReplyCancel

  • Julia05/04/2013 - 10:52 am

    this recipe looks so fresh and delicious, i love working with radicchio!
    i have to admit that i love all your recipes, I have you on the inspiration page of my blog.ReplyCancel

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Saturday or Sunday lunch/brunch has historically been my least favourite shift to work in terms of service. It’s just way busy and if you try to have a shred of a social life on the weekend like a normal human being, you’re paying for it in some way as the day wears on. I’ve been parked behind a giant espresso machine for solid blocks of time hammering out lattes for fancy ladies. The day is a blur of flipping those tables over and over until the clock strikes 3. There are children and there are messes of ketchup. There are total, self-entitled douchebags that need coffee. Clatters, clangs, beeps, change clinks, sizzles + shouts. The fullest hours imaginable.

A couple years ago, I found myself on such a day catching a moment behind a vitrine all filled to the brim with pâté, pickles, cheeses and marinated items; my elbow supporting my chin and heavy gaze. Other hand firmly planted in the pocket of my faded navy blue apron. My boss came up behind me so silently and leaned up on the case as I did, looking out at the scene. After I made some throwaway comment on how crazy it had been all morning, he said something so great. He gestured out to the dining room and remarked “Isn’t it wonderful to look out and see everyone smiling and to get a sense that they’re all laughing together?” And it was actually nice. It made me feel better about my lack of sleep, not being able to have a leisurely  read + eat with my man, about those DB’s I mentioned earlier… I felt less like I was swept up in service and more like I was performing a necessary service for my community. I was part of the assembly that facilitated a weekly coming-together over something good to eat. Huge. People look forward to that time all week. Work became privilege.

Side note: I work in a fine establishment that only opens for dinners now, so this has become less of a thing. But! I appreciate languid breakfasts in and out of the home all the more now–for the happy chorus in a crowded dining room or the one, singular laugh of my handsome man. All of it a still new-feeling luxury for me.

So for those happy/lazy times at home, you would probably find me fixing up something like this. The quinoa in these provides crunchy textural contrast. It isn’t thrown in because of random “for your health!” kind of aspirations. They give the cakes heft and much visual interest. I toast it in cinnamon flecked coconut oil for lots of fragrance and use plenty of vanilla to warm up the largely almond meal-based batter. Cacao nibs give a wine-y chocolaty crunch and the bananas get sweet and caramelized on top of the cakes. A dollop of tangy yogurt and plenty of maple syrup finishes them off. Something wonderful to see us through to the end of winter, over some good reads and a pot of tea.

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coconut, almond + quinoa breakfast cakes recipe
Inspired by True Food.
serves: 3-4
notes: I blend everything except the spelt flour, salt, sugar and leavening agents to really smooth out the almond flour. That’s an optional step. Also, making the quinoa up the night before would cut down on prep time considerably if you’re planning on maximal chill times on a Sunday or some such thing. If you eat eggs, you could certainly add a whisked one to the batter for some extra leavening power.

pancakes:
2 1/2 tbsp melted extra virgin coconut oil, divided + extra for the pan
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup milk of your choice (I used light coconut milk)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup whole spelt flour (or GF all purpose)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or demerara, evaporated cane etc)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups almond meal
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 bananas, sliced + divided
2 tbsp cacao nibs + extra

to serve:
yogurt of your choosing (coconut, sheep, cow etc)
maple syrup

Cook the quinoa: in a small saucepan over medium heat, drop a 1/2 tbsp of the coconut oil. Once it’s fragrant add the pinch of cinnamon. Stir that around until it smells way good. Add the rinsed and drained quinoa and a pinch of salt. Stir it around in the oil a bit to toast. Add a scant cup of water to the pan. Bring the quinoa to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. You want the quinoa to be cooked, but kind of crunchy too. Drain off excess liquid and cool quinoa completely.

Add the lemon juice to the milk and set aside for 5 minutes to curdle/lump up.

In a medium bowl, combine the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, coconut sugar and sea salt. Stir to combine. Combine the almond meal, vanilla extract, remaining coconut oil and curdled milk in the blender. Flip it to high and blend until the mixture is very smooth, about a minute. Scrape this mixture into the bowl with the spelt flour etc. Gently fold it all together with a spatula until just combined. Add the cooled quinoa and fold it in until it’s evenly mixed.

Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium. Brush with melted coconut oil. Drop 1/4-1/3 cups of batter onto the pan. Spread the batter out a bit with a spatula or the bottom of the measuring cup. Press banana slices onto the top of the cakes and sprinkle with cacao nibs. Once bubbles start to form on top and the bottom is golden, flip them over. Continue to cook until bottom side is golden/dry. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping cooked cakes warm as you go along.

Serve pancakes with extra sliced bananas + cacao nibs, maple syrup and yogurt dolloped on top.

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  • Caitlin20/03/2013 - 6:48 am

    what a beautiful story and breakfast! i used to work in a bakery, and i remember the craziness of the morning hours on saturday and sunday. sometimes it was quite overwhelming, but when i stepped back and looked at the joy the baked goods brought them, i felt honored to work at such an amazing place. like you said, work was a privilege.

    i love the idea of adding quinoa to breakfast cakes for some heft and staying power. i will definitely have to try it this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Melting_pot20/03/2013 - 8:36 am

    Wow! These look so good! I am always looking out for healthy breakfast ideas. Sometimes I get bored of the usual: 5 cereal muesli , almond, raisins with soy milk. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Megan20/03/2013 - 9:13 am

    These are just beautiful, Laura! I’ve never worked in food service, but I love the outlook on Saturday/Sunday morning busy times that you shared. Also glad for you that you get to enjoy your mornings at home now, with those lovely cakes!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Crowder20/03/2013 - 9:41 am

    Never heard cacao nibs called “wine-y”…what an apt description!ReplyCancel

  • teri C20/03/2013 - 10:45 am

    Thanks so much for posting this..I will try it. I am a survivor of food service and my own catering business. Gads! There’s a forever foodie in me, but now I find growing heirloom veggies more relaxing and still try to sneek in interesting meals to friends and family that appreciate it! Love the blog and appreciate the time it takes to do this for us to enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Carla20/03/2013 - 11:25 am

    Hey Laura! It’s Carla from JK. :) How are you? I have a slight feeling that your story might be about him? Haha. Let me know if I’m right. But the meat and pickle vitrine and faded blue apron sound way too familiar.

    I’ve always been a fan of your blog but it has recently come in more handy. I’m finding myself in a bit of an eating rut and am trying to reconnect with good food. It’s so easy to let oneself go in this industry! Especially in the winter.

    Anyway, bottom line, you have such a beautiful blog! Your words and pictures are super inspirational and I’m so happy for your success. Keep up the fabulous work!

    – Carla
    P.S. HI MARK! :)ReplyCancel

  • Shira20/03/2013 - 11:49 am

    Gorgeous as always and love love the list of ingredients. I spend my work days sharing stories with folks in the restaurant business who do exactly what you describe: provide that special experience that people so look forward to all week/month – I couldn’t agree more that it is worth seeing it as a privilege. Awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Heather20/03/2013 - 12:34 pm

    I absolutely adore your photos and recipe. I look forward to reading your posts every Wed. It’s the first thing I do when I get up.ReplyCancel

  • Emma20/03/2013 - 1:44 pm

    Oooh these are beautiful with the red quinoa. I love all the flavours too- almonds, bannana, coconut. I actually made almond and coconut crusted banana pancakes yesterday which were suberb. This pancake fiend will be trying your version very soon!ReplyCancel

  • Kris20/03/2013 - 1:49 pm

    I love this post both because I used to work in the service industry and can relate to both views and because breakfast (well, brunch really) is my favourite meal of the day. Cozy mornings spent lingering with good people over delicious food is one of life’s best gifts. These pancakes are stunning. I’m looking forward to trying a GF version over here in the near future.ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan20/03/2013 - 2:08 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous, as usual!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne20/03/2013 - 3:05 pm

    Oh boy, can I ever relate to having a little too much fun the night before a morning shift. I used to get jealous of everyone’s good times on the weekend, but I did enjoy being a part of their fun. You make healthy and humble breakfast foods look SO appealing, Laura, love it.ReplyCancel

  • Sophie {The Cake Hunter}20/03/2013 - 4:53 pm

    Your blog makes me so happy. I really love the idea of these breakfast cakes. I bet they’d be a great start to the day.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney20/03/2013 - 5:13 pm

    These breakfast cakes are pretty much all of my favorite flavors rolled into one. I think you just created my ideal breakfast! Can’t wait until the weekend to try them out :)ReplyCancel

  • dana20/03/2013 - 7:20 pm

    GORG. I love these photos! And the recipe looks to die for. Bravo, friend!ReplyCancel

  • Liren20/03/2013 - 7:32 pm

    This gives me such an appreciation for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, that gives us as diners the opportunity to linger and laugh over tables of delicious food. I’m glad you are able to enjoy calmer mornings, and with these beauties. I love the quinoa!ReplyCancel

  • carey21/03/2013 - 8:11 am

    Ahh, this makes me miss waiting tables. :) I was serving breakfast in a small town sap house, and most of the people were nice and super friendly (perhaps because we all kind of knew each other!). But I dealt with my fair share of DBs that were spending the weekend out of the city in their upstate homes. Those were always the women that ordered two pancakes for their 5 year olds, ignoring my warnings that they were enormous and one would suffice. The look on their faces when I triumphantly dropped off a dinner plate with two pancakes overhanging the edges all the way around was THE BEST.

