Good morning and Merry Christmas Eve to those of you who celebrate it. I feel very happy to have been able to connect with so many friends this season, both on and offline. On Friday, I went hiking with a blogging friend, Deb, who also visits the desert a lot. We have a shared love for cats, food, nature, exercise, travel and health. We hiked on a trail I know well, but we went further than I have ever gone before; turns out when you exercise with a girlfriend and spend the whole time gabbing, you don’t realize how hard you are working (it’s true, try it!). We came across this pathetic little tree that someone had decorated and commandeered another hiker to stop and take our picture in front of it:
We went for lunch afterwards at a local health food cafe and I had a green salad with roasted tofu, brown rice and a peanut butter sauce:
That salad was so tasty that I re-created it at home on Saturday. My version of the dressing was green, though, because I added a bunch of cilantro, along with peanut butter, dates, lime juice, walnuts, shallot, garlic, cayenne pepper, soy milk and rice vinegar. I also added a cup of garbanzo beans because that’s my new trick lately to reduce the fat in nut-based sauces. It looked like this pre-blended:
Less than a minute later…
Here’s the recipe, you’ll noticed I added 1/2 teaspoon of reduced-sodium tamari for that salty flavor. You can leave it out if you wish.
Sweet & Sour Creamy Peanut Dressing
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup unsalted walnuts
1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 pitted Medjool dates
4 limes, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon low-sodium tamari
1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (no salt or sugar added)
1/4 cup tart vinegar (I use white balsamic)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
I gussied up this salad with fresh sprouts, edamame, mandarin oranges and sliced red onion:
Gosh, this was fantastic. I made it again yesterday for lunch.
If you are on vacation this week, I hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy whatever festivities you are participating in. If you need any last minute healthy recipe ideas, may I suggest my Grab-n-Go Chocolate Oat Bars? They make a healthy snack or dessert:
I also highly recommend my Lemony Brown Rice & Lentil Salad for a great party side dish that for many of us can be the main dish:
If you have some time to make a hot dish, this Lemony Lentil Stew is fairly straightforward and deliciously hearty:
And, if all else fails, why not just make a kale salad, like my Strangely Addictive Almond Butter Kale Salad?
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday with a brand-new post!