My favorite recipes are ones that are simple, quick to make and full of flavor.
While I love spending time in the kitchen and making elaborate dishes, most of the time I don’t have the time, but that doesn’t mean I want to skimp on taste or food quality.
Lately I’ve been eating a lot of stews. They are easy to make and customize with what I’ve got in the fridge and pantry, and also are very comforting in the cool weather we’ve had in the Bahamas in the evenings for the past few months, which is rare.
A few days ago I whipped up a chickpea stew that reminded me of my recent trip to Costa Rica, which I will blog about soon. The recipe came about as a result of me needing to use up some items left over in my fridge from before my trip and also me craving a layer of flavors.
The end result was very satisfying and tasty, so I hope you try it out and let me know what you think!
Comforting chickpea stew (makes four servings)
One small onion, diced
1 ¼ cup of diced white mushrooms
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used cherry)
1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup of frozen corn kernels
1 ½ tsp ground sage
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp chipotle powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes (for garnish)
Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
1 1//4 cup of veggie broth
1 tbsp of tapioca starch or cornstarch
Oil for sautéing
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until transluscent, about two to three minutes. Add mushrooms and tomatoes, stirring occassionally and cook for about two minutes more.
Add tapioca starch to veggie broth and stir to combine, ensuring there are no clumps. Add broth/tapioca mix to pot and stir. Add chickpeas and spices except red pepper flakes and cilantro. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 20 minutes. Then add frozen corn and cook for another five minutes uncovered.
Garnish with red pepper flakes and cilantro and serve with rice.
Some days I feel like baking a whole cake and getting all fancy, other times I get a chocolate craving at 7 pm and just want a few bites of something sweet, without having leftovers in the fridge to tempt me the next day (and the next!).
That’s where this chocolate mug cake comes in. It’s dairy-free, egg-free and a cinch to make. You can make this in the microwave, but I decided to bake mine because I try to nuke things as little as possible.
I have made mug cakes in the past that have just been okay, but this chocolate baby came out moist, fluffy, gooey in the center and fudgy. I knew it was a win because my boyfriend finished it off for me after I got full.
If you enjoy this recipe, please like and comment and follow this blog for more content.
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Mix dry ingredients in a mug or ramekin. I used a ramekin. Add liquid ingredients and stir with a fork, being careful to scrape the bottom to combine the mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking after 20 minutes. You can also make this in the microwave by nuking it for one to three minutes, starting at one minute and cooking for 30 second intervals until desired doneness is reached. Let cool and enjoy.
I’ve only been back home from Greece for about two days and finally getting back into the swing of things. While I had an amazing time on my trip (which I will detail with posts and lots of photos on this space later) I did miss blogging and creating content. So I am very happy to be back, although my travel lust is already in swing and I am planning my next big trip.
Also, I can’t believe it’s October already! In no time at all it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving (which isn’t a holiday in the Bahamas but since we’re so close to the US, it might as well be) and then Christmas. Then a new year will be upon us and we will all be wondering where the time has gone. Normally the end of the year tends to get me a bit depressed because I think about all the things I haven’t done, goals I haven’t met, and the general pressure over holiday shopping etc.
But this year I am taking a different approach and instead reflecting on all the good things that have happened this year and all I have accomplished. I finally travelled to Greece, which was number one on my bucket list and my first time to Europe, I overcame my fear of swimming in the ocean, bathed in a hot spring, (another bucket list item), hiked up a volcano and I have been working on this blog as well as other creative projects and I feel a new sense of commitment to getting the things I want out of life.
Today I am sharing a simple breakfast/snack recipe with you. I love making intricate dishes, but sometimes you also want something that is simple and easy to make.
This mango chia seed parfait fits the bill. I hope you enjoy.
I know it’s September already, but technically the last day of summer is not until near the end of the month. So you still have time to squeeze in some summer bbqs and bonfires and pretend like you’re still a teenager, without a care in the world. (Or maybe you are, in which case I hate you!)
There were so many things I had planned for this season that didn’t get done – I was supposed to get back in the gym, work on my novel novels (I have so many draft pages of projects I start and stop), and also work on this blog more. But, life as usual gets in the way and as they say, God laughs at man’s plans.
Anyway, I couldn’t let summer pass me by without making ice cream. I bought a Cuisine Art ice cream maker last year and actually used it several times (unlike my dehydrator which is sitting on top of my fridge, catching dust, waiting sadly to be donated to the Salvation Army.)
I also had a super ripe jumbo avocado in the fridge, too ripe to eat on its own. So, I decided I can either make guac with it or ice cream. I chose ice cream, wouldn’t you? I know what you’re thinking, avocados in ice cream? Is this bish crazy? But before you close this screen, let me school you. Avocados are actually a fruit, so it makes sense to put them in ice cream. Considered a superfood, this nutritional powerhouse has lots of healthy fat, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and a host of other vitamins. The fattiness of the avocado also adds creaminess to this non-dairy ice cream, something once lacking in my homemade attempts.
Coconut cream also ups the ante on creaminess. The trick is it has to be cold and firm so make sure your can has been chilled in the fridge overnight. Whenever I go grocery shopping I normally buy a can or two of coconut cream or milk, and I always have one in the fridge since I use it so often to make vegan desserts.
A few of the problems I’ve encountered in the past is that my ice cream just comes out too hard, full of crystals. No matter what I did. Except for my first batch which was a peanut butter vanilla flavor, everything else ended up in the trash after a few bites.
