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Dessert in Vegas

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Okay, I am actually making good on these blog promises I’ve been making! I figured this separate blog for desserts should start out with a promise between me and you. I promise to show pictures of the various desserts I ate and you promise not to judge me. K? lol

To be fair, as with the food, these desserts were spread out over three days and were after various meals. Considering we ate at the buffet four times a day, and ate dessert almost every time we went, we weren’t that bad!

The first “dessert” was actually from a yogurt shop and not the buffet.

But I had to try it! I have never gotten to have self-serve fro yo before and I actually loved the process more than the taste. I loved walking around through the various flavors and being able to get a little bit of this and that.

The flavors I chose starting from the left are banana, peanut butter, and finally dark chocolate. Then topped with really yummy strawberries, which were actually the best part. The problem with the frozen yogurt was that it was NOT soft serve. It was all icy on the outside and I had to break through it to get to the creamy middle. Ah well.

Ok, let’s hit the buffet. The desserts at the buffet that were the BEST were:

Oreo Cheesecake (It is actually ridiculous how good this was).

Sugar Free Banana Bread (I don’t know what they put in this, but it has to be the moistest bread/cake I have ever eaten).

CREAMY fro-yo with brownie (the brownie was the best part, dense, thick, moist, chocolate, yum!)

S’More Mush and Chocolate Pie (Ok, I’m not really sure what to call the dessert on the left, but it was warm chocolate cake, with chocolate sauce, graham crackers and warm gooey marshmallows, yeah it was pretty epic!)

You can tell that I loved these three desserts the best. Oreo Cheesecake; S’More Mush; and Fro-yo (Mixing the S’more stuff with the fro-yo I think made my eyes roll around in my head for awhile! YUM)

On the left is panna cotta which was fantastic! In fact, I think my best friend Tawnya ate this for dessert every time we went! The fruit tarts on the right were…okay. But I wasn’t wowed.

Panna Cotta, Pistachio Crème Brule and Caramel Flan. (The panna cotta was, of course, amazing, but the other two were….just weird).

The worst of the bunch I didn’t even finish. Here is some sort of weird pineapple tart (the pineapple was actually flavorless. I have NO CLUE how they took pineapple and sucked the flavor out of it). And a sugar-free cheesecake which I got at first only because the slices of it were much smaller than the Oreo cheesecake. And I wasn’t quite in my “must EAT Vegas phase” yet.

Both were just awful. There was probably more panna cotta that was eaten, but those are all the pictures I found!

Now I’m back at home and sticking to my usual desserts of banana soft serve or frozen fruit blended with Greek yogurt. Summer = cold and creamy desserts! Dessert CAN be a healthy addition to your day!

What have you been enjoying for dessert lately?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KNMMOMMY 8/11/2010 1:29PM

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME .. we were in Vegas at the same time!!! WTHeck!!! Glad you enjoyed some scrumptious desserts!

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AUBREYINGMAN 8/7/2010 8:21AM

    mmm That all looks so good. Next time I get to come too.

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DENI_ZEN 7/29/2010 6:05PM

    Here's a "separate blog on desserts": You're my kinda gal!! About three minutes ago, I finished a healthy dinner, and now I'm drooling into my keyboard so much, I fear electrocution! My, oh, my, what tempting goodies these are! Fortunately, I can't get any closer to these goodies than the pix you took, because I'd lay waste to them PRONTO! Some people just know how to celebrate; you are definitely one of 'em! - Sandi emoticon

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MDTWEETY 7/29/2010 3:10PM


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DOLLBABE56 7/29/2010 1:35PM

    OMG! I think I'm in sugar shock. It all looks so yummy! You must have had a fantastic time. Good for you!

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MIESHKA 7/29/2010 1:12PM

    Those look so awesome!!!!! I have to say though what really made me drool was the banana soft serve...I wonder if I cant get that here YUMMMMMM

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Buffets in Vegas

Monday, July 26, 2010

In my last blog I promised some pictures of my overindulgence in Vegas. Let’s just say buffets are already kind of a struggle and in Vegas? Forget about it! There is so much food that it really is a steal for the money. But not so good for the waistline!

Ok, I will start off with the only healthy option that was there. Salad! There is pretty much always some sort of pathetic lettuce at buffets. While it wasn’t as dark as I’m used to, I did find some darker pieces of romaine for my Mediterranean plate.

