vegan double chocolate hazelnut espresso shake from "Blissful Basil"pin it!pin it!
Hey 👋! Sending out my calmest and warmest ways of being on this grey Sunday. I’m spending most of this weekend working while my man fixes up some things around the house, but that’s about it for us. I think we might be squeezing in a movie night and a trip to the gym if we’re lucky ;)  We’re getting our downstairs measured for new floors next week and all of my excitement is focused on that, nerdy as it sounds. When we moved into the house, we kind of clambered to get furniture into our living and dining area. Now that we have the space and time, we’re doing a more mindful/permanent refresh. Greige oak-y floors, cozier couch, lovingly distressed and chipped white dining room table, new shelving, and antique brass/indigo/blush everywhere essentially.

While I dream about all of that, I’ve been putting a great new book to work in my kitchen. Ashley Melillo’s Blissful Basil, like her blog of the same name, has a special way of making you happy just by looking at it. One of the things that I love about my job is that I get to be on the receiving end of new cookbook promotions. Ashley’s sincerity and want for a better world through food rings so true in this book. It’s a surprisingly rare thing! I feel connected to her worldview just by reading and working through the pages. View full post »

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  • Pia15/01/2017 - 7:19 am

    I know HAPPY HOUR made its return last week, but I’m just glad it’s finally back! The weekend links you share with us are always so varied and I always end up checking out at the very least one of them. That is rarely the case though, as I generally click through to pretty much all of them. So, THANK YOU :) and Happy Sunday, dear xxReplyCancel

  • Smadar15/01/2017 - 10:42 am

    YUM. Can’t wait to make this.

    Great links, as always!

    Feel free to share pictures of your house with us ;) if it’s styled anywhere near as beautifully as your food shots… we’re in for a treat.ReplyCancel

  • Mer15/01/2017 - 9:25 pm

    Hi Laura,
    Thank you for linking us to Emma’s post about the plum cakes and her feelings about being a food blogger. It really touched my heart! As a reader and avid fan of the handful of beautiful food blogs that I follow, I am always so inspired and joyous about the recipes and writing I read . I had never thought about how it could feel very differently for the creator/writer on the other side. I want to take this opportunity to apologize to you for never posting and sharing my enthusiasm for your amazing work. As of today, that changes and I will remember to share my excitement and appreciation. Please know that your recipes inspire me and my family have had so many delicious and nourishing meals because of The First Mess. As well, you have introduced me to other cookbooks and writers through you generous reviews/sharing of the work of your peers, Thank you for that. Also, your logo is my absolute favourite. Sending you immense gratitude and much joy!ReplyCancel

  • Thea16/01/2017 - 5:29 am

    I always love it when I get an email notification about this post! It does exactly what it’s supposed to, I sit with a cuppa and have a moment to breathe and gather my thoughts. Also i can flick through your beautiful photography and inspiration recipes. HOW do you come up with some of these things!!
    With love from the UK XReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full16/01/2017 - 9:39 am

    Yayyyy I love your choice from the Blissful Basil cookbook! You are so right, Ashley’s joy and positivity just radiates from the pages like roaming rays of sunshine. And you captured her work so beautifully in your photos :) :)ReplyCancel

  • Emily16/01/2017 - 2:23 pm

    I’ve said this before, but I love your happy hour series. I read Emma’s post about blogging- I’ve noticed other bloggers expressing similar feelings in recent years. I don’t think lack of engagement is (always) related to lack of enthusiasm for the content. As social media has become big and popular bloggers make a living off of their blogs, bloggers have started to feel more like mini-celebrities than people just sharing recipes and stories. Particularly because they are clearly able to trade on their fame for sponsored content etc. Reasonable people usually assume that celebrities (even mini ones) are awash in praise and don’t have the time or interest to read individual comments, so it feels unimportant to maintain this side of the conversation.

    On the other hand, blogs in general have become sooo much less fun to read since it became a way of earning a living. I loved reading the early blogs that were distillations of a person’s life in and out of the kitchen, and felt like a sincere attempt at communicating with a community of like-minded food-interested people. There are still a select few that are like this, but I think the overwhelming quantity of the other kind has also dulled my interest and engagement a bit.

    Anyways, I love your work and frequently make your recipes! Thanks for all you do!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley17/01/2017 - 11:25 am

    Laura, thank you for this beautiful, thoughtful, heartfelt review. It warms my heart to read your thoughts on the book, and I’m grateful. So grateful.

    p.s. Just read Emma’s post after reading your thoughts here and felt like a weight was lifted. So relate to what she’s saying. There’s comfort in knowing that others are experiencing a similar climate of increasing pressures/demands with less appreciation in recent blogging times—thought maybe I was just becoming more sensitive!ReplyCancel

  • Jayani18/01/2017 - 12:05 am

    Beautiful pictures and wonderful recipes. I’m in love with this one in particular. I don’t have raw cacao powder atm, so will the regular kind do? Let me know :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura18/01/2017 - 8:15 am

      Unsweetened cocoa powder would work just as well :)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Julia22/01/2017 - 12:53 pm

    Hey Laura, I just read Emma´s latest post about how the online community has changed and how she´s kind of sick of it all… and I happened to read your comment there. That´s why I want to send my biggest thanks out to you, too, for keeping up this great site even if it means that you have to cope with brainless requests and stuff like that. Your site is one of my go-to blogs whenever I am searching for inspiration or a certain recipe or just when I need to get grounded and out of my head. Your personal way of photographing, writing and the insane amount of wonderful recipes that you share here are highly valued in my case. I also just listened to your chat with Jessica Murnane and man – I love your voice! Now when I read through your posts it is like I am hearing you talk, which makes it so much more tangible. Also I love when you are sharing links to stuff that you found inspiring, it´s a huge help in the insane amount of content that is on the web. So just had to get that out to you, because I am not a very frequent commenter. BTW I am so looking forward to your book, its going to be a belated birthday present for me :) Much love from Vienna! JuliaReplyCancel

  • Julie29/01/2017 - 7:16 pm

    Hi Laura,
    I’m a first time commenter here but a huge fan of your blog, particularly your happy hour posts! In fact, I’ve recently started a new blog and gave you a shout out (and a link) for your inspiration. Many thanks and lots of luck with the new cookbook! Can’t wait!ReplyCancel

  • […] a splash of good old fashioned coffee), it also just so happens to be vegan. Cool, huh? Pop over this way to have a gander at the full recipe – and may you enjoy every last […]ReplyCancel

pin it!

