matcha mint chip smoothie bowl // @thefirstmesspin it!matcha mint chip green shake // @thefirstmesspin it!garden chard // @thefirstmesspin it!VEGA ONE love // @thefirstmesspin it!ingredients for matcha mint chip smoothie bowl // @thefirstmesspin it!
That first week after Labour Day always gives me a bit of a New Year’s vibe. A seasonal change is imminent, sure, but I think we all crave a new routine after summer’s farewell weekend is gone. That sultry season is all beer hangs, slightly more indulgent snacks/meals, throwing our concerns out to the wind, late nights, and full days of leisure or sweaty garden grunt work, depending on how you roll. But the sun’s starting to go down a bit earlier, the nights are steadily cool and comfortable and early rises feel like they could come with a bit more ease. It’s a good time to refocus on what matters, maybe start a new personal project or two, and to cultivate some good habits that stick.

Admittedly, I’ve been feeling rather MEH for the last month or so. This summer kind of crushed me with all of its things and places. Some unfortunate everyday elements repeated themselves and some crap habits were lightly carved in as a result. If I was working at the restaurant, I’d generally be up late and would therefore wake up late the next day as well. On most days, I’m usually not hungry right away in the late-morning hours, so coffee seems to hold me over until I rig up a toast-centric lunch. And then before you know it, I’m getting my stuff together to either head into the restaurant again OR to ship off to some sort of social/family event or get caught up on some other work. From there, a solid meal becomes a spotty prospect. My ability to sleep has been hit or miss to the utmost, which inevitably offsets the eating/normal life schedule. Not complaining though! Just emphasizing how easy it is to slip into some motions that aren’t terribly kind to your body.

So I think I’ve hit the breaking point if I’m being really real. It’s time to start making some changes and to refocus the glance on wellness in a very mindful way. Cue up this matcha mint chip shake/breakfast bowl to start things off. I’ve made a version of this shake for a while–always with the greens, mint, vanilla, frozen banana, and cacao nibs. But I thought it would be fun to bring matcha into the picture for an extra boost, and top it off with crunchy, delicious, super-power ingredients too. It makes a fine shake for a morning meal or a little afternoon pick-me-up.

Thankfully (so thankfully), the kind people at VEGA contacted me a couple weeks ago about trying their plant-based protein + nutrition shake mixes. I’ve been a fan of VEGA and Brendan Brazier for a long time and VEGA ONE has been a part of my daily routine for the better part of the last 4 years. I might have squealed with delight in the health food store when they introduced the french vanilla flavour a while back. So rather than “trying” the goods, they made it possible for me to revisit and really appreciate my faves all over again. I’ve always loved that the product is Canadian too :) The best thing about VEGA ONE is that it’s really easy for me to blend into whatever smoothie or bowl I’m making and just like that, I have total reassurance that 50% of my nutritional needs are being met for the day, all formulated from a super clean plant base that tastes amazing. Even just trying it for 5 days will blow you away with good feels, promise.

And now I get to extend that kindness to you! VEGA is letting me give away 2 incredibly generous prize packs to a couple lucky readers. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) tub of VEGA ONE nutritional shake + one (1) box of VEGA ONE all-in-one meal bars! This would be the coolest prize for any person looking to up their game in the realm of wellness or just for someone who really prioritizes health, but is so dang busy. This one is open to residents of the USA + Canada only, folks.

And how to enter? There’s two ways: 

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me about your go-to smoothie/healthy shake combination.
2) Tag photos of your blended creations on Instagram with #THEFIRSTMESSxVEGAONE. And pssssst, you can follow VEGA team (link) and myself (link) while you’re at it… I mean if you want to ;) I’ll be sharing some off-the-cuff killer shake combos on my account for the next bit to get in the spirit. Weeee! Giveaway is closed, guys! Thanks for participating :)

So yeah! Lots of chances to win yourself some very high vibe gear. I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with! Cheers, x’s and o’s to you all :)

matcha mint chip smoothie bowl // @thefirstmesspin it!matcha mint chip green shake // @thefirstmesspin it!pouring the almond milk // @thefirstmesspin it!matcha mint chip smoothie bowl // @thefirstmesspin it!matcha mint chip smoothie bowl // @thefirstmesspin it!

matcha mint chip greens shake/breakfast bowl recipe
serves: 3-5, depending on hunger/need
notes: I like milder greens for this, like spinach, chard or beet greens. Save the kale for some salads, peeps! Also, if you have a 1/4 of a ripe avocado to spare, I feel like it might do nicely here.

1/3 cup soaked raw cashews, drained
3 cups loose-packed greens
2-3 frozen bananas (depending on size)
1/4 cup mint leaves (about 3 sprigs)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
2 tsp matcha powder
1-2 scoops VEGA ONE powder, french vanilla or chocolate flavour
3 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk/other plant milk
maple syrup or stevia to taste (very optional–I find it isn’t necessary most of the time)
1 tbsp cacao nibs

various optional toppin’s:
coconut flakes
puffed quinoa
hemp seeds
bee pollen (do not use if you’re strictly vegan, obviously)
extra mint
sesame seeds
extra cacao nibs
chopped almonds
coconut whipped cream/cashew cream

In an upright blender, combine all of the shake ingredients except for the cacao nibs and blend on high until totally smooth. Throw the cacao nibs into the blender and blend for a couple seconds, just to break them up a bit. From here you can drink the shake straight up or you can serve it in small bowls with any combination of the specified toppings. Serve cold.

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  • Natalye03/09/2014 - 4:39 am

    Um yum! Looks amazing! My go-to in the summer months is a banana, frozen blueberries, greens, soy milk, peanut butter, and flax.ReplyCancel

  • Rochelle03/09/2014 - 5:27 am

    I’m 7.5 months pregnant and have a smoothie every morning to try and get enough fruit and vegetables throughout the day. Being vegetarian I find it hard to keep my iron levels up and my protein intake high. I would love to try Vega One blend ins to my daily smoothies!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay03/09/2014 - 5:37 am

    My standard smoothie is half a frozen banana, water, vanilla extract, baby spinach or kale, a handful of berries, and some chia seeds thrown in at the end. Mmmmm.ReplyCancel

  • Chef Portia03/09/2014 - 5:59 am

    My usual smoothie is spinach, berries, coconut milk, and chia seeds.ReplyCancel

  • Holly03/09/2014 - 6:22 am

    My favorite shake at the moment is one with coconut milk (frozen in cubes), frozen banana, almond butter, cacao powder, cinnamon, chia seeds, collagen powder, and vanilla. To blend it, I add water.ReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming03/09/2014 - 6:54 am

    spinach, frozen banana, frozen blueberries, almond milk!ReplyCancel

  • Karen03/09/2014 - 7:02 am

    Love, love, love Vega! I just listened to a great interview on Rich Roll’s podcast with Brendan Brazier….loaded with amazing nutritional info. My go to always includes kale, mint…carrots, frozen bananas, bee pollen, hemp protein, vega vanilla, maca and spirulina ! I try to tip the scales to more veggies than fruits Thanks for the giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • Claudia A.03/09/2014 - 7:11 am

    My go to breakfast shake is protein powder, maca powder, fiber powder, fresh kale, frozen or fresh blueberries and cucumber.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin03/09/2014 - 7:17 am

    i love vega! my favorite shake is frozen banana, almond butter, chocolate chips, and a splash of unsweetened almond milk.

    ps- i can completely relate to your feelings about this summer. i’ve had a similar experience. but things are looking up ;)ReplyCancel

  • Saniel03/09/2014 - 7:19 am

    To boost my immunity I go for chocolate turmeric milk. Root turmeric white or yellow, 1cup unsweetened nut milk, 1tablespoons each carob and raw coco powder, few dates, splash of vanilla/almond powder and a frozen banana. Blend sometimes I add spinach or hemp seeds. Adding VEGA-ONE powder would boost it up more. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Connie03/09/2014 - 7:36 am

    LOVE Vega products! I bought three BOXES of snack bars…. I inhaled them…. all of them…I didn’t share… I ate ALL of them! I’m buying more now, so that I can share “)
    Morning smoothies – frozen banana, frozen pineapple or berries , chia seeds, hemp seeds, spinach, oatmeal, macha powder
    , almond milkReplyCancel

  • Shoshana03/09/2014 - 7:41 am

    Believe it or not, I have never made a smoothie or shake. I can guarantee that the first one that I make will definitely involve chocolate :-)ReplyCancel

  • Michelle03/09/2014 - 7:44 am

    My smoothies usually start with a handful of cashews, a handful of spinach or kale, a banana, a good portion of fresh ginger, and then whatever fresh or frozen fruit I have on hand (lately it has been peaches!) I mix in water to blend it up.ReplyCancel

  • Emily Love03/09/2014 - 7:49 am

    as a vegetarian I cannot fully describe my love for Vega One protein powder! my go to smoothie is definitely a banana, chocolate vega one protein powder, and a scoop of peanut butter!ReplyCancel

  • Pre03/09/2014 - 7:53 am

    Frozen banana, blueberries, fresh spinach, ground flax, almond milk, water, ice and a scoop of plant based protein. YUM! This delicious combo is filling my cup and my belly as I type. Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • Maddie (Hungry Curious)03/09/2014 - 8:04 am

    Love this so much! Such pretty photos :) Lately I’ve been experimenting with matcha too; I usually throw in a frozen banana, and forzen mango and strawberries with some almond milk or water. So easy and tasty!ReplyCancel

  • stephanie03/09/2014 - 8:09 am

    I am all about frozen bananas, frozen berries, spinach, almond milk, cinnamon, and maybe an occasional tbsp of peanut butter…yum!ReplyCancel

  • Lacey03/09/2014 - 8:22 am

    I like my smoothies simple – spinach, banana, unsweetened soy milk, hemp hearts, and whatever other fresh or frozen fruit I have on hand.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Renaud03/09/2014 - 8:22 am

    With the cold season coming I like to make myself oat milk to use as a base for my smoothies. So this is one of my favourite strawberries, oat milk, bresilian nuts, red pepper, pomegranate seeds and maple syrup. Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • ali03/09/2014 - 8:39 am

    this matcha smoothie sounds awesome. Like my smoothies with peanut butter and chocolate (protein powder!), lots of greens, some blueberries, homemade oat or almond milk!ReplyCancel

  • Smadar03/09/2014 - 8:41 am

    That looks so yummy!

    My daily smoothie for the last 3 years has been made of a banana, unsweetened chocolate almond milk, ground flax, and peanut butter. Simple and filling.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole03/09/2014 - 8:49 am

    My go to smoothie is a big handful of cabbage, half a cucumber (it really adds a nice freshness), frozen berries, hemp hearts, fish oil and a bit of water.ReplyCancel

  • Kim03/09/2014 - 8:53 am

    I do the same smoothie everyday: kale, almond milk, vegan protein (the Vega vanilla is the best!), frozen banana and some frozen mango. Sometimes if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll toss in some chias too!ReplyCancel

  • elizabeth03/09/2014 - 8:59 am

    I’ve been on a green smoothie a day kick since I got a Vitamix (best purchase ever) but my standard could use some nutritional/protein boosting. My favorite is coconut water, kale, peach, honeydew (sub apples and pears + a lemon in the winter).ReplyCancel

  • Danielle L03/09/2014 - 9:04 am

    Mmm… This post has inspired me to finally try matcha powder. I’d love to shake up my routine even more and try Vega One too!

