leek, fennel, apple + walnut soup // the first messpin it!apple rejects // the first messpin it!leek, fennel, apple + walnut soup // the first messpin it!ingredients // the first messpin it!
I found out that our new house was a done deal when I was at work. In the moment, I was thrilled and hugging basically everyone that entered my line of sight. The sorta stress-y negotiation bit was behind us and whoa! We would have a house soon. When my shift was done, I drove home down all of the empty country roads. I was getting ready for bed when I started feeling choked up and teary eyed. It wasn’t because of barely-containable elation either. I was overwhelmed at the thought that my life would be completely different, that the change in my day-to-day would be so great. Renovation projects would replace weekends away. Savings plans for anticipated future expenses would take precedence over any sort of prolonged travel (and certainly over a new pair of ankle boots). Our new, but seriously very old, home would demand some priority rearrangement.

That overwhelmed feeling washed away soon enough, pretty much right after a cry-fest where I told my mom that I didn’t want to “live like a gross hobo” because our creaky character home was going to bleed us dry. Everyone has assured me that these things take time and that it’s insane to try and tackle everything at once. I’m slowly beginning to accept their advice.

We got the keys last week and I’ve been working on the absolute terror of a garden/yard with my mom every day while the weather’s decent. We’ve made progress on the two years of wild neglect out there. There’s an ex-pond feature buried under piles of rocks, tarp and dirt. Grubs in the grass. Weeds that come up to my neck. Trees and shrubs so out of control. Lots of half-baked plans that need cleaning up and a fresh start. My mom is a serious badass, so we’re getting there.

There was a giant yew in front of one of the dining room windows. The house is starved for natural light and this thing was in ugly shape, so the plan was to take it down–maybe with the help of a professional. There were bees lightly buzzing around this thing when we rolled up to it one morning, so the possibility of a nest forming had entered the picture. So my mom starts trimming it down. The bees are stirring/swarming a bit more. Then she started laying into it with a hacksaw and a THIS ENDS NOW kinda vibe. I’m keeping busy cleaning up the branches when a bee lands right on my hand. Feeling the buzzz and seeing it’s little wing flicks, I yelped and leaped away, waving my hands around.

At this point my mother had sawed the entire thing down, glanced only slightly shamefully at my wussy ass, pointed a finger straight at my face, and said “You need to toughen up.” Real casual with the life lesson there! ;)

This soup is only slightly related to the backbreaking insanity that I just described. It’s cooled off a bit, so the thought of hot soup and a crust of bread after some time spent outdoors is rather appealing. I love fennel with leeks and apples in a salad situation, all sprinkled with toasted + chopped walnuts, so I thought a warm version of that might feel just right. Turmeric is kind of an anti-bad-vibe shield for inflammation of all kinds, so a hefty spoonful of that went in for my achy muscles. It dyes the soup mustard-yellow, which is kind of cheerful in its own special way. I pre-toast the walnuts in the pan, simmer them along with the veg and purée them into the soup itself. Insane toasty walnut flavour comes through with all of the leeks, fennel and lightly sweet apple and makes the whole thing a touch creamier. Kinda awesome.

leek, fennel, apple + walnut soup // the first messpin it!leek, fennel, apple + walnut soup // the first messpin it!leek, fennel, apple + walnut soup // the first messpin it!

leek, fennel, apple + walnut soup with turmeric
serves: 4-6
notes: Have you cooked with turmeric before? Be careful, friends. It dyes any and all things bright, acid yellow–LIKE FOREVER.

soup ingredients:
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
3 leeks, white + light green parts chopped (discard green tops or use them for stock)
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves minced
1 fennel bulb, cored and chopped (reserve a few fronds for garnish)
1 medium apple, peeled, cored + chopped
1-2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
salt + pepper
4 cups vegetable stock

to serve:
maple syrup
fresh black pepper
reserved fennel fronds
more toasty walnuts

Heat the grapeseed oil in a large soup pot over medium. Add the chopped leeks and thyme. Stir and sauté the leeks until they are a bit soft, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped fennel and apples. Stir everything up a bit. Add the turmeric and stir to coat all of the vegetables evenly. Sauté the vegetables until the fennel is starting to soften, another 4 minutes. Add the walnuts and stir them in. Season the whole thing with salt and pepper. Add the vegetable stock and stir.

Bring the pot to a boil and simmer until all of the vegetables/apples are very soft, about 12-15 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat. Carefully blend the mixture in batches until totally smooth. Check the soup for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Bring the puréed soup to a boil and serve hot with drizzles of maple syrup, fresh black pepper, fennel fronds and more toasted walnuts.

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  • Beth Young17/10/2013 - 5:38 am

    BEAUTIFUL colours! And such wonderful photography! We eat a lot of fennel in Italy so will definitely give this a go!ReplyCancel

  • Harriet17/10/2013 - 7:00 am

    This recipe looks so seasonally delicious (and beautiful!). Also, your story made me laugh out loud, parents are hilarious. But I bet your garden is going to be amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Emma Galloway17/10/2013 - 8:55 am

    LOVE this and can so relate. We bought our house (back in NZ) a few weeks before I was due with our first kid. It’s shabbiness was overwhelming, thankfully I was in full nesting mode so climbing up on shaky ladders (true story-imagine crazy big belly lady) to clean the years of cobwebs from the window frames was totally doable. The oven on the other hand was another story. It was so feral I out-right refused to clean it, or use it. The plan was to chuck it and buy a new one… until a few months later when I bit the bullet and cleaned the damn thing. Realising full well that we had no extra cash to buy a new one! You will get past this and look back and smile. You own your own home, it’s YOURS! That is super cool xx
    P.s LOVING this soup.ReplyCancel

  • Emma17/10/2013 - 8:58 am

    Sounds like such a fun project you’re taking on. I can imagine it’s a huge amount of work but think of the perfect home you’ll have when it’s all over :)
    Gorgeous soup. All flavours I love.ReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen17/10/2013 - 9:02 am

    Oh, wow. Look at that incredible, vibrant color! I wonder if I can use fresh turmeric root instead…I’ll try!

    And congrats for your new house! I’m sure it’ll turn into a lovely home.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley17/10/2013 - 9:57 am

    Congrats on the house!! I can completely relate to this post, except for the part where your mom chops down trees. :) For the past 2.5 years we’ve had never-ending projects and are now on to old house #2. It’s intense but rewarding. The hardest part is for me is feeling like I want it to all be done right now. We just want to feel settled! I’ve gotten over that with the “new” house but am still itching to be able to unpack everything. Slow + steady. xoxo Now, soup me, please!ReplyCancel

  • Kulsum17/10/2013 - 10:08 am

    I think you shall make your house beautiful just like this soup. I have many (MANY) turmeric stained wooden spoons and your photo reminded me of that. ah!ReplyCancel

  • ana17/10/2013 - 12:20 pm

    My mum is almost as badass as yours ;-)
    Amazing idea for the soup! I got used to having yellow stains around my kitchen. Gotta love that root!ReplyCancel

  • Reesa17/10/2013 - 1:22 pm

    Beautifully written post, and gorgeous looking soup! Not the sort of thing I’d usually make (I find leeks fussy and don’t loooove walnuts), but you’ve definitely inspired me! You’re so tough out there, it makes me want to try something new. I bet I’ll be glad.ReplyCancel

  • ebie17/10/2013 - 2:28 pm

    Congrats on the home! My dude and I also recently bought a little fixer-upper; we’ve been showering outdoors for two months now while we painstakingly correct 70 years of bad tile, uneven wall studs and poor ventilation in the one and only bathroom. We completed the last touch last night — refinishing the chipped-up vintage tub with a totally noxious epoxy — and when it’s officially cured in three days, and we can finally shower indoors again, I believe I’d like to celebrate with this soup. (It’s about time, too, because the romance and novelty of showering outside is quickly wearing off as really cold weather sets in!)ReplyCancel

  • Juliette17/10/2013 - 3:39 pm

    Congratulations on your new home!! Your mom sounds like an amazing badass person =)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn17/10/2013 - 5:27 pm

    Love the sound of your new pad; so much character and life in it. This soup is totally perfect too, bright and rich and flavoursome and good.ReplyCancel

  • Claire (Eat Well. Party Hard.)17/10/2013 - 8:09 pm

    “You need to toughen up.” Daaaaaamn, life lesson indeed! Huge congrats and best wishes as the new adventure gets underway :)ReplyCancel

  • Jenn Radford17/10/2013 - 11:23 pm

    Reading about your combined fear/excitement about buying your own house totally struck a chord with me! The elation from being told that you “won” to the intense reality of So. Much. Debt is a roller coaster. 2 years after my house buying, my garden is still a bit of a shambles, but it’s home.

