dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage // www.thefirstmess.compin it!dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage // www.thefirstmess.compin it!for a dreamy winter vegetable chowder // www.thefirstmess.compin it!for a dreamy winter vegetable chowder // @thefirstmesspin it!80pin it!
Happy new year to you! Hugs and positive thoughts going out as we all get another beautiful chance to start again. I hope everyone got a solid stretch of personal downtime over the holidays–to read, create, travel, have a long bath, cook, bake, play, be in nature or just do absolutely nothing. I got in a good mix of all those things and I can’t tell you how vibrant/fortunate I feel because of it. A clear calendar that makes way for just being and doing as the inclination strikes has a powerful restorative effect on your stillness of mind and overall future outlook. This is most especially true if you do creative work I think–time away from screens or just rest in any form lets you get outside of your own head for a moment. This mindful work and rest cycle has proven to be an important and productive way of life for me. Having said that, I’m excited to be back here. I’ve got a lot of delicious things in the works, all scribbly ideas on scrap pages or in semi-organized Word documents.

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  • Kathryn07/01/2015 - 5:51 am

    The happiest of new years to you Laura! I’m glad you got some downtime over the holidays and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for you (and for us!). Plus that cute pup = the best way to start the year ever. This sounds like a perfect comforting and nourishing bowl of food – that mustard/lemon combo with its warmth and brightness just feels so right doesn’t it?ReplyCancel

  • Soupe | Pearltrees07/01/2015 - 6:05 am

    […] Dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage. Happy new year to you! […]ReplyCancel

  • Lucy @SupergoldenBakes07/01/2015 - 7:21 am

    Glad to have discovered your blog – beautiful photography and inspiring recipes! I see I have a log to catching up to do. Happy 2015!ReplyCancel

  • Lynsey | lynseylovesfood07/01/2015 - 8:20 am

    Puppies, soup and beautiful winter light.. So much goodness in this post!! Happy New Year!!! xoReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar07/01/2015 - 8:26 am

    Oh man. This makes me want to go outside in the cold so that I can come back in with rosy cheeks and a bowl of this!ReplyCancel

  • valentina | sweet kabocha07/01/2015 - 9:03 am

    This soup seems so creamy! Weather here is not so cold as in Canada – thankfully – but I am a cold-hater…hot soups could be my daily food :)
    Ps : Cleo is too pretty ^_^
    xoReplyCancel

  • Arlene07/01/2015 - 9:56 am

    This is perfect for me to make right now, my frig is always full of some kind of soup/stew make a new batch every Sunday for my lunch all week! Need a change from Quinoa/lentil (I love cabbage). Thank you! Your new baby is adorable.ReplyCancel

  • Sini07/01/2015 - 10:39 am

    What a chowder! I’m really looking forward to making a big pot of this goodness. And hello there, Cleo! Furry pals bring so much joy and peace to one’s life. We adopted a little kitten over a year ago so I can totally relate to your feelings. Wishing you a glorious 2015, Laura! May your wishes come true and may your hearth be free of anxiety and fear. (Gosh, I know that feeling; I should start trying to eliminate fear in my life. It’s a grueling companion.) xxReplyCancel

  • Ashley07/01/2015 - 10:53 am

    As beautiful as ever. I always find comfort in your words, but you know this. I took time off but kind of feel like I need a re-do because part of me couldn’t fully relax for about 85% of the time. Still had an absolute lovely time with my parents while they visited and definitely gave my eyes a break from the screen, however, I just haven’t been hit with that “fresh–new year” feeling yet. Maybe next week? ;) Your pup is adorable. So glad she’s keeping you calm. The texture contrast of this soup looks AMAZE. Hearts, girl.ReplyCancel

  • Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth07/01/2015 - 11:02 am

    What a darling, sweet dog! It’s always nice to have a little helper in the kitchen. Love love love this soup!ReplyCancel

  • KittNoir07/01/2015 - 11:08 am

    Looks so delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder07/01/2015 - 11:12 am

    This whole post is beautiful. I love your words and this gorgeous recipe. Especially the kitchen photo where you can see the snow outside! YAY snow :). Congrats on your new pup and a merry happy 2015!ReplyCancel

  • Grace07/01/2015 - 11:35 am

    Puuuppy!!! Such a cutie! That picture of her is adorable – warms the heart right up, even on the coldest of days! Happy new year to you Laura, you beautiful grown-ass lady! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth07/01/2015 - 11:38 am

    Yeses all around. That pup!!!!! Love the call on fear –– I’ve totally been having a few grown-ass lady talks like that with myself lately. And hurray for not being de-toxy.

    Sending New Year’s love from VA––this feels like a big year and I totally can’t wait to see all the great stuff coming next for you.ReplyCancel

  • Malin07/01/2015 - 12:03 pm

    Looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea07/01/2015 - 1:06 pm

    Your pup is breakin’ my heart. Can’t imagine not having rescued my little ragamuffin a few years ago. They’ll change your life with that unconditional love. You can see it in her eyes already :)

    And the soup– so wonderful to feel renewed inspiration with wintery produce. Can almost feel it cutting through the cold-ass weather ’round here.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin07/01/2015 - 1:19 pm

    cleo is adorable. there is nothing like the companionship a pup brings into your life. their love is unending and unconditional.

    in other news, this chowder looks so good and i’m totally making it. one problem- i don’t care much for parsnips. will i be able to taste them in here?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright07/01/2015 - 1:26 pm

      Caitlin! I’m honestly not crazy for parsnips either, but felt like I needed to use some up that I had leftover from a freelance job. They didn’t seem as cloyingly sweet in this soup/stew to me, what with all the mustard and nutritional yeast. And the simmering time makes them nice and tender for sure. You can always just sub in the same amount of cubed potatoes, more celery root etc. if you’re weary :)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Libby07/01/2015 - 1:37 pm

    This soup looks like hearty perfection. What a great way to use those CSA veggies that I am less familiar with! Your new dog looks so sweet and tugs at my heart to get a little pup for myself.ReplyCancel

  • Eileen07/01/2015 - 3:16 pm

    Yes please! This looks like the most delicious and warming soup for a chilly winter night. I just want to climb into the bowl and roll around. :)ReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Whole Nourishment07/01/2015 - 3:35 pm

    Yep, this is the epitome of the perfect winter meal. Love the crispy cabbage and that sweet pup!ReplyCancel

  • Blaine Arin07/01/2015 - 4:14 pm

    “Detox” in air quotes. Ha, love it. Looks incredible! And your pup is adorable. Those soulful eyes!ReplyCancel

  • Your posts always make me smile and salivate! The soup looks delicious, and just what we need this week in Ontario. Happy New Year + congrats on your new pup!ReplyCancel

  • Trang's corner07/01/2015 - 10:04 pm

    I’m so excited to try this recipe. So delicious! So inspirational!