The US cover on the left. The Canadian on the right.

I’ve been waiting for this day for over 2 years. I finally get to tell you a bunch of stuff about my book, its launch, some practical information, and a fun pre-order surprise too! I’m going to lay this all out in slightly longer bullet points so that I don’t talk TOO much because I don’t want to bore you guys–I could honestly go back and forth about this book, the work that went into it, and its life cycle for days and days. I’m sharing some sneak peek photos here too! Get yourself a cozy drink and settle in? View full post »

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  • Floortje12/01/2017 - 5:02 am

    Hi Laura,

    I just pre ordered your book! I hope to recieve it very soon in The Netherlands! I am a big fan of your recipes and very inspired by your photo’s! Enjoy the ride! Greetz Floortje from HollandReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth12/01/2017 - 5:08 am

    Immediately pre-ordered your book! I’m not at all ashamed to say that I have been stalking your blog since the first inkling of a cookbook. I’m SO looking forward to reading it! Congratulations!!!ReplyCancel

  • Hanna12/01/2017 - 5:10 am

    Congratulations Laura! It looks beautiful and delicious. Can’t wait to see it.ReplyCancel

  • Aleksandra Peyrer-Navijalic12/01/2017 - 5:15 am

    Hi Laura,
    so excited about your new book. The photos/dishes look fantastic and I can’t wait to get it. Cogratulations! It really looks like a labour of love.ReplyCancel

  • Abigail12/01/2017 - 5:33 am

    The Lime Tofu bowl looks AMAZING! I can’t wait to get this and try your recipe’s.

    Abigail Alice ReplyCancel

  • Carol12/01/2017 - 5:42 am

    I can hardly wait! Your book is released on my Birthday so it must be my karma to have it in my life. I have been a big fan of your blog for years and have made loads of your delicious recipes. This is just icing on the cake. All the best to you Laura, from one Pices to another :-)ReplyCancel

  • Lena12/01/2017 - 6:07 am

    AHHHH, Immediately ordered your book. I guess (and hope) I’m your first german “customer” #fangirling

    all the best
    Lena
    (aka theghostonmyback)ReplyCancel

  • Jessica12/01/2017 - 6:22 am

    I’m SO excited for tour cookbook! I was one of your recipe testers, I make some of the recipes that I tested very frequently – including my favorite if them just last night for dinner! Can’t wait to have a compilation of your amazing work all in the book. Congrats on your cookbook!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lee12/01/2017 - 6:28 am

    I’m so happy for you Laura :) The photos are gorgeous and I can’t wait to cook from your book. Thank you for making it more acessible ingredient-wise!
    Congratulations*ReplyCancel

  • Lacey12/01/2017 - 6:52 am

    There’s so many new vegan cookbooks that have come out/are coming out, and I can say without a doubt that yours is the one I’m most excited about! I love the vibe of your blog and Instagram feed and absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on this book. Congrats on your labor of love :)ReplyCancel

  • Karlie12/01/2017 - 7:49 am

    AH i can’t wait to order!ReplyCancel

  • christine desroches12/01/2017 - 8:52 am

    Yay!!! Hugest congratulations, Laura! It all looks beautiful and I can’t wait to get my copy. Very excited for this one! xoReplyCancel

  • Julia12/01/2017 - 8:52 am

    Ackkkkk! SO STOKED to get your book!! Congrats:)ReplyCancel

  • Jackie12/01/2017 - 8:58 am

    Preordered! I have been waiting for this book since first coming across your blog a few years ago. Your photographs are always so beautiful and recipes are over the top delicious. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina Newman12/01/2017 - 9:16 am

    Congratulations Laura, I look forward to receiving my hard copy soon!ReplyCancel

  • Tyra12/01/2017 - 9:36 am

    This is a GREAT accomplishment. I look forward to ordering the book. With a household of 8 I’m always looking to keep it fresh, exciting, tasty and healthy in the kitchen and this new resource will help me do just that.ReplyCancel

  • Karen12/01/2017 - 9:53 am

    Huge congrats on the final rollout, Laura! Having recently become a big fan (by some fluke, your blog has missed my regular reading radar until now) I couldn’t be more excited. I love the way you describe your targeted recipes – in that sweet-spot of an intersection between hearty, elegant, comforting and seasonal…precisely the recipes I gravitate toward year-round as I generally don’t feel my best eating precious or dainty types of meals. (BTW, I loved that creamy mushroom and kale stew that we discussed the other day – so simple and so satisfying!) Best!ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker12/01/2017 - 10:25 am

    YAY!!! I seriously can’t wait to get your book and I already know it’s going to be the most gorgeous thing EVER. Cheers to all your hard work and long days, you deserve it girl! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Shauna12/01/2017 - 10:26 am

    Congratulations, Laura! It looks beautiful. Thank you for explaining the difference between the Canadian and American covers. I always wonder how authors chose and why they are different. I’m looking forward to receiving it!ReplyCancel

  • erin scott12/01/2017 - 10:45 am

    Laura! Huge congrats. Your book looks so delicious and absolutely gorgeous. I’m so excited for you (and for all of us!)
    xoxoxo
    EReplyCancel

