Almond and Raspberry Breakfast Bars {Vegan}

Almond and Raspberry Breakfast Bars

One of my all time favorite Ina Garten recipe is her Raspberry Crumble Bars. It is safe to say that I made it more than ten times. And it has always been a hit with friends and family. However, as I read (and listen related podcasts – this one in particular) more and more about eating healthy and cooking with whole foods, I find myself looking for alternatives for healthier versions of my favorite dishes.

You know what they say; Knowledge is power. And as I flip through the pages of cookbooks full of recipes made with whole foods and healthier ingredients and learn from them, I find it much harder to go back to my old ways and bake things with lots of butter, sugar, and other processed ingredients. Knowing that we are what we eat, I am choosing to pay attention to what is going into my body and make changes in my cooking habits accordingly. Do I know everything there is to know and cook and bake that way? Probably not. But I am willing to give it a try.

Almond and Raspberry Breakfast Bars

With that being said, my journey of learning and experimenting with cooking (and baking) this way has been a rocky one. For one thing, I live on an island and it is hard to find certain ingredients. Even though I can order things online, not having them readily available is always a challenge. But more than that, the end product of cooking and baking with healthier ingredients requires a shift in my understanding of the tastes that I am used to.

Here is what I mean by that. Take this breakfast bar recipe as an example. Unlike Ina’s recipe, in this one there is no all-purpose flour, no granulated sugar, and no butter. Therefore, it is not as crumbly and sweet. Instead, I used a little bit of coconut oil, oat flour (that I made with processing old fashioned oats in my food processor), a little bit of honey, and a ripe banana to sweeten it. As a result, though it was still delicious, I can’t say it tasted the same.

Almond and Raspberry Breakfast Bars

And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t succeed on my first try. My first attempt was literally inedible. Since I wanted to try taking out the oil completely (by using a couple of ripe bananas instead), it yielded a crust that was too hard to eat. I also wanted to see if I could eliminate any type of sugar and solely rely on the sugar coming from the fruit. It was hard and tart, hence making it an inedible disaster. Read More…

Sorghum Pilaf with Lentils, Feta, and Grapes

Sorghum Pilaf with Lentils, Feta, and Grapes

The first time I heard about sorghum as a grain was when Erin, who writes one of my favorite food blogs, Naturally Ella published a recipe called Radish and Roasted Asparagus Sorghum Salad back in March. It looked and sounded so good that it made me want to give it a try. Luckily, I was still in Chicago and was able to pick some up and bring back with me to the island. If you are like me, have never heard of and/or cooked sorghum, allow me to explain. According to … Read More...

Cauliflower Steak Sandwich with Romesco Sauce {Video}

Cauliflower Steak Sandwich with Romesco Sauce

While I was in Chicago, I went to a place called Publican Quality Meats. It was a small bakery/butcher/coffee shop/market with a seating area. A little bit of everything in one place… The first time I went there, I was looking for a quick bite to eat. All I wanted was a small sandwich with a cold beverage. The menu on the large wall listed a little bit of everything, ranging from cheese & charcuterie plates to different kinds of sandwiches. Even though the butcher’s daily cheese plate … Read More...

Kale Waldorf Chicken Salad with Cashew & Avocado “Mayo”

Kale Waldorf Chicken Salad with Cashew and Avocado "Mayo"

I enjoyed every single minute of the time I spent in the restaurants of Chicago. I ate any and everything that my heart desired without thinking about the consequences. Somehow, I was able to justify it in my mind with the excuse of, I live on an island with limited resources (a.k.a. restaurants), and therefore, now that I am in a big city I should take advantage of it and eat anything I want. And as you can imagine, the variety of restaurants in Chicago did not disappoint and helped me … Read More...

Orange Polenta Loaf Cake with Almond & Oat Streusel

Orange Polenta Cake with Almond and Oat Streusel

Dwight left this morning and will be gone for a week. He went to Atlanta to take care of our taxes and see his family. I can’t say I am happy that he left, but I am glad that I’ll be able to catch up with the 3-weeks of blogging that I missed while I was in Chicago. So bare yourselves, lot’s of new recipes coming to your way. One thing that was so surprising to see in the supermarkets of Chicago was how people became obsessed with granola in the last couple of years. Living on a small … Read More...

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago has been my favorite city in the U.S. since the first time I visited it more than 10 years ago. Since then, I have been there many times. A couple of times, I even came pretty close to moving there, but unfortunately regardless of how much I wanted to call it home my attempts fell through. Though there are many reasons why I love this gorgeous city, I guess the main reason is the fact that you can never run out of things to do, places to go and eat. And yes, winters are very cold, … Read More...

Crispy Potato Cake with Garlic and Thyme

Crispy Potato Cake with Garlic and Thyme

I must be the only person in Chicago wishing for it to snow. It has been a week since I came here and it only snowed once. Understandably, people I met here are sick of the cold weather and looking forward to the spring. Don’t get me wrong, I am not this crazy person who enjoys the brutally cold winds of Chicago, but after living in the Caribbean for almost 3 years, I was in need of a little bit of a temperature change. And to be perfectly honest, what I love about this weather is the life … Read More...

Plum Galette

Plum Galette

Lately, I have been dreaming about Paris a lot. A romantic getaway, where I would stay at a charming bed and breakfast overlooking the silhouette of the Eiffel tower while waking up to the smell of freshly baked croissants every morning. I would eat my way through the city, one strawberry tart at a time, at every delicious patisserie sprinkled around the city. It would feel like they are calling my name. Paris, to me, is always a good idea. My first visit to this magical city was with my … Read More...