    Happy new year!
    http://www.trangscorner.comReplyCancel

  • Trish08/01/2015 - 12:07 am

    This soup does look dreamy! I love the addition of mustard. And congrats on your puppy!
    TrishReplyCancel

  • Nissrine08/01/2015 - 3:45 am

    Happy New Year! Love the sound and look of this and I’m all over your suggestion to go the Orange route, will be trying it for sure. Thanks for the inspiration as always. We were in Canada visiting my family for the holidays and left just before temps hit Antarctic levels. Thankfully it’s warmer in Italy, but the dampness here really gets inside you, so I’m all about hot soups and chowders this time of year.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer @foodprocessor0708/01/2015 - 7:22 am

    Love this recipe. Simple but at the same time would not mind having that for lunch every day this week.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica DeMarra08/01/2015 - 11:07 am

    I am always try to convince my boyfriend to eat more soup with me. He is weird and doesn’t enjoy pureed soup since he claims to like “solid” food better. I think this recipe will make a soup-lover out of him. All the best in the new year with your new furry friend!ReplyCancel

  • Christine08/01/2015 - 2:47 pm

    Can’t wait to try this one! I just saw chowder while watching food tv and have been craving hearty, warming soups since. Perfect timing :)

    Also – big happy congratulations on your adoption! She looks like such a sweet heart! My family adopted a 2 year old boxer last year and it’s like she’s always been there now. It’s amazing to see them become comfortable after sometimes really sad pasts. Happy 2015 Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Emily08/01/2015 - 9:44 pm

    Looks heavenly. I’ve always wondered about roasted cabbage, but never actually tried it myself. What a wonderful garnish to such a beautiful soup!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon Murphy08/01/2015 - 10:31 pm

    This is perfect. I remixed this one a bit, went the mustard/white wine/smoked paprika route and after taste-testing I couldn’t help but dose it with heavy cream. But yes.ReplyCancel

  • […] cold, I think I’m allowed two links to soup – especially when they look this […]ReplyCancel

  • Sherrie09/01/2015 - 2:09 pm

    Dearest Laura, I find solace in these words. Cleo is the cutest little thing I ever did see!! I’m so happy for you guys, how much fun is a new family addition. And dreamy this bowl of chowder is indeed, wowza that light. xo sherrieReplyCancel

  • Julianne | Radishes on Toast09/01/2015 - 10:06 pm

    Wow, this is packed with my favorite things and looks exactly like what I’d want to serve my friends on a chilly night!ReplyCancel

  • […] winter vegetable chowder. […]ReplyCancel

  • Liren10/01/2015 - 1:30 pm

    Happy New Year, Laura, and welcome home to your sweet new pup! What a lucky one (both of you!) – I imagine there will be some delicious scraps going her way. This bowl of chowder is just my kind of thing in the new year, hearty and comforting.ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen10/01/2015 - 3:50 pm

    Ohhh….that pup. Adorable! Congrats! I adopted my Sheri-dog from a shelter 4 years ago and it was pretty much the best decision I ever made. I can’t imagine my life without her and I can’t imagine ever buying a dog now. She loves me in a way that no other animal ever has. And this soup – gorgeous! I’m freezing my bum off over here, so I’m in need of a big bowl of this!ReplyCancel

  • Nik@ABrownTable11/01/2015 - 10:12 am

    Happy belated New Year, Laura! Your new pup is adorable and I am sure you guys will have wonderful time together. The best thing about winter is looking forward to delicious bowls of soup like this one, love it.ReplyCancel

  • Active Vegetarian11/01/2015 - 4:18 pm

    Your site is beautiful!! Love all the recipe ideas and more :) Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • […] This winter vegetable chowder. All I want to eat this time of year. […]ReplyCancel

  • Shaun11/01/2015 - 9:08 pm

    I made this tonight and it’s great! I really enjoyed the addition of the crispy cabbage. Next time I would add half the lemon juice and then later add more to taste, since the mustard is already tangy. It was fun to use an array of winter produce!ReplyCancel

  • Abby12/01/2015 - 11:37 am

    I made this last night and it was delicious! Perfect for a chilly winter night. I have never used celery root before! Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • […] they come in all shapes and sizes and right now {for obvious reasons} I’m super into them. Laura’s bowl of dreamy wonder will be one the first things I make – as soon as my kitchen magically sets […]ReplyCancel

  • rachel13/01/2015 - 12:55 pm

    this was delicious! did it with more of all the vegetables and it turned out wonderfully. added a dollop of greek yogurt on top of each bowl. yummmmy!ReplyCancel

  • Soups/Salads | Vegetal Matters14/01/2015 - 8:57 pm

    […] Winter Vegetable Chowder with Mustard, Lemon, and Crispy Cabbage – I’ve been drooling over this soup since Laura posted it last week. Such interesting vegetables and flavor combinations! It did not disappoint, with brightness from the lemon and mustard that we need on chilly days. The cabbage topping was my favorite part, which I can foresee on many a future soup. Pairs very well with white wine. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] More comfort: Dreamy winter vegetable chowder […]ReplyCancel

  • allison17/01/2015 - 4:49 pm

    Happy New Year to you and so great about Cleo, I have 3 rescues now and I wish you all the best with her. They rescue you right back. I love this chowder! It’s simmering now on the stove, smells delicious( also love the hint of lemon and grainy mustard flavor) and I have the cabbage cooking up with Old Bay, a good crusty bread and I’m all set! Thanks so much again, I’m so glad I found your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Kate23/01/2015 - 1:44 pm

    Oh gosh this looks so good! So creamy and comforting, yet dairy-free (hubba…)ReplyCancel

  • […] love this winter vegetable chowder, oh boy. this roasted nourish bowl with lemon tahini dressing. this INSANE boston cream pie french […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Dreamy Winter Vegetable Chowder by, The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Shannon27/01/2015 - 10:53 pm

    Dear Laura, I just discovered your blog through my friend and I think it’s my new favourite. I browsed all your soup/stew posts today at work (plus your gorgeous photos)…There are so many recipes I want to try. Tonight, I cooked this chowder and ……it is delicious! Thanks so much. And congrats on your puppy… Best from Toronto… ShannonReplyCancel

  • […] week. And I definitely want to make this butternut squash soup before spring arrives too. OH and this winter chowder! I made this mushroom soup yesterday for dinner this week… REALLY excited about […]ReplyCancel

  • […] the recipe here – Via: […]ReplyCancel

  • jen18/04/2015 - 3:25 pm

    I made this a few weeks ago and it was sooo yummy I hid it from my boyfriend because I wanted it all to myself! Making it again tonight :)ReplyCancel

roasted carrot, chickpea + harissa dip // via @thefirstmesspin it!roasted carrot, chickpea + harissa dip // via @thefirstmesspin it!the vegetarian flavor bible // via @thefirstmesspin it!roasted carrot, chickpea + harissa dip // via @thefirstmesspin it!
Oh hey there. I posted this on Instagram last year around this time and you know? I’m not as much of an absolutist on that front anymore. There WERE some big answers, but also some surprisingly mountainous questions put forth this year. All one big whirlwind now that I’m tracking back. I think when you get yourself in deep with that distracting, non-intentional mindset of “uuuugh so busy” you forget that you’re a real human accomplishing cool things and making mistakes along the way. It’s a satisfying way to live and whoa, it’s taken me a while to get there.

We settled more into home life, with some frustrations over the pace at which things seem to get done (that was predominantly on my end). I mostly realized that I need to make a sincere effort to relax and not worry so much. It’s okay if some walls are empty and I’m also not the most negligent person in the world if I buy Dawn dish soap out of last-minute necessity vs. Seventh Generation brand. I’ve just accepted the incompleteness and I repeatedly tell myself that I’m waiting for the right piece of art, effective ecologically-friendly product, piece of furniture, vibe etc. to just grab me/make sense at the time. Houses can be nice but homes are built up and filled over years. They’re also lived-in with rough edges.