    I have lots of go-to smoothies, but my fall favorite is a cooked and cooled sweet potato blended with Greek yogurt, banana, almond milk, pumpkin pie spices, honey and ice. So tasty– who needs pumpkins? :)ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay03/09/2014 - 9:11 am

    Banana peanut butter!ReplyCancel

  • molly yeh03/09/2014 - 9:13 am

    holy buckets these photos are gorgeous, laura! and matcha + mint?! sign me up. my typical go-to smoothie = anything with a ton of peanut butter.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda03/09/2014 - 9:14 am

    My go to? Simple: 1/2 apple, spinach/romaine/kale/chard (a cup or two), chia and hemp (1 tbsp each), 1/2 cup cucumber (we have an abundance in our garden to use!), and then 1/4 avocado (cause healthy fats are key!), I use water and lemon, but I would suggest almond milk but I am cheap and save that for other things!

    I would add Vega to it as well, the Vanilla is my all time fav, however I am doing a sugar detox currently and stevia is a no-go, alas when I finish this detox (in 18 days) I am stoked to get Vega back in my life!ReplyCancel

  • Claire (Eat Well. Party Hard.)03/09/2014 - 9:18 am

    I know this baby’s gonna be paaaaaaacked, but I can’t help myself–it’s just too good of a prize ;)

    I always mix up berries + peanut butter–specifically, strawberries + peanut butter–with some soymilk and stevia. It gets REAL close to tasting like the sugary, fruity cereals I used to love as a kid, but with all the goodness of real food.

    Hope all’s well where you are!ReplyCancel

  • Ali | Gimme Some Oven03/09/2014 - 9:42 am

    These look absolutely beautiful. And they sound like the perfect way to get your day off to a healthy start. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim03/09/2014 - 9:43 am

    I adore the fact that you love Vega even more because its Canadian because thats’s actually one of the (many) reasons I love your blog (even more)

    Vega One is already a part of my everyday routine but I haven’t had the chance to dig into the bars yet (and would love to I might add!)

    My “go-to” Vega shake is almond milk, water, Vega One (Natural Flavour), spinach, banana, cocoa powder, goji berries, maca, chia seeds, and finally ice. I know right? I cram in as many super foods as my blender will allow. The chocolate and banana flavour shine through and trick me into thinking I’m having a chocolate banana milkshake. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Martina Soos03/09/2014 - 9:44 am

    I absolutely loooove using mint (and vega!) in smoothies. And mixing them with berries, banana, avocado, greens, lime and nut milk. Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley03/09/2014 - 9:47 am

    THESE PHOTOS. I’m kind of lost with my smoothie mixes lately. Can’t put my finger on a favorite and haven’t really made any that were awesome. This looks like a major win.ReplyCancel

  • Kayla03/09/2014 - 9:57 am

    I use Vega One everyday too! There is no other protein powder like it. The added probiotics are amazing and really effective. I have been making this smoothie:

    decaf cold coffee, non-dairy milk, frozen figs, scoop of vega chai, ice, cocoa powder, stevia.

    it tastes like a coffee milkshake, but its so tasty and really low in added sugar..ReplyCancel

  • Margaret03/09/2014 - 9:58 am

    My go to smoothie is spinach, frozen banana, whatever fruit I have (usually frozen berries) with some water or almond milk :DReplyCancel

  • Amanda03/09/2014 - 9:58 am

    My favorite blended combo is a cup of cranberries, a cup of whatever greens I have on hand, 2 cups of almond milk, and a scoop of chocolate flavored protein powder. Plus some ice cubes of course!ReplyCancel

  • Amy03/09/2014 - 10:01 am

    My current smoothie is frozen banana, frozen berries, frozen roasted beets, carob powder, vanilla protein powder, flax, and milk or milk-type liquid.ReplyCancel

  • Crystal Hendrix03/09/2014 - 10:04 am

    My go-to involves spinach or kale, berries of some sort, bananas, nut milk and chia seeds. I would love more ideas, though! :)ReplyCancel

  • genevieve @ gratitude & greens03/09/2014 - 10:09 am

    I’ve tried VEGA only once, and unfortunately it wasn’t a very good experience. I think the person making my shake got the proportions wrong though- nothing else can explain the horrible powdery texture of my smoothie! I’m happy to give VEGA another whirl with this recipe though! I love anything that involves matcha, it’s soo delicious!! Also, great to hear that you are refocusing on wellness!ReplyCancel

  • Kerianne03/09/2014 - 10:15 am

    I’m super addicted to your Green Drink and my 17 month old can’t get enough of it! This sounds delicious and we’d love to win the VEGA package – ready to change things up and feel healthier! Thx :)ReplyCancel

  • autumn03/09/2014 - 10:45 am

    Real-talk: I do not have a go-to healthy smoothie combo :) I have been wanting to try a smoothie bowl for a while though and this one sounds great!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca03/09/2014 - 10:45 am

    My favorite standard smoothie (if I have all of the ingredients) is spinach/kale, cilantro, frozen mango, ginger, lime juice, and perhaps some yogurt or hemp or chia seeds to thicken it up. Thanks for having this giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • Gina03/09/2014 - 10:51 am

    I like a Vega protein/peanut butter/frozen banana smoothie after a tough workout. I put some greens in, too, for extra nutrition. Fills me up, takes care of my recovering muscles!ReplyCancel

  • Grace03/09/2014 - 11:06 am

    LOVE this. I make a very similar smoothie when I’m craving my favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream. The fresh mint in a smoothie is killer!! Lately I’ve had the same acai, greens, spirulina, brazil nut, banana, hemp, soy yogurt smoothie thing going on almost daily for breakfast. But for a pick me up or treat, definitely mint chip or maca date smoothies. I’ll be making this one soon, just as soon as I get my hands on more mint.ReplyCancel

  • Britt03/09/2014 - 11:07 am

    Wow I love all of these new smoothie ideas!! My go-to breakfast smoothie involves a banana, frozen blueberries, a ton of kale or spinach, fresh mint, hemp seeds, yogurt, and coconut water.ReplyCancel

  • Tamar Kagan03/09/2014 - 11:18 am

    Your smoothie/bowl sounds delicious – I will definitely try that combo of ingredients! I’ve never tried Vega One but use Vega, Protein Smoothie, Oh Natural flavor combined with spinach, chia seeds, sometimes a bit of flax oil, a ripe banana and frozen mango or pineapple, and on occasion I throw in a little avocado or a spoonful of sunflower butter, and I mix it with water!ReplyCancel

  • Michele03/09/2014 - 11:55 am

    My go to right now is spinach, red cabbage, wild blueberries, banana and pineapple. Hemp seeds and chia seeds and some maca powder.ReplyCancel

  • Heather03/09/2014 - 12:11 pm

    Photos and recipe are incredible per usual! My go-to smoothie is orange and vibrant — pineapple + mango + turmeric + ginger + fresh squeezed OJ + avocado + hemp seeds + water to thin as necessary! Some of that vanilla VEGA ONE sounds like a stellar addition if I do say so myself.ReplyCancel

  • Clare03/09/2014 - 12:12 pm

    When I was in school the best afternoon pick me up and study snack combined was kale, pear, cucumber, celery, ginger, banana, parsley and whatever hemp or flax was laying around!ReplyCancel

  • Susan03/09/2014 - 12:13 pm

    I like pineapple, strawberry, mango, blueberry, spinach with almond milk, chia seeds, and a bit of protein powder. It’s my go to after a hot run.ReplyCancel

  • Taylor03/09/2014 - 12:17 pm

    Hi! I have been drinking the Vegaone french vanilla the last two weeks and am hooked for life! Literally I haven’t felt this great all year and it has taken my mountain biking and trail running to a whole new level.

    My favorite add ins with it lately have been:

    -knob of turmeric root/ginger root

    ORRRR get really chocolatey with tons of cocoa powder and strawberries! mmmm…

    I’m going to make one right meow!ReplyCancel

  • Libby03/09/2014 - 12:28 pm

    I like to combine whatever I have on hand, which usually includes spinach, banana, coconut milk or water, frozen berries, yogurt, flaxseed meal, and – if I’m lucky – a peach or nectarine. I’d like to experiment with more savory flavors of shakes, too.ReplyCancel

  • Christine03/09/2014 - 1:07 pm

    I always have my homemade kefir with a frozen banana and add whatever other frozen fruits I have in the fridge including peaches, berries, pineapple, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Jules03/09/2014 - 1:12 pm

    Looks really nice! I use Kale, frozen banana, strawberry, hemp protein, bee pollen, chia seed, and a small amount of honey, depending on the amount of kale used.ReplyCancel

  • Millie l Add A Little03/09/2014 - 1:13 pm

    The bowls look amazing! I love the vibrant colour and all the delicious toppings!ReplyCancel

  • Erika03/09/2014 - 1:27 pm

    My go-to smoothie is three whole cups of spinach, then some almond milk, frozen raspberries, a banana, a dollop of peanut butter, and some Greek yogurt. SO good.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn03/09/2014 - 1:31 pm

    I agree on needing to hit refresh and get back into some good habits! One of which being smoothies… My go-to is almond milk, spinach (etc), frozen fruit (banana, berries, pineapple), flax meal or hemp seeds, and a dollop of sunbutter. Sometimes some cacao powder for a treat. Mmm.ReplyCancel

  • Brooklynn03/09/2014 - 1:53 pm

    I’m a big fan of almond milk, hemp protein, matcha green tea, kale, ice and honey.ReplyCancel

  • Anya03/09/2014 - 1:54 pm

    Oooo… I will have to make this! Thank you so much for your continual inspiration! :) Hmmm.. even though it’s really difficult to pick a favorite, I would have to say: Avocado, spinach, banana, cucumber, lime juice, frozen pineapple, frozen mango, aloe, wheatgrass, coconut water, hemp seeds, and topped with bee pollen. Amazing!ReplyCancel

  • M@03/09/2014 - 1:57 pm

    I really like rice milk, frozen bananas, hemp protein, maca powder, swiss chard, blueberries, cinnamon and iceReplyCancel

  • Amber03/09/2014 - 2:05 pm

    I have oral allergy syndrome and lots of times when I make a smoothie I get a swollen lip. Frozen strawberries and mangos seem to be OK n cause no swollenness, I like to blend them up with soymilk and some choco protein powder.ReplyCancel

  • Alexis03/09/2014 - 2:15 pm

    My favorite smoothie blend:
    5-6 ice cubes
    1 banana
    1 cup almond milk
    1 scoop Vega protein powder
    2 T peanut butter
    1 t Vega chlorella
    2 T cashews
    1 T chia seeds
    1 T cocoa nibs
    1 T hemp seedsReplyCancel