To help solve that I used agave nectar instead of sugar (the liquid sweetener slows down crystal formation) and also added a special ingredient – agar agar. According, to One Green Planet, agar agar “is a mix of carbohydrates extracted from seaweed, specifically Red Sea algae.” But don’t freak out! It has no flavor, odor or color and can be used as a sub for “gelatin, to thicken soups, and make jams and jellies, ice cream, and other desserts that need to set.”
I found a packet of agar agar flakes in my local organic health store. You can also grab some from Amazon if it’s not found near you. My packet was pretty pricey, like all specialty foods imported to the Bahamas but I plan to use it later on to make cashew cheese and vegan Jello, so I think it’s worth the coins. It may be cheaper where you live. Plus a little goes a long way.
This recipe is so easy. It only has seven ingredients (one of them is water, does that even count?) and it’s totally healthier than store-bought frozen desserts with God knows what in them. It is also refined sugar-free. You will need a blender and an ice-cream maker for this recipe (I’m an appliance junkie, but honestly, how does a dessert lover live without an ice-cream maker??) and that’s it!
I hope you try this recipe out and let me know in the comments, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
1 can coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight
½ cup agave nectar
1 tbsp agar agar flakes
6 tablespoons of water
Juice of half a lime
Add agar agar flakes and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently, until flakes have dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside. Once cooled, the mixture should congeal.
Scoop avocado meat into a high speed blender. Add the top layer of the hardened coconut cream, being careful not to add any water that’s left at the bottom of the can. Store coconut water for a smoothie or other later use, or discard.
Add remaining ingredients, including agar agar, and blend on high until smooth.
Chill ice cream mix in the fridge for about 20 minutes before transferring to your ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions (I ran mine for about 30 minutes).
You can eat the ice cream immediately as a soft serve or transfer to an airtight freezer safe container (if using a pyrex dish, place a layer of plastic wrap over the ice cream, gently pressing out the air) and freeze for a few hours. Let ice cream defrost for a few minutes before scooping.
I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys!
Anyone familiar with Bahamian food knows that conch is a frequent feature in our delicacies. Bahamians love it so much that it’s pretty much everywhere. Conch chowder, cracked conch (basically deep-fried, battered conch served usually with fries), conch salad (think ceviche), conch fritters and the list goes on.
Top on my list was always conch fritters. There was a time in my life when I ate them every week. My friends and I would go to the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay, where every Sunday night without fail, I would order a plate of fritters and a Miami Vice daiquiri.
That was years before I gave up eating animals. If you truly love conch, the best thing to do is leave it off your plate. According to this 2017 Miami Herald article, conch populations in Florida are in trouble and researchers are worried about declining young conchs in the Bahamas.
“A marine preserve in the Bahamas famed for its abundance of queen conchs and intended to help keep the country’s population thriving is missing something: young conchs. Researchers studying the no-take park off Exuma, one of hundreds throughout the Caribbean, found that over the last two decades, the number of young has sharply declined as adult conchs steadily matured and died off. The population hasn’t crashed yet like it has in the Florida Keys, but in the last five years, the number of adult conchs in one of the Bahamas’ healthiest populations dropped by 71 percent,” the article reported.
Humans are overfishing this treasured resource, and if we aren’t careful, the Bahamian conch could one day go extinct. If that isn’t reason not to eat this sea-snail, I don’t know what is.
Lately I’ve been craving a vegan version of fritters. There’s just something about deep-fried food that makes you remember your childhood right? Sweet corn is a perfect substitute for conch in this recipe, but you can also use mushrooms and I’m sure they will turn out just as delish. I added a few sheets of salty seaweed sheets (I used Annie Chun’s Seaweed Snacks, wasabi flavor) to give it more of a “fishy” taste but you can totally leave them out.
I’m happy to report that these fritters hit the spot. Crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. But the dipping sauce is what really pushes it over the top.
If you make these, please don’t skimp out on the sauce, because that’s part of the experience!
I’ve been up to so much lately, working, (binging TV shows on Netflix) and planning last-minute details for my upcoming trip to Greece with the bf. I am beyond excited as it’s a dream come true for me. I’ve been daydreaming about visiting Greece since I was about 12 or 13.
After years of dreaming and postponing, I decided to finally make it happen. My boyfriend and I saved up for a few months, set the time aside and after all this anticipation, we are nearly off!! We will be island hopping, staying in a mix of hotels and Airbnbs. From what I’ve researched, Greece is pretty vegan friendly. Lots of fresh vegetables, salads, fruits, hummus, falafel etc. So I’m not too worried about going hungry! I’m also going to take lots of pictures and put together a guide for eating vegan in Greece based on my experiences.
But in the midst of all this planning, I’ve also been cooking up (and eating) a storm. The best of the bunch has been these vegan blueberry banana muffins that came out super fluffy, tasty and are filled with fresh blueberries that turn gooey as you bake them, exploding like candy in your mouth.
This recipe only calls for half a cup of sugar but the sweetness in the banana more than makes up for it. I don’t like things too sweet to be honest, and I can fool myself into thinking these are healthy because there’s not a ton of sugar in there, right? Also, the mashed banana replaces the need for oil, another win. Even without oil, these muffins came out moist (how much did that word make you cringe?) – not dry at all.
These muffins are perfect for breakfast or a quick snack.
I hope you give this recipe a try. If you do, please let me know how they turn out. This is definitely going to be my go-to muffin recipe from now on. Next time I will try them with nuts and shredded carrots. Nom, nom, nom.