My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free



Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

This is my kind of salad. Meal sized. Veggie filled. Protein packed. Crunchy + chewy, with a hint of sweet.

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette |

Today’s post is sponsored by Earthbound Farm. Product opinions are always my own. If I didn’t love it, you wouldn’t hear about it.Thank you for supporting the occasional sponsored post that helps fund all the deliciousness + behind the scenes action you see here.

The sweetness comes from the juicy, orange vinaigrette and also from the jewel colored pomegranate arils that top the salad. I adore using oranges in wintery salads. It just adds this layer of brightness that is so needed during these chilly months. It’s like a little bit of sunshine in your mouth.


Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette |

Twice now I’ve sprayed pomegranate juice on our newly installed (my last tiling project, I swear!) white backsplash with white grout. Slight freakouts have ensued, but luckily I’ve gotten it clean with some quick scrub action.

I know, I should be doing the whole remove seeds in the bowl of water, thing, but then that just means more dishes. Although, I guess the time scrubbing the backsplash was probably more time than cleaning one bowl. Lesson learned. Thank you.


Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette |

If you have a hard time eating huge, ice cold salads during the winter months, then this salad will be your new winter go-to. It’s served warm (but fab from the fridge as well!) and the greens are only slightly wilted from tossing with the roasted ingredients just before serving.

Arugula adds the perfect spicy bite this salad needs and helps balance the sweetness. Thank goodness for fresh + flavorful greens during the winter months. Earthbound Farm is on its game year-round.

Pro-tip: If you have a container of greens that is about to go bad and you can’t finish it off, place the greens in a freezer bag. Squeeze the air out and seal. Now you have greens that are ready to throw into your smoothies. I often buy extra containers of baby greens just for freezing.


Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette |

There are a few veggie staples I always have in the freezer.

  • corn
  • peas
  • edamame
  • butternut squash
  • greens (frozen as mentioned above)

Having these on hand all of the time is so helpful. I frequently add them to our weeknight meals and they’re also great in a pinch when I realize our fresh veggie drawer has been depleted. I use the corn for Tex-Mex meals, peas in pasta and soups, edamame for stir-fry nights, greens in smoothies, and butternut squash for soups, smoothies, and roasting. I love knowing I can count Earthbound Farm’s organic frozen vegetables. Everything is always plump and vibrant, which I can’t always say for other brands.


Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette |

This salad has so much going on texturely, which is probably why I love it so much. And also that orange dressing. Dang is it good.

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette |

It’s not all about doughnuts and nog this month. I love getting in those greens, too!

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette |

Print Recipe!

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette gluten-free, vegan // yields about 4 servings

for the salad:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked black (beluga) lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1, 10oz package EBF organic frozen butternut squash, thawed (or just over 2 cups fresh/frozen)
  • 3 medium EBF organic broccoli heads, chopped (5 cups florets)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3-4 handfuls EBF organic arugula
  • pomegranate arils
  • feta cheese (optional)

for the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh squeeze orange juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • big pinch salt + pepper

Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until well mixed. Set aside and give a light shake every 5 minutes or so while cooking.

Cook lentils according to package directions. Once boiling, they should take about 20-25 minutes. Taste at 18 minutes to test for doneness. Drain but don't rinse and place back in the pot off the heat.

Preheat your oven to 425° F. Place thawed butternut squash on a baking sheet and toss with a 2 teaspoons of oil. Roast for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Decrease your oven to 400° F. Keep the butternut squash in the oven. Toss the broccoli and onion with about 2-3 teaspoons of oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes, turning once halfway through. The broccoli should be tender and lightly browned. Turn the butternut squash again as well. Add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme to the broccoli pan and toss together. Roast for another 4-7 minutes until the garlic starts to brown.

While cooking, add quinoa and 1 1/4 cups water to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil over med-high heat. Stir then cover and reduce heat to a constant simmer for 15 minutes. Check to make sure liquid has absorbed by tilting the pan. Keep the lid on and take off the heat.

Place butternut squash, lentils, quinoa, and arugula on the broccoli baking sheet. Shake the dressing once more. Remove the garlic and pour desired amount of dressing on the salad. Toss to combine and place in a large serving bowl. Top with pomegranates and serve with extra dressing on the side.

