Blog of the Belly Biter:

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

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
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
1/2 ricotta
1/2 mushroom
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!!