From Dirt To Cake

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 12, 2011

Yesterday, the rain actually held off for most of the day which was nice. We got a lot of gardening done and hit up the nursery for some flowers.

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I bought some Impatiens, Geraniums, and Bellflowers to plant in the front garden. Before this, mom and I did a lot of weeding and prepped the bed with some topsoil leftover from my veggie garden.

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Things are shaping up around here! We almost seem like civilized home owners now. ;)

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Check out the spinach…it’s shooting up! I didn’t expect it to grow so vertically!

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Update: Many of you have said it has gone to seed and bolted. Sad smile SAD! Do you think it’s done for the summer months?

The kale grows outward and it’s getting nice and full.

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Yummy lettuce…

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This romaine lettuce is the biggest one so far:

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Sadly, I lost two lettuce so far…they just wilted up and died. No idea why!

The 2 Spanish Onions and 1 Red Onion continue to do well.

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And the cucumbers in the back are spreading fast.

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Eric has been working away at the deck as usual!

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The rails are now all in and he is working on the top piece of the railing.

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This morning, Eric said to me that he is losing motivation to finish the deck… words that no wife ever wants to hear! ;) I’m trying to help him when I can and bring him lots of beer. :) I think he is quite intimidated by the 3 staircases he has to figure out…I’m so impressed with what he’s done so far though. It will be nice to have it finished and then he can take a break with renos for a while.

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After gardening, I made a huge batch of the Back on Track Salad…one of our favs!

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I made a few modifications this time, using some black beans, fresh dill, more lemon juice, and red onion. It was awesome with the dill and extra kick of lemon!

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I just love how versatile this salad is…you could adapt it so many ways and it’s always a crowd pleaser.

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Eric picked up a Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf to go along with lunch. Sadly, it wasn’t vegan due to an egg wash!

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I had a bowl of the Back on Track salad and an Ezekiel wrap with veggies, avocado, and hummus.

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Unfortunately, my Aunt Jenn and family couldn’t make our dinner get together because Julia got sick with a bad stomach flu and was up all night. Poor girl! :(

We had a pretty low key night and relaxed with some beer and wine.

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Eric BBQ’d chicken for him and my mom and I had a veggie burger. We had the Back on Track salad and Sautéed Crimini mushrooms with garlic and olive oil on the side. I picked up some mushrooms from a local mushroom farm and they were great. I really need to make Sautéed Crimini mushrooms more often…they are one of my favourite side dishes. I also loaded some onto my burger.

A delicious and filling meal!

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For dessert we each had a Whole Wheat Vegan Chocolate Cupcake with Spiced Buttercream! My mom couldn’t believe they didn’t have any eggs because they are so light and fluffy. It’s magic!

By the way, they also froze very well. I froze them for 2 days and then let them sit on the counter to defrost for a couple hours. They were still fresh as can be. :)

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Today, we’re heading out to do a little chandelier shopping (window-shopping?) and then I think my mom and I are going to bake. Sundays just don’t get any better… Enjoy your day!

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{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl June 12, 2011 at 11:14 am

BEAUTIFUL garden!

Have fun shopping and baking! :)

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tea-bag June 12, 2011 at 11:28 am

sauteed mushrooms make EVERYTHING better! studies have shown that people can replace a portion of the meat in a dish with mushrooms & feel the same amount of satiation! gotta love that umami!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Oh love that…I love them on a burger. Very great texture too!

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Kendel @ Eating Abroad June 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

Your garden looks great! The kale is growing upward to ‘go to seed.’ You don’t want that. Just chop off the tall shoots then the plant’s energy can go towards making leaves rather than making blossoms and seeds. Good luck!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm

ohhhh thank you! I was wonderful about that!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm

wonderful = wondering ;)

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Holly @ The Runny Egg June 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

Your garden is so lovely! The romaine looks adorable.

Eric has done such a wonderful job on your deck! I love how it looks so far.

