Blog of the Belly Biter:

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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Millet Muffins.

It's a sorry picture... and doesn't give these bad boys justice. These are so, soo good! I love the slight crunchy texture the blended millet give these. Who'd a thought? For sure a great way to use an overly ripe banana. Thank you Mama Pea.

2/3 cup millet
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup organic brown sugar (maple syrup or coconut sugar)
2 tablespoons canola oil (i use coconut oil)
1/2 cup non-dairy or organic milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup non-dairy or organic chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Measure your millet into a food processor, spice mill or high speed blender and pulse into a fine texture.
Pour into a large bowl and add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Mash bananas, and add to oil, milk, brown sugar and vanilla.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry.
Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups and top with banana slices.
Bake 17-19 minutes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vanilla-Yogurt Poundcake.

I was in my dessert nesting phase, got all the ingredients to make this... and ran out of time to make it before I had Quinnlet. I totally made this the Sunday after she was born (yes, I cooked because I'm that inlove with good food!) when my family and in-laws were off at church. They came home to a heavenly smell.... and had to wait to finish their dinner before they had some. This stuff is scrumptious! And who'd a thought there was tofu in it!

The second time I made it was when my side of the family was over for dinner 2 weeks after Quinnlet was born. Made syruped berries* and drizzled it with whipped cashew cream. Holy Heavenly! We were all licking our plates. And that's allowed with the Vests.

1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt
1/2 cup blended silken tofu (blend the tofu first, then measure it out)
3/4 cup vanilla or plain soy milk
1 1/4 cups sugar (i used 3/4 cup maple syrup or 1 cup coconut sugar)
1/2 cup canola oil (i've use coconut oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, or 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest, or 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

PREHEAT the oven to 325*F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. A metal pan with a dark finish is the best choice for this cake.

In a large bowl, combine the soy yogurt, blended silken tofu, soy milk, sugar, oil, and extracts. Use and electric mixer to beat until everything is smooth, about 2 minutes.

Sift in the flour, arrowroot powder/cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a rubber spatula to combine, then beat with electric beaters for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until a very thick batter forms. Don't overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Use the rubber spatula to scrape all of the batter out of the bowl and smooth the top of the loaf. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick or thing sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean (a little moisture is okay). Don't open the oven to peek for at least the first 45 minutes!

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Store the cake in an airtight container.

*Syruped Berries: are my technical term for berries cooked on the stove with a little bit of maple syrup until they've thickened and look like syrup. :)

VARIATIONS I have yet to try...
Stir in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of any of the following.... toasted chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, raisins, dried sweetened cranberries, dried chopped cherries (omit the citrus and use 1 teaspoon of almond extract instead).

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Vegan Red Beans and Rice.

When I saw these on FatFreeVegan I knew I had to try them ASAP. Healthy. Crockpot.Beans. A total winner for my family. And they were. I'm still working on the perfect amount of seasoning since we like stuff with lots of flavor. But these are totally rotationable. And I'll try her Real Louisiana Red Beans and Rice next too.

2 cups dry red beans
6 cups water
4 cloves garlic, minced
bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning (or use below)
A few drops liquid smoke or smoked salt
Tabasco, optional (to taste or serve on the side)
salt, to taste
cooked brown rice for serving
optional: cooked vegan sausage links or grilled tofu

The night before: In your slow cooker add the dried beans, water, garlic, and bay leaves. Cook on low overnight. (If your 1 1/2 quart slow cooker does not have a low/high setting then it should run on low.)

In the morning: Add the Cajun seasoning, liquid smoke, and Tabasco if using and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water depending on how long you will be gone for the day or if they just look to dry to cook all day. You can cook these a very long time if you just add extra water, so they are good for days you know you are coming home late.
Before serving: Taste and adjust seasonings and add hot sauce, and add salt if needed.
Serve over brown rice with vegan sausage or grilled tofu if desired. A side salad helps balance out the meal.

Simple Cajun Seasoning from allrecipes
3 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Combine the oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper in a plastic bag and shake to mix.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cajun 15-Bean Soup

This is from FatFreeVeganKitchen... a site that I found and have been checking out for a while... and finally decided to make something from. And honestly, it's been almost 2 months since I made it and I can't remember how much we liked it... but I know we did.