My career changed quite a bit with certain opportunities that popped up this year. There are some really exciting things on the horizon for next year and quite frankly, I’m shaking in my boots. But also, I really can’t wait for it all to unfold and to just stretch my patience/abilities a bit. I barely work at the restaurant anymore, but I know in my heart of hearts that I could never totally give it up, no matter how much other stuff I have going on. That interaction and the necessary, frenzied sensation of things happening in real time is too important to me. Also, I got a test-batch sticky toffee pudding for dinner during my shift the other night and I mean, how could anyone pass on that?

So also, my eating patterns and scheduled exercise bouts were admittedly all over the place. In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I think I’m actually in the worst shape I’ve been in for a while. I feel great in a day-to-day sense, but sometimes a few extra stairs has me feeling a little flushed in the cheeks. My sleep schedule has been especially wonky the last 6 months or so. I’m just going to chalk it up to irresponsible freelance scheduling and call it a day. I’ve read that some of the most productive and really well people build habits/routines around the start of their day as well as their winding down time. So! Some overhauling is necessary, but I’m not waiting until 2015 to get on that. I’m gonna drink some greens (with frozen pineapple, cinnamon, and fresh turmeric yummm) tomorrow morning and hopefully conquer my corner of the world by noon.

Lastly, I have a new guiding mantra for negotiating work and life: If it doesn’t add, it subtracts. Cue the power. Actually though? I stole that line from a chef I used to work for, and he was talking about filling out a scallop-centric appetizer. I do think that it speaks to building yourself up to the fullest potential, while also nodding in the direction of learning to say no. Mostly, I’m just in this thing of life to see, create, love and build something that feels/is bigger than just me alone. Having that basic idea in mind makes it a hundred times easier to cut away the bullshit. It’s seeped into my life with possessions too, so now I really can’t wait to read this book.

And today I made up a little recipe from an excellent book that is adding to my life big time. I think you’re all well-aware of how much I love The Flavor Bible, so when Karen and Andrew sent me their just-released Vegetarian Flavor Bible, it might be a touch predictable to say that I got lost in it for a few hours. A short rundown: this is a thorough examination of which naturally occurring flavours and foods combine best for delicious results. Under each alphabetized ingredient, there’s a list of other vegetables, proteins, spices, herbs, general flavour groupings etc. that just work with that ingredient. There are no definitive recipes, but it’s easily the most useful cookery book I own, and not just in a recipe-development sense. It’s waiting to be used when there’s scraps and dregs left in the crisper or when I have to satisfy a picky eater along with everyone else at the table. Where a traditional cookbook is more of a HOW, this is decidedly an adventure in WHY. It’s required reading for the plant-inclined as far as I’m concerned. You can get it here–perhaps in time for the holidays? ;)

So when I looked under the section for carrots, I read cumin, coriander, citrus etc. and thought about mixing the gentle, sweet creaminess of roasted carrot into a dip with fiery harissa, savoury chickpeas, and fresh lemon. Totally delicious and easy results. The carrots and chickpeas make this so smooth and, combined with the harissa flavours, make it gorgeously bright orange. I love a textural, almost salad-ish mix on top of dips for visual interest and flavour contrast. With this one I did a little tart pomegranate, parsley, buttery pine nuts, and crispy, highly addictive roasted brussels sprout leaves. It’s recommended! (duh, captain obvious). Anyway, going to send this one off by wishing you all happy holidays and peaceful gathering :) Big hugs.

the vegetarian flavor bible // via @thefirstmesspin it!roasted carrot, chickpea + harissa dip // via @thefirstmesspin it!roasted carrot, chickpea + harissa dip // via @thefirstmesspin it!roasted carrot, chickpea + harissa dip // via @thefirstmesspin it!
roasted carrot, chickpea + harissa dip recipe
print the recipe here!
serves: makes roughly 1 1/2 cups of dip
notes: I used about half a chili with the seeds, but please moderate the level of heat to your liking. Also, I kind of just threw harissa components into the food processor for this, but if you have some prepared harissa on hand, you could just spoon a couple hearty dabs of that into the food processor along with the carrots, chickpeas, tahini, lemon, salt and pepper. It’s even faster that way! :)

for the dip:
4-5 medium carrots, scrubbed
1/4 cup + 2 tsp olive oil, divided
salt + pepper
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground caraway
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled + chopped rough
rough diced fresh chili, to taste (I used 1/2 of a standard red chili)
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tsp tomato paste
2 tbsp tahini

garnishes to top the dip:
pomegranate seeds
toasted pine nuts
crispy brussels sprout leaves (quarter brussels sprouts and try to separate the leaves, toss with oil, salt + pepper, then roast in a 400 degree F oven for 15 minutes or until crsipy and browned)
chopped flat leaf parsley
extra drizzles of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment. Trim the ends off of the carrots and place them on the baking sheet. Toss the carrots with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Slide the carrots into the oven and roast until tender and lightly browned on all sides, flipping them over at least once. This took about 25 minutes for me. Cool the carrots thoroughly.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, add the cooked chickpeas, ground cumin, coriander, caraway, garlic, diced chili, lemon zest, lemon juice, tomato paste, tahini, salt, and pepper. Chop the carrots into smaller pieces and add them to the food processor as well. Pulse the mixture a few times until you have a coarse mixture. Scrape the bowl down with a spatula and put the food processor on “high” while you drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil into the bowl via the feed tube.

Once you have a smooth purée, check the dip for seasoning. Adjust the seasoning level to your liking and then scrape the dip into your serving vessel of choice. Top the dip with suggested garnishes and serve with crackers, endive leaves, rough cut veggies etc. (I heart Mary’s Crackers big time)

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  • valentina - sweet kabocha18/12/2014 - 5:34 am

    I have loved so much the flavor bible and I bought the vegetarian one ten days ago – as ebook, to have it always with me :) It is really the bible for a cook! :DReplyCancel

  • Gina18/12/2014 - 7:31 am

    Don‘t think I have ever left a comment here before, but today I just decided to let you know that a lot of the time to me coming to your blog is like coming into a cozy living room with an open fireplace after a long walk through a snowy forest. Reading your words feels often like warming your ice cold/wet feet by the fire and getting handed a cup of hot chocolate and having a really nice conversation. Thanks for that!

    Wishing you all the best for your upcoming ventures & so excited for what you are going to create within the new year! <3ReplyCancel

  • FoodCrafters18/12/2014 - 7:50 am

    Very interesting post AND recipe. I’m often scared to make carrot/pumpkin/sweet potato pastes like this one – feels like they’re just too sweet to go well in a “hummus” configuration. Or maybe it’s just that I just love hummus with loads of lemon and garlic a little too much…

    Will need to try this!ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen18/12/2014 - 9:58 am

    I can’t get over how gorgeous this dip is! We used to make something very similar at the restaurant and we used it as a veggie sandwich spread. But minus the harissa, which is a shame because HARISSA! So good. Can’t wait to try this. Looking forward to hearing about all your new adventures in 2015!ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan18/12/2014 - 10:16 am

    I adore the Flavor Bible! I met the authors when they were here in Milwaukee for a signing and talk about the sweetest people EVER. Karen shook my hand and said ‘You are a baker, aren’t you? I can tell by the muscles in your hands’. Adore your words lady, they always bring me comfort and make me think : )ReplyCancel

  • Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth18/12/2014 - 10:26 am

    Just ordered my copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible! I love what you created here. Just the kind of inspiration I’m looking for. Such a gorgeous dish!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Pickles & Honey18/12/2014 - 10:37 am

    “If it doesn’t add, it subtracts.” <–I love the simplicity of that statement. That's been my giant learning experience these last few months. I'll have to check out The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I just finished Essentialism along those same lines–highly, highly recommend it.

