WIAW: Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve

Hey friends, what is up? Can you believe that we’re just 4 days away from Christmas (hence my title)? It’s total craziness if you ask me, but I’m definitely looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for several reasons. One being I loveΒ the church service my family goes to every Christmas Eve, and I also can’t wait to watch the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story on TBS! That is my favorite Christmas movie, so hilarious and such a classic.

But enough about Christmas, let’s get on with this week’s WIAW! Is it lame that I’m always super excited for it? Nah, I don’t care if it seems dumb, it’s such a fun foodie party that I can’t not participate in it week after week. This week’s edition includes some random eats I’ve been loving lately, as well as a couple of recipes too–BONUS πŸ˜€ And apparently this week I was obsessed with Instagram…

Peas and Crayons

Hot caramel apple pie volume oats--I know you've gotta be drooling by now!

As I mentioned in my NaNeFoMo bucket list post, I said I was planning on making some raw treats. Well, the first thing on my mind was raw salted caramel apple dip. I bookmarked this recipeΒ a few weeks back and was just itching to test it out for myself. I made a few tweaks to it, though, but it still turned out yummy. Next time, I think I’d add a bit more salt, though, because it didn’t have quite the hint of saltiness I thought it would.

Raw Salted Caramel Apple Dip (vegan, no cook)

1/2 cup dates (the original called for Medjool, I used California pitted), about 12 dates

1 T raw nut butter (I used Artisana’s walnut)

squeeze fresh lemon juice

sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt, to taste

Soak dates in water for at least four hours (I did overnight) and cover. Drain dates and reserve soaking liquid. Blend dates and rest of ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add in soaking liquid one spoonful at a time until it’s the right consistency for you. Use as a topping for oats, as a spread on fruit or bread or as an apple dipper, of course! Makes about 3/4 cup.

The salad kick continues with a homemade salad of spinach, crispy tempeh bacon slices and Whole Foods' carrot ginger dressing.

The dressing can really make or break a salad, but luckily, this one was a winner! I found it in the produce section when I hit up WF the other day, and it’s got a nice tanginess to it.

The perfect sides for a salad--a ripe Satsuma tangerine and some peanut butter balls cereal.

Hot cocoa (with marshmallows!) and frozen raspberries make a yummy snack.

I’ve been craving hot cocoa lately, so I decided to whip up an easy mug of it. I just heated up some unsweetened vanilla almond milk in the micro, mixed it with some Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder and a packet of stevia, and topped it with a few pescetarian marshmallows. It was the best hot cocoa I’ve had in quite a while (I actually rarely drink hot cocoa), so I’m thinking almond milk is what made it amazing. But then again, what isn’t amazing about almond milk?

A throwback to an old favorite--"taco salad" with black beans, spinach, plain Oikos and crushed mild green mojo multigrain chips on top.

So remember me talking about how I’ve been obsessed with salads lately? Ummmm, well, that obsession’s gotten a little bit stronger since then. Since I got home, I’ve had a different salad for lunch every single day and it’s been glorious. Having fresh spinach leaves really takes them over the top. A good obsession to have, am I right?

Simple ingredients make for the most delicious cookies!

Nutty Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies (vegan)

1/4 c almond butter

1/3 c maple syrup

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/4 c pumpkin puree (I used butternut squash, since it was on hand)

1/2 c oat flour

1/4 t salt

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 c vegan chocolate chips

1/4 c unsweetened dried cherries

1/4 c chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine almond butter and maple syrup together until mixed; add in pumpkin and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda and then add in to wet mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, cherries and pecans until combined. Cover and chill batter for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 350. Scoop chilled batter with a melon baller onto baking sheet, spacing dough 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown and just slightly soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside on baking rack to cool. Makes 12.

I loosely based this recipe off one from the Whole Foods website, but I made it vegan by subbing almond butter for dairy butter, maple syrup for white sugar and pumpkin puree for eggs. They turned out pretty good, a little small, but nice and “rugged” I guess. I like cookies that aren’t delicate–I definitely prefer ones like these that have chunks of good stuff in them! These cookies are pretty low-cal (about 120 per cookie) and you can feel good about eating them because they’ve got healthy ingredients like nuts and oats in them. But mostly you’ll just like them ’cause they taste good πŸ˜‰

A 'classic' dinner with a twist--homemade black bean burger, sweet potato tots (best little things ever!), peanut flour sauce.