Salad, Tabbouleh, Tzatziki, Hummus and a Pita

Veggie Chili on the side

This had to be the BEST chili soup I have ever had…ever! It had so much flavor! Now if I had just stuck to those things…well it would have been a very boring three days! Eating that and only that would have gotten old FAST!

The other sections of the buffet were: Asian, Mexican, American and Italian. Which basically meant high sodium sauces and stir fries; burritos and tacos; French fries and mashed potatoes; pizza and pasta.

My favorites were the burritos, Spanish rice, fried shrimp and French fries. With mustard, cocktail sauce, and salsa on the side.

Tawnya and I had one drink (a 25 oz daiquiri that tasted better than I thought it would, yet left us both just feeling nauseous and nothing else). So we stuck to comfort food to calm our stomachs.

Mashed potatoes, French fries, pizza, and rolls.

I actually didn’t eat most of this plate except for the roll and this roll.

Bread was definitely helping!

Even the next day we weren’t feeling the best so my plates looked like this...

And this…

And this…

How funny that my favorite thing about the buffet was how many options there were and now that I’m looking back I’m realizing how much I stuck to pretty much the same foods.

Breakfast was even worse! I am very picky about my breakfast food. They had oatmeal…well let me rephrase that, they had MUSH which was LABELED “oatmeal.” No thanks. Eggs…well what were supposed to be eggs. I had some with salsa on toast, but I couldn’t finish it. It was the most disgusting thing I had ever eaten!

Here it is with monkey bread (OMG, how come I have never tried this before? It was soooo good!) and a veggie quiche.

The quiche was actually pretty decent after I picked all of the disgusting fungus out of it. (Yes, I don’t like meat, but no I DON’T like mushrooms!). It tasted a little like spinach and artichoke dip. I don’t know how they did that, but it was interesting!

So really I was forced to eat junk for breakfast! Really! The melon I tried killed my stomach (my stomach does not like fruit other than strawberries or bananas first thing in the morning apparently). So my ambitious “healthy” plate of this…

Turned into just this…

And this next day, this…

Ok, I realize this is getting pretty long so I’ll have to save the best part for yet ANOTHER blog. Yes, an entire section for dessert. It was bad. Or awesome, however you want to look at it!

In pain news, my foot and knee are getting better. If slowly that is. The problem is that they start to feel great so I jump up to actually STOP going stir crazy only to reinjure myself. I never said I was a patient person.

But luckily, I no longer need this walker!

Because really, that was getting pretty sad.

I have to admit this was a hard blog to write. Who wants to admit that they basically ate junk for three days straight? Well, have a fantastic Monday everyone!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DNJEN471 7/27/2010 12:59AM

    It's Vegas... it's like a cruise ship... you drink and you eat. The options are a plenty! I wish I had known you were going, I would have referred you to an amazing fully vegetarian Chinese restaurant off the strip. Economically priced with some amazing Boba Teas. We go to Vegas about 3 to 4 times a year... next time you go- let me know and I will give you some veggie friendly recommendations.

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DENI_ZEN 7/26/2010 9:01PM

    I'm so sorry about your foot, Amber! But the buffet looked pretty wonderful! I would've been in it, face-forward, for three days, too :) They stay what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but I would've "worn" Vegas all the way home on my hips and belly :)

Let's face it: Food is FUN, and who doesn't love the occasional extravaganza? I sure do! I think there's a place for it in our lives :) - Sandi emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 7/26/2010 6:03PM

    I think you did pretty well considering the options. And besides, it was only 3 days. I'm glad you had a good time.

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NAMSMOMMY 7/26/2010 5:47PM

    You have to allow yourself to indulge sometimes. It was only three days, and you will be back on track now. :) The important thing at that time was the memories you were making. :-)

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READY4LIVE 7/26/2010 5:40PM

    Whoohoo...sounds like a good time in Vegas!:) Most of the Vegas buffets are soo yummy! Yeah I cheated too when we went in May, good times, but happy that I jumped right back on to plan. I love how you have a picture blog of the food you ate :)

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Potassium for a Healthy Body

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hello everyone!!!!

I am so sorry that it has been such a long time since I have last posted. I hope life has been treating you all well.

I just got back from a well-needed vacation with my best friend. It was really awesome getting out for a few days. Out and away from all of the stress and all of the junk that was bringing me down.

