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.


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.


  • 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


  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




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.


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 .


  • 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


  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:


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:


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.




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.



    • 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


  • 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)


    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
Posted in Cuisine, HomePage, Uncategorized

Mac & Cheeze, Please!

I have been in the midst of writing a post on a completely different subject, but placed that particular one on hold to give an impression on a pretty important topic. This cannot wait; it must be done immediately! What possibly could be so important, you ask? The subject: Macaroni and Cheese, or rather, Mac & Cheeze.

Prior to dedicating my entire self to Veganism, I, like a good majority of humans, was a cheese addict. I believe I have mentioned in (much) older posts my complete adoration for the creamy delicacy coagulated cow puss. I literally would crave cheese; and desired it in any form; however my very favorite was between two pieces of greasy toasted bread or covering noodles, pasta and macaroni of any kind.

The Mr. and I are about 98% Whole Food, Plant-Based vegans, however occasionally we will splurge on some “vegan junk food”,  or rather “mock” items; one being ‘cheese’. Periodically, although not as often as I once imagined, I get a craving for some of the comfort foods I used to enjoy in the past, the top one being mac and cheese.

The Mr. and I were doing our grocery shopping and in the frozen food section looking for something in particular when I stumbled upon the Heat & Eat section. I typically don’t even bother glancing around those parts since most, if not all, are highly processed, filler-substance, as opposed to real food (even at Whole Foods). But the pic on the box caught my eye:


Amy’s makes some pretty darn tasty (real) cheese and veggie enchiladas, and I appreciate that they focus on healthy convenience, so I grabbed two boxes and tossed them in my cart. ($3.99 at 365 by Whole Foods)

I have to admit I was a bit trepidatious to try this. One, because I always hold frozen mac and cheese meals to Stouffers standards (was my absolute favorite); it is made with rice pasta, which I have had in the past and find it to be a bit too soft for my taste; and finally, Amy’s uses Daiya for the cheese sauce. The only experience I have with Daiya is having their mozarella shreds on a pizza from Pie Five, and again at home one night; neither time were The Mr. and I a fan. It melts well, but has a strange sweet/tart taste… Anyhoo. The Mr. took his box to have for lunch at work today, and I had mine at home.

I opted to make it in the microwave, although would have rather baked in the oven, but wanted to compare the end result exactly with the way The Mr. would have his, and also, honestly did not want to wait 40 mins to dig in… so, in the microwave it went. After following the instructions stated on the box, I became quite hopeful this could be a treat and wouldn’t have to opt for a back-up lunch option. It smelled exactly like real macaroni and cheese, and resembled it as well! I added a tiny bit of salt and took my first bite… I was SO pleasantly surprised! And then excited! And then satisfied! And then excited again! It was delicious!!! It absolutely could be put up against a non-vegan frozen entree in comparison and be preferred (except Stouffers… nothing can touch that stuff; nothing)!


The pasta was not overly soft, the cheeze was creamy and had a sharp cheddar-like taste. Could this really be? My only two less-than-perfect comments are that it needed a bit more salt than I would prefer, and after cooling for a few minutes became a bit tacky or sticky; not a huge deal, because I didn’t allow it to sit thaaaat long… I scarfed it down too quickly.

Overall I was very pleased and now have an option for a quick-grab lunch if need be, and therefore give it 4 out of 5 bellyubs!




I will be very anxious to get The Mr.’s opinion when he gets home from work later this evening. Now, back to my other post… coming soon… sit tight 😉

Posted in Cuisine, Lifestyle

Initial Impression: Power Air Fryer XL Pro

I am not overly fond of fried foods. Too much grease nauseates me; however, the fried foods I do like, I like a whole lot… fried chicken, doughnuts, cheese curds, french fries… mmmm nom nom. I have a gazillion kitchen toys (utensils, gadgets and appliances) and am always anxious to try out the next latest and greatest invention. When I get a lazy Saturday morning, which RARELY happens, I enjoy sitting in front of the TV with my mondo-sized-mug-o-coffee and watching Food Network with The Mr. and kids; or when flipping the channels getting captivated by either ‘In the Kitchen with ______’ on QVC or sucked in with one of those uberly-excited, over-dramatic, you’re-going-to-keel-over-if-you-don’t-act-now infomercials. And sometimes, I (we) fall for it.

