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do-it-yourself instant oatmeal + out of the woods


I came out of the forest to bring you this sweet little packet of a breakfast recipe/strategy. We went up north for a few days of clean air, adventure and quiet time in the oldest provincial park in Canada. We were greeted by some gentle rain, sitting in our canoe at the entry point, looking out over the grey, foggy beauty of it all. We had woken up at 3 in the morning, drove 5 hours, listened to a lot of Springsteen (we’re on a serious Bruce tear), drank a decent amount of coffee, got the permit, the park-licensed garbage bag, the whole deal. After a 3 hour canoe/portage trip to our site, we were soaked, kind of cold, but quietly content. Being out in the world! With the force of nature all around and its miracles, getting bummed about those little struggles seems a bit silly.

The end of summer has all kind of gone along with that theme. A whole bunch of little, unassuming and wonderful things that make up the big beautiful and fill it with grace. Very simply satisfied with life at the moment.

What goes along nicely with little things that fill your life with shiny abundance? Oatmeal. Yep.

When we go on any excursion, not just the great-outdoors ones, food is my responsibility. Mark handles the fire building, wood chopping, the shelter construction, any navigation whatsoever, loading the canoe properly, lifting all the heavy things, tying our food up high in the trees at night like a pro (bears are a real deal possibility)… you get the idea. He does a lot and watching him carry on happily in that element, I couldn’t love him more.

So naturally I try to make the food aspect way good. Sure it has to be delicious, kind of easy to scheme up, slightly compact, but also crazy-fortifying. Hot oatmeal cooked over a campfire with a bit of hemp, vanilla sugar and fresh fruit on a cool woodsy morning fits the bill just right. I’m more of a steel-cut kind of gal normally, but for the sake of practicality this add-hot-water-and-stir number hits the spot and is just as tasty to boot. Sure I could have bought the little packets, but it’s crazy simple to make and ten times better. Actually.

A lot of the packaged brands include some kind of milk powder to achieve a sort of creaminess when the hot water is added. I wasn’t really all over this particular move, so I found a solution that I can deliciously live with. Justin’s and Artisana brands make some awesome nut butters in tiny packets for healthy peeps on the go. It’s brilliant. I boil up some water, dump in the pre-bagged oat goodness, add the packet of nut butter, stir stir stir over the fire, add some chopped fruit and voila. Tasty breakfast.

This is a pretty smart little strategy for the work week too. It’s easy enough to have access to a jar of almond butter (or whatever you like) and some hot water at the workplace so why not? Make up five little bundles of the good stuff on a day off, make sure no one’s snagging spoonfuls of your nut/seed butter at work and you’re all good for healthy, happy morning meals.

do-it-yourself instant oatmeal with nut butter
serves: for 1 packet/serving
notes: Use whatever flaked grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc you like. This recipe is just an example of what I made for our little trip.

in the packet:
1/3-1/2 cup flaked grains (I used oats and rye)
2 tbsp seeds or chopped nuts (I used hemp and chia seeds)
2 tbsp dried fruit (I used dried sour cherries)
2 tsp dry sweetener of your choice (I had some vanilla sugar around, this amount may vary if you’re using stevia or something more concentrated)
teeny pinch of salt

to serve:
2 tbsp-1/4 cup boiling water (depending on how watery/sticky you want it)
1 tbsp nut/seed butter of your choice (I used raw walnut butter)
cut up fresh fruit (we had glorious end-of-summer peaches)

Place the oats, seeds/nuts, dried fruit, sweetener and salt in a bag or tupperware container of some type. When ready to serve, dump contents into serving dish of your choice.

Pour the boiling water on top and add the nut butter. Stir it all up until thoroughly combined. Place chopped fruit on top and serve.

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Sofia30/08/2012 - 2:54 pm

Ahh..beautiful pictures! I went on my first Algonquin portaging trip this summer and also being the one to take on the food part of the adventure, struggled to find the balance between light-weight, non-perishable, healthy, filling, etc… we ended up with a lot more meat than I could handle (though I have to say that the fire cooked bacon was incredible). I’m curious about what other stuff you guys ate – need some ideas on how to up my game for next time, especially in the veggie department.

Michelle30/08/2012 - 3:43 pm

I’m going to have to come camping with you guys sometime, because Joe has made it pretty clear he is NOT into it. I have so many positive memories of cooking over a fire on canoe trips: stir fries, flat breads, scrambled eggs with tons of veg, rice n beans, something called hawaiian salami…

And this recipe is bomb. This is like the winter counterpart to my summer granola!