    I’ve been loving your blog for a while now, I am in Australia, so I have to store all your recipes upside down so the seasons suit me better. We’ve had a realyl mild start to our Spring on the West Coast, so I will probably give this recipe a try on the weekend anyway!ReplyCancel

  • Fresh and Foodie18/10/2013 - 11:26 am

    I am dying over this photography. I’d seriously hang that soup on my wall. Wow.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy18/10/2013 - 2:44 pm

    Priorities! Savings! Adulthood! It’s tough stuff, this living-life business. I’m with you. Every time things seem to be running smoothly, or the hard stuff has been sorted out momentarily, something new comes up. Good thing we have soup, and soothing tasks like gardening, and mothers and mentors to push us to be a bit more bad ass ourselves. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Jacqui18/10/2013 - 5:07 pm

    We bought our house about 1 1/2 years ago. Our house is pretty old too and your yard sounds just like the disarray that ours was in! But it’s coming along, inside and out. It always seems daunting the tasks to do, but I still get excited every time we start something new. Gorgeous soup!ReplyCancel

  • sandra18/10/2013 - 8:24 pm

    I made this dish and it was fabulous – you can see mine over at meadowscooks.blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • ara20/10/2013 - 10:34 pm

    Just made this for my mom last night with curry powder instead of plain turmeric and it was amazing! She asked for the recipe and I can’t wait to make it again :) Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • […] while other lentils will get a bit mushy. At the top of my “to try” list is this leek fennel apple and walnut soup, also from The First Mess. The unique flavor combination (not to mention the gorgeous photo) caught […]ReplyCancel

  • Ian11/11/2013 - 9:56 pm

    Great story and amazing photos you post on your blog. This recipe in particular looks like something that will taste amazing this time of year. It’s funny how the palette changes with the seasons. The flavors of apple, fennel, and leek are so bold yet seem to complement each other well. Can’t wait to make this!ReplyCancel

  • Diana15/11/2013 - 8:07 am

    I saw this recipe in my inbox and made it the same day. It’s a lovely soup and my husband enjoyed it very much. I topped it with home made croutons!ReplyCancel

  • slywlf15/11/2013 - 10:12 am

    Oh my that was fun – and funny! And I can so relate to the panic/elation conundrum, as I am in the final stages of selling my home/business of 10 years and moving to a serious fixer-upper with a dear friend who has been my rock since my husband died. She sounds a lot like your mother – a dynamo who never says never ;-)
    I was referred here by 101 Cookbooks and I’m so glad I came! Sounds so delicious – you now have a new RSS subscriber ;-)
    As for turmeric staining – hoo boy don’t I know it! I was turned on to warm turmeric milk by another site, and quickly discovered how that stuff will stain anything it comes in contact with! The one thing I have found that helps is as soon as you can pat a paste of baking soda and water on the spot(s) and leave it. Success will depend on the material involved; stainless steel and glass will eventually come clean – plastic and counter laminate …. not so much – oh well – I like yellow ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Audrey15/11/2013 - 5:00 pm

    I just made this. I used roasted almonds instead of walnuts, and added a parsnip instead of leeks, stirred in some kale at the end, then topped it with a bit of honey, pepitas and greek yogurt and a dash of curry powder. Soooo delish! Thanks for the inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • teague17/11/2013 - 2:45 am

    Your mom sounds awesome! It’s always nice to have someone to share some tough love every once in a while, and then a big bowl of soup to cheer you up after! Looks delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - egginon23/11/2013 - 8:30 pm

    Wow this looks so so delicious! Perfect for chilly fall days!ReplyCancel

  • […] The original recipe I found here. I tweaked it a bit. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] This flavour combination sounds fantastic: leek, fennel, apple, and walnut soup  […]ReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Whole Nourishment30/11/2013 - 2:09 pm

    I made this for lunch today to go with a beluga lentil salad. It was simple to throw together and so delicious. The walnuts add a wonderful body and the yellow color from the turmeric is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Bartek14/12/2013 - 4:13 pm

    Today was our first major snowfall here in Toronto. This soup was warming and it reminded me of autumn, although excited for tobogganing and the winter like, this was lovely :) Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • […] Suppe war eine Lauch-Fenchel-Walnuss-Suppe, die ich am Dienstag schon gekocht hatte und die ich zusammen mit ein paar extra Adukibohnen in den […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek Fennel Walnut + Apple Soup with Turmeric by, The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] leek, fennel, apple + walnut soup with turmeric – a bright yellow and comforting wintry dish perfect for warming our guests […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek, fennel, apple and walnut make up the simple ingredients in this vegan meal. (via The First Mess) […]ReplyCancel

  • Ellen Lederman13/07/2014 - 3:09 pm

    I just discovered your blog when I searched for vegan recipe using fennel (Trader Joe’s had two bulbs for $2.49). Wow! This soup was fantastic. So gourmet and unique. I saved a few pieces of the leeks and fennel to float in the soup so it wasn’t all pureed and roasted the leeks and fennel in the oven before putting them into the soup. Soup is so healthy, with the veggies, walnut, and turmeric (almost felt I didn’t have to take my turmeric supplement after having this for lunch!).

    I’ll be back to visit..often. You’re amazing—great writing and photography, along with fantastic-sounding recipes. You really have a neck for food styling/presentation….I tried to drizzle/swirl the maple syrup on top, but it just immediately fell down into the soup and blurred…what is the secret?

    Thanks so much for such a gorgeous and incredibly tasty labor of love…ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright14/07/2014 - 8:55 am

      Hey Ellen! Thanks for your incredibly kind comment. And honestly I’m not sure what the secret is with maple syrup drizzling. Maybe I just had a really viscous batch or something?! I just pour it right from the bottle!
      Thanks again.

  • Terry04/08/2014 - 9:18 am

    Thanks for the recipe (I’ll add apple to the fennel/leek soup I am making today, and maybe some spices.) About turmeric: we have an ancient formica kitchen counter; I have learned not to stress too much about the turmeric stains, because they do indeed fade away over time—about 2 weeks.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea26/10/2014 - 5:47 pm

    Just made this soup for my family dinner, and even the picky eaters loved it! Thanks for the recipe – i have trouble knowing what to do with ingredients like fennel and leeks!ReplyCancel

  • michelle29/10/2014 - 9:52 pm

    I made this and thought it came out tasting a little acidic. Maybe adding milk or something creamy would’ve helped?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright31/10/2014 - 9:07 am

      Hi Michelle, I’m curious on why this came out acidic for you because there aren’t any overly acidic ingredients in this recipe. Perhaps the apple you used was a bit tart? Or maybe your turmeric was a bit more potent than mine and contributed to the bitter/acidic sensation? Either way, whenever I have an overly acidic food, I always try to combat that taste by balancing out with either a) more fat (this soup has the walnuts pureed right in, so this shouldn’t be necessary because they add to the fat content), or b) sweetness. Milk tends to be both lightly fatty and sweet, so this could help. Sorry that this didn’t work out for you this time and hopefully this reply helps a bit :)

  • Fennel | Balancing Glass Jars07/12/2014 - 6:18 pm

    […] with Fennel, Arugula & Lemon Leak, fennel, apple & walnut soup with tumeric Braised Fennel with Safrom & […]ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Bell22/12/2014 - 8:01 am

    im about to make this. It has 2 of my favorite vegetables. I’m concerned about the walnuts. Do they blend to smooth consistency with the veggies? Sounds picky icky but I’m funny about crunchy things mixed into smooth. I’m thinking the nutty flavor will be great as well as nutrients.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright22/12/2014 - 12:36 pm

      Hi Jennifer, I used a high speed blender (Vitamix) to puree my soup, so mine was perfectly smooth. I’m not sure on results with a regular blender or food processor. I’ve seen some versions from people who made it on Instagram and it looks to have a little bit of texture from the nuts… If you’re a bit skittish on texture and you’re working with a more typical blender or food processor, I’d save some toasted chopped walnuts for garnish instead.

  • […] get bored with fennel. Raw in salads? Yes. Braised with leeks? Yes (and forthcoming on the blog). Puréed in soup? Yum. Caramelized and melted with a burrata pasta? Oh […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek, Fennel, Apple + Walnut Soup with Turmeric.  This soup from The First Mess is gorgeous! Plus! Code word: Turmeric. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] get a little creative, you can never get bored with fennel. Raw in salads? Yes. Puréed in soup? Yes. Caramelized and melted with Burrata pasta? Oh […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek, Fennel, and Walnut Soup […]ReplyCancel

  • […] get bored with fennel. Raw in salads? Yes. Braised with leeks? Yes (and forthcoming on the blog). Puréed in soup? Yum. Caramelized and melted with Burrata pasta? Oh my.While poking around the interwebs with the […]ReplyCancel

  • […] try new things and get a little creative, you can never get bored with fennel. Raw in salads? Yes. Puréed in soup? Yum. Caramelized and melted with Burrata pasta? Oh […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek, Fennel, Apple + Walnut Soup with Turmeric […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek Fennel Apple Walnut Soup […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek Fennel Apple Walnut Soup […]ReplyCancel

  • Kristen Summers20/10/2015 - 8:30 pm

    Amazing!!! Made this tonight after a tiring, chilling day at the farm and it was PERFECT!! my husband doesn’t even like soup (is that possible??) and he ate this right up. Thank you for this amazingness in a bowl :)ReplyCancel

  • Steve22/10/2015 - 4:10 pm

    Thanks for the warning on turmeric stains. It’s definitely an effective dye. This is a really creative soup by the way. Love your stuff.ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek, Fennel, Apple +Walnut Soup with Turmeric […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek, fennel, apple and walnut soup with turmeric (Just because I had chopped leek and fennel left and I had all the other ingredients for this soup. It was an impulse prep.)—very good […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek Fennel Apple & Walnuts Soup with Turmeric (Vegan, Paleo) from The First mess  […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Leek, Fennel, Apple, & Walnut Soup with Tumeric […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Recipe: Pickled Fennel Citrus Salad, Roasted Carrots & Red Onions with Fennel & Mint, Leek, Fennel, Apple & Walnut Soup with Turmeric […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Recipe: Leek, Fennel, Apple & Walnut Soup with Turmeric, Kohlrabi & Leek Soup, Sauteed Cabbage & Leeks, Simple Slow-Roasted Leeks […]ReplyCancel

  • RMC24/12/2016 - 4:01 pm

    Hi, I am about to make this. Do i read correctly that the green leaves are not included? Just the white and light green lower portion?? ThanksReplyCancel

    • Laura26/12/2016 - 2:26 pm

      Sorry to reply so late! Yes, you’re only using the white and light green parts of the leeks.