I learned about Air Frying a year or so ago, and have had a Philips Airfryer in my Amazon cart for about that long. I just never felt the need to spend $300 on a toy I may use every now and then, because again, fried foods make me wanna hurl. But then – I saw the informercial for the Power Air Fryer XL Pro. The demo impressed me. The price was a helluva lot less than the Philips and it had a decent try-it guarantee, so as I do with ALL (literally ALL) things I spend money on, I did research! (Google is my inquiry BFF) It seemed to get some very promising reviews AND, long story short, QVC offered it with special accessories and on 5 Easy Pay ($23.80 got it to my door), so why not? I ordered the 3.4 Qt. in Black.

I was excited to receive my new play thing, and had been dreaming of all the fantastic goodies I could whip up prior to it’s arrival, as it claims to not only ‘fry’ things, but bake, sauté, roast, steam and grill – Whooppee!

First things first… what do you imagine the very first thing is to try in the brand new air fryer? Something I have not really had since starting Weight Watchers – Hand-Cut French Fries! Oh yes, tasty little starchy morsels of goodness, that’s what!

I began with a medium-sized, Texas-grown russet tater. (I failed to take a picture of said tater, but figure you know what I’m talkin’ bout, right?)

I scrubbed it with a potato brush and left the skin-on. Skin-on fries are the tastiest and my favorite!

I then cut it into sticks.


To remove the access starch, soak in a cold water bath for 15-20 mins.


Drain off the water and give another rinse with cold water; dry completely! I wrapped in cheesecloth and pressed. I let the bowl sit on the counter for a bit and continued to press to absorb as much moisture as possible.


Remove the cheesecloth and drizzle with VERY LITTLE oil (olive or vegetable), maybe a 1/2 tsp; sprinkle with salt and toss/mix to coat each potato stick. Cooking with air requires little to no oil. I added oil to help aid in the crispiness of the fry. Place in the fry basket.


The Power Air Fryer has several presetting options, one being for Fries. Once locking the basket into place, and hitting the Fries button, they begin to cook immediately at 400° for 18 minutes. The user manual instructs you to pull out the basket and toss half way through the cooking process, so at 9 minutes, I did as I was told and then placed back into the paused machine.


At the end of the 18 minutes, I pulled out the basket and gave them another toss to ensure they all looked done. They probably could’ve gone for an additional minute or two, as the centers were less crispy than I would personally prefer.


The French fries turned out delicious! I’d say they were a cross between those cooked in an oil fryer and those baked in an oven, with zero greasy or oily residue/taste. Essentially the concept of ‘frying’ with air is nothing more than cooking in a convection oven. The hot, pressured air circulates the food being cooked, sealing in moisture while making the outside crispy. However, the time and energy saved using the countertop appliance vs. my wall oven, especially in the summer, is outstanding!! After my first go, I am extremely excited to try out a plethora of other things!

So, on my scale of 1-5 Bellyrubs, after the initial use, I give the Power Air Fryer XL Pro:


4 Paws-Up!





Posted in Cuisine

Vegetarian Quinoa Enchilada Bake

I love to find or create recipes that are an all-in-one meal; meaning, they are so hearty they need no side dish. This is one that is really tasty and easy enough for a weeknight. It can easily be altered to make more or less spicy. Add chopped jalapeños to be sautéed with onion and peppers, or as a garnish. This can also be made with ground beef or chicken for a non-vegetarian version. I can even see this being used as a burrito filling.

Vegetarian Quinoa Enchilada Bake

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A super tasty, not-too-spicy vegetarian meal. No side dish needed.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 10-12 oz red enchilada sauce
  • cilantro, freshly chopped or dried, to taste
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican/cheddar cheese, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
  2. Add the water to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the rinsed quinoa and simmer for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, red and orange bell peppers. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until onion is translucent and peppers have slightly browned.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, sautéed vegetables, black beans, corn, chili powder, cumin and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Stir to mix. Add the enchilada sauce, cilantro and lime juice; stir until well combined.
  5. Pour into a 8×8 or 9×9 square baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sides are bubbling. Allow casserole to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped green onions, cilantro, avocado, tortilla chips or sour cream, if desired.

