Archive for the ‘What We’re Eating’ Category



What We’re Eating: SCD Almond Flour Pizza

A few weeks ago, we received the news that my daughter could try four nuts based on her latest blood tests: pecans, walnuts, almonds and pine nuts. She still tested very allergic to peanuts, pistachios, cashews and hazelnuts.

I was excited about this news, because our options are rather limited on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet without the ability to cook with nut flours.

I went to Whole Foods to buy nuts only to find out that all packaged and most bulk nuts have warnings about possible contamination with peanuts and other tree nuts. I did not want to risk my daughter ingesting any peanut or tree nut particles, so I found almonds and pecans that have not come in contact with other nuts.

I drove to Anna, TX to get pecans from Foster Crossing Pecans and I ordered almonds through JustAlmonds.com. A quick note: JustAlmonds.com‘s January special is 25% off natural almond flour, and you can get 10% off your first order if you subscribe to their newsletter.

Unfortunately my daughter had a series of allergic reactions to the pecans and a small reaction to the pine nuts, but she seems to be tolerating the almonds so far. I am so happy about this!

Since my daughter seemed okay with the almond test, I made this pizza for her:

SCD Almond Flour Pizza

It was so easy to make!

I put a handful of almonds into my Magic Bullet blender and was surprised how easily they converted to almond flour. When I did the same thing with pecans, the pecans became pecan butter quickly, but because the almonds are so hard, I could repeatedly grind them and never got butter.

Ingredients

CRUST

1/2 cup almond flour (I ended up using a full cup to get a dough-like ball)
1 egg
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

TOPPINGS

Italian tomato paste – $1.99 at Dallas Whole Foods Market
Grated Parmesan cheese
Cooked hamburger
Dried basil
Dried oregano

How to Make

- Mix all of the crust ingredients together in a bowl. Start with 1/2 cup almond flour and add flour until you get a dough-like ball.
- Oil a pan with olive oil. I used a Williams Sonoma cake pan that I found on clearance last year. I love it for making pizza.
- Place the dough ball in the pan and flatten it with your hands into the shape of a small pizza.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and immediately place the pizza dough in the oven. By the time the oven is pre-heated, the dough will be ready for the toppings.
- Once the oven reaches 350 degrees, remove the pan and place your toppings on the crust. I spread tomato paste, then added the dried oregano and basil, then grated the Parmesan on top and added the hamburger last. You can get creative with your toppings!
- Drizzle olive oil on top (it is the green-looking stuff in the photo above).
- Place the pan back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. I took it out at around 9 minutes because it looked like it was done. You can gauge the timing based on what toppings you use.

My daughter loved this recipe. I loved it because it was easy to make. The crust tastes a bit like a wheat crust and it is very filling. The small pizza was more than enough for my daughter and me to share.

Recipe Credit: John Higgins, John’s Pizza – SCDRecipe.com. Visit the site to get the original recipe.



What We’re Eating: Spaghetti Squash

Last week, I was up late working and had the Wendy Williams Show on in the background. Richard Simmons was one of the guests. When I heard him mention his spaghetti squash recipe, I tuned in. I’m glad I did!

It is Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) legal, healthy and very easy and quick to make!

Here’s what it looked like:

Spaghetti Squash - SCD-legal

Richard put the mixture back in the squash skins, kind of like this:

Spaghetti Squash - SCD-legal

but his looked much nicer than mine! I didn’t fill it all the way up like Richard did.

Here’s how easy it is to make this recipe:

Spaghetti Squash - SCD-legal

1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half. I did this before I bought the Presto LeverEdge. I had to use one of my Cutco knives.

Spaghetti Squash - SCD-legal

2. Clean out the seeds and strings.

Spaghetti Squash - SCD-legal

3. Place the halves face down into a microwave safe dish and add an inch of water. Microwave the squash for 20 minutes and then let them cool for 10 minutes.