Lena30/08/2012 - 3:46 pm

Oh I love this idea. Not just for outdoors but for my breakfasts at home, too. Being able to just add one thing to a pan instead of taking out all the grains and nuts and seeds and making a huge mess in the kitchen in the morning could really make me get used to eating oatmeal more often. thanks for sharing.

Becky30/08/2012 - 7:09 pm

Brilliant idea for camping and traveling! Thanks for the post.

kelsey30/08/2012 - 9:47 pm

Camping rules.

Ashlae30/08/2012 - 10:36 pm

I really want to make this, but I refuse to do so in my well-equipped kitchen. That just wouldn’t be right. Must find time to camp. Or, call in sick to work. And class.

Kathryn31/08/2012 - 1:55 pm

This is an inspired idea and would work just as well in my poorly equipped office kitchen as when camping (although it may not be quite as fun…)

Gorgeous pictures too.

Hannah03/09/2012 - 12:53 pm

Bruce! Oh be still my beating heart. (And don’t you think he seems like he might be an oatmeal kind of guy, himself?) Anyway, moving right along … my little ones love make-your-own instant oatmeal, and I have been using the recipe from The Homemade Pantry – I am now super curious to try this ‘raw’ version, since THP version has you toast some of the oats and then food process them … not toasting them is obviously about a thousand times simpler. (Her version does achieve some creaminess, though, without gross milk powders or anything – I think because of the powdery bits of toasted oats??).

The nut butter addition is inspired … I often add almonds to breakfast grains, and my kids usually eat around them. Nut butter here we come.

Kathryne09/09/2012 - 8:53 pm

This is so smart, Laura! I’m glad you got out-of-doors; I’ve been feeling rather confined indoors lately. Gotta get out and explore this new city, if not farther.

sunidhi15/09/2012 - 1:28 pm

Hi, This looks very yummy and mouth watering. definitely i will try and let u know. you have described it really good anyone can follow it . thanks for a wonderful recipe.

[...] shoes at Mark’s recommendation, worried about staying hydrated, made up little batches of homespun instant oatmeal, packed a Malcolm Gladwell book for extra lightness and some other things. We woke up way before [...]

a really high protein salad + balsamic tofu


Having worked in restaurants of all levels and types for a number of years, I can tell you with absolute certainty exactly what most 20 to 50-something year old ladies gravitate towards on a menu at lunch time without fail. Ready? It’s a leafy green salad with a big old piece of (usually animal-sourced) protein on top cooked in a minimal amount of fat, served with an oil and vinegar-based dressing, other vegetables etc. And if that option isn’t on the menu, there are inquiries that hint around the possibility of one being made anyway. If answered in the (very accommodating) affirmative, the next question/demand is usually along the lines of “Oh but I need the dressing ON THE SIDE **woman’s hand expressively pushes imaginary carafe of dressing to the side for clarification**.” Right, got it.

Fancy lady salads.

As much as I despise dealing with peeps ordering this kind of thing, I actually adore those make-it-a-meal-kind of affairs in a bowl (totally conflicted over a salad–I know, I know). Lots of green leafies, beans, nuts, seeds, a handful of cooked grains, vegetables, good pinches of salt and pepper, maybe some pecorino or crumbly goat cheese for a salty tang. And in this version, some lightly charred and garlicky balsamic tofu on top. Oh yes.

I always kind of forget about tofu and come back to it, wondering where it had been for the last little while. It’s not something I buy/cook frequently. I’m pretty particular on the preparation methods I apply to this protein and even more persnickety on what brand/types I’ll buy. So here are some things I’ve learned through trial and error and a fair bit of reading.

Buy organic and local. I mean it on this one.
Choosing organic soy foods does point to one obvious thing: you’re avoiding pesticide consumption and radiated foods. This practice also points to one much larger thing: you’re saying no to a largely genetically modified crop with your dollars, snubbing the efforts of agro-giants like Monsanto. What efforts? Well there’s a lot pertaining to deforestation in the amazon, putting decades-old family farms out of business, instilling fear into the economically sensible act of seed-saving, dousing those roundup-ready crops in pesticide, depleting soil quality… I could go on and on. I hate being preachy, but a simple course of action means a lot here. Worthy of note: the price difference is marginal when switching from conventional to organic tofu.