    Gorgeous writing and photos, as always.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley18/12/2014 - 11:12 am

    Do you know how much I love you + your words? I’m not sure there is anyone else who I’ve related too so much with work/home/life ever before. So I can only say I am SO so so happy you have this space here on the interwebs and that I found it. I can’t wait to see how 2015 unfolds for you. I have a feeling it’s going to be better than great. xoReplyCancel

  • michelle18/12/2014 - 12:02 pm

    GORGEOUS! So going to make this, soon. Your lentil sriracha dip was a big hit at a pot luck last year. Also, J and I are HOOKED on Mary’s Crackers. All about that Costco box.ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food18/12/2014 - 1:22 pm

    I have been a fan of The Flavor Bible for quite some time. Need to get my hands on The Vegetarian Flavor Bible because I have no doubt I’d use that thing at least once a week.

    Beautiful flavors here. It’s always so nice to see a vegetarian dip that doesn’t load in the cheese and cream.ReplyCancel

  • Emily18/12/2014 - 3:19 pm

    This is so completely stunning and gorgeous! The bright colors, the freshness, the combination of flavors… love everything!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar18/12/2014 - 3:48 pm

    This is such a comforting looking meal! So much colour! Love it.ReplyCancel

  • Eileen18/12/2014 - 3:56 pm

    This dip sounds so good, and I love its vibrant color! So beautiful! And those endive boats are a brilliant idea. More vegetables!ReplyCancel

  • S Lauren | Modern Granola18/12/2014 - 4:03 pm

    Oh my goodness! This looks so incredible! I am always on the lookout for fun ways to eat veggies, especially around the holidays, and this is perfect! I cannot wait to try this.ReplyCancel

  • Francesca18/12/2014 - 4:37 pm

    Might have to try this one- it looks so colourful.ReplyCancel

  • in love with those garnishes!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn18/12/2014 - 7:25 pm

    This dip looks amazing! Cant wait to give it a try.

    http://www.cinnamonstreet.coReplyCancel

  • Nicola18/12/2014 - 7:42 pm

    I totally relate to your comment about houses vs homes. None of us live in a magazine. Each home is individual, and that individuality takes time to develop. We’ve been in our new/old house 10 months and there are still plenty of blank white walls. Enjoy the nesting, its more than half the fun.ReplyCancel

  • dorota @ plants on the plate19/12/2014 - 5:58 am

    what wise words. thanks. i’m at this point of life where all still seems an open possibility and i can’t focus on anything, jumping from one thing to another… i know it’s time to assess what i’m really good at and what i enjoy as opposed to just adding new skills which are now so many it’s impossible to “level up” – less would indeed be more. for now. i must keep that in mind!

    i made a mash of roasted carrots with tahini and dukkah the other day and it was so good, so i roasted another bag of carrots – i think i’ll make this instead, seems like a fuller flavor with the heat and lemon.

    thanks! happy holidays and all the best, d.ReplyCancel

  • lynsey // lynseylovesfood19/12/2014 - 8:58 am

    the brightest of dips for the darkest of days. perfect! can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of that book! xoReplyCancel

  • Millie l Add A Little19/12/2014 - 11:16 am

    I love the look of this dip Laura – so delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly19/12/2014 - 2:12 pm

    So excited about this! I’ve been making food & wine’s carrot Harissa dip in the winter for awhile now. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/carrot-harissa-hummus but I’ve got to switch to your delicious dip instead! I bet roasting the carrots brings in an awesome taste, verses boiling them. The flavor bible is one of my favorites but you tell me that there is a veg version? Music to my ears! Love your blog!ReplyCancel

  • […] (needing?) this book after Laura posted about it and this dish that has my taste buds […]ReplyCancel

  • Agnieszka20/12/2014 - 9:38 am

    This recipe looks delicious. I love all the bright colors! I can’t wait to make this for my family.ReplyCancel

  • kristie {birch and wild}20/12/2014 - 10:20 pm

    Crazy beautiful colors and words in this post. I love everything about it. All the best to you in 2015!ReplyCancel

  • […] Dips 5ever, especially if they contain roasted carrots and chickpeas! […]ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ Soymilk + Honey21/12/2014 - 12:13 pm

    There’s Harissa in it? I’m in! This looks fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • Mahee Ferlini24/12/2014 - 9:00 pm

    Gorgeous dish!ReplyCancel

  • amy26/12/2014 - 4:55 pm

    This looks so stunning! The color, the garnish, everything! It also sounds really good!
    Thanks for sharing Laura.ReplyCancel

  • Traci28/12/2014 - 3:18 am

    It is hard to find balance, isn’t it? Sounds like you are on the right track with the greens, and eats like this. So vibrant. I plan on coming back to this recipe, thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Deryn @ Running on Real Food28/12/2014 - 4:48 pm

    Your photos are so beautiful and that dip looks so lovely! I think “If it doesn’t add, it subtracts.” is a good mantra to keep in mind this coming year. We are all being pulled in so many directions, sometimes you just have to say no and do what’s best for you at that time! Thanks for the recipe and always gorgeous photos, improving my photography is on my to-do for 2015 so I’m always stopping by to be inspired by your shots. Have a great new years!ReplyCancel

  • Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen30/12/2014 - 10:44 am

    A post that put into words so many important things I’ve been wondering myself this past year and a truly stunning, festive looking dip. Wishing you an exciting 2015 filled with love, new projects (both personal and professional), and happy moments!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Phoebe30/12/2014 - 3:17 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts Laura, I love your writings so much! 2015 can and will be a warmer, compassionate year, I feel more people are becoming aware if self love and forgiveness. I am trying to curate it, I’ve decided to embrace my full name – Hannah Phoebe – and my full self, flaws and all. Like homes, the best people grow slow.
    Hope my ramble makes sense, now is this raw tahini or did you go traditional for hummus (I’m a big fan of a cheap Yemeni brand atm for really authentic stuff!)
    hp xxReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright04/01/2015 - 4:27 pm

      Hi Hannah! I used roasted sesame tahini for this one, but I do really love the raw stuff when I can get a hold of it. Peace and blessings to you in the new year!
      -LReplyCancel

  • Kasey31/12/2014 - 6:32 pm

    Laura, your posts continue to inspire me. I love the honesty here, and I can relate to so much of it. I can’t wait to hear about your new adventures, and I hope you remain kind to yourself — I want to do more of that, too. Happy New Year! xoReplyCancel

  • Patricia04/01/2015 - 3:13 pm

    This looks gorgeous! Great taste combination and thanks for the introduction to the Flavor Bible. Sounds like a fun read!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kate05/01/2015 - 6:11 pm

    Those photos are so gorgeous. The light, the color combination, all so stunning. Happy New Year, I can’t wait to make this!ReplyCancel

  • The Gilded Sprout05/01/2015 - 6:37 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious! I am a fan of hummus but always on the lookout for new ways of spicing it up both figuratively and literally in this case. Beautiful post!ReplyCancel

  • Victoria06/01/2015 - 12:00 pm

    That looks so amazing !! One of my goals this year is to do more cooking so this is something that I really want to try and have a go at making ! It look delicious !