  • Sara @ Cake Over Steak12/01/2017 - 10:45 am

    I CANNOT WAIT!!!! Also, your kitchen is #goals.ReplyCancel

  • Tuulia Talvio12/01/2017 - 10:57 am

    The book looks absolutely gorgeous. You’ve done an amazing job, Laura! Enjoy this moment to the fullest, as it’s so exciting and truly a unique moment in life. Can’t wait to have a copy! <3ReplyCancel

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout12/01/2017 - 11:11 am

    Laura! This is gorgeous! Congratulations! I can’t wait <3ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Bryan | Downshiftology12/01/2017 - 11:30 am

    So exciting!! Big congrats Laura and I can’t wait to get my hands on this beauty!! xReplyCancel

  • Shannon12/01/2017 - 11:30 am

    Yay! So incredibly excited for this book. I have mad respect for your recipes – and I’m not even vegan! but because of your blog, I probably eat at least 3 vegan meals a week now. ReplyCancel

  • Alice12/01/2017 - 11:31 am

    Oh mannnn, those photos look incredible! Congratulations on your book and I’m so excited to see it. By your description it sounds amazing. :)

    Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that both Amazon UK and DE offer preorders for the book, which is convenient for all of us living in Europe as they both ship all over. (As an alternative for anyone that doesn’t like Book Depository.)ReplyCancel

  • gratitudealways12/01/2017 - 11:33 am

    I pre-ordered, too! So excited!ReplyCancel

  • shanna mallon12/01/2017 - 11:59 am

    girl! it looks amazing! I can’t wait to get a copy — congratulations x a million!!!ReplyCancel

  • Grace Rusch12/01/2017 - 12:13 pm

    YES!! So looking forward to cooking from this book. Congratulations!!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda | Pickles & Honey12/01/2017 - 12:18 pm

    The biggest congrats to you, Laura! Your book looks gorgeous and I can already tell just from this post that you gave it everything you had. I’m so excited to see it live in person!ReplyCancel

  • Julia Samersova12/01/2017 - 12:37 pm

    Ordered! So excited!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full12/01/2017 - 12:44 pm

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I pre-ordered the cookbook literally the second it came on Amazon, and I CANNOT WAIT until it comes out!! I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU LAURA!!!! Sending so many hugs!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations! The book looks so beautiful- and I love the fonts on the covers. It’s obvious you’ve poured your heart and soul into this, and I can’t wait to break into it and cook.ReplyCancel

  • valentina | sweet kabocha12/01/2017 - 12:49 pm

    Just ordered! I can’t wait to start cooking from it <3ReplyCancel

  • Beverley Haun12/01/2017 - 1:04 pm

    Just ordered one cookbook for me and one for my daughter. I live in Peterborough, but grew up in Fonthill and always feel like I am visiting home when your recipes and photos arrive in my email.ReplyCancel

  • Mark Guncheon12/01/2017 - 1:05 pm

    Congratulations! Hard work pays off and just think of all the wonderful meals you and your family had to eat.ReplyCancel

  • Megan12/01/2017 - 1:21 pm

    I was thrilled to pre-order your cookbook. How exciting. Huge congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Alex12/01/2017 - 1:43 pm

    So exciting! Congratulations, Laura. Love that Canadian cover :)ReplyCancel

  • Kris12/01/2017 - 2:04 pm

    Looking amazing– huge congratulations!! The recipes (as always) look incredible and so very appealing! Thanks for the sneak peak:)ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gordon12/01/2017 - 2:14 pm

    YAHOO! Can’t wait! Huge congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Ashli12/01/2017 - 2:57 pm

    I am so excited to get this book – I have been waiting impatiently since you first announced it!! Pre-ordered a few weeks ago, so now I’m just counting down the days! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel12/01/2017 - 3:27 pm

    Cannot. Wait.ReplyCancel

  • Emmaline12/01/2017 - 3:28 pm

    Preordered today and so psyched for the bundle of recipes to tide us over till the book’s release date!! I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited to receive a cookbook – congrats on your hard work, long hours, and thanks for your inspiration!!ReplyCancel

  • Kate12/01/2017 - 4:46 pm

    Congrats x1000, Laura! I’ve been eagerly awaiting your book for a long time. Can’t wait to get my copy!ReplyCancel

  • Taylor12/01/2017 - 4:49 pm

    Can I just say I am SO glad you decided to release this in March? I find that at the end of February is when I start getting to the end of my rope with the winter “blahs” (I live in Newfoundland -__-) and cooking my way through it always seems to help. Can’t wait! :)ReplyCancel

  • Krystal12/01/2017 - 5:49 pm

    YAAAASSSS! I pre-ordered this in December and CAN.NOT.WAIT. to get it! I’m planning on working my way through all of the recipes and having a very happy tummy. :)ReplyCancel

  • Cristina12/01/2017 - 5:56 pm

    Congratulations, Laura! Can’t wait til March!ReplyCancel

  • Marie12/01/2017 - 6:06 pm

    I pre-ordered the book in early November! I am SO excited I can hardly wait! How nice of you to create a pre-order bonus. Looking forward to downloading that soon! Thank you for all your efforts! Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • sasha12/01/2017 - 6:58 pm

    pre ordered, huge congrats xReplyCancel

  • Smadar12/01/2017 - 7:32 pm

    So BEYOND excited to get my hands on this cookbook. You create the most ridiculously delicious recipes. I never get bored of cooking healthy foods thanks to you.ReplyCancel

  • Amy C12/01/2017 - 10:15 pm

    One of the fondest memories I have of my mat leave last year was recipe testing for you for this cookbook – buying new ingredients, trying new techniques and sampling new creations. I have been waiting with excitement for this day to arrive ever since. Looking forward to seeing your final work and the recipes you decided to share with the world. Congrats from Toronto!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey13/01/2017 - 12:13 am

    It looks STUNNING! Congrats, lady. I can’t wait to see it!! xReplyCancel

  • Betty Bake13/01/2017 - 2:35 am

    congratulations!!! wow – it all looks super beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jo13/01/2017 - 5:48 am