  • Clare03/09/2014 - 2:18 pm

    During uni I had to whip up some fuel that was fast and easy! Go to was: kale, half banana, pear, cucumber, celery, parsley, lemon, pinch of cayenne and whatever superfood I could find at the time!ReplyCancel

  • Spring03/09/2014 - 2:28 pm

    One of my fav smoothies: soaked almonds, water, greens, banana, berries, chia seeds.ReplyCancel

  • Katherine03/09/2014 - 2:35 pm

    I use Pea Protein powder, soy milk, lots of ice, any fruit (but preferably blueberries), spinach, and a little vanilla flavor, to cover up the powder taste. Sometimes I use cocoa & add a Truvia or 2. (Hoping to kick the crazy sweet cravings some day!!)
    Love reading everyone else’s replies. Going to have to break out & try something different.ReplyCancel

  • Saskija03/09/2014 - 2:39 pm

    Right now my favorite smoothie consists of beet, carrot, nut milk, banana and greens (usually organic kale). It’s so good and pumps me up for the day. Today I’ve tried something different, tahini, vanilla, banana and water. It’s almost like an ice cream. I found the recipe in a raw food recipe book. Delicous and more like a desert.ReplyCancel

  • Patrick Steed03/09/2014 - 3:00 pm

    Muscle Milk and some bread, fruit or granola bar OR water melon and milk, honey and vanilla protein powder.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda Lacourciere03/09/2014 - 3:03 pm

    I love a creamy smoothie. 1 scoop of vanilla VEGA, banana, yogurt and icecubes.ReplyCancel

  • Patrick Steed03/09/2014 - 3:04 pm

    Muscle Milk or water melon smoothie!ReplyCancel

  • Sara03/09/2014 - 3:05 pm

    I like to blend frozen banana, blueberries, spinach, and almond milk, and then add some supplements like protein powder, maca, and spirulina.ReplyCancel

  • Hunter Jones03/09/2014 - 3:10 pm

    My smoothie of choice these days consists of:
    -organic banana
    -soy milk
    -coco powder
    -raw honey
    -carrot juice

    At times I’ll switch up the fruit and add in blueberries or strawberries.

    All of these are great with some vega nutritional shake included! Good start to any morning, late night snack or after workout drink!ReplyCancel

  • Katherine E03/09/2014 - 3:38 pm

    I have a few favorite smoothie combos (obviously!!), but they are all pear based. I always have frozen pears in my freezer, as I’m not a banana fan but pears give you a similar thickness and perfect sweetness. To all smoothie bases I add almond milk, chia, spirulina powder, protein powder (I use SunWarrior), then I’ll add a 2 tablespoons of homemade pistachio butter which makes it taste just like pistachio icecream! or, I add Barleans Greens chocolate flavor, which also makes tastes like a chocolate milkshake! my 2 ultimate favorite combos :)ReplyCancel

  • yp03/09/2014 - 4:12 pm

    So far my magic bullet has served me well – until its time to get a new awesomer mixer I use it to blend my go to smoothie:
    1 fresh banana, couple pieces frozen banana, frozen blueberries, almond milk, clean and lean food supplement, chia seeds, drop of coconut oil and drop of raw honey.
    PS – I am completing a juice cleanse tonight and cant wait to incorporate more raw items and green juice into my diet (I am lactose intolerant, therefore thinking about going paleo)


  • Dana03/09/2014 - 5:04 pm

    Not the most original, but so easy and delish.. Perfect for grad students on a budget. My go-to smoothie is 1 banana, a scoop of cacao powder, almond milk, chia seeds, and some ice. Blend and voila! ohh and some peanut butter if you’re feeling extra indulgent.ReplyCancel

  • Krista03/09/2014 - 5:13 pm

    My fav is unsweetened vanilla almond milk …..vega chocolate protein …..1/2 banana or avocado and frozen cherriesReplyCancel

  • Ellen03/09/2014 - 5:32 pm

    That looks wonderful! My smoothie is pretty simple: just spinach, coconut milk, and a banana. I used to add whey for some protein but it bothers my stomach now; I’ve been looking into non-dairy alternatives and I’d love to try Vega-One!ReplyCancel

  • Katie03/09/2014 - 5:45 pm

    I LOVE VEGA!! i just finished my first tub of the nutritional shake. its a little pricey so I cant bring myself to purchase again right now, but I LOVED the product. Would be a dream to win it!ReplyCancel

  • Katie03/09/2014 - 5:48 pm

    whoops! forgot to say my favorite combo: right now ive been pretty simple- kale, frozen banana, full fat coconut milk, almond milk and powder :)ReplyCancel

  • Chantal03/09/2014 - 6:19 pm

    My absolute favorite morning smoothie recipe: spinach, kale, banana, blueberries, coconut water, cashew milk, maca, double ginger. Would be even better with a scoop of VEGA :)ReplyCancel

  • Nicole R.03/09/2014 - 6:41 pm

    I don’t tend to go back to the same smoothie over and over again – the beauty of smoothies is that you don’t have to! But, a favorite combination is greens + coconut milk + banana + frozen pineapple. Chia seeds, oats, tablespoon of rum all optional.

    I have tried and like Vega but it is just too expensive for me to continue! I liked to use the vanilla in a “frappucino” – vanilla vega, banana, iced coffee, ice.ReplyCancel

  • Kate03/09/2014 - 6:49 pm

    My favourite basic smoothie combo is kale, water, mango, pineapple, coconut oil, and vanilla Vega protein powder. Super refreshing and tropical and awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Erin Ellis03/09/2014 - 7:01 pm

    I love a protein powder/yogurt/triple berry shake in the morning. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    fairyfractal at gmail dot comReplyCancel

  • Maj-le03/09/2014 - 7:08 pm

    Bananas, avocado, protein powder, cocoa powder, coconut oil, almond milk, water and a dash of something sweet.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy03/09/2014 - 7:11 pm

    My breakfast smoothie: frozen mixed berries, almond milk, chia seeds, collagen powder, protein, and cinnamon.ReplyCancel

  • Jovahnni Gordon03/09/2014 - 7:14 pm

    I normally go for a pineapple mango smoothie with almond milk, wheat grass, kale, and chia seeds ^.^ i’ll have it with breakfast or in between meals.ReplyCancel

  • Cassandra03/09/2014 - 7:28 pm

    I implore you to try my go-to shake, and then love it so much you’ll pick me as the winner hehehe…. Check it out: spinach, cucumber, mango, mint!, and just a little avocado, and the liquid is freshly juiced apple! You’re gonna love it!ReplyCancel

  • Pineapple03/09/2014 - 7:47 pm

    my go to smoothie is almond milk, frozen mango pieces, macs powder, protein powder (either Vega or Amazing Grass), and frozen berries.ReplyCancel

  • Madeline03/09/2014 - 7:53 pm

    I’ve recently been making a spinach, pear, ginger and lemon breakfast smoothie with flax from a recipe I found on The Kitchn. Love it! A bright, refreshing way to start the day!ReplyCancel

  • Val03/09/2014 - 8:10 pm

    1/4 cup each of frozen avocado, cherries, and peaches with a scoop of VegaOne vanilla chai and unsweetened almond milk, topped with hippie cheerios / flax puffs.ReplyCancel

  • Monica03/09/2014 - 8:45 pm

    Apple-beet-carrot-orange-pepita-spinach with a few frozen berriesReplyCancel

  • sarah03/09/2014 - 8:54 pm

    kale and berries!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley03/09/2014 - 10:03 pm

    My go to snack these days consists of an overnight muesli with oats and chia, then topped with cacao nibs and a sprinkling of stevia and spirulina! so, so yummy!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon03/09/2014 - 10:21 pm

    My favorite go-to smoothie? That’s a really tough question! I do at least 1-2 smoothies every day and I like to keep them different. But one of my all-time favorites is made with frozen pear slices, almond milk, vanilla, sunbutter, dash of cinnamon and ice. Sometimes I’ll add vanilla protein powder to it, but it really doesn’t need it for taste.ReplyCancel

  • Daria03/09/2014 - 10:24 pm

    Vega is the best part of my daily breakfast routine. I practice yoga early in the am and crave some truly nutritional breakfast after.
    I’m all about cacao, so my favorite smoothie bowl is (I hooked quite a few friends on it):
    Flex, cacao, vega, califia almond&coconut milk, frozen berries, banana topped with goji, cacao nibs, bee pollen, shredded coconut, almonds, hemp and fresh berries.. I know, there is a lot going on there, but it’s sooooooo good!ReplyCancel

  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors03/09/2014 - 11:05 pm

    I love starting every morning with a green smoothie – way too much spinach, plant protein, 1/3 frozen banana, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1 tbs. chia seeds and 1/4 cup frozen raspberries. Perfect way to start the day! I don’t use whey protein so Vega is definitely part of my routine!ReplyCancel

  • Katie03/09/2014 - 11:05 pm

    absolutely LOVE vega products. I loveee the vega one flavors, but also am a big fan of the recovery accelerator after a tough workout! I’ll throw a scoop of the accelerator apple berry flavor into the vitamix, blend with whatever frozen fruit I have on hand (my fav combo is mixed berries), almond milk, a little apple cider vinegar, handful of greens, and tart cherry juice. FOR THE WIN!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah P03/09/2014 - 11:13 pm

    Ooh, I love this breakfast bowl recipe! Looks delish! Our favorite blender juice is beets, carrots, orange, ginger, and apple. I also love a simple kale, apple, lemon, and ginger, OR carrots, pineapple, orange, ginger. Those are our go-tos! I’d love to try Vega One for some added nutrition :)ReplyCancel

  • Ana04/09/2014 - 12:00 am

    Spinach, frozen bananas, nuts and some kind of protein powder.ReplyCancel

  • Bon04/09/2014 - 12:01 am

    It’s been inspiring to hear what everyone puts in their smoothies, and to learn what matcha was (yum!).
    My daily smoothie is often my salad sub: carrot celery, apple (or orange), kale, brocolli, deeseeded cucumber, baby spinach, frozen blueberries, maybe a smidge of ginger. Add water and ice; and some almonds for a creamier texture.

    Since i’m a huge fan of beetroot and chocolate in cake, I thought Amanda’s smoothie needed a mention (along with her lovely blog, Easy Peasy Organic)
    Not sure how to vegan-ise it and keep the tang of the greek yoghurt though- maybe cashews and a dash of lemon?