20 ounces dried mixed beans (you can find these prepackaged in most grocery stores), rinsed
12 cups water
1 large onion — chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic — minced
juice of one lemon
15-ounce can stewed tomatoes
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons salt — or to taste
1. I saved some time by putting the beans into the pressure cooker with 8 cups water, cooking at high pressure for 15 minutes, and then releasing the pressure and cooking until the beans were completely cooked. If you use a pressure cooker, I advise letting the pressure come down naturally rather than quick-releasing. And if you have a quick-release setting on your PC, do not use it! I had beans stuck in my valve when I tried that.

2.If you don’t want to pressure cook them, then place the washed beans in a pot with 12 cups of water, bring to a boil, and simmer, covered,for 60-75 minutes until beans are tender.

3.When the beans are almost finished cooking, brown the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in a non-stick skillet.

4.Add onion mixture, stewed tomatoes, and lemon juice to beans along with the spices and simmer 30-45 minutes. (If you started the beans in the pressure cooker, add 2 cups water at this time if they seem dry or thick.) Add liquid smoke and salt at the end. Serve with bread or over rice, or just by itself, as I did.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 45 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8

Monday, November 21, 2011

8-Vegetable Soup with Mixed Herb Pesto.

I just had to try this soup because it was originally vegan by Rachael Ray. I was worried about the flavor, and hoping it'd have some. And wow, it sure did. LOTS of flavor and so healthy. A hit.

1 small butternut squash
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling, plus 3 tablespoons
Salt and pepper
2 red bell peppers
1 small bulb fennel, chopped, reserve a handful of fronds
2 carrots, chopped
2 to 3 celery stalks from the heart, chopped, reserve the leafy tops
2 medium red onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
2 sprigs rosemary
A small handful of thyme
2 large bay leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine (i use white grape juice)
1 28- to 32-ounce can plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar (agave nectar)
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

A small handful of flat-leaf parsley
A handful of basil or tarragon
3 tablespoons pistachios or pine nuts

Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel and chop squash, and dress pieces with a little EVOO, salt and pepper. Roast until just-tender, do not brown cubes, 25-30 minutes.

Char peppers over open flame on stovetop or under hot broiler after roasting squash. Place in dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let cool, peel, seed and chop.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons EVOO over medium-high heat. Add fennel, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, chili, salt and pepper. Bundle the rosemary and thyme and tie together with kitchen twine. Add the herbs and bay leaves to the pot, cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Deglaze pan with wine, add in roasted red peppers, tomatoes and sugar. Break up tomatoes with a spoon, stir in stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer at low rolling boil for 30 minutes.

Remove herb bundle and bay, puree soup along with squash in a food processor or industrial blender. Pass through coarse sieve for a smooth soup.

Wipe out processor and return to base. Add celery tops, fennel fronds, parsley, basil or tarragon, nuts, salt and pepper. Turn processor on and stream in enough EVOO to form a thick pesto. (Add a handful of Parmigiano-Reggiano if ya like.)

Top shallow bowls of soup with a swirl of pesto. Serve with crusty bread, gougeres or grilled cheese sammies.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chipotle in Adobo Trick.

A great tip from Rachael Ray... When you buy one of those 6 or 12 oz. cans you're never going to use all of it in one meal... unless you've got taste buds of steal.

So, here's the trick - take all of the ribs and seeds out of the peppers and then puree the peppers along with the remaining sauce. Scoop it into saran wrap and form a log. Then put the "log" in a zip lock, label it, and stick it in the freezer. It keeps for forever and is a great way to use all the can. I tossed a many of leftovers... or used all my chipotle recipes in one week to use it up. Which got real old. 

When you have a recipe that calls for Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce all you do is just take a knife and cut off the amount you need. Which is why you do a log so it's easier to cut and measure out then a big ball of it. So sweet! I love the tip and have been doing it for years.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Provolone and Italian Ketchup.

I've been following Rachael Ray for a long time now... and for a girl who claims to be "Queen of Burgers" and never had a veggie burger until now... I wanna say - it's about time!! I was totally excited while watching her show and she had veggie burgers on the docket to make at the end. Yay! I really like the beef-free bean burgers... but wanted another stanby. This for sure is a keeper. And yes, I did slurge and got the provolone cheese for it.

There's a lot of steps, so I was in my right mind to go ahead and double the recipe and freeze half for later. It uses couscous or quinoa and lentils, so is a great way to use leftovers.

I didn't make the ketchup this go round, time was not on my side. Which looks really, really good and would add even more flavor. But I added avocado and sprouts and some natural ketchup. Yum! Shayne really liked them too. You have to focus on the fact that they're not a hamburger sub, just something a little like them but healthy for you!

