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My New Obsession And Funky Oats

April 1, 2009

Last night’s dinner was so good thanks to CD (CD = Chris, my husband for any new readers).  In college, Chris always added almond butter to marinara sauce, and I don’t know why it took us so long to recreate this dish.  Plus, after  my friend Cristy told me that she made some really good pasta sauce with flax seed last week, I knew it was my turn to get a little nutty in the kitchen.  Here were my ingredients:



I mixed 1/2 of the jar of sauce with 1 heaping spoonful of crunchy peanut butter and 2 TBSP ground flax seed (kudos to Cristy for this idea!) stirring occasionally on the stove-top until heated thoroughly.

Here was my plate:

Veggie pasta galore!

Veggie "pasta" galore!

I won’t lie.  To this day, I have a hard time with pasta.  I know, I know, I will eat heaping bowls of oats and other grains, but I NEVER buy pasta noodles – a Heather quirk I guess.  Usually, I substitute spaghetti squash but could not find any at the store.  Instead, I roasted 1/2 a bag of broccoli slaw with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red bell pepper, onion, celery, and mushrooms and topped it all with THE BEST PASTA SAUCE EVER!  The addition of flax seeds really thickened things up, and the peanut butter added an amazing flavor.  Plus, I got some crunchy peanuts in a few bites – yum!  I will be eating this often.

This new sauce needs a name.  So get your creative thinking caps on and leave your brilliant ideas in a comment below.  I’ll leave the judging to CD since he was my inspiration.  The winner will receive one jar of Trader Joe’s peanut butter, crunchy or smooth.  Can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

My breakfast was a bit embarrassing, but I’ll show it to you anyway. 

Chocolate Peppermint Oats

Chocolate Peppermint Oats - Sounded good anyway.

OK, so I guess this  does not look much different from my previous bowls of spinach oats, but the color was truly awful. For those girly girls out there, I won’t say what it really looked like, but I’ll give you a clue…rhymes with goo and starts with a “p”.  Sorry, I grew up with brothers, and at times, I think CD is 28 going on 13.  NOTHING grosses me out.  Anyway, my recipe sounded so good in theory.  I brewed 1 1/2 cups of peppermint tea before going to yoga this morning (great class – lots of long holds.  Amazing!).  Upon my return, I added 1/2 cup oat bran and 1/2 cup wheat bran to my tea and brought it to a boil on the stove-top.  After it was done cooking, I blended my peppermint flavored oats in the Vita-Mix with 1/2 scoop Jay Robb chocolate protein powder, a few drops of dark chocolate flavored Stevia, 1/4 of a frozen avocado, a handful of raw spinach, and 1 TBSP of dark cocoa powder.  I figured the spinach would add a lovely minty-green touch.  What was I thinking? Brown cocoa powder + green spinach = dirt in a bowl.  The taste was a bit off as well.  I was hoping for more  Peppermint Patty, but what I got was a bowl of peppermint tea with a side of oat/wheat bran.  Won’t be trying this one again!

Quick dairy/soy-free month recap.  I feel great, and I’ve decided to stick with my eating plan.  Soy is not my friend.   Anything fermented like tempeh or miso seems to be okay, but tofu and soy milk kill my stomach.  I will not be eating/drinking either anymore.  As far as the dairy goes, I don’t think I’m lactose intolerant, but I truly think my body does better without it.  OK, so there were a few frozen yogurt mishaps, several servings of whey protein consumed, and one amazing french toast casserole with heavy cream…oh, and then there was some cake and ice-cream at a baby shower last weekend.  Hehe – guess I didn’t completely stray from the cow products, but I don’t think I’m going to purchase them for myself.  However, if they are offered to me, I won’t be turning them down…

Free Greek yogurt?  Yes please. :)

Free Greek yogurt? Yes please. 🙂

Many thanks to the kind folks over at Stonyfield for these coupons to try their Oikos Greek yogurt, the ONLY ORGANIC Greek yogurt on the market.  I will be picking some up very soon.

Guess who I get to meet tomorrow?!?  Click here to find out…so excited!!!