    Congratulations on the book! The photos look great! Now I’m curious about that mashed white bean and mushroom miso gravy yummmReplyCancel

  • Lizzie13/01/2017 - 11:21 am

    I can’t wait!! I’ve been following you for years and I’m so excited to have your work sitting on my kitchen shelf :) You do such a good job making plant based eating delicious and filling, and you have taught me so many creative ways to use staples. Good job! And, congratulations!!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara D.13/01/2017 - 12:07 pm

    Congratulations, Laura. I am so excited to receive the cookbook, your blog is a favorite of mine. I look forward to feeding my culinary inspiration as soon as it arrives :)ReplyCancel

  • Amy13/01/2017 - 12:27 pm

    Just pre-ordered! That white bean mash with mushroom miso gravy will be the 1st thing I make! Can’t wait. Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • ceecee13/01/2017 - 12:31 pm

    I love the Canadian cover!! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • kathleen13/01/2017 - 3:28 pm

    Congrats! What a labor of love. So excited!!ReplyCancel

  • Nina Olsson - Nourish Atelier13/01/2017 - 7:13 pm

    Stunning, your phototography and styling is amazing! This is going to be a modern classic! Oh that bolognese… I bet every recipe will be super delicious, your book will have a steady in my kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Hillary13/01/2017 - 7:29 pm

    Hi Laura!!
    I’m in Canada, and I’m somewhat of a cookbook collector, I’ve been waiting for yours forever. I LOVE the US cover, If I preorder from Amazon.com vs .ca will they still send me the Canadian cover? Haha, don’t get me wrong I love them both, so it certainly won’t stop my purchase if I can’tReplyCancel

    • Laura14/01/2017 - 7:20 am

      Amazon.com will send you the American cover as long as you’re okay with any added shipping cost ;)
      -LReplyCancel

    • Amanda14/01/2017 - 10:51 am

      I was looking at the world-wide distributor as it comes with free shipping and is only $5 more in Canadian. It appears to be offering the American cover. :) I also prefer the American cover, so I totally understand! (The Canadian version is lovely, don’t get me wrong, but I really like the American one.)ReplyCancel

  • maya kuijper14/01/2017 - 2:36 am

    Congratulations Laura! Your book looks absolutely stunning, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing. So excited. xoReplyCancel

  • Amanda14/01/2017 - 10:50 am

    Congratulations!!

    You’re book looks absolutely stunning, and I cannot wait to have a physical copy in my hands. :)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Create N Plate14/01/2017 - 12:34 pm

    Every single photo here looks absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to see the book in person! Congrats on this, it’s so exciting!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Shores14/01/2017 - 4:03 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! So proud of you! I have been waiting for your cookbook! I preordered it. It wasn’t clear to me how you would know that in order to download the 10 new recipes on Feb. 6. Let me know when you can. Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Laura14/01/2017 - 4:10 pm

      Hi Susan,
      As long as you save the confirmation email/receipt from the online retailer that you pre-ordered the book from, you’ll have everything you need come February 6th. All instructions will be available here at that time as well.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Hannah16/01/2017 - 6:18 am

    Congrats Laura your book looks beautiful. I just wanted to say you helped me on my way to becoming fully plant based. Book ordered :)ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder16/01/2017 - 12:46 pm

    Oh Laura, this is so incredible. I can’t imagine how much it had to have taken to document this piece of you to share with us all – and I know we are going to be better for it. Thank you for creating this for us – I cannot wait to dig in to it’s pages soon! xxReplyCancel

  • Jill16/01/2017 - 3:46 pm

    Congrats. I just ore-ordered for kindle. I can’t wAit!!ReplyCancel

  • LuAnn Bermeo16/01/2017 - 9:05 pm

    Just preordering this evening. I’m looking forward to downloading the preordering bundle and even more to receiving my beautiful new book soon!ReplyCancel

  • Kris17/01/2017 - 9:23 pm

    Laura, This is SO, SO, SO, SO, SO amazing! You know how happy and proud I am of you!! xoReplyCancel

  • Nicole17/01/2017 - 11:24 pm

    Congratulations! It looks beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Maria19/01/2017 - 5:08 am

    Congratulations Laura! Can’t wait to get my copy right to Mallorca. Thank you for your hard work! Xx mariaReplyCancel

  • Caitlin | Our Natural Heritage20/01/2017 - 5:07 pm

    Congratulations! It looks yummy and stunning and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!ReplyCancel

  • Djoeke22/01/2017 - 2:32 pm

    Looking really forward to your cookbook! I just pre-ordered it, it looks amazing! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jess @Nourished by Nutrition22/01/2017 - 6:34 pm

    Congratulations! This is quite an accomplishment!! I’m definitely planning on pre-ordering my copy. I know your recipes will be incredibly nourishing and equally delicious. I can’t wait to read it cover to cover. xx, JessReplyCancel

  • […] The First Mess cookbook now available for preorder! Gotta say I’m excited for this […]ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Stelley23/01/2017 - 6:02 pm

    I just pre-ordered! So excited!!ReplyCancel

  • Liberty Browne23/01/2017 - 7:17 pm

    Just preordered your book ✌️Am looking forward to finally seeing what you’ve been working on. Love your recipes so I’m so excited for it! x LibertyReplyCancel

  • Sonka6725/01/2017 - 2:03 pm

    Hi Laura, I have been following since Ginger, citrus + black sesame carrots w/edamame from April 2013, that photo to this day resides in my recipe library, what a stunner, just pre-ordered your book, can’t wait, wish you all the success in your future, SonjaReplyCancel

  • Amanda | What's Cooking20/04/2017 - 10:09 pm

    Hi Laura,

    I made the weeknight dal for dinner tonight and it was soooooo good! The added spices at the end are genius. It’s unbelievable how much flavor and texture is in something so seemingly simple. I served it over basmati rice and it was JUST!! Thank you for your beautiful book. You really are such a talent.ReplyCancel