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kaila @ healthy helper! June 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

That sounds like such an amazing meal! I love the sauteed crimini mushrooms! They are so yummy!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

The deck looks so good, keep up the good work Eric! I hope for your sake it doesn’t turn into a completely finished deck with no stair case ;) My husband has been known to do things like that. Drives me crazy!
have a fun day with your mom.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm

haha Eric has been known for that too at times…

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Andrea June 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

Your garden is looking amazing! My mom just constructed a raised vegetable garden, and I’m looking forward to fresh veggies like yours :) Have a fun day baking with your mom!

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Ruth June 12, 2011 at 11:43 am

I echo Kendel’s comment – I think about the spinach. The spinach is entering a new stage of life where it’s trying to reproduce (a.k.a. make seeds) — probably thanks to the hot weather! I keep chopping mine off as Kendel suggested because it’s also been really hot here. I suppose I’m delaying puberty for the spinach kiddos??

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Diana June 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

The increased day length and warmth are making your spinach bolt. You really can’t prevent it except plant earlier. The quality of the taste goes down. I would harvest the leaves you can and then enjoy your kale for greens.

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Julie - StressStories June 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

Those flowers really light up – so pretty. As for the deck, you should take some pictures and photoshop you and Eric into them, barbecuing and sunbathing on the deck – you know how men love bikinis, that might get him motivated :-)
Sounds like a perfect Sunday to me. I love how you and your mom are having such a great time together.

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Heidi @ Food Doodles June 12, 2011 at 11:51 am

Looks like your spinach has gone to seed. You can’t really stop it I don’t think. Usually I plant some spinach and then plant some more a couple weeks later so when the first stuff goes to seed I still have some. Usually spinach likes colder weather so when it gets really hot it goes to seed right away. I usually stop growing it in the middle of summer and then plant again when it cools down in the fall. You can at least still eat the leaves that are on them. Are those green onions?? They look huge. Mine are still tiny. I think your deck looks beautiful! great job :) And that variation on the salad look so good :D

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Thanks!

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mary (what's cookin' with mary) June 12, 2011 at 11:53 am

You’re so right. You’ve got all the makings for a wonderful Sunday! It’s gloomy here again today, but we had a super fun dinner at our place (That I cooked!!! :D YAY! I’m BACK. – Note to self: don’t tear muscles, esp the kind you use for EVERYTHING. HAHA) and today we’re ‘reading the paper’ (read: reading all our online news/ blogs), then having a leasurely brunch on the patio… followed by dinner at a good friends. Don’t you love when someone else makes you tasty food ?? I do 8-)

PS Your veggie garden looks great Ange! Makes me want to get a few more pots and complete my herb garden now that I can actually use them again.

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Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty June 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

that salad looks truly fantastic!! :)

Have a great Sunday!!

PS. You are going to have SO much kale. I planted 1/2 that and had kale for everyone in my town!!!!!!!!!! hehe :) It’s awesome. I also let some of it go to seed this year so that I can pass on the amazing seeds!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm

haha it should be a kale party every week on my street!

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Tichina June 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Angela, your garden looks so great :). Those veggies look delish! Don’t you love it when you’ve got company in the kitchen? My mom is not a lover of baking/cooking, but every now and again she will give in and spend a Sunday getting creative and prepping meals with me. I dearly love that time we have together <3 P.s. Let Eric know he's doing a fantastic job so far by the looks of the pictures!

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Amanda Jewell @ Science&Bananas June 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I think you should try to motivate Eric with more beer and some that amazing cherry, banana, coconut butter bread of yours! It’s kind of epic :-)

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Pam June 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Thanks for the reminder about the Back on Track salad! This led me to the Back on Track II post with the whole gamut of salads to try. Just what I needed for summer salad inspiration!

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit June 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Darn those egg washes. I used to hate that when I was vegan! Don’t they know that olive oil has practically the same effect? Oh well, at least you had a yummy lunch!
I see a TON of kale chips in your not so distant future.

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Julie @ Shining From Within June 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

You are going to be eating your veggies in no time! My romaine leaves are so cute and tall, too. Lots of yummy eats mmm..im coming over to eat all the leftovers ;)

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J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) June 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Your garden is lovely and I love your deck railings! Too bad about the egg wash on the bread. Your pictures are fabulous, as always!