    And I am loving the idea of quinoa in pancakes! Especially with bananas + cacao nibs + yogurt. Oh my. (One of my newest flavor combo obsessions is bananas + cacao nibs. I don’t know what took me so long.)ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa22/03/2013 - 8:16 am

    I love, love, love starting my day with quinoa. Whether it’s granola, hot cereal, or pancakes, quinoa never disappoints. This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to whip up a batch this weekend. And your photos are gorgeous!

    I would love for you to share this recipe on this week’s Thank Goodness It’s Quinoa, the bi-weekly link party that celebrates all things quinoa. I know our readers will fall in love with this recipe just as I have!

    http://www.queenofquinoa.me/2013/03/thank-goodness-its-quinoa-tgiq-6/

    Happy Friday!

    AlyssaReplyCancel

  • Beth | {local milk}22/03/2013 - 10:25 pm

    you’re killing me with these photos and this recipe. a while back, like a year ago, I got obsessed with pancakes. i mean seriously obsessed. and then i got obsessed with making healthy pancakes, like how much nutrition could i hide in a cake. i no longer make pancakes with the zeal I did then (don’t get me wrong, they’re still in regular rotation) but this takes me back to my days of superfood purple okinawan sweet potato pancake days. I think I need to revisit them with these. My other half would freak the freak out for them.ReplyCancel

  • sarah23/03/2013 - 10:59 am

    Laura, your photographs have been just dynamite lately! So gorgeous.

    I was a barista for 10+ years, so I totally felt everything you wrote about. Fancy ladies! douche bags! messy children! There were moments of so much resentment, and then those moments of so much love. It was always such a weird meeting ground.ReplyCancel

  • marlies23/03/2013 - 9:23 pm

    do you think this recipe would work with brown rice flour instead of spelt? it looks sooo good i would love to make it :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright24/03/2013 - 8:38 am

      Hi Marlies! I think the brown rice flour would sub in fine, but you may have to introduce some kind of binder like arrowroot powder or ground flax seeds (a tablespoon or so of each). The gluten in the spelt kind of helps to hold it all together, so adding one of those 2 things would help. Alternatively, if you eat eggs, you could add a beaten one to the batter to help with binding too. Hope that helps!
      -LReplyCancel

  • Roos24/03/2013 - 3:15 pm

    Love your blog, great rcipes and beautiful photography!!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley25/03/2013 - 10:12 am

    These look OUTstanding. What gorgeous photos…per usual. Your words and the creativity of this recipe are just so lovely. Well done! — I also wanted to thank you for your incredibly sweet comments you left on my blog last week. They truly meant so much and were just what I needed. Thank you! xoReplyCancel

  • hungryandfrozen26/03/2013 - 5:08 am

    1: I love what your boss said! Especially as I was expecting them to growl at you or something.
    2: I hope I’m pretty friendly and non-stressful already, but this post makes me really want to consider the people serving me brunch and be particularly considerate of them.
    3: I adore the food thesaurus, I use it all the time.
    4: This recipe sounds wonderful, and I really like that you explained exactly why the quinoa is there. Aaaand I do believe I have all the ingredients…ReplyCancel

  • Sophia27/03/2013 - 5:42 am

    What an absolute gorgeous stack of pancakes – amazing photos and the pancakes look absolutely delicious! And I loved the little insight you gave us into what it’s like to stand on the other side of the counter. Despite having had a number of tedious jobs since being a teenager I never actually did any kind of waiting or working in a bar as I always thought it must be horrible to work where other people go to have fun – despite being an avid people watcher, it never occurred to me how nice it could be to be part of that (leaving aside the douche bags and messy children). So thank you for that! And also an important reminder to be kind to those standing on the other side of the till/counter, you name it.ReplyCancel

  • Haleigh Robbins05/04/2013 - 8:27 am

    These look so good! I’ve never thought of putting quinoa in pancakes. It’s a great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Eli's Mom15/04/2013 - 11:35 am

    I will try to make this for myself and the little one. The photos are so gorgeous, by the way!ReplyCancel

  • Abbie18/04/2013 - 12:58 pm

    I made these this morning and they are delicious! I am not gluten-free or vegan, so I just substituted regular flour and regular milk for the batter. The cakes didn’t hold up too well when it was time to flip them, so I added an egg like you suggested and a tablespoon more flour and they firmed right up! I love the lemony flavor.ReplyCancel

  • […] The First Mess: Vegan Coconut, Almond + Quinoa Breakfast CakesThese vegan breakfast cakes look like perhaps the best kind of pancake I’ve ever seen. They can be made gluten-free by using all-purpose GF flour. With healthy quinoa, bananas, cacao, and 3 different coconut-derived ingredients, your belly is going to be just as happy as your taste buds. […]ReplyCancel

  • Cheri Litchfield20/04/2013 - 5:51 pm

    Made these this morning and they were absolutely perfect!! Thank you SOOOO much!ReplyCancel

  • southernspoonbelle27/04/2013 - 12:39 am

    These look incredible, thank you for sharing. Re-thinking my own post on banana pancakes that I’ve just put up after seeing these interesting beauties! Will have to try experimenting with toasted quinoa added to breads and cakes. Happy Spring to you.ReplyCancel

  • Apolline08/05/2013 - 4:54 pm

    this looks absolutely amazing! have to try it asap :)ReplyCancel

  • Deborah Dyson20/06/2013 - 7:15 pm

    So glad I found the link to this site – the recipes sound fantastic, as are the photos and background stories. I’ve been adding quinoa to my pancakes for a while now, but your version sounds heavenly. I haven’t done much with coconut oil, although I’ve had it in my pantry for a while. This recipe inspires me to go cook!ReplyCancel

  • […] of the day. I have tried these crepes, these eggs, these mueslis, these oats, this frozen yoghurt, this pancake, this omelette, these […]ReplyCancel

  • […] of the day. I have tried these crepes, these eggs, these mueslis, these oats, this frozen yoghurt, this pancake, this omelette, these […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Coconut Almond and Quinoa Breakfast Cakes […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Recipe to try :: Vegan Coconut Almond Quinoa Breakfast Cakes Recipe […]ReplyCancel

  • […] 23. Coconut, Almond and Quinoa Breakfast Cakes Recipe […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Inspiration from The First Mess Get Recipe here […]ReplyCancel

  • Giulia18/05/2014 - 1:52 pm

    Was so excited to try this recipe (have been looking for an excuse to use almond meal for some time)! I mixed up the batter as described, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the pancakes to keep shape in the pan – they came undone as soon as I tried to flip them. Tried adding a little more water to make the batter more pancake-like, didn’t work. VERY sad considering that despite ending up in a lumpy brown pile, they still tasted delicious… any idea what might have gone wrong? Or could you propose an alternative (maybe baked) that would be harder for me to mess up? :) I want to give this another go for sure.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright02/06/2014 - 2:13 pm

      Hi Giulia, I’m so sorry on the lateness of this reply. So truthfully, I’ve found these pancakes to be a little fragile as well. The batter is quite stiff and it is intended to be that way to help them stay together in the pan. Once you drop the batter in the pan, you kind of have to spread it out a bit more manually with a spatula to get a nice flat pancake. So on that note, I don’t know if adding water to the batter would have helped. I think my best advice is just to gently spread them out a bit with the back of a spoon or spatula once the batter goes on the heat, and to use the biggest flipper you’ve got to handle them. I’m glad you thought they still tasted delicious though! And I really hope you do try them again.
      -LReplyCancel

  • […] thefirstmess.com […]ReplyCancel

  • Caty05/06/2014 - 9:23 am

    I absolutely love these! Instead of placing the banana slices on top, I mash them up and add them to the batter which makes the cakes a bit lighter. Wonderful photos, you’re such an inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • […] The First Mess: Vegan Coconut, Almond + Quinoa Breakfast Cakes These vegan breakfast cakes look like perhaps the best kind of pancake I’ve ever seen. They can be made gluten-free by using all-purpose GF flour. With healthy quinoa, bananas, cacao, and 3 different coconut-derived ingredients, your belly is going to be just as happy as your taste buds. […]ReplyCancel

  • Fancy Friday08/01/2015 - 3:57 pm

    […] Pots // Gold and Florals // Breakfast Cakes// Planters // Succulents // Hand Painted Scarf Speaking of our home, I actually have four of the […]ReplyCancel