    Well, I’m off to water my mint- i want it to be prolific enough to harvest 1/4 cup ( and to withstand summer mojito making). :-)ReplyCancel

  • Nik@ABrownTable04/09/2014 - 12:12 am

    My favorite smoothie, is fresh strawberries with coconut milk and raw ginger (sometimes, I might add a little raw turmeric). I don’t add any sugar but it’s sweet enough if the berries are fresh.ReplyCancel

  • Chef Portia04/09/2014 - 1:00 am

    That and, as a health-conscious athlete, I’m a major fan of the Vega Sport protein powder. It’s on the pricey side, but if you’re forbidden to have whey and whatnot (sigh), it’s the best I’ve tried. Add some coconut milk and it’s downright tasty.ReplyCancel

  • Meghan04/09/2014 - 1:20 am

    As the season changes and life needs demand to be met, I find myself pulling out the blender more often, as well. I always throw in whatever greens I have on hand, seeing that they’re virtually tasteless and you can never go wrong with an extra handful of veggies. Lately I’ve been digging this riff on an Almond Joy: coconut milk, almond extract, toasted almonds and coconut chips, cocoa powder/nibs, and some raw oats. Bland it up, and you’ve got a healthy molten candy bar.ReplyCancel

  • Natalie04/09/2014 - 1:32 am

    My go to is super simple! Vega french vanilla, water, and frozen berrie blends to keep it cool! YUM!ReplyCancel

  • sophie wolanski04/09/2014 - 2:19 am

    Morning smoothie — CELERY, half a BEET (candy beets keep it from turning the whole thing pink!), half a frozen BANANA, one DATE, dash of YOGURT + home made cinnamon ALMOND MILK, dash of COCONUT WATER, MACA, HEMP seeds, bee POLLEN – optional extras to mix it up:greens/sunflower seeds/cacao/frozen strawbs

    The celery, banana and coconut water combo keep me hydrated in the heat as I work outdoors, and the bee pollen keeps the allergies away when working in the field! Would love to add some VEGA to this to amp up the protein intake :)ReplyCancel

  • Jenny04/09/2014 - 2:30 am

    I love all green smoothies! The matcha addition looks especially delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Woodland04/09/2014 - 3:25 am

    Tried it this morning, the macha / banana gives it a very subtle and complex sweetness. Love it! One of the better green ones. No vega thou, went with some general hemp / rosehip blend. GREAT!ReplyCancel

  • Julia04/09/2014 - 5:58 am

    LAURA!! k, so i made your smoothie yesterday.. MINDBLOWN. i added a ripe avocado. brilliant combo. i have been looking for a green/matcha smoothie, that is tasty, for awhile. well done lady. another fave combo of mine is, frozen cherries, almond butter, cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, vanilla, VEGA one + almond milk. THANK YOU Laura!!!! I’m going to make your smoothie bowl again this morning!! WHOOT-WHOOT ;)ReplyCancel

  • Anne M.04/09/2014 - 8:31 am

    Love a peanut butter banana smoothie with almond milk and lots of spinach! Vega One sounds like an awesome addition to any smoothie!ReplyCancel

  • Eric W.04/09/2014 - 9:21 am

    My goto smoothie mixture is Vega sport protein-chocolate, banana, dark chocolate almond milk, peanut butter, tahini, and some ice. Very creamy, delicious blend,ReplyCancel

  • Kate04/09/2014 - 10:20 am

    My go to breakfast smoothie/shake usually involves whatever fruit was on sale at the store, some vanilla whey protein, and almond milk. All the peaches I’ve found have made for peaches and cream-tasting smoothies for days!ReplyCancel

  • Luna04/09/2014 - 11:04 am

    What a great recipe. Will be trying it soon!

    My absolute favorite super smoothie blends up ripe mango, beet juice, frozen bananas, ginger for a kick, turmeric for all is wonderful benefits, and then get goji berries and cacao nibs sprinkled on top. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Gloria R04/09/2014 - 11:11 am

    My go to shake is chocolate protein, 1/2 banana, cherries, spinach.ReplyCancel

  • Gloria R04/09/2014 - 11:21 am

    My go to shake is chocolate protein, almond milk, 1/2 banana, cherries, spinach.ReplyCancel

  • Madeline04/09/2014 - 1:05 pm

    My new favorite smoothie blend is frozen bananas, almond butter, blueberries, dates, and milk :)ReplyCancel

  • The Naked Fig04/09/2014 - 1:14 pm

    These look AMAZING!!! My favorite smoothie combo is cherry brazilnut. Also vega is the bombReplyCancel

  • Kerry04/09/2014 - 1:15 pm

    Lately I’ve been loving banana, frozen pineapple, frozen mango, ginger, lime juice, coconut water, almond milk, chia seeds and hemp protein powder.ReplyCancel

  • Bev Giberson04/09/2014 - 1:47 pm

    I have shakes in the evening after I workout and to help minimize my evening snacking, so my go-to shake is often chocolate with plain almond milk and a little bit of mint extract.

    It’s super yummy! :)ReplyCancel

  • Sherry04/09/2014 - 2:20 pm

    Wow, I really love seeing everyone’s smoothie ideas here – thanks, Laura! This has been SUCH a huge smoothie summer for us, even more than usual: our Vitamix is like a family member now (albeit a really noisy one). Lately we have been alternating between green and orange: a combination of frozen banana, pineapple/kiwi, fresh ginger, spinach, hemp seeds, matcha, homemade almond+oat+brown rice milk (new combination – we like it) is enjoyed pretty often; other times it’s banana (always!), carrot, mango/peach/muskmelon, fresh ginger+turmeric, coconut oil and flax (plus, you know, a couple of dates if we feel sweet-indulgent). Yum: we feel pretty good these days!ReplyCancel

  • Karla04/09/2014 - 2:57 pm

    I whirled up some rhubarb, raspberry, coconut milk smoothies this summer with chia or flax and maybe a handful of greens. Great flavour!ReplyCancel

  • Abby04/09/2014 - 4:19 pm

    I have been digging coconut water, collards, chia and pineapple lately. Vega would be the perfect addition! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kristen B04/09/2014 - 5:22 pm

    My go-to shake is chocolate vega one with almond milk, almond butter, sprinkle of cayenne pepper, chia seeds, and ice!ReplyCancel

  • Kristen04/09/2014 - 5:23 pm

    I love vanilla protein + pumpkin + nutmeg + almond butter + chia!ReplyCancel

  • Reesa04/09/2014 - 5:54 pm

    Oh! I’m in smoothie heaven right now with my new blender and excellent seasonal fruit!

    Most recent favourite combination includes coconut water, almond milk, French Vanilla Vega One, cantaloupe and peaches. Um, YUM. Love to win the Vega prize!ReplyCancel

  • leslie04/09/2014 - 6:27 pm

    wow! vega products are the best! i’m pretty boring with my smoothies, a variety of fruit making sure there is always a citrus (orange, pineapple) and some kind of green like kale or collards. having super picky eaters in the house i finally got them to eat smoothies so i sneak as much goodness in as possible. i find the vega shakes, even all by themselves keep me energized longer than any brand i have ever tried before, love it!ReplyCancel

  • Beth R.04/09/2014 - 6:33 pm

    I love smoothies! I love the combination of blueberries, lemon and fresh ginger. I also made a delicious cherry-limeade concoction and it was magical!ReplyCancel

  • jessica j04/09/2014 - 6:47 pm

    I like vega one vanilla chai, with 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup pure pumpkin, 8oz non dairy milk of choice, and 1/2-1tsp pumpkin pie spice.ReplyCancel

  • Jenalle04/09/2014 - 6:54 pm

    1. This looks amazing. Actually, it IS amazing – I’m drinking it right now. Perfect dinner.
    2. Perfect dinner after I admittedly ate a giant sausage-on-a-bun street meat for lunch…if it was loaded with saurkraut does it count for anything?
    3. Thanks for your transparency in your challenges with work/life balance. I can relate, and it’s tough. Working, sleeping, socializing, resting, AND eating sensibly don’t always jive (read: street-meat lunch).
    4. The harvest is a time of new beginnings. Feeling a stirring is natural – knowing change needs to happen in order to support my mental and physical health. I made some new ‘fall resolutions’ this week in an effort to achieve that I’m striving for (that is when I now WHAT I’m striving for!).
    5. My current go-to green smoothie is tons of kale and spinach, mango, frozen banana, a big chunk of ginger, almond milk, water kefir, and the juice of 1 lime. It could use a protein boost which I have yet to figure out.
    6. Hoping you transition out of your ‘meh’ smoothly and effortlessly. Remember to call on supports when required, and to not be too hard on yourself. You got this.ReplyCancel

  • jeanne04/09/2014 - 7:17 pm

    My go-to is a frozen banana, almond milk, and vanilla protein powder. Simple but I never get sick of it!ReplyCancel

  • Emily04/09/2014 - 8:49 pm

    I put pineapple, mixed berries, spinach, almond milk, and hemp powder in my morning smoothies. Can’t wait to try this recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Beth04/09/2014 - 8:57 pm

    My fav smoothie is coconut milk, banana, spinach or kale, blueberries, cinnamon, hemp seeds, and maybe some protein powder:)ReplyCancel

  • Jordan D04/09/2014 - 10:10 pm

    I love using pumpkin puree in my smoothies. I usually freeze cubes and blend it with almond milk, vanilla protein powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, a little stevia, and if I need extra greens I’ll throw in some spinach. Perfect for warm fall days.ReplyCancel

  • kristie @ birchandwild.com04/09/2014 - 11:06 pm

    I go for a morning brain boost that also supports my adrenal glands: frozen banana, almong milk, soaked walnuts, spinach, maca root, buckwheat sprouts and vega one vanilla!ReplyCancel

  • Lydia04/09/2014 - 11:20 pm

    Love this smoothie recipe! I love putting frozen bananas, almond milk, dates, chia and hemp seeds, and spinach as a base in my smoothies, then whatever other flavour I feel like- frozen berries or peanut butter and cocoa powder, for instance.ReplyCancel

  • Carone04/09/2014 - 11:24 pm

    My go-to smoothie when I’m in a rush is Vega One original with peanut butter, frozen banana and water. My more time consuming go-to is greens (whatever we have- spinach, kale, chard, beet greens…), blueberries, frozen banana, hemp protein and spirulina and water. Can’t wait to try your smoothie!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon Murphy05/09/2014 - 12:23 am

    The very best smoothie in the world to me is fortunately extra simple: Oat milk, dark sweet cherries, and a big spoonful of tahini.ReplyCancel

  • Logan05/09/2014 - 1:27 am

    I’ve been trying to put on weight recently (hopefully it will end up as muscle), so here’s my smoothie recipe: milk, yogurt, banana, nuts, peanut butter, oats, chia seeds, and ice.ReplyCancel

  • Marie05/09/2014 - 8:20 am

    I always have frozen bananas, bluberries and Vega Sport around. I can’t go wrong with that.ReplyCancel

  • Marie05/09/2014 - 8:21 am

    I always have frozen bananas, blueberries and Vega Sport around. I can’t go wrong with that.ReplyCancel

  • tea05/09/2014 - 8:21 am

    lemon (with peel, half of an avocado, half of a cucumber, few stalk of celery, big chunk of fresh ginger and water – i like them mean and green.ReplyCancel

  • Sara05/09/2014 - 8:45 am

    My current favorite is avocado banana shake. Fills you up until lunchtime.

