Happy Monday lovelies!
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and a great start to the week.
I’m so excited about linking up with Katie and all my girls for my second MIMM post! A lot of great things happened this weekend and I can’t WAIT to share them with you!
Plus, how can you not love all the positive vibes from this link party?!
Mondays are no longer Munnnnnnndays! 😉
This weekend started out as usual with my Saturday morning trip to the farmer’s market.
I was SO happy to see some zucchini…last week all the farmer’s were out and I was a little worried since I haven’t quite met my “zucchini quota” for the summer yet…probably one of my most favorite summer veggies! And heck yeah, for FINALLY picking up some corn…I haven’t had ANY this season and I’m really wanting to try it grilled!
After the market, I hit up the gym. I didn’t have a plan going in, but I have to say (especially since I’m STILL feeling it today) I did a pretty good job of kicking my own butt!
Here’s what it ended up looking like:
I did my pushups on my knees because I’m still a little girl ;), but daaaaaaaaaang, in less than an hour, I was totally SMOKED!
Oh yeah, Mr. Tricep is DEFINITELY growing! 😀
And JUST when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, a little spontaneity proved otherwise…less than two hours later I was on a boat…with a hunk by my side!
Guess who’s FINALLY done traveling for work?!
I met up with BB and a friend of his at Kentucky Lake and the rest of the day looked like this:
One of the BEST salads I’ve ever made from a salad bar…that wasn’t Whole Foods! 😉
Seriously, that corn muffin was unbelievable, and the tomato and barely salad at the top right? Omg, I HAVE to recreate that!
Followed by the DELICIOUS albeit unphotogenic blueberry cobbler that led to yesterday’s pancake inspiration! 😀
I may or may not have shed a tear after this pic was taken.
Seriously can it get any more MARVELOUS than that?!
Now, onto the MEATLESS part of this post!
I have been DYING to join in on Heather’s Meatless Monday celebration for weeks now but my biggest problem was my timing.
I mean, c’mon…I rattled off not one, not two, but THREE beet recipes last week…yeah, only ONE WEEK late to the party! :-/
When I realized that this week’s featured food would be dates, I got a little more excited than is probably considered “normal” but who are we kidding? Me? Normal? Please!
I LOVE dates…the chewy consistency, the perfect amount of sweetness, and hey, stuffed with a little peanut butter, they make one of the BEST pre-workout snacks!
So I actually took THAT idea and put a little “spin” on it!
I’m sure you guys have seen those cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates appetizers that parade around Pinterest ever time a holiday rolls around…
But how about a VEGAN version?! 😉
VEGAN Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer snack vegan eggplant dates nut butter
Ingredients (6 dates)
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)
- 1/2 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 medium-sized dates
- 2 tablespoons nut butter or vegan cream cheese
1. Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Spread slices on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Allow salt to bring out the excess moisture in the eggplant for about 20 minutes, flipping and salting the other side halfway through.
2. Meanwhile, prepare your “bacon sauce” by combing soy sauce, water, maple syrup, liquid smoke, maple extract, and garlic in a small bowl.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Blot the eggplant slices with a dry paper towel before dipping into the “bacon sauce” then set aside.
5. Cut a slit into each date and stuff each one with 1 teaspoon nut butter (crunchy peanut butter is my favorite) or vegan cream cheese.
6. Wrap/roll a slice of eggplant bacon around each date and secure with toothpicks.
7. Arrange on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.
8. Serve warm or refrigerate for 2-3 hours and serve cold.
The salty smoky flavor of the “bacon” combined with the natural sweetness of the dates is unbelievable…and if you are a big texture person like I am, the addition of crunchy peanut butter takes this little nibble to a whole new level of enjoyment!
Although I have to say the soft and smooth cream cheese was pretty rocking too! 😉
But that’s where the fun comes in…and YOU get to decide!
Have you ever tried a date?
Share something MARVELOUS from your weekend!
I love dates!! Yay for BB being home!!!! 🙂 Don’t worry friend.. I have to do my pushups on my knees too.
My Saturday always includes the farmer’s market too! Our haul looks similar.
I really love that you used the eggplant as the bacon! I bet it tastes even better.
Love dates! Either with almond butter as a pre-workout snack, or wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese. Y’know, either/or. 🙂
So glad BB is home 🙂 Your weekend looks and sounds unbelievable. That sunset is unreal, and just beautiful!
omg youre so clever!!! do you have any extra bacon/date/nut butter things left that you can mail me?!?!?! they look so goooooood. 🙂
GREAT RECIPE! I love how you made them vegan! They are very attractive too love! SO IMPRESSED!
Congrats on those growing muscles 😀 I CAN TELL!
Well way to make just plain old dates and nut butter look so totally last year. How in the world do you come up with these combinations?! I’ll admit that eggplant skeeves me out a little bit in general, but I love dates so I’d be willing to give one of these guys a try. Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve been neglecting dates 😯 I think it’s because of my on-going infatuation with bananas, but maybe that’ll change when the seasons change. I’m happy either way 😀
Haha! Well, sometimes I surprise myself! And if you don’t want to go the eggplant route, Michelle (Peachy Palate) suggested using zucchini and I think that would work great as well!
