Blog of the Belly Biter:

Set up to chronicle my families journey's into healthy eating. After a lot of reading, wanting the best health for my family... we've adopted a "foodstyle" that has changed our lives. 90% of the time we try to eat meals that are plant-based, no animal products, no oils, using natural sweeteners and foods with a low glycemic index. We eat lots of fruits, veggies, grains, beans and nuts. This is a blog of the bites I've found that have sat happy in our bellies... and notes along the way. And I promise... it's yummy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spicy African Peanut Stew {Peas and Thank You}

This was SO gooooood! I cooked it in the crockpot. Everyone loved. Except Ava. She would have given her first born to NOT eat it. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Smoky Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta and Kale. {OhSheGlows}


Another yummy one from OhSheGlows. Yummy AND creamy!! They all loved it, except Ava.... but what else is new. Picky little girl.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Garden Enchilada Bake {Peas and Thank You}

This stuff is SO good! The kids all love it, so it's a total win. The only thing I change is adding a can or 2 of black beans. YUM! Good job Mama Pea!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Roasted Tomato, Garlic & Onion Coconut Soup {OhSheGlows}

This is SO yummy. A little prep work at the beginning of the day, then comes together fast.

Me, Nolan & Coco: loved
Ava: got her 8 bites down
Shayne: TBD

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tortilla Soup. {Happy Herbivore}



This is a family favorite from Happy Herbivore. We LOVE it! I change it up a bit to feed my family with some leftovers. I also add black beans and hominy.... and if I have any leftover Tex-Mex Fried Rice I add that.

1 large sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder (rounded for my family)
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano (rounded for my family)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (rounded for my family)
2 cups vegetable broth (4 cups for my family)
1 15 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies, drained
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 corn tortillas, chopped (4 for my family)
Hot sauce, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
Crispy tortilla sticks (recipe below)
Avocado, diced
{black beans, hominy or leftover brown rice... for my family}

Line a medium pot with a thin layer of water.

Add onion, then cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook until onion is translucent and most of the water has evaporated.

Add chili powder, marjoram or oregano, and cumin, stirring to cover the onion and garlic with the spices, then continuing to stir until all the liquid has been absorbed and the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add broth, tomatoes with their juices, and chilies, stirring to combine.

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Transfer half of the mixture to your blender and whiz until smooth, or use and immersion blender to slightly, but not completely, puree the soup.

Return to the pot, add ketchup, 1 cup of water, soy sauce, and corn tortillas.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook over medium heat until tortillas have fallen apart and thickened the soup, about 5 to 10 minutes. Use a whisk to help incorporate if necessary.

Add hot sauce, salt, and pepper if desired, Let soup rest 5 minutes.

Stir in cilantro and ladle into bowl. Top with Crispy Tortilla Sticks and serve.

Crispy Tortilla Sticks
Happy Herbivore
Makes 1 cup
About 4 servings

4 6-inch corn tortillas

Preheat toaster oven to 350*F (conventional oven to 325*F).

Grease a cookie sheet or toaster oven tray and set aside.

Cut tortillas in half crosswise, then into 1/8 inch wide strips, about the width of a matchstick.

Transfer to a bowl, spray with cooking spray, and toss to coat.

Repeat a second time, making sure all of the strips are lightly covered.

Place on the cookie sheet or tray in a single layer and bake for 5 minutes, until crispy.

Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, allowing them to crisp up a bit more.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tingly Szechuan Pepper (Beef) Noodles. {RR}

I knew I had to make this when I caught it on Rachael Ray's show. I had some ground beef in the freezer, so I made the recipe as is. Meat and all. It was so, SO good! And next time I will leave the meat out because the meat wasn't where this dish was getting it's flavors. The spices are amazing!! I cut down on the szechuan because of my 14 months - 8 year old kids. 