  • […] Leek, Fennel, Apple+Walnut Soup with Tumeric from The First Mess: The color of this soup alone is enough to make me want to dive in face-first. However, I do have some manners (thanks, mom and dad) so, instead I will dive in with a grilled cheese. Locavore tip: Use the dark green parts of the fennel to make your own vegetable stock for the soup! What’s that saying? Waste not, want not? Well, it’s true! […]ReplyCancel

  • Freya16/10/2017 - 4:19 pm

    This soup looks sooooo good! The colour alone is just amazing and I love the idea of mixing fruit in with a veggie soup – gives it a nice sweetness to undercut the savoury taste. I never really cook with fennel though, so wish me luck!ReplyCancel

  • Turmeric vs. Curcumin08/11/2017 - 12:42 pm

    […] Leek, Fennel, Apple, Walnut Soup With Turmeric – The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Nicole04/02/2018 - 11:35 pm

    I’ve made this soup a few times and love it! I couldn’t find fennel one time and used celeriac and it was delicious! I’m making this again, but for someone who can’t eat nuts. Any thoughts on a substitute or should I just leave out the walnuts?ReplyCancel

    • Laura09/02/2018 - 12:05 pm

      I would leave out the walnuts and vigorously stir in a 1/4 cup of tahini after you’ve pureed the soup. The tahini will give it some body and a little bit of fat too, similar to the role of the walnuts.

romanesco curry with lemongrass + marcona almonds // the first messpin it!romanesco curry with lemongrass + marcona almonds // the first messpin it!romanesco curry with lemongrass + marcona almonds // the first messpin it!
I had huge plans to do a 4-5 day juice feast/fast this week, I was almost treating it like no big thang. I’ve done it before and it felt like my body was kind of hankering for it. “We have tons of greens in the garden and a tree full of apples. I’ll only need a couple things. It’ll be sooooo easy.” I had ramped up my consumption of raw fruit and veg in order to ease into it and then… it was the weekend.

Lots of driving around with Mark for new house stuff, lining all the things and services up, road snacks + coffees, thoughts of demolishing the kitchen completely and follow-up, dread-tinged thoughts of assembling IKEA cabinets with an Alan key and hopefully a beer nearby, stressing about the heap of things to move and the mere existence of the heaps of things. I’ve purchased a preparatory economy-sized bag of chia seeds, a party box of wine glasses, various hydrangeas, and a new food processor. We still don’t have a bed. Packing up your life and moving onto a new thing. Throwing work into the mix and all of those other weird things like trying to get an adequate amount of sleep. It’s a lot. One week from today until it’s really real. Five days of liquified vegetables have to wait.

And, kind of hilariously, I’ve been beating myself up over it. Every snack and meal has been inwardly justified by a need to build up some energy stores (or whatever you’re building up when you’ve been eating hella chocolate-covered raisins). We managed to get a lot of things checked off the list over the weekend, but there was still plenty of salty snack eating while we marathoned The League on the couch. Oh, and that night I came home way past my usual dinner time after spending a whole day road-snacking and made myself a huge bowl of pasta and promptly went to sleep afterward. Totally not my style. Totally was thinking about my dashed plans for juicy-ness, mostly guilt-tripping myself over it and not getting any closer to that “Whooo-ey, so detoxed and vibe-y” feeling.

All of that stuff is so dumb though. It’s just life happening at the pace of life. Sure, a juice fast might help me rule the world a little bit more, but knowing when and how to prioritize certain things is going to keep me in a better spot long-term. So I stopped believing my own bullshit and started focusing on being here and being completely okay with being right here. This article from Kate Bartolotta, guys. Pro tip: read it.

I ate something like this when we were in NY (along with, yes, lots of excellent green juices). It was a little starter/small plate, but it was easily my favourite thing of the whole trip. Just perfectly steamed cauliflower with a super refined coconut-milk curry sauce at the base of the plate and crunchy bits on top. I knew I could fix that up with ease at home and add a few personal preference-driven changes. I bust up the romanesco into large-ish pieces and roast them for a bit of golden crust. I fix up the curry sauce portion like I normally would, but strain it out to keep it easy on the eating front. The pieces are bathed in that rich, fragrant, and lightly golden sauce. As you cut them up, you can kind of drag the pieces through the curry sauce, maybe throw some cooked grain into the mix if you like. Anyway, it’s easy and warming. Total feel-good eats for right now.

romanesco // the first messpin it!romanesco curry with lemongrass + marcona almonds // the first messpin it!romanesco curry with lemongrass + marcona almonds // the first messpin it!

roasted romanesco curry with lemongrass + marcona almonds
serves: 3-4 as a main + maybe 6ish as a side?
notes: If you decide to steam this for that more pure + virtuous vibe, place them in your steamer basket and let ’em go for about 9-11 minutes. Remove them from the basket and give the pieces a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper before you pour the sauce around.

1 head of romanesco, busted up into large-ish pieces and florets
grapeseed, coconut or other heat-tolerant oil
salt + pepper
decent knob of coconut oil
1 sliced shallot or 1/4 cup sliced red onion
1 mild hot pepper, halved + seeded
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled + sliced
peel of 1 lime (remove as much pith as you can)
handful of cilantro stems
1 piece of lemongrass, bashed up a bit with your knife
1-2 tsp ground turmeric
1 can of full fat coconut milk
2 tsp coconut sugar
big handful of marcona almonds
chopped cilantro
+ cooked quinoa/rice/millet for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and place the romanesco pieces on top. Brush all of them with oil and sprinkle salt + pepper on all of the pieces evenly. Roast the romanesco in the oven for about 25-35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

While the romanesco is roasting, start making the curry sauce-y bit. Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots/red onions and sauté them until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the hot pepper and ginger. Stir it about. Add the lime peels, cilantro stems, lemongrass and turmeric. Sauté and stir the whole mix for a few minutes to cook out the raw-ness of the turmeric. Pour in the coconut milk and stir to evenly mix the turmeric throughout. Stir in the coconut sugar. Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer it for about 10 minutes. Season the whole thing to your liking and then strain out all of the chunky bits.

To serve, arrange the roasted romanesco on a serving platter or individual plates. Pour the curry sauce around the florets. Garnish with the marcona almonds and chopped cilantro. Serve with cooked grains if you wish.

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  • thecitygourmand03/10/2013 - 4:48 am

    A nice, thoughtful post. I’m glad you’re happy with your meal choices because they look amazing. We’d be hard pressed to find romanesco broccoli here in Australia!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle03/10/2013 - 5:58 am

    Mmm, sounds fantastic and simple. I agree that “knowing when and how to prioritize certain things” is key, but it’s a constant assessment and re-assessment to find that balance. We’re only human :) and the article you linked to is the perfect reminder to revel in that.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar03/10/2013 - 6:29 am

    This curry looks soooo good! Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan03/10/2013 - 8:02 am

    Annnnd but of course you have hit it out of the park..again! I hear your words about the believing your own bullshit. Come now, life is wayyyy too short to fret about that shiz, just eat pasta, sleep, and be happy!ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf03/10/2013 - 8:21 am

    That article is brilliant. Also, so are your photos. I absolutely love the one with the spoons. Gorgeous post Laura.ReplyCancel

  • Ali @ Inspiralized03/10/2013 - 8:45 am

    You are incredibly talented. Your recipes are amazing and your photography makes it look that much better. I wish one day I could take as beautiful photographs as you do! What camera/lens do you use for photos like this?ReplyCancel

  • Elvira03/10/2013 - 11:32 am

    This recipe is so inviting! They way you transform a humble ingredient like the broccolo romanesco is a delight for taste and eyes. Your blog is just beautiful. A presto! :)ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea//TheNakedFig03/10/2013 - 11:36 am

    I just posted yesterday about similar anxiety with my juice fast last week. Glad to know I’m not alone in some of my feelings about it. If it turns in to something that makes you feel bad about yourself, let it go. It will be there when we are ready for it.

    In other news, this looks DIVINE! I can’t wait to try it. I love love love romanesco and curries. You are brilliant and inspiring.

    love and light,

  • Katie @ Produce on Parade03/10/2013 - 2:07 pm

    Wow, what an absolutely beautiful dish! Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey03/10/2013 - 2:20 pm

    Sometimes the best stuff in life can be so ridden with anxiety that it’s hard to look past, and enjoy the times in life that are full of excitement and joy. It’s not always the easiest balancing act. I’ve never made curry. My husband and I have both had a very negative experience when we had it in a restaurant. But I totally love the flavors here; looks light and beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Emily von Euw03/10/2013 - 7:18 pm

    Oh, how I missed you.


  • Sophia04/10/2013 - 5:50 am

    Thanks for the link to the NYT article – really enjoyed reading it.

    I tend to plan similar things like your juice fast when life gets a little crazy – like ramp up mileage big time the week I am moving house, plan to hit the gym at least 5 times when I know work will keep me in the office past midnight most days and leaving me with too little sleep as it is – I think it’s may subconscious way of trying to regain control when life gets a little out of hand and stressful and when the best thing to do would actually just to give myself a break and make sure I am being kind to myself and my body and maybe leave the intense exercise regimen, diet etc until a time when things are quieter again. That being said, I think this dish is the perfect way of being kind to yourself when life gets a bit hectic – now that temperatures are dropping, I have been enjoying a few similar bowls and they are so delicious, the mix of vegetables, some crunch and some grains when I feel hungry or leafy greens when I want something a little lighter is perfect. I like serving these bowls with some grated cucumber and lime on the side – the acidity from the line and the cool crunch from the cucumber pairs incredibly well with these kind of curries (out of all places, I picked this up from a chain restaurant in London!).