Don’t forget to name that pasta sauce and be sure to click here for a Quaker Oats giveaway at Keep It Simple Foods.  You know how I love my Quaker products. 🙂

77 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2009 9:27 am

    Nut butter in pasta sauce????? DAMN, I need to try that.

    Sorry about the oats 😦


  2. April 1, 2009 9:33 am

    MariNutter Sauce.

    I have never heard of that…but Im curious! I wont know how to make it or how much to add. But i trust you!

  3. Lyss permalink
    April 1, 2009 9:36 am

    Spanutti Sauce!

  4. April 1, 2009 9:36 am

    Bread & Company, Polly, Hot Yoga, and TJs!!!! I am missing Nashville so much! Have fun with sweet Polly!

    Those oats look pretttttty yucky, sorry. 😦 hahaha!

    Hmmm now for my saucey name…Nutty Ghetti? sooo lame, that’s all I got! 🙂

    Kaneil, balanceisbest

  5. April 1, 2009 9:37 am

    Nut butter in pasta sauce? Sounds really interesting! You know I love pasta sauce on veggies! In terms of pasta, have you ever tried orzo? Maybe you’d do well with the smaller pastas. Start by adding a small amount in with your veggies? Its very yummy! Mmmmm I will have to think about the sauce name!

  6. April 1, 2009 9:45 am

    I’m callin’ shenanigans!! No peanuts in spaghetti sauce!! It must be an april fools joke…

    Give us the recipe tomorrow, and maybe I’ll believe you! 😀

    Oh, and we’ve got gobs of mighty maple (and other pb&co.) around here, if you want a jar, just shoot me an email. 😀

  7. April 1, 2009 9:47 am

    SHENANIGANS!!!!! 🙂

  8. April 1, 2009 9:50 am




    I don’t know, but it was fun coming up with them! I’ve never had TJ’s pb!

  9. April 1, 2009 9:54 am

    GAH Monique totally had the same sauce name idea as me! What are the odds?! I fold. Maybe you could just call the dish Pasta Italianutta…? Yeah definitely not on my A-game this morning.

    Your sauce post is timely because I think I will try it next time I have my pea-tballs leftover! Eating them with plain marinara was quite good but I can only imagine it would be better with the nutty addition. Plus it would compliment the PB in the balls! Haha…balls.

  10. April 1, 2009 9:55 am

    No lie…I added the crunchy PB to my sauce, and it was delicious! Thanks for the Mighty Maple PB offer, but Chocolate Covered Katie is sending some my way. However, you might get an email from me requesting more if I love it. 🙂

  11. April 1, 2009 10:07 am

    Well, the almond butter version could be A B C D Spa-ghet-ti. (You have to sing it like the alphabet song, though).

    I guess that makes the PB version, PBCD Spaghetti. (You still have to sing it).

    Can you tell I’m watching Sesame Street right now?

    On a not “G” rated note, how about F ‘n Nuts sauce.

    F for flax, Nuts for the PB. And you’d have to be ‘effin nuts to eat it!

  12. April 1, 2009 10:08 am

    Salsa noce — it means “nut sauce” in Italian! Your concoction sounds delicious, by the way. Yum!

  13. April 1, 2009 10:09 am

    Oohhh I really love Sarah’s F’n Nuts sauce. You’ve GOT to pick that one!

  14. Jill permalink
    April 1, 2009 10:12 am

    I’m with you on the pasta thing. Not a big fan of it…esp. now since we know it is not good for us!! I’ll have to try the PB in the sauce…hmmm.

    On a sort of sauce related note, tell CD that I finally found Sockarooni sauce…and I would have to agree – it is the BEST ever. I’m wondering how I lived all these years on crappy Prego and Ragu…blehck.

    Your blog always makes me want to drop everything and head straight to TJ’s…yum.

    PS…Tried greek yogurt finally too…still not a fan. Sorry. If I get coupons, will regift them to you!