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[email protected] June 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm

It’s so cool seeing all the goodies growing finally~It gives this warm comforting feeling ;) Eric is sooo talented! He amazes me with his diligence. Has he basically learned this type of stuff by himself?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Yup he teaches himself on the internet…

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Cath June 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Congratulations on how well your garden is growing. I am impressed! I’m also extremely impressed by Eric’s handiwork on the deck. You two are very resourceful.

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The Teenage Taste June 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Can I come to your next dinner party?! Pleeeassseeee? Everything looks so delicious! ;-)
Have a great day!

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Hayley @ Oat Couture June 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Ah Eric has been such a trooper with that deck though, right?! It’s HUGE and it looks fantastic!! I’m sure the stairs will be done soon! ;) And your garden looks great, I miss things like that due to apartment living! :/ I don’t think the rest of our block would be too happy if I started digging up the garden and replacing it with veggies… ;)

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Julie @ Wearing Mascara June 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I wish you could cook me dinner :-) Everything looks amazing as usual. Love your garden!

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Amy June 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Dear Eric,

Please don’t give up on the deck.

You see, I keep showing MY husband that it’s possible to DIY a deck, and I show him how awesome you are in Angela’s posts.

Please, please, please don’t give up!

Sincerely,
Amy

ps: you look kind of hawt in “building” mode. Don’t tell Angela I said that. ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

haha that should keep him going for another few days!

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Cristal June 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm

The Big Summer Salad that you make (it’s listed under Do Couples Gain and Lose Together), is that recipe for 1 serving?

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Erin June 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I agree with some of the comments about the spinach…I think it has gone to seed, so it wouldn’t be good for eating anymore! :(
That sometimes happens when it is too hot for spinach – it likes the cooler weather in the spring. I would start some new seeds and see what happens. You have to harvest it early, especially it if is hot.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Ah darnit!

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn June 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Fooooood!! I love my garden this year, the Padre is working so hard on it!! Slash I WANT/need those cupcakes

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Mrs WV June 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Oh wow!! your garden looks so good!! Don’t worry about the spinach going to seed, our rocket went to seed too! We only have two pots off of our balcony, but I love them! and can’t wait to get a real garden one day – in the mean time I will just crush on your garden!

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melissa June 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I love cremini! We always sub for more cremini mushrooms in our weekly CSA box.

The garden is beautiful!

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm

The garden pictures are SO VIBRANT! They are jumping off the page. Nice shots, and nice work in editing b/c I know you shoot RAW and it’s an art, too, to get the editing right. And your final images..gorgeous!

And the Back on Track salad looks awesome! So do the ‘shrooms and the whole meal.

Way to impress your mom with the vegan cupcakes and being so fluffy without eggs. Just a testament to what a great cook you are :) And I’d love to dive into that buttercream frosting!

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Cait @ Beyond Bananas June 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm

The deck is coming along so nicely!

I would really like to have the back on track salad. it looks amazing!

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Molly @ RDexposed June 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

These pictures are getting me excited for my own little spinach seeds to sprout up!

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Stephenie Zamora June 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Your garden looks amazing! As does that salad… yum! Off to check out the recipe! xo

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Katie June 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Definitely bolted. Sorry! You should harvest it all right now, because it will start to taste really bitter. You are going to have SO MUCH kale! I planted that much for myself and I had to freeze a ton of it. Still great in green monsters though. :)

The lettuce is ready to start eating, too! That kind of lettuce can be harvested as a full head like you get at the store you can harvest it continually by thinning the little leaves and eating them as baby lettuce (also like you buy at the store). The more you thin, the more leaves it puts out!

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Wendy Irene June 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm

What a beautiful family!

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Jessica Sinclair June 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm

The garden is looking great(flowers in too yay)! If Eric is intimidated by the staircases why doesn’t he get some precut stringers and install them? I think that Home Depot will do custom order if you call and let them know your measurements etc. . At least that way you can get off the deck without killing yourselves and you don’t have to worry about lost motivation… My husband does restoration work (insurance jobs) so I’m last on the list for everything….(he a painter/drywaller) I have to paint my own house too LOL.

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Ally June 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm

That looks so delicious! I love the back on track salad! What a good way to use what you have in the fridge. I think my spinach bolted, too. I’m not sure why, I had no problem with it but then again we have had some crazy weather.

