Pulp Crackers

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Okay, I was so incredibly excited to discover these! I started juicing this week (which I LOVE btw!) and had all this pulp left over. I absolutely HATE throwing away stuff so I started-a-googlin’ about what to do with pulp from juicing. Lo and behold I found a recipe for pulp crackers! This was amazing because I had been wanting to make crackers for a while and what better way to do it but with food that I thought was doomed for the compost?! AND, on top of all of this awesomeness, the crackers were super easy and delicious! Although, I’m not going to lie, it took a long time to bake. It wouldn’t if I had a dehydrator – shoot, time to get me a dehydrator (I hope your reading this Irfan – anniversary present?! ;))

Ingredients:

2 cups juice pulp
½ cup ground flaxseed
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp curry powder
1 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

Heat oven to 150 degrees.

Mix all ingredients well, by hand.

Spread the mixture on a cookie tray lined with a parchment sheet. Spread to about 1/6-1/4 inch thickness. Score the sheet of dought lightly into cracker-sized squares, and put it in the oven. Now this is where your patience will be tested. Bake them for at least 2 hours. Check the consistency and continue baking accordingly. I personally kept them in the oven the whole day (about 7 hours) as I like them super dry and crispy – this is especially important if you plan on storing them.

If you do have a dehydrator (lucky you!), dehydrate for about two hours, then gently break the crackers apart and flip them. Dehydrate another two hours or so.

When they’re done, let them stand in the air for fifteen minutes or so, then put them in an airtight container. They should stay nice and crispy for at least a week or ten days.

Eat them alone or with your favourite dips!

Adapted from Choosing Raw

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Miso Tahini Tofu

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First off, I need to apologize for not blogging in a few weeks. I went on a one-week silent meditation retreat in Boston which was amazing……sigh…..I didn’t want to leave. Meditation is so important my friends…. (lightbulb!) I need to do a meditation blog! Okay, I have just added it to my blog list 😉

Anywho, I got back from Boston last week and it took me a few days just to turn on the computer – blogging seemed out of the question for a long time. But here I am! Back in the swings of things with all of the settledness felt during the retreat floating away….time to book another retreat 🙂

What was this blog about again? Ah yes, miso tahini tofu!

I made it last week (it was actually inspired by one of the MANY delicious meals from the retreat) and it was superb! AND waaaaay easy and quick! This is a must-try fo shiz!

Ingredients

1/4 cup tahini (don’t be a chump and buy it, super easy to make – I will post the recipe!)
1 tbsp miso
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4-1/2 cup warm water (depends on how runny you want it)
1/4 nutritional yeast (optional)
1-2 tsp maple syrup (optional although I found it really brought out the flavour)

Directions

Mix all ingredients in food processer until smooth. Grill or bake tofu and pour sauce over tofu. Serve with your choice of grain and greens.

Enjoy!


Juicing with Naaz

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I asked my friend Naaz if she would like to guest blog on happygut, and she agreed – yay! She has gotten into juicing and is crazy bananas about it! It was only fitting then, that she did a juicing blog! (omigoodness, enough with the exclamation marks Kiran!)

Naaz’s love for juicing was one of my main motivations for getting my own juicer (got it for a fraction of the retail price on kijiji! what, what!!!) and I am super excited to start. Naaz outlines a fabulous how-to-start-juicing-guideline.

Now before you read about juicing, I think it’s very important to talk about how awesome Naaz is. My friends, she is a beauty with a heart of gold. She is a dancer, yoga instructor and, o yea, a three time cancer survivor. She is a gracious warrior, if I ever met one 🙂

I could go on forever about my dear friend, but I’ll stop here – after all, this blog is hers and about juicing 😉

My Love Affair With Juice
by Naaz Ali

I wasn’t always in love with juicing – In fact, I wouldn’t even consider us being “in like”. Let’s just say I tolerated juice when I had to, and in return, juice tolerated me right back. I didn’t particularly care for the amount of prep work (oh, the endless chopping), the way it tasted (my taste buds were far too accustomed to sugar), the stomachaches afterwards (I’ll spare you the gory details), and the incessant cleanup. I was on and off the juicing bandwagon for many years. That all changed when, earlier this year, I came across Kris Carr’s “Crazy, Sexy, Diet”, and my relationship with juice was changed forever!

As a 3-time cancer survivor, a yoga teacher, and someone who has become very particular about what goes into her body, Kris Carr’s words leapt off the page and sang to my very soul. One of the things I absolutely loved was how she understood that juicing needed to be taken slowly. As a woman who tends to jump into things headfirst (sometimes with little or no thought given to the subject at hand), this was a concept I knew I had to learn to embrace. I started following her diet slowly, listening to my body as I went. I began a semi-raw, vegan, gluten-free, anti-inflammatory diet with green juice in the morning and a smoothie in the afternoon. As expected, my body experienced some hurdles with the new diet, but knowing it was normal, taking extra supplements and being kind to myself really eased the transition.