While I was cooking, my 4 year old informed us that she would not be eating dinner because "it stinks and I not like it". We negotiated with her and told her she needed to take her bites or she wouldn't have any of the super bowl snacks. She just had finished her first bite when minutes later we turned and looked at her and she was done and was pretty much licking the bowl. Yeah... now that's a good recipe! I took a picture of her holding her empty bowl for future reference to show her when she gives me that stink face and defiant attitude again. Mommies always right. ;)

1 pound dried Chinese noodles or thin spaghetti
{1 pound ground beef (used 1/4 pound)}
1 onion, minced
1 small red chile pepper, such as fresno, minced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 piece (1 inch) ginger, minced
2 teaspoons Szechuan pepper (went with 1 teaspoon so the littles could handle it)
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 to 1/3 cup tamari (dark soy sauce) or Bragg's liquid amino
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
Chili oil or sriracha, for serving

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the noodles and cook until al dente. Drain.

{{OMIT if doing vegan. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the oil, 3 turns of the pan, over high heat until smoking. Pat the ground beef dry with a paper towel, then crumble it into the hot oil.}}

Heat pan and water to steam-fry the onion, chile, garlic, ginger, Szechuan pepper and five-spice powder to the beef. Stir-fry until the onion is slightly softened, 2 minutes.

Add the drained noodles to the {beef} mixture. Stir in the tamari (or liquid amino). Remove from the heat and toss with the cabbage and scallions. {Serve with the chili oil (or sriracha)... spicy enough, didn't need.}


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Southwestern Taquitos.

My sister-in-law, Jenn, told me about this recipe she found and made off pinterest. She LOVES it... and it totally delivered. Instead of in egg roll form, I used wheat tortillas and did taquitos instead. Yum.

2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1-15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-9 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry with paper towel
1-7oz can diced green chiles, drained
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10-12 wheat tortillas

Preheat oven to 425*F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.In a large bowl mix together corn, beans, spinach, chiles, onions, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Scoop and roll in tortillas. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown. They'll crunch up some more as they cool. 

Adapted from Cake & Allie who adapted from Annies Eats then adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Israeli Couscous.


I got this one day at the Central Market deli counter. Fell in love. Tried to recreate it myself the next day. Fell in love again. A little pat on my back, and here ya go. Cheaper and a healthier version...

The portions are pretty forgiving. The measurements here are a starting off point that I just adjust. I combine it all then let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours to give everything time to get along. The key ingredients to me? The olives, sundried tomatoes and toasted sunflower seeds. Don't skimp on those.

1 cup israeli couscous
14 oz. spinach, frozen or fresh
1 cup peas
1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
1/2 green bell pepper, small dice
handful tomatoes, oven roasted
4 or 8 halves sundried tomatoes, small dice
1-12 kalamata olives, quartered lenth-wise
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

1/2 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1/2 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1-2 tablespoons italian parsley, chopped

1/2-1 teaspoon harissa
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a swirl around the bowl evoo
black pepper

pretty similiar to the one from Central Market, huh?
5/15/2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls. {OhSheGlows}


General Conference time... so I continue on my search for the cinnamon roll recipe. I grew up with awesome ones, made by my Mom. BUT, I was always a fan of the big fat, oooey gooey ones. I tried some last April, and they were good. But not "the" ones. This year I went pumpkin. I was going to go all out and do nonvegan and crack white sugar. But remembered the suger coma I put my family and I in last year... and the insuing sugar headache that went along with it, and decided against it.  
 
I found this recipe from one of my favorite sites, OhSheGlows, and knew it'd be goood. I loved the idea that she put the pumpkin flavor in the filling and not in the dough. Well played Angela. Well played.
 
So.Stinkin.Good.
 
Here's her recipe, and my notes... I wanted to knock out the white sugar (remembering the headache) so I used coconut sugar. And I did whole wheat pastry flour instead of white. That's what I think is funny about some vegan recipes.... you take out the animal product - but then use white sugar and white flour - and it makes it just as dumb. And like all good cinnamon roll recipes... here's the long sucka...


Yeast Mixture
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1 cup very warm water (but not too hot to touch)

Dough
1 cup almond milk
2/3 cup coconut sugar
2/3 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg replacer egg ---OPTIONS
       #1 - 1 tsp Ener-g egg replacer + 2 tbsp warm water), optional
       #2 - 2 T. flaxseed meal + 3 T. water + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder... stir together and let gel}
yeast mixture, from above
6 cups all purpose flour + more for kneading (4 cups whole wheat pastry flour & 3 cups all purpose flour)

Pecan Cinnamon Streusel Filling
1/2 cup vegan butter, softened but not melted
1 cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup pecans, chopped and toasted

Pan Sauce
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted (i used 3 T.... the butter was starting to add up)
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1. Mix together yeast ingredients and set aside for about 5 minutes until foamy and bubbly.

