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Almond Bars, Guacamole, Black Bean Casserole. Combine at own risk ;)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Hey! I hope youíve all been doing well.

My camera and my computer are still fighting, so Iím wondering if I needed to take a break from all of my dessert recipes. I have no idea what that has to do with my technical difficulties, but Iíll go with it.

My favorite recipe is black bean casserole. I ate it for dinner last night, I plan on eating it for dinner tonight, and if Aubrey let me, Iíd probably eat it every night until I felt like Iíd scream if I ever saw it again. I swear the only reason Iím on this side of sane is because of that patient husband of mine.

The original recipe is delicious and can be found here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

But I was having some problems the days after Iíd eat it, so I have been playing around with the recipe. I have been substituting more bell pepper in for the onions. If you can handle the onions, I say keep them because they are delicious. But cutting them out really improved my digestion. I already knew my body doesnít like raw onions (darn heartburn) but I thought cooked was okay. Apparently I was wrong!

The other problem has been the cheese. While Iím not fully lactose intolerant, as I can certainly handle Greek yogurt, my body isnít a huge fan of the cheese portion. So I decided to try the recipe with some vegan cheese.

This was some interesting stuff. It didnít quite taste like cheddar, but it wasnít bad. Although the taste did kind of remind me of years ago when I tried Velveeta. Or maybe itís those American cheese slices Iím remembering. Iím not sure, it was different.

I put the usual amount on and it looked like I had sufficient covering.

But while it did melt, it definitely didnít spread out as much as Iím used to (see the top picture).

So it didnít quite hold together as much as I would have liked. The verdict? I still had problems the next day, but just not as many. But since the vegan cheese costs twice as much as the regular, and wasnít as tasty, I think Iím just going to stick with my usual cheese.

Not everything in life can be perfect! Especially my stomach apparently.

But I can always try new things like topping my casserole with guacamole instead of sour cream. I saw the idea to add cucumber to guacamole for a clean, fresh taste. Sounded interesting, why not give it a try?

I grabbed a ripe avocado.

This one ended up being just right. I donít know how I managed that! It seems to be the luck of the draw. I blended it up with lemon juice before stirring in salt, pepper, garlic, and cilantro.

Then I finely chopped up a large cucumber.

And stirred that into the mix. It definitely tastes different than regular guacamole, but tasty in its own right.

Iím starting to feel like the only person in the world with a slew of food intolerances, although I know Iím certainly not alone.

Like these delicious almond bars:

Which are so tasty, but keep irritating my stomach. emoticon Well sometimes they do sometimes they donítÖ.? Maybe Iíll have just one?

Apparently the answer is ďsometimes.Ē Well if you want to make them, blend up 3 oz almonds, 3.5 oz dates and Ĺ tsp of vanilla. Form into the shape you want, let them refrigerate and harden before cutting into slices.

Do you have any food intolerances? Allergies? And as always, if you have any new recipes to share, Iíd love to know about them!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEACH_BOUND120 4/10/2011 10:38AM

    That looks really good! thanks for the idea!

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BILBY4 4/6/2011 10:06PM

    Hmmm, what else have I tried in those bars? Sunflower seeds. Chia seeds (help to make them very solid). Buckwheat (needs to be cooked or sprouted first or it's kind of 'chalky').

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DNJEN471 4/6/2011 4:52PM

    I'm making that tonight for dinner! Love it!

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MDTWEETY 4/5/2011 5:46PM

    Sounds like a great combination to me! Haha! That casserole really is delish! :)

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AUBREYINGMAN 4/5/2011 2:31AM

    I am just glad that you can find a meal you enjoy so much.

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BILBY4 4/5/2011 1:05AM

    If almonds are a problem just use other nuts. I make something similar to your bars and usually use walnuts. One used macadamias. It works.

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DS9KIE 4/4/2011 6:06PM

    My friend is allergic to soy, dairy, peanuts, lentils, tomatoes. Soy is the worst then peanuts. And there is soy in everything.

