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Arabic Smorgasbord

S was stuck downstairs waiting for a parking spot FOREVER tonight so, rather than making a full dinner, we opted for more of a Lebanese mezze. While I was waiting for him, I snacked on some leftover whole wheat pasta. Then I made a tasty salad with a Kirby cuke, endive, radicchio and grape tomatoes tossed in a dressing of Fage 2% and green goddess seasoning. So tasty! To round out my plate, I had some Middle Eastern string cheese, a spoonful of Labne, a spoonful of spicy hummus and about 2/3 of a large pita. Pretty much my perfect meal when the weather is warm and breezy!

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After dinner, I enjoyed two chocolate chip and dried cherry cookie balls and some additional dried cranberries.

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I modified the recipe from Angela a bit this time:

Chocolate Cherry Cookie Balls (makes about 2 dozen)

1 3/4 c. ground raw cashews
3/4 c. ground raw oats
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. agave nectar
2 handfuls mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (use carob chips for a vegan version, or make your own raw chips) 
1 handful dried cherries

1. Pulse the cashews until well ground, set aside.
2. Pulse oats until well ground and add to cashews.
3. Stir all ingredients in a large bowl and place in refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes.
4. Roll mixture into balls and toss each in dried, unsweetened coconut shavings. 

*For harder “cookies” store in fridge or freezer in sealed bags.

I’m still noticing a slightly odd flavor in these treats, but I think it’s because the coconut oil smells like…wait for it….bacon! We had a good friend in town this past weekend when I made my first batch and both guys exclaimed after their first bites, “Bacon Cookies!! You invented Bacon Cookies!” I’m wondering if it’s just the particular brand of coconut oil, but as strange as their were the first time I tasted them, the experience has grown on me and now I’m addicted!

Anyhow, I think we’re going to spend the rest of the night watching the Pittsburgh Penguins game and hoping for a W-I-N!

PS I bought kale today at Citarella and I can’t wait to try it tomorrow! I also picked up more spinach so I think I’ll start slowly with one leaf of kale and spinach for the rest and then work my way up to more kale. Any suggestions on how to prepare it? Do I cut the stalk off? I’m so new at all of this!

Have a great night 🙂

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