2. Meanwhile, combine the wet dough ingredients (almond milk, sugar, vegan butter, salt and optional egg replacer) in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium until all ingredients are combined, mixing well as you go. Turn off the heat on the saucepan and allow this mixture to cool so it is not too hot to touch.

3. Grab 4 cups of the flour and place in a very large bowl. When the saucepan mixture has cooled off; add in the proofed yeast and mix. Add this mixture to the flour and stir with a large wooden spoon. The mixture will be very wet. Stir for about 15-20 seconds or so.

4. Add in the remaining 2 cups of flour. Mix with a spoon for about 10 seconds and then place spoon aside and use your hands to roughly knead the dough for another 10 seconds or so. Now place the dough (and flour) onto a floured counter.

5. Knead the dough, starting off quite slow as the mixture will look very dry and rough. This is normal so do not worry! Knead the dough for 8 minutes until it is no longer sticky to the touch. Only add more flour if the dough starts to stick to the counter as you are kneading.

6. After 8 minutes of kneading, shape into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the oven with the light on and let it rise for 90 minutes.

7a. Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin pie filling.

7b. Prepare the Pecan cinnamon streusel filling. In a bowl, mix 1 cup chopped and toasted pecans, 1 cup sugar, and 3 tbsp cinnamon together and set aside.

8. After 90 minutes of rising, poke the dough to make sure that it is ready. If you poke the dough and it does NOT spring back up, it is ready to roll! Now grab a rolling pin or simply use your hands to spread out the dough into a large 15 inch by 20 inch rectangle (approximate measure only). Go very slow so you do not rip the dough.

9. Once you have your rectangle shaped, spread on the vegan butter (1/2 cup slightly softened) with a pastry brush. Take the pumpkin pie filling and spread it onto the vegan butter. It will be difficult to spread and slippery, but have no fear it will all work out! Once the pumpkin pie filling is spread out as well as you can, covering the rectangle, now sprinkle on the entire amount of the pecan cinnamon streusel sugar topping.

10. Grab the end of the dough (short side of rectangle), and roll all of the dough, being careful to try and keep the sides as straight as you can. Don’t worry if it is a bit off though (and it will be!), all will work out. Let it rest on the seam once it’s rolled up completely.

11. Once the dough is rolled up, grab some floss about 1 foot long (mint flavored OK!) and cut the rolls taking the piece of floss and placing it underneath the dough and then bringing it up and crossing it to cut the roll (see my pictures). Let go of floss and gently pull away and repeat about 15 times.

12. Pan Sauce: Mix butter and sugar mixture together and pour into large casserole dish or deep dish cake pans. Grab your cut rolls and place into the pan. Cover with plastic wrap, place into the oven with the light on, and allow it to rise for 45 more minutes.

Note: You can make these the day beforehand if you want to make them for breakfast. Simply cover the casserole dish and let them rise in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove from the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes until the casserole dish is no longer cold. After that, you simply bake and serve!  This saves a lot of time in the morning.

13. Meanwhile, prepare the vegan cream cheese frosting. See recipe below.

14. After the second rise, remove the buns from the oven and preheat to 350F.

15. After preheating the oven, remove plastic wrap and place casserole dish into the oven. Bake rolls for 25-27 minutes at 350F until golden in color. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.

16. Frost your buns any way you like! You may have to thin out the frosting a bit with more almond milk depending on how you want to use the frosting. If you want to pipe it on, it is the perfect consistency as is, but if you want to drizzle, more almond milk (start with 1 tsp at a time) may be needed.

Ideas for frosting:
1) Pipe on the frosting with a pastry bag and round tip, 2) Use a plastic baggie with one corner cut off, 3) Spread on frosting with a palette knife, or 4) Drizzle thinned out frosting with a spoon.