    PS I love the ingredient shot, absolutely stunning.ReplyCancel

  • Sara04/10/2013 - 8:42 am

    Made this recipe last night substituting regular almonds, basil and increasing the pepper content and loved it. Served with lentil buckwheat kashi. Thanks for the inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • dishing up the dirt04/10/2013 - 12:01 pm

    Lovely post. Beautiful recipe!ReplyCancel

  • The Cheerful Kitchen06/10/2013 - 2:45 pm

    This is so delightfully simple and gorgeous! I often read curry recipes and think, “I won’t be making that because it has seven ingredients I’m not buying just for this one dish,” but this recipes is accessible and sounds absolutely delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Gintare @Gourmantine08/10/2013 - 4:28 pm

    The 4-5 days juice feast sounds quite tough to be honest, but glad to hear you’re taking it easy on yourself. After all, life is meant for enjoying to the fullest :)
    By the way, the recipe sounds absolutely delightful and your photos are jut stunning!ReplyCancel

  • I would also find happiness in following up eating hella chocolate covered raisins with a perfect platter of this glorious dish! Good luck with your move.ReplyCancel

  • Kasey08/10/2013 - 11:42 pm

    I’ve only recently discovered romanesco and I’m sold! I always *intend* to meal plan or do a week of really good, clean eating, but things always tend to get in the way (like my out-of-control carb addiction…) In any case, I hope that the move goes smoothly and you get around to that juice fest ;) In the meantime, this sounds lovely. xReplyCancel

  • Ashley10/10/2013 - 9:29 am

    Yup. To all of it. xoReplyCancel

  • sarah10/10/2013 - 11:32 pm

    I appreciate you so much. All kinds of things I needed to hear in this post.
    What beautiful photographs! xoReplyCancel

  • […] for beautiful pictures, I had to make this dish as an adaptation from Laura’s recent post on The First Mess.  The mild flavor of the romanesco screams to be added to a curry. It absorbs the flavors of the […]ReplyCancel

  • Irina @ wandercrush12/10/2013 - 2:58 am

    So much simple truth in that article.
    I remember the first time I saw romanesco at the farmer’s market, I felt like the mutant veg gods had smiled upon me that day. I guess not much has changed, aside form the mutant association :) Beautiful photos, as always. I love Brassicaceae with nutty accompaniments!ReplyCancel

  • dervla14/10/2013 - 10:51 pm

    your photography! to die for.ReplyCancel

  • sara forte15/10/2013 - 11:30 am

    Good luck, lady! I HATE moving. I mean, maybe if it was into a place I owned and was thrilled to make it “ours” I would be excited, but the whole transport your life deal makes me a crazy lady. It may be me mad I keep collecting shit when I say I am not a collector of shit. I’m just not a fan. I am however a fan of, like you said, not listening to your own bullshit. I keep a nugget from Cheryl Strayed’s book about not listening to the voices that are telling you lies and negative things, it’s essentially bullshit. You are a wise woman and we’re all guilty of getting caught in it. Best of luck in the process, miss. Juice will be on the other side.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Young16/10/2013 - 6:10 am

    Lovely colour combinations! This looks like it’s one of those things that is so colourful that it MUST be really good for you too!ReplyCancel

  • Cara18/10/2013 - 1:52 pm

    So lovely. I look forward to romanesco coming into the markets every year, but I never do anything more exciting with it than a simple roast. I’m so excited to try this recipe! You’re the best.ReplyCancel

  • slywlf15/11/2013 - 10:35 am

    This line “stressing about the heap of things to move and the mere existence of the heaps of things” totally had me rolling with laughter, as it totally sums up my life at the moment ;-) My move is less than two weeks away, and even after getting rid of so much stuff my local thrift store couldn’t take any more I still have too much stuff! The Salvation Army is going to be very pleased (I hope!) on my next trip to town! My decision was to go for a more Zen lifestyle in my new home, so I am eliminating anything that doesn’t fit the criteria ‘do I absolutely love it or do I absolutely need it?’ – if it doesn’t fits it gits! So far I have eliminated 90% of my books (sacrilege!) and about the same of my CDs and DVDs, all of my VHS and most of my LPs. As soon as I get closer to D-Day – departure day ;-) – I will take the last of my winter clothes to the thrift store. After all, I am leaving the Catskill winters behind in favor of Florida – yay!!!
    Now I need to find some romanesco – the last time I saw some at my farm stand it was –well — kinda sad looking – not very appetizing. If I can’t find any I’ll try it with cauliflower and/or regular broccoli as it looks too yummy not to make ;-)ReplyCancel

  • […] 2. Roasted Romanesco Curry with Lemongrass + Marcona Almonds from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Jan Plotkin31/03/2014 - 7:32 pm

    Beautiful dish! I am making it tonight. Our local Coop did not have romanesco today, so I am going to substitute cheddar cauliflower (orange color) and broccoli. I love the simplicity of this dish and we will eat it with some free range, stir fried chicken and fresh cilantro. Thanks for sharing such beautiful and tasty dishes with all of us!ReplyCancel

  • Cocopetitpois04/06/2014 - 6:04 pm

    Swapped the romanesco for cauliflower (that’s what I had in the fridge!) and served it on red rice. Amazing! I love the simplicity of the dish. Sometimes, we try to do too much. :)ReplyCancel

  • […] from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] 1. Roasted Romanesco Curry with Lemongrass and Marcona Almonds (via First Mess) […]ReplyCancel

moroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew // the first messpin it!moroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew // the first messpin it!View full post »

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  • Emma26/09/2013 - 5:17 am

    I posted a very similar recipe just yesterday- My red lentil + root vegetable tagine! I love the fragrant spices and sweetness from the dried fruit.ReplyCancel

  • Harriet26/09/2013 - 5:18 am

    I have a similar recipe in regular rotation during the cooler months, but I think yours might be better! I love the Moroccan combo of lemon, cinnamon and tomato. Also adding dried fruit to anything is guaranteed to make it doubly delicious! Big pot meals for the win :)ReplyCancel

  • Danielle26/09/2013 - 5:27 am

    This is so, so perfect for cooler weather! Thank you. I love how Moroccan(-inspired) cuisine combines sweet and savory so deliciously.ReplyCancel

  • Kristen26/09/2013 - 7:09 am

    This looks way better than the version sold at Urban Herbivore…and it doesn’t come with a side of hipster abuse!ReplyCancel

  • Lana26/09/2013 - 7:49 am

    Have you done a post on kitchen gear? If so….I’ve missed it :). I’d love to see the pots, pans, baking sheets, etc etc. I make do with what I’ve accumulated over time, but I’d love to know what you’d recommend to have if I purposefully shopped for an excellent kitchen set-up :)ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright26/09/2013 - 8:14 am

      Hey Lana! I’m thinking of doing something like that, along with a pantry basics kind of thing when I move into the new house. So possibly soon! :)

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar26/09/2013 - 7:57 am

    I love a good stew like this – especially in fall. Looks lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Claire (Eat Well. Party Hard.)26/09/2013 - 7:57 am

    “She mixed a quart-box of tomato soup and a jar of salsa, simmered that shit, and called it MEXICAN TOMATO SOUP.”

    Tha fuck is this shit??

    On a happier note, it’s rad that you added dates to this dish. Sweet in savory = win every time.ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan26/09/2013 - 8:43 am

    This kind of stew is my absolute favorite! I love the spice, the veggies, the depth, oh my! Lovely pictures as always Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Reeve26/09/2013 - 9:11 am

    Oh. my. goodness. Looks so yummy! Will definitely be trying this one once I’m back home. perfect start to fall!ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae26/09/2013 - 9:11 am

    Hellllll yes. I had a high vibe vegan stew at a biergarten (OF ALL PLACES) and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. Super bummed I won’t have a proper kitchen to make this for a couple more months – but I know there’s a can of fire roasted tomatoes tucked away in a box labeled “pantry” just waiting to rage with chickpeas and sweet potatoes and cozy spices.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley26/09/2013 - 9:32 am

    This is absolutely wonderful!!! That first photo is killer. I also agree about the fire roasted tomatoes. They just add so much! This sounds like the exact thing I want in my belly for lunch…and dinner..for the next month. So glad you were able to take a little breather between vacation + work/life when you got home. xoReplyCancel

  • The Peace Patch26/09/2013 - 9:34 am

    zowie that looks so temptingly delicious! I love dates and cinnamon in anything and chickpeas too and ohgoodgolly it’s all together in one!
    Purple rice pilaf…that is so intriguing. Not that this needs it, but purple rice just sounds like a bowlful of fun. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Mariela26/09/2013 - 9:54 am

    Love it! I might just have to make this tonight.ReplyCancel

  • dishing up the dirt26/09/2013 - 10:25 am

    It has finally gotten cool enough here to enjoy hearty food like this! This is my favorite kind of stew. The right amount of spice packed full of veggies. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • grace26/09/2013 - 10:35 am

    Oh golly that Sandra Lee! This video never gets old for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLMNZ6xY6YY
    Your soup looks absolutely delicious. I shared the link around the office so I could drool over the pictures with my coworkers and it’s not even lunchtime yet!ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence26/09/2013 - 10:42 am

    Ahhhh Sandra Lee. You can always count on her for a good laugh. Like in this video: http://youtu.be/we2iWTJqo98 All joking a side, this soup looks lovely :) It’s fall and I’m ready for some SOUP!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy26/09/2013 - 10:47 am

    This looks FANTASTIC. Another winner, my friend. (: I am all about ushering in fall with this sort of coziness, and the flavor combinations sound absolutely delicious. I’ll be making this for sure!ReplyCancel

  • mich26/09/2013 - 10:53 am

    Baby, you’ve got a stew going!

    Seriously though, this looks great. Wondering if one could sub other dried fruit for the dates – dried apricots, raisins etc…?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright26/09/2013 - 10:58 am

      Michelle! I’ve made this with dried apricots and currants too. Way tasty any old way you go really :)ReplyCancel

  • Nicola Galloway26/09/2013 - 11:36 am

    I love the combo of spices used in Moroccan cooking. Will have to try this. Beautiful bowl you have served the stew in.ReplyCancel

  • S26/09/2013 - 11:48 am

    Thinking about making a double batch to have on hand for those harried weeknight dinners. Do you think it would freeze well (with the greens omitted)ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright26/09/2013 - 3:08 pm

      Hi S! I freeze this stew all the time (without the greens as you said) :)

  • Meredith @ Live Local Greens26/09/2013 - 2:28 pm

    I will DEFINITELY be making this! Love hearty stews in Autumn and Moroccan flavours are the bomb! I actually just posted a Morrocan-y vibed recipe on my blog yesterday too! Thank you for sharing one of your fave dishes :)ReplyCancel

  • Christine26/09/2013 - 6:01 pm

    This is exactly what I want now that it’s getting a little chilly out at night. Looks so lovely! I think I saw Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes in your picture. Where did you find those?! Whenever I am in big cities in the US (NYC, Boston) I always stop by Whole Foods and pack them away in my suitcase because I’ve never been able to find them here in Niagara. But maybe you have?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright27/09/2013 - 8:08 am

      Hi Christine, I always buy the Muir Glen tomatoes over at Wegman’s in Niagara Falls NY/Amherst when we make a trip over. They’re truly the best.