So what are you allergic to?(I think wheat was one and some dairy)

Your recipes sound yummy

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MELLABELLAS 4/4/2011 4:44PM

    YUM! emoticon

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JUNEBUGABEE 4/4/2011 3:13PM

    I can commmmpletely relate to feeling like there just might be nothing I can eat and feel normal anymore emoticon

I really hope that's not true, but it's a long road to figuring out what's "safe" and what's not. There are those days where I long for normalcy--- being able to be out and just choose whatever sounds good on the menu... but we will soldier on.

Your recipes look really good- I want to make those almond bars, stat!

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*AMBER512 4/4/2011 2:46PM

    Oh! Making my own corn tortillas will have to be my next experiment. Maybe it has been them this entire time!

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    I make my own corn and flour tortillas because of the same thing. I am finding that I can almost instantly tell if a product has gluten in it just by how I feel after taking that first bite. I just wish I could trust the labels so I didn't have to suffer through the problems from consuming gluten.

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    I'm envious of your perfect avocado!! I am with you, stick with your regular cheese. I make my own corn tortillas now, I stopped using store bought because I couldn't prove that they weren't made on a machine that processed wheat.

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No-Bake Date Bars : Gluten-Free Recipe and Pictures

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hello! I meant to write a blog about going to the Better Living Show in Portland last weekend, but then my camera decided it didnít feel like getting along with my computer anymore. Or the computer decided my camera wasnít cool. Either way, they arenít getting along so I had to get the pictures off of my camera in a roundabout way.

But, despite those problems I made probably the best thing I have eaten in a LONG time. These date bars: ohsheglows.com/2011/03/28/5-ingredie

Scroll down if you want to see the changes I made.
But firstÖ

I have to say it was a pretty neat expo, but I think it will hold a lot more relevance once Aubrey and I are homeowners. Green solutions to problems we donít currently have were interesting to hear about, but by the time they apply Iím sure there will be even bigger advances.

Although this motorcycle was pretty darn cool. I would be way to afraid to actually ride on one though!

This one was cool, yet scary too.

Sorry about the horrible picture, but I was trying to take it quickly before anyone walked in front of it again!

Then we headed over to the Vegan Village where they were sampling all kinds of goodies. Now that is universal appeal!

For those who donít have to worry about gluten I have to say how amazing Daveís Killer Bread is. I didnít eat any that day, but when we went to the Portland VegFest last year it was amazing! Aubrey got a nice hunk of Sin Dawg that I drooled over.

I made extra sure that everything I was trying was gluten-free.

I wasnít going to take any chances as I had zero desire for an upset stomach. Those cookies were quite tasty, although I wasnít a big of fan of the crackers.

Then again, Iím not really a cracker fan in the first place. What I AM a fan of is Larabar. In fact, itís only because of the people at Larabar that I even heard about this show in the first place! Had to jump in line to get my free samples.

The show really just got me excited for the VegFest. I wish it were sooner! We did leave with a few samples and info, but far less than what we got from VegFest.

But we did get that free plant. Which, I donít think has left our kitchen table sinceÖ.Whoops emoticon

Peanut Date Bars

Moving on to that amazing recipe I teased you with earlier. I saw Angelaís recipe on Oh She Glows for 5-ingredient vegan, no-bake date bars. How simple does that sound? Well I did change the recipe up quite a bit, considering I changed two of the ingredients and left out the fifth one. And I halved it since I was basically making it just for Aubrey and I. But I think this would be a hard thing to screw up! I only changed the ingredients to suit what I already had in the cupboard.

I got out my ingredients first, dates, almond butter, peanuts, oats, and if you want to count it as an ingredient: water. I left out the salt, as usual, because I just donít like it and I donít find it necessary. But if you are a salt fiend, feel free to add about ľ tsp.