 17. Serve immediately and enjoy! Makes about 16-17 large rolls. Please note that your rolls will vary in size and shape and this is normal- it all depends on what type of pan you use and where they were baking in the pan. A little character never hurt a cinnamon roll!

Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 cup pumpkin, canned
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons almond milk
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

In a small bowl, mix together the arrowroot powder and almond milk until no clumps remain. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix the pumpkin and the arrowroot + milk mixture. Now add in the vanilla, sugar, and stir well. Finally stir in the spices. Heat over low and stir frequently until mixture thickens. Be careful not to burn as it burns easily. It takes about 5-8 minutes to thicken up. You want to use this mixture within about 5-10 minutes of preparing it so it spreads on a bit easier.
 
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup vegan buttery spread (Earth Balance)
2/3 cup vegan cream cheese (Tofutti)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar (blended coconut sugar in the blender to make it powder)
[cut this in half, and glad I did... 1/2 was plenty!]
 
In a large bowl, mix together the butter and cream cheese with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Add in the vanilla to help along the process. Now slowly add in the icing sugar, stirring frequently until mixed. You want to keep mixing it until no clumps remain. This process takes at least 5 minutes or longer, so be patient. You could also use a mixer too of course!

Note: You may add milk if you want the frosting a bit thinner for drizzling, but I suggest waiting until it is fully mixed. The recipe above makes a frosting perfect for piping, but you may want it thinned out.

They just kept getting better and better with each passing day... warmed up in the microwave.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cherries.


When my husband was first "diagnosed" with borderline diabetes 9 years ago... I found myself at Wal-mart in the cookbook section looking for anything to help me feed my husband... and not push him over the edge into diabetesland. Not a peaceful place to be. I found the Betty Crocker's Diabetes Cookbook... bought it... and tried to live by it for the next few months.
 
It helped, and had a lot of yummy stuff in it. Yummy stuff that left us satisfied. So, that's good. And of course now that I've educated myself even more on the subject - we've found something that works even better for us. Something that has changed my husbands "diagnosis" completely... and made those sugar levels just like yours and mine. Miracle? Somewhat. But I know it's because of some healthy eating on his part.
 
Anyhow, this is one we always come back to. And I love it because it 's good. But it reminds me of a time when I was close to loosing all hope and deeply concerned about the health of my most favorite person in the whole wide world. It's good to be reminded of where you've come from and how far you've traveled.
 
1 1/2 cups long-grain and wild rice
1 apple, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped (or craisins)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts, toasted
 
Cook rice according to directions, and spread evenly in thin layer on a large cookie sheet to cool. Let stand 10 to 12 minutes.
 
Mix apple, bell pepper, celery and cherries/craisins in a large bowl. Mix soy sauce, water, sugar and vinegar in small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add rice and soy sauce mixture to apple mixture. Gently toss until coated. Add peanuts. Gently toss.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Taco Nut "Meat" and Leftover Salad.


This salad started as a way to get rid of the stuff in my fridge before we went out of town... but turned into so.stinkin.good! Then I realized I never posted the raw taco nut "meat" that i love from love veggies & yoga. So, here goes...

leftover cabbage, spinach, corn on the cob, vegan ranch, tomatoes.... and the "meat"

Raw Vegan Taco Nut “Meat”
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup {smoked} sun dried tomatoes, loosely packed (If using oil packed, may slightly reduce amount of olive oil added)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil (or hemp, flax, etc.)
Optional: 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Put all ingredients into blender and blend for about 30 seconds or until desired texture is reached. Don’t overblend and pulverize the mixture, or you will have taco meat spread rather than chunky taco “meat”.

This will keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days.

Note: The flavors marry and develop better after approximately 6-12 hours, so I like to make it in the morning for that night’s dinner if possible.

*The seasonings are all to taste. You can add some taco seasoning too, like a McCormick.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Asian Noodle Salad. {Pioneer Woman.}

My sister-in-law, jami, turned me onto this one... and man, I am SO glad she did. I first wanted to try it because it's one of their new favorites. Sold. Then I found out it was Pioneer Woman. Sold. Then I saw that it was basically healthy. Sold. Then I read her write-up on it. Sold and salivating. I got the ingredients that day and made it for dinner.

Sold.