This recipe makes 4 servings; recipe may be doubled for a family.

Recipe courtesy of Biscuits & Bellyrubs

I made this recipe using things I already had on hand. I didn’t have large red or orange bell peppers in the fridge, so I used the snacking bell peppers and half a sweet-Texas onion.










Posted in Cuisine

My G-ma’s Waffles

This is my G-ma’s recipe for waffles; it is by far the best I’ve ever come across. Perfect for weekend breakfast, brunch or a sweet supper!

G-ma's Waffles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, light, baked treat for breakfast, brunch or dinner.


  • 1-1/2 c flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 egg yolks *save egg whites; they will be used separately; beat until frothy.
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • vanilla (as much or as little as you like)


  1. In a medium bowl, mix dry and wet ingredients together.
  2. Fold in beaten egg whites.
  3. Pour batter onto lightly greased waffle iron until browned to your preference.
  4. Top with maple syrup, fresh berries & whipped cream, bananas foster or anything you’d like!!

This recipe makes approximately four large waffles; recipe may need to be doubled for a family.

Recipe courtesy of Biscuits & Bellyrubs
Posted in Cuisine


Cuisine. Fare. Chow. Fuel. FOOD. I love it. I am always thinking about it. When I wake up in the morning before I prepare breakfast, I am thinking about what I will be making for dinner that night (if not already planned ahead of time!) Craig gets frustrated with me, because he’s sipping his first cuppa-coffee and I’m asking him about what sounds good for supper. 

I love most everything about food. I love to plan, play with, and prepare new dishes. Although it is fun to go out to a restaurant, I’d much rather prepare our own meals at home; mostly for two reasons: One, if I am cooking, I know precisely what goes into it, and Two, I have an amazing kitchen (my dream kitchen, designed by yours truly when building our home) that makes it practical and fun. 

I very much enjoy both cooking and baking. I have many-a-fond memory of learning to do, and appreciate both from my Grandma and my Mama. My paternal Grandma, (whom I call G-ma) was an outstanding baker. She was the epitome of a Grandma in both physical appearance and talents. My great-grandparents hailed from Austria, so my G-ma learned from her Mutter all there was about European/German baked goods. My Daddy loves to bake as well, thanks to her, so we keep her memory alive by doing what she did in the kitchen and honoring her. 

My Mama, on the other hand hates to bake, but she is a master in the kitchen. She missed her calling to be a professional, that’s for sure! She taught me at a young age the importance of a good, balanced, and oh-so flavorful meal.

I am quite picky about what goes into my food. Real food comes from real ingredients. Fruits, vegetables, grains… if you can grow it, it should be good enough to eat. We don’t do chemicals. If we don’t know what it is, or how to pronounce it, it does’t end up in our tummy. We are obsessive label readers; less is more!

I am very passionate about responsible eating. Due to my love of animals and a distaste for most meat, I steer away from anything but free-range, organic, happy, pampered chickens and occasional wild-caught fish. I used to be a vegetarian for many, many years, and always play with the idea of doing it again or going full-on Vegan one day. But when being honest with myself, I LOVE chicken. I LOVE dairy and find nothing wrong with consuming those things IF done so responsibly. I refuse to support factory “farms” that mass produce animals for humans to consume. I refuse to support large dairy “farms” that never allow a cow to see the light of day, or keeping them pregnant at all times to take their milk; and after birthing a boy, disposing of him because he is not useful… Ok, ok, I will leave that soap-box topic for another post of its own.

Anyhoo, my plans for this section of my blog is to talk about anything relating to food. I have an infinite amount of recipes to share with the world. I have a plethora of kitchen gadgets and toys I like to share, along with tips and tricks. I am not only going to provide tasty delectables for humans, but also for our furry family members! And as a side note, whenever possible, I will include the Weight Watchers point value for meals/recipes.