I blended ĺ cup of peanuts (110 grams) with ĺ cup gluten-free oats (72 grams) in a food processor until they turned crumbly. Then I chopped 5 of the dates and blended those in. Then I melted 2 tbsp of the almond butter and added that and blended again. I placed the mixture (except for 1/3 of a cup) into a parchment paper lined loaf pan. Save that 1/3 cup for later!

I used 18 total dates in this recipe, which turned out to be 145 grams. I already used 5 in the crust, so I took the other 13 and chopped them before blending with ľ cup of water until a paste formed. It took quite awhile and I was so tempted to add more water to speed up the process, (and Iíll admit I did add some) but it would definitely be better if it had been thicker! After the date paste is formed I spooned in on top of the crust.

Then I took that reserved 1/3 cup of crust (which was probably more like ľ cup since I might or might not have eaten some of it) and sprinkled it on top.

I knew I was supposed to let it set in the fridge, but I have zero patience (as Iíve mentioned many times before!) so I ate some immediately.

Wow. Seriously. Wow. Why havenít you made this yet? Oh yeah, because maybe youíll be like me and eat three of them. I mean, I ďmightĒ have eaten three. Itís entirely possible that I ate one immediately, ate another one after ďtryingĒ to be patient, going to the gym, and then possibly eating another one. And I "might" have had to give away half of them so I would stop eating them!

But come on, donít these look amazing?

Ok, Angelaís pictures are definitely better, but you wonít care what they look like. Youíll care that they taste absolutely fantastic.

Edited to add: I highly recommend patience! I'm eating a sliver today and they taste even better than they did yesterday. I had no idea that was possible!

Whatís the best thing you have made lately?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLFCHICK2-0 2/15/2012 12:26PM

    I know it's almost a year later... but I've been searching for a date based snack bar since everything in the stores/online has WAY to many extra ingredients. I'm going to have to give these a try. And watch out for this year's Better Living show too!

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CAROLJ35 4/14/2011 3:26PM

    Sound good! Will try these real soon.
Have never used almond butter but will look for it. Could you substitute peanut butter?
BTW, have you made the flourless peanut butter cookies? Very good!

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DS9KIE 4/5/2011 12:37AM

    the bars look yummy

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HANNAH_CALM 3/31/2011 8:08PM

    those date bars look yummy! Were you at the Convention Center? I love to go to the book festival there. Yay for Larabars!

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AUBREYINGMAN 3/31/2011 3:13AM

    The bars are so good. I can't wait for you to make some more.

Comment edited on: 3/31/2011 3:14:01 AM

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MT-MOONCHASER 3/30/2011 11:05PM

    Those look good. I may have to try them.

I just tried the oatmeal-banana cake things from a couple weeks ago. I think I need to experiment with them a little...


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RHALES199 3/30/2011 2:36PM

    ooohhh, those look yummy (although they might be too high in fructose for me, but still...)
and I love Larabars... wish I could have them more often, but again, too high in natural fructose... but give in to temptation once in a while.

In fact, I was @ Winco Monday, and bought two... and the lady in front of me (or was it behind me??? I can't remember) was also behind me, and of course, we had to get in a conversation about how yummy & healthy they are (didn't bring up the fact that they're gluten- free, but anyways...)

HAve a great day enjoying your goodies!

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MDTWEETY 3/30/2011 1:51PM

    Those look good, but I am still drooling over your cookie dough shake. ;)
I haven't made anything good lately, sorry to say. I need to try something new soon. I just don't get too much kitchen time with a toddler who refuses to nap. Hope all is well in your world! Is the gluten-free thing getting easier?

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Cookie Dough Blizzards : Homemade, Gluten-Free, and Delicious

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I can make a delicious salad. I love beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and gluten-free grains like quinoa and brown rice.

The burrito bowl from my last blog definitely works well with plain Greek yogurt, by the way.

But sometimes all I want is something sweet.