  • Renata26/09/2013 - 6:24 pm

    OMG! I just finished cooking this amazing Moroccan Stew and prepared some couscous with it, we absolutely love it. Thank you for this recipe! ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Kelly27/09/2013 - 12:19 pm

    Is it possible to throw all these fab ingredients in the slow cooker? Im not lazy… but sometimes I am. And this sounds really delish…thoughts?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright27/09/2013 - 3:39 pm

      Hey Kelly, I think you might be able to… Maybe leave out the cooked beans and greens until closer to the end of cooking time though. I don’t have much experience with slow cookers, so have no idea what speed, time etc you would have to apply… Let me know how it goes if you try it out! :)

  • Kathryn27/09/2013 - 3:56 pm

    I pretty much want to eat this and nothing else for the rest of time. Love that spicy smoky sweetness and all that goodness.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah27/09/2013 - 4:54 pm

    I love the Muir Glen tomatoes but have never tried the fire roasted. If/when you have kids you might find that tinned tomatoes, ‘stock helpers’ and canned beans become much more regular players in your kitchen – and a recipe like this one will be even more beloved. I can’t wait to try it, myself.ReplyCancel

  • Emily27/09/2013 - 5:25 pm

    Made this last night, so good!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie28/09/2013 - 8:18 pm

    I made this for dinner. It was heavenly! The left overs were even better. Thanks for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Musette #1 | Flossy's Fuel01/10/2013 - 7:52 am

    […] This hearty stew would be perfect after hard day of rainy, muddy, chilly cyclocross racing. Hot shower, cold beer, and this stew–perfect end to an awesome day! […]ReplyCancel

  • stacey snacks01/10/2013 - 5:35 pm

    Oh my! I made this tonight for dinner (minus the yellow pepper), and served over couscous w/ fresh cilantro.

    AH-MAZING! No meat missed in this house tonight!
    Thanks, will be re-posting soon.


  • Kelly02/10/2013 - 7:23 pm

    Laura – I skipped the slow cooker. This stew is amazing. Thank you for the recipe!!ReplyCancel

  • Kate Barton03/10/2013 - 5:18 pm

    Oh my goodness! Yum! I really loved this recipe! Thank you for all your recipes, I am on an anti-inflammatory diet and your recipes have been a lifesaver.ReplyCancel

  • dervla @ the curator14/10/2013 - 10:50 pm

    Laura!!! This stew needs to be in my life right now. Gorgeous and stomach warming.ReplyCancel

  • Holly16/10/2013 - 10:03 pm

    Delicious! Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe. I added pine nuts, fresh halved cherry tomatoes and cilantro to serve. The pine nuts are a great addition.ReplyCancel

  • […] exponentially, and I was finally able to scratch one meal off my list by whipping up a batch of Moroccan-Style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew from The First Mess. I added in a bay leaf, a shake of both paprika and chili powder, and half a […]ReplyCancel

  • stacey snacks03/11/2013 - 5:26 pm

    Here it is. Made it 3 times so far…..SO GOOD!
    Thank you!


  • Lana11/11/2013 - 9:37 pm

    I made this tonight for my weekly soup lunch stash. Oh man, the flavours are so intense! Love the idea of the rice on top, too. Perfect for the first snowfall of the year.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie19/11/2013 - 7:24 pm

    I seriously survive off of this stuff. My very favorite thing to make in the fall. The flavors are perfectly cozy and comforting. I ate it for breakfast this morning at work and got some looks, but I don’t care if people judge me for having stew for breakfast. It’s just that good.ReplyCancel

  • Petra20/11/2013 - 3:29 pm

    Hi, made one based on your recipe yesterday (cooked chickpeas myself, no dates but raisins, no pepper as I did not have one, herbs was fresh coriander), served it with basmati cooked with couple of cardamon pods, stick of cinnamon and teaspoon of whole cumin tossed with caramelized onions and more raisins. Looked great, smelled great, tasted great and was really healthy. Very pleased. Will read more of your recipes for some inspiration since I love cooking, too.ReplyCancel

  • […] etc) and use of Mediterranean fruits and vegetables. I found this recipe via the fabulous food blog The First Mess and wanted to share. This dish boasts incredible flavor and really hits the spot on a cold […]ReplyCancel

  • Lois gagnon06/12/2013 - 12:56 pm

    This looks delicious and I’m going to make it, but it would be nice to have a printer friendly version without the pictures.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright06/12/2013 - 1:14 pm

      Hi Lois, I haven’t found a “print recipe” plug-in option that I’m happy with yet. I am working on this though. In the meantime, if you would like to print the recipes without pictures, you could always copy the text and then paste it into a word processor.

  • Luz02/01/2014 - 8:17 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight with some changes due to a dwindling pantry. I didn’t have coriander, crushed tomatoes, dates, stock, greens, or yellow pepper. I added more cinnamon and cumin, fresh chopped tomatoes, well salted water, bay leaf, and lastly green and red bell peppers. It was AMAZING. This was really easy, filled the apartment with a wonderful aroma. My 19-month old loved it with some rice. I will definitely be making this again, I can’t imagine how good it will be with all of the ingredients. Thank you very much for the lovely recipe!ReplyCancel

  • […] Haricots Verts, Mushrooms, & Cronions by Tasty Trix No-Meat Guinness Stew by The Curvy Carrot Moroccan-Style Vegetable + Chickpea Stew by The First Mess Vegetarian Pichuberry Quinoa Chili by Peru […]ReplyCancel

  • Hannah02/02/2014 - 12:40 am

    Such a lovely dish with beautiful warming flavours. Served my with yoghurt and fresh coriander. Definitely on my list of favourite recipes now.ReplyCancel

  • […] Sunday afternoon in less than two hours we made a Moroccan and chickpea soup, a lentil salad, and maple pumpkin corn bread from Nutritious […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Moroccan Style Vegetable + Chickpea Stew by, The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Lutch18/02/2014 - 9:07 pm

    Just made this, it was easy to make and very delicious. Probably the only success I’ve ever had in the kitchen. Excited to try many of your other recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Alice09/03/2014 - 5:55 pm

    I made this today and it was absolutely delicious! Loads of interesting flavours, I definitely this sweating the onions in the spices before adding any other ingredients is a great tip. Excited to try some more of your recipes.ReplyCancel

  • Fleur20/04/2014 - 9:19 am

    My mouth is watering just reading through this recipe! I genuinely cannot wait to try it.ReplyCancel

  • aug 4 | meet us on monday17/08/2014 - 3:38 am

    […] Chickpea Stew served with Cauliflower Rice (recipe inspiration here & here)Cuisine: AmericanHost: KevinGames: Jelly Belly BeanBoozled (sold […]ReplyCancel

  • […] inaugural cold-weather meal this year was this Moroccan-style Vegetable + Chickpea Stew by The First Mess. It’s flavorful, hearty and full of wonderful fall roots and spices. Feel […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Want inspiring pictures?  There is a good post with a not bad version of this dish at The First Mess. […]ReplyCancel

  • Sarah19/09/2014 - 12:06 am

    I made this for dinner tonight. even without the onions and garlic, which I’m allergic to so had to omit, it was FABULOUS! I used chard and devoured a big bowl. This will definitely be going in my recipe box for the future. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Devki11/10/2014 - 5:03 am

    I just tried this, as and when I started adding the spices to the oil the kitchen started smelling wonderful. It takes while to cook but the results are worth it. Tasted so good. I am and Indian and I ate this with chapati and It was perfect.

    Thanks :)ReplyCancel

  • […] bars are vegan and gluten free, for those who care. They’ll be a fall staple, as will this Moroccan style vegetable + chickpea stew. Dates and lemon zest […]ReplyCancel

  • Karyn Mason20/10/2014 - 4:41 pm

    Avid cook and baker looking to add more vegetable based recipes to my mental recipebox. I read recipes for inspiration never follow completely. This Moroccan Vegie Stew sounds heavenly.ReplyCancel

  • […] with your favourite one pot/soup/stew kind of meal for this time of year. For me, it’s the Moroccan-style stew with sweet potatoes and chickpeas that I posted last year. Proper cozy-making. I will have to limit this giveaway to my pals in North […]ReplyCancel

  • Nada03/11/2014 - 5:05 pm

    This looks fantastic! I seriously am going to try this vert soon! Also, What greens did you use in this recipe? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright04/11/2014 - 8:57 am

      Hi Nada! I used a mix of chopped up beet tops and swiss chard, but kale, spinach, and mustard greens would also be good. Whatever you like! :)

  • […] of spices and the addition of ground coriander for an even bolder flavor note. I took a note from this Moroccan Stew recipe and rather than adding the dried spices into the broth, I sautéed them with the onions and garlic […]ReplyCancel

  • Cara's Healthy Cravings13/01/2015 - 6:43 pm

    Just made this for dinner this evening. On a cold winter’s night, this is more than perfect! Thanks so much for the fabulous recipe.ReplyCancel

  • […] pictures say it all. they say, “make this stew right […]ReplyCancel

  • Susan31/05/2015 - 6:46 pm

    This is such an amazing recipe! Rich and sweet and flavoursome and wholesome. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • C.29/09/2015 - 2:56 pm

    L dear — i don’t know why i haven’t made this before but this is absolutely THE BOMB.
    wanting to have leftovers for days!!!!!!!!!