  • […] via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Flour Muffins via The Honour System Coconut, Almond, and Quinoa Breakfast Cakes via The First […]ReplyCancel

  • anonymous13/05/2015 - 5:51 am

    I had the same problems as GIULIA. I mixed up the batter as described, but pancakes came out terrible. When i tried to flip them the batter fell apart, the inside was still liquid while the outside was ok.
    At the end i decided to make something like keiser schmarrn and it tasted delicious :)ReplyCancel

  • […] Coconut, Almond, and Quinoa Breakfast Cakes // The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Voy20/08/2015 - 5:25 am

    Hi there
    I’m a bit confused as to whether you should use almond meal or almond flour in this recipe?
    Thanks, VoyReplyCancel

    • Laura20/08/2015 - 8:00 am

      I think both would work, but almond flour is probably preferable.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Anthea @ Rainbownourishments13/02/2016 - 7:40 am

    Oh wow, I love these! I can imagine the quinoa would add such a lovely and unique texture to the pancakes. I’m pinning this xoReplyCancel

  • […] Coconut Almond Quinoa Pancakes from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

pin it!pin it!
You’ll have to forgive me for paraphrasing on this one. I remember reading this passage when we were away, on the beach in the glorious sun, a few months ago. I can’t for the life of me remember where I first took those words in. I’ve flipped through all of the sand-filled books and print publications that I toted along and simply cannot spot it. Some serious googling or more page flipping wouldn’t be too hard, but my eyes have been watering up and un-focusing involuntarily with some frequency lately. It might be time to step away from any and all screens for the day and spend less time focusing on tiny things. The vibrance of this thrown-together dish (with some outstanding local + hydroponic eggplant), against a grey mid-March backdrop, had me thinking of that lost passage. So here we are.

There is a woman in the back of a cab, somewhere in India. From memory, she is most definitely North American. She is travelling through the country in a way that suggests leisure, waiting for inspiration while cultural immersion takes place and seeming “otherness” surrounds. She notices prayer flags of every hue and condition flying from pointed rooftops, hanging off of farm gates, tangled in the streets, strewn over doorways of run-down homes, whipping in the wind on the tops of mountains and trees. They’re everywhere. She asks her cab driver about the flags, why the everywhere-locales, why the variety in appearance. His response is calm and straightforward, without a trace of glorification or pomp: God loves colour.

pin it!pin it!
crispy eggplant + harissa flatbread recipe
serves: 4-6
notes: I followed a harissa recipe from Food 52 pretty much to the letter (I left out the all spice + nutmeg) and was rather pleased with the results. I do use it sparingly since this Tunisian spice paste is quite fiery. If you make the whole recipe, there’s lots of other things you can do with it. Add a dab to a simple vinaigrette, use it as a marinade for proteins, mash it into some cooked sweet potatoes with a dollop of yogurt, drizzle it onto your avocado toast–many possibilities.

scant 1 lb whole grain pizza dough (I purchased a really great locally made one, but I have a recipe here too)
1/4 cup of harissa (I used this recipe from Food 52)
1 small eggplant
1 shallot
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbsp raw honey or agave nectar
4 cups baby arugula
big handful of mint leaves
big handful of flat parsley leaves
squeeze of lemon juice
salt + pepper
1 tbsp dukkah spice (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rip a piece of parchment big enough to fit the sheet pan you want to use. Lay it on the counter and begin rolling out your dough on top of it. Aim for a 10-11 inch circle, about 1/3 inch thick. Transfer the dough and parchment to your sheet pan. Apply the harissa to the dough evenly.

Trim the ends off of the eggplant and slice it into thin rounds. Arrange the rounds on the dough.

Peel and trim the shallot. Slice it as thin as you can. Scatter slices on top of the eggplant.

Drizzly the top with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Slide the sheet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the bottom seems brown and crisp and the eggplant has shrivelled up a bit.

While the flatbread is baking, place the arugula into a medium bowl. Roughly chop the mint and parsley and add to the bowl as well. Drizzle the remaining olive oil onto the greens, add the squeeze of lemon, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Once the flatbread is removed, drizzle with the honey or agave nectar. Cut flatbread into slices. Scatter the greens and herbs on top of the slices and sprinkle dukkah spice all over the greens. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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  • Angela13/03/2013 - 9:22 am

    simple, beautiful and surely delicious:)ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf13/03/2013 - 9:39 am

    Absolutely stunning. Simple but perfect and exactly the kind of thing I love to eat :-)ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin13/03/2013 - 10:19 am

    what a beautiful flat bread pizza. i love when non traditional toppings are used and these look so lovely and delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren13/03/2013 - 10:32 am

    This looks BEAUTIFUL! I can’t wait to make this! What a great way to change it up with eggplant… I love eggplant but sometimes I get bored of my regular recipes. Can’t wait to try this!
    ReplyCancel

  • carey13/03/2013 - 10:37 am

    Oh, this speaks to me, in many ways. The dish feels so very similar to the something old, something new winter-meets-spring cravings I’ve been having lately. I’m not quite ready to let go of the earthy, hearty foods, but I will sure as heck brighten them up with lots of greens and fresh herbs. And that passage has inspired me to reconsider the direction in which I had taken my photos for an upcoming post. (:ReplyCancel

  • Nourish Your Roots13/03/2013 - 12:13 pm

    Yum! Looks heavenly. I haven’t seen eggplant in recipes in what seems like ages…so good that they have an appearance here. Reminds me of summer :)ReplyCancel

  • Heather13/03/2013 - 12:41 pm

    Beautiful photos – and color! I am really digging this recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Richa13/03/2013 - 1:51 pm

    gorgeous pictures! i love harissa and everything on this flatbread working beautifully.ReplyCancel

  • Eileen13/03/2013 - 1:56 pm

    So beautiful! And that amazing arugula is really making me crave a visit to the spring farmer’s market. :)ReplyCancel

  • Courtney13/03/2013 - 4:00 pm

    This looks like the perfect end of winter/beginning of spring meal! Now I’m curious about that passage, too :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley13/03/2013 - 4:40 pm

    This looks outstanding. I am obsessed with your photos + blog. The end.ReplyCancel

  • Kristy13/03/2013 - 5:18 pm

    I’m in love with the photos in this post! And the combination of flavors on this flatbread sound divine! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Shira13/03/2013 - 6:39 pm

    Absolutely stunning Laura! What a healthy and wonderful combo with those fresh greens. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! xoReplyCancel

  • Natasha13/03/2013 - 10:32 pm

    Gorgeous! Looks so comforting and delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar14/03/2013 - 10:22 am

    This is so cool! Love the sounds of this!ReplyCancel

  • sara forte14/03/2013 - 12:36 pm

    yes yes. a light pizza heavy on the greens. I love it. hope your eyes feel better. no fun.ReplyCancel

  • Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen14/03/2013 - 6:43 pm

    Oh yum, that looks so delicious! I love your photos!ReplyCancel

  • Isabelle @ Crumb15/03/2013 - 8:56 am

    This looks positively lovely – like a hybrid of pizza and salad, and yet something entirely its own. I don’t eat nearly enough eggplant, but this beautiful flatbread could very well change all that. :)ReplyCancel

  • meatballs & milkshakes15/03/2013 - 1:42 pm

    So beautiful! I would love some of this right now! Perfect friday afternoon snack!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne15/03/2013 - 10:35 pm

    That passage is perfect, Laura, and so is this flatbread. (Spicy sauce with greens? Yes!) I’ve neglected my google reader lately (boyfriend’s place doesn’t have wifi, which is mostly awesome) but have been out of touch with my favorite blogs. I want to stick a fork in all your latest posts! I mean that in a good way, of course. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn17/03/2013 - 12:26 pm

    Oh the colour and light and brightness of this post. Just what I needed to read on this gloomy Sunday. I love how you always offer a new and fresh perspective both here and elsewhere.ReplyCancel

  • kelly17/03/2013 - 9:19 pm

    god loves color! LOVE ITReplyCancel

  • Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen19/03/2013 - 3:09 pm

    Yum, your flatbread looks so delicious and I just love your photos!ReplyCancel

  • hungryandfrozen20/03/2013 - 4:01 am

    This is a stunner, I feel like I could just reach in and grab it. Possibly because of how gorgeous and huge your photos are.