For the Ketchup:

1 cup tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
1 clove crushed garlic
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano

For the Burgers:
3 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 small carrot, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
12 cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
A small handful dried mushrooms, all porcini or mixed
2 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (for nuttier burgers) or cooked cold couscous (for softer burgers)
1 cup drained chickpeas (I used black beans)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds
1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins  (omitted, too scared to mess 'em up)
1 egg (For a vegan burger, omit -- be gentle when flipping burgers so they don't fall apart)

6 slices Provolone cheese
Ciabatta or other crusty rolls, split and lightly toasted
Arugula dressed lightly with lemon juice and EVOO (i used sprouts)

Combine ketchup ingredients in a small pot and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to low and simmer to thicken to the consistency of ketchup, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon EVOO in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add carrot, onions and mushrooms, and sauté to tender. Add thyme and garlic, season with salt and pepper, cook a minute or 2 more then turn off heat and cool.

To a food processor bowl, add a few pieces of dried mushrooms. Process to finely chop then add lentils, quinoa or couscous, chickpeas, nuts and raisins. Season with salt and pepper and add cooled, cooked vegetables. Pulse until well combined. Add egg and pulse a few more times. Form 6 patties.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook 5-6 minutes. Flip burgers, cook 2-3 minutes more, add cheese and tent pan with tin foil to melt cheese, 1-2 minutes. Serve on rolls with greens and Italian ketchup.
a Rachael Ray recipe

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cherry Chipotle Chili.

This should be called "Cherry Chipotle Chili, Hold the Chipotle." That's what the title said, but there was no chipotle in the recipe (checking to see if it was left off). Anyhow, my first go at any recipe I usually cook it exactly like the recipe says... and then adjust the next time if it's a hit.

I was more intrigued to make this because it sounded totally interesting, and I'm currently obsessed with dried cherries. Plus, it has most of the ingredients that we love. I loved it, my kids loved it... but my husband (and Mandy - I gave her some leftovers to see what she though) thought it was too sweet... and really needed the chipotle. NEXT time I'll add a good amount of chipotle in adobo.

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dried cherries (our grocery has them by the raisins)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon crushed fresh garlic
1 bottle roasted red pepper chopped, or one fresh red pepper chopped
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
? chipotle in adobo sauce?
4 cup petite canned chopped tomatoes
1 16 oz can black beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
avocado to taste

For chips: (i skipped the chips)
Spelt Flour tortillas
Coconut oil

Heat 1 cup of broth in microwave. Place cherries in small bowl and add hot broth and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a 4 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion (and red bell pepper if not using bottled roasted bell pepper); sauté about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add chopped bottled red pepper (if not using fresh), chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and remaining broth, bring to boil.

Reduce heat; simmer uncovered about 5 minutes. Stir in beans, cilantro, and cherry mixture. Continue cooking until thoroughly heated.

I cut one tortilla into wedges and fry in coconut oil and stick the triangles in one side of the bowl and then chop a half of avocado and put on top of the chili.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Perfect Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms.

These are the yummiest little pockets of shrooms. I'm loving Chef AJ's cookbook, Unprocessed. You can also see her make these on YouTube with "The Chef and the Dietitian".

12 crimini mushrooms
1 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon yellow miso
1 cup fresh basil
juice of one lemon, or to taste

Destem mushrooms and set aside. Remove some of the center if necessary. Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the "S" blade and process until smooth. Fill the mushroom cups and dehydrate 2-4 hours until warm. OR bake at 350*F for 45 minutes or until soft.

Appetizer Night.

I was trying to think of something fun for Friday night's meal because we weren't going out... and let's face it, things have gotten a little boring around here. I only blame myself. Then I thought to do a "dippers" or appetizers only night when I realized there was a few I wanted to try. It turned out good, and shall I say a little fun to break from the norm.
hummus with pita chips

Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip.

These were realllly good. Mine didn't turn out as pretty as the ones they did, I blame it on not using the cheese. Shayne and I think we would have liked them without all the crust and just some herb seasoning. The dip was good, but wasn't worth all the work just for us. Does that sound bad? I'll have to roast more zucchini this way to eat. SO good! 
recipe from King Arthur Flour

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Monkey Buns.