  • […] Moroccan-Style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew Recipe adapted from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Ragoût de pois chiches à la marocaine servi avec pain à la bière […]ReplyCancel

  • […] recipe on a food blog titled, The First Mess (which has beautiful photographs of food), for vegan moroccan stew.  It has the added benefit of smelling divine as you make it.  I substituted EVOO for coconut oil […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Laura Wright’s recipes and photography skills are amazing! As a veggie aficionado she always makes sure to use seasonal and organic produce. Our favorite articles: Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl + Lime Peanut Sauce Moroccan-Style Vegetable + Chickpea Stew […]ReplyCancel

  • SFS05/03/2016 - 2:17 am

    So delicious! I love this recipe so much I’ve made it twice in the last week and both times used different combinations of veggies on top of the ones you list (eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini, shallots, cabbage, raisins instead of dates…). I also added about 1/4 tsp. tumeric and 1/4 tsp paprika, some extra cumin and harissa paste for spice, and adjusted/added spices at the end depending on how much broth I used. I followed the recipe loosely but was pretty lazy about it aside from cooking the spices with the onions and oil and mostly just let it cook long enough so that all the veggies were soft. Seems like you can’t mess it up! This is going to be a staple at our house from now on!ReplyCancel

  • R25/09/2016 - 1:28 am

    Wow! I just tasted this and I’m blown away at how good it is! We are just starting our vegetarian journey (not that I cooked meat before since we couldn’t afford it and I don’t like it) and it is inspiring to try such an amazing yet affordable dish.ReplyCancel

  • Galina17/11/2016 - 4:00 pm

    This stew is so delicious! It fills the entire house with a beutiful spicy aroma. My carnivorous husband couldn’t get enough!
    I’ll be making this dish again for a potluck in a couple of days. May add beans.
    Thank you for these inspired easy to follow recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie20/06/2017 - 9:37 pm

    Made tonight. Added mushrooms. Left out greens (just didn’t have any). Used red pepper instead of chili flakes – again, just what I had. It was amazing!!! I will make again. Being gluten free and pescatarian, I miss soup/stew so much.ReplyCancel

  • […] Moroccan Stew […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Moroccan-style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew […]ReplyCancel

  • Christine26/03/2018 - 8:00 pm

    Wow! I made this yesterday and am eating leftovers today. Amazing! Love the flavors and how hearty it is. Quick and easy to make and my house smelled wonderful while cooking. Already thinking about making it again for friends. Thank you!ReplyCancel

{vegan + GF} banana bread granola bars! // the first messpin it!{vegan + GF} banana bread granola bars! // the first messpin it!{vegan + GF} banana bread granola bars! // the first messpin it!
We’re going to New York this weekend! Just a tiny sliver of a thought about that makes my insides glow. The first trip Mark and I ever took as an item was to that fine city in late September. We were visiting a new friend along with our bestest friend, seeing the last Pavement show (probably) ever, staying at a guy’s apartment in Bushwick that had jeans in the freezer and an Opening Ceremony replica of Max’s wolf suit from Where The Wild Things Are hanging in the bedroom. I got to eat every and any high-vibe food I could have ever dreamed of. We visited the Museum of Natural History, leaned back and said “WHOOOOOAA!!!” every time we entered a room with a different prehistoric skeleton. In the LES Whole Foods, I convinced him that I knew my shit to the utmost when it comes to building a salad (“It’s like a vegetable sundae!!”)(#shithippiessay). Surrounded by awesome at all hours, plenty of cheap wine enjoyed on rooftops and the handsomest dude as my co-adventurer. Those are big rays of warm, neon light that shine through my memory.

We’ve visited a few times since. I always come back crazy-inspired in ways that I didn’t even know were lurking below my standard level of awareness. Although our relationship has progressed and changed in ways that are obvious after 3 years, I know we’ll be closer and in tune to each other’s quirks a little bit more come Monday. That stuff excites me. A cookie sandwich at Babycakes is pretty rad, but understanding my main squeeze just a tiny bit more, through a sneaky travel osmosis energy exchange, is about a million times more thrilling.

And here’s something he grew to understand about me right quick, no mysterious knowledge transfer through the cosmos needed: I fall into bouts of hangry-ness with frightening ease–especially on the road. If I can’t get a wholesome snack when I need it, I’m kind of a jerk. Mark is simultaneously patient and eager to point out that I’m being a HUGE baby. It’s just the approach needed to help me move towards the endgame. That guy. He gets me.

So for all of you hangry peeps (I salute you), I made a healthy snack today. I love a good granola bar in terms of concept. They frequently disappoint in execution. Lots of sugar, soy protein isolate, weird things, hard-ass dried fruit, chocolate that doesn’t taste like chocolate if you close your eyes. I had to tackle this project myself. Banana bread is this undeniably cozy, early-fall thing to me and I managed to fix some up on the weekend. I thought about using that flavour base for a granola bar, relying on the bananas for some sweetness and binding power. It totally worked! These are super easy to fix up, I promise. I just used whatever nuts and seeds I had around with some pinches of cinnamon and sea salt. The chocolate drizzling is very key. Also, I incorporated caramel-y brown rice syrup for extra stick-together powers, because you know what good granolas do? They stick together :)

Big hugs to all of you this week. xoxo

brown rice syrup // the first messpin it!hazelnuts // the first messpin it!{vegan + GF} banana bread granola bars! // the first messpin it!chocolate for drizzlinpin it!{vegan + GF} banana bread granola bars! // the first messpin it!
vegan + GF banana bread granola bars recipe
serves: makes 16 bars
notes: In retrospect, my bananas could have been riper–just sayin’. Also, I blend the bananas up with all of the other liquid components for MAXIMUM integration. Totally an optional step. You could just mash them up real nice and whisk the other wet ingredients in for simplicity. I find whole nuts make for harder-to-cut finished bars–chop ’em small-ish. Lastly, I’ll add that this is more of a soft/chewy granola bar as opposed to a crispy/crunchy vibe. Maybe try toasting your oats in a 350 oven for 10 minutes or so before stirring them into the bar mixture to help with crunchiness.

3 way-way ripe, regulation-sized bananas, peeled
3 tbsp almond butter (any nut or seed butter you love will do)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (optional!)
1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil + extra for greasing the pan
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 cups rolled oats (make sure they’re certified GF if need be)
1 1/4 cup chopped nuts + seeds (I used toasted hazelnuts, raw walnuts + black sesame seeds)
1/4-1/2 cup chopped dried fruit/dairy-free chocolate chips/cacao nibs (I went with chippers + cacao nibs)

chocolate drizzle:
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
splash of almond milk
1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×11″ or an 8×12″ pan with coconut oil. Lay a piece of parchment into the pan (with overhang on the sides) and grease that with more coconut oil. Set aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine the bananas, almond butter, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon and sea salt. Pulse or blend until a homogenous and creamy mixture is achieved. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, chopped nuts, seeds, chocolate chips etc. Stir to mix. Add the creamy banana mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Scrape the granola bar mix into the prepared pan. Smooth the mix out, pressing down with a flat surface (measuring cup, spatula) until the mix has evenly filled the pan. Bake the bars for 40 minutes or until golden on the edges/top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool thoroughly on a rack.

Once completely cool, lift the bars out of the pan with the overhanging parchment onto a cutting board. If you still feel residual heat emitting from the bars, allow them to cool down on the rack some more. Once ready, cut the slab right down the middle lengthwise. From here, cut the two halves into 8 bars each.

In a double boiler/non-reactive pan set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, combine the chocolate drizzle ingredients. Stir constantly with a spatula until chocolate is melted and a sauce forms. Drizzle over the cut granola bars. Refrigerate bars until chocolate is solidified, about 30 minutes. Keep the bars in a sealed container for about a week.

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  • Harriet McAtee19/09/2013 - 5:38 am

    Dude, these granola bars look amazing! Banana anything is enough to get me interested, and all your notes on what makes a good granola bar make the granola-bar-snob in me happy. Have an awesome time away – I totally agree with you on the special vibe you get when travelling with your partner – it’s so precious because you can’t connect with it at home.ReplyCancel

  • Emma19/09/2013 - 6:34 am

    I’m definitely not a pleasant person to be around when hunger strikes and I can’t get a decent snack! To avoid those kind of situations my handbag is loaded with food at all times!
    These granola bars look so so good and perfect timing as I just bought some brown rice syrup :)
    Do you think they’d travel ok? Wrapped in foil perhaps?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright19/09/2013 - 8:40 am

      Hi Emma! I think they would travel fine as long as they’re foil wrapped or ziploc-bagged. They are more of a chewy granola bar as opposed to crispy, so they’ll hold their shape pretty good. Might get a little smooshy, but that’s all :)

  • carey19/09/2013 - 7:36 am

    DUDE, 1 in 4 chance we were totally at the same Pavement show! (I was there on the 21st.) *high five* I was lucky enough to stay at a family friend’s flat on the upper west side, which was within walking distance of the park. It sounds kind of fancy, but it definitely wasn’t hip enough to have jeans in the freezer. (A friend of mine just explained that to me, since he has a pair of those shrink-to-fit jeans that you’re only supposed to wash once a year, then just stick in the freezer to deodorize them if they start to smell. I laughed a lot. Then I wondered if I own anything that could benefit from some freezer time.)

    And so right there with ya on the hangry-ness, and also on the usually-disappointed-by-granola-bars thang. WAY into these, especially with all that banana-y goodness. Heck yusss.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar19/09/2013 - 7:41 am

    Yay!! So excited for you! Have a great weekend! Granola bars are the perfect snack.ReplyCancel

  • Emma Galloway19/09/2013 - 8:30 am

    Jeans in the freezer, um what?!
    I make a cookie similar to these bars, not sure why I had never thought to cook them like this and drizzle in chocolate though, yours look way yummier! Have a great time in NY, I so hope I get to experience it myself one day. At least once in this lifetime! xxReplyCancel

  • JC Carter19/09/2013 - 8:34 am

    I have been looking around for a recipe like this all summer! Thank you, thank you. Also there is a common joke at work that I should be fed at all times, so I know what you are talking about.ReplyCancel

  • Shelly19/09/2013 - 8:36 am

    Getting hangry is one of my worst traits. I ALWAYS carry around almonds in my purse to try to do the world a favor and keep my food moods in check.