  • […] hummus, I can’t stop making it! Seriously it is perfected here. Laura’s cookbook! I am SO very excited for this book to come out, as I love Laura’s pictures and recipes so […]ReplyCancel

Adaptogenic Hot Cocoa with Cordyceps (vegan recipe)pin it!
Hey, happy Sunday! Popping in with one of my happy hours for you guys because this comforting/naturally energizing cocoa has been my go-to afternoon sip lately. I know the title of this drink is kind of mystical or woo woo sounding, but a daily flick of cordyceps powder (fungus-derived!) has shown some promise for me personally in terms of energy levels and combating stress/inflammation. It has a naturally earthy taste, as you might expect a dried and powdered fungus would, but once you swirl it into this frothy mix of cacao, coconut oil, and roasted almond butter, you kind of forget that it’s there. I get mine from Moon Juice, and you can read a bit more about the product here. Obviously everyone is different in how they respond to ingredients like this, so always exercise discernment with your own body/life in mind :) View full post »

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  • abigail08/01/2017 - 5:29 am

    I definitely need to get my hand son the Avocado oil spray it sounds SO useful and I can always do with more avocado in my life!

    Abigail Alice ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full08/01/2017 - 10:21 am

    This hot cocoa has almond butter in it; I’m sold. I’ve been all about adaptogens lately… my nutritionist said I likely have adrenal fatigue, and I’m not looking to add another prescription to my routine. Herbal remedies are the way to go!ReplyCancel

  • Karlie08/01/2017 - 10:24 am

    This looks so wonderful and nourishing. I love your happy hour links, I always have ALL the tabs open and end up learning much more than when I began! xoReplyCancel

  • Mer08/01/2017 - 10:39 am

    Thanks for the info’ about Cha’s spices. I have been struggling to find a non bitter turmeric powder. I laughed when I clicked on the link and saw that Chas is the brand of ayur masala that use all the time for making ‘sweet’ curry salads (‘sweet’ as in not hot spices ….not ‘sweet’as in desserts). It is absolutely delicious with lentils or chickpeas and dried currants, raisins, cilantro, scallions etc kind of dishes…or an apple sweet coconut curry sauce for rice. Why didn’t I think to try their plain turmeric powder before ? :-) And Canadian too! Awesome.ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/01/2017 - 10:43 am

      Oooooh I think I need to try that blend now! :) Thanks for the tip.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Julia08/01/2017 - 11:57 am

    I´m always excited for your link loves and the cocoa recipe hits the spot too! I´ve been experimenting with mushroom powders too, lately, going all in with chaga, cordyceps, reishi and he shou wu (which isn´t a mushroom I think, anyways…) and definitely feel their balancing and energizing effects. Cordyceps has been my fave so far, and weirdly enough I really like the smell and taste, it´s almost caramely… Happy new year to you! Much love from Vienna! JuliaReplyCancel

  • Anya08/01/2017 - 5:26 pm

    What a lovely, lovely post! So much good stuff, I don’t even know where to begin. Alll kinds of tabs open ;)ReplyCancel

  • Abby09/01/2017 - 11:19 am

    I’ve been really wanting to try reishi powder and cordyceps for awhile now and this recipe might be what I need to finally bite the bullet!ReplyCancel

  • callie09/01/2017 - 2:16 pm

    I love Luminance Skincare products. I have tried many since getting my first trial pack of their cleanser, moisturizer and toner. My goodness, it has transformed my skin. Thank you as always for your thoughtful posts, I have loved everything about your blog since my Momma introduced me to it!ReplyCancel

  • Nina Olsson - Nourish Atelier09/01/2017 - 6:05 pm

    Lovely, It’s the first time I encounter adaptogens in a recipe since I read about it in Bon appetit not long ago. I’m fascinated by this fungus… And I want ALL the lovely looking stuff in this post, the facial cleaner and those head phones, but mostly I’m looking forward to your book Laura, the coves look so beautiful. x ninaReplyCancel

  • Julia @ HappyFoods Tube10/01/2017 - 8:27 am

    Whaat? Avocado oil spray? Gotta find it around here. This hot cocoa must taste amazing. Never tried almond butter, but going to give it a go!ReplyCancel

  • Deane10/01/2017 - 8:32 pm

    Thanks! Where are you purchasing Moon Juice products? Are there any problems importing it to Canada?ReplyCancel

    • Laura11/01/2017 - 12:17 pm

      Hi Deane,
      I ordered the Moon Juice products from their site and had them shipped to a US postal box that my partner and I have set up. We live right by a border crossing, so it is a uniquely convenient situation for us. I’m not sure if Moon Juice ships to Canada, but after picking them up in the US and driving the items over, I had no problems at customs with bringing it all in.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Alexandra11/01/2017 - 8:56 am

    Yum, so much awesome stuff in this list :)

    Congrats on finally revealing your book cover, by the way. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.ReplyCancel

  • Terri Newton12/01/2017 - 5:31 am

    Hi Laura. Could this be made cold? Thanks. Terri. Just started using adaptogens would love to see more recipes that use them especially as yours are so good. Terri.ReplyCancel

    • Laura12/01/2017 - 8:24 am

      Hi Terri!
      I think you could do this cold. I’d replace the 1 1/3 cups hot water + almond butter with 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk. I’d still combine everything in the blender, but if you decide to use the coconut oil, I’d make sure that it’s melted before you add it. Hope this helps!
      -LReplyCancel

  • […] Photo by The First Mess and the recipe is inspired by her adaptogenic hot cocoa. […]ReplyCancel

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Messpin it!Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Messpin it!View full post »

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  • Karlie05/01/2017 - 8:45 am