This was a recipe I merged into making it vegan from a recipe from Rachael Ray and Reversing Diabetes. I loved these little buns prevegan days and remembered the yummy Oatmeal Drop Scones, and figured I could merge them. And I did. And they were yummy! Here goes...

1 large banana, thinly sliced
1 cup honey
2 to 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon sugar/agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups nondairy milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray 10 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In each cup of the tin, lay down a few slices of banana and cover with about 1 tablespoon honey and a pinch of cinnamon.

Grind the oats to a fin meal in a dry blender. Pour into a medium bowl and add the flour, sugar/agave, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

Mix the nondairy milk and lemon juice or vinegar in a small bowl. Pour into the dry mixture and stir briefly with a fork. Drop spoonfuls into muffin tins. Smooth the tops a bit with a wet fingertips. Bake for about 15 minutes.

When the scones come out of the oven, let them cool for a couple of minutes then place a large platter or baking sheet on top of the muffin pan. Carefully, but quickly, invert the biscuits. Remove the muffin tin and serve warm. Yum.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

belly bites by week: 16th addition

{My family over while Jeff & Ruth were in town...
I hadn't cooked chicken in a year and a half, and didn't miss snipping of the fat!}
OUT: Bosses Pizza
{Mandy put it in my mind, and I couldn't get it out... so we had to make it a mid-week outing}
Fiesta Ranch Rice Bowls
Mashed Potatoes & green beans
{I think I may like these muffins more then the beanballs. Sorry Veganomicon. They're totally less work not having to roll all the balls!}

Saturday, October 8, 2011

belly bites by week: 15th addition

{Shayne's parents in town, Ellis' over for family dinner... These are seriously the BEST burgers you can make at your house!!}
JDR Foundation fundraiser for Robby
{I have mastered this peasant bread... it's SO good and have been told it tastes like Macaroni Grills bread. Can't complain with that. SOOOO good! And EASY!}
fiesta ranch rice bowls
pasta with roasted garlic pasta sauce, steamed broccoli & peasant bread
This stuff is gooooood! I've been trying to replicate this pasta I fell in love with at Cafe Express, Pomodoro (the Capri pasta is pretty dang good too). Next time I'll use half roasted cherry tomatoes and half canned diced tomatoes.  
Morris’ for Jeremy's surprise birthday party!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce.

While I was searching for a copycat recipe of my newly in-love-with-pasta Pomodoro from Cafe Express, I found this Emeril Lagasse one that looked scrumpy. And it was. I added 6 sun-dried tomatoes and next time I'll use half roasted cherry tomatoes. It was a good start to the "penne pasta with grape, oven roasted & sundried tomatoes, basil" that I dream about. It also makes a lot, so I froze it and will whip it out for an easy post-baby meal.

1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or use lots less)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole Italian plum tomatoes, with their juices
3 whole heads roasted garlic, cloves removed from peels [and I mashed them]
6 sundried tomatoes, diced
penne pasta

In a large saucepan saute the onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat until soft and lightly golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, salt, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you place them in the pan, and their juices. Stir to combine well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the roasted garlic cloves and stir to combine. Continue to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes longer, or until the flavors have come together. The last 15 minutes add the sundried tomatoes and stir. You still want some chew to them once the sauce is done.

Serve over pasta of choice.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cajun Oven Fries.

An awesome go-to for homemade steak oven fries. Nice and spicy! Although, don't eat with leftover BBQ Chipotle Burgers and Sweet & Spicy Cucumbers. Holy Moly, our family was one big sweaty mess by the end of dinner. Ok, not that bad. But way too much spicy for one meal!

4 medium thin-skinned white potatoes
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce
1 teaspoon ground thyme or poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut potatoes into wedges. In a large bowl, combine oil, hot sauce, thyme, paprika, and cumin. Toss potatoes in dressing and spread out in a single layer on a nonstick cookie sheet. Season wedges with salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once. [or, I like to cook the fries on a cooling rack ontop of a cooking sheet... that way the heat goes all the way around the frie and you don't have to flip them... a RR Tip]

Saturday, October 1, 2011

belly bites by week: 14th addition

these were good and easy... next time I'll omit the salt because i felt like there was enough in the seitan. Thanks Mama Pea!

(thank you deal!)




new pizza place by our house, Pollenzo's
yum! Love that there's a good, yet expenisve, pizza place by our house. But LOVE the living social deals we've found for it!

OUT/Priesthood broadcast – Subway & Sonic
trying to please 2 kids that were bound and determined to have "cheese sandwiches" aka, grilled cheese

We were naughty this week... 3 meals out?!?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Raw Cashew Dreamcake.

