Juice Pulp Muffins

Ok, so for some of you this might require some trust. Pulp doesn’t sound appetizing, I know. Bear with me though, because these muffins are fantastic. They’re dense but moist, sweet and flavorful but without all of the added heaviness of regular muffins. Part of the new meal plan I started in August included a three day juicing phase. I borrowed a coworker’s juicer then immediately turned around and got my own. I loved it so much! I kind of always knew I would and for years have wanted to try it but honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to swallow the cost of one. Luckily, we got this juicer using Mike’s credit card points, so that’s a total bonus and I’m infatuated with the damn machine. I love how little time it takes to make a juice in the morning. I prep everything the night before, maybe 5 minutes of effort, then juice enough for two daily juices. Of course, the recipes are absolutely endless but the only one I’ve discovered that I don’t like involves beets and lemon. Blech! Anyways, I had a hard time with the amount of waste juicing induces. I compost everything, but I thought there was surely a way to use the pulp – afterall, it’s only vegetables and fruit. I found so many awesome ways! Like muffins, soups, salad toppings, stir fries etc! So I set aside the pulp from a carrot, apple, ginger, spinach pulp and started scouring the internet. (The pulp is freezable) I came across a paleo recipe for carrot cake requiring shredded carrot and I went from there. I had to adapt it quite a bit then adapt it a few times but so far, this is the best one. I even burnt a batch and they still tasted great! They’re packed with fibre, protein, healthy fats and all that good veggie goodness. I was hesitant to post them here because the nutritional value looks a little daunting. But honestly, they’re all natural and everything you’re consuming has been minimally processed and has no added sugars, chemicals or preservatives. Basically, all of the ingredients are happily digestible by your body. So do it – I eat one for breakfast with my coffee and one for my afternoon snack. Use any combination of pulp that sounds good to you! I started you off with my favourite.

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Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Garlic

Ripe, colorful, sweet cherry tomatoes. Fresh, strong, pungent garlic. One of the things I miss about living in Victoria is the massive rosemary bush in my garden. That thing had a mind of its own and would mutate every time it rained. I would regularly cut it, post an ad on Craigslist and give bags of it away. Fresh rosemary all year round … I miss that and I’m looking forward to the day I can have an out of control rosemary bush again. Among other things! I love this recipe because it uses all fresh ingredients but it’s also so versatile. It can be used in pretty much anything. I often use it in casseroles, like a spaghetti squash casserole. It’s great as a simple addition to pasta or you can puree the tomatoes and garlic together and add them to a basic marinara. There is a face-punch of flavor, no matter how you use it. But fair warning: your house will smell irresistible!

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Coconut Cream Yogurt

Hi. I haven’t seen you guys in a while! It’s been a rough few months for me and I’m finally starting to get my stuff back together. My dad succumbed to cancer in July, somewhat unexpectedly so I took a month off of work to help mom sort things out. After that, I had no energy, too hot, too tired, too sad to focus on cooking and taking pictures and writing these posts up for you. At the beginning of August though, I hooked myself up with two personal trainers and I feel like my life is on a different track. A path that I could always see off in the distance but could never get to, one that I constantly thought about but could never pull the energy out of the depths for. So, I’ve been going to the gym. And I’ve been given a meal plan. And since August I’ve lost 16 pounds and in the last month I’ve lost 12.75 inches! It’s moments like this that I’m so grateful for this blog because if it weren’t for this and these recipes and all of the work I’ve put into learning how to cook healthy meals, a meal plan would be so much harder! My plan, for now, is gluten free and dairy free. I was already 90% there so I didn’t find this too difficult. This recipe helped me step over the roadblock I had with my homemade yogurt. My trainer was letting me still use the dairy yogurt but that’s all I was allowed to have. I wanted to eliminate it entirely and do the best that I can with this exercise ‘thing’. This recipe makes two servings so I have to make it more often but it takes less than 5 minutes to prep, a night in the oven and we’re done. It’s slightly more expensive but totally worth it as far as I’m concerned – I’m happy to have a sugar free, preservative free vegan yogurt for my morning snack. I’m still in love with the dairy yogurt though and hopefully I’ll be able to incorporate it back into my diet in small doses.

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No Bake PB Drop Cookies

Simple. That’s the only way to describe these. Actually that’s not true. One can also call them delicious. Mike prefer to call them ‘amazeballs’. I shared them at work (what was I thinking?!) Everyone loved them which is a good sign! But it means there were less cookies for me *sad face* But I’ve been even sadder ever since they disappeared. I was away from home for a few days, eating out, eating really poorly and aside from vegetables, all I could think of was these damn cookies. They take 5-10 minutes to prepare. An hour to cool and 5 more minutes to drop onto a pan. They taste like delicious little protein cookies but with better texture and dare I say even tastier! The oats lend a little crunch to them, the coconut gives them flavor depth and more texture and the honey is just perfectly sweet but not over powering. There is no added sugar (honey is the only sugar!) and if I had children, I would feel more than comfortable giving them these as a treat. Hell, they could even make them themselves! Well … with maybe a little supervision. What wasn’t simple about this recipe though, was what to call them! 