Even my pickiest eater, Ava, can get this all down. And even told me, "Mom, this is actually good!" As if it was a freakin surprise her mom actually makes her something good for dinner. Sheesh.

I changed it up a little, but the real deal is here. But try it. Seriously try it. And if I haven't convinced you enough... and the colread what she wrote herself. Then come back and tell me how sold you are!

It makes a huge amount. For my family I half it. It says for 6 portions. Well, that is a LOT of salad. Even for us plant eaters. It's good for leftovers too. The cashews MAKE it.


SALAD INGREDIENTS:
1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
1/2 head Sliced Napa Cabbage, Or More To Taste
1/2 head Sliced Purple Cabbage, Or More To Taste
1/2 bag Baby Spinach, Or More To Taste
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
1 bag Bean Sprouts (also Called Mung Bean Sprouts) 
Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste
3 whole Scallions, Sliced
3 whole Cucumbers, Peeled And Sliced
1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet

FOR THE DRESSING:
1 whole Lime, Juiced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos (soy sauce)
2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
1/3 cup agave nectar, coconut sugar or brown sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger
, Chopped
2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapenos, Chopped
Chopped Cilantro

Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quick and Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies.PaTY.


These are awesome! I LOVE the texture of these cookies. Totally cake-like. I love the recipes I've tried from "Mama Pea" on Peas and Thank You.

1/3 cup nut or seed butter of your choice (is use peanut butter)
1 flax egg (1 T. ground flax + 3 T. water, whisked and allowed to sit until thickened)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup stevia baking blend, sucanat or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup oat flour (or old-fashioned oats, finely ground)
1/3 cup vanilla protein powder OR brown rice cereal OR additional oat flour*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips

From Mama Pea... *I use protein powder to make these a pre or post workout snack for me or Pea Daddy, but I sub in the rice cereal or more oats when these are strictly for the kiddos. I’ve doubled this recipe before, subbed in butterscotch or peanut butter chips or raisins, used a variety of nut butters. Try whatever you like!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using an electric or stand mixer, cream together nut or seed butter, egg, milk and sweetener of your choice, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine oat flour, additional protein powder, cereal or oats, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until well combined.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Scoop dough out by heaping spoonful and place on a lightly greased cooking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are set and lightly browned. Allow to cool for one minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Granola Bars. {Carrie}

I haven't a clue why these aren't up on this blog yet. They're a family favorite and I've been making them for years. Starting the day after Carrie made some for me.

Shayne loves them because I sent a batch with him to France when he went with my dad and brothers to watch the Tour de France and go cycling... so it takes him back to the mountains of France. May not to the same for you... but I promise, you'll love them.
 
Double the batch up and freeze a pan, they're awesome from the freezer. Keep them in the fridge. You can change them up with what you like... but here's our favorite way...
 
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup honey
Mix together- will be very difficult. I let the kitchen-aid have at it.
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 2/3 cup oats
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 cup nuts (combo is best)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins (we omit, aren't raisin in bar fans)
 
Add into the peanut/honey mixture and blend until all incorporated. Press good and firm into a 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350*F for 15 minutes.
Let cool and cut into squares. Keep in the fridge when you're not chowing down on them.
 
*Ours are usually a bit crumbly because I add more nuts and not any more "glue". But it's all good.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hail to the Kale Salad. {Chef AJ}

Love this Chef AJ salad. And love kale. Who'd a thought?! Chef AJ says, "Like a woman, this only gets better with age." I'd have to agree. On both accounts. You can watch her make it on YouTube here.
 
salad
2 large heads of kale
chopped almonds
tomatoes
 
dressing
1 cup raw almond butter (unsweetened and unsalted)
1 cup coconut water (or regular water)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice & zest (about 2)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, fresh, peeled & grated (or to taste)
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
4 pitted dates (soaked in water if not soft)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
 
In a  high-powered blender combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
 
Remove the thick, larger stems from the kale, chop and place in a a large bowl. Pour 2 cups of the dressing over the kale and massage the dressing into the kale.
 
Sprinkle with seeds or nuts, and any other salad toppings before serving.
 