These are sooooo good! A for sure treat staple in my house. I first had these at Mandy's house, who got the recipe on our friend Brooke's blog, who got it on My New Roots (just giving credit where credit is due... very important). And holy yum! It's originally made in a pie pan, but I converted them to mini muffin tins so I could freeze and have them on hand whenever the hankering for some yumminess came.

The hankerings came real fast... and they were gone from my freezer all too fast. Which means I need to stock pile again. My whole family loved these, and I don't feel a bit bad for them eating them either. Good, and good for you!

1/2 cup raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
juice of 2 lemons
the seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract)
1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup raw honey (Vegans use agave nectar.)
1 cup raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen) [i've used blueberries too]

Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7” spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well. [I filled my mini muffin pan with liners, used my small pampered chef cookie scoop, dropped mixture into liners and pressed.]

Warm coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.

In the most powerful food processor / blender you own (you decide which one has the most torque) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this may take a couple minutes so be patient).
Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. [I used the same small cookie scoop, filled it halfway, and filled each muffin tin] Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. [Then I used the same scoop and scooped about a full scoop onto the cheesecakes.] Place in freezer until solid.

To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer (what leftovers?). [I froze them in the muffin tray, then when they were all good and frozen transferred them to a freezer ziplock and had them on hand for a few days.]


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Slow Cooker Seitan Carnitas.

I found this recipe I just had to try on one of my favorite websites, Peas and Thank You. I love her website, but have taken a couple misses to find a true hit from her site. This is one of them.

I loved the crockpot aspect of it, and figured I'd give seitan a try. Pretty darn good and made me feel a little more "normal" eating something with a meaty texture. Next time I'll omit the salt, since I thought my seitan had enough it it already.

2 8oz. packages ground seitan
1 cup vegetable broth, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt (I omit)
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2/3 cup organic salsa
8 corn tortillas
toppings: sliced olives, guacamole, tomatoes, non-dairy (i.e. Daiya Pepper Jack) or organic cheese

•Drain seitan of as much liquid as possible.

•Add it to a skillet that has been lightly misted with oil and placed over medium high heat.

•While it isn’t necessary to sauté the seitan before adding it to the slow cooker, I like the flavor it develops. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until starting to brown.

•Add about 1/4 c. of vegetable broth to the pan to deglaze the little bits of seitan from the pan.

•Transfer the mixture to your crockpot and add remaining broth, garlic, salt, lime juice, maple syrup, cumin, cilantro and salsa.

•Stir mixture, cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

•(If you don’t want to use a slow cooker you could just add all the ingredients to the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until liquid has reduced.)

•Toast up the corn tortillas in a dry skillet and top with carnitas and other desired toppings.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

belly bites by week: 13th addition

leftover Papa Murphy’s pizza and corn
{exhausted pregnant woman meal}



I veganized this old Rachael Ray staple... cooking the lentils in the chicken marinade mixture. I also didn't have pineapple so I roasted some oranges. Umm, yum. When I do it again, I'll save some of the marinade to drizzle over the rice and veggies once I plate it. We thought it was a little dry.



OUT/ RS Broadcast: Zoe's Kitchen
Veggie Pita Pizza, yum.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rollover Jerk Lentils with Roasted Peppers and Pineapples.

A Rachael Ray favorite that I veganized by taking the chicken out and putting in lentils. Yum! I didn't have any pineapples so I roasted to oranges. Um, double yum! Totally concentrated their flavor.

red onions, roughly chopped and divided
4 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lime
jalapeño or serrano peppers, seeded
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I omit)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, some for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 yellow bell pepper
2 red bell peppers
1 green bell pepper
1 cup dried lentils
2 cups water or vegetable stock

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place half the red onion, the garlic, scallions, lime juice, jalapeño pepper, red wine vinegar, orange juice, paprika, cumin, allspice, cinnamon and thyme in a food processor and pulse to combine. While running, stream in the EVOO to form a thick paste.

Rinse lentils and add lentils and water to a pot. Boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and add 1/2 of the jerk paste. Let simmer 20-25 minutes until lentils are tender.

Place the pineapple, bell peppers and red onion on a baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle them with some EVOO. Place tray in the oven 30 minutes.