    1 banana
    1/4-1/2 avocado
    1 scoop Vega Vanilla
    1 handfull greens
    1 t-1 T nut butter
    almond milk to desired smoothnessReplyCancel

  • Cherish Rush05/09/2014 - 8:50 am

    I am just getting started on a vegetarian lifestyle so my smoothie is very simple but delicious…
    chopped romaine
    frozen spinach and/or kale
    frozen raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries
    a little almond milk or water
    teraswhey grass fed whey protein chocolateReplyCancel

  • Brandee H05/09/2014 - 9:25 am

    I have a very weak blender so I have to be careful! My son likes to pick whatever fruit we have in the fridge, add some greens. We add chia, flax and a touch of lucama. Frozen berries. Lots of ice. After he has his. I add frozen banana and cocao to mine.ReplyCancel

  • Melanie05/09/2014 - 11:04 am

    What a generous give away. Thanks for all the inspiration from your blog posts! My smoothies tend to be rather basic, but we love them. Plain yogurt, hemp seeds, orange juice, a frozen banana and a berry (usually blueberries, also raspberries or strawberries or a mix), sometimes peaches. I will add chia seeds to my smoothie once I have poured it into my glass. I like to use powdered greens sometimes. Thanks again and Happy September!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer05/09/2014 - 11:28 am

    My go-to smoothie is made of frozen bananas, mixed berries, spinach and probiotic supplements.ReplyCancel

  • Yoojin05/09/2014 - 12:20 pm

    my favorite smoothie combination always includes greens :)

    cucumbers, spinach/kale, basil, blueberries, frozen banana, and water for liquid!
    superfood powders like flax, maca, and turmeric.

    i love topping it with cinnamon & hemp seeds.ReplyCancel

  • Talia05/09/2014 - 12:26 pm

    Love my smoothies! Leafy greens, chia seeds, flax meal, almond milk original, frozen fruit of some sort, maca powder and green superfood powder!ReplyCancel

  • Raquel05/09/2014 - 12:54 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try Vega for ages!!! What kind of smoothie I make depends on my mood and what I have on hand. Although this is the one I tend to make the most (because it tastes like a dessert to me!!): a frozen banana, a whole bunch of spinach, almond milk, a teaspoon of raw cacao powderReplyCancel

  • Claire T05/09/2014 - 2:21 pm

    Lately it’s a handful of kale, homemade almond-coconut milk, frozen banana, fresh peach, a handful of rolled oats, splash of vanilla extract, cinnamon, grated ginger, and almond butter, plus a few ice cubes. Sometimes I add hemp hearts and/or matcha powder.ReplyCancel

  • julent05/09/2014 - 3:27 pm

    My go-to smoothie is banana, almond milk, frozen berries, frozen mango, chia seeds, 1/2 avocado, homemade vanilla extract, and sometimes lacinto kale. I’ve never tried Vega One, but it would be a welcome addition. Btw, just tried your Balinese stew recipe the other night and it was a big hit.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca05/09/2014 - 3:44 pm

    Oh how I can relate to summer being a way busier than it should be! I love your perspective on beginning a new post-Labor Day season. As for smoothies, I go through phases, but the one I tend to go back to includes kale, peaches, pear, almond milk, ice cubes, and some sort of sweetener. Sometimes I add flax or chia seeds. :)ReplyCancel

  • Friday. | gratitude and greens05/09/2014 - 4:21 pm

    […] I’m also dying to try this vegan mint chip shake from The First Mess… […]ReplyCancel

  • Martine05/09/2014 - 7:09 pm

    A new creation I like is frozen cranberries, a splash of cranberry juice, frozen bananas, water/almond milk, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Tart and creamy – and delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Marissa05/09/2014 - 10:24 pm

    Love Vega! I have been using the protein smoothie powder for a while now and hoping to try the Vega One powder soon. My go-to smoothie is Vega powder (vanilla), a frozen banana, baby spinach, cinnamon, and whatever frozen berries I have on hand!ReplyCancel

  • jacquie05/09/2014 - 10:38 pm

    i have actually never had a smoothie so no favoritesReplyCancel

  • Sophie06/09/2014 - 1:18 am

    I love SPICES! I think these days my favorite smoothie is a chai smoothie with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, etc., banana, and almond milk. I like to throw in some tapioca balls to make it a bubble tea smoothie!


  • Kat06/09/2014 - 4:07 am

    Gorgeous pictures, great recipe… Just wondering, however, why the bee pollen? This isn’t a vegan ingredient, but the recipe is listed as vegan. :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright06/09/2014 - 9:00 am

      Kat, I updated the wording on the recipe to better reflect your observation. Thanks for the keen editorial eye on that one.

  • Baby June06/09/2014 - 10:22 am

    My favorite smoothie? Hmmm. That would probably be anything with pb+banana+cocoa powder. You can’t go wrong with that. :)ReplyCancel

  • Meg06/09/2014 - 10:33 am

    Oh, man. Not only do I love shakes but I love Vega! I love it adds some bulk in smoothies and sweetens them just enough when I get a little too generous with adding greens! Plus, it’s like eating a multi-vitamin, which is always more fun than popping a pill!

    My jam for awhile now has been matcha smoothies in the morning. Fruit, veggies, a little caffeine boost and, obviously, some cacao nibs for the soul.

    So tasty and a great giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño06/09/2014 - 11:01 am

    We live on smoothies! Our favorite combo is frozen pomegranate, blueberry, and mango with orange juice and soy milk. It’s like ice cream!ReplyCancel

  • Taylor06/09/2014 - 2:44 pm

    I make smoothies with just bananas, almond milk, and protein powder. I just use a regular blender, so I can’t add greens or they don’t get blended. College student problems.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie07/09/2014 - 12:15 am

    Favorite smoothie of the moment is a weirdo one – whole raw egg, pineapple, peach, chia, almond milk. Sounds gross, but is AMAZING.ReplyCancel

  • Casey07/09/2014 - 12:22 am

    I make smoothies almost every morning and I have a few different favs but my go to smoothie is: half a frozen banana, half a frozen peach, matcha powder, two swheatgrass cubes, almond milk, and water. I also add protein powder sometimes for a more filling meal and cashews as well! It is absolutely delicious for any time of the year!ReplyCancel

  • Haley07/09/2014 - 8:09 am

    This looks delish! I definitely am in need of a reset after a summer of ice-cream eating (vegan of course!)…

    My favorite smoothie of all time is spinach, coconut water, ginger, cucumber, banana, mango, pineapple, and hemp hearts. So good!ReplyCancel

  • Deb07/09/2014 - 8:54 am

    Thanks for a great read and the chance to win! Always a bonus.
    Morning get going shake:
    Vega One
    and almond milk, spinach, strawberries, blueberries (love the shade it turns) and my organic yogurt too. Just simple and delicious. I tend to be a creature of habit. Then to take also a sandwich on my favourite bakery bread, Nova Scotia Brown (molasses & oatmeal) with hummus, avocado and cheese. Yum, good staying power for the morning’s work to come.ReplyCancel

  • Jacqui07/09/2014 - 9:38 am

    My go-to healthy shake is spinach, banana, almond milk, and chia seeds!ReplyCancel

  • Joyce Lail07/09/2014 - 10:31 am

    Peaches and strawberries with vanilla bean Greek yogurt and gelatin powder and flax and chia seeds.

    Or any other combo of frozen fruit: cherries are yummy. Pineapple too.ReplyCancel

  • Suzan07/09/2014 - 1:11 pm

    My go-to smoothie: frozen fruit, leafy green veggies, banana, yogurt, juice or almond milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, maca, and maqui powder.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah07/09/2014 - 1:46 pm

    This looks ah mazing! My go to is spinach, 1/3 frozen banana, handful of berries, chia, hemp, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, ice. Top with buckwheat and fresh fruit <3ReplyCancel

  • Heather07/09/2014 - 6:21 pm

    We aren’t huge smoothie people and never as meal replacement, just as snacks. My fav is raspberry/mango pureed and then add kale and cranberries with a bit of plain yogurt. My kids’ favorite is gross, imo- plain mango and kale with a shot of oj and plain yogurt. We’ve not used VEGA products before.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica @ {Black.White.Yellow.}08/09/2014 - 12:26 am

    I love Vega! This is a great giveaway!

    My current favorite smoothie recipe is banana, mango, butternut squash, turmeric, almond milk, protein powder, chia seeds. So good!ReplyCancel

  • Veronique Daoust08/09/2014 - 11:13 am

    MY go-to shake always includes a frozen banana, spinach or kale, coconut water and Vega protein powder. I love it so much, I crave it every morning after my workout!ReplyCancel

  • Tova08/09/2014 - 11:49 am

    I love the frozen banana, kale, apple, ginger and lemon smoothie –> simple, fresh and green! Would love to try the VEGA Product!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer K08/09/2014 - 1:05 pm

    I love kale and fruit with coconut milk as a morning smoothieReplyCancel

  • amy09/09/2014 - 2:38 pm

    this looks magnificently delicious . my favorite current smoothie favorite is greens from our garden of any kind + fresh & frozen fruits like blueberries & strawberries, almond milk & ground flax seed .ReplyCancel

  • Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine12/09/2014 - 5:14 am

    Matcha AND mint? Super green power. Sounds amazing! Mint smoothies are my favs.ReplyCancel

  • Aida Mollenkamp12/09/2014 - 4:57 pm

    What a brilliant recipe to reset after a busy summer. Love, love, love that it’s matcha!ReplyCancel

  • Elenore Bendel Zahn15/09/2014 - 4:58 am

    We made these bowls this weekend and although it was the pic of cacao nibs that convinced me (cacao nibs + elenore= true love) me and Fabian loved your green craziness! Such a treat!..

    And you know I’m a big fan of breakfasts too;)

    Huge hugs!ReplyCancel

  • […] Matcha Mint Chip Smoothie BowlReap the benefits of antioxidant-packed Japanese tea leaves by incorporating matcha powder into your […]ReplyCancel

  • […] food styling and photography is knocking my socks off. Just look at this matcha mint chip breakfast bowl and this creamy vegan tomato […]ReplyCancel

  • […] This is more of a breakfast smoothie bowl and what  I like about it is the addition of matcha (antioxidant rich green tea powder) and leafy greens. You can use your preferred protein powder or simply make without and have a boiled egg on the side. This gorgeous pic and the recipe are from The First Mess. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Vegan Matcha Mint Chip Breakfast Bowl | The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] more matcha recipes: green tea coconut ice cream from a pastry affair matcha frappes from earthsprout matcha mint chip shake from the first mess […]ReplyCancel

Bali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmesspin it!garden beans // @thefirstmesspin it!the vegetables // @thefirstmesspin it!Yummy Supper by Erin Scott // @thefirstmesspin it!Bali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmesspin it!
I never thought I would have a vegetable garden in my backyard this year. It seemed like this silly thing that I would finally, finally get to when the deck and kitchen were both finished, the shed was built and the porch was stained. My dad grows enough vegetables to feed 75 or more people, so I figured I could just glom onto that and be satisfied. And hilariously (!!), right at this second I have a thriving vegetable garden, no shed or deck to really speak of, a kitchen that STILL isn’t totally finished, and we have the most unintentionally distressed-looking porch floor (oh, and my dad still brings me stuff from his garden anyway). Priorities are a funny thing that creep in when you’re not looking.

