Well, we’re at that time again: that awkward week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I’ve basically spent it at home with my family, sleeping and taking it easy. For most of Christmas/the days after Christmas I didn’t have much of an appetite and really wasn’t interested in eating much of anything which for someone like me is pretty heartbreaking! I LOVE my food and whenever I can’t eat or don’t want to eat I don’t feel like myself. So that’s depressing but luckily I’ve turned a corner and hopefully it’ll stay that way.
I normally make vegan/gluten-free sugar cookies every Christmas alongside my sister who makes the typical butter-laden sugar cookies we grew up eating. This year, however, I wanted to make some treats that were lower in sugar. That led me to these recipes from Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows Everyday. As far as Christmas dinner, I always change things up every year and try out new recipes while my family has had the same thing (chicken marbella) for years and years. This year, while I haven’t been loving all food, I knew that I would love one thing: TACOS. So without further ado, here are my recipes from the week:
I love little superfood/energy/no-bake balls. They are such a great option when you want something sweet but you don’t want to overdose on processed sugar! These guys were made up of oats, cashews, dates, cashew butter, maple syrup, sea salt, vanilla, and chocolate chips. These are all ingredients that I love, so obviously I really liked these balls, but I do have to admit that they were a little too datey/sticky for my taste. I wanted them to taste a little bit more like cookie dough! All in all they made for a nice change from my normal holiday desserts and I will probably make them again and tweak some of the ratios/go lighter on the dates. I did end up adding a glaze to these balls after I photographed them, made up of maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla, and it added a little extra flavor to them.
These guys were the winners for my favorite Christmas treat. Peanut butter on the inside, chocolate shell on the outside. Match made in heaven! I used a crunchy peanut butter with flax seed and chia seed so they had a bit of a crunch on the inside along with some brown rice crisp cereal. I really liked this texture and I’ll definitely do something like this again. They are definitely rich, so a little goes a long way, but even my omnivore sister really liked these treats! Funny story: we were sitting across from each other at the dining room table and she wanted to have one of these peanut butter balls and opened her mouth, wanting me to throw one her way. I took the bait and lobbed the dense peanut butter ball straight at her face, where it hit her glasses and collided with her face with a surprising amount of force. I should point out that she’s in her thirties and I’m in my mid-twenties. She survived the peanut butter ball attack though and continued to eat her treat!
Okay, so I’ve made Angela’s recipe for lentil-walnut taco meat many many times. I found it on her blog years ago and it’s become my go-to meat substitute because it is naturally gluten-free/soy-free and full of flavor! I’ve had it in tacos, I’ve formed it into meatballs, and I’ve used it as a sandwich spread. This stuff is goooooooood. Her recipe in the book calls for the lentil-walnut meat and some sautéed peppers and she puts them in a lettuce wrap. I didn’t do that. I know that my intention in doing this cookbook challenge is to follow the recipes pretty closely but I already know that I love this recipe and I knew I would love it even more in traditional hard shell tacos with all the fillings I know and love. Growing up, tacos were one of the only times that I enjoyed eating beef – I never really had hamburgers, didn’t eat steak, and don’t get me started on any meat served bone-in. Tacos were delicious and flavorful and because it was ground beef it didn’t really remind me of meat. I was always destined to be a vegetarian! But when I was a kid we had hard shell tacos with the ground beef, tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream and I knew I wanted to recreate that with this meal. I added some avocado and cilantro because I can’t help myself! These tacos were heavenly. The lentil-walnut meat is so spot-on in terms of texture and the flavor is really tasty. It’s super easy to make and a hell of a lot more nutritious than the soy beef crumble you can find in your grocer’s freezer.
I hope you guys ate some wonderful food over the holidays!