Serve over a bed of brown rice, lentils and veggies and pineapple on top. Or, just eat the mixture without the brown rice.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

belly bites by week: 12th addition


Walls house for Memorial Day

nutrient rich black bean soup (chopped 134)


One of my old favorites that I veganized... adding smoked sundried tomatoes and a little nutritional yeast, and omitting the cheese. So good!


tomato & tortilla soup (Chopped 138)
no bueno, won't be posting the recipe

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tender Barley Cornbread.

This cornbread is awesome. Super healthy and super fast. It's our new staple. I just ground barley up in my food processor instead of buying overpriced barley flour. Plus, I love the texture the little pieces that don't get quite so ground give.  When it's all done baking, while it's still warm, I spread a little agave nectar, maple syrup or honey on top to sweeten it a little more.

3/4 cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal
1/2 cup barley flour (grind some barley in the blender)
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (regular or pastry flour)
2 tablespoons sugar (or a tad shy of 2 T. agave nectar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 425*F. Whisk together the cornmeal, barley and whole wheat flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add the milk and applesauce and stir just until mixed. Scrape into and 8" x 8" nonstick baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cut the hot cornbread into squares. (or put in sprayed muffin tins)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

belly bites by week: 11th addition

lentil taco salad, a.k.a Ava's “birds nests”


tomatillo enchiladas (leftovers)

baked potatoes, vegan ranch & steamed broccoli



Ultimate Chipotle BBQ Burgers, steak fries & fruit salad

Saturday, August 27, 2011

belly bites by week: 10th addition

Tues – chorizo black bean soup
Wed – spaghetti
Thurs – tomatillo enchiladas
Fri – out
Sat – mom & dad's for Stas' Birthday

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chocolate Mudballs.

So yum, and the kids love making these too. A cross between chia snowballs and chocolate balls.
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (honey or agave)
1 1/2 cups puffed millet or brown rice krispies
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup wheat germ (or ground flax)
2 tablespoons powdered cocoa
1/4 cup chocolate chips, optional
unsweetened flaked coconut, optional
Heat the peanut butter and brown rice syrup until melted.  In a separate bowl mix cereal, oats, wheat germ, cocoa, and chocolate chips (if using).  Roll into balls using about a tablespoon of mixture.  Roll in coconut or sesame seeds if desired.  Store in refrigerator.*Or add the coconut into the mixture, then roll.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sweet Potato-Peanut Soup with Nutmeg-Molasses Cream.

Someday I'll get my family to love sweet potatoes as much as I do. Until then, this soup will have to be shelved. Bummer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I use these for beanball subs and beanballs with tomato-balsamic gravy but figured they needed a post of their own.

1 (20-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons steak sauce or tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for frying or baking
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced finely
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 375*F.

Mash the kidney beans in a mixing bowl until no whole beans are left. You don't want them to be completely smooth, you should still be able to recognize that they are kidney beans. Add the soy sauce, steak sauce/tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, lemon zest, bread crumbs, wheat gluten, and herbs, and use a fork to mix everything together. Use your hands to kneed the mixture for about a minute, until everything is really well combined and firm.

Roll the bean mixture into walnut-size balls (I use a cookie scoop so they're all uniform). But don't make them too big; smaller makes for the best texture.

Grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil {i spray}. Place the balls on the sheet and then drizzle them with a little more oil, to coat {i spray a liberal coat}. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip them and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blueberry Pie Pancakes with Glaze.

I drool over most of the stuff on Chocolate Covered Katie... including these. Though her suggestion to top with her "Glazy Doughnut Glaze" is what had me. The stuff rocks. Not even close to my own personal achilles heel that I call a blueberry donut... but it's good to be healthy.

Blueberry Pie Pancakes
(makes 12)
1 1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen mixed berries)
1 cup flour (ww pastry, white, spelt, Bob’s gluten-free, etc.)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons agave/sugar (omit if you don’t want sweet pancakes)
1 cup nondairy milk

If you don’t like the taste of fat-free pancakes, add 2 tablespoon coconut oil or vegan butter, and reduce milk by that amount.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet. Mix, but don’t overmix. Cook on an oiled (or sprayed) pan, on low-medium, flipping each pancake once.

Cover with G-lazy Glaze and serve.... yum!

G-lazy Glaze
2 tablespoons mashed banana
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil 

Combine the two ingredients, and melt. (I used a microwave for 14 seconds.) Then stir stir stir… keep stirring for at least a minute, until the watery mess turns thick and paste-y like frosting.