  15. April 1, 2009 10:18 am

    Well, if you pinky swear… then…

    in an effort to strengthen interblog relationships, I will trust you and this “Arachidi Marinara”… I’ll try it, and I’ll report back to you!!

    I’m gonna laugh so hard at my gullibility if it is gross! Don’t lead me astray! 😀

    Happy Wednesday!!!

    PS, I prefer pb&co’s Bee’s Knees to Mighty maple, but that didn’t stop me from LICKING the jar. You’ll love it!

  16. Erin permalink
    April 1, 2009 10:21 am

    You amaze me with your wacky yummy combos. This sounds soooo good to me! I must pick up some pasta sauce. I’d never think of it, but it makes so much sense now. Haha, like everything you do.
    PB is good in everything, why not marinara?
    Your breakfast sounds good, sorry it was a bust!
    Glad to hear about your dairy/soy free month. I think dairy bothers me too, but I’m just not disciplined enough to give it up!
    I have cut back significantly…except for yogurt…and that does help. How did you get over your yogurt love? I’m more than slightly addicted to the yummy stuff.

  17. April 1, 2009 10:23 am

    wow! you’re so incredibly creative in the kitchen! can I have just a SPECK of your creativity? PB wth pasta and flax…wow! unfortunattely, I’m not so creative so I can’t really help you with the name!
    too bad about the funky oats…but that’s like…1 out of 10000000 successes?
    hope you find a good name for that! you should copyright it. haha!

  18. April 1, 2009 10:29 am

    Very interesting idea with pasta sauce. You JUST got me on the blended grain wagon, this may take a little more time 🙂

    Hoooray for meeting Polly!

  19. Sarah permalink
    April 1, 2009 10:30 am

    Interesting sauce! How about Spagnutti Sauce? 🙂

  20. April 1, 2009 10:49 am

    Wow….this is SUCH a great idea. Combining two of my favorite things! I am SO trying this this (hate typing that twice) weekend. I like Sarah’s idea for a name “ABCD” spaghetti. Or….Sputter Sauce? Either way, I’m tryin’ it. 🙂

    I REALLY want to try Oikos (ya hear that, Stonyfield?). I love Chobani and the word on the street is that it is similar.

  21. April 1, 2009 10:50 am

    I like the F’n nuts one! FUNNY!

  22. April 1, 2009 11:05 am

    Not sure how I gave up Greek yogurt or cottage cheese as I used to eat at least 2 cups of the stuff every day. Blogging helped. If you put it on out there on the Internet, it’s a lot easier to stick to your goals. 🙂 I just found other things to eat for dessert – cereal with almond milk instead of yogurt or oat bran after dinner. Did not miss the dairy nearly as much as I thought I would!

  23. April 1, 2009 11:10 am

    Nuttanara. Loves it. I add AB to lots of savory sauces and it always adds such a great flavor! I have to say this one would have never occured to me, but I loves it nonetheless! Yum.

  24. April 1, 2009 11:17 am

    Nut butter in tomato sauce sounds so yummy- I will have to try that!

  25. April 1, 2009 11:21 am

    Wow what a great idea!!! I must try it although I’m with you on the pasta…I can’t bring myself to buy it either. The texture is just weird to me.

    I love peppermint/choc. oats but I would think the spinach and avocado would throw it off. hmm =/

    Yay for being dairy free!

  26. April 1, 2009 11:24 am

    wow what a crazy idea! i thought spinach in oatmeal was crazy, but peanut butter in tomato sauce?

    Now about CD’s NuttyNara sauce (marinana…)? Or maybe Nutinara?

    p.s. you should try brown rice pasta- it’s the gluten free version and it’s nice and light. it may be easier for you to eat that rather than the dense whole wheat stuff.