Is tofu even healthy?
There’s been some hoopla surrounding soy-based products and soy in general over the last few years. I’ve read a lot of alarmist literature on this particular food, but the reality is that it has been consumed for hundreds of years in many parts of the world. Studies are frequently conflicting (soy foods cause hot flashes, no wait soy foods prevent hot flashes etc) and there is always a new, very strong opinion. I’m no authority on whether consuming soy is right for you or anyone for that matter, but Dr. Weil (way more of an authority than me) provides a good summary here as well as some other links within his website. At its core, tofu is made from a coagulated fresh soy milk. The curds produced from this process are pressed into blocks of varying firmness. If you have access to good, locally made tofu without any junk in it, I don’t see any problem with consuming it on a weekly basis. Ingredients should include (organic) soybean curd, whatever acid/salt/enzyme the manufacturer chooses as the coagulating agent, and water. That’s it.

Press it.
If you are applying high heat (sauteing, grilling, roasting etc) to this wondrous substance, pressing it beforehand is going to help you enjoy it so much more. In effect, you’re removing the flavourless packing water, which makes way for a more enjoyable, chewy texture and a higher likelihood of golden brown-happiness once cooked. Also! Removing the no-flavour packing water leaves room for (duh) really delicious stuff in the form of a marinade or just a quick spice/flavour rubdown. Subtract water. Add tasty stuff. That’s easy math.

Or freeze it.
Very cool things happen to tofu when you freeze it in some sort of liquid (either the packing water or a marinade). The first time I tried it like this was when we were making a “thousand layer” tofu green curry during a vegan cuisine-focused lab in culinary school. The curry itself was amazing, but the tofu! It blew me away. Once you thaw and cook it up, it develops this layered interior. The texture is insanely agreeable, leaning towards chewy and meaty, but still soft/almost unctuous on the inside. For such minimal effort, it’s a really cool little tactic to try.

Are you afraid of making tofu at home? Or do you cook it often? Are your cooking methods super specific or tried and true? I would love to hear about your reasons for aversion or outright love of this stuff.

Hope you’re all enjoying these beautiful and long end-of-summer days. Big love, sunshine and bean curd to yas :)
Laura


high protein salad with garlicky balsamic tofu
serves: 4
notes: According to my non-scientific nutrition calculations, this salad has approximately 28 grams of protein per delicious serving. Let’s. Get. Pumped.

tofu:
1 454g block of firm to extra firm tofu, pressed (great instructions for pressing here)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 big clove of garlic, minced
handful of chopped herb of your choice (I went with basil)
salt and pepper

salad:
salad greens for 4 people (about 2-3 cups per person)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 cup cooked quinoa
2-3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
big handful of pine nuts (toasted if you like)

Cut the pressed tofu into 4 slabs: cut it in half down the middle on the smaller, rectangular side. Then proceed to cut those 2 slabs in half in the same manner. You should end up with 4 big squares of tofu that are about 1/2 inch thick.

Place the slabs of tofu into a large dish. Pour the balsamic vinegar and oil on top. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the chopped garlic and herb all over the top. Marinate for 30 minutes or so, gently flipping the pieces of tofu around here and there.

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the tofu pieces onto the grill. Wait for about 4 minutes or until good char marks appear. Flip the pieces over. Cook until char marks appear on the reverse (about another 4 minutes) and tofu is browned to your liking. Remove from the grill and set aside. Don’t have a grill? You can always roast it.

Toss the salad greens with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Distribute the chickpeas, quinoa, pine nuts and tomatoes amongst the 4 plates as well.

Cut tofu slabs into triangles if you like and arrange on top of salads. Serve.

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yossy | apt2bbakingco23/08/2012 - 4:39 pm

Laura! This is just the inspiration I needed today. In fact, I am going to press some tofu right now for dinner tonight.

sara23/08/2012 - 6:16 pm

love the tips! the freezing thing is so interesting. LOVE your remark about women and salads, so true. I also think it’s funny that ladies think it’s always the “healthiest option”, regardless of the bacon, cheese, creamy dressing etc. So funny :)

Kris23/08/2012 - 7:45 pm

Great post… as per usual. I love tofu, and, though I do freeze my tofu from time to time, I’ve always thought it was a bit of a faux pas. I’m going to pay attention to those layers next time.