It seems so simple - so how could it taste so good? But trust me, it does!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Black Bean Taco Salad With Lime Vinaigrette & Taco Bowls.

These yummy bowls is a recipe from my friend Brooke's blog, Simply Real Foods. I think I made them the day that I saw the recipe. Everyone loved them... and the only change I made was cutting the olive oil. Awesomeness Brooke, thanks!

If you can find a good whole wheat tortilla, when you toast them into bowls - the taste is nutty and totally adds to the overall flavors.

1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled

1 cup chopped tomato
1 large zucchini, chopped (and/or 1 cup chopped green pepper)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup frozen corn, partially cooked, rinsed with cold water and drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, diced
lettuce greens, torn into bite-sized pieces or shredded
crushed tortilla chips or Taco Bowls (directions below)

vinaigrette: combine first 11 ingredients in a blender or food processor, process until smooth.

salad: combine all chopped veggies except lettuce. Pour vinaigrette over top and toss well to coat.

Serve on a bed of lettuce greens. Top with crushed tortilla chips or inside a taco bowl.

Baked Taco Salad Bowls
Whole wheat flour tortillas
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425*.  Place up to 6 tortillas between damp paper towels on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until steamed.  Arrange 6 empty metal cans or mold of your choice on a large sheet cake pan.  Drape steamed tortillas over molds and press sides down to form folds.  Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt if desired.

Bake taco salad bowls in oven for 7 minutes.  Remove taco bowls from forms and turn right side up on baking sheet.  Place back in oven for about 3 minutes.  Let cool on rack.  Repeat until desired amount of bowls have been baked.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Roasted Eggplant and Spinach Muffuletta Sandwich.

When first flipping through Veganomicon, the picture of this sandwich made me totally want to try it. With it's 70's film and all (seriously needed better photography for this book!). It looked interesting. It looked good. And I really want to like eggplant. 

It wasn't the eggplant that ruined it... it was all the salty olives. I should have listened to their little forward when it said, "Only olive lovers need apply!" I like them. But I surely don't love them. And I even halved them. Still way, way too salty.

I'm tempted to try it again, without all the olives. But it may take me a year. But at least the mashed potatoes were good (they were suppose to be steak fries, but the smashed craving won over).

Veganomicon, page 100

Friday, June 10, 2011

Rainbow Tomatoes and White Beans.

I drooled over this one in Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine... I love tomatoes, white beans, capers and pine nuts - so this was a shoo-in for me. But I knew I'd be the only one eating it (sadly, no one likes tomatoes in my family except for Nolan-and I don't think he was there yet when I first made this) and so I halved it. BIG mistake. I could have eaten it all in 2 lunches. The picture had me hooked again. I swear, good food photography will get me every time. 
from the magazine... so enticing, huh!?!?
2/3 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons drained capers, chopped
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. multicolored tomatoes (orange, yellow, green, red), cut into thin wedges
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed
1/4 cup pine nuts

In a large bowl, combine the parsley, capers, vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; whisk in the olive oil.

Add the tomatoes, cannellini beans and pine nuts and toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Vegan Berry Shortcakes with Lemon and Thyme Scones.

It was high time to veganize one of my favorite desserts... these yummy shortcakes. And I done gooooood! The combo of thyme and lemon with berries still floors me that it actually tastes good - but it does. And the crust the raw sugar makes on the scones is yummy!

4 cups fresh berries (21 to 22 ounces), rinsed, drained well
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons water

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups nondairy milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon raw sugar
whipped cashew cream

Berries: Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until berries are slightly softened and syrup coats spoon, about 10 minutes. Transfer to medium glass bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Biscuits: Preheat the oven to 400*F. Grind the oats to a fine meal in a dry blender. Pour into a medium bowl and add the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

Mix the milk, agave, lemon juice, lemon zest and thyme in a small bowl. Pour into the dry mixture and stir briefly with a fork, until just combined. Drop by large spoonfuls onto 2 nonstick baking sheets (or baking sheets lined with parchment paper), making 12 mounds. Smooth the tops a bit with wet fingertips. Sprinkle with raw sugar. 
Bake for about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool slightly. 
Using serrated knife, carefully cut scones horizontally in half. Place bottom half of each biscuit on each of 6 plates. Spoon berries syrup over, dividing equally. Cover with biscuit tops. Place scoop a dollop of whipped cashew cream ontop each and serve.

***A merge of the bon appetit shortcake recipe with the oatmeal drop scones from Reversing Diabetes.