November 11th, 2009 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time

Now this is what I call a real salad.

A Real Salad

I guess I’ll just have to be my own fruit and salad company. You know what they say! If you want something done right you just have to do it yourself. Can do.

We kept ourselves busy today, both in and out of the kitchen.

Let’s make more MamaBars!

Let's Make Banana Bites

Let’s make something with glitter! *insert insane shrieking here* ANYTHING WITH GLITTER! Let’s make it! Gliiittteeerrrrrrrrrr…

I’m not so sure though that the “do it yourself” cliche applies to Christmas ornaments. Some things really are better store-bought.

We've Been Busy Today

MamaBars though? Yeah, I’ll take my chances and make those myself.

8 Dates
1/2 c raw cashews
1/3 c sesame seeds
1 banana
3/4 c ground flax seed
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Dash of cinnamon

Everything into the food processor and press the ON button! Easy, right? Well, sort of.

I started with just 1/4 c of flax but it was really wet so I added a 1/4 c at a time for a total of 3/4 of a cup until it was firm enough to shape into bars. But this meant a lot of turns of the food processor blade which is basically code for “a big hot sticky banana mess”.

Thanks to a tip I remembered from Mama Averie, I knew putting the dough in the fridge for a while would help them firm up and reduce the stickiness factor, thus make shaping them into bars easier.

Banana Dough in the Fridge

Now it’s time to get to work on a Mama Pea inspired dinner.

It all started with a fun new squash I found at Wegmans the other day.

Carnival Squash in Produce

Carnival Squash!

Carnival Squash

I snagged one from the pile and sliced the lucky squash open tonight to be baked it at 375 for about an hour. Rumor has it a sweet potato kept the squash company on the cookie sheet. They are now BFF.

With banana dough a-chilling, squash a-baking, six geese a-laying, I diced up an onion.

Diced Onions

To saute with two cloves of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Add a 14 oz can of tomatoes, 4 cups of water and/or vegetable broth and a 1 lb of red lentils, rinsed and drained.

Red Lentils

Once the squash and potato were soft and fork-able (about an hour), their innards were scooped out and then added to the lentils – to be smashed and broken up with with a wooden spoon.

Baked Carnival Squash

A couple tablespoons of curry powder, a dash of red pepper, kosher salt and allow to simmer for about 40 minutes or so until the lentil are completely cooked.

Curried Squash and Lentil Soup

While the soup was cooking, the unthinkable happened.

The Unthinkable

I let the girls wear Girl Scout Cookie glasses.

Cookie Eyes

I don’t know where they get this stuff from.

Max Cookie Eyes

Yes, yes… I was cornered by a gang of Girl Scouts and was coerced into filling out their form. Can I help it if I’m a sucker for cute little girls? NO! Fortunately for me I am not at all in the mood to wear Thin Mint or Samoa glasses – I’ve still got my contact lenses in.

Dinner is served! Curried Squash and Lentil Soup with a side of steamed broccoli and cauliflower topped with a little Parmesan cheese. The soup recipe made 10, one cup servings, about 200 calories each.

Notice the glitter on the table?

Notice Sparkles?

Yeah, eat first. Clean up later. That’s my motto.

Why the Glitter

After dinner my banana dough was ready to be whipped into shape to officially be knighted and named MamaBites.

After making MamaBars last week I realized I prefer small 1 oz bite sized servings as opposed to 2 oz bars. But for your noshing pleasure MamaBites come a variety of sizes – double your pleasure, double your fun.

These worked out to be 105 calories per 1 oz bite, or 210 calories for a 2 oz bar. Pretty dang close to a Larabar! Me likey!

Banana Bites

I called the cat’s name so he would look at me for my photo. And the other cat immediately came running, surely wanting to know what he was getting to eat that she was missing out on.

Minnie Too

Dude, doesn’t anyone do anything around here but eat? Oh yeah, we make ornaments too.

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20 Responses

  • Lizzy says:

    girl scout cookie glasses..o how i love those litte girls! do you think i could get a thin mint my way!?

    that homemade salad looks more like it! totally lovin it!