Adrienne @ How to Ice a Cake23/08/2012 - 9:18 pm

I’m not usually a big fan of tofu, but this looks so beautiful! And I’m always a fan of a bunch of great ingredients thrown in a bowl :D

Ashlae23/08/2012 - 10:53 pm

I rarely eat tofu (I’m a tempeh girl, myself), but you piqued my interest with the whole freezing thing. So now I’m sitting across from a block of tofu, watching a towel absorb it’s excess liquid (woo hoo, what a rowdy Thursday night). In a few minutes I’m going to slice that thing, slather it in marinade and pop it in the freezer. AND TOMORROW I’M GOING TO MAKE TOFU MAGIC HAPPEN.

PS – so stoked you said “leafies”. You’re the woman after my own heart.

Jessica24/08/2012 - 3:41 am

Never thought of freezing tofu for this fab outcome…this is a must try! Also love the idea of roasting it. I usually roast anything I can get my hands on so it surprises me I haven’t thought of tofu. One of my personal tofu favs is crumbling it and mixing with spinach and feta to make a filling for a pie. With loads of basil too!

Michelle24/08/2012 - 9:26 am

I am all about the fancy lady salads (minus the demanding attitude of course!)

Hannah24/08/2012 - 9:43 am

I’ll take your salad over the fancy lady one any day! And your tofu information is all spot on – thanks for sharing. If anyone else has little ones: if you can get ‘sprouted’ tofu (the folks at our farmer’s market carry it, and I believe Wildwood is making it available at grocery stores now too?) – my kids sometimes get tummy aches from regular tofu, but seem to have a much easier time with the sprouted variety. This looks incredible, and I can’t wait to try it – yum yum.

Stacy24/08/2012 - 11:36 am

Somehow I think that the forgetting-about-then-remembering thing happens to me with tofu as well; I have no idea why. Perhaps it’s because tofu can be so boring when prepared certain ways — but so fabulous when made well. I am looking forward to trying the freezing technique!!

alison24/08/2012 - 5:38 pm

As a vegetarian of several years I have yet to try tofu. Crazy, I know. I’m a little afraid of it. Texture, maybe? Anyway, this looks beautiful and I couldn’t agree more on the local and organic.

Amy @ fragrantvanillacake25/08/2012 - 8:17 am

This salad sounds delicious, and it is beautiful! I could have gone for one of these for dinner last night :)!

Lena25/08/2012 - 8:30 am

I worked in a cafe after highschool, so I did not serve lunch, but I can tell almost without fail what people are going to order at a cafe now. And when a group of 20 something women, all stylishly dressed walked in, you had to try hide somewhere so that someone else had to make the oh so many latte macchiatos.
I need to try this tofu version. I actually quite like tofu, but am always looking for new things to try.

ally25/08/2012 - 11:29 am

this looks absolutely perfect – my kind of salad, completely!
xo
http://allykayler.blogspot.ca/

Kathryne25/08/2012 - 5:08 pm

Balsamic tofu?! Why didn’t I think of that?!! I don’t eat a lot of tofu but man I would get excited about this salad, that’s for sure.

I ate so many fancy lady chicken-topped salads (dressing on the side) before becoming a [mostly] vegetarian. Glad those days are over.

Debora26/08/2012 - 7:15 am

Great recipe! I’m always looking for new ways to prepare tofu and this is definitely worth trying.

linda26/08/2012 - 9:15 pm

Such a beautiful website you have! I’m considering schools and I’m curious about the culinary school that you went to? the vegan lab sounds very unique! thanks, linda

Kathryn26/08/2012 - 9:29 pm

I’m always slightly paranoid that a salad isn’t going to fill me up enough and so I always gravitate to ones that are packed with protein and fun ingredients like this. Tofu is not something that I eat a lot of & I don’t think I’ve ever cooked it so I really appreciate your tips as well.

Jessica27/08/2012 - 12:41 am

Roasted some tofu last night Laura for the first time – and it was delish! I did mine with malt vinegar, garlic, rice bran oil and pomegranate molasses. Yum! Thanks for the tip on this one. :-)

Jeanine28/08/2012 - 1:58 pm

I guess that means I’m a fancy lady – dressing on the side and all. I hope I don’t make the imaginary carafe motion, but I’m not so sure now :)

Shannon31/08/2012 - 8:55 pm

I’ve had this twice for dinner this week and loved it more each time. When people find out I’m a vegetarian, they almost always ask me, “But where do you get your protein?”. Um, 28 grams right here in this one bowl of deliciousness people.

Tofu protein | Babystepsandbe05/09/2012 - 12:12 am

[...] a really high protein salad + balsamic tofu » The First Mess [...]