    These granola bars sound like a perfect road trip snack!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay Dunton19/09/2013 - 8:37 am

    Your bag…I LOVE your bag. Where did you get it? Who makes it?ReplyCancel

  • Margarita19/09/2013 - 8:53 am

    Hello there! I am going to NY for yoga teacher training in 10 days and am super excited to have found these bars. These are what I need to power me through my days… I can’t show my hangry side to new friends when I’m there for a month because they just won’t like me at all. Only my husband has seen my hangry self and he is so nice about it. God bless him. I love making granola and tried so many times to turn them into bars, but they just always end up crumbly. Didnt know bananas were the secret! I need something I can hold instead of cup in my palms and pop in my mouth like pills. Haha! This is perfect! Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Ileana19/09/2013 - 9:03 am

    Ha! I am the same way. I get grumpy and my bf knows I’m just a little hangry. Actually, my sister knows this, too. But it’s an easy problem to solve!

    Have a wonderful time in New York! Thanks for the granola bars. :)ReplyCancel

  • Ali @ Inspiralized19/09/2013 - 9:24 am

    I love your photography, you make everything look amazingly delicious! Wish I could eat this for breakfast :)ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey19/09/2013 - 9:24 am

    Love the idea of using bananas in a granola bar, totally makes sense. And agreed, no granola bar is complete without some chocolatey goodness. Glad to hear you’ll be in my neck of the woods this weekend! NYC is welcoming you with open arms. You and your man have a good trip!ReplyCancel

  • Grace19/09/2013 - 9:41 am

    LOVIN’ the looks of these. Chocolate chips in banana bread is a must in my house. I typically avoid granola bars (for the reasons you mentioned) but these are quite delightful. I too need to be prepped with healthy high-vibe snacks pre-trip or I turn into a hangry monster. My man learned that early on as well ;) we usually go for spring rolls and hearty kale salads but I just might have to add these into rotation!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel19/09/2013 - 11:30 am

    Have you ever tried Enjoy Life chocolate chips? They’re free of nastiness (hence my favorite brand). :-)ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright19/09/2013 - 12:10 pm

      Hey Rachel, I have tried those and they are amaaazing! Love the vegan ones from Whole Foods too :)

  • lyn19/09/2013 - 11:55 am

    Amazing pictures! And wishing these were my afternoon snack. Can’t wait to play around with the recipe! Safe travels. xoReplyCancel

  • Jo19/09/2013 - 12:41 pm

    Hehe I love the way you describe your relationship. I hope to go back to some of the places we visited together in our early days of dating.. now with a bubba and years of knowing each other up our sleeves ; ) Yes to these granola bars. I’ve always been a bit of a throw-together-whatever-i -have-in-the-pantry kind of girl when it comes to making bars like these.. I think your recipe looks like a winner and will defiantly be making them! Have fun in NY!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey19/09/2013 - 2:44 pm

    Have an awesome time in NYC! Gosh I miss that city. These granola bars look so bomb!ReplyCancel

  • Claire (Eat Well. Party Hard.)19/09/2013 - 6:29 pm

    Your descriptions of salad-building at the LES Whole Foods, of what it’s like to hang in Bushwick, of indulging at Babycakes…oh, man. Dealing with I-miss-that-life pangs something MAJOR right now.

    Also: hangry. Yup. Totally in that category. Feel ya.

    Happy travels :) Hoping for photos.ReplyCancel

  • Maria19/09/2013 - 11:42 pm

    go to “the hummus place”. PULEEZE!!ReplyCancel

  • anna @ annamayeveryday20/09/2013 - 7:15 am

    These look fab – seriously delicious with the bonus of being good for you…. Fantastic photographs too.ReplyCancel

  • Christine20/09/2013 - 8:26 am

    Thanks for the recipe! I made these last night and, while I didn’t care for the texture, the flavor was awesome. You’ve unlocked the solution to the perfect healthy granola bar. Way to go. In pursuit of a slightly firmer chewy granola bar (I know, I’m a contradictor), next time I am going to substitute a basic homemade granola for the oat-syrup-salt-cinnamon-coconut oil mixture. Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Julia20/09/2013 - 10:54 am

    Oh my God, those bars look so yummy! “Hangry” – I learned a new word for a state I know just too good!ReplyCancel

  • Sophia20/09/2013 - 10:56 am

    Although I like the ‘idea’ of granola bars I find it really difficult to find ones (even at Whole Foods and other organic stores) that are not toothachingly sweet and taste more like a candy bar. That being said, I think these sound wonderful – as much as I like banana bread and banana smoothies it’s nice to have another recipe to use my ripe bananas in. Also, our pantry is exploding with bags of oats I seem to be hoarding for when the weather in Rome realises it’s fall and cold enough for warming bowls of porridge to start my day (and until then I might as well do something useful with all those oats!).

    Have lots of fun in New York – it’s been far too long since my last trip there and I cannot wait to go back.ReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Produce on Parade20/09/2013 - 3:40 pm

    Whoa, these look fantastic. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. Your photos are stunning and such an inspiration…as always :) All the best! P.S. I love that green bag! Can I ask where you got it from? Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • dana20/09/2013 - 7:08 pm

    You used an exclamation point. I HAD to read all the way to the bottom. These look glorious! Will have to give them a try! Happy fall, Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Mia20/09/2013 - 8:31 pm

    Oh, wow! These look amazing! I could certainly use some healthy snacks like these!!!ReplyCancel

  • dishing up the dirt21/09/2013 - 7:11 pm

    have a fabulous time in nyc! These granola bars are happening at my house this weekend. Thanks for the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Lena22/09/2013 - 9:31 am

    Banana Bread Granola Bars sounds too good not to give it a try. And since I have terrible bouts of hangryness, too, I think I really should make those and carry them with me anytime I am travelling. I have gotten better at being proactive and carrying something with me and actually eating it once I start feeling hungry, but there are still moments I could be nicer to my boyfriend.ReplyCancel

  • Amy22/09/2013 - 5:27 pm

    I just made these granola bars and I love how the banana holds them together without having to add an insane amount of honey/maple syrup. The last time I made granola bars they were a lot sweeter and kept crumbling. These ones are perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Ayla Goddard23/09/2013 - 8:34 am

    Hi, Wow I just found you’re beautiful site on Pinterest and its fantastic. For a gluten-free gal just starting out, what do you recommend for ingredients like coconut oil and almond butter? Do you buy online or at a specific whole foods store? Even though I live all the way down under it would be great to hear some budget tips :) Thanks for the amazing work, you are an inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright23/09/2013 - 8:39 pm

      Hello Ayla,
      I’ve been buying my coconut oil and almond butter at Costco in large quantities to save a few dollars (I’m not sure if you have these stores down there though…?). I use these things often, so buying them in a large lot isn’t too intimidating. It’s really easy and economical to make your own almond butter too, if you have a food processor or blender. Just blitz up raw or roasted almonds until the smooth butter forms. Hope this helps!

  • chloe grindle23/09/2013 - 10:25 am

    these photos are stunning! you have such a good eye for detail and what will make an interesting shot. all your photography has such vitality to it! jealous! xReplyCancel

  • Christine23/09/2013 - 4:59 pm

    I just made my second batch of theis recipe with an added cup of grated, roasted butternut squash. Amazing! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberley26/09/2013 - 2:04 am

    This is kinda epic. I love your granola bar method. Also, the unexpected inspiration hiding out in NYC. Yes.ReplyCancel

  • Anjali29/09/2013 - 12:36 pm

    Yes! I’ve been living off of banana-based granola bars since going back to school in August. Although now I need to explore this chocolate drizzle business.

    And you’re right. Sticking together is what good waffles (and granola bars) do! :)ReplyCancel

  • Musette #1 | Flossy's Fuel01/10/2013 - 7:52 am

    […] Banana Bread Granola Bars? Yes, please! Another great recipe from The First Mess. […]ReplyCancel

  • Erika01/10/2013 - 11:26 pm

    I was sucked in once I read ‘banana bread’.
    Just made my first batch, followed to a T (lies: I used light corn syrup for the rice cuz that’s what I had), and the smell in the house is awesome. Also, first time I ever bought/used vigin coconut oil, and, no joke, it’s so good I licked the spoon.
    So the outcome: really nice and crunchy on top, inside texture crumbly and almost steamed in its loose chewiness. Kinda like bread. Didnt hold together as cleanly as in the pic (read: could not get a crisp clean cuts for the bars). Not exactly what I expected, but tastes ridiculously good, and chock full of good stuff. Maybe next time I use half the mix to make a thinner, more solid product? Any advice? Very, very yum! Thanks!!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright02/10/2013 - 8:26 am

      Hey Erika! Thanks for your feedback on these. It is definitely more of a soft + chewy bar situation as opposed to crunchy/crispy. I’ve never worked with light corn syrup, so I’m not sure on whether it has decent binding powers. I used/specified the brown rice syrup because I know it helps things hold together really well. Definitely worth a try if you see it in a grocery store some time! Really glad that you enjoyed the taste overall though :)

  • Tricia09/10/2013 - 5:40 pm

    Making these for the 3rd time. And double batch each time too! They are awesome. Have been making for a very finicky eater that needs to eat more. He absolutely loves also. Said they taste too good to be good! I assured him it was miracle goodness. Thanks for sharing the goods!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah22/10/2013 - 6:22 pm

    Thank you for this stunning recipe! I was wondering of I could replace the oats with buckwheat?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright23/10/2013 - 8:14 am

      Hi Hannah! Do you mean raw buckwheat groats or the toasted ones (kasha)? Ideally you want some kind of flaked grain/seed that won’t require any pre-cooking or soaking. Flaked quinoa would be awesome here if that’s an option for you. I’m honestly not sure how buckwheat would perform since it is quite firm in its original state. You might have to cook it a bit and cool it before mixing into the batter, but ensure that the groats don’t get too mushy as well. Worth playing around with I think! :)

  • […] Mess, a beee-yoo-tiful healthy food blog you must really check out. I was pretty faith­ful to the recipe as it was writ­ten and it was so up my alley. Most store-bought gra­nola bars are packed with […]ReplyCancel

  • […] recipe and photo credit to: http://thefirstmess.com […]ReplyCancel

  • […] & Other Stuff Sweet Potato Chips Applesauce Muffins Banana Bread Granola Bars Apple, Kale & Celery Juice Cheddar […]ReplyCancel

  • […] in the midst of a heat wave here in Adelaide, Australia, I wanted to adapt Laura’s original recipe to keep it raw and eat it as a frozen treat. This was pretty easy to do, all the ingredients are […]ReplyCancel

  • […] craaaaaaaap). There are a bajillion good recipes out there, though I’m especially partial to this one from my girl […]ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline Yaraghi12/03/2014 - 4:39 pm

    These look wonderful! I really can’t wait to try them. I was wonderful how well they kept? My boyfriend just deployed to Afghanistan and I want to send him healthy bars and granola but the trip will be about a week long before it gets to him. Do you think they’ll stay good on the trip? And for about a week when he gets them?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright18/03/2014 - 10:25 am

      Hi Jacqueline,
      When I make these, I do keep them in the fridge and I generally say that they last a week or so. I mostly refrigerate them because of the chocolate drizzle though. So if you skipped that step, they should keep at room temperature just fine. I would definitely make sure that you wrap them really tight if you’re sending them overseas. They might be a touch drier once they’re unwrapped, but otherwise I think they’ll be fine!