After about 6 months of being on the diet, I feel better than I have in years. I have more energy, I lost weight and I feel happier and more grounded. One of the best parts is that I fell in love with my juice! Now I can’t wait to have my green juice in the morning and I switched out my smoothie for even more juice in the afternoon. I’m in love with the color, the smooth texture, and the hint of sweetness and tartness in every sip. The feeling of my cells soaking up all that goodness just can’t be beat. When I’m feeling “off” or tired, I know all I need is a nice big glass of juice and some R&R, and I’m as good as new. Juice has become my soul food and an amazing BFF!

So for you, Happygut readers, I want to share my go-to juice recipes, along with some tips and tricks for happier juicing! If you are just starting out, I recommend the Transition Cocktail. Stay on that for as long as you feel is right for your body. I stayed with the Transition Cocktail for about 4 months before I ventured out into further juicing territory. And above all, enjoy! Juicing is a wonderful gift to your body and your soul.  It may take time for you to adjust to adding juice into your routine, but once you do, it’s just the beginning of a lifelong romance.

Transition Cocktail
1 cucumber
3-4 stalks of celery

Divine Blend
1 cucumber
4 stalks of celery
1 quarter of a lemon (rind and all)
1 apple (I like to experiment with the fruit, try pear, honeydew or pineapple!)
3-4 leaves of kale
1 piece of ginger (start small, you can always add more!)

Orange Crush
6-8 carrots
4 stalks of celery
1 quarter of a lemon
1 apple
1 piece of ginger

Tips and Tricks For Happier Juicing

1) Get a good juicer!

This may seem like a no brainer, but until I bought a high quality juicer, I had no idea that you didn’t have to struggle for your juice! I love my Breville Compact Juicer. It is wonderful, it has a wide mouth, so you don’t have to chop your veggies or fruits, super easy to clean and is on the lower end of the price points for juicers. Some juice purists may disagree that it doesn’t deliver optimum nutrients because it has a centrifugal motor, but in my opinion it does the job I need it to do for the price that is right for me. J

2) Start slow.

I know I have mentioned it before, but it is so important to ease into your new juicing lifestyle. When you feel ready to move beyond the Transition Cocktail, take your time. Add an apple for a few weeks and see how it feels, then add another vegetable. Your body will thank you for this, believe me!

3) Be mindful.

After you make your juice, take it to your favorite spot in your house and drink slowly. Savor every sip and notice how your body takes in your juice. You might actually feel your cells soaking up all the love you’re giving it. This makes for a very happy you, and is a beautiful way to start your day.

4) Be gentle with yourself.

Yes, you might go through some unpleasantness as you begin your juicing journey. The symptoms may vary, but if you’ve been on a bad diet for awhile, are accustomed to sugar of any kind (this includes honey), or have a weak digestive system, then do be prepared for your body to have a bit of a reaction. Diarrhea was not uncommon for me in the first month. The important thing is to listen to your body and stick with it. If you want to lessen the amount of juice you take in the beginning, I say go for it. Do what is right for you and again, your body will thank you!

You can follow Naaz on Twiiter: @naaz_a


Lemon Cake/Cupcakes

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We celebrated my Mom’s birthday a few days ago and I offered to make the cake. I needed something to please both the picky adults and kids. I opted to try a recipe from one of the blogs that I follow, The Discerning Kitchen. The cake turned out good although way to sweet for my liking. My friend Fatima came over on the weekend and so I made decided to try the recipe again in cupcake form with reduced sugar. They were really good! The only downside was that they were a little crumbly, next time I will try adding some chia and water to act as a binder – feel free to try it on your first go!

Makes 12 cupcakes or a 10″ cake

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cups sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup good sugar (maple syrup, agave, turbinado sugar, cane sugar etc.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups shredded yellow squash
1 lemon, zested and juiced

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cupcake/cake pan
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix
3. In another bowl combine the squash with the wet ingredients. Make sure to add in the lemon zest and juice.
4. Combine the liquid and dry ingredients by folding in the squash mixture -this will be a drier than normal cake batter but it’s okay (the squash releases liquid as the cake cooks in the oven and it comes out quite moist)
Note: Because the cake doesn’t have eggs, feel free to try a very small amount of batter. If there isn’t enough lemon flavor, zest half of another lemon into the cake batter.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes away mostly clean. You don’t want to overcook this cake and a little extra moisture is better than too little.

Adapted from The Discerning Kitchen

I did make a frosting but didn’t like it enough to post, I will make sure to post an awesome lemon frosting when I find it 🙂


Fab Falafels

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Omigoodness, these were incredibly tasty! I will DEFINITELY be making these again (and again, and again 🙂 ). They were so savoury and satisfying, I guarantee they will not disappoint!