[...] Tofu–cooked or raw (teach yourself to make baked tofu and never have a boring salad again!) [...]

[...] made another recipe from The First Mess tonight. Tasty enough, but unfortunately we were unable to work in any animal products. We are now [...]

Lauren21/12/2012 - 8:58 pm

I love vegetarian, and gluten free options.
I think your recipes are great!
Thank you

[...] is supposed to be going out like a lamb! For lunch (and then again for dinner), I made us this Garlicky Balsamic Tofu Salad. It involved grilling the tofu and I’m really proud of myself – there was no fire [...]

[…] couple weeks ago, I made the tofu from Laura’s high protein salad with balsamic grilled tofu recipe.  Steve would never (we’ll see about that) eat tofu in its distinguishable form, so I made […]

[…] to the tofu scene? I found a great recipe from The First Mess that introduces using tofu in a whole new way that even I’ve never tried before! In the […]

[…] is een heerlijke maaltijdsalade vol gezond lekkers. Het recept komt hier vandaan en heb ik ietsje aangepast naar wat ik in huis […]

vegetable ceviche + chipotle pepita “pilaf”


My friend asked me if I had any ideas for a simple, raw, vegetable-heavy dish (that wasn’t a salad) to make in the heat of summer. I had some things in mind, but they involved a bit of blending, or use of a food processor, a spiralized vegetable, or maybe a dehydrated component. Adding a sprouted grain was tempting, but would prolong the process of having the actual meal by a day or so. My mind went to work is what I’m trying to say. It moved too fast for the simple task at hand. I needed to step back and reconsider it all.

I take a few things for granted when I post recipes on here. I always get such lovely feedback and kind words from many of you and I’m grateful for that, fully. There are a lot of directions here, however, that call for blending, mandoline-slicing, ice-cream-maker-churning etc. These are assumptions about accessibility, something I strictly set out to avoid when I created this space.

My kitchen has a few bells and whistles, sure, and I approach recipe development from that privileged stance. The very hard reality is that you can never assume too much when assessing the task of making food at home. I have access to a car/bike that can take me to at least 15 purveyors of healthy and fresh food in my area at any time. This is unusual for many. Same goes for the kitchen I work in. We have functional plumbing, hydro, a 2+ HP blender and a host of other (possibly unnecessary) devices that simply make food. That’s all they do. This state of dwelling is surprisingly common and overwhelmingly “other” at the same time. I sense that duality every time I approach the food and the tools and the task at hand.

I know that so many of you just want to eat well and feel as good as possible, but may not have a spiralizer slicer or a mortar and pestle or whatever. Or maybe it’s just too hot to crank out a meal with a heat-based cooking method right now. Whatever the case, we all have that same basic goal in mind I think, and there are infinitely varied ways to get there that are within all of our reach. This vibrant, simple and delicious recipe is my offering, a way of trying to get to that place.

This dish is beautiful and healthy, but my favourite part? You only need a knife, a vegetable peeler and your own two hands to make it happen. It’s perfect for balmy end-of-summer days. Use whatever nuts/seeds you like in the cauliflower “pilaf.” Same goes for the elegant lime, spice and mustard-cured vegetable tangle on top. It’s an honest and filling plate of goodness built up very simply. And it’s within all of our reach.


vegetable ceviche with pepita & almond cauliflower “pilaf”
serves: 2
notes: The peeler isn’t even totally necessary here. Just small or thin cuts/dices is all you need to get the job done. Also, as noted you can use whatever veggies you have around that you like, but I will highly HIGHLY recommend the corn while it’s in season. So good.

for pilaf:
2-3 cups cauliflower florets, most of the stem removed
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds + extra for garnish
handful of chopped almonds
1/2 tsp dried chipotle powder
salt and pepper
2 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped

for ceviche:
1/2 zucchini, peeled into ribbons
1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 large cob of corn, kernels removed
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed and julienned
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
juice from 3 limes
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp raw agave nectar
1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 sprigs basil/cilantro, leaves finely chopped

Chop the stemmed cauliflower florets super fine. This can be done by milling your knife over them repeatedly, as if you were mincing garlic. Place into a medium bowl. To the bowl, add the pumpkin seeds, almonds, lime juice, olive oil, chipotle powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside while you prepare the ceviche. Chop and add the mint right before you’re ready to serve.