  27. April 1, 2009 11:26 am

    that nut butter flax sauce looks amazing!!! I’ll definitely try it out! pasta-free pasta sounds great! 😀
    is there any special reason that you don’t eat pasta? just curious 🙂

  28. critty permalink
    April 1, 2009 11:49 am

    YEAH!! So glad you tried the flax seed and enjoyed it in the sauce….i can’t wait to make more and will have to add pb as well- I need to try it on broccoli or other various items, sounds lovely. I also like some of the suggested names for the new sauce, very entertaining. Nuttin’ betta flax me sauce – ha! My brain isn’t working properly today so please excuse…

  29. April 1, 2009 12:05 pm

    I’m glad your dairy-free experiment worked out so well! And just reading about your choco-peppermint oats made me a little nauseous:)

  30. Sally permalink
    April 1, 2009 12:09 pm

    I think you should name the pasta sauce peanut butter tomato time spaghettisauce ( instead of pb jelly time LOL. That looks really good! I’ll have to try it sometime!

  31. April 1, 2009 12:10 pm

    This sauce sounds fabulous…I absolutely love Peanut Butter!! Well, any kind of nut butter actually.
    So, someone stole the name I had for your sauce, now I need to think of something else creative.
    I’m with you on the pasta thing. We have it once in a great while, but I prefer to have it as a treat, out to eat, or my family is Italian so at my Mom’s or Grandma’s.

    You could call it Marinutter sauce. Or if you actually did decide to use noodles you could call it, Nutty Noodles, or Nuts for Noodles. So many in appropriate conotations when you have the word nut, or nuts in there.
    Thanks for the giveaway, TJs p.b. is so yummy!!

  32. April 1, 2009 12:10 pm

    I like the taste of pasta but fear the calories…something I’m working on. 🙂

  33. April 1, 2009 12:10 pm

    i must admit i’m skepitcal of the “nutty sauce.” that sauce is nuts! haha. those are all i can come up with for sauce names. will give it a try sometime though.

    oh and thanks for the shout out about the giveaway!

  34. Amanda permalink
    April 1, 2009 12:41 pm

    “ReFLAX, They’re Just Nuts (that’s what she said)” Sauce

    ..hha that was hard (that’s what she said).

    Anywaysss, have you considered working on the pasta fear with 1/2 noodles and 1/2 spaghetti squash? I like to add the squash for bulk!

  35. April 1, 2009 12:45 pm

    PB and pasta sauce? genius!

    I’m sorry you’re not feeling the soy products… bummer!

  36. April 1, 2009 1:01 pm

    What a creative pasta sauce!

  37. peaceandpeanutbutter permalink
    April 1, 2009 1:02 pm

    Heather I’m with you on the pasta……..I’m not really drawn to it. I’d much rather have your dish of veggies!! I’m also a HUGE fan of spaghetti squash 🙂

    Hmmmm, naming your pasta sauce….Flaxghetti and Peanut Sauce??? Hehe

    Sorry to hear about your oatmeal mishap! I guess chocolate peppermint oats are just not in the cards this week!

    Have a great day 🙂


  38. April 1, 2009 1:08 pm

    crud, so sad that the breakfast didnt turn out well. I looooove chocolate peppermint! bummer.

    I would have NEVER thought of that sauce combo, ever!! what a brilliant idea! I prefer spaghetti squash over real noodles myself. I think noodles are sort of gross, so veggies seem to be the perfect substitute 🙂

    i think your approach to dairy is perfect! I don’t picture myself ever 100% saying “no no no” to it, but there’s no reason to go out of your way to consume it. you’re such a healthy girl!

  39. April 1, 2009 1:40 pm

    You have just inspired me, I must try this.

    I think it should be called Peanut Better Pasta Sauce!

  40. April 1, 2009 1:43 pm

    Hey Heather!
    Clicked on you from Polly’s blog =)
    That pasta sauce sounds very tasty and a nice change from the norm!
    Funny about your oats! I have a recipe on my blog for the exact same thing; Peppermint Patty Oats is what I called them!! Crazyness…
    Have fun with Polly and I’m sure we’ll get to see some cute photos!

  41. April 1, 2009 1:52 pm

    PB, spaghetti sauce, and broccoli?!?! yum, some of the best foods in life =)

  42. April 1, 2009 1:57 pm

    TomatOmega sauce? If you add flax or walnut butter it can be justified 😉 Love the idea! I have to try this!