We indulged in some amazing food (okay overindulged is more like it) and I definitely added some water weight, but thankfully I got back and have jumped right back into my normal eating and all those extra pounds have been flushed away. Potassium is your friend, sodium…not so much!

The buffet we went to you could pay for all day and you could come back as many times as you wanted. It really cut down on the food costs for me, but they didn’t offer too much healthy fare. So I definitely didn’t get the amount of potassium I should have in a day.

From organicfacts.net : Potassium, the third most abundant mineral in human body, is the synonym for health insurer. It contains the qualities for maintaining a high level of human well-being and a cheerful lifestyle. There is no way one should overlook the inclusion of potassium in routine diet plan. Apart from acting as an electrolyte, this mineral is required for keeping heart, brain, kidney, muscle tissues and other important organs of human body in good condition. Potassium chloride is the main variety of this mineral amongst others. It works in association with sodium to perform a number of critical body tasks.

You know my favorite way to get potassium? Bananas. I probably have at least one a day. And the best way to enjoy bananas? Banana soft serve of course!

I drizzled some peanut butter into that and it was so decadent. Then again, I think eating anything out of a martini glass makes it feel more special.

I also, of course, love grilled bananas on French toast.

Smashed all into it with some almonds on the side? Makes a perfect breakfast for me!

Feeling a little hungry, but it’s not quite time for dinner yet? A melon bowl works for me.

Scoop out the seeds, add your favorite yogurt, and top with sliced almonds or some granola if you like that better. I prefer the huge amount of protein in Greek yogurt; in this one I used Chobani vanilla.

I love summer, because it seems easier to get potassium in. There are fresh fruits and veggies available at any farmer’s market and they taste SO much better than what you can buy in the store.

Let’s just say that these berries didn’t last very long in our house!

I’ll have to post another blog showing all of the crazy eats I indulged in. I knew I couldn’t get online to add everything to SparkPeople so I took pictures of pretty much every single thing I ate. Yeah…it’s not pretty! lol

I tried to guesstimate how much sodium I got and I probably averaged 8,000 mg a day (btw, you’re supposed to try to stick to less than 2,300 mg a day.) At home I average more like 1,500 mg a day….

Do you track your potassium levels here on SparkPeople? Or your sodium levels for that matter?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAMFIRMIN 7/23/2010 7:06PM

    I LUV BANANAS in my Protein shake.. yum

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DENI_ZEN 7/23/2010 5:05PM

    Wow - you're not just knowledgeable about the benefits of potassium (so good for one's blood pressure), but you know where to find it AND some creative ways of incorporating it into your day-to-day eating! Hats OFF! - Sandi emoticon

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READY4LIVE 7/23/2010 4:51PM

    YUMMY! All of those looked so delicious! Thanks for the tip!

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JUGE300000 7/22/2010 9:01PM

    I love bananas too.


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DNJEN471 7/22/2010 6:20PM

    Glad you had a good vacation. It sounds like you are feeling better now too? I don't track my potassium, but do track my sodium. We eat tons and tons of berries too!

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*AMBER512 7/22/2010 3:33PM

    The great thing is that unless you ONLY eat fruits and vegetables, it's pretty hard to eat too much potassium. I have gotten a little high before, but nowhere near the toxicity level! Gotta love that produce! =)

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BARBARASDIET 7/22/2010 3:11PM

    I do track both, although I admit that I am not a stickler on the sodium. I think I am ok, since I add virtually NO salt to anything and don't eat processed food.

Potassium is always on the low side for me. And I read that it is not really a good idea to take a supplement--it is one of the elements that you shouldn't get too high in your system.

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When Life Throws Lemons At You

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sometimes bad things happen that steer us off the course we were headed down. And sometimes things happen that KICK us off that course.

I have been having a really, really rough time in my personal life lately. Family problems, friend problems, and my own personal problems bubbled up into a giant pile of WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING? The only thing that has gotten me through lately is my faith and my amazing church. I love the people there!

I haven’t been trying too many new things lately as food hasn’t been incredibly appealing lately. The actual creation of it is just lost on me at the moment.

Yesterday morning though I really wanted to try out a new breakfast.

I have wanted Oats In A Jar (OIAJ) for awhile now as I've seen it various places. Like at KERF (kath eats real food)


So many different varities you can make!

It looked like such a fun way to eat breakfast. And I wanted to combine that with Angela’s Vegan Overnight Oats with Banana Soft Serve. You can find that recipe here:


Here is OIAJ with Banana Soft Serve ~ Amber’s version.