  • Love your salad! I have been disappointed by restaurant salads too many times, and my own (almost) never disappoint me.

    I’ll really have to try your mama bars soon.

    And dinner looks just simply delicious! Sounds like you are still having fun with your calorie counting science project! 😉

  • Thanks for the shout out, and glad my tips helped! When in doubt, fridge will remove moisture and cool the dough, a double bonus for shaping/molding. I also prefer smaller sizes than larger, even if I eat the same amt, I like the poppable factor of smaller sz’s.

    Bananas are risky in bars. They can add waaaaay more glop and moisture than one wants. You really have to be careful w/ them and usually the addtion of 1 nanna forces the dry ingredients ratio to have to shoot up which is why i never use them in bars. You were brave, results look great!

    Your soup looks fabulous!

    Girl Scout Cookies, in h.s. and college I could eat a Sleeve, i.e. half the box of Thin Mints at a setting and 1/2 tray of Samoas. I still probably “could” do that, but wouldnt :) I dont buy them b/c I really cannot cheat with gluten but damn they look sooo good!

    • Alison says:

      Yes, I definitel realized the banana was what made it so wet, and tried to come up with something to help “soak” up the dampness. More flax and the addition of sesame seeds seemed to do the trick.

      Oh, easily could eat a whole sleeve of thin mints back in the day too – very glad those days are over.

  • Libby says:

    All your eats look fantastic today. You’ve really inspired my salad creations – today I added grated carrot and some raw cauliflower. Yummo – I had no idea raw cauli was so delicious.
    I’m definitely going to try your mama bars one day. Gotta go make a breakfast cookie for tomorrows breakfast before collecting Christy from dancing :-).


  • Cindy says:


    Cookie Glasses
    and Squash

    all topped with Mamabars?

    OH LORD I love your blog!

    I had RAW carrot soup for dinner! WOOT.
    Happy Wednesday

  • ooooh girl scout cookies….those would’ve found their way off the girls eyes and into my mouth.

  • Nicole says:

    I’m such a salad snob too! :) NO to iceberg lettuce!!

  • Erica says:

    hahaha. Those remind me of ornaments my parents have that I made when I was little (except yours are a lot prettier). Every year I’m like seriously guys…you do NOT have to put those on the tree. ;).

    Yayy for more mama bars. And I am loving the name/flavoring of that squash. I will be on the lookout. Dinner looks just delicious.

  • I love glitter, I think I’ll make ornaments right now.

  • Suzanne says:

    That damn glitter stuff gets everywhere. I’m always cleaning it up for weeks after my Ava has a creative spurt with the glitter shaker!
    (Just a little tip, if you need to roll your sticky mamabar mixture straight away, try wetting your hands before rolling)

  • Mmm that soup looks amazing! I’ve never cooked with lentils.

    The thin mint glasses are SO cute, hehe.

  • Sharon says:

    I bought the exact same two boxs of girl scout cookies. I’ve been good, only have eaten 2 cookies. In hopes Mat would finish them off before i want any more.

  • Jennifer says:

    Oh, man, is it that time of year again???? (Girl Scout cookies) I’m definitely dodging them this year. (haha)

    Do you use a salad spinner or something to dry the lettuce in your salads? Wet lettuce DRIVES.ME.INSANE! I have tried letting it just sit in the strainer after I wash it but then it ends up warm and wilty. I’ve tried drying it piece by piece with a paper towel…haha…and that doesn’t work. I’ve seen those salad spinners and wondered if they work.

    That wintry morning picture looks SO beautiful!
    Oh, and I foresee a post from you in the near future that you are the proud owner of a Garmin 405. :)

  • Bernadette says:

    Maxine in those cookie glasses, WAY TOO CUTE!!!

    Ok Lentil soup has been added to the list of recipes to be cooked this weekend!

    And you are one BRAVE woman allowing glitter in your house! We always joke about glitter saying it never goes away!! I swear Makenna brought some craft home from pre-school (4 years ago) and we’re still finding glitter! My son will run for the hills if he sees glitter coming towards him!


  • Holly says:

    your mamabars are genius. that recipe is now added to my recipe repetoire. and i love glitter.

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