For the ceviche, place all ribboned/chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Pour the lime juice on top. Add the mustard and agave nectar. Toss with your hands to combine. Scrunch the vegetables down near the lime juice pooling at the bottom of the bowl. Allow this mixture to sit for about 10 minutes, tossing it up here and there. This is where the “curing” and softening up of the veggies happens.

After 10 minutes, drain out most of the juice from the ceviche, reserving about 1-2 tablespoons. Toss the remaining vegetables and lime juice with the olive oil and season to taste.

To serve: divide the pilaf between two plates, flattening it slightly. Divide the ceviche among the two plates next, placing on top of the pilaf. Garnish with the chopped basil/cilantro and more pumpkin seeds if you like.

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Michelle15/08/2012 - 3:47 pm

Yes! The dish I’d been dreaming of! Especially now as I lie in bed drinking a smoothie recovering from getting my wisdom teeth out…ah…solid food..

julie15/08/2012 - 7:51 pm

Beautiful dish ! This will be had very soon, especially while fresh corn is still in season. Thank you :)

Corrine Collins15/08/2012 - 11:41 pm

Perfect. I’m planning on doing this tomorrow: I love raw cauliflower.

sara16/08/2012 - 12:36 am

so frickin creative!

Hannah16/08/2012 - 2:10 am

gorgeous recipe, even more beautiful sentiment. accessibility is such an issue across the board with food … getting good fresh ingredients home is a challenge enough for so many, it is nice to have a simple, fresh, true way to prepare them. (And simultaneously a great reminder that even the simplest dishes can be stunning to look at when we take an extra moment or two!) thanks as always …

Courtney16/08/2012 - 4:33 pm

What a creative and yummy recipe! It gets hard sometimes to think of new ways to enjoy fresh, seasonal produce, especially without too much complicated prep. Bravo!

Isabella18/08/2012 - 6:33 pm

Yum. Looks delicious. Will have to try it!

Kathryne18/08/2012 - 6:42 pm

Laura, I’ve been away from the internet for a couple of weeks and just have to say that your posts lately have been, like, extra stellar. Love this recipe, I wish it would magically appear for dinner. Aren’t vegetable peelers just the handiest little things?

Sarah20/08/2012 - 10:52 am

Oh, dear. I don’t even know what a spiralizer IS, haha.

This, though, is beautiful. I love when things are raw, but still something I’d eat without setting out to make a raw recipe. That’s what this is like. Love the “pilaf” idea.

Kelsey20/08/2012 - 11:28 pm

“a knife, a vegetable peeler and your own two hands…” this would do, everyday and always… :)

Linda20/08/2012 - 11:59 pm

I’ve recently found myself falling trap to buying kitchen tools with only one purpose, as if the more of these gizmos I own, the more legitimate of a cook I am. (Case in point, I recently bought biscuit cutters, which are totally superfluous!) It’s good to be reminded that a lot of the time, all you need are the basics.

Ricki21/08/2012 - 8:14 pm

Holy jeepers this looks incredible! I just ate dinner, but I think I’d like a big plate of this. . . now. :)

This is such a creative recipe! I love how you used mostly vegetables! You have such beautiful pictures!

[...] the menu: Vegan ceviche over barley and cauliflower. It was based off a recipe I found at The First Mess and we both loved it! Fresh and perfect for summer [...]

Jess13/09/2012 - 11:02 am

Oh my gosh… this looks amazing. And it’s absolutely gorgeous! What camera do you use? Thanks for sharing:D

[...] to use quinoa or millet for a very similar gluten-free option too. Don’t eat grains? Try some cauliflower pilaf [...]

Colleen28/09/2012 - 2:37 pm

A dish of such immense beauty it has taken my breath away and has me dreaming of eating it now…come ON summer! I have been going through a process of reconstructive jaw and oral surgery and have not been able to chew for the past 18 months. I am starving for beautiful food like this right now. Soon! I have just discovered your beautiful blog and am loving it. Thank you for sharing xx

[...] of the meal. After I was finished with my challenge, I looked up vegetarian ceviche and found other recipes; it is possible without [...]

Golubka Kitchen29/09/2013 - 1:34 pm

[…] her blog, head over and 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, […]

aug 4 | meet us on monday17/08/2014 - 3:39 am

[…] Chickpea Stew served with Cauliflower Rice (recipe inspiration here & here)Cuisine: AmericanHost: KevinGames: Jelly Belly BeanBoozled (sold here)Champion: Kelly, Jenny, […]