Vegan recipes I love

I love these.  I make them A LOT.  They are easy, tasty, healthy and satisfy my sweet tooth.  I also take them on long runs for energy instead of gels (I will only put 1T cocoa powder if I'm making them for runs).
  • 8 pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (I Magic Bullet mine first to chop them up finely)
  • 4T almond butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped oats
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 2T cocoa powder
  • finely chopped (almost to a powder) coconut flakes
Put everything but the coconut into the food processor.  Process.  Roll into balls, roll around in the coconut to coat them.  Eat.  Yum!!
I have to admit that one of the things I miss THE MOST around the holidays is egg nog.  I used to be a nog drinking maniac.  I would go through a couple gallons of the stuff between Thanksgiving and Christmas (no wonder I always gained weight during that time... huh). Anyway, I discovered this recipe recently.  Have yet to try it, but just because it's not the holiday time anymore, doesn't mean I can't give it a try. 
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 5.5 oz can (full fat) coconut milk
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 pitted medjool date
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ plus 1/8 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Optional Festiveness: Bourbon or Rum!
Chill coconut milk either overnight in the fridge or in the freezer for about 30- 45 minutes (until solid).
Place all of the ingredients into the blender.
Blend until smooth.
Garnish with sprinkled cinnamon and nutmeg.
Serve immediately.
Hummus is one of my favorite things to make.  It's super easy and is SO much healthier for you than the store-bought versions.  Store versions have far too much sodium and other undesireable ingredients.  When you make your own you can make it taste almost as good as the store version, but much healthier for you.

1 can garbanzo beans
lemon/lime juice
fresh garlic (I use already chopped garlic in a jar that is refrigerated)
salt/pepper/season salt to taste

Drain the garbanzos, and put all the ingredients into the food processor.  I usually have to add a little water (1/4C) to make it the consistency I like, but add it a little at a time to get it just right. 
You can also put in some roasted red peppers, some cilantro, olives, etc to give it a unique flavor.  Any flavor you see in the store you can duplicate at home.  Be creative.  Sometimes I make a pinto bean hummus when I'm making Mexican food and use that as my base layer for tostadas or tacos.  

Today I made homemade paninis.  I've been looking into more variety in my diet, because I tend to fall into meal ruts very easily.  I read that the average American family rotates between 5 and 7 meals a month.  That's really not a lot of variety, but I'm definitely guilty of being in that range. 
Time to shake things up.
Here is the recipe for my sammiches.  Mmmmm.... sammiches.  I made an extra one to take for lunch tomorrow so I don't have to think about lunch in the morning.
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread (had a hard time finding one with only 7 ingredients, but I did)
  • baby greens mix (baby kale, spinach, spring mix)
  • homemade hummus (garbanzos, lemon juice, fresh garlic and a dash of season salt)
  • pan fried red bell pepper, baby bellas, and onions
Stack the sammiches high, place on the skillet and then to squish it down and smoosh it all, I put two 5 lb plates into a baking pan and set it on top.  Squished it all just right.  I didn't use any oil or butter on the skillet, nor did I use any when I fried up the veggies.  They were SUPER yummy and filled with lots of protein and fiber.  nom nom nom
Before and after the smooshing:

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