  43. April 1, 2009 2:05 pm

    Peanut pasta sauce? 🙂 I would totally eat that!

    I wish I had a fear of pasta, but I guess either extreme isn’t ideal. I’m sure you’ve looked into all the varieties? Wholegrain, flax-pumped, etc? It doesn’t have to be scary 🙂 I know how hard those food “rules” can be to fight, though.

  44. April 1, 2009 3:51 pm

    I was totally going to say spanutti, but I see someone’s beat me to the punch. Oh well, my vote is still on spanutti!!

  45. April 1, 2009 3:59 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of pasta either. Unless it’s in the form of spinach lasagna. 🙂

    Using peppermint tea to make oats is really creative. I don’t care if they look like poo as long as they are delicious, haha. I think I should try this with my Tazo tea.

    I’m really excited to try Oikos, too! Greek yogurt tastes so much better than normal yogurt!

  46. April 1, 2009 4:40 pm

    i bet you could try to re-create chocolate peppermint-y oats with peppermint extract instead of tea. I bought some last year for minty hot cocoa and it is awesome!!!! Also, I’m just throwing these out there: flaxxy pea-nara, pbflaxetti sauce, heather’s nutty not for noodles marinara..that’s all I got, but I could totally see why the flavors work. I feel like thai and indian foods do a lot of mixing tomato/nuts

  47. April 1, 2009 5:56 pm

    Hey Lara,
    I have tried the various pastas…or at least looked at them. I can be so stubborn when it comes to my rules. I need to lighted up a bit and not fear the pasta so much 🙂

  48. gina (fitnessista) permalink
    April 1, 2009 6:26 pm

    that pasta sauce sounds incredible! i might be replicating that beautiful creation very soon 😉 i love that you used broccoli instead of pasta! i’m the same way, i love oats and whole grains and eat them like i’ll never see them again, but rarely eat pasta. i usually stick with zucchini instead. have you used a spiralizer before?? it cuts up the veggies into angel hair pasta. my friend megan has one and it’s going to be my next kitchen gadget purchase 😀
    i love when the stonyfield fairy visits! i have some coupons to use up too!
    hope you’re having a wonderful night with cd! i always think of christian dior when i see that nickname 😀

  49. April 1, 2009 7:09 pm

    I want totally want a spiralizer. What brand does Megan have? Any recommendations?

  50. April 1, 2009 7:31 pm

    spiralizer? i’m intrigued 🙂 very kewl!! and pb in past sauce?? i’m sceptic 😉

  51. April 1, 2009 8:26 pm

    Betcha won’t get this ridiculous name… Marinutta flax sauce. I did some serious thinking on this one. My name is best because it just makes sense – all components represented – easy to remember. Love the recipe!

  52. April 1, 2009 8:46 pm

    Spa-Nutty Sauce 🙂

  53. April 1, 2009 9:11 pm

    Hmmm Flanutter Sauce?
    … that may already be in the comments some where – I didn’t read them all!
    This Canadian gal would really love to try some Trader Joe’s though 🙂
    Have a great day!

  54. eatlivelovedream permalink
    April 1, 2009 9:18 pm

    HAH! I’ll call it like it is…. Your baby poop breakfast looks like it rocks! :0
    Oh Heather! I just love your blog!!! Thanks for all your great tips and help and your creative eats.

  55. April 1, 2009 10:03 pm

    tomutterax sauce. obviously.

    ill take crunchy please. :]

  56. April 1, 2009 10:15 pm

    I wanted to come up with my own, but I really love Lynn’s Spanutti sauce. Sounds dirty but still tasteful! That is a brilliant idea! I bet the sauce has really great body.
    I’m weird about noodles too! They give me the full on freak out! Uhh…no reason why! Esp because, like you, I’ll eat massive bowls of oats and cereal (and truckloads of candy and other worthless items).
    Oh well. It’s okay not to have conquered every food fear/quirk!
    Have a blast at your meet up!