    I’ve never heard of that passage before, but it’s a nice one. Maybe you dreamed it!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey21/03/2013 - 7:19 pm

    So beautiful (the flatbread and your words). I want a slice. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Adri {Food-N-Thought}26/03/2013 - 11:12 pm

    This eggplant/arugula combination looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • […] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, […]ReplyCancel

  • […] crispy eggplant + harissa flatbread with greens […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Crispy Eggplant and Harissa Flatbread with Greens from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Crispy Eggplant and Harissa Flatbread with Greens from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Emily02/09/2015 - 9:52 am

    I also cheated by using a premade pizza crust, but struggled a bit getting this to crisp up enough. Delicious flavor combos but next time I might pre-salt the eggplant to get them a little crispier. Tried the broiler without too much success. Also would recommend a pizza stone. Overall goodReplyCancel

spaghetti squash noodle bowl + lime peanut sauce // via @thefirstmesspin it!spaghetti squash noodle bowl + lime peanut sauce // via @thefirstmesspin it!View full post »

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  • Anouk06/03/2013 - 4:45 am

    Sweetie!! How in the world could people possibly be so cruel as to spam you with unfriendly messages? Sounds like it’s been spinning around in your head – I’d say: “don’t let it get to you”, but hey, we all know that’s easier said than done… You put your heart & soul in this place – inside out – which I find very brave & inspiring. Just remember: you rock! Keep on making my day with your warming words & fabulous food. <>ReplyCancel

  • hungryandfrozen06/03/2013 - 5:13 am

    Passive-aggressive emails? About THIS blog? Worst! Here is a totally non-passive-aggressive, transparent message to say that I love your blog, keep doing what you’re doing and if you can manage to stay positive then go you. I am also super envious of your access to spaghetti squash since they sound pretty fascinating. But at least I can make the dressing which sounds so, so good.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar06/03/2013 - 8:14 am

    Looove this! It looks so fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf06/03/2013 - 9:34 am

    This is the kind of dish I love to eat for lunch, fresh, clean and full of bright, zingy flavours. I’ve never tried substituting spaghetti squash for noodles but it looks lovely – did you say it would keep well for a few days too?ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan06/03/2013 - 9:47 am

    Oh this bowl looks divine! Anytime peanuts and spaghetti squash is involved, I’m so in!ReplyCancel

  • robyn06/03/2013 - 10:38 am

    Where is the Cauli in the ingredient list…I see in the instructions to cook,,,is it for the sauce or as part of the bowl??ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright06/03/2013 - 10:45 am

      Robyn, that was an error on my part. Should have been “broccoli florets.” Changed it! Thanks for noticing :)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Cassie06/03/2013 - 10:57 am

    Haters always gonna hate! Just know that for as many people who might talk smack about the blog, there are exponentially more who love it! I look at a lot of food blogs and yours is one of my favorites. Your recipes are always spot on and totally creative. I just put spaghetti squash on my shopping list so I can make today’s dish ASAP.ReplyCancel

  • michelle06/03/2013 - 11:45 am

    internet haters are the worst kind of haters. boy does this look delish. i can’t wait to have a second usable hand so i can make it!ReplyCancel

  • Astrid06/03/2013 - 12:21 pm

    Love your blog, and love your creative recipies. Just ignore the silly people who send you hate mail….many more think your great!ReplyCancel

  • Sara06/03/2013 - 12:26 pm

    I’ve been needing some good inspiration for spaghetti squash. This dish looks gorgeous and can only imagine is just as delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Dana @ Vanishing Veggie06/03/2013 - 1:01 pm

    I am a vegan trying to lose weight, and this would be a PERFECT quick dinner. It looks beautiful and tasty!ReplyCancel

  • melissa06/03/2013 - 3:03 pm

    This recipe looks lovely! Thank-you for the inspiration :)ReplyCancel

  • Eileen06/03/2013 - 3:43 pm

    There is definitely not enough spaghetti squash in rotation at our house. :) I love the idea of taking the “noodles” away from the typical marinara sauce and toward the Asian peanut and lime!ReplyCancel

  • Ariel06/03/2013 - 5:04 pm

    Ooh how lucky, I just roasted an enormous spaghetti squash this weekend and have tons of leftovers! I’m a big fan of your blog, and excited to give another one of your recipes a try! :)ReplyCancel

  • Joanne06/03/2013 - 6:34 pm

    It really is appalling the emails that “readers” think they can send bloggers – as if we aren’t real people with feelings!!! I’m so sorry you had to experience that. hopefully this delicious meal helped a bit! I love all things peanut sauce and it’d make just about any day better!ReplyCancel

  • la domestique07/03/2013 - 2:53 am

    Love the colors and textures in this dish! It hurts my heart that someone has been either aggressive or passively aggressive to you. In moments that test my kindness, I think about how when this whole journey of life is done do I want to have to watch a replay of my life and see myself acting like a jerk. No, I do not. So I try to be kind. I try. :)ReplyCancel

  • Nicola Galloway07/03/2013 - 3:12 am

    When I come to an unhappy comment I just try and remember it is not about me but the person who wrote it that is hurting and their words just come out hurtful. Not fun to recieve though.

    Thanks for the yummy bowl inspiration, the sauce sounds fantastic :)ReplyCancel

  • Elenore Bendel Zahn07/03/2013 - 7:45 am

    Whaaaat? I don´t get it – you are like the most loving and sweet person alive! Wierd.. but honey, right approach you have there. Give and receive (plus some vanilla rooibos of course)

    Big hug to you gorgeous lady.ReplyCancel

  • Shira07/03/2013 - 2:26 pm

    A perfect meal if I ever saw one and has literally all my favorite things. Too funny as this has been my “yellow and green vegetable week” as I try to get back to basics for the transition to spring foods – I think you read my mind! Gorgeous Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Larissa07/03/2013 - 2:44 pm

    I just discovered your blog and am totally inspired by it. Making this tonight!ReplyCancel

  • Jasmine07/03/2013 - 5:58 pm

    These all look so delicious. can’t wait to try.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren @ A Nerd Cooks07/03/2013 - 6:14 pm

    Y’know, haters gonna hate… Don’t let them get you down.

    This dish looks insanely good! I can’t wait to make it. Keep doing what you’re doing =)ReplyCancel

  • carey07/03/2013 - 7:27 pm

    Ugh, what is wrong with those jerk people? Sometimes I wonder if I spend too much time wrapped up in the computer/Internet, between working and reading and blogging. And then I remind myself that I’m actually creating things and having an awesome time, and not just some dipstick trolling behind the anonymity of a computer screen, which is THE LAMEST.

    The spaghetti squash is near and dear to my heart, as it was one of the first things I made when I began experimenting with cooking. Consequently, I’ve been stuck on pairing it with alfredo sauce, since that was the sauce I originally made for it as well. (Nostalgic to a fault, that’s me!) I was also never sure what to use in place of it, since tomato sauce + spaghetti squash didn’t quite appeal to me (for whatever reason). But lime peanut sauce sounds so awesome, and much better on so many levels. :)ReplyCancel

  • sara forte07/03/2013 - 9:11 pm

    it always seems lunch is a huge salad of whatever leftovers are around. I get frustrated sometimes ranting to hugh that I just want healthy/light WARM food instead of a hodge podge salad. I love love winter squash but have never tried it with peanut sauce – sounds like perfection. I’m in need of some new sauces, thanks for the idea.ReplyCancel

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)07/03/2013 - 10:06 pm

    This looks amazing! I’ve loved spaghetti squash every time I’ve cooked it in the past (although I paired mine with a traditional tomato sauce and meatballs)–but I need to try this peanut sauce. I’m sure it would be great on so many things, all the flavors sound right up my alley.

    Love the pictures! :)ReplyCancel

  • Liz M08/03/2013 - 10:21 am

    has anyone figured the ww points on this dish?ReplyCancel

  • Ashley08/03/2013 - 1:15 pm

    These photos are stunning and this recipe sounds spectacular! What lens are you using for these? Beautiful all around!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright08/03/2013 - 1:49 pm

      Hey Ashley! I shot this post with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4. Loving that one big time lately. xoReplyCancel

  • mich08/03/2013 - 1:28 pm

    I made this last night for dinner and it was AMAZING! I am thinking of all the other things I can put the dressing on. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Mikey F.10/03/2013 - 6:00 pm

    Kindness is such a great gift to give, even to those who upset us. I loved your words, wise and thoughtful. And this recipe, I MUST TRY.

    Lots of love, and light,
    M.ReplyCancel

  • Jilly Inspired11/03/2013 - 8:35 pm

    Hi There, recently I decided to post comments on food blogger sites that I regularly turn to for inspiration. I popped over to your site first and read this post. It’s the perfect time to tell you how much I love your blog. As a food blogger, I can understand how you feel. Your blog is always on my top 10 list. Thanks for the inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • […] the first mess […]ReplyCancel

  • hungryandfrozen12/03/2013 - 3:46 am

    PS: obSESSED with Solange <3ReplyCancel

  • Nat @ The Apple Diaries12/03/2013 - 4:23 am

    That lime peanut sauce looks insanely good! If could also work as a salad dressing.