It does take some forethought! The first thing you have to be sure to have is an almost empty jar of your favorite nut butter (or whichever one happens to be gone first). In this case it was my dark chocolate peanut butter!

Also, to make the fresh banana soft serve in the morning, you first have to freeze some bananas!

I find it easiest to slice them and let them freeze for a little bit, before putting them into a container for future use.

They don’t stick together in a huge clump this way!

The next step is to make the overnight oats the night before. For the overnight oats I combined 1/3 cup of oats, 1/3 cup water, a tablespoon (8 grams) of pea protein, a tablespoon (5 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, and about half a packet of Stevia.

Don’t mind the fingerprint I made in the middle to check the texture in the morning! I had to see if it was to my liking, of course.

I measured out 75 grams (or about a small banana’s worth) of banana and to make up the banana soft serve.

Grab your nut butter jar, overnight oats, and freshly made banana soft serve and layer to your heart’s desire.

It is much prettier in a clear glass or if you think to remove the label like in the blogs above. But I was not that inventive. So really, forget about looks and just enjoy an AMAZING tasting breakfast. It’s like a super cold even yummier version of a parfait.

I usually plan out the calories to my meals beforehand, but I wasn’t exactly sure how much peanut butter was in the jar. I usually have 12 grams or 3/4 of a tablespoon of peanut butter with breakfast, but I guessed there was probably closer to a tablespoon in the jar. Apparently, there was more than that! I weighed the jar before and after and there was more like 18 grams of peanut butter. Oops, oh well!

It was definitely tasty, but it was hard to eat slowly. I was loving the flavor combination so much I had to remind myself a few times to SLOW DOWN.
That’s all I have for today, I hope it is a good one. And I hope you all have been doing well!

Quick question: What is the first thing that gets pushed aside when your life is out of whack?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLJ35 7/26/2010 6:20PM

    Sorry about your problems and hope they are all behind you real soon. Interesting sounding breakfast, especially for a chocoholic. LOL
I just made the Banana Ice Cream this past week and can't wait to make it again tomorrow. Just invited GC over to try it and see if they are as excited as I am about it. Delish!!!

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STEELMAGNOLIA10 7/21/2010 5:51PM

    wow, sorry things are out of whack. I will keep you in prayer. yeah my eating and exercise is the first to go. i seem to lose focus and get off the path. So funny but when I am focused and taking care of myself I seem to handle the lemons a lot better.... go figure then why do I put something that works aside??? emoticon

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OPERAMOM3 7/15/2010 8:06PM

    The 1st thing to go for me is cooking for myself. Now that I live alone, this happens all too easily, but then i find myself eating out and my finances soon follow the downward spiral. Sometimes it really is an effort, a HUGE effort, to say "No, I am going to cook this chicken and make some pasta, have a salad for myself!" but I'm always glad when i do. emoticon

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SISTAMME 7/7/2010 4:01PM

    sorry to hear about the rough time... fist thing to go for me is exercise and eating well.

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DNJEN471 7/1/2010 10:07AM

    Exercise- which is just way too sad. Hope things calm down for you soon!

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AUBREYINGMAN 7/1/2010 9:50AM

    I am glad that there wasn't way to much peanut butter in the jar. It sounded tasty. Things will get better eventually. We just have to hang in there. I love you

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CAMELA_55 7/1/2010 6:53AM

    I'm sorry about all the problems you are having. Glad you have the support of a good church. And yes, how would we make it without faith.


Looks like some yummy oatmeal!


When my life gets out of whack, household responsibilities usually suffer (cooking, cleaning, laundry). Of course, they often suffer anyways, as I am not a domestic goddess.

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DENI_ZEN 6/30/2010 9:02PM

    Every good wish that the bad things you mentioned here might soon be resolved, Amber. Thanks for sharing these yummy, healthy goodies with us to vicariously enjoy! I really appreciate it :) Good for you, for continuing to take excellent care of yourself as you go through this rough patch. With every day, you're moving through all this just a little bit more, and you'll see better times before you know it. All the best... - Sandi emoticon

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MDTWEETY 6/30/2010 8:29PM

    I hope things start looking up for you, hon! When it rains, it pours, doesn't it? emoticon
I hope the rest of your week is better. We (your Spark friends) are here for you.
Thx for sharing the recipe. Very interesting!