    Victoria @ http://alfandemilio.co.ukReplyCancel

  • […] Roasted Carrot, Chickpea, & Harissa Dip Via The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ Soymilk + Honey09/01/2015 - 8:28 pm

    This looks so delicious! I’m a huge carrot fan, so this is a must-try. Beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • […] z hummusem / pastą lub po prostu dip. Szukając czegoś co mnie przekona wpadłam na stronę thefirstmess. Nie ukrywam, że zdjęcia mnie powaliły na kolana, dlatego poszłam w tym kierunku. Przepis […]ReplyCancel

  • skinnyrunning18/06/2015 - 3:56 pm

    This looks so good and perfect for a post-run or pre-run snack. Thanks for the recipe!ReplyCancel

ginger sweet potato dal // via @thefirstmesspin it!ginger sweet potato dal // via @thefirstmesspin it!ginger sweet potato dal // via @thefirstmesspin it!ginger sweet potato dal // via @thefirstmesspin it!
I’ve been making this recipe forever. Sometimes I change it up with other spices or different types of lentils/pulses, but the core remains as one of my weeknight dinner go-to’s. I love how it checks off all of those crucial boxes: easy, quick, economical, comforting and so, so good for you. I think there’s just the right amount of things to keep it interesting too. The little cubes of sweet potatoes still have a bit of bite. The leeks are sweet and bring that fragrant hit of coconut oil (I love drizzling a bit of the extra oil from cooking on top as well). Some juicy lime and a couple hits of something hot keep it all in balance. It’s a vibrant and easy thing to keep us in the light this time of year.

I have a hunch that a lot of us are thinking about changes and things we want to take on, either over the holiday break or into the new year. I know there will be some major ones in my house, all of which you’ll probably hear about in good time. I’m not really a juice fast kinda gal anymore, but my man and I have both acknowledged that we need to focus-up some of our tendencies in terms of health and self-care. We do eat well, but sometimes I just worry that we need to be a bit more intentional and selective with our choices. Protein-heavy bowls of food like this one definitely help. I’m going to turn 30 this winter and with that, there’s a lot of considerations coming into the circle nutrition-wise. I’m excited to explore those things and work some of them out here in this space.

So in the arc of self-care and intentional choice-making (and spreading holiday cheer!), I’m partnering up with the generous folks at Wine Country Ontario for a giveaway. I’m a passionate supporter of Ontario wine–I grew up in the birthplace of Canada’s wine industry after all. I’ve worked in farm to table joints and a few winery restaurants over the years. I’ve also been lucky enough to do tastings with wine makers and sommeliers, see production facilities and gain insight in terms of how the land and climate effects what goes into a bottle of VQA certified wine.

So naturally, when they asked me to partner up with their 12 Days of Wine Country Ontario promotion, I was all in. I got to hand pick the $150.00 prize from a variety of Ontario wine country businesses. I eventually settled on the gorgeous 4 diamond Oban Inn, Spa and Restaurant right in the heart of my hometown. It’s so quaint and gorgeous. I remember my first-ever fancy dinner was spent in their restaurant on my mother’s birthday when I was around 5 or 6 years old, and I was just so excited by the sugar cubes that they brought out for her post-meal coffee. Also, my mom’s birthday is this week so the timing of this is just too sweet for me :)

Full disclosure: for hosting this giveaway, I’ll be receiving the same prize from Wine Country Ontario and I’ll tell you right now that I plan on using it in their very chill spa for some optimum self-care. Fancy lady time!

To enter for your chance to win one (1) $150.00 gift card for the lovely Oban Inn, Spa and Restaurant in Niagara On The Lake Ontario, you can leave a comment on this post telling me how you practice self-care in this busy time. For me? It takes many forms: sometimes it’s my favourite turmeric shake as an afternoon snack, or taking an afternoon off to visit my parent’s dog, a bath with my hippie lavender bubbles, and sometimes it’s a glass of wine on the couch when I have a million other things to do. For a bonus entry, snap a photo on Instagram of your self-care in action and tag me (@thefirstmess) + Wine Country Ontario (@WineCountryOnt), using the hashtag #12daysVQA. This contest is open to Canadian residents only and you have until Sunday night (December 14th) at midnight to enter! Giveaway is now closed!

Last little notes: those sweet potatoes in the photo up top are stored in my new favourite thing: washable paper bags by UASHMAMA. I’ve been using them for plants, little trees, bread, storage, produce etc. They’re so handy and blissfully reusable. I really do recommend them. I also did an interview on Get the Gloss this week AND participated in a major cookie party on BAKED with some of my favourite Canadians. Lastly, I collaborated with Pure Green Magazine, Lindsey, and Claire for a holiday Pinterest board that focuses on celebrating in a way that’s kind to the earth and our bodies. Hope you dig! xo

ginger sweet potato dal // via @thefirstmesspin it!ginger sweet potato dal // via @thefirstmesspin it!ginger sweet potato dal // via @thefirstmesspin it!ginger sweet potato dal // via @thefirstmesspin it!

ginger sweet potato dal with coconut leeks recipe
print the recipe here!
serves: 4
notes: Every recipe I’ve read for dal tells you to add the salt at a different time (to avoid toughness or the lentils breaking down too soon etc). I add a solid pinch at the beginning when I pour the water and then adjust it at the end to my liking.

dal ingredients:
2-3 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of chili flakes
1 cup red lentils
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced small
1 two inch piece of ginger, peeled + minced
1 one inch piece of fresh turmeric, peeled + minced (or substitute 1 tsp dried turmeric powder)
3 1/2 cups filtered water + extra if necessary
salt to taste

coconut leeks ingredients:
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 leek, white and light green part julienned
squeeze of lime juice
pinch of salt

to serve:
cooked, warm rice (I used black japonica rice from Lundberg)
chopped parsley, cilantro or mint (or a combination)
black sesame seeds (very optional)

Place a large pot over medium heat. Heat up the coconut oil in the pot and add the ground coriander, mustard seeds and chili flakes. Stir about until the mustard seeds start to pop just a little bit.

Add the lentils, diced sweet potato, ginger, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Stir the whole mixture to combine/coat in oil. Add the filtered water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture is creamy and soupy, stirring occasionally. The sweet potato pieces should still be intact with a tiny bit of bite. The lentils will be broken down, filling out the mixture. Add more water if you need to. Keep it warm while you sauté the leeks.

Heat the coconut oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks to the pan and sauté until leeks are soft and very fragrant. Season with salt. Add a squeeze of lime if you like. Remove from the heat.

To serve: divide the hot dal over 4 portions of rice. Top the dal with sautéed leeks and a few dribbles of the coconut oil left in the pan. Garnish each serving with the chopped herbs and black sesame seeds.

