Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Anything Goes Energy Balls

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I was driving home from work last night, not feeling particularly hungry or craving anything specific, but the usual thoughts of what to have for dinner were rolling around my head.  Without there being much of anything in the fridge as far as leftovers that needed to be eaten, I settled on the idea of making carrot soup.

When I walked in the door it hit me that I really wasn’t in the mood for the food prep and cooking involved with soup.  And this is the soup I recently bragged about being so fast and easy to whip up.  I needed something even more effortless and simple.

So here it is.  I put these three ingredients in the blender and processed well:

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Give the beans and peppers a rinse first and add a heaping spoonful of tahini equal to about a quarter cup.   I tossed in some cumin because I love it and some chipotle tabasco sauce because I saw it sitting on the counter and just knew it would add great flavor.

This hummus is very similar to my 2-ingredient red pepper dip but a lot lighter since it is not cashew-based.

And dinner was done.  I pulled out some celery sticks, a whole wheat tortilla and some collard greens from the refrigerator as accompaniments.  Because that is what was there.  I made a wrap, wishing I had some alfalfa sprouts to fill up that space in the tortilla that you obviously can’t fill with all hummus (even though it’s so yummy you want to)or it would just squish out everywhere.

Where “normal” hummus is made mainly with chick peas and a little red pepper or whatnot mixed in, this one has an abundant amount of red pepper…which brings down the calorie count per serving.  And this is nice because you can eat more for fewer calories.  Not that calories from chickpeas are really much to be concerned about.  But sometimes it’s important to save calories for dessert.  🙂

And because my taste buds were telling me it was time for dessert after I ate my relatively small meal, I got out my food processor and went to work tossing in brazil nuts, rolled oats, almonds, coconut, dates and raw honey.  Plus some Himalayan sea salt because the combo of sweet with a little salty in there makes a huge difference between flat and flavorful.  I formed that batter into a bunch of energy balls, recklessly taste-testing as I rolled.  Then when the mixture was about 3/4 balled up I decided to make the remainder a chocolate-y batch so in went the last of my raw cacao powder and a little more honey.

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All in all it was a fun and productive evening in the kitchen.

This obviously wasn’t intended to be a post for an ingenious new recipe but rather as a reminder and encouragement to use your imagination when it’s time to eat.  Think about what would taste good to you–  to me it was roasted red peppers.  Also consider what your body is craving– protein?  greens?  whole grain carbohydrates?  sweet? salty?  a humongous salad?  I knew I wanted a decent protein source and healthy fats to satisfy my appetite.  Pairing that up with whatever raw veggies were around made me happy.

Maybe keep a folder or binder with some easy go-to recipes for ideas when you are at a loss of what to make.  Flip through it for inspiration.  And keep a variety of staples in your house so you are prepared to put together whatever your creative heart desires.

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