Chef's Note: It is also delicious when made with peanut butter and you throw some shredded raw beets and carrots into the salad. If you have a dehydrator, dip kale leaves in dressing and dehydrate for delicious kale chips. If you are allergic to nuts, use tahini (sesame seed paste) or sunflower seed butter in place of the nut butter.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Icecream CUPcones.

For her birthday Ava wanted cupcakes and icecream.
And I didn't want to have to buy plates and spoons.
So, ingeniousness struck, and I came up with
icecream cupcones!

I've seen the ones that have the cake baked right in them... but have you seen any with icecream on the bottom, and a cupcake up on top?
I sure have not.
And I know, because I searched pinterest.
We know that if they're not on pinterest...
then they just do not exist.

 Not to disappoint my girl for the 7th greatest day of her life, I got to work. The day before the party I stuffed the bottom of the cones with vanilla icecream (Boring, I know. But her party, her pick).
Used an IKEA wire drawer as my stand. Put that whole thing in the freezer.
Then made the cupcakes using this divine cake recipe. Put a thin layer of chocolate frosting to serve as glue for the crumbled up Butterfingers, coconut M&M's, Nestle Crunch, Reese's Pieces and almonds I put up on top.
Put the cupcake toppers on, and waited for birthday cake time.
When cake time came, I pulled the icecream cones out of the freezer then nestled the cupcakes in there.
A perfect fit...
As if the cupcake was made for the cone.
Added the sparkler candles and a
total hit!!
And totally cute... if I do say so myself!!
(can't a girl do a little bragging when ingeniousness strikes? Because we all know it ain't too often! ;)

A perfect amount of cake...
 and then some cool icecream to wash it all down.
I got the Angry Bird cupcake toppers here.

By-the-way, these are totally not plant-based.
We tend to stray for birthdays.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Disappearing Lasagna. {Chef AJ}


I don't care who you are... meat-eater or a plant-eater... this stuff is gooood! While we eat our plant-based dinners, my husband and I are always asking ourselves if this meal would satisfy a "normal" meat-eater. This is a for sure, a yes. It's from Chef AJ's book Unprocessed... and is the best nonmeat lasagna I've had. And I've made a lot. And it quite possibly could beat out my meat one. You for sure don't have the cheese and meat hangover with this one.
 
It is somewhat of a pain to make because of the long ingredient list and the different steps. BUT, I make double and freeze the other. It does awesome being baked right out of the freezer too.

2 boxes of no boil rice lasagna noodles (or whole wheat)
6 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
 
"ricotta"
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed OR 1 box extra firm water packed tofu (19 oz. each)
2 ounces of fresh basil
1 cup pine nuts, raw cashews or hemp seeds
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup low-sodium miso
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds frozen, chopped spinach  OR 1 pound frozen kale (defrosted, drained with all liquid squeezed out)
 
Mushroom Mixture "Meat"
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds mushrooms, sliced (love crimini here)
1/4 cup low-sodium tamari
1 large red onion, finely diced
 
1 4oz. can sliced olives, rinsed and drained
faux parmesan (optional)
 
To make the "ricotta" filling in a food processor fitted with the "S" blade add the beans, basil, garlic, lemon juics, miso and nutritional yeast, pine nuts and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth. Add drained spinach/kale and process again.
 
In a large non-stick saute pan, saute the onion in 2 tablespoons water until translucent; about 8 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Add 2 cloves of garlic, the mushrooms and tamari and saute until browned. Taste mixture and add more garlic or tamari according to your taste. Cook until mushrooms appear to be glazed and there is no or very little liquid in the pan.
 
Pour 3 cups of the marinara in a 9x13 pan. Place one layer of the noodles on top. Cover the noodles with half of the ricotta mixture, then with half of the mushroom mixture. Place another layer of noodles on the mushroom mixture and add the remaining half of the ricotta and the remaining half of the musthroom mixture. Place one more layer of noodles on top of the mushroom mixture and smother evenly with the remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle the sliced olives on top of the sauce alond with a liberal sprinkling of faux parmesan.
 