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  • valentina - sweet kabocha11/12/2014 - 5:09 am

    This plate is sunshine in a winter and grey day! Sweet potatoes are not so common here in Italy, but luckily they are almost alway present in my organic food store…and I love them so much!ReplyCancel

  • Liz S.11/12/2014 - 5:44 am

    During this busy time, I practice self-care by granting myself daily “me time” (exercise, meditation, and reading a good book).ReplyCancel

  • lynsey // lynseylovesfood11/12/2014 - 7:42 am

    There is so much goodness in this post that gives the means to practice self care – warming comfort to, easy go-to meals to take the stress off, cookies, and of course wine. with the snow this morning this is all i want to eat! xoReplyCancel

  • Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine11/12/2014 - 7:53 am

    What an incredible combination of flavors! I always think dal looks so good- but I am allergic to lentils! Anything you can think of that would make a substitution?
    Laura: Hey Michelle, Can you eat dried split peas? That would be the easiest one-for-one substitution. Otherwise, some par-cooked little cannelini beans might be do-able. You would have to adjust and play around with the water amount though.
    -LReplyCancel

  • Carol11/12/2014 - 8:45 am

    This looks perfect for dinner any night! One question…the “carrot” bit of the recipe is missing? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright11/12/2014 - 8:49 am

      Hey Carol! That was a teeny mistake. I originally planned to do this as a sweet potato AND carrot dal, but changed my mind last second. All fixed now. Good eye on that :)
      -LReplyCancel

  • JESSIEMARCEL11/12/2014 - 9:06 am

    Wow… i often make dal w/ red lentils, so comforting and warming and filling. But I’ve never thought of adding sweet potatoes to the mix!!!! Think i got dinner covered! My self-care these days is subbing herbal teas istead of my morning coffe durring the week(coffee makes me go nutts in so many ways its not even funny! But sooo good!!!) and treating myself to one single delish flavored (hommemade coconut milk creamers!) on sunday mornings!ReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming11/12/2014 - 9:46 am

    a nice calming morning coffee or a refreshing run!ReplyCancel

  • Meg11/12/2014 - 9:52 am

    I’m a pediatric nurse, so self-care is hugely important, and sandwiched in between 12 hour shifts and all the other things I have on my to-do list. It usually involves a long run or yoga, but equally as often, a glass of wine and a netflix marathon. Plus I never say no to a little chocolate!ReplyCancel

  • Nik@ABrownTable11/12/2014 - 10:09 am

    Isn’t dal the best and red lentils are delicious! I love the flavors you used in this recipe, it reminded me of all the good things that make it so comforting. By the way, where did you get that little bowl, it is beautiful?
    Laura: Hey Nik, thanks so much! The bowl is from a Canadian book/gift store chain called Indigo. Although I’m not sure if they sell that particular one anymore. Link’s here anyway!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole11/12/2014 - 10:30 am

    What a fabulous giveaway! My husband grew up in Ontario’s wine country also and my in-laws still live there. I would love to win this prize and spend a night at the Oban Inn!

    This time of year, it’s essential for me to practise self-care by sticking to my exercise routine – that means making it to the gym as much as possible, even if it means stopping there on my way to a family get-together. It makes a world of difference both physically and emotionally.

    Happy holidays!ReplyCancel

  • liz11/12/2014 - 10:54 am

    I do tai chi and draw. I also bake bread.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley11/12/2014 - 11:26 am

    My simple, go-to meals never look quite this pretty. Definitely need to try this!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian Fontes11/12/2014 - 11:27 am

    Looks delicious! This time of year, I’m taking care by slowing down and cooking something everyday (the soba noodle soup was great). I used to waitress in NOTL, so this giveaway sounds fantastic!!ReplyCancel

  • Lynda D11/12/2014 - 11:36 am

    Thanks for this yummy recipe!

    How do I practice self-care? By sitting on my cushion as often as I can to meditate, whether for 3 or 30 minutes, no matter. I also just signed up for a 3-day silent treat over NY’s. A gift to myself where I create space to reflect on the past year and let it go, and ground myself for the year ahead. Yum. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Patricia Gaudet11/12/2014 - 11:47 am

    What kind of rice was prepared in this recipe?
    Laura: Hi Patricia, I used black japonica rice from Lundberg, which can be found here. I bought a big bag at my local Costco.ReplyCancel

  • Erin11/12/2014 - 12:06 pm

    Making time for daily exercise and making lots of the recipes from your blog helps keep me trued this time of year! And the occasional jacuzzi tub beer doesn’t hurt either. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan11/12/2014 - 12:19 pm

    Diggin this so hard! Girl, your photos are always on point annnd I need some of those reusable bags, stat. Self care usually comes in the form of pizza, cat cuddles and lots of tv.ReplyCancel

  • Jaime R11/12/2014 - 12:37 pm

    I practice self-care by getting a CSA box most weeks which encourages me to eat whole, healthy foods and experiment with new recipes without even having to head to the grocery store…plus it feels good to buy local and eat seasonal foods!ReplyCancel

  • Alex11/12/2014 - 1:29 pm

    Taking time to cook, go for extra long walks and getting some solid cardio!ReplyCancel

  • Shawna Green11/12/2014 - 1:39 pm

    My favorite self care routine is to attend my Pilates class regularly! I always feel centred and energized after a work out. I adore the Oban Inn!ReplyCancel

  • Saniel11/12/2014 - 1:46 pm

    Food looks very yummy and easy to assemble.
    I practice self care by standing on my porch and taking deep breaths Inhale-taking in all the world is offering me and Exhale out all negative thoughts I put on myself. Curling up with a good book and calming tea helps too. Thanks great giveaway getaway.ReplyCancel

  • Marlee11/12/2014 - 2:11 pm

    The store was out of leeks. Do you think Bok choi would be a fine substitute?
    Laura: Hi Marlee, I just use leeks because I like the mild, sweet onion-ish flavour they provide. I would go for thin slices of a sweeter onion, such as vidalia, and just sauté them a bit longer in the coconut oil. Just until they’re a bit soft. Shallots would work too! Or even some chopped up green onions/chives sprinkled on top of the dal at the end would be fine.
    ReplyCancel

  • Christina11/12/2014 - 2:23 pm

    There are so many ways I practice self-care as we near the holidays; hot tea, freshly baked snacks, and relaxing on the sofa. I think the most important one for me (which is harder to actually do) is getting in that cardio as well!ReplyCancel

  • CdnSyl11/12/2014 - 2:28 pm

    Eeek! I was just recipe dreaming about sweet potatoes and lentils but hadn’t yet figured out how to go about it. So excited to give this a try! I’m Niagara-bound for the holidays so I’ll put in my two cents on self-care: cooking, playing piano, curling up with a good book, and getting as much as exercise outside as possible!ReplyCancel

  • Colleen (@905Foodie)11/12/2014 - 3:01 pm

    Thank you for that recipe. I am starting to experiment with legumes. It looks really good!

    Self care can be tough. I took an unusual twist on it this year. I am completing tasks super early. All my shopping and wrapping is already completed. I still need to clean and decorate – and that will be done tomorrow.

