Date and Almond Breakfast Bars

Quick post this week. You may or may not have noticed my love for snack bars. Usually oat based, hearty, filling and on the healthier side. Well, here's another winner! These bars are soft, but not chewy, more of a sandy texture. They are slightly sweet, just enough for me, and a little salty (which I love!). The dates add a nice natural sweetness without being an overwhelming flavor. They bars bake up pretty firm and hold together unless it's really warm out, or they sit in a hot car for a while! Whoops!! 

I cut back slightly on the honey in these bars, just by 1 tablespoon. They may have been slightly firmer with that additional tablespoon, but I didn't mind them at all the way they turned out. While the title of this recipe is "breakfast bar" I really found them to be more of a homemade granola bar. But in the end it doesn't really matter what they are called. I just know I enjoyed them!


Date and Almond Breakfast Bars
Adapted from Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

  • 2/3 cup (90-100 grams) chopped dates
  • 1 1/4 cup (110 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons (22 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup (20 grams) wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) chopped almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) almond butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (63 grams) honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with oil. Set aside. 

Combine the dates, oats, flour, wheat germ, almonds, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter, olive oil, honey, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture, and stir together until evenly combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, pressing the mixture firmly onto the bottom, edges and corners.

Bake the bars for 30-35 minutes, until they are golden brown all over. Cool the bars completely in the pan on a cooling rack. When mostly cool, transfer to the fridge and let them chill for a few hours. This will make it easier to cut into neat bars.  Remove from fridge and cut into bars.

Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes

Over the past few months I've become a big fan of lentils. Until recently I had never tried a lentil, but now I've had them in several dishes and really like them a lot. They don't have a lot of flavor, so you can add them to a lot of different things and they don't change the taste of the dish much. I first bought them because I was looking for a cheap and easy to store protein source. Lentils are a high-fiber, protein-rich legume that cook quickly without any need for presoaking or anything like that. There are a lot of different kinds of lentils, but so far I've only used green lentils, they stay firm and don't get mushy when you cook them. As I've used them they have really grown on me and now I like them a lot. If you've never tried them before, go out and pick up a bag, you really have no reason not to.

This is one of the lentil recipes I've tried recently. It was very simple, hearty and extremely healthy. Basically it is just vegetables, lentils and spices, that's it. Throw it all together in a pot and let it cook for 40 minutes, dinner is served. This recipe uses carrots, onions and tomatoes, but you could really do whatever you wanted and whatever you like best, it is really versatile. In the end it turns into a really thick stew. If you wanted you could add more liquid and make it into more of a soup, either way would work I think. Slice up some nice crusty bread for dipping and you have a delicious and healthy meal, perfect for a cold, blustery night.

Chop just a few veggies

Throw them into the pot

Grab the rest of the ingredients

Once the veggies soften, add the tomatoes...


...and spices

Stir it all together, cover and cook

40 minutes later

A nice, hearty bowl

Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes
From Smitten Kitchen, originally from Barefoot Contessa at Home

  • 2 teaspoons good olive oil
  • 2 cups large-diced yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 cups large-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup French green lentils (7 ounces)
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and the carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.

Meanwhile,  coarsely chop the tomatoes, either in a food processor or use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut them into piece right in the can. Rinse and pick over the lentils to make sure there are no stones in the package.

Add the tomatoes, lentils, broth, curry powder, thyme, salt and pepper to the pan. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Check occasionally to be sure the liquid is still simmering. Remove from the heat and allow the lentils to sit covered for another 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, season to taste and serve hot.