    Great recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • dashesofawesome12/03/2013 - 1:01 pm

    This is a great gluten-free alternative to pasta, and will likely be dinner one night this week! Thanks for posting!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea13/03/2013 - 2:57 pm

    Defaulting to kindness is a beautiful way to live, keep it up.
    And the food looks delish too :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne15/03/2013 - 10:38 pm

    Sorry to hear about the meanies, Laura. You radiate kindness in real life. Listening to Solange now on spotify, thanks for the head’s up!ReplyCancel

  • Sara17/03/2013 - 8:36 pm

    Just made this tonight for dinner. The lime-peanut sauce is fantastic and really livens up squash (which I’m not always a fan of). I even had the black sesame seeds to sprinkle on top which was a great finishing touch.ReplyCancel

  • Annalise19/03/2013 - 9:38 pm

    Found this recipe from Pinterest, and tried it tonight for dinner. Fabulous! The lime peanut sauce is amazing, definitely something I’ll be making again. I think next time I’ll add some shrimp or chicken.ReplyCancel

  • Robyn20/03/2013 - 5:47 pm

    About how many cups cooked squash would you say you used? I don’t think my squash is “large” so i’m going to cook 2 but don’t wan’t to end up with too much for the sauce.

    THANKS! :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright21/03/2013 - 10:03 am

      Hey Robyn! I would say in the area of 4-5 cups of cooked squash. Hope that helps :)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Bailey20/03/2013 - 8:39 pm

    This was wonderful! I just finished eating it. A great healthy dish for when I’m needing some Thai food. I love spaghetti squash, but only used it with marinara sauce. This is now my new favorite!ReplyCancel

  • Clare27/03/2013 - 10:15 am

    I am definitely trying this! My stomach is grumbling just looking at it!ReplyCancel

  • New Recipes | Angie Eats Peace10/04/2013 - 10:50 am

    […] up is a spaghetti squash noodle bowl + lime peanut sauce from The First Mess. I had a spaghetti squash sitting on my counter for about 2 weeks that I had no […]ReplyCancel

  • J15/04/2013 - 8:30 pm

    Made this tonight and it was delicious!! My husband loved it too and said it could be served in a restaurant! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • […] concoctions that actually turned out well…woohoo! A few weeks back, my friend Molly and I made this yummy spaghetti squash stir fry and I decided to recreate it with some chicken. I don’t know about you, but I need to figure […]ReplyCancel

  • […] (3) Spaghetti squash. Rekindled my romance with this fun squash. Try it yourself with this recipe. […]ReplyCancel

  • Jessilee22/04/2013 - 8:16 pm

    Hi there! I found this site through Pinterest, and I just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe (with rice noodles because spaghetti squash isn’t in stock anywhere where I live) and it’s delicious. I’ve been looking for a great peanut sauce for quite a while, and this is a keeper. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Sara24/04/2013 - 9:30 am

    Reporting back–made this and it’s delicious! The sauce really brings it together. I have nigella seeds and I loved using them on top, not just for visual but also for their taste. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • […] opinion: ginger, garlic, sriracha, lime and peanut butter. The trick – which I discovered on this blog and slightly adapted – is blitzing everything together in a food processor (including the lime […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl Adapted from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • janet @ the taste space02/05/2013 - 6:53 am

    I made a different sauce but loved your inspiration. It was a delicious bowl with the spaghetti squash, chickpeas and broccoli. :)

    This is my version: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/broccoli-and-spaghetti-squash-noodle-bowl-with-a-peanut-miso-sauce/ReplyCancel

  • Jenny R02/05/2013 - 7:14 pm

    This sounds so good! I like to cook spaghetti squash whole in the slow cooker. No sharp knife needed! 5-6 hours on Low with a couple tablespoons of water in the bottom to keep the skin from sticking. You really can’t overcook it with this method. When it’s done, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds/goo and you are good to go. You don’t get any roasty brown bits, but for a dish like this it probably doesn’t matter. Just buy a squash that fits whole into your slow cooker pot.ReplyCancel

  • […] This recipe made the rounds on my Pinterest recently, and I couldn’t wait to try it; the Male Compatriot loves the peanut sauce at a local Thai restaurant and I had yet to be able to recreate it at home for cheaper/with better ingredients. I made this and had to make more twice that evening — everyone who passed by wanted some to put on something. […]ReplyCancel

  • Debbie15/05/2013 - 7:18 pm

    This looks delish! Put your spaghetti squash into microwave for 5-8 minutes depending on its size and it softens the tough skin enough to make it easy to cut through.ReplyCancel

  • […] Faves: Rhubarb Fool with Coconut Whipped Cream and Pistachios, Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce, Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut […]ReplyCancel

  • […] often start with a combo of onion, ginger and garlic. I added a heaping two teaspoons when cooking these amazing noodles this week and both my boys ate them up heartily. That’s a win win for […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl Adapted from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Cass Fitness | Never Give Up18/06/2013 - 6:01 pm

    […] noodle bowl lime peanut […]ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer S14/07/2013 - 7:37 pm

    I just made this, and it is amazing! and so incredibly easy! I added a whole bunch of mushrooms to mine too (shiitake and button) and it was great match with it!

    well done, i will definitely make this for my friends.ReplyCancel

  • […] made an utterly mouthwatering dinner today based on a recipe on The First Mess (spaghetti squash noodle bowl with lime peanut sauce), although I swopped out the squash for what […]ReplyCancel

  • Renata01/08/2013 - 11:32 am

    I just saw this picture and my stomach already started to smile!!! I just love noodles and brocoli!!! My new favourite dish!
    Excelente blog…!! Keep going!
    Hugs from Viña del Mar – ChileReplyCancel

  • Kati22/08/2013 - 8:48 pm

    Just a tip about cutting spaghetti squash (or any squash), because it is tough. Just poke some holes in the sucker and throw it in the oven whole in a baking dish. Cover with tin foil if you like. It’s much easier to cut when it’s cooked.
    Just about to make this. Looks delicious!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright25/08/2013 - 9:02 am

      Love this tip, Kati! Totally using it when the spaghetti squashes in my garden are ready :)ReplyCancel

  • Bretty28/08/2013 - 2:30 am

    The peanut sauce is fantastic! Thanks for sharing xReplyCancel

  • Sarah29/08/2013 - 12:51 am

    Just made this.. Sooooo good! I wish there was a way to make it paleo… I swapped out the peanut butter with almond butter, looking for a replacement for the soy sauce- any ideas? Anyway, aside from the struggles of opening the squash, this recipe was easy and delicious! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Gwen03/09/2013 - 10:03 am

    Thanks for including a note about making the meal ahead of time! Since I’m cooking for one, I’m always curious about recipes that can be reheated throughout the week, as the squash noddles can be. Can’t wait to try it! :)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Olson08/09/2013 - 8:52 pm

    This looks positively delicious, I can’t wait to try it!
    It is amazing, isn’t it how people can be so cruel and ridiculous behind the mask of the Internet… You handled that beautifully, and I agree, what on earth could someone possibly have to say negative about this site?ReplyCancel

  • Dawn10/09/2013 - 7:35 pm

    Hey, you go girl! Love the recipe. I eat a LOT of spaghetti squash, and I have gotten so lazy about it that I just throw the whole washed thing right into the oven on a baking tray. MUCH easier to cut afterwards, n if it seems hard, cook it some more. Just be careful taking it out of the oven; usually doesn’t roll by then, but you never know.ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl & Lime Peanut Sauce  by The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Melissa18/09/2013 - 3:48 pm

    Chowing down on this now and loving it! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce | The First […]ReplyCancel

  • Deeny O'Connor24/09/2013 - 10:53 pm

    Hi Miss Laura,

    Stumbled onto your blog when searching for new ways to fix my fave squash for my daughter and her fussy eatin’ 4 y/o step-daughter who will eat anything slathered with my basil pesto btw. Go figure.

    Anyway I have a bumper crop of spaghetti squash for I seem to have an issue with gluten these days so grew a bunch to dehydrate to enjoy over the winter/spring, but when I saw your recipe I decided I must prepare this asap (like day after tomorrow)for my husband, daughter, and myself who love oriental flavors.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’ll be back for more inspiration.