Serve warm or chilled.

notes: If the butternut squash happens to brown before the broccoli is done, simply remove it from the oven and place back in for a minute or two to heat back up. 


Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette |

Winter salad of your dreams and perfect to pack for lunch all week long.


Thanks again to Earthbound Farm for sponsoring this post.


Homemade Vegan Eggnog

I’ve never been the biggest eggnog fan.

Homemade Vegan Eggnog |

I mean, how is a person who grew up on skim milk supposed to drink eggnog without choking? It was always a little too thick for my liking and I was never sold on the flavor.

I’d rather eat ice cream.

Homemade Vegan Eggnog |

My dad, however, loved the stuff. So every year I would take little sips of eggnog here and there just to confirm my distaste for it.

While it’s true I am slightly egg-obsessed, I would rather eat my eggs than drink them. The mixture I’ve whipped up is a thick, slightly sweet milk, spiced with nutmeg and vanilla. It tastes like a dream.

So while this is not like traditional eggnog much at all, it wins my vote by a mile.

Homemade Vegan Eggnog |

To make the “milk” base I used almonds and toasted coconut, which creates a rich and nutty base for this mixture. The coconut flavor is mellow but crucial. It doesn’t overpower but adds just the right amount of flavor to the milk.

For sweetness, we’re going au naturel and using dates. And whenever there is an opportunity to add vanilla to something I take it. In this recipe I actually just throw in a piece of the vanilla bean and blend it right in. This adds a lot more vanilla flavor with a lot less vanilla bean. Win.

Homemade Vegan Eggnog |

There are a few options for this drink, all depending on what you want.

  1. creamy + smooth – Using less water to blend the mixture and straining with a nut milk bag will create a perfectly smooth and thicker nog. This will also result in a richer and sweeter flavor since you’re using less water. This version is in between the thickness of half & half and heavy cream.
  2. thinner + smooth – Using more water and straining with a nut milk bag will create the consistency of a slightly thickened almond milk. The flavors will still come through enough, it just won’t be quite as thick. You’ll get more servings with this option.
  3. super thick – You can achieve this two ways. You can leave the mixture unstrained (with heavy pulp), or you can strain the mixture and then add back in the exact amount of pulp you choose to thicken.

My favorite was option 1 or 2. Option 1 was definitely a bit richer, but you still got all the flavor with option 2. It really just depends how thick you want it to be.

Homemade Vegan Eggnog |

Oh, and don’t forget the booze. Sorry, not a rum fan.

Homemade Vegan Eggnog |

Print Recipe!

Homemade Vegan Eggnog gluten-free, vegan // yields 3-6, 3/4 cup servings

  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water for 6-12 hours
  • 2 – 3 1/2 cups water
  • 8-10 medjool dates, pitted + soaked in warm water for 1 hour
  • 1/2 – 2/3 whole vanilla bean, appx. 5-inches
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • rum or bourbon/whiskey

Preheat your oven to 325° F. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 3 minutes until evenly golden brown. Keep a close eye so it does not burn. Let cool.

Rinse soaked almonds. Place coconut, almonds, 2 cups of water, soaked dates, and the vanilla bean into your blender. Turn on low, working to high and let blend for 1-2 minutes until fully smooth. Add more water if desired.

Note: The mixture will seem extremely thick with only 2 cups of water, but when the pulp is strained through a nut milk bag it will be the consistency of cream. Add another cup of water for a slightly thinner strained consistency.

Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and pour the mixture into the bag, scraping all sides of the blender. Squeeze as much liquid through the bag as possible. Whisk in desired amount of nutmeg and serve over ice with a splash of your booze of choice (optional). Or, refrigerate (sans booze) in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

If a thicker consistency is desired, whisk in a few tablespoons of pulp.

Notes: This may take 1 trial before you figure out the exact consistency and sweetness you prefer. I liked using 3 cups, 9 dates.

I recommend using a nut milk bag for perfectly smooth nog (or nut milk) with no pulp. If you don’t mind a little pulp, cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer will do the trick.

Using 2 cups of water will yield approximately 1 1/2 cups nog.

Using 3 cups of water will yield approximately 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups nog.

Homemade Vegan Eggnog |

Not sure what to do with your leftover almond/coconut pulp? Then check out my almond pulp crackers and bread recipes. They’ll turn out even more delicious with this vanilla, date sweetened pulp!


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