I made an attempt at making my own veggie burger last night, and it actually turned out decent, except it was too crumbly. I basically just mashed drained black beans and rolled oats together with a little chili powder and cooked it up in the skillet. It was a simple and delicious dinner alongside my favorite sweet potato tater tots and some peanut flour sauce for dippage. My kind of “burger and fries”.

What better way to start out the morning than with peanutty raspberry chocolate volume oats?

I have so much fun creating new oats combos. This one, like most of them, was a total winner, but then again when isn’t the combo of raspberry, peanut and chocolate delicious? Unfortunately, my supply of peanut flour is running dangerously low (no worries, another bag is on the way) so it turned out kinda runny but it still mixed well with organic jam and a few dark chocolate chips.


What is something you’ve tried again recently for the first time in a while? What is your favorite part of Christmas (if you celebrate it)?

24 thoughts on “WIAW: Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve

  1. Sweet potato tots in peanut flour sauce sounds so incredible, I have to try that combo!! And these recipes are the bomb πŸ™‚
    I’m so happy you’re loving your break so far, can you believe how close Christmas is?!?!

  2. Frozen raspberries are one of my favorite things to eat! Also, for some strange reason, so is frozen carrot; my mum buys bags of frozen mixed vegetables and I always end up picking out the frozen carrot :] But I definitely love taco salad, my sister made it just last night and I swear I ended up eating three bowls of it!
    My favorite part of Christmas is just getting together with family and eating everything in sight, then complaining about how full we are but everyone always gets up for second or third helpings because the food is always unusually good on Christmas :]

  3. I loooove sweet potato tots! Well, I kinda love anything sweet potato actually lol. That caramel sauce sounds delicious! I’d love to try it. Especially in oats with apples, omg definitely had me drooling πŸ™‚

    • I know right, sweet potato anything is just to die for πŸ˜€ And I think you’d like the caramel sauce, it’s pretty simple to make and while it doesn’t taste quite like ‘real’ caramel sauce it’s still delicious!

  4. Well what I wrote about on my post today…eggs!! These wonderful and tasty things have been missing from my life for far too long… so glad to be eating them again
    And the sweet potato tots sound yummy! Obviously I love anything with sweet potatoes anyway, but these do sound great
    Happy WIAW love!

    • Yay for eating eggs again! I’m personally not a fan but I know how good it feels to have a favorite food back in your life again.

      Sweet potatoes are just so good, aren’t they? Most of my family hates them, which I completely don’t understand!

  5. Yum! Your meals remind me so much of my eating habits, actually.
    I’ve been LOVING salads lately. And those sweet-potato tots are seriously a gift from God. I’m addicted to them! Dipping them in peanut-flour sauce is genius!
    Both of your recipes sound sooo yummy. I love that they’re both vegan. I’m definitely going to be making that caramel apple dip asap. πŸ™‚

  6. I am bookmarking the raw salted caramel dip!! That sounds so good!! Today I tried the so delicious mint chocolate coconut milk and egg nog. They were both AMAZING!! I wish they had them year round! I also tried new dark chocolate mint m&m’s, which were like little thin mints. I love them!!

  7. I’ve “recently” tried peanut butter again. I used to eat jars of it as a kid and then got really sick. Although I can tolerate it now, I would rather have almond butter hands down any day.

  8. Hmm,peanutty chocolate raspberry oats sound so delicious! πŸ˜€
    And oh,have I told you already I tried seet potatoes lately? Thanks so much for your advice,they are INCREDIBLY GOOD!
    Best part of Christmas is giving presents and making other people happy this way! πŸ™‚ Seriously priceless!

  9. caloricandcrazy says:

    I love your heart-shaped bowl πŸ™‚

    My sis got some hershey’s kisses (reg. chocolate layered under white choco. with choco. stripes!!!) and I haven’t had hershey’s kisses in a while so it was a nice treat (:

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