    D. O’C.

    P.S. Don’t sweat the small stuff which includes small minds.ReplyCancel

  • Amy26/09/2013 - 1:02 pm

    Made this last night and LOVED it! I’ve never been a big fan of spaghetti squash because I always served it with marinara sauce. I am now a serious convert– your peanut sauce has made me a believer! I sautéed the shallot and kale a little bit and also added a bit of roasted butternut squash. I’m having the leftovers for lunch — can’t wait!ReplyCancel

  • Linda29/09/2013 - 10:18 am

    This is so perfect – blog and recipe – you’ll never know how much :)ReplyCancel

  • hana01/10/2013 - 2:19 pm

    Has anyone calculated the calories per serving? Sounds so deee-lish, I can’t wait to try it!ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl + Lime Peanut Sauce from The First […]ReplyCancel

  • Golubka Kitchen15/10/2013 - 12:11 am

    […] prepare to be amazed. You will be drawn into the world of vibrant colours, fresh and seasonal food, unique and simple recipes and engaging writing. The First Mess makes me smile with every new post, and I often run straight […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce […]ReplyCancel

  • Dina27/10/2013 - 3:57 pm

    I was looking for an asian inspired recipe for spaghetti squash as a side dish for my pork belly lettuce wraps. Your recipe was the one that stood out for me. The peanut sauce is delicious and I can’t wait for dinner tonight. I never thought of making asian dishes with spaghetti squash but I’m now hooked. I will try pad Thai next Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing such wonderful goodies with all of us.ReplyCancel

  • Liz27/10/2013 - 8:39 pm

    Thank you for the nice recipe.ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce […]ReplyCancel

  • Jessica14/11/2013 - 10:14 pm

    I really wish it hadn’t taken me so long to make this recipe, it’s amazing!! I could go back for 2nds, 3rd and 4rths. Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • […] November 11th: Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce, recipe from The First Mess Broiled Shrimp (in Asian […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl–a great way to use your broccoli, beans, and even a few torn lettuce leaves.  This is accompanied by a peanut lime sauce…YUM! […]ReplyCancel

  • […] took inspiration from these recipes.  For mine, I threw together spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli and kale, and raw grated carrot, […]ReplyCancel

  • Jodie29/12/2013 - 9:45 pm

    This is without a doubt once of the livliest and flavorful dishes I have ever made. I did a few things differently to expedite the cooking process. I cooked the squash in the microwave, bought steam in bag broccoli and sautéed 3 shallots with the kale. I used cilantro and basil with the Chefs recommendation of cashews. Thank you for this recipe!!ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce […]ReplyCancel

  • Eatin’ Time | The Alibi19/01/2014 - 2:47 pm

    […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl w/ Lime Peanut Sauce & Broccoli (and I love that blog, […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Corn Chowder with Cilantro Cream from My New Roots Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce from The First Mess Pumpkin Brown Butter Pecan Pancakes from Naturally Ella Poppy Seed Crusted […]ReplyCancel

  • Ange08/02/2014 - 8:04 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight. So good. My sauce was a little vinegar-y so next time I may just put a tsp instead of a tbsp but other than that it was delish!ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash with Lime Peanut Sauce – Here was a recipe that fit my vegetarian sensibilities. I had to tweak it so that it met Whole 30 requirements, but boy was this delicious. Instead of siracha, I used a spicy chili garlic sauce. Instead of soy sauce, I added a bit more salt. I used raw peanut butter, to avoid added sugar, and I also just completely skipped the agave sweetener. […]ReplyCancel

  • TWEAK your THAI! | PoundFit14/03/2014 - 5:13 pm

    […] were lucky enough to find this outstanding recipe on The First Mess. Make sure you check them out for more incredible eats n’ […]ReplyCancel

  • 15 Lean and Green Meals26/03/2014 - 8:47 pm

    […] Recipe & Photo credit to thefirstmess.com […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Adapted from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] can check out the entire recipe here, but first let’s have a little chat about spaghetti squash. I’m shocked at hearing how […]ReplyCancel

  • […] a low-calorie spin on spaghetti, consider this squash noodle bowl recipe, which calls for kale, broccoli, and sesame seeds. Top off your creation with a homemade lime […]ReplyCancel

  • […] afterward craving something with tons of texture and flavor, but with a plant-forward twist. The First Mess’ gorgeous spaghetti squash bowl crossed my mind, so here’s my (streamlined, Paleo-friendly) take on her recipe plus a little […]ReplyCancel

  • […] South Carolina but you can’t take South Carolina… well, you know the story. Inspired by TheFirstMess.com I tweaked this recipe a little to make it totally Ageless Diet approved and delicious. I add a […]ReplyCancel

  • Sandy07/05/2014 - 8:09 pm

    Oh my, this was delish! I forgot to buy kale but still yummy without it, the dressing is so so so good! Thank you for the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay21/07/2014 - 5:08 pm

    This looks delicious! I’m going back on my low-carb diet and I found this on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to eat it for dinner tonight!ReplyCancel

  • […] I love, those starchy, starchy things. I stumbled on vegan recipes like this one, and this one, and this one. While not all of those are a replacement for the love of my life, starch (Just kidding, Chris! I […]ReplyCancel

  • Amalia19/08/2014 - 6:29 pm

    Hello Laura,
    I am trying to creatively think of what I could replace the hot sauce with as I’m intolerant to hot anything it seems these days? Thank you for your great recipes!
    AmaliaReplyCancel

  • […] Lunch – Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash 2.) Coconut Curried Lentils 3.) Spaghetti Squash “Noodle” Bowl with Spicy Peanut Sauce 4.) Sweet and Sour Tofu  5.) Creamy Lemon Asparagus […]ReplyCancel

  • Foodie Friday | loree in lace24/10/2014 - 10:41 pm

    […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce […]ReplyCancel

  • 50 Delicious Low Carb Meals -27/10/2014 - 3:56 pm

    […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl + Lime Peanut Sauce: This is a great recipe if you’re getting bored of your’re everyday lunches! (via The First Mess) […]ReplyCancel

  • Laurel31/10/2014 - 1:10 pm

    I made this last night and it was delicious!!! I didn’t have any shallot so I caramelized half a sweet onion instead. I used basil but I put a little too much because it was a little too strong of a flavor (I think I chopped up 7 or 8 leaves). Thank you!! :)ReplyCancel

  • New Recipes - Angie Eats Peace11/11/2014 - 9:27 pm

    […] up is a spaghetti squash noodle bowl + lime peanut sauce from The First Mess. I had a spaghetti squash sitting on my counter for about 2 weeks that I had no […]ReplyCancel

  • Heather @ HeatherOMade13/11/2014 - 12:40 pm

    i need this in my belly!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay Sandberg18/11/2014 - 10:32 pm

    This was so delicious! I made it tonight and loved every bite. The only thing I did differently was to sauté a few mushrooms and shredded carrots in olive oil and add them to the mix because I am a major mushroom fan. Thanks for posting this recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Heather15/12/2014 - 3:06 am

    You can cut the spaghetti squash the opposite way and it works as well. This looks DELICIOUS. I’ve done spaghetti squash with red sauce and spaghetti squash with browned butter alfredo and Kale, but I never thought to go with an Asian influence. Definitely going to make it into the rotation!ReplyCancel

  • Pinterest Tried and True25/01/2015 - 11:09 am

    […] This was SO good and a great way to get the Thai flavor with out the rice noodles. Ingredients and instructions here. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl + Lime Peanut Sauce By: The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Roasted Vegetable + Quinoa Bowl Spaghetti Squash Bowl with Lime Peanut […]ReplyCancel

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats26/02/2015 - 9:03 pm

    We made this for dinner the other night and it was delicious. It was my first time trying spaghetti squash and the recipe works wonderfully with it. I think sometimes people try to sub it in for pasta in dishes where it doesn’t exactly go….but here it was perfect, noodles were not missed at all.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn04/03/2015 - 10:33 pm

    Loved this recipe. To save time, I poked holes all over the squash and microwaved it for 12 minutes. Ingredient alterations: no grape seed oil, but a little coconut oil. It came out. AMAZING. Thank you for a happy dinner! I look forward to trying more of your recipes :0)ReplyCancel

  • julie13/03/2015 - 6:46 pm

    this is a wonderful dish! loved the sauce and i plan on using it for other dishes as well. so fulfilling. thank you for sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • alwaysmovingeverstill16/03/2015 - 10:01 am

    […] 16: Spaghetti Squash Bowls. This meal comes from Laura at The First Mess (this is her photo too, it was super beautiful so I […]ReplyCancel

  • […] the table: Laura Wright’s spaghetti squash noodle bowl with lime peanut “special” sauce, scallion pancakes, roasted chicken breast,  toasted […]ReplyCancel

  • Zida Borcich16/04/2015 - 7:57 pm

    I love your blog very much. I just made this peanut sauce and it’s by far the best best best I have EVER tasted. The spaghetti squash is just cooling off now, and will top with avocados (I must) and the rest of your suggestions. Looking forward to dinner! I took your turmeric chickpeas with sunflower seed sauce (I made it into a topping for a salad of finely-cut, lightly dressed raw chard) to a potluck and people were dying over it. I must have given five people your URL. Thank you so much.ReplyCancel

  • […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime-Peanut Sauce […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Laura Wright / thefirstmess.com […]ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth10/07/2015 - 9:37 am

    I have been a fan of yours for many moons now and I prepared this last night with broccoli noodles and sautéed beef. It was sublime. Many thanks!
    http://beetsandbratwurst.blogspot.com/2015/07/lime-peanut-sauce.htmlReplyCancel

  • hollie16/07/2015 - 12:47 pm

    I love ALMOST everything about this and I’m excited to make it again, but next time i am only going to use lime juice instead of the whole lime. I was;t super mindful in removing all of the white part that is between the peel and fruit and it flavored the whole dish with bitterness.ReplyCancel

  • Libby29/07/2015 - 12:48 pm

    I am coming here to say that this recipe has made it into regular rotation at our house! And because I microwave the squash and the other veggies, it comes to the table in 30 minutes! Huzzah!ReplyCancel