    This looks incredible, so warm and comforting + healthy to boot. I love anything with cashew butter. Glad you were able to take some time off! I can’t wait for your cookbook!ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker05/01/2017 - 10:19 am

    Ohh that sauce is callllling to me! I always welcome the reprive over the holiday break, but it feels so hard to get back into it come January. I’ll just be over here, eating this luscious dinner in the meantime :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full05/01/2017 - 11:11 am

    Came here to say the lighting in these photos is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Seriously, how can you get a perfectly lit photo yet still have those moody vibes?! Teach me your ways :O Happy New Year, Laura! <3ReplyCancel

    • Laura05/01/2017 - 1:10 pm

      It’s aaaaaaallll Lightroom and a slightly dirty window, babe. Hehehe ;)
      xo LReplyCancel

  • Christine05/01/2017 - 12:45 pm

    Arugula cream! that sounds like the perfect way to fancy up spaghetti squash and this whole dish sounds so good! Our holiday was also spent pretty quietly and with lots of games – a new version of monopoly, jenga, and blockus! – and it was so fun to disconnect and live super simple :)ReplyCancel

  • Joan05/01/2017 - 12:50 pm

    Sounds awesome! I make a stuffed spaghetti squash ala primavera with sautéed onion, bell pepper, portabella, roma, and a touch of pesto on top. It’s the bomb. I’ll have to give this one a shot!ReplyCancel

  • Julia @ HappyFoods Tube05/01/2017 - 1:37 pm

    Your photos are beautiful! If I ever find spaghetti squash around here I will try this dish. Is there a big difference in taste between butternut squash and spaghetti squash?ReplyCancel

    • Laura05/01/2017 - 8:45 pm

      The difference is mostly in the texture, but butternut is also noticeably sweeter and probably way harder to eat if it’s stuffed. If I used a butternut for this recipe, I’d probably peel it, slice it, and roast it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then, I’d combine those tasty roasted pieces with extra arugula, the chickpeas, pine nuts, and sauce–kind of like a warm, filling, composed salad sorta thing.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Tori//Gringalicious.com05/01/2017 - 7:11 pm

    Oh, how wonderful! I love spaghetti squash and the way you’ve dressed it up is perfect! Also, those photos are stunning!ReplyCancel

  • maya kuijper05/01/2017 - 8:59 pm

    I love the simplicity of this, looks so good! and the photos are amazing as usual. xoReplyCancel

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout05/01/2017 - 9:25 pm

    There is just this beautiful glow of light in every photo! Stunning. This recipe looks A++. I actually just ate a stuffed squash with miso gravy situation for dinner, but that didn’t stop me drooling at your recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • Veronica @ Rockridge Kitchen05/01/2017 - 11:44 pm

    This looks incredible. I just made spaghetti squash with a garlic sauce earlier this week. I need to do it again next week with this arugula sauce! Great idea.ReplyCancel

  • Grace06/01/2017 - 12:56 am

    I love your photos! They’re gorgeous! And of course, the food looks amayyzing :)ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder06/01/2017 - 1:48 pm

    I picked up a sketti squash yesterday and am so making this over the weekend girl. You. Slay. Hope you are having a refreshing start to the new year and easing back into the screens slowly <3 these breaks are always so nice. xxReplyCancel

  • Paige Margaret06/01/2017 - 4:07 pm

    This looks delicious!, and it’s healthy! Can’t wait to give it a try!

    http://paigemargaretblog.blogspot.co.nzReplyCancel

  • Mark07/01/2017 - 7:34 pm

    Looks brilliant. Love your photography too :)ReplyCancel

  • Laren11/01/2017 - 10:11 pm

    Just made this sauce. WOW IT IS AMAZING. Really impressive dish here, Laura. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Kimbydee12/01/2017 - 9:27 pm

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! My sister and I ate the whole thing and the spaghetti squash was enormous. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • La petite poire15/01/2017 - 2:37 am

    Wow!!! What a divine recipe. Beautiful photography and I can’t wait to try this out. Thank you for sharing ❤️ReplyCancel

  • […] this looks amazing…if only I had a kitchen this […]ReplyCancel

  • […] SPAGHETTI RIPIENA DI CECI CON SALSA DI ANACARDI E RUCOLA da questa ricetta di Laura Wright di The First Mess Vegan, Gluten free, Grain free PORZIONI: […]ReplyCancel

  • […]  This stuffed spaghetti squash is just what I’m hankering after right […]ReplyCancel

  • autumn14/03/2017 - 10:38 am

    mmm mmm good! I made this last night and it was fantastic! Loved all the flavors and that arugula sauce was ridic! Can’t wait for my leftovers tonight :)ReplyCancel

Baked Balsamic Lentil Stew w/ Rosemary Potaoes - The First Messpin it!

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Baked Balsamic Lentil Stew w/ Rosemary Potaoes - The First Messpin it!For Baked Balsamic Lentil Stew w/ Rosemary Potaoes - The First Messpin it!View full post »

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  • thefolia07/12/2016 - 7:43 am

    Another great way to make lentils…can’t wait to try that blanket on top of it. Happy feasting.ReplyCancel

  • Sonia07/12/2016 - 7:59 am

    I can’t read your blog today. :( The Eddie Bauer and le creuset ads keep covering up your post and I can’t even move them at all on my iPad!ReplyCancel

    • Laura07/12/2016 - 8:50 am

      Sonia, I’m so sorry about this. I’ll contact my ad provider with these details right away, and hopefully this won’t happen again. I appreciate you letting me know.
      -LReplyCancel

      • Sonia07/12/2016 - 8:18 pm

        Welcome. :) it does seem good now. And not that I don’t love le creuset, but I’d rather read your blog.ReplyCancel

  • Allana07/12/2016 - 8:23 am

    Love the creative twist of a lentil shepherd’s pie! I’m going to try this but instead of potato prisms; I think I’ll cut the potato into rounds to add a pretty scallop touch to the dish :)ReplyCancel