I swear I used to be ADDICTED to bananas, but can you believe I’ve only had like one or two in the last month? I’ll probably tuck my tail and come running back as soon as summer is over, but for now, I just CAN’T get enough blueberries, peaches, and cherries!
Heyyyyy tricep! You are just full of muscles this week.
I don’t like dates… but your creation has piqued my interest…
I was wondering…since I didn’t see you link up this week. Is it the sweetness or the texture that you don’t like? Because the sweetness is totally mellowed out in these, but the chewy consistency remains.
Both. I actually don’t like any dried fruit.
YAY! I’m so glad BB is home. (:
That workout sounds awesome and you look unbelievable! And um, your triceps? You go girl! All of your hard work is definitely paying off.
PS: I got super giddy when I saw the “meatless” part of this title…I knew you’d have a delicious recipe to share and I was right! I seriously can’t WAIT to try those dates. Thank you!
Awww, I swear girl, you leave some of the BEST comments! You never fail to make me smile! You have to let me know what you think of the dates…I popped one yesterday straight out of the fridge and it was GREAT…I can’t decide if I like them better hot or cold!
And thank you for the encouragement! Sometimes I feel like I bust my butt in the gym for nothing…it’s nice to finally SEE some changes! 😀
Dates and nut butter are incredible together….love the eggplant idea!!! I’d say it would work with zucchini noodles too, especially with almond butter!
Oh yes, I never thought about using zucchini! Gah, I swear I love how your mind works woman! 😀
Great minds think a lot (food bloggers think alike anyway! 🙂 )
wow you sound like you have had an amazing weekend!! i love dates! but just can have a couple because it is too sugary for me! love your blog all the way from London England! can I ask do you use any products in your hair? i have curly wavy hair JUST like yours – but yours looks a lot better then mine!!! xx
Aww, thank you Grace! It’s so nice to “meet” a fellow crazy-haired gal! 😉 The only products I use in my hair are a root lifter spray (have to be careful with that one or I end up looking like Bozo the clown! Lol) and a medium-hold gel in spray form. Both are by Suave….not sure if you can get those in London, but here, they are like the cheapest of all hair products! I also only blow dry my hair with a diffuser. It helps a TON with frizz! 😀
And I’m the same way with the sweetness…a little goes a long way for me!
I would go with the nut butter instead of the cheese, but wrapping dates in baked eggplants is defenitely worth a try. Adding some falafel and couscous salad… yum….
YES you need to try grilled corn! I just tried it last week and it seriously blew my mind. I’ve never tasted more delicious corn in my life!
Also yay for BB being back! Your day out on the lake looks absolutely perfect. I’m jealous! My summer has been seriously lacking in boating and lakes.
And I love dates! Especially in Oh She Glows’ no bake date squares. Seriously if you haven’t made those yet you need to. I can easily demolish a pan of them in 2 days haha. 😉 Your vegan date bites look so yummy!
Something marvelous from my weekend is the food festival I went to. It involved avocado goat cheese ice cream… so obviously it was amazing!
All those farmer’s market goodies look fantastic! Especially those cherries–I wish that cherry season lasted all year long…Though I know that frozen cherries are available, they are SO expensive!! But I will say that frozen cherries are amazingly delicious:) Yes, I have eaten dates many times; they are so sweet and tasty, and I use them quite frequently to make raw truffles/cookies/Larabars. That “bacon” wrapped date recipe looks very interesting (in a good way!); I love the sweet/salty combination. Something marvelous from my weekend was the chocolate-zucchini oatmeal recipe that I created and posted about on my blog on Sunday–it was so delicious, and a good way to use up excess zucchini.
YAY! This post screams marvelous and you have marvelous energy!! i can feel your happiness from here and I love it!! So happy BB is done traveling and is back!
I would of shed a tear after that dessert was gone too, looked tear worthy, haha! YUM!
Love ya girl! I can’t wait to see you again! <3
Just reading this post made my day marvelous (albeit on a Tuesday! but who’s counting really?)
Never had a date (food wise) and person-wise is pretty dry these days too (:
So my encounters with zucchini in recent memory is overcooked boiled slices I had to force down in the hospital. Now I hate the stuff despite memories of my best friend’s mom’s zucch bread that was divine. Any advice to reunite me and this veggie besides the carby caloric bread version? I’ll be grateful…
I know this long comment is a blog no-no but I just wanted to let you know as a new reader I am so so glad I found your blog. Such a fun read.
This looks incredible and SO creative – I seriously can’t wait to try this one!!!
Yay for muscles, I see that tricep popping out!!
Maybe I’m just hungry, but that salad looks DANG delicious!!!!
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“Say Hello to my little friend.” Ah, god bless the tricep.
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YUUUUUM. I love dates. I love (faux) bacon wrapped dates. I just got a smoker. I may need to make these…
(I’m sitting here wondering how I missed this during DATE WEEK, but here I am. hello. )
Ohhhh, a smoker?! YUM!!! Let me know when you make them…so I can be there for dinner of course! 😉
Brilliant, love the eggplant ‘bacon’! Bookmarking this now….
Thank you so much, Mary! I’d love to know what you think! The peanut butter stuffed ones are my fave! 😀