  • […] Sugar-Free Banana Bread Granola Bars (Inspired by The First Mess) […]ReplyCancel

  • Annie18/05/2014 - 1:53 am

    These granola bars look absolutely divine! I seriously need to try these out, though I don’t have any brown rice syrup. Is there anything I can sub that with? :c Also, your pictures are gorgeous.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright18/05/2014 - 9:35 am

      Hi Annie, I find brown rice syrup has some really strong stick-together powers with granola bars, but I think the next best thing would be honey if you’re cool with eating it. I think maple syrup or agave nectar might be too thin for this particular recipe. Let me know how it goes if you try!

  • Sandy29/05/2014 - 8:31 pm

    Just made these and they were soo yummy. Thanks for the recipe. I live in a very small town and can’t get the rice syrup. I used honey instead. And I over cooked them a little. They turned out crunchier. I think they would be better softer!!! Maybe I’ll master them the second time. So great for grabbing on the drive to work.ReplyCancel

  • Janett31/05/2014 - 9:13 pm

    Want to make these ASAP but don’t have brown rice syrup. Can I substitute the maple syrup with it?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright01/06/2014 - 3:27 pm

      Hi Janett! I think maple syrup might be too runny, resulting in a more crumbly bar. If you can eat it, I would recommend honey as a better replacement for the brown rice syrup. I can’t guarantee it’ll hold them together though, I just think it might work a bit better if you’re in a pinch.

  • Monday reminder | Laura Tosney17/06/2014 - 3:13 pm

    […] Life After Life, and have some over-ripe bananas that would perfectly suit being made into these banana bread granola bars. The First Mess is an absolute treasure trove of gluten free and vegan recipes. So do yourself a […]ReplyCancel

  • Road Trip Snacks | MODA03/07/2014 - 10:44 am

    […] bagged mix for a homemade energy bar. Your taste buds are already profusely thanking you. We love these banana bread granola bars, and these almond coconut bars (gluten […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Banana Bread Granola Bars //The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • andreathevegan28/10/2014 - 9:13 pm

    […] Banana bread granola bars […]ReplyCancel

  • […] From The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • James27/12/2014 - 6:04 am

    Love these
    Just made a big batch again post holidays
    2 bananas & a bit more rice syrup makes crunchier when baked
    Thanks for the recipe !ReplyCancel

  • Rough Measures04/05/2015 - 11:25 am

    […] Ever so slightly adapted from this fantastic one […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Si voleu la versió original la trobareu aquí […]ReplyCancel

  • […] if you insist on drizzled chocolate….. | via The First […]ReplyCancel

  • reeve17/07/2015 - 11:04 am

    Hey! These sound great. Any tips on sweetening your own chocolate? I have had the hardest time trying to find a chocolate that is sweetened that I can have. Finally found one the other day and it had vanilla in it, which I’m allergic to.

    I was hoping to sweeten with coconut sugar but that was giant disaster. But maybe I’m not doing something right.


    • Karissa19/07/2015 - 3:04 pm

      I sweeten my homemade chocolate with maple syrup since that is the only liquid sweetener both my boys can tolerate. Honey works great too, if you eat that.ReplyCancel

  • […] Banana Bread Granola Bars //The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • mia30/06/2016 - 12:09 pm

    i am right there with you with feeling HANGRY… funny, it happens to be a lot when traveling with the BF as well.. luckily he’s used to it. these look so good and nothing beats home-made granola bars! saving this for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca01/09/2016 - 1:57 pm

    These were fabulous, I just tossed the chocolate chips in the batter. Worked like a charm and saved a few steps.ReplyCancel

the everyday superfood salad // the first messpin it!the everyday superfood salad // the first messpin it!picked // the first messpin it!
Superfoods! These things are being pimped out everywhere I go lately. I’ve been frequenting a certain home furnishings discount chain, just to see what I can pick up for our new place and you know something? They have a superfoods section in their little food aisle with the fancy oils, vinegars, salts and preserves. On any given trip there’s mulberries, sprouted quinoa, goji berries, chia + hemp seeds and on and on. A local grocery store has a shelf above the low-boy refrigeration display with bee pollen, spirulina, extra virgin coconut oil, flax powder, sea buckthorn juice, and E3 Live; all right next to the jello puddings and cream cheese. Even our Costco store has a big selection of organic, very nutrient dense pantry and fresh foods now. Kind of amazing when you stop to think about it.

We went on a short little getaway to the Finger Lakes-ish area of New York State this past weekend. It was beautiful in plenty of outright ways: the density of trees, the quaintness of the restoration, the views from up high, the sunshine that wasn’t too balmy and all of that. There were some unexpected bits of wonder too. We traipsed all through a deserted downtown core with beautiful old buildings on a Sunday night. We walked and walked, meandered through a kind of sketchy bit with a quick pace, saw this huge waterfall, the river, a grassy valley where there had been dwellers, a cozy bar in total darkness lit up by orbs of deep red. The air was heavy with a certain kind of energy that I can hardly describe.

There are so many new things coming up for us and all of the usual big ideas. Dining room configurations, a minimalist bedroom that still feels cozy, how we’ll make a dishwasher part of our new kitchen, all of the things we’ll have to give up, all of the things we stand to gain, everything that will become possible in that new light and space. I’m on pins and needles for it, but when my friend asked me how moving preparations were going, my answer followed a “They aren’t.” kinda vibe. I’m thrilled and bursting with pointed intentions, but the crazy can wait. This is a warm, glow-y pocket of time that I want to savour a bit.

So there’s been some purchase-less trips to Ikea (not counting the cinnamon bun that I wolfed down and got all over my face while we examined cabinet options in the showroom–Mark just looked at me and laughed), some antique store hops (fuelling my enamelware love) and a visit to my new favourite place: a clearance/auction house out in the sticks. We got the comfy/rustic chair of our dreams there last week (currently wrapped in a mattress bag in Mark’s garage wooo-ey). Soon it’ll be coming together in ways we would never expect.

In the meantime, there’s the everyday surprises. Before we started on the drive back home on Monday, we hit a local grocery store that had this whole juice bar thing set up. Amazing! And there was a tea counter where I got a delicious matcha latte made with coconut milk. So surprising and wonderful. I overheard an employee talking to a customer about the virtues of chia seeds. There were umpteen-million types of kale and apples available for purchase. I was flitting around without direction, just so excited by the availability of honest and good food! The approach and overall environment was so inspiring. I had this vague concept of an everyday superfood kind of salad formulating. Just a bunch of very nutritious, but still very accessible, foods together with some extra flavour and texture elements thrown in. Massaged kale and broccoli makes up the base with a bunch of other vibrant vegetables that we’ve been digging up. There’s a coriander-spiced + omega-pumped seedy mix on top, blueberry ginger vinaigrette, tons of lime, puffed quinoa, avocado and Himalayan salt.

So yeah, lots of things on the unfold. I’ll be here waiting and planning, belly full of salad duh :)

the everyday superfood salad // the first messpin it!blueberry dressinpin it!the everyday superfood salad // the first messpin it!
the everyday superfood salad recipe
serves: 4-6
notes: I throw some ground coriander in with the seeds, but any spice you’re into would be great. This salad can definitely hang for a few hours if you keep the blueberry dressing off until you’re ready to serve. And a note on the blueberry dressing: the flavour isn’t like a liquified pie filling with ginger. There’s a fresh and tart quality to it. If you want more a more pronounced blueberry-ness, I would suggest cooking the berries down in a saucepan with the maple syrup for a bit before you blend up the dressing.

salad ingredients:
1 bunch of kale, leaves chopped kinda small
1 broccoli branch/segment, florets finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper (I used Himalayan pink salt–any old salt is fine)
1 small beet (red or golden or striped), thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, peeled + sliced
1-2 sprigs of basil, chopped
handful of blueberries

blueberry ginger dressing ingredients:
heaped 1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled + chopped
2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
big splash of water
salt + pepper
1/4 cup oil (grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil)

omega seed sprinkle ingredients:
handful sunflower seeds
handful pumpkin seeds
1-2 tbsp flax seeds
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tbsp hemp seeds
handful of puffed quinoa (or puffed millet, brown rice etc)
pinch of ground coriander
pinch of salt

In a large bowl, massage the kale and chopped broccoli with the lime juice, salt and pepper. Keep massaging until the leaves seem a bit more tender. Taste a leaf for seasoning, adjust and set aside. Chop and prep all of the other salad ingredients and set aside.

Make the dressing: combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until you have a creamy and unified mixture. Check for seasoning and sweetness, adjust and set aside.

In a medium sauté pan, combine all of the omega seed sprinkle ingredients over medium heat. Stir them around here and there until they smell toasty and the coriander is a bit more prominent. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Arrange the massaged kale and broccoli on your serving plate. Top the greens with the beets, carrots, avocado, chopped basil, and blueberries. Season the whole thing with salt and pepper again. Stir up the dressing (it should have thickened a bit) and drizzle it all over the top and garnish the salad with the omega seed sprinkle. Serve it up!

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