Posted in Cuisine, HomePage, Uncategorized

Recipe: Peanut Noodles With Vegetables

I want to share one of our very favorite meals. It is quick and easy to make, and only takes a few staple ingredients you likely have in your pantry/fridge/freezer.

Peanut Noodles With Vegetables.

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5 out of 5 bellyrubs

This is really a go-to for us, especially on nights that I know The Mr. will be needing to work late. I made it the night before last, and realized after I started making the sauce that I should share with y’all, so I failed to take a few photos of the before/ingredients (sorry ’bout that!)

The sauce alone is mmm nom nom. I’d like to bottle it and drink it straight!

Peanut Noodles With Vegetables

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This dish is a hit with everyone, but be cautious when using crushed red pepper; it can become quite spicy.


Ingredients

  • 4 oz brown rice noodles (approx. 2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (approx. 1-1/2 tsp)
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter (a little more than 2 Tbsp never hurt anyone!)
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp liquid aminos (soy sauce or tamari may be used as well)
  • 12 oz frozen stir fry vegetable mix (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 1 scallion for garnish, if desired

Directions

  1. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain well in a colander.
  2. While noodles are cooking, grate ginger and mince garlic, slice scallion.
  3. Combine water, peanut butter, maple syrup, liquid aminos, ginger and garlic in a wok. Stirring the sauce continuously, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce thickens, around 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetables, red pepper flakes and cook for 4-6 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Add the noodles to the peanut and vegetable sauce. Using tongs, toss the noodles to coat them with sauce. Garnish with scallions and serve.

This recipe is for two generous servings; can easily be doubled for a family.

Recipe courtesy of Forks Over Knives, altered by Biscuits & Bellyrubs

 

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Posted in Cruelty-free, HomePage, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Update: Deo For My B-O

Although we had, to the best of our knowledge at the time, been living cruelty-free in mostly all facets of our life, it wasn’t until we became more educated on what that actually meant; it was then we decided to completely, 100% dedicate ourselves to a full-on vegan lifestyle. With that, we learned that being cruelty-free does not mean vegan. So, products that are labeled cruelty-free still may contain animal products/ingredients. It’s amazing how animal ingredients are hidden under different names or labels! It’s bananas! Wait, I believe bananas are only consumed by animals and aren’t actually made from animals…

So, now we must take label reading to a whole new level!

Some time ago I wrote a post about finding the perfect deodorant; if you remember, it was quite a process! Well wouldn’t ya know it… the world’s most lovely CRUELTY-FREE deodorant is NOT vegan! Really?!? Nope! Unfortunately it contains cera bellina wax aka, Beeswax. Ugh.  With this discovery, I had been forced to look for not just a great cruelty-free deodorant that actually worked, now I have to find a great one that is also vegan!

I did a bit of research and review reading and found Primal Pit Paste. The best thing about this product is that it is handcrafted right down the road in Austin!! I love finding a great vegan product and especially love finding it comes from, and made in my home state!

When thinking about deodorant, I think we all picture a stick applicator, right? And although Primal offers a stick option, it is not vegan; their vegan formula is in a jar. I thought to myself, how the heck would this be applied?! Your fingers? A cake spatula? Fingertips. Scoop out a pea-sized amount and spread in each of your pits. Hmm… this is… interesting.

Browsing the flavors (scents), I found it was difficult to narrow it down to one to try first. I went ahead and chose Orange Creamsicle. I thought this sounded the most appetizing at the time.

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Now, I have only been using this for a short time, but I love the scent. It smells heavenly in the jar. I have not noticed a scent after it’s been put on, which is fine. The texture is nice. I thought it may be grainy, but it really is not. It goes on, and spreads quite smoothly on the skin. I also have not noticed any sort of residue. Even with wearing a black bra. It seems to be fully absorbed quite quickly. The true test will be during the summer when temps get hot enough to actually need deodorant. I will wait to give my full impression after I’ve tested it fully.

I wanted to note that when first starting out using a natural deodorant, after using a conventional product, there is a detox period. Primal sells most of their deodorants on three levels based on skin/sweat sensitivity and whether this would be your first natural deodorant, as well as some detox assistance products. Because I have been using natural products for some time, and know I don’t really suffer from the usage of baking soda, I ordered a Level 2 jar, which is what most people use. I don’t sweat a lot, so can’t really imagine needing to bump up to a 3 which is the maximum level.

I really hope I love this as much as I loved Native Deodorant. I wrote an email to Native letting them know how sad and disappointed I was having to discontinue my usage and cancelling my subscription, and asked that they please consider a vegan-friendly formula.

 

Posted in Cuisine, HomePage, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

True Love Sweet Treats n’ Tats

For the Mr. and I, we are the ultra sappy couple that believes everyday is Valentine’s Day, and therefore do not really partake in the actual holiday, Hallmark style. HOWEVER, this year, we did get matching ♥Love♥ tattoos to commemorate and celebrate our Love (cue the (non-dairy) cheesy Michael Bolton music). I could certainly dedicate an entire post, or section for that matter, on our tattoos, but not today. We have been looking for a new artist to permanently mark us after our last guy up and moved to Alaska…

A month or so ago, I saw a story on the local news about a tattoo studio that had a tattoo event with all money going towards the largest no-kill animal shelter in the country, located in Austin, and was so appreciative of their love and passion for the cause that I did some research on the studio and the owner/artist. I have been putting my next, ultra-epic tattoo together in my head for some time now, and was notified that this tattoo studio was going to hold a Valentine’s Day event (choose a 2×2″ tattoo for a flat-rate of $45) and thought this was an ideal opportunity to check the place out, see if we felt comfortable with the artist etc. What would we lose? Possibly $45 on a crummy micro-sized tattoo… Alright! So, I asked the Mr. if he wanted to do something fun and different for the holiday we don’t celebrate, and he was totally onboard! Long story short, we went, were super impressed with the studio, (nicest, cleanest and quietist tattoo place we had ever been in) the artist’s portfolio, client reviews, and will certainly go back to have some work done. The studio is run by a husband-wife team. He does the work and she runs the house. Really great! And I, at least, am very excited to get something started.