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JOHNBABJR 6/30/2010 2:54PM

    Amber, I hope things get better soon.

My answer to your quick question is my eating, unfortunately. Stress has a habit of derailing my efforts.

Best wishes to you.

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KATHI214 6/30/2010 1:34PM

    It's hard sometimes to find the strength and time to take care of you when so many things are going on. Hang in there and be good to yourself. Somehow God gets us through the tough times and he is always there for us. emoticon emoticon We just have to be patient, which is hard!

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PAG2809 6/30/2010 1:25PM

    Hmmm... interesting recipe. Hang in there and remember you also have a lot of people here who care about you!

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Broccoli Slaw Dreams

Friday, June 18, 2010

Good Morning! I hope everyone has some great Friday plans.

Lately, I have been dreaming about broccoli slaw. Well, that’s at least the only dream I’ve had lately that hasn’t been completely weird. (Does anyone else dream about COMPLETELY random things??)

I keep buying broccoli slaw to add it to an omelet, because I used to do that all the time. However, every single time I have thought about eating one, it sounds like the worst idea ever. So instead, I decided I must create a new recipe involving it. Because I’m tired of throwing it away when it goes bad!

I decided a “taco salad” would be nice. I don’t know if it can be considered a taco salad when broccoli slaw is the base, but it was really tasty.

I started with seven ounces of broccoli slaw.

I added some green onions,1/4 cup red bell pepper and an ounce of avocado on top.

Then I mixed together black beans, Chobani, lemon juice and some cumin. I think the measurements were 1/2 cup, three ounces, 1/8 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon, respectively.

On the side I had an ounce of FSTG chips, multigrain flavor and cucumber. I also started out with a tablespoon of salsa for dipping, but I was loving it so much I had another tablespoon.

It wasn’t as filling as I thought it might be, so I think next time I’ll add more beans, more avocado and more bell pepper. Maybe have half as many chips to make up the difference. It tasted really great though!

On a less fun note, it has definitely been proved to me that not only does my body dislike flaxseed, but also chia seeds. Which really makes me sad because there are so many health benefits to both! And the chia seeds are so pretty in Angela’s vegan overnight oats.


I added some chia seeds to my green monster a couple of days ago, and my bowels are STILL unamused with me.

Strawberries, spinach, banana, chia seeds.

Cocoa powder, protein powder, peanut butter.

It was really tasty all blended together, but I don’t think I’ll be trying to eat any flaxseed or chia seeds anytime soon!

Have you ever tried broccoli slaw? If so, what do you add it to?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAMFIRMIN 7/21/2010 5:03AM

    I am soo glad i found you.. I LUV FOOD BLOGS

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DNJEN471 6/25/2010 3:30PM

    I have not ever tried it. I will have to give it a whirl!

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MDTWEETY 6/25/2010 3:25PM

    Yes, I've had broccoli slaw. I eat it in salads, or stir-fry.

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AUBREYINGMAN 6/18/2010 11:35PM

    Out of all the food in this blog...I like the chips! I just don't know about the broccoli slaw. emoticon

Ok I stand corrected. I do like bell peppers, cucumbers and black beans, I guess its just the Broccoli slaw that is throwing me off.

Comment edited on: 6/18/2010 11:43:28 PM

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DENI_ZEN 6/18/2010 9:38PM

    You "photodocument" your blog entries very nicely! Yes, I've tried broccoli slaw and really enjoyed it. I added some low-cal ranch dressing, some sunflower seeds, onion, pepper, and a little garlic powder (added to the dressing). It was quite tasty - would definitely have it again :) - Sandi emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 6/18/2010 8:41PM

    I buy broccoli slaw occasionally. Usually just add dressing or mayo. I've had it with raisins, and apples and walnuts in a mayo-type/or bleu cheese dressing. I imagine you could put just about anything with it and it would be good.

I have the same problem with flaxseed. Not fun.

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APPLESANDPB 6/18/2010 3:31PM

  I have completely bizarre dreams as well; I've dreamt I was a man, which was quite strange. Like Barbara, I haven't heard of broccoli slaw, but your enthusiastic endorsement makes me want to try it. I'm from the South and used to a more traditional cole slaw. Now you've got me wondering if it can be made with greek yogurt and taste equally good. Nice post!

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BARBARASDIET 6/18/2010 2:54PM

    Never heard of broccoli slaw. Your salad looks delicious, though.

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