    That means I get to relax in the lead up to Christmas – it’s a pretty amazing gift to me! LOL

    I will be enjoying glasses of wine on the sofa with a kitty on my lap. I will borrow my BFFs dog and take her for walks. My hubby and I will go for a drive out to our favourite cidery for drink, dinner and convo and we simply won’t be stressed! Who knew this could be possible?ReplyCancel

  • SUMMER PLEWES11/12/2014 - 3:31 pm

    I am actually not taking very good care of myself right now. I am mentally exhausted. I try to take baths though and read and I just recently bought a relaxation meditation for mindfullness cd that I need to be listening to.ReplyCancel

  • Ania11/12/2014 - 3:38 pm

    I get together with friends and family as much as possible, because being together is what really makes this season festive!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca@Figs and Pigs11/12/2014 - 3:46 pm

    What amazing colours just beautiful.I need to use more fresh tumeric.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle11/12/2014 - 4:04 pm

    Sweet potato dals have always been one of my favourite base recipes; thanks for a gorgeous variation.

    Self-care for me is returning home to St. Catharines, waking up before the rest of my family, brewing a pot of coffee and heading out for a run in the Escarpment. And then warming up with a cup of said coffee and chatting with my mom on the couch upon return :)ReplyCancel

  • Riley11/12/2014 - 4:07 pm

    That recipe looks deeelicious! During this time of year I try to maintain my physical and mental health by getting good rest, fitting snuggle time in with my man and guinea piggies, and by going to the gym regularly. Bean and veggie soup is also a great pick-me-up. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jessie11/12/2014 - 4:21 pm

    This post is gorgeous — and I especially loved all your links at the end, you’ve been busy girl! That interview was fun to read through, I love your philosophy and outlook and overall personality, and wish I could go grab a cup of coffee with you! Have a great weekend – xoReplyCancel

  • Margaret Brady11/12/2014 - 4:24 pm

    I would love to winReplyCancel

  • Brooklynn11/12/2014 - 4:34 pm

    I love to bake for self-care. Following the structure of a recipe when everything else around me is hectic helps to calm me down.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Ann11/12/2014 - 4:35 pm

    I am so looking forward to making this dal! But first, time on the floor with my 7 collies, that’s right, just 7 and then, why of course, a bubble bath, then more time on the floor with our collies. Bliss, sweet bliss!ReplyCancel

  • Matt11/12/2014 - 4:37 pm

    I practice self-care through my woodworking. I love getting lost in the details.ReplyCancel

  • Brittany11/12/2014 - 5:23 pm

    This past year I’ve been struggling with eczema and trying a bunch of methods to soothe my skin, one of them being eating better. I find it very rewarding to spend time alone in the kitchen or at my computer, search for and discovering new recipes or new takes on old recipes. I’ve really cleaned up some of my favourite foods and I love discovering new ways of making a food I’ve always eaten even better for me!
    For me this kitchen-therapy has been a two fold for self-care, feeding my body and my soul=)ReplyCancel

  • Eileen11/12/2014 - 6:33 pm

    This dal looks so blissfully orange and warming! You have to love it. Also, as the proud owner of something like six leeks, I am looking forward to the coconut leeks especially! I’m not Canadian, so best of luck to the winner!ReplyCancel

  • Susi Brust11/12/2014 - 6:46 pm

    I will definitely try this dal recipe very soon. During stressful times, I try to get outdoors for a run or at least a brisk walk. Healthy eating helps as well. Susi.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly11/12/2014 - 7:07 pm

    I like to sit back with a glass of red wine for a little self care and relaxation.ReplyCancel

  • Marlee11/12/2014 - 7:55 pm

    Made this tonight and I licked the bowl clean. Don’t be afraid to try this- it’s officially a weeknight regular on my meal planner. This dish is good for the soul. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Brown11/12/2014 - 9:01 pm

    At this busy time of year, I make sure to go to a weekly yoga class, as well as putting aside a little time every night to read the novel on my bedside table!ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cormier11/12/2014 - 9:01 pm

    For self care I’ve been starting my mornings with a smoothie made from kale, frozen berries, almond milk and a bit of protein powder. I’ve been trying to walk more and have been keeping track of my steps and sleeping patterns with my Jawbone Up.ReplyCancel

  • Leahanne Alexander11/12/2014 - 9:06 pm

    I schedule time for Christmas movies on the couch with the hubby. Gets us in the spirit, while keeping us from being Grinches. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Elena11/12/2014 - 9:44 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight :) Exactly what I wanted! Bonus – picked up some naan from the indian restaurant to make it even more comforting for this freezing cold night! Thanks!!!ReplyCancel

  • Linda11/12/2014 - 11:24 pm

    Self care I go to hot yoga or take a relaxing epson salt bath with candles & soft music.ReplyCancel

  • Jess R.12/12/2014 - 3:00 am

    The best self-care for me has to involve laughing – I sometimes need call my sister for some giggle/self-care therapy. Thank you for creating this wonderful blog!ReplyCancel

  • Teffy @ Teffy's Perks12/12/2014 - 7:28 am

    Oh wow this looks so delicious! Just showed this to my partner and we are both drooling! This has to happen in my kitchen soon!!

    {Teffy’s Perks} XReplyCancel

  • I’m not eligible for the giveaway, but I’ll chime in anyway. I can identify with eating healthy most of the time (like, really healthy in comparison to most people I know), but feeling like it’s not focused or conscious enough (maybe because I broke down and ordered a pizza this week?). Looking forward to more posts on that, as I turn the big 3-0 this year as well!ReplyCancel

  • Dillon Tisdel12/12/2014 - 10:09 am

    This is my kind of meal. It looks absolutely perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Stephen12/12/2014 - 11:32 am

    I like to go for a run at night when all is quiet and peaceful for self careReplyCancel

  • Erica B12/12/2014 - 12:44 pm

    exercise!ReplyCancel

  • Sheila Lavell12/12/2014 - 1:07 pm

    My self care routine now includes your Green Drink. I find if I know i have a busy, stressful calendar I have the ingredients in the house to do a wonderful favour for myself. It energizes me and reminds me that I need to take care of myself. As a proud Niagara native too I love your wine country give away and enjoy seeing all your well deserved success.ReplyCancel

  • Suzan12/12/2014 - 1:31 pm

    On days when I would like to relax, I practice self-care by creating my own home spa at the end of the day (facials, manicures, meditative music, etc.).ReplyCancel

  • jennifer12/12/2014 - 8:47 pm

    The sauteed leeks are brilliant!ReplyCancel

  • Siren12/12/2014 - 9:14 pm

    Why must you tempt me with the chance of winning fancy lady time? If only Boston were in Canada. My favorite thing to relax with this season is making paper. I collect flowers and leaves over the fall to make them into greeting cards. I love the feeling turning what would be trash into something beautiful.
    The dal looks amazing though. I love the contrast between the dark purple rice and the sunshiny lentils. I’m so making that tonight for dinner.ReplyCancel

  • Cristina12/12/2014 - 10:20 pm

    Beautiful recipe.
    When in feeling super indulgent I take a bath with a bath bomb from Lush.ReplyCancel

  • Craig Green12/12/2014 - 10:34 pm

    Self care over the holidays involves running outdoors- fresh air and some daylight always raises spirits! Love the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie13/12/2014 - 9:21 am

    Christmas self care – watching a classic movie (or two or three)….ReplyCancel

  • Yemie13/12/2014 - 10:10 am

    I practice self care, with my yoga practice. Pranayama, Aasana, and then Meditation. This balance my body and mind and soul.ReplyCancel