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Sweetheart Meal

Our Valentine’s dinner was a new recipe I was anxious to try. Lasagna Mexicana! I found the recipe in the new The Engine 2 Cookbook,  but of course tailored it a bit, because, well, that is just what I do when cooking. Rarely do I make a recipe EXACTLY as stated. I will always have to add some sort of spice or spin to suit us.

 

Lasagna Mexicana

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This is a noodle-free Mexican lasagna that will likely satisfy even the pickiest of eaters and will appeal to omnivores as well. It is super easy and makes great leftovers. Ingredients can be cut in half to make a hearty meal for four .


Ingredients

  • 1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 (15oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15oz) cans fat-free vegetarian/vegan refried beans
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3-1/2 cups salsa, your favorite
  • 24 corn tortillas, or more for good measure
  • 2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Hot sauce of your choice
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Sliced black olives

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. In a skillet over high heat, cook the bell peppers, jalapeno, onion and garlic for about 3 minutes, until softened. Add splashes of water to prevent sticking. Add the black beans, refried beans, tomatoes, chili powder and cumin.
  3. Pour a generous 1 cup or so salsa in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Cover the salsa with tortillas. Make sure to cover the entire bottom of the pan. It may be necessary to cut some of the tortillas to fit. Spread half of the bean mixture evenly over the corn tortillas. On top of the bean mixture, add a layer of tortillas. Spread the corn evenly over tortillas. Add another layer of tortillas on top of the corn.
  4. Continue the pattern from the beginning: Add salsa, tortillas, remaining bean mixture, tortillas, ending with remaining salsa.
  5. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until hot throughout. Garnish with fresh cilantro, avocado/guacamole and hot sauce!
  6. *The lasagna will be easier to cut if you allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy of The Engine 2 Cookbook and altered by Biscuits & Bellyrubs

If you’d like to add a bit a ‘cheesy’ flavor and texture, I’d recommend:

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And honestly, out of all the things I have chosen not to consume any longer, sour cream is by far the thing I miss the most. Mock sour cream is full of crappy oils; I can make a plant-based sour cream with tofu, vinegar and lemon juice, which is fine, but not really sour cream-ish… but then we decided to try this:

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By golly, if unsweetened coconut yogurt doesn’t highly resemble Mexican Crema!! It is a fantastic alternative!!

 

But wait… there is dessert!

The Mr. and I eat a 98% Whole Food Plant-Based diet and that, in my opinion is the best, healthiest way to eat; however, 2% of the time we splurge on some vegan cheese, vegan faux meat, a baked good that uses cane sugar rather than maple syrup… ya know, a real splurge for us.  And because it was a candy holiday, we chose to forgo candy and rather I made a frosted chocolate cake.

Side story… My Grandma made THE BEST chocolate cake ever. It is decadent. You should have had to seek a dealer in order to get a slice of this cake. It had been my go-to cake for major celebrations, and was always highly requested, so after going plant-based/vegan, I never felt the desire to make another chocolate cake, because there was absolutely no way that a cake, full of butter, and sugar and eggs and milk could be veganized AND hold a candle to Grandma’s cake. Nope! Well guess what, folks?! It can! And it was! The recipe I got my hands on, is OH LAWD, so good. It’d likely be top seller at a bake sale and I swear no one would ever guess it was vegan! And because I am not (completely) selfish, I will share it will y’all and beg you to give it a try.

 

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Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Rich, moist, decadent frosted chocolate cake that can be made as a two-layer or single layer 9×13-inch cake.


Ingredients

Cake

    • 1-1/2 cups plant milk (I used unsweetened walnut milk)
    • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1-1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
    • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1-1/3 cups organic cane sugar
    • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt

Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened (I use Earth Balance sticks)
  • 2-1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plant milk (I used unsweetened walnut milk)

Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly spray 2 8-inch round cake pans or 1 large rectangular pan with nonstick spray. Dust with cocoa powder.
    2. Mix plant milk and vinegar in a large bowl and let sit for a few minutes to curdle. In the same bowl, add oil, coffee, vanilla extract and applesauce; beat with hand mixer until frothy.
    3. Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add to wet mixture and beat until no large lumps remain. The batter should be smooth and creamy.
    4. Divide batter evenly between two round cake pans or all into one large pan.
    5. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
    6. Prepare frosting by beating together all ingredients until light and fluffy, adding more powdered sugar until desired sweetness. If it frosting becomes too thick, add a bit more plant milk.
    7. Frost cake(s) and store in the refrigerator.

 

 

**I opted to make a single rectangular cake this time and halved the frosting recipe. It came out to be the perfect amount for a single-layer cake.

Recipe courtesy of Minimalist Baker, altered by Biscuits & Bellyrubs