So now, even when there’s “nothing to eat” we have a hundred square feet of total edibles just getting bigger and riper by the day. It’s true that at any given moment there’s some urgent thing that needs to be fixed, tidied, cleaned, shopped for, photographed, edited etc., but we almost always make time to eat well–even if the loosest translation of that means tossing a couple kale leaves into a daily smoothie because uuuuum, vitamins? Yeah, let’s go with that. If you have some good and honest food at hand, even just a little bit, you can inspire yourself to make the time.

I think Erin from Yummy Supper understands these ideas of nourishment all too well. Just a quickie flip through her beautiful new cookbook will give you inspiration for a week’s worth of meals that glow with abundance, yes, but also with the more immediate appeal of accessibility. It’s a gluten free book, but not in a way that you would notice right away. I tend to gravitate towards the variety and colours of natural foods, and Erin’s book really celebrates this. Instead of focusing on what’s off limits, there’s page after page of gorgeous naturally gluten free foods combined with a knack for seasonal consideration. There’s pears poached in Lillet, popped amaranth with cumin and coriander, a crispy kale salad with curried chickpeas, millet crepes, parsnip chips, and black rice pudding with coconut–among so many other thoughtful dishes. Whatever your dietary inclinations, you’ll find something in this book that speaks to you.

And this stew! It’s a good one–nice and spicy with tons of vegetable goodness. I was scanning through the ingredients thinking that I had most of what was called for (fresh beans, corn, tomatoes, shallots, garlic, chilies), knowing that I would substitute a couple things based on what I had in the garden. Swiss chard instead of napa cabbage and bok choy, eggplant for the mushrooms, maybe some extra carrots and some sliced up chard stems too. I was a only a little bit worried that I would change the intended flavours slightly. But Erin condones the switch ups! It’s an all season-approachable dish that mostly relies on the flavour base of fragrant coconut oil, chilies, onions, garlic and tamari. The sharp edge of heat and little bit of bite from the vegetables makes this stew glow with vitality. It’s hard to stop eating it–just feel good food through and through. Some coconut oil-browned cashews and shallots get sprinkled on top and that textural/flavour contrast is so bang on. It’s all just right for the slowly cooling nights ’round here.

And a little add-on bonus! Lindsey, Claire, and I are working with the fine folks at Pure Green Magazine for a hashtag challenge called #PGMinseason. They have all the details on their site here, but on the PGM blog we’re sharing some recipes and our more personal ideological/health-related aspects of choosing local food. You guys know I’m all-in for anything that celebrates the seasonal eats, so it’s exciting to be a part of something that aims to bring even more inspiration and conversation around that movement. Earlier this week they posted my recipe for harissa grilled eggplant with burst tomatoes, quinoa and herb salad, which you can check out here!

Bali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmesspin it!ready to go // @thefirstmesspin it!Bali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmesspin it!Bali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmesspin it!
vegan bali garden stew recipe
from Erin Scott’s Yummy Supper
serves: 4-6
notes: Erin’s recipe calls for chicken as well. I just went with the goodness of the veggies, but you could easily add diced tofu or chickpeas if you’d like a little extra protein in this stew. She notes a little tip in the book that I completely agree with: have all of your ingredients chopped and ready to go once you have the stove turned on. The whole thing goes pretty quick. Also, serve this with some cooked rice if you’re feelin’ it.

1/4 cup + 2 tsp coconut oil
1-2 cayenne chilies (or something similar), seeded + minced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tsp tamari soy sauce
4 cups water
3 medium carrots, peeled + thinly sliced
2 medium (or 4 small!) tomatoes, diced
1 small eggplant, chopped
kernels from 2 cobs of corn (1 1/3 cups)
1 1/3 cups sliced green beans
1 cup raw cashews
4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cups chopped swiss chard (including stems)
salt + pepper

Heat a 1/4 cup of the coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the chili, onion and garlic. Cook until very fragrant and onion has softened slightly, about 2 minutes.

Add the tamari and water to the pot. Bring to a boil and then add the carrots. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and eggplant and cook for a minute. Add the corn and green beans and cook for another couple minutes. At this point you can turn the heat off until you’re ready to serve it because you’ll just need to bring the pot to a boil for the greens.

In a small sauté pan, heat a teaspoon of coconut oil over medium low heat. Add the raw cashews to the pan and toast them in the oil until they brown a bit on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Empty the cashews onto a small plate and give them a little sprinkle of salt if you like.

Return the small sauté pan to the heat and add the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil. Add the thinly sliced shallots to the pan and stir them around here and there until they turn deep brown and a bit crisp in some areas, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Bring the pot of stew to a boil again and add the chopped swiss chard. Cook until the greens wilt a little bot, about 1 minute. Serve the stew hot with the toasty cashews and shallots on top.

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  • Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño28/08/2014 - 7:03 am

    These pictures are an inspiration and I too have a garden when I should probably spend my time doing something else but the satisfaction of eating from your backyard way out weighs rational thinking!ReplyCancel

  • Margaret Sullivan28/08/2014 - 8:13 am

    Sounds great. This would work well with olive oil also. The problem with coconut oil is that unless it is extremely fresh it frequently has a rancid after taste. We loved for years where it was the basic cooking oil, often rancid, often overpowering, and when I was there my cholesterol rose markedly only to come down when I returned to this country and other cooking oils.ReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Whole Nourishment28/08/2014 - 8:41 am

    Love everything about this stew, and it reminds me of the wonderful curries and rice dishes I had in Bali, especially since it’s topped with topped with toasted cashews. This looks like the perfect summertime soup.ReplyCancel

  • erin {yummy supper}28/08/2014 - 8:55 am

    Oh my what a gorgeous post, Laura! Your veggie patch is so darned abundant and I’m honored to see your bounty working so beautifully in the Bali Garden Stew. It’s just right that you made all of those substitutions and played with what you had on hand. I bet the eggplant was super tasty!
    SO so touched,

  • Ashlae28/08/2014 - 9:09 am

    These photos! Erin’s book! Your garden! I am loving it, lady. This is just the nudge I need to finally contact our HOA about putting a community garden in the rarely (and by rarely I mean NEVER) used side yard.ReplyCancel

  • molly yeh28/08/2014 - 9:54 am

    will you please come over and teach me how to be a good garden grower person and not be freaked out about all the little green friends on my kale so i can just casually toss some in my smoothies in the morning?! who knew gardening would be so…scary? hehe. this stew looks delicious… anything with shallots has my heart!ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin28/08/2014 - 11:15 am

    such a gorgeous stew. and bravo to you for somehow creating a luscious vegetable garden in the midst of all the craziness.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley28/08/2014 - 11:33 am

    Girl, your words. They get me every time. You have such a calming, storytelling thing going on with the way you write and I always feel a little more zen after reading your posts. I love how you point out that Erin’s book is GF but that you wouldn’t notice right away. I know I would love this book for that reason! And this stew…gorgeous. BTW – we get to hang out in ONE month! Wishing we could get dirty in the garden/kitchen together but I guess I can settle for just hanging. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley28/08/2014 - 11:36 am

    p.s. I totally [TOTALLY] feel you on the 1/2 done house projects.ReplyCancel

  • Grace28/08/2014 - 11:41 am

    What a beautiful celebration of summer, so much color and goodness all in one bowl! I want to sit out on the porch with this wholesome soup and that gorgeous book and a cool, soon-to-be-fall breeze. YES!ReplyCancel

  • Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth28/08/2014 - 11:46 am

    I’m so jealous of anyone with a garden or something nearly resembling one. I’m limited to whatever I can cram on my kitchen window sill! What a beautiful selection from Erin’s book to make using all those beautiful veggies!ReplyCancel

  • […] Bali Garden Stew with Toasty Cashews and Shallots […]ReplyCancel

  • Saskija28/08/2014 - 1:45 pm

    Your pictures are lovely. The lighting is so pretty. I’ve already bought Vibrant Food because you had recommended it. Now I may just have to get Yummy Supper!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie28/08/2014 - 4:49 pm

    Just gorgeous, Laura! Erin is killing it with this book. I cannot wait to make my own pot of this. Wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • lynsey28/08/2014 - 5:35 pm

    Well I don’t have a garden, but rather a little pot of chillies on my balcony that i feel will have a home in this stew. Congrats on Pure Green…. Ontario grows the best stuff and I can’t wait for some more inspiration on how to use it! xoReplyCancel

  • Sarah28/08/2014 - 5:43 pm

    I am really loving Yummy Supper’s new cookbook too! I had my eye on my recipe – glad to hear it’s a good one!ReplyCancel

  • Nik@ABrownTable28/08/2014 - 6:03 pm

    That photograph of the corn is simply gorgeous and the soup is so vibrant and colorful! I ordered Erin’s book and can’t wait to receive it, she always has a lot of interesting recipes.ReplyCancel

  • Kaley29/08/2014 - 12:52 am

    This is fantastic! I am so glad I made it for dinner tonight. So flavorful and delicious, and so easy. I will definitely be making this again!ReplyCancel

  • Millie l Add A Little29/08/2014 - 3:49 am

    Yum! This looks gorgeous and so beautiful and fresh!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn29/08/2014 - 4:53 am

    Love what you say about Erin’s book; I’m with you all the way. Nourishment is absolutely the best word for it. It’s not just about what you’re physically eating but what you’re taking from the ground and how your feeding your soul. Love it.ReplyCancel

  • genevieve @ gratitude & greens29/08/2014 - 9:15 am

    This stew is exactly what I need right now. Such a vibrant dish full of so much goodness!ReplyCancel

  • Elisa29/08/2014 - 9:38 am

    Beautiful and colorful soup! LOVE!


  • Teffy Perk29/08/2014 - 12:31 pm

    This looks so so good!!
    I dream of having a veggie garden filled with goodies!
    This stew is so dreamy, especially with those cashews on top. So yum!