  • Laura13/12/2014 - 11:00 am

    I get some fresh air….snow shoeing, hiking, etc. :)ReplyCancel

  • mar13/12/2014 - 12:23 pm

    I will make myself a cup of organic hot chocolate and spices :) i’ll try this recipe sounds deliciousReplyCancel

  • jodye @ whole pure recipes13/12/2014 - 8:26 pm

    It’s a good thing I have plans to go to an Indian restaurant tonight, because I am seriously craving these flavors! The photos are beautiful but, I’m sure, don’t even do justice to how wonderful this dish must be!ReplyCancel

  • Marisa Coyne14/12/2014 - 1:16 am

    I head over my local self-care studio for a sauna. Love the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen14/12/2014 - 7:36 am

    This is such an unbelievably beautiful dish, Laura! Comfort in a bowl without being loaded with fat and sugar. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Justyna14/12/2014 - 10:55 am

    Beautiful recipe, a must-try for me. Practicing self-care involves taking the time each morning to prepare a tasty breakfast and enjoy it while counting my blessings and being eternally grateful for what I have.ReplyCancel

  • Kaitlin14/12/2014 - 11:16 am

    Love Ontario wine country!
    My self care this time of year includes saying no, getting enough sleep, going to yoga and eating the extra cookie.ReplyCancel

  • Kris14/12/2014 - 11:52 am

    Exercise is my go-to self care strategy. It has the amazing benefit of making you feel good in the moment and keeping the stress lower over the long-term. Add to that the occasional glass of wine, lots of veggies every day, lemon water in the mornings, big belly laughs, and 8 hours of sleep on the regular, and it’s a dream life.ReplyCancel

  • Jillian Christine14/12/2014 - 6:25 pm

    I practice self-care a few different ways. I eat well – smoothies almost every morning. I like to mix it up using various fruits and vegetables. And I like to add turmeric to my smoothies like you do! :) I also do yoga – I find it both relaxing and rewarding. And my favourite – massages! I love pampering myself at the spa with a swedish or hot stone massage!ReplyCancel

  • TOva14/12/2014 - 9:24 pm

    Reflective…and significantly important…thank you for sharing. I too, am working to improve my self care and I find that keeping it at the forefront, on a daily basis has been instrumental in helping me to staying on track. Although it may sound boring, I choose to take a bath/have a quick shower every evening. While bathing, I always reflect on my day, and remind myself of my goals, focusing on my intentions and behaviours on the past day, and the next. I think about and visualize my next day, and set little goals that help me achieve self care. Some days it’s intentionally planning my menu, or focusing on ensuring I make an exercise class. Having a daily shower/moment of reflection helps me stay focused and intentional.ReplyCancel

  • Sherry15/12/2014 - 12:15 am

    Laura – what a lovely post (well, as always from you!), and an amazing giveaway too: I can’t resist entering with a comment – my husband and I spent a couple of nights at the Oban Inn last fall for our wedding anniversary and it was so delightful! You’re right about the potential craziness of this time of year, and also about the means for making it all go a bit better: for me it’s taking time to spend with important people – always the right thing to do, but it can still slip by the wayside when the mentality of that “busy” thing takes over. My husband and I hopped the train to visit my family for a couple of days last week, and last night he and I sat down to a film together (first time in a while!) … these small things (or not so small sometimes) can really give us back our perspective, can’t they? Thanks for the wonderful spirit your blog always conveys.ReplyCancel

  • Leanne15/12/2014 - 11:05 pm

    this was amazing. i just made it. it is exactly my style of meal. you’re great and i will be back again and again for more of your words and combos. thank you for dinner. :)ReplyCancel

  • Austin Bay17/12/2014 - 6:53 pm

    Love this recipe! I need another week night meal to add to my list + the idea of sweet potatoes + coconut oil sounds delicious to me. Thanks for sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • Mahee Ferlini17/12/2014 - 9:08 pm

    This looks colorful and delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Kim17/12/2014 - 9:24 pm

    Made this a few nights ago – simple and delicious! Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • […] This sweet potato dahl with coconut leeks looks warming! […]ReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn (Cinnamon Street)18/12/2014 - 7:26 pm

    These photos are amazing! Recipe looks right up my ally. YUM.
    ReplyCancel

  • Kimberley19/12/2014 - 2:19 am

    I am always so smitten with your clever combos. This is my kinda comfort right here.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie @ Veg Fiend21/12/2014 - 4:06 pm

    So elegant and simple. Jaw-dropping photography. I am utterly inspired by your blogging!ReplyCancel

  • Ava28/12/2014 - 7:26 pm

    This recipe is so perfect for a cold Chicago night. I have to thank you for opening up this former “obligate carnivore” to a world of inspiring and simple vegan dishes. I used the green lentils I had on hand, and tossed the leeks with a little quinoa flour and deglazed the pan with a bit of coconut milk to enhance the coconut flavor. It’s perfectly warming and delicious, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany31/12/2014 - 10:29 am

    FYI: you can make this with or without the garam masala. We made it once while looking at the recipe on our tablet (and so it’s not listed on the ingredients list there). And when we made it again I had printed it, and it’s in those instructions.
    Both ways were very tasty!ReplyCancel

  • […] This ginger and sweet potato dal.  Those photos…how can you not want to make this? […]ReplyCancel

  • Izzy11/01/2015 - 4:13 pm

    Do you have to soak the lentils beforehand??ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright11/01/2015 - 11:19 pm

      Hi Izzy, If you’re using red lentils you don’t need to soak them. A little rinse never hurt, but they cook up so fast that a soak isn’t necessary–definitely one of the reasons I like them so much :)
      -LReplyCancel

  • jim11/01/2015 - 4:17 pm

    Great recipe again. Just wondering if it’s OK to freeze and how long it would keep?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright11/01/2015 - 11:19 pm

      Hi Jim, you could definitely freeze this. When I freeze soup/stew of any kind, I always aim to eat it within 2-ish months.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Jenny Griffith13/01/2015 - 6:58 pm

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG. SO BEAUTIFUL!

    You choose the most beautiful ingredients. Please keep making wonderful recipes. You inspire me.

    -Jenny from Wild Vedic LivingReplyCancel

  • Hung Up On | bean + nash14/01/2015 - 8:29 pm

    […] Ginger sweet potato dal with coconut leeks. Now, please. […]ReplyCancel

  • Julia19/01/2015 - 1:57 pm

    this is such an awesome cheap, easy & nutritious weeknight meal! making it for the 2nd time tonight. rock on Laura!ReplyCancel

  • M25/01/2015 - 6:01 pm

    I’ve made this twice now and it’s phenomenal. So easy to put together and honestly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • Missweb18/04/2015 - 3:04 pm

    can’t stop making this… so good… so, so good. added a can of full fat coconut milk. again, still really good.ReplyCancel

  • Renee21/04/2015 - 8:53 pm

    Been wanting to make this for a while now, and just finished my second bowlful. It is. so. good. Followed pretty much verbatim except for my choice in rice; used basmati. Fantastically easy and cheap, it will definitely be in frequent rotation. My almost 4 year old wolfed it down like nobody’s business. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • […] Laura’s ginger sweet potato and lentil dal with coconut […]ReplyCancel

  • […] and empowering them to clean up their mess. I found these washable “paper” bags on Laura’s blog, and I can’t wait to order […]ReplyCancel