That, my friends, is a homemade, gluten-free cookie dough blizzard inspired by Angelaís blizzard recipe ohsheglows.com/2011/03/18/chocolate-
and Averieís cookie dough recipe www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2009/10/r

I decided to try out some new recipes this week since I have been in a food rut for far too long. And I knew that one of the first things I would try would be something sweet. Especially after seeing the cookie dough blizzard recipe on Angelaís blog. I knew I had to recreate that!

I also knew Iíd need a gluten-free cookie dough though. Thatís where Averieís blog really came in handy. She has a million recipes for gluten-free treats.

After reading through the recipe for making her cookie dough balls I noticed something fairly quickly. Uh-oh it calls for patience! That is sooo not my strong suit. But good things come to those who wait.

Other changes: I halved the recipe because I was only planning on making enough for my husband, Aubrey, and me. I didnít have any cashews so I subbed in peanuts and I didnít have any maple syrup so I had to use honey otherwise these would have been vegan as well (if you use vegan choc. chips).

I quickly grabbed everything I needed so I could get the ball rolling.

That would be 1/3 cup peanuts (48g), 1/6 cup oats (14g), 1 tbsp honey, Ĺ tsp vanilla and 2 tbsp chocolate chips. And donít mind the fact that my tablespoon has seen better days ;)

First up I blended the peanuts and oats together to make the flour.

Then I added in the honey and vanilla and ran again until it was fully blended. After stirring in the chocolate chips I shaped it into a cookie.

For no other reason except that I was seriously tempted to scrap all other plans and just eat all of the dough. ButÖI didnít. *sigh* I knew I would be bummed if I didnít finish what I had started, as would Aubrey who knew what I was making.

I was able to form 18 cookie dough balls out of the dough.

There are only 16 in the picture because we both had to immediately shove one in our mouths. You knowÖto make sure it was good!

Off to the fridge they went to harden up. I knew I would be more patient if we did something other than sitting down on our hands wondering if we could just eat them already. So we ended up leaving the house and running a couple of errands.

About an hour later they were much less sticky so I broke out the food processer to make the banana soft serve.

I made sure the banana was fully blended before adding a few of the cookie dough balls.

Next time Iím going to add some vanilla almond milk, because it turned out really thick with just the banana. Plus I think it would make it taste more blizzard like. I love bananas, but I was hoping for more of a soft serve taste and consistency.

I decided to be fancy and grab a martini glass.

Garnished my snack with another cookie dough ball. Delicious! I would have eaten more, but by the time we were done waiting and making everything it was basically dinner time.

Oh well, there will be many hot days to come where this recipe will come in handy!

What's the best thing you have been eating lately?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STAMP0128 6/25/2011 1:03PM

  This looks just perfect. Cannot wait to try it.

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*AMBER512 3/28/2011 11:36AM

    It is delicious! To make the soft serve super thick just put frozen banana in a food processor and blend until smooth. Then you can thin it to your liking by using whatever milk you like and adding it. You can even add some vanilla extract for another flavor pop. :)

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KSINCC 3/28/2011 11:09AM

    How did you make the soft serve? I would love to try this!

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DNJEN471 3/27/2011 3:43PM


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RHALES199 3/23/2011 1:29AM

    that all sounds yummy!!!!!!!!

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AUBREYINGMAN 3/23/2011 1:06AM

    Yes. We will have to make those again. The cookie dough balls were vary tasty and went great with the banana soft serve!

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JANICEMC 3/23/2011 12:01AM

    YUMMIE!... I just might have to try this one.

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MDTWEETY 3/22/2011 11:22PM

    OMG! Yuuuuummmmm!

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REDRAIDERPROF 3/22/2011 6:12PM

  This sounds so good!

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Burrito Bowl Recipe & Pictures : Oh the colors!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hello! Just a short blog today to share my latest tasty meal.