  • Friday Links - Sun Diego Eats04/08/2015 - 5:04 pm

    […] spaghetti squash with peanut sauce: Our first time having spaghetti squash and it was grrrreaat success (Borat […]ReplyCancel

  • | BHG Delish Dish07/08/2015 - 9:01 am

    […] First Mess‘ Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl + Lime Peanut Sauce recipe, you won’t need store-bought […]ReplyCancel

  • Vegan Recipe Ideas25/09/2015 - 1:32 pm

    […] Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl + Lime Peanut Sauce: The first time we spotted spaghetti squash in the supermarket this season we practically took home […]ReplyCancel

  • Nancy02/10/2015 - 5:19 pm

    This looks really yummy! Can’t wait to try it.ReplyCancel

  • […] Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce, http://www.thefirstmess.com […]ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Grace22/10/2015 - 9:27 pm

    This looks SO good. I’ve had a spaghetti squash sitting on my counter for three weeks now. It came in our CSA box. Sadly, I never met a spaghetti squash I liked. I’ve looked at a dozen or more recipes and none of them made my mouth water like this one. THANK YOU!!! Looking forward to cooking it up over the weekend.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Grace25/10/2015 - 4:28 pm

    I’ve got a big, fat yellow spaghetti squash sitting on my counter top right now that I didn’t know what to do with (came in our farm box). Your recipe looks delicious. I can almost taste all the flavors and textures together. I’m actually looking forward to cooking it now, thanks to you. Your photographs are amazing, btw.

    Re the trolls who spend their time saying hurtful things: They don’t deserve your energy. I’m glad you told us about them, though, so we could offer cheers and support, in addition to our gratitude for your contributions to our culinary endeavors.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Grace03/11/2015 - 10:55 pm

    Well, I didn’t get to make it the other day after all, but I’m noshing it as I type. So good! Totally loving every bite. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • […] veggie aficionado she always makes sure to use seasonal and organic produce. Our favorite articles: Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl + Lime Peanut Sauce Moroccan-Style Vegetable + Chickpea […]ReplyCancel

  • Jill06/12/2015 - 12:19 pm

    Does anyone have the net carb count per serving? ThanksReplyCancel

  • Sheebs27/12/2015 - 12:37 am

    Holy WOW! This sauce is so good! I made it for the noodles but I’m going to make more of it and put it on… everything! I think it’d be fantastic on shrimp, as well as steak, pork chops, and even sushi. So glad I stumbled upon this recipe!ReplyCancel

  • FRANKLIN05/01/2016 - 4:25 pm

    me gustan tus recetas son fascinantes graciasReplyCancel

  • Marla09/01/2016 - 6:38 pm

    I replaced the peanut butter with homemade Sunbutter. This was real good! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Nicholas of Food For Thought01/03/2016 - 2:31 am

    What a healthy alternative to all the types of pasta out there. Absolutely love lime as a flavour!ReplyCancel

  • Ariane11/03/2016 - 10:33 pm

    Made this with not much enthusiasm but I have been loving your recipes so much that this was sort of a final test. Despite me not caring much for spaghetti squash and the fact that my squash took linger than exoected to cook, I LOVED this dish so much. You really blew me! All this in about 10 min prepration and minimal dishes. You’re really good!! I’ll be growing spaghetti squash this summer!!ReplyCancel

  • […] were lucky enough to find this outstanding recipe on The First Mess. Make sure you check them out for more incredible eats n' […]ReplyCancel

  • Bill B02/10/2016 - 9:50 am

    Just wanted to let you know that I tried this out last night and it was fantastic! I was a bit skeptical with the combination of steamed, baked and raw ingredients but it was amazing. The texture of the kale turned out perfect and the mix of flavors was fantastic. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • […] mushroom and lentil mixture so it feels very lush on the palate. Then a couple years ago, I did a noodle bowl with spaghetti squash and peanut sauce, right when veggie noodles were starting to get popular. […]ReplyCancel

  • Tess10/05/2017 - 4:59 pm

    I made this without the kale and it is amazing! Love the sauce :)ReplyCancel

  • […] Find the recipe at here: The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

pin it!pin it!pin it!

These sweet little cakes are full blown TREAT. YO. SELF. territory. They take a bit of time, the ingredients are decidedly luxe, they’re individual, there’s a fresh coconut and some dehydrating involved (although I’m super-confident that you could bake the batter in an oven at low temperature)… You have to dredge up the will and gumption to make raw food, high-vibe magic happen here. It was my birthday this week and dang if I wasn’t gonna make something delicious that made me feel so good. Also, tea + cake is one of my most loved breakfast combinations ever, so there’s that to consider.

We had a cozy weekend in the city to celebrate another year of being right here with lots of tasty eats + drinks. February tends to be kind of blah across the board, but there have been glimmers and sparks of great things to come to keep our lives a little more vibrant. I’m excited for it all, big and little.

And these cakes! I’m generally crushing on individual desserts at all times, so I went in that direction here. I enjoyed an earl grey and chocolate milkshake as part of a dessert trio at a tiny restaurant a long time ago that has sadly closed its doors since. The combination certainly latched itself onto my memory. I just had to find a most fitting dessert and well, here we are. My morning beverage of choice all fancied up with plenty of chocolate. Good life.

The cake portion is comprised of walnuts, very fine almond meal, maple syrup, vanilla + raw cacao. I dehydrated the cake (in my incredibly budget, entry-level dehydrator from the local hardware store) and was so pleased with the results. Exactly like a rich and dense brownie and heavy with deep chocolate flavour. I imagine the cake could be made in the oven as well. Put the temperature as low as you can and keep an eye on it to see how quickly it dries out. The mousse is all cashews and fresh coconut meat with strong earl grey tea, vanilla, more cacao and extra virgin coconut oil. It was my first time working with a fresh, young coconut so I was rather anxious to lay a knife into the thing and go wild. When I pried its natural lid off, I saw some pretty pink flesh inside and freaked out a bit. A little googling revealed that the pigmentation was a sign of extreme young-ness in the fruit (and good luck apparently!). All sighs of relief and lots of tasty, mega-hydrating coconut water to drink. The mousse turned out so rich and airy with subtle citrus + floral notes from the tea.

In terms of serving it up: I don’t need to tell you that cake + ice cream is a birthday staple, so there’s that. I also put a little bit of nature’s sprinkles on top in the form of pomegranate seeds. They served as a wonderfully tart respite from all of the heavy richness going on. While they’re still somewhat plentiful, I would highly recommend it.

Partyin’ down over here and all of my big hugs, friends :)

pin it!pin it!pin it!pin it!pin it!

raw chocolate cake + earl grey chocolate mousse
barely adapted from Sarma Melngailis’s recipe in Living Raw Food
serves: 4 – 6, depending on how you cut the cake
notes: I sifted the almond flour to get it super fine. This is really important in terms of the cake’s texture. I would recommend purchasing a finer ground almond meal/flour if it’s available. Also, here’s a video (link) to help you with cracking open a young coconut! I would recommend NOT using a super-cherished knife for this, just go for a sharp one with some good heft, an old beater of sorts.

raw chocolate cake:
1 cup raw walnut pieces, soaked 2 hours or longer + strained
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup filtered water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder is fine too), sifted
1.5 cups very fine almond flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

earl grey chocolate mousse:
1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked 2 hours or more
1/4-1/3 cup young coconut meat (this is what I yielded from 1 coconut)
2 tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
heaped 3/4 cup strong-brewed earl grey tea (or water!)
3/4 cup liquid extra virgin coconut oil

chocolate sauce/shell:
1.5 tbsp melted extra virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
splash of vanilla extract

for serving:
pomegranate seeds/other fruit of choice
vanilla ice cream of choice (I like Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss)

Make the cake: combine the soaked walnuts, maple syrup, water and vanilla extract in the pitcher of a blender. Gradually bring the blender speed to high and blend until walnuts are fully liquified/incorporated into the liquid. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the sifted cacao powder, fine almond flour and sea salt. Add the maple and walnut mixture to the bowl. Stir with a spatula until fully combined. Spread the batter onto a parchment lined dehydrator tray (an offset spatula is very helpful here). It should be about 1/2 inch thickness. Smooth out the top as much as you can.

Dehydrate the cake at 115 degrees F for around 24 hours. You want the cake to be firm and dry on the top. The parchment should peel away with little effort. Wrap the cake in cling film and set aside in the refrigerator  until ready to use. I had mine wrapped and stowed away for 2 whole days and it was fine.

Make the mousse: combine the cashews, coconut meat, cacao powder, vanilla extract, sea salt, maple syrup and earl grey tea in the pitcher of a blender. Gradually bring the speed of the blender to high. Blend until cashews are thoroughly puréed and the mix is homogenous. With the motor of the blender on low, remove the lid and slowly pour in the melted coconut oil. This step emulsifies the filling like a salad dressing and evenly distributes the oil. Once you’ve poured it all in and the mix is homogenous, turn the blender off and scrape the mousse into a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with saran, pressing it onto the top to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Assemble: cut  12 rounds out of the sheet of cake. I used a 1.5 inch round cookie cutter, but you could also just cut out some squares with a sharp knife. Line a small baking sheet with parchment and place 4 of the rounds onto the sheet with a bit of space around each. Spoon a fat dollop of the chocolate mousse on top of each round. Place the sheet pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove the sheet pan and place another cake round and dollop of mousse on each. Place the tray in the freezer for another 10 minutes, remove it and place the final cake round on each mini cake. Store cakes in the freezer, covered in cling film, until ready to serve.

