Blog of the Belly Biter:

Some plant-based, some unhealthy, some super healthy but ALL good. Kid tested and mother approved!

Friday, April 30, 2010


This is a recipe I found on my sisters childhood friend's blog, Welcome to Beanland. She's way into healthy living, and where I found a lot of my early inspiration. She's also got some good info on a Healthy Minds and Bodies Group she does... something I'd totally love to do around here. Anyhow, these are super yummy, super healthy - and freeze great.

1 Jumbo egg + 1 TBS flax meal (or instead of egg use 2 T. flax meal + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder + 3 tablespoons water, OR 1/2 of a mashed ripe banana plus 1/4 teaspoon baking powder) OR you can use 2 regular eggs
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup vegetable oil (or pumpkin puree)
½ cup packed brown sugar (1/3 cup agave nectar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 bananas, mashed (could puree)

Whisk together. Combine in a separate bowl:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Stir into dry, then add:
1 heaping cup frozen 3 berry blend (or any frozen berries. Mine is the 3 blend from Costco, blueberry, marion, and raspberry)

Grease regular muffin tins and fill all the way up. Sprinkle with brown sugar (optional). Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Black Bean Stoup

{the nonvegan picture}
I was reminded that I need to post this Ava favorite on here when she requested it for her birthday dinner. Love that my girl wants this for her pick any meal you want meal! It's a Rachael Ray Recipe (from her 365: No Repeats Cookbook) that I LOVE and could eat once a week myself! So much flavor! Shayne likes it all pureed. Which makes for a yummy, creamy texture. Here's the vegan, no oil version (which is the new lifestyle change we're on).

1 dried bay leaf
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 celery ribs with greens, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
3 - 15 oz. cans black beans
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
Salt and black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce
1 qt. vegetable stock or broth (I use 3 cups because I like it a little thicker, especially if I puree it)
1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 to 3 scallions, chopped

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add enough water to cover the bottom, then add the bay leaf , jalapeƱos, garlic, celery, and onions. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the bell peppers and continue to cook. Make sure to keep an eye on the water, if it's all evaporating out, add a little more so it doesn't burn or stick.

Drain 2 cans of beans and add them. With the remaining can, pour the juice and half the beans into the pot. Use a fork to mash up the beans remaining in the can. Stir the mashed beans into the pot and season with the cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the hot sauce.

Add the stock and tomatoes to the stoup and bring to a bubble. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.

This is when I puree or just ladle up the black bean stoup and top with scallions.

This is the face of a birthday girl super excited to eat her black bean soup!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fat-Free Oil Substitute

Our new EVOO from Reversing Diabetes. It's been a little tricky seeing what it's good and not so helpful in. It doesn't prevent sticking when roasting, but it does help dressings stick to the greens - without oil. 

1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon low-sodium vegetarian broth powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Place the water in a small saucepan and whisk in the broth powder and cornstarch. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear.

I make 2 cups at a time and refrigerate the extra.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pasadena Salad

I love, love, LOVE this salad. I first had it at my brother's house just before we switched over to our current eating arrangements - and had to figure out to healthy it up even more. And it was success!

1 head Romaine lettuce, cut
1 cup celery pre-washed, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1 sliced & cubed avocado
1 granny smith apple, cut up with skin on
1 - 11 oz. can of mandarin oranges, drained
¼ cup dried cranberries (or currants)
½ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup fat-free oil substitute (or extra virgin olive oil)
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
1-1/4 tablespoon agave nectar (2 tablespoons sugar)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ tsp. pepper

Make dressing in blender and set aside. Combine all other ingredients, add almonds and dressing... toss & serve!
NonVegan/NonNatural Sweeteners Version
Add 3 shredded chicken breasts cooked
½ c. crumbled bleu cheese
Caramelize almonds by placing them and 3 tbsp. sugar onto skillet and heat until sugar melts. Don’t burn! Cool before adding to salad ingredients.

Recipe Origin: Mary Ann Cropper
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Balls of Joy!

Raw balls are quite the popular thing in the vegan/healthy food world. I've seen quite a few variations. They're so tastey. All natural. And have no oils. We first got hooked from the cinnamony ones from Beanland. Then I came up with this concoction in my head - all because of my love of Almond Joys. I took the ingredients down to Houston when we visited my brothers family - and tried it out with my 2nd favorite su chef, my niece Eden.

They came out tastier then they were in my head. And they even passed the toughest critic - my chocolate loving SIL, Jami. We were sneaking them out of the freezer the whole weekend, and I felt bad that I didn't leave them with as many as I thought I would.

Jami and I had fun coming up with a name for them. Frankly, we thought every name just involving the word balls was awesome. Go figure. We could also call these Coco's Balls... because she loves them! 
Makes 30 balls
1 cup almonds
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 ½ tablespoons coco powder
6 med jool dates {I get them at Sprouts or Costco}
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Put the nuts and seeds in the food processor until crumbled. Add the coco powder and dates til dates are all broken up. Add the coconut. Should look like course meal. Use a cookie scoop to measure out and form into balls. I wet my hands to help compress the balls and not get too sticky. Put in a ziplock or freezer container and place in the freezer. Let them harden, if you can wait that long... and eat them right out of the freezer. YUM! And guilt-free!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vegan Mint Black Bean & Avocado Brownies

{can you tell which ones Corynn got ahold of?}
So, I found this recipe while heathly recipe searching and it totally intrigued me. They are so healthy, such awesome ingredients... and I thought if these are good... if these are good... I'll be able to say, "Ava, finish your brownie!" And "yes, you can have another!" So when I ran it by Carrie while on a run she said something of the sort like - "Jen, as your friend, I am telling you do-not-try-that-recipe! Save your time and ingredients!" Well, it didn't stiffle my desire to at least try it. I figured if I tried it and it was a total bomb, then I would never tell her - and lesson learned to listen to her more often.

So I tried them, it worked, and they are AWESOME!! I mean, really... really awesome. And I don't think it's even that "they're so good for you, and it makes them taste better" thing. I mean, they're really truly awesome! They even made their way into my kids Easter "Ottoman's" this year.

I made a minor adjustment because we don't drink coffee and I was inspired by my mint chocolate cake. Such an awesome way to use a ripe avocado that you've got lying around.

I'm telling you... don't sit and think any longer about the wacked-out ingredients and just go try it... and then come back and thank me when you do! Thank you Cara!!

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup egg substitute (you can use 3 eggs)
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/2 of a ripe avocado (60gm)
6 tablespoons cocoa powder (30gm)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons white sugar (75gm)
1/2 teapsoon mint extract 2 teaspoons instant espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper.

Combine black beans, egg substitute, agave syrup, and avocado in food processor. Blend for a few minutes, until completely smooth. Add remaining ingredients and continue blending until fully combined, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Spread into parchment-lined baking dish. Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the brownies comes out clean.

These are best if you let them sit overnight before slicing and enjoying! In fact, don't eat them unless you let them sit overnight! You will not be conviced of their goodness if you do so!

Servings Per Recipe: 12 - Calories: 98.0 - Total Fat: 1.2 g - Cholesterol: 0.0 mg - Sodium: 134.6 mg - Total Carbs: 19.5 g - Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g - Protein: 4.2 g