  • Alex07/12/2016 - 9:48 am

    This recipes looks amazing. You are a genius :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah07/12/2016 - 10:22 am

    This looks fantastic! I’m going to try it with sweet potatoes -I usually substitute them for other starchy potatoes because they are very healthy and flavorful. You could use the white variety of sweet potatoes, which are available this time of year, to keep the color consistent if family won’t eat the orange ones! :). Thanks for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full07/12/2016 - 10:40 am

    This recipe is gorgeous, as always, but I really came here to say that your kitchen = #goals. Ryan and I are trying to figure out how we want our new kitchen to look, and I legit pulled up your Instagram feed to show him your countertops + subway tile. Is that weird? Maybe? #YOLOReplyCancel

    • Sonia08/12/2016 - 12:41 am

      No, I don’t think that is weird. :) I did a screenshot on my phone of her kitchen in Instagram so I could zoom in on it. Everything is so beautiful and I looove the copper pots. It makes me happy when I come to it while looking thru my pics!ReplyCancel

  • Brown food may not be as eye catching as brightly colored food, but it’s still elegant and beautiful in its own ways. Thank you for this recipe- I’m always looking for new ways to eat lentils, and these lentils are making me hungry.ReplyCancel

  • valentina | sweet kabocha07/12/2016 - 12:38 pm

    I love the idea of domino-potatoes :DReplyCancel

  • What a creative idea! This looks delicious and such a cozy dish for winter :) Can’t wait to try!ReplyCancel

  • Christine @ Yum and in Love07/12/2016 - 2:16 pm

    The potatoes are GORGEOUS- glad I stumbled upon this- looking for more ways to use lentils. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Maren07/12/2016 - 3:12 pm

    Is there any way this recipe could be adapted for a crockpot? I’m a med student with final exams coming up, and this looks incredible, but I’d love to be able to have it cook while I’m away!ReplyCancel

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout07/12/2016 - 7:00 pm

    Definitely sounding familiar to me ;) I think I’ve had waffles for breakfast 3 days in a row (but they are made with chickpea and brown rice flour so that’s healthy riiiight)! Studying/exams/work are all things that make my eating habits change a little. Loving this stew <3ReplyCancel

  • La petite poire07/12/2016 - 9:44 pm

    Wow this looks absolutely delicious and the perfect dish for Christmas! I can’t wait to try this recipe out ReplyCancel

  • Raquel Osorio08/12/2016 - 12:11 am

    Stellar blog. I wish I was yourger and had grown up with all the tech savvy ways of expressing ourselves. You are brilliant and a reminder to us, older grumps, that better times are yet to come. You are an all time classic food writer and your documented sensitive thoughts on cooking and eating shall survive many decades. Kudos to you and your progenitors . They should be sooo proud. Much love and Peace from upstate NYReplyCancel

  • maya08/12/2016 - 1:12 am

    this is such a creative idea (as usual) and you’ve somehow managed to make it look gorgeous. also your kitchen is amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Julia @ HappyFoods Tube08/12/2016 - 6:32 am

    This stew looks so delicious and those paper thin potatoes – wow! No chance my mandolin can do that – looks like gotta invest in a new one!ReplyCancel

  • Chris Hildebrand08/12/2016 - 10:16 am

    I made this dish for dinner last night. It was delicious and by far the best lentil dish I have ever made! I can’t wait to make it again for my family during the holidays.ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/12/2016 - 12:04 pm

      That is wonderful to hear, Chris! Appreciate it so much.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Martha Mackay08/12/2016 - 12:51 pm

    Hi Laura. Do you think I could make this ahead of time and bring it to a family get together that is about a one hour drive away? I was thinking I would cook it partially, and then finish off the cooking and broiling stage when I get there? Do you think that would work?ReplyCancel

    • Laura08/12/2016 - 12:57 pm

      I think your strategy of partially cooking it and the broiling at your destination might be the best way to do it! I would cook this right up to the broiling stage, wrap it up, slowly warm it back up at your destination, and then broil it for a minute or so. Let me know how it goes!
      -LReplyCancel

  • Lara08/12/2016 - 4:14 pm

    Hi Laura! Looks delicious! Would you tell me what kind of mandoline you are using to cut the potatoes in such thin slices?
    Greetings from Austria :)
    LaraReplyCancel

  • I saw it on your instagram and had this feeling that I’m going to make it. I love the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Kristi08/12/2016 - 9:55 pm

    This is an awesome way of making an otherwise “dull” stew gorgeous. I made the stew with the addition of deer meat and it is in the oven now smelling wonderful! Thank you for the inspiration! xo KristiReplyCancel

  • […] for a warm dinner to combat the cold weather? Try this baked balsamic lentil stew recipe from The First […]ReplyCancel

  • Jess @Nourished by Nutrition10/12/2016 - 6:03 pm

    Can I be wrapped in a cozy, salty potato blanket??!? But seriously, Laura, between this baked lentil stew, Jessie’s savory cobbler, and Lindsey’s vegan alfredo, I feel like I’ve hit the plant-based comfort food goldmine! Your photos are absolutely sunning and have no sense of dullness whatsoever. They perfectly convey the idea of comfort and warmth during this chilly season. This dish really does sound delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Jessy11/12/2016 - 5:33 pm

    Hi Laura,

    This looks delicious!
    Do you think I could use red lentils in lieu of the green ones? I have some sitting pretty in my pantry, but I don’t want to make the substitution if that will ruin the dish!ReplyCancel

    • Laura15/12/2016 - 9:26 am

      Hi Jessy!
      The red split lentils will definitely break down completely in this recipe–making for a creamier and runnier texture. The green/brown ones retain their texture. You could try it if you want because the cook time would be the same, but I don’t think I would recommend it.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Lauren11/12/2016 - 8:56 pm