Chocolate PB Drop Cookies (13)

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Greek Lemon Potatoes

If I had these potatoes and then never ate potatoes again, I’d probably die happy. These are the potatoes I dream about and if I’m going out for Greek food, it’s only because of these. Not that I don’t like everything else! But dreams need to be fulfilled ya know? Creamy and lemony and savory, this recipe is the closest I’ve ever had outside of a restaurant. And they couldn’t be easier to make! A little bit of marinating, an hour in the oven and you’re done. This recipe gives a new twist on side dishes, great for having people over, or if you just want something different from roasted or mashed potatoes.

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Rutabaga Honey Cake

Last year I received a rutabaga in my CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture) Rutabaga was certainly one of those vegetables that reminds my adult self how much my childhood self despised them. They’re kind of flavorless but have a distinct earthy, tangy smell when cooked. Distinct like celery, without smelling like celery. I wanted to use it in a way that wasn’t a stir-fry, boiling or basically just eating it. *ick* So a quick google search netted me a version of this recipe. It was already a gluten free recipe, so that was cool. I made it then promptly died and went to heaven. I haven’t made it since, though I often think about it. My last CSA box had a huge rutabaga in it. I could easily make 4 of these cakes, so I opted for doubling the recipe. I hate wasting food! I didn’t have brown rice flour on hand so I used gluten free all purpose and coconut flour instead. I think it made the rutabaga stand out a bit more and still tasted delicious. I’m pretty confident in saying you can probably use any flour you have available to you, inluding wheat flour, but keep in mind the density and textures will change with each flour variation.
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Japanese Pickled Cucumber Salad

I’ve been MIA for a while. I find myself incredibly lazy, uninspired and unmotivated to cook in the summer months. I don’t like the heat and I especially don’t like humidity. It has been one of the hottest summers on record in Vancouver. 3 straight months of 25-35 degrees with very little rain. 25 degrees isn’t bad in the Okanagan, where I’m from, but factor in the temperate rainforest and the 95% humidity kills me. I also live in a basement suite with no air conditioning so the stove and oven get turned on as little as possible. Now that I’m finished making excuses, I’d like to present you with a dish I came across today. I have no idea where I found it but the link to the original website is below. Super simple and healthy but with so many complex flavors. You also don’t need to turn on a burner. I whipped this salad up and while it was marinating I made up a quinoa fry with sweet red peppers, caramelized onions and Japanese turnips. Delicious and super light dinner for a stupidly hot day.

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Coconut Curry Squash

Ahhh curry. Love of my life. Long lost friend. I feel like curry and I have a lot of making up to do. I grew up in a small town with one restaurant that was only open on and off, depending on current ownership. The closest city was an hour away and even then it didn’t distinguish itself as a happenin’ place in the culinary world. It’s a city very committed to its chain restaurants and independents never seemed to last long. That being said, there wasn’t a lot of ethnic food either. Not that any of that matters because my mother doesn’t like spicy food and my parents’ palate for foreign food never extended beyond the buffet line at the westernized Chinese food place. Naturally I grew up thinking I didn’t like so many things that now, I can’t live without. Sushi, pho, real Chinese and curries to name a couple. Imagine my delight when I discovered the deep complex flavors of my first good curry. It was so involved that I can actually remember exactly where I was! I like this recipe because it only has a few easy ingredients. It cooks up quickly and has enough spice to clear your sinuses (use less if that’s what you prefer) but it’s also super healthy and while I suggest serving it over rice for a complete meal, I really prefer just eating it as is.

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Vegan Raw Chocolate Pudding

Hey, I’m not going to lie to you; I like pudding. I think the same goes for most people. It’s delicious! But it isn’t healthy. By any stretch of the imagination. I actually found this pudding more satisfying than regular chocolate pudding. There’s no added sugar. There’s no dairy. It’s all healthy, digestable fats. This is healthy stuff but I can assure you, aside from a slight flavor distinction, you won’t know it’s good for you – and I’m willing to bet good money your kids won’t notice either! That and it better be good for me because I ate it ALL. (don’t judge)

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Thai Coconut Lentils

I love hearty, flavorful dishes. You could give me mud in a bowl if it filled me up and tasted awesome. I also love savory foods, even desserts. So, while I was ‘working’ today, I stumbled over this recipe and thought to myself; “Hmm I can stop and get some cabbage, this should be easy. I like easy” So after work I grabbed a small cabbage and came home. There’s a few steps to this but none of them are complicated and it doesn’t take that long to cook. Dinner in (almost) no time! I’ll make this again, no doubt about it. I’ll probably tweak it a bit every time I make it – maybe add some green curry next time. And if I can find the ingredient required in the original recipe (Tom Kha) then I’ll try it like that! I like that about a recipe.

Thai Coconut Lentils (1)
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