    Teffy XReplyCancel

  • Emily29/08/2014 - 12:45 pm

    Made this last night and loved it! I always trust your taste.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle29/08/2014 - 11:00 pm

    Great recipe, it was delicious and packed with flavour and colour. Thanks for the inspiration to get busy in the kitchenReplyCancel

  • Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine30/08/2014 - 1:32 am

    That looks so good! The cashews sounds like a great addition.ReplyCancel

  • Week 35… | Cookingdom30/08/2014 - 6:35 am

    […] Veel groenten stoofpotje…ter compensatie :P […]ReplyCancel

  • sara30/08/2014 - 11:54 am

    Gorgeous! This looks so tasty. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne30/08/2014 - 6:46 pm

    I just love it when my favorite bloggers are talking about my other favorite bloggers. You two are so great! This soup sounds incredible. I’ll have to flip through Erin’s book again to find the original. I’ll save your version for when we get some relief from the heat!ReplyCancel

  • […] basil garden stew with cashews and shallots. love […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Oh boy, this sounds like a good late summer, early fall kind of stew/soup! […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Garden Stew with toasted cashews sounds like the perfect end of summer comfort food. […]ReplyCancel

  • Anna01/09/2014 - 7:14 am

    IM IN LOVE with your pictures and recipes! The whole atmosphere of your blog makes me inspired over and over again!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet01/09/2014 - 7:13 pm

    I just LOVE cashews in my stew!ReplyCancel

  • Shira01/09/2014 - 8:54 pm

    Absolutely beautiful pics Laura – especially the mood captured in your garden shots. Honestly they are too beautiful for words. Hope you’ve had a wonderful summer!ReplyCancel

  • Holly @ The Very Hungry Blonde01/09/2014 - 11:18 pm

    Gorgeous pictures, and the recipe looks absolutely scrumptious!ReplyCancel

  • ATasteOfMadness02/09/2014 - 7:49 pm

    Whoa. This looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • […] eggs on a bed of cherry tomatoes // sunshine soup // bali garden stew // grilled wild salmon, fennel and corn // millet crepes // honeydew granita // peach lassi […]ReplyCancel

  • Los Angeles Caregivers14/09/2014 - 10:55 pm

    These look like some great healthy meals, as a vegan there are some here that I would really enjoy eating. The vegan bawli stew looks amazingReplyCancel

  • Mandy D20/09/2014 - 3:31 am

    Oh my goodness. Today is the day that I stumbled across your blog. It’s late at night and I can’t stop looking through your recipes and pictures! Your photography is amazing and I love your stories. I hope to be as good as a blogger as you are (one day!)

    Your blog is inspiring and I want to create every dish right now! I guess I’ll have to wait until morning.

    Thanks for working so hard to keep your blog beautiful!

    Mandy Dugas from MandysHealthyLife.comReplyCancel

  • The Omnivore27/09/2014 - 10:38 am

    Those pictures are incredible! I love this time of year when you still have all the fabulous summer produce but there’s enough of a chill that you want to cook them.ReplyCancel

  • STEWpendous Garden Stew16/10/2014 - 4:30 pm

    […] on which side you fall), let’s ease our way into the cooler months of the kitchen with this Garden Stew recipe from The First […]ReplyCancel

  • […] A stew: First let’s welcome back an old friend of the Local Box, Hon Tsai Tai. Chock full of protein and vitamins, Hon Tsai Tai is a healthy addition to any dinner. Bonus, the entire plant is edible! It tastes similar to mustard greens and broccoli raab, making it perfect for stir fry-dishes, salads and savory soups. On that note, let’s make soup. Use this weeks carrots, shallots, and Hon Tsai Tai (for swiss chard) in a  Vegan Bali Garden Stew. […]ReplyCancel

super-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesspin it!collards // @thefirstmesspin it!tomatoes // @thefirstmesspin it!basil in the garden // @thefirstmesspin it!super-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesspin it!
I will say this with comfort and clarity because I know I’m not alone: it’s surprisingly easy to get overwhelmed by life on a regular basis–the wonderful parts, but also (womp womp) the more stress-inducing bits. We’re away for a bit on the east coast of Canada this week with my man’s family and all I could think about leading up to our departure was A) How much stuff I have to take care of before I get in the car with my duffel bag, snacks and camera, B) How much stuff I could be accomplishing if we weren’t going, and C)How realistic/possible it would be to get some work done while we’re ON vacation. I swear I can’t be the only person who thinks this way. In the same moment, there is a pull of necessity from the natural world calling for release, but also the thoughts of deadlines, career, and the “How will we ever get ahead of it all?” questions that shore up in the weaker moments.

Some of my plans got all messed up last week, my schedule was thrown off, there was a very scary thunderstorm, I didn’t see Mark for a few days because of the “passing ships in the night” quality of our conflicting work schedules sometimes, my dining table was a mess of recipes to be shot, food props, fibreglass door brochures, and just stuff, I think I ate too much sugar and drank mostly coffee, there’s still messes around every corner of our yard as we try to get it ALL together this summer, it’s August already?!, then THIS etc. In the middle of one of my now-daily marathon list-making sessions, I texted this to Mark: “I feel like I’m paddling really fucking hard and not getting anywhere.”

My tendency, when there’s probably too much going on and I’m asking the big life questions, is to go inward a bit and figure out why it’s all happening. I get stuck in my own head is another way to put it. It takes a while for inspiration, in the form of human interaction, something I’ve read/seen, or a moment of intentional quietude, to pull me up back into life and living. A worrier and an over-thinker to the end–just how I operate. But I had a very chill contractor/landscaping/handyperson-type dude here the one morning, just as the sky was darkening something fierce for another round of rain. He was giving me an estimate on a new deck + shelter structure kinda deal and we were talking about what a mess the yard had been before we lived here. The drops were puttering around and he calmly said something about being able to see past the the frustrating/messy/uncontrollable aspects of less desirable situations because he had the work/life experience to know that it all works out in the end. Pretty much exactly what I needed to hear, even if he was just talking about some outdoor livin’.

As we continue to get our bearings on this life and some of the seemingly fresh things it’s been throwing at/graciously handing to us, I think we get a bit more confident leaning into the “Everything’s going to be alright” mentality. And not in a a way that leaves it all to the fates. We’re learning and grasping and nodding our heads YES because we have a clearer sightline on human capability. I still make decisions on a whim and overcommit myself 98 percent of the time, but I feel stronger in putting my head down and getting to the work in a more intelligent way than ever before. If this is maturity/getting old/full-tilt-boogie-level adulthood, sign me up.

In addition to seeing ahead + realizing some human potential, I’ve been coming up with cooler recipe ideas and just making better things in general. It’s cool when inspiration from certain sometimes stress-y life moments stream colour and inpspiration into your everyday needs. Of course I didn’t invent collard wraps, but dang if I didn’t just try them for the first time recently and absolutely love them. My first exposure to the collard-as-wrap was in Sara’s book actually, and I was immediately pulled in by her emphasis on avoiding the “hippie mush” problem when fixing them up. Actually, just the expression “hippie mush” was enough to catch my interest (#HIPPIEMUSH). Anyway, this version has some highly varied textures and lots of summer tasties from the tomatoes and basil. Marinated and charred tempeh, chickpea mash, a little sundried tomato flecked quinoa, extra tomato, maybe a balsamic drizzle. Lots of plant-powered protein in a little leafy package. A good travellin’ snack if I do say so myself.

So I’m off to re-charge the batteries on that eastern shore. Catch ya next week or perhaps on Instagram in the meantime? :) Big love, all.

tempeh marination // @thefirstmesspin it!grilled // @thefirstmesspin it!super-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesspin it!super-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesspin it!super-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesspin it!
super powered tomato + basil collard wraps
serves: 4
notes: Like any decent burrito or wrap-type thing, overstuffing these will lead to failure/messes everywhere. If you’re transporting them, I would recommend securing with toothpicks before you go anywhere, just so there aren’t any surprises at your destination.

1 block of tempeh, cut into half inch strips
1 chili, sliced
4-5 sprigs of basil, divided
splash of red wine vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
olive oil
salt + pepper
1/2 cup quinoa
handful of sundried tomatoes (not the oil-packed ones), small dice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 tbsp tomato sauce
8 large collard leaves
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced (or 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes halved)
balsamic glaze/reduction (optional!)

In a shallow dish, place the tempeh pieces, sliced chili, 2-3 tablespoons of chopped basil, the red wine vinegar, sliced shallot and a good glug of olive oil. Season the mix with salt and pepper and toss to coat the tempeh. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.

Combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water and a fat pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the quinoa to a boil and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Scrape quinoa into a medium mixing bowl and allow to cool.

Once cool, to the quinoa add a glug of olive oil, 2-3 tbsp chopped basil, the diced sundried tomatoes, and some salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

In a shallow dish, mash the chickpeas with the tomato sauce, salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil. You want a mixture that kind of holds together but also a few whole chickpeas too. Set aside.

Heat a grill to high and place the marinated tempeh slices on the grates. Grill both sides until char marks appear, about 4 minutes per side.

To make the collard wraps, start by laying one collard leaf down on a cutting board so that it’s on a horizontal orientation. Lay another collard leaf on top, overlapping the stem ends considerably. You should have an almost solid rectangular-ish sheet of collard green now. It almost looks like a very chunky figure 8. Spoon some of the chickpea mash into the middle, pressing it down. Lay two tempeh slices on top of the chickpea mash. Then place some sliced tomato on top of the tempeh. Place a few slices of tomato and whole leaves of basil on top. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze if you like. Pull up the long side of the collard wrap and fold it over the filling. Bring in the short sides as if you were making a burrito. Then roll the whole thing until you’ve sealed the wrap.

Repeat this process with remaining ingredients. Secure wraps with toothpicks if necessary. Slice wraps in half to serve.

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  • Carly06/08/2014 - 4:18 am

    I totally feel you on this “everything will be alright” mentality. I’m going through my own can of worms at the moment and just like you I overthink everything and tend to spend too much time dwelling on what my heart/brain have to say (a lot) instead of just throwing all that crap out the window and going with my gut. These super powered wraps seem like the perfect place to start!ReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Whole Nourishment06/08/2014 - 5:43 am

    Yes, trusting that things will work out in the end is key, isn’t it?! I love how we can find inspiration in unusual ways, that’s a sign we are in fact able to get out of our heads every once in while. ;-) Love these collard wraps especially because of the tempeh, quinoa, and sun-dried tomatoes! Lovely summer dish.ReplyCancel

  • Julia06/08/2014 - 5:58 am

    EVERYTHING about this post resonates (like a gong) with me. thanks for the candid sharing, and thanks for a killer wrap recipe. i too was introduced to collard wraps via sara. enjoy the east coast:)ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar06/08/2014 - 8:09 am

    This is such a bright and gorgeous wrap. Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Mariela06/08/2014 - 8:51 am

    Boy do I admirer those who don’t over think, over analyse, over stress. One day I will too let go and trust the process.

    Lovely post, lovely recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Tieghan06/08/2014 - 9:03 am

    I am a huge overthinker, worrier and everything in between. I can relate to this post in so many ways, thank you for sharing!