I like my dumbed down version...
3 cups marinara
noodles
1/2 ricotta
1/2 mushroom
noodles
1/2ricotta
1/2mushroom
noodles
remaining marinara
olives/faux parm
 
Bake uncovered in a preheated 375*F oven for an hour. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing. 
And... you're welcome! And Thank YOU Chef AJ!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Cookie Clusters.

my visiting teacher brought me these orange creamsicle cookies over, and i was in love. i merged the original recipe with this carrot oatmeal cookie recipe i love! They are AWESOME... the citrus with the mac nut and the white chocolate. Come on now. SO good. I've done without out the chips too, and still... so good.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, warmed until just melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest, grated
1/2-1 cup white chocolate chips (grain sweetened)

Preheat oven to 375*F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and oats. Add the nuts and white chocolate chips. In a separate smaller bowl use a whisk to combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and orange zest. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Cool in fridge for an hour.

Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one level tablespoonful at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Veggie Pizza.


My most favorite eating out pizza these days is the vegetable pizza on honey whole wheat crust at Double Daves. Sure, the classy pizza joints have some really yummy ones too. But I go where the family goes. And the family loves some all-you-can-eat pizza on the buffet at Double Daves.

Here's my recreation of it... and I LOVE it. When I make it, I make 2. One for Shayne and I and another, less vegetabley one, for the kids. it's sooooo good cold the next day!

I use the crust from Get Healthy, Go Vegan cookbook here and then add the veggies and sometimes use the vegan mozzarella cheese sauce...

portobella mushrooms, sliced
green pepper, sliced
banana peppers, sliced
onion, sliced
olives, sliced
spinach, frozen - thawed and drained
favorite marinara

Preheat the oven to 500*F. Lay dough out, spread on cheese sauce (if using), lay out veggies, cover with sauce. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Pizza Dough
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (preferable organic)
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

In a large bowl, dissolve the agave nectar and yeast in ¾ cup warm water (100*-110*). Let stand for 5 minutes. Add the flours and salt to the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Dough will feel slightly sticky.
 
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Cover with a towel and let rise in a draft-free place until double in size, about 30-40 minutes.
 
Punch down the dough and roll into a 10- or 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges to form a rim. Lightly spray the surface of the dough with cooking spray.


Mozzarella Cheese Sauce-Vegan
1 cup water
2 small cloves of roasted garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons tahini (the larger amount makes it "cheesier")
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon of liquid hickory smoke (if you want the smoky taste)
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Broccoli and Cheeze Soup.

Well played OhSheGlows. Well played.

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4-4.5 cups chopped broccoli florets (2 heads, stems removed)
  • 1.5 cups peeled & chopped potatoes (about 3)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
  • Low-fat vegan cheeze sauce, divided (see below for recipe)
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
  • herbamare & onion powder, to taste
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley, plus more to garnish
  • Daiya cheese, to garnish
  • Smoked Paprika, to garnish (optional)

  • 1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, onion, and garlic over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Cook for about 5-6 mins.
    2. Add in the celery, broccoli, and potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Now, add the broth, nutritional yeast, and cayenne pepper and simmer for another 15 mins or so until the potatoes are just fork tender.
    3. Meanwhile, prepare your cheeze sauce (see below) while the soup simmers.
    4. Carefully transfer the soup (in two batches) into a blender. Blend until almost smooth (I left it a bit chunky, but you can blend as much as you wish) and place back into the pot. Stir in the cheeze sauce, reserving 1/3 cup for later.
    5. Stir in optional lemon juice, salt, pepper, and optional herbamare all to taste. Finally, stir in the minced parsley and spoon into bowls.
    6. Top the soup with croutons, Daiya cheese, remaining cheeze sauce, and smoked paprika.

    Low-Fat Vegan Cheeze Sauce (double batch)

    Adapted from here. I basically just doubled my old recipe and added a couple extra spices.
    Ingredients:
    • 1.5 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk
    • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 1 tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy buttery spread
    • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
    • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

    1. In a skillet or pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat.
    2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/4 cup milk until all clumps are gone.
    3. Whisk in the remaining milk (1.25 cups) as well as the milk and flour mixture into the pot. Now whisk in the nutritional yeast. Reduce heat to low-medium.
    4. Add Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste and whisk frequently over low heat until the sauce thickens up, for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat once thick.