Serves 4-6 hungry people

Falafel Ingredients

500 ml dried chickpeas (not canned!)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 -3 garlic cloves
2 -3 slices stale gluten free bread (if the bread isn’t stale, I usually just toast it and then grind it in a coffee grinder or food processer)
3.5 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoons chilli flakes
1 tablespoon gluten free flour (any kind will do: brown rice, tapioca, sorghum etc.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 water
1-2 tablespoons good quality oil if pan frying

Falafel Directions

1. Wash and place chickpeas in a large bowl, cover generously with water and soak overnight (at least 12 hours and up to 24)
2. Drain chickpeas and place in food processer. Add onion, garlic, bread, and parsley. Run processer until food is clumpy (don’t over process, or will become too paste-like).
3. Add spices, flour, baking powder and water. Mix well.
4. You can wet your hands and shape your falafels in balls or whatever shape you fancy (I used a 1/3 measuring cup and shaped them into patties for this time around).
5. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway in between cooking, or until browned evenly on the outside.
6. If pan frying, heat oil on medium heat and fry until golden brown.

Now, for the sauce: I recommend using my recipe as a rough guideline and throwing in whatever you please. Me and Irfan made separate sauces as he likes it more sweet and I like it more tart. Don’t be afraid to experiment my friends! 🙂

Adapted from food.com

Ingredients for Sauce

3/4 tahini (super easy to make at home, don’t be a chump and buy it – I will poste the recipe soon!)
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 to 2 juiced lemons
1/3-1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
3.5 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2-3 tablespoons ground chia
2-3 tablespoons almond butter (also super easy to make at home – recipe to be posted soon!)
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (if you are like Irfan and like it sweet)

Directions for Sauce

Throw all ingredients in food processer and mix.

You can place your falafels into gluten free pita with all the traditional fixings or if you are like me and too lazy to make a gluten free pita (b/c you know buying it is going to be way too expensive – we are FUNemployed after all 😉 ), you can just eat it with brown rice and a side of steamed greens. Still super de-lish!


Tofu Burgers

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Okay, these are pretty darn delicious! I have made these twice, and I think I have managed to perfect the texture as the first time was too crumbly.

Makes 10 medium sized burgers

Ingredients

2 (16 ounce) packages firm tofu
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced onions
1 cup peeled and grated carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried dill
2⁄3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons miso
2 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 -2 tablespoon mustard (optional)
1 tablespoon ground chia
3 tablespoon water

Directions

1. Mix the ground chia and 3 tablespoons of water in a cup, let sit (this is used as a binder)
2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F
3. Generously oil baking sheet
4. Place tofu between two plates, and rest heavy weight on top plate
5. Press for about 15 minutes
6. Drain off liquid from bottom plate
7. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet, and sauté onions, carrots, oregano, basil and dill for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender
8. Crumble pressed tofu into large bowl
9. Stir in walnuts, bread crumbs, tahini, miso, braggs and mustard, if using, with the tofu
10. Add sautéed vegetables and chia water mixture, and mix well
11. Using about 1/2 cup burger mix per burger, form 10 patties by hand, and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart
12. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until burgers are firm and browned

Adapted from food.com

I served these on some brown rice tortillas (I didn’t have any gluten free buns on hand) topped with some guacamole and mustard, with a side of asparagus and collard greens. A super tasty and healthy meal!


Bulk Barn is cool!

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I like Bulk Barn. It’s a fabulous place for those people who are gluten free and not afraid of experimenting in the kitchen. Such a range of grains and flowers – the possibilities are endless!

It’s also most often a cheaper alternative to buying packaged gluten free flours from Wholefoods or other organic grocery stores. It is for this reason that I buy most of my grains, flours, nuts, seeds, and beans from Bulk Barn.

I recently read an article on the dangers of genetically modified (GMO) foods and although I almost eat nothing processed and base my diet on whole foods, I wondered if the products I was buying from Bulk Barn were GMO. Some of their products do in fact indicate that they are NOT GMO but the bulk (tehehehe, BULK) of them don’t say anything. I contacted them and asked them if they could give me a list of their products that are GMO, if any. They said that this would be too cumbersome as they had tons of suppliers all over the world. I then asked them if I could send them a list of specific products to look into – products that I usually buy from there. They agreed and have gotten back to me on some of the items I inquired about.

Here is a list of products that are NOT genetically modified from Bulk Barn:

Potato starch
Tapioca flour
Arrowroot flour
Dark buckwheat flour
Brown rice flour
Soya beans
Black turtle beans
Adzuki beans
Rolled oats large flakes
Oat bran cereal
Sultana raisins
Large prunes pits removed
Pinto beans
Black-eyed cow peas
Almonds
Ground flax seed
Dark brown sugar
Hulled sesame seeds raw
Oat flour
123-dry roasted salted cashew pieces (be careful with the cashews, see below)
125-dry roasted unsalted cashew pieces (be careful with the cashews, see below)

Here is a list of products they are still looking into:

Goji berries
Grade A wild rice
Cocoa powder ruddy red
Cocoa powder
Kasha whole toasted buckwheat
Pecans
Amaranth non-packaged

Here is a list of products that ARE GMO:

111-cashew pieces roasted & salted
112-jumbo cashews roasted & salted
113-cashews roasted & salted
114-unsalted cashews
115-unsaled cashew pieces

I will keep you all updated with regard to my list. I recommend that you too contact Bulk Barn with your own list – knowledge is power, people!

Happy Bulk Barn shopping 🙂