    Now these wraps. Just gorgeous!! Love all the colors, textures and flavors!ReplyCancel

  • Grace06/08/2014 - 9:57 am

    I guess it’s instinct to always want to improve, build something better, think to the future. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the ‘what’s next’ but it takes some serious skills to reflect, be present and just breath. Enjoy your vacation! These wraps are all that is good for the body and soul. Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Lynsey06/08/2014 - 10:13 am

    Laura, as always your words and sentiments on life are so beautifully written – even when they are talking about times of stress and feelings of being completely and utterly overwhelmed. If these (OMG) beautiful wraps are what comes out of your mind when under the gun, I can’t wait to see the creativity that flourishes after a little rest and recharge by the sea! Enjoy your vacay! xoReplyCancel

  • Abby06/08/2014 - 10:14 am

    your photographs are perfection, as usual, Laura! such a lovely post :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley06/08/2014 - 10:16 am

    Did you just climb in my head and write the exact thoughts in my brain? I’m pretty sure you did. I think I could have finished your sentences in this post. My goodness. Really can’t wait to see you in September! We’re also leaving for vacation soon and I am s.t.r.e.s.s.i.n.g. :) Hope you have a very relaxing time without the computer! <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • […] How did I never think of this? Why wrap sandwiches in lettuce when I could be using one of my favorite leafy greens in the world? […]ReplyCancel

  • elle06/08/2014 - 12:12 pm

    looks so beautiful and yummy, but might fall apart. think i might shred the greens too and wrap everything in a rice paper wrapper. Adds 20 calories and 4 carbs if anyone is wondering.ReplyCancel

  • Ileana06/08/2014 - 12:14 pm

    Spectacular – as usual! Such beautiful food. Enjoy your vacation!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen06/08/2014 - 12:45 pm

    These wraps sound like the perfect thing to make for a summer potluck! I would be so happy to see a big tray of these in the middle of the tableful of typical chips and crudites and hot dog buns. Yay!ReplyCancel

  • erin {yummysupper}06/08/2014 - 12:59 pm

    Laura, every time I look at that wallpaper of collards I swoon. What a brilliant photo!!! And your wraps looks awesome.
    I hope your trip gives you some of the rest and recuperation you’re craving. Travel can work wonders on the racing brain… I know that feeling well.
    xoxox from Berkeley,

  • Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish06/08/2014 - 1:30 pm

    Absolutely stunning! I am sooooo making these for lunch tomorrow :)ReplyCancel

  • sara forte06/08/2014 - 2:45 pm

    you are too good. These are gorgeous and long live the #hippiemush :)
    If it’s of any help, I’m convinced that a home in flux is crazy making. We moved into a home that needs a lot of TLC as well, and I’m realizing all these projects will take a lot of time and money…two things that are inconsistent around here. A home is a place where you should go to rest but it is instead a place that I am “managing” and constantly thinking about what project takes precedence. It’s a job, really, not a refuge. For now anyway.
    I’m glad you’re getting out of town. I hope you can stop thinking about it and enjoy your time. Your garden looks beautiful, btw.ReplyCancel

  • Jo @The Nectar Cafe06/08/2014 - 4:49 pm

    I am with you on those feelings of wondering how we will ever get on top of it all. I feel like that alot until I take the time to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that ‘me’ time is just as important as work/home-making/family commitments.
    I’m loving the look of these wraps and anything wrapped up in a big leaf is awesome in my opinion, so I’ll defiantly be trying these out! Beautiful pics as always Laura xReplyCancel

  • Renee (will frolic for food)06/08/2014 - 5:36 pm

    Being overwhelmed, oh yes I know the feeling well. Sometimes stepping out from underneath of the clouding thoughts gives you some freedom and perspective. meditating helps me! and yoga and exercising. and taking walks. it all helps. life can be so full of stress and projects and people who want things from you. // and this post is fiercely gorgeous. i want to be eating this right now. your savory recipes ROCK. wondering if i can convince my friend who i’m staying with to make this tonight, haha! i’ll be making this in the future, either way! <3ReplyCancel

  • jocenel06/08/2014 - 6:47 pm

    The food looks so delicious, I made my own for lunch today. I change one thing though; the tomatoes in your picture are hybrids. I used plum tomatoes.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright06/08/2014 - 7:16 pm

      Hi Jocenel, glad you enjoyed it. Those hybrid tomatoes in the picture were also grown by my father and were incredibly delicious, which is certainly enough for me.

  • I wanted to make this king of green wraps for far too long. Great recipe, so easy :) And pictures are fabulous.ReplyCancel

  • kristie / birchandwild.com07/08/2014 - 12:28 am

    These are the first collard wraps I have seen that I have wanted to make immediately after seeing the photos. They look creative, fresh and really tasty.ReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen07/08/2014 - 6:40 am

    This post is a gem. I can relate to all those feelings of being overwhelmed by life. Sometimes it’s just SO MUCH that it’s hard to think and see clearly. Sometimes we just feel we are SO BUSY that we don’t even have a spare week to spend relaxing. Oh yes, life.
    On another note, these wraps!! They speak to my heart. If one could adopt wraps, I would definitely adopt these ones. Oh and how gorgeous is that collard picture? You’re awesome, Laura.ReplyCancel

  • Valerie07/08/2014 - 11:01 am

    I’m unbearably neurotic; if there’s nothing to overthink/worry about, my mind goes into a tailspin and starts obsessing about small things like streaky glasses and the paper towel roll that should have been placed in recycling. Usually my cat’s blasé countenance helps put things *slightly* into perspective.

    Gorgeous hippie wraps! Love the happy colours.ReplyCancel

  • la domestique07/08/2014 - 11:12 am

    I love greens and these wraps look so colorful and nourishing. Enjoy your holiday!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey08/08/2014 - 9:40 am

    i can’t tell you how much this past week mirrored yours – unexpected car crap, my husband leaving for a work trip unexpectedly, recipes gone terribly wrong! but when measured on a spectrum of relative importance these things aren’t so weighty i suppose. not easy sometimes to get out of our own way, but yes, a break from it all to escape and breathe is totally necessary! xoReplyCancel

  • Jenalle08/08/2014 - 11:02 am

    These look amazing.
    Also styled perfectly, as usual.
    Props. :)ReplyCancel

  • Teffy Perk08/08/2014 - 3:20 pm

    Oh wow. That looks so so sooooo good!
    Exactly my kind of wrap – full of goodies and flavours that just sing!

    {Teffy’s Perks} XReplyCancel

  • sunday food mood board vol1.09/08/2014 - 7:13 pm

    […] […]ReplyCancel

  • […] I’ve been obsessed with collard wraps […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Super powered tomato + basil collard wraps (The First Mess) […]ReplyCancel

  • Leah11/08/2014 - 1:29 pm

    I totally feel you on all fronts – I was just out of town for 2 weeks and I feel so behind. It was really hard to actually enjoy my vacation because I kept thinking – should I be taking more pictures, can I try to get a blog post done, etc. etc. and I realize that isn’t fair to my husband and our family. I’m learning too – I guess sometimes you have to just let go and try to trust that it will all work out and get done at some point. Gorgeous recipe and photos as always !!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha11/08/2014 - 3:40 pm

    Oh wow, what an absolutely genius idea! I’m going to start doing this for lunch! Thank you for the great post :)ReplyCancel

  • shanna mallon12/08/2014 - 9:48 pm

    fringe benefit of being one of the in-your-head types: you see things so well and say them so good. reading this post, I just kept thinking what a pleasure it was to get to read it. also. these photos. I can’t. the only word is perfection. kind of an overblown concept and an elusive one but as far as food pics, yours are my fav.ReplyCancel

  • Diana13/08/2014 - 11:49 pm

    I made these wraps, with some slight variations. But I kept the tempeh marinade exactly as is, and am enjoying the grilled tempeh very very very much. Thanks for this recipe, and others, I really enjoy your cooking ideas.ReplyCancel

  • jessise1314/08/2014 - 4:04 am

    I made these wraps, with some slight variations. But I kept the tempeh marinade exactly as is, and am enjoying the grilled tempeh very very very much. Thanks for this recipe, and others, I really enjoy your cooking ideas.ブランド靴ReplyCancel

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)14/08/2014 - 2:25 pm

    Oh my gosh–your photographs always blow me away. So inspiring and creative! These collard wraps sound amazing Laura!ReplyCancel

  • hannah14/08/2014 - 5:37 pm

    This is so important isn’t it, it’s not really optimism more a sense of calm and peace, a sort of trust that we can hand over our struggles and stress to “life” and allow it to take its own path without endlessly worrying and striving for control. You write so beautifully and this post has really got me thinking. And fantasising about these wraps. What sort of tomato sauce do you mean? In the UK “tomato sauce” means Heinz ketchup but I’m not sure that’s what you used here!ReplyCancel

  • Audrina15/08/2014 - 9:03 am

    I know EXACTLY what you mean by thinking those before going on vacation! But nonetheless, everyone needs a break once in a while :) The wrap looks delicious!


  • Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño17/08/2014 - 11:11 am

    These look so good and such a unique and delicious combination of flavors. I hope you enjoy a little respite and don’t worry too much about all the stuff you are not getting done. Deep breaths my friend.ReplyCancel

  • […] mouths literally started watering looking at this yummy recipe! A perfect end of summer meal! Super Powered Tomato + Basil Collard Wraps via The First […]ReplyCancel

  • Maria Rieger19/08/2014 - 3:37 pm

    I can understand all those feelings and internal conflicts. I have just moved back to Europe after five wonderful years in Mexico. This is our life. We arrive somewhere, fall in love with a place, find real friends and even people I would call family and then it is time to leave again. You keep in touch but you know it will never be the same. It is a fascinating but difficult life. Now I am about to make a new home, things will arrive soon and there is so much to do. I feel many times there aren’t enough hours in a day. Tomorrow they will start breaking the kitchen and by friday there should be a new one in place. I miss cooking and writing but sometimes I just realize I need to stop, not worry so much, take time to myself and to my daughter and husband. In the end all will fall into place once again. I will definitely try the Collard wraps when I have a kitchen again. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • […] you’re into clean eating or not, Tomato and Basil Collard Wraps by The First Mess put a little ingenuity behind rolling a good wrap. Collard greens are so sturdy […]ReplyCancel

  • Tessa24/08/2014 - 7:49 am

    Oh my, the colours happening in that wrap are divine! Definitely need to try them out soon :)ReplyCancel

  • agoodstuff.blogspot.in26/08/2014 - 1:39 pm

    You make wonderful dishes, specially salads. The best part of your salads is that they have amazing nature’s colors and are so bright n tempting that no one can resist.ReplyCancel

  • […] cashew parfait because I’m currently flirting with pseudo-veganism and oh my god. these super-powered tomato basil collard wraps which I’ve already made and fallen madly in love with. these pillowy pistachio pop tarts. […]ReplyCancel

  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors31/08/2014 - 1:01 pm

    This post is everything I love about blogging. I love the honesty and the photography is amazing. Thank you for your honesty in this post – the craziness of life and how things often get overwhelming but then you stop and reflect on it all and realize that in your chaos you have become better… and for that you can be greatful. Love hippymush! You have a new follower!ReplyCancel

  • meg31/08/2014 - 2:57 pm

    So pretty! Love itReplyCancel

  • cynthia01/09/2014 - 5:17 pm

    I love these words so, so, so very much. I hear ya, lady — here’s to recharging and these incredible, incredible wraps!ReplyCancel

  • […] if you’re a health food beginner like many of us on staff, this recipe for Vegan Tomato + Basil and Collard Wraps makes for a great start to better eating. For those who normally stray away from healthier meal […]ReplyCancel

  • Pre05/10/2014 - 8:31 am

    I’m allergic to soy. How well do you think seitan would sub for the tempeh in this dish? Or do you recommend something else?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright05/10/2014 - 8:52 am

      Hi Pre,
      I think the texture of seitan would be excellent in this. And the procedure would be the same: marinate + grill. Although, I might grill seitan a couple extra minutes.

  • […] These Tomato and Basil Collard Wraps look too healthy for even […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Feature Photo: The First Mess […]ReplyCancel