  57. April 1, 2009 11:03 pm

    That’s what attracts me to Oikos too–they’re the only organic Greek yogurts available! Perhaps they will be next on my endeavor to sample all brands of Greek yogurt…

  58. April 1, 2009 11:11 pm

    Great idea! The first name that came to my mind was nutinara and I see a few other people thought the same thing!

    I’m so glad you get to meet Polly! It’s about time you two get together!!

  59. April 1, 2009 11:38 pm

    Flax nutta sauce! ….horrible name, but mmm that does sound tasty!!! haha 🙂

  60. greenbean permalink
    April 2, 2009 4:29 am

    Nuts & Flax & Spaghetti Sauce Oh My!

    Heather, I’ve been back to your page several times thinking about this sauce! lol. Here’s my entry. I’ll save you the super corny ones 🙂

  61. April 2, 2009 4:31 am

    hey! thats the flax I love too.

    and Im so addicted to it by the spoonful (snag one every time I pass the fridge) Im CERTAIN Id love the sauce too!

  62. Katie permalink
    April 2, 2009 4:32 am

    Peanut Butter-ghetti Sauce?! Sounds intriguing and delicious – I have all of the ingredients so I have to try this!! Thanks.

  63. Ashley permalink
    April 2, 2009 4:35 am

    Heather – I would choose veggies over pasta too.. I don’t there’s anything wrong with the substitution! Don’t be so hard on yourself!

  64. Ashley permalink
    April 2, 2009 4:36 am

    Oh, and I like ‘Spagnutty Sauce’!

  65. April 2, 2009 9:40 am

    What a cool idea for the sauce! I would never think of trying this, but now I’m really curious. Sorry about the oats, but I love that you’re creative enough to try new things. Me- not so much… I really need to work on that b/c some of the greatest finds come from flops…

  66. musemarian permalink
    April 2, 2009 10:17 am

    Hi Heather!
    I love your blog. Discovered it this week. And was inspired to write my own! I am also obsessed with almond butter and cannot get enough of the fun/healthy/yummy conncotions you brew up in your blog. I literally spent hours going through all of them. Thanks!

  67. April 2, 2009 12:01 pm

    This pasta sauce sounds crazy.. but I totally want to try it!! I like peanut sauces and I like tomato sauce… so why not combine the two?!

  68. April 2, 2009 12:16 pm

    I put flax in just about EVERYTHING too; its great stuff! As for pasta I’m with you – must be a Heather thing. 🙂

  69. April 2, 2009 12:40 pm

    yeeeah that sounds a little too weird for me, but ill take your word for it!

  70. April 2, 2009 2:48 pm

    I’m the same way about pasta. I eat tons of oatmeal, oat bran, rice and corn, but I don’t buy pasta and I only eat it maybe once a month. Weird.

  71. April 2, 2009 3:55 pm

    What is your blog’s URL? I must stop by as anyone that is obsessed with almond butter holds a special place in my heart. 🙂

  72. April 2, 2009 3:57 pm

    Thanks Ashley. You’re right…the veggies are much higher in vitamins anyway. 🙂

  73. April 2, 2009 4:05 pm

    So glad you hopped on the Sockarooni sauce bandwagon. I wonder how it would taste with peanut butter? 🙂 Sorry about the Greek yogurt, but I’ll gladly take any coupons you receive. Hope you are well, and I would love to see you soon!

  74. April 2, 2009 4:13 pm

    Your suggestion made me laugh the most. Hilarious! Thanks for the 1/2 and 1/2 tip. Good idea!

  75. April 2, 2009 9:48 pm

    Wow, Heather! I love the idea of combining tomato sauce with PB + flax! That is definitely something I never would have thought of but I’m sure tastes amazing…kind of like avocado oatmeal 🙂

    Hehehe, sorry that bowl definitely reminds me of…something. But don’t worry, nothing grosses me out either. Trust me, the stories I could tell. You don’t want to know!

    Thanks for your soy and dairy “free” recap. It is very useful to hear what others think about soy. I am still up in the air about it. But yes, you put those Stonyfield coupons to good use, my friend!!


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