Make the chocolate sauce: whisk together all of the ingredients right before service.

To serve: put one of the cakes on each plate. Top with a spoonful of chocolate sauce, pomegranate seeds + serve a scoop of ice cream on the side.

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  • Caitlin27/02/2013 - 7:50 am

    happy birthday, laura! the cake looks absolutely fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf27/02/2013 - 9:24 am

    I absolutely love baking with breakfast tea – it gives such a wonderful flavour and works so well with chocolate. As for this cake – amazingly impressive – now I just need to get myself a dehydrator…ReplyCancel

  • Winnie27/02/2013 - 9:40 am

    I am always drawn to raw food desserts like this but just don’t have the patience to make them (and also, I tried a few times but wasn’t successful with the whole coconut cracking business…wrong knife, I know). This cake is so so beautiful, though, and really inspiring…maybe I will give it a go sometime. Happy Birthday :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn27/02/2013 - 9:42 am

    The happiest of birthday weeks Laura! Cake is a very excellent way to celebrate.ReplyCancel

  • carey27/02/2013 - 9:54 am

    These little cakes look absolutely divine. I’m a big fan of tea-infused sweets, and I’m loving the idea of chocolate + earl grey. And with all those other flavors, bundled up into an individual cake and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds — total awesomeness. (:

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley27/02/2013 - 11:10 am

    Wow!! Happy happy birthday!! This is amazing and super impressive. I love that you tried dehydrating it and it worked! Looks completely delicious. Fabulous photos. Love the sound of that chocolate sauce/shell. Treat yo’ self, indeed.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica27/02/2013 - 11:31 am

    Does anyone know how long to bake at lowest temp if we don’t have a dehydrator, my oven goes to 175 degrees….ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright27/02/2013 - 11:36 am

      Hey Jessica,
      I would put your oven to the 175 degrees and leave the door open just a bit so that air can circulate/it doesn’t get too hot. Alternatively, if you have a fan in your oven you can just turn it on and leave the door closed. My estimation is that this cake would take 5-6 hours to bake with your oven set up at 175. I would put it in during a time where you can keep your eye on it though. As long as it lifts from the parchment paper and springs back a bit when you press your finger on it, you’re good. Hope this helps you.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough27/02/2013 - 11:48 am

    Happiest birthday wishes to you, Laura! These cakes sound like the best kind of treat yo self-age. :)ReplyCancel

  • Julia27/02/2013 - 12:28 pm

    Happy Birthday Laura!!! This cake looks DEVINE :)ReplyCancel

  • Mandy27/02/2013 - 1:19 pm

    Love you site and all your recipes! Just wanted to let you know that all the “good luck” stuff surrounding the pink coconut is a myth! Coconuts should have bright white flesh (no matter how young they are). A pink or grey coconut is BAD and may give you a stomach ache. Next time, take that puppy back and get yourself a fresh one :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright27/02/2013 - 1:25 pm

      Hey Mandy,
      I ate the dessert and drank the water with no stomach aches at all! Is that weird? Maybe it was good luck in some strange way ;) Thanks for your note though. Hopefully my next one is more typical.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Christine27/02/2013 - 1:52 pm

    Happy birthday Laura! This looks fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar27/02/2013 - 2:43 pm

    I absolutely love this! Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Alanna27/02/2013 - 2:57 pm

    Oh my! This looks absolutely incredible! I think my gluten-intolerant, earl grey-swilling, chocophiliac sister would DIE if I made this cake for her birthday. I’ll have to find out. ;) Earl grey chocolate shakes sound amazing, too. “Nature’s sprinkles” = brilliant! And I’m glad to learn that pink coconut flesh is a good thing – I’ve been sketched out by it, too. Stunning photos, as always.ReplyCancel

  • Kristy27/02/2013 - 3:09 pm

    Happy birthday, lady! This cake looks wonderful and has me eyeballing my kitchen trying to figure out where I could possibly put a dehydrator… ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Courtney27/02/2013 - 3:42 pm

    Treat yo’ self indeed! These little cakes look so amazing and I love that your paired earl grey with a bit of chocolate. Happy Birthday!ReplyCancel

  • Erin27/02/2013 - 4:13 pm

    You’ve outdone yourself- these cakes are just gorgeous! Happy {belated} birthday and here’s to a wonderful next year! XOReplyCancel

  • Melissa // The Fauxmartha27/02/2013 - 4:37 pm

    Crazy, crazy beautiful! And the happiest of birthdays to you my friend!ReplyCancel

  • Kris27/02/2013 - 7:52 pm

    The happiest of birthdays to you, Laura! I hope this year is filled with many more glimmers and sparks. The cake is gorg!ReplyCancel

  • Claire27/02/2013 - 8:40 pm

    Simply mouthwatering. Happy birthday!!ReplyCancel

  • Shira28/02/2013 - 12:36 am

    OH. MY. This is looking unbelievable! I cannot get the thought of that chocolate & earl grey milkshake out of my mind…I must try this! Happy Birthday Laura – sounds like you made it a special one!ReplyCancel

  • marissa @ the boot28/02/2013 - 3:04 am

    wow…i am so impressed! a very happy birthday to you and what a cake to celebrate with!ReplyCancel

  • Becs @ Lay the table28/02/2013 - 9:31 am

    Happy birthday, looks incredible!ReplyCancel

  • la domestique28/02/2013 - 1:32 pm

    Happy Birthday to YOU! The cakes look like a real treat.ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae28/02/2013 - 1:48 pm

    Happy belated birthday, sweet lady! These cakes look divine and make me wish I had never returned that fancy dehydrator I ordered last year. Might just have to make them in the oven. Or get your budget friendly dehydrator ;) Stunning photos, too – you’re knocking my socks off.

    Also, when is your road trip through ‘Merica? Fingers crossed I’m still around so you + Kels + me can unite powers in the kitchen and make a killer feast.ReplyCancel

  • Nat @ The Apple Diaries28/02/2013 - 10:30 pm

    You had me at earl grey chocolate mousse! I love the addition of the coconut meat and cashews as well.

    Great recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • Hannah01/03/2013 - 9:35 am

    Happy birthday Laura! beautiful cake.ReplyCancel

  • SARA FORTE03/03/2013 - 2:26 am

    how pretty! happy birthday, sweet girl. I hope you felt celebrated and loved. Every birthday girl deserves her own personal sized cake and I can’t say I’m surprised that you made one so creative and beautiful. Cheers to a fabulous year ahead.ReplyCancel

  • Liren04/03/2013 - 1:38 am

    A belated (but hearty) happy birthday, Laura! I’m so glad you had a delicious celebration – these individual cakes are brilliant and gorgeous. So worth the labor of love and absolutely worthy of a celebration.ReplyCancel

  • hungryandfrozen04/03/2013 - 4:11 pm

    I can’t believe how utterly do-able this sounds. Although I think I’d struggle to make it to the actual assembly stage – I’d be sitting on the floor eating all the batter. Happy birthday!ReplyCancel

  • Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen04/03/2013 - 4:49 pm

    Wow this looks absolutely amazing! I love the ingredients list too :) Hope you had a great birthday!ReplyCancel

  • dervla @ the curator05/03/2013 - 1:40 am

    Happy birthday! The light in these shots is incredible!ReplyCancel

  • SouthernSpoonBelle06/03/2013 - 5:58 am

    You share a bday with one of my favorite friends back home– a good day, indeed. Hope you had a fab day, and thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe! Any raw brownie-style treats I’ve made are always so dense (not a bad thing), I look forward to trying this more cake-like creation.ReplyCancel

  • sandra07/03/2013 - 2:30 pm

    this is so amazing. the perfect completion to your perfect day! and all vegan. I love it!! will definitely be making this at some point – when I can get enough time on my hands… Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • 50+ Best Dessert Mousse Recipes28/03/2013 - 10:40 pm

    […] Raw Chocolate Cake + Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse […]ReplyCancel

  • Emma Galloway12/04/2013 - 9:39 am

    Yum, I LOVE the look and sound of these!xxReplyCancel

  • katecrackpot21/04/2013 - 12:21 pm

    I discovered your inspiring blog when I was looking for a raw choclate cake recipe!
    I tried this one yesterday and I had to stop my bf from eating it just before I had the chance to put it into the oven.

    I just have to try it again because we both couldn’t wait for 24h, so we ate it all right away :D

    I will definitely try some other recipes you have published! Thanks for inspiration and adorable food-photos!ReplyCancel

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