I love it when my meals have a plethora of colors. It makes me feel like Iím eating super healthy when I try and hit every single shade. This dinner has to be the prettiest thing I have ever made!

That would be a burrito bowl inspired by the free one I got to try at Chipotle. Well I guess since it was a buy one Ė get one free deal, mine was actually half price. But still! Aubrey and I paid and then sat down to eat. And the first thing I realized was how simple a burrito bowl is to make at home. Why would I ever pay so much money for something so simple?

The answer is, of course, to just make it myself!

Even though it took using three burners at onceÖ

Ö I still say it was pretty simple! Now if I could just convince Aubrey that meat doesnít have to make an appearance at every meal we could get rid of that pesky back burnerÖ.. Okay totally kidding. Since I donít eat meat it NEVER shows up in our dinner plans, so this was a very rare occurrence for him.

It wasnít as pretty until I added the majority of the vegetables. They definitely are what makes this dish pretty. I started with a base of chopped romaine lettuce and then added ĺ cup of brown rice and Ĺ pinto beans.

I thought the blue corn chips (FSTG chips of course) wouldn't quite give the color punch I wanted. So I made pico de gallo and sautťed a bell pepper. Yup, I ate an entire bell pepper in this bowl. It always sounds like a lot to eat an entire bell pepper, but if you think about it, thereís not much to one!

It was delicious, although I think next time Iím going to add some plain Greek yogurt into the mix for some extra protein and creaminess. Mmm

Dessert was a vanilla almond date bar.

Iíve been playing around with my recipe for those for quite awhile now. But I still havenít perfected them in the way Iíd like. So that recipe will have to come later.

What colors do you like to add to your meals?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DNJEN471 3/17/2011 4:47PM

    Wow. Great idea. I have an easy recipie for a brown rice w/ black beans, I'll have to try it on a salad :) Thanks for the idea! Jeff will sometimes just roast red, yellow and green peppers and have those for dinner- we love them :)

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1SGONZALEZ 3/16/2011 1:55PM

  I always enjoy your recipes, thanks for sharing!

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LIVING_FREE 3/15/2011 11:05PM

    Okay, that seriously looked good!!!! =)

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RHALES199 3/15/2011 2:04PM

    man, that DOES look yummy!!!

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MDTWEETY 3/15/2011 8:17AM

    Beautiful burrito bowl! Much prettier than Chipotle's! :) SO funny/ironic that I read this blog just now. There is a Chipotle opening TODAY in my neighborhood. DH and I have been watching its progress (the space used to be a hair salon) for months now. Finally it's opening. Today is the day! LOL.
How did you get a free burrito? I feel like they should do something special today for their grand opening (like free burritos!). :)

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AUBREYINGMAN 3/15/2011 2:48AM

    The burrito bowl was a great idea. We need to do it more often. I will continue to eat meat. I love you.

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CAMELA_55 3/14/2011 9:59PM

    Looks delish!!

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HANNAH_CALM 3/14/2011 5:39PM

    Good for you! Tell us how it is with the Greek yogurt too. Sounds delish!

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MCK0582 3/14/2011 3:47PM

    both the burrito bowl and the date bar look fantastic!

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SWEETSMAMA 3/14/2011 2:54PM

    Wow. That looks fantastic!! emoticon

I love stuff like this - and we have a vegetarian in our household as well, so I love that you can have it both ways! Nice pictures, too. Thanks for sharing - I have just added another dinner to our menu this week, thanks to you!

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DOLLBABE56 3/14/2011 2:53PM


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Cake for Breakfast? - New GF Recipe with Pictures

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hey itís been awhile!

I discovered a new blog over the weekend thanks to Angelaís Vegan Recipe Link Love. Check out the latest one here: ohsheglows.com/2011/03/05/recipe-lin

She has been posting vegan recipes from numerous bloggers. Which is how I discovered Averieís blog, Love Veggies & Yoga. www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/

A lot of her stuff is gluten-free, which is perfect for me! After searching through all of her recipes I have found so many delicious things to make. But the first thing that appealed to me was her Microwave Banana Oat Cakes.