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kate June 12, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I love your deck it looks great as does your meal I cant wait for dinner tonight, nothing better than summertime food!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

You’re making me so jealous with your garden full of greens! Do you think it’s too late for me to plant some?

I tried out your back on track salad a few weeks ago and I loved it. This post makes me want to make it again!

Enjoy your day with your mom. :)

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emma June 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Your salad spread looks delicious…and your photos are beautiful Angela :-)

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Sheryl June 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Love your website! I recently just came across it and I love all the recipes you’ve come up with! I wanted to know if you have a yet discovered a favorite veggie burger? I’ve tried a few that haven’t been horrible, but nothing I LOVE.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

I tend to like the Amy’s brand :)

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Eat Hike Sleep Repeat June 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm

You could always replace the stairs with a slide :)

Just got back from working in Thunder Bay, and got some of that nice weather you spoke of. Heading to home to check on my garden. I had a couple of lettuce plants shrivel up too, and the others kind of stalled and haven’t really grown. Your garden is looking good!

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Alaina June 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Your garden continues to make me yearn for one. :-)

I’ll bet you’re looking forward to some amazing parties out on that deck!

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Abby June 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Your deck is looking so beautiful! I love it!

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Lindsay Loves Veggies June 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Your veggies garden is so adorable! I’m so jealous! I keep telling my boyfriend that we need to get a house, instead of our apartment, just so I can have a veggies garden! Maybe by next year?? :)

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Andrea @ Vegvacious June 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Isn’t Mom time so awesome!? My mom lives 12 hours away and I love it when she comes to visit. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

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katie June 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm

your pictures look amazing with the rounded edges. Go Eric!!!! It looks amazing so far, keep up the awesome work.

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Lauren June 12, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Very jealous about the garden! you have a probs have a bigger and greener thumb then me ;) I love cooking with my mum! well baking at least :) love this blog BTW. :) :)

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Justeen @ Blissful Baking June 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Your veggies look great! I want to grow my own kale now!

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Moni'sMeals June 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm

You sure impress me. Just look at all that you get done. You go Angela!

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Amanda P June 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I really want to make this Back on Track Salad. I love trying out your recipes when I need something new. They always turn out delicious! Good luck on the deck and garden!

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Jessica Champion June 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm

The deck looks amazing so far!! Glad to see that your garden is flourishing :). Just wanted to let you know I just ate a green monster popsicle, yep you read that right! Soo good. Have you made them before?

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April June 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I didn’t know til now that your husband ate meat. How often do ya’ll have split dinners where he eats his thing and you eat yours? Or do ya’ll almost always eat your vegan meals together? I can barely get mine to eat anything that isn’t chocked full of sodium and processed. Thought you might have some magic up your sleeve!

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Caitlin June 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Definitely JUST finished making that salad about 30 seconds before reading this post! Love the black bean idea. I used chick peas, and am thinking of throwing some garlic scapes on top yummmm

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Sam @ Mom At The Barre June 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm

That cupcake looks delicious. And now I’m craving cupcakes….

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Mary (sisters running the kitchen) June 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm

wow this salad looks incredible!!! thanks for sharing !!!!!!!

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Kendra June 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Did you add an orange pepper to the original salad recipe? Or maybe use half/half orange/red pepper?

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Carey @ Positively Blonde June 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Wow, that deck looks awesome! Your husband’s done a great job! I remember when my Dad decided to finish the basement; I can imagine when taking on such large tasks it can be easy to lose motivation.

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Julie (A Case of the Runs) June 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm

So the freezing worked! Will keep in mind!

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char @ char on a mission June 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm

That salad looks so amazing. I love a salad with a lot of colours in it – so this is definitely on my list of salads to make…possibly tomorrow! What brand of veggie burger did you have? I had a Licks (from frozen) one at my sister-in-laws tonight and it was pretty good!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I’ve got to ry that salad – it looks so refreshing! Those cupcakes look incredible. You’ve opened up a whole new world for me know that I know you can freeze them with no problem!