    This recipe is amazing! It will definitely be going into my regular rotation. I used potato shaped slices out of laziness but it still looks pretty! I would double it to serve 6-8 though, I ate the whole thing myself in 4 servings!!ReplyCancel

  • cynthia12/12/2016 - 3:49 pm

    I can’t get over how beautiful and cozy this is, Laura! I could get lost in that first photo, and this crispy thin potato lid. Just perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Erica13/12/2016 - 12:51 pm

    This was so delicious! When I saw the picture I thought it was going to be time consuming to make…it really wasn’t! I had friends over for dinner and it was a hit :)ReplyCancel

  • Loganayaki14/12/2016 - 8:01 am

    Very delicious recipe!! loved it.ReplyCancel

  • maja14/12/2016 - 12:56 pm

    Made this today! It was really good and filling, just a little bit time consuming to chop all the ingredients, but it was worth it!
    Thanks for the recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • Mary15/12/2016 - 9:21 pm

    This looks SO delicious – just perfect for a cold winter’s night!ReplyCancel

  • christine desroches15/12/2016 - 9:58 pm

    I’m so into this coziness right now! Also your potato dominos are adorable/beautiful. I have a similar strategy (making a super healthy dish to interrupt my less-than-amazing stressy choices) and it really does help turn things around. Hang in there these last few weeks of 2016! xoReplyCancel

  • Jeff21/12/2016 - 1:55 pm

    I happen to have some mushrooms and lentils right now, and never thought of combining the two. Sounds awesome. I also love combiningn feta cheese with lentils or mushrooms, so might throw some in too! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay R24/12/2016 - 2:30 pm

    I made this last night and it was delicious! The perfect blend of flavors + the potatoes on top were delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca27/12/2016 - 11:22 am

    I served this to a whole house full of meat-loving friends and family and it went over spectacularly. I can always count on your recipes to do so!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Santangelo03/01/2017 - 8:24 pm

    Simply one of the best vegan recipes I have ever, ever made. This was off the charts delicious. My carnivore fiancée had 3rd helpings AND took some for lunch much the next day.ReplyCancel

  • We LOVE lentils! They’re a staple in my frugal and healthy kitchen. They’re cheap and versatile! Your food photography is absolutely amazing, I must say. What a great website! Kelli BrinkReplyCancel

  • Suzannah04/01/2017 - 3:52 pm

    Late to the party, but oh my goodness this looks amazing. I can taste those potatoes.

    Beautiful blog!ReplyCancel

  • Laine07/01/2017 - 9:05 pm

    Holy moly was this ever delicious! Thank you for such a simple and delicious recipe. I added 2x the balsamic and used de puy lentils. Such a delicious, warming meal in this western cold snap we’ve been having!ReplyCancel

  • Sally14/03/2017 - 8:51 am

    Can’t wait to try this – I have recently discovered your blog (and I just got your cookbook! Swoon!) Does the baking sheet need to be oiled before the lentils are spread around? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura14/03/2017 - 9:50 am

      Thank you so much! Yes, I’d recommend oiling the dish ahead of time ;)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Karishma Suchday19/03/2017 - 11:38 am

    Hi Laura! Can I use black chickpeas instead of lentils? Also can I use sweet potato instead of russet?ReplyCancel

    • Laura19/03/2017 - 12:01 pm

      Hi Karishma,

      The black chickpeas, if you’re using from their dry state, will take much longer to cook than the lentils. They’ll also require more liquid. This is a situation where Googling might offer better advice than what I can give because I’ve only made this recipe with the lentils.

      If your black chickpeas are cooked though, you would need double the amount that I specify of lentils (so 2-2 1/4 cups total of cooked black chickpeas). You wouldn’t need as much vegetable stock if you’re using cooked beans because they wouldn’t be taking on any liquid. Just use enough to keep the whole mixture moist and slightly fluid.

      And yes, you can use sweet potatoes for the topping, but they won’t crisp up like the russets. I would recommend slicing them as thin as you can just because they’re definitely wetter/more dense than regular potatoes.

      -LWReplyCancel

      • Karishma Suchday19/03/2017 - 7:28 pm

        Thank you Laura. I’ll let you know how the black chickpeas turn out. And yes, I’m going to boil them before hand. Excited to make this recipe!
        ReplyCancel

  • Jayne27/03/2017 - 3:35 pm

    Would this be freezable Laura?ReplyCancel

    • Laura29/03/2017 - 11:56 am

      I think you could get away with freezing it if it was fully cooked, but even then… I find mushrooms don’t always fare very well after being frozen. I have’t tried freezing this one yet, so if you have success please let me know.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Nicky07/04/2017 - 12:51 pm

    Fab – whole family loved it and only one vegetarian here!ReplyCancel

  • Roisin13/04/2017 - 4:20 pm

    It’s actually rather nice to hear that there is a USA/ Canada Pulses council (& they’re supporting you) when you hear so much about egg/ milk/ meat industry/ board pushing their cruelty-filled products by paying chefs or government etc to encourage people to eat aforementioned products. plant protein for the winReplyCancel

  • Laura14/04/2017 - 6:59 am

    I made this in order to hit my reset button! I normally skip right past the spiel before a recipe when I’m online, but I’m glad I didn’t in this case. Without being corny, you added another dimension to my cooking experience because I really related to what you wrote. Thank you graciously ❤️ReplyCancel

  • D14/05/2017 - 7:24 pm

    I’ve made this a couple times and I’m making it again tonight! Love this recipe so much. Definitely a go to one for me. I just need a mandolin that can slice this thin.ReplyCancel

  • kas16/08/2017 - 5:28 pm

    Prepared this recipe – but the 4 cups of veggie broth was way too much. In the initial pan cook, I had to discard at least 1 cup of broth. And, I cooked it for 4x the amt. of time. Lentils were soft.ReplyCancel

  • […] up this Lentil Stew. It looks perfect for a winter lunchbox to reheat at […]ReplyCancel