Although I made my version a bit differently. First I wanted a bit more oats, so I used ľ cup instead of 3 tbsp. Although next time Iíll be adding more banana, because it was definitely too oaty.

I added the ľ cup oats, Ĺ tsp cinnamon and half a mashed banana to a bowl.

I mashed them all together and then transferred them to a lightly sprayed bowl.

I microwaved the mixture for about 95 seconds and then let it cool down for a minute or so to let it firm up.

I think itís more like a cookie, but it was delicious!! I donít think it needs any added sweetener, but feel free to add what you like! I decided to top it with Barney Butter and had a small apple and Greek yogurt on the side.

A nice filling breakfast. 350 calories, 50g carbs, 20g protein, 6g fat, 8g fiber.

I like having so many different foods, especially at breakfast. Although if you want a bigger cookie, Averie has another option for you.


What do you usually eat for breakfast? Mine includes oats daily!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETSMAMA 3/14/2011 2:55PM

    OMG - Are you GF TOO!!!! Me too - I'm going to visit your page more often, now that I found you!

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NEVERGIVEUP68 3/9/2011 10:45AM

    I tried today omg i love it. I didn't add any brown sugar as i am not eating any type of sugar and try to go 100% sugar free. I love my breakfast today. Thank you for sharing with us. I made Biggie Microwave Banana Oat Cakes and guess what i eat only half of it in my breakfast. other part is going to be my desert in the afternoon. emoticon

I try the "Caribbean Coconut Rice with Garbanzos & Veggies" and i fallin love this. This recipes i am going to make it every week. again i didn't add any sugar. yes i add more spices so it can be hot. I love your blogs and always try to make new recipes.

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    OMG yum.

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CAMELA_55 3/8/2011 8:57AM


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AUBREYINGMAN 3/7/2011 11:28PM

    Guess I need to try the one you made me. It looks like it is really tasty.

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MT-MOONCHASER 3/7/2011 11:19PM

    Looks like a great grab and go breakfast. I think I'll try making some of these the night before. They would fit in well with my somewhat usual breakfast.

If I like them (and I'm pretty sure I will), I think they would be great when my bananas get a little ripe. Could wrap and store them in the fridge...


Comment edited on: 3/7/2011 11:21:09 PM

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DIZZYFEMME 3/7/2011 10:25PM

    Nom Nom Nom.

This looks delicious. Will have to try it out soon. Thanks for posting!

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NEVERGIVEUP68 3/7/2011 9:23PM

    Amber, I am so happy that you got some more food choice. I love all the sites. I am most part of vegetarian. I noticed i can not eat any meat or fish. So i am truing to vegetarian. I don't mind. I can live without meat. I just want to try some good new recipes that you got. emoticon

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HANNAH_CALM 3/7/2011 6:12PM

    I've got my schedule all messed up, and have mostly missed breakfast the past week or so. I miss waking up at the right time. Because if I miss breakfast, I usually only eat two meals a day.

The oat cake looks yummy! I used to make a plain one, with just oats, every morning, but I got so tired of that.

I'm going to buy some Greek yogurt soon and try it out.

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RHALES199 3/7/2011 4:42PM

    mmmm.... that looks good.... I'll hafta try it!! (And take a look at some of those blogs!). Almond butter....yummmmm!!

I usually eat oats a la Bobb's REd Mill at least 4-6 times a week, but this last week I've been taking a break from them.
This morning I had a Kinnickinick Blueberry muffin & a 'fried' egg (I also often eat eggs for breakfast.... great source of protien for me!)

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DNJEN471 3/7/2011 1:19PM

    I've been on a multi-grain cheerios kick lately with some unsweetened soy milk. Fills me up :)

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