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Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me June 12, 2011 at 9:05 pm

wow what a great day. Your landscaping and your deck look so amazing. I can understand why the poor guy would be tired! It looks like a ton of work but it looks SO good. He will feel awesome once it’s finished.

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Katie June 12, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Ooh, that salad looks so delicious! You must be proud of your deck-building hubby- handymen are hot :)

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Katalin June 12, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Spinach grows incredibly fast from seed, so if you removed all of what you have and just re-planted with seeds, you would have baby spinach in about 2-3 weeks. I planted my seeds on the May long weekend and am picking baby spinach every day already. I’ve heard that if you pick the outer leaves, it will be less likely to go to seed. We’ll see, I guess! I’m jealous of your kale – I haven’t even found kale here to buy yet. Oh, and the deck looks AMAZING.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 13, 2011 at 9:30 am

thanks!!

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Hannah June 12, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Vegan magic baking! We all know it’s the best kind :)

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Ashley June 13, 2011 at 12:20 am

Seriously so impressed by the deck. That was a GIgantic project to tackle! It looks professional for sure. We’re hoping to demo + rebuild a shed this summer…we’ll see! ;) Your garden + flowers are looking great. Looks like you’re having fun with mom!!

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Emma @ Getting There & Going Places June 13, 2011 at 5:22 am

Wow the garden and the deck are looking great! :D
As is that salad! I definitely need to make that sometime!

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Mushrooms Canada June 13, 2011 at 7:07 am

The deck is looking great Angela (and Eric)… and it looks like you are making great progress in your garden as well! Gotta love sauteed mushrooms as a side dish! I love them on burgers too! ;)
Glad to see you had a good weekend!
– Brittany

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LizAshlee June 13, 2011 at 8:05 am

Your garden and the deck are both coming along quite nicely…they look beautiful! Can I please come to your next gathering?! :) …the food looks so delicious…what a fun time!

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[email protected] June 13, 2011 at 8:08 am

All that food looks amazing, esp. your salad! I’ve been dying to make some cupcakes, they’re just so much fun :-)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 13, 2011 at 8:24 am

Looks like you guys had a great weekend Ange, and a good visit with OSGMOM too! The deck looks awesome, and so does the garden – nice job on that Romaine! :)

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Cait's Plate June 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

Oh my gosh – all that food looks so fresh and amazing. I want to eat it right off the screen.

And HOLY CRAP! I can’t believe Eric built that deck!! That’s SO good! Never under estimate the beauty of having a handy man on your hands ;)

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Kathy June 13, 2011 at 8:37 am

love the deck! Maybe the Oh She Glows fans will give Eric motivation!!

So that’s what a spinach plant looks like! …darn…then those plants growing in my garden must be my dad’s potatoes…sad… oh well, I have carrots growing in June! …I think my black thumb will kill them all…

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Elizabeth June 13, 2011 at 8:48 am

Yesterday was my birthday and I wanted you to know I celebrated with your whole wheat chocolate cupcake/ buttercream frosting recipe! Thanks for that recipe! I turned it into a cake, though. I’ve cut out alot of sugar from my diet and added less sugar and substituted agave nectar. Delicious! I’m not vegan – just a “clean eater” and I have to tell you that the first thing I do in the morning after my cup of green tea, is to check ohsheglows.com. Makes me joyful and happy and proud to be eating clean all day. Thanks for the inspiration, Angela!

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Gayathri B June 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

Gosh! How I love your blog!! Those VOO’s have been making a daily appearance in our lives! :-) And tongith I am going to try this Back to track salad .. because you ahve tempted me enough with it!!

About your garden .. I have just started gardening too since the last year and I am surprised to see that you are planting your geraniums with your impatiens. My geraniums love a good half day of sun at least and my impatiens love the shade and can’t take the sun at all. I need to start growing kale! That would be a nice add!

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Amber K June 13, 2011 at 11:06 am

My husband planted some veggies out at his grandma’s house, I wonder if everything is blooming! Because homegrown produce is just so tasty!

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JenATX June 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm

poor Eric! Tell him the deck looks amazing and how worth it its going to be when yall can relax out there once its finished :)

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Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) June 16, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Mmmmm, I am totally craving mushrooms right now!!! Good thing I have a BUNCH in my fridge!

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