Spaghetti Squash - SCD-legal

4. Cut up the chives and tomatoes and grate four tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Richard used diced canned tomatoes, but that is not legal on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, so I cut up Roma tomatoes.

5. Using the end of a fork, scrape out the squash half so the result looks like spaghetti! Put in a casserole dish.

6. Add the chives, tomatoes and cheese to the spaghetti squash.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

My daughter LOVED this dish. I thought it was quite good, but I plan to add another 2-4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese when I make it again.

I sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top of each serving too. It can be served hot or cold, although I preferred it to be hot. Since we can no longer eat pasta, this is the closest substitute we’ve had in the past six months since starting on the SCD.

View Richard Simmon’s recipe for this dish on the Wendy Williams Show’s Website.


What We’re Eating: Spicy Chicken Nuggets

I thought I would try out a new chicken nugget recipe tonight.

I’m not big on spicy foods, but didn’t realize these would turn out to be SOOOOO spicy. They’re good, but I will use less cayenne pepper and I will try to find SCD-legal yellow mustard instead of using a spicy brown mustard.

If you like spicy, then here’s a recipe for you! These chicken nuggets are gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and SCD legal.

Ingredients:

- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (on sale at Sprouts DFW stores for $1.97/lb until Wednesday, November 3)
- Coconut Flour (Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Flour was 25% off at Sprouts in October, but I think the sale ended today)
- Coconut Oil (Garden of Life Living Foods Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is on sale at Natural Grocers Texas stores – maybe other states – for $5.99 per 16 oz jar until 12/15. Amazon.com sells this product for $10+ per jar.)
- Eggs (Cyd’s NestFresh 100% Cage Free Large Eggs are $1.99/dz at Natural Grocers Texas stores until 12/15)
- Cayenne Pepper
- Herbes de Provence
- Sea Salt
- Ground Black Pepper

Make it:

1. Clean and cut up boneless, skinless chicken breasts into small chunks.

2. Mix one egg with 1 1/2 tsp of SCD-legal mustard (or if you’re not following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, use any mustard).

I saw on a blog tonight that Walmart sells a SCD-legal mustard, but I wasn’t sure which variety until I looked at every Great Value mustard on the shelf. I finally found this Spicy Brown Mustard had all SCD-legals in it:

Great Value Spicy Brown Mustard at Walmart

It is priced at less than $1.00 and has no unnecessary junk in it! I wish their yellow mustard was also SCD-legal, but I will check Whole Foods, Sprouts and Central Market to see if I can find something there.

Once the egg and mustard are mixed in one bowl, set it aside and get another mixing bowl.

3. In the second mixing bowl, put one cup of coconut flour (the original recipe calls for almond flour, but we have to do nut-free due to my daughter’s allergies).

Nut-free, gluten-free, SCD legal spicy chicken nuggets

4. Add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a half teaspoon of sea salt, two teaspoons of Herbes de Provence, and a half teaspoon of ground black pepper to the coconut flour, and mix them together.

5. Put coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat.

6. Dip chicken chunks in egg/mustard bowl and then in the flour/spice bowl. Place chicken into frying pan.

Nut-free, gluten-free, SCD legal spicy chicken nuggets

7. Brown on both sides then transfer to an oven safe bowl.

Nut-free, gluten-free, SCD legal spicy chicken nuggets

8. Once your oven safe bowl is full, place in the oven at 350 degrees for 10+ minutes until thoroughly cooked (I cooked mine for 14 minutes). I also cooked plain chicken with a little butter just in case the nuggets didn’t come out to our liking.

9. Use honey as a dipping sauce. Or if you’re not following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, use any dipping sauce you prefer.

The original recipe was posted on the SCDRecipe Yahoogroup as a KFC-style chicken nugget. My version did not taste anything like KFC chicken nuggets, but that could be due to the coconut flour. If you do not have a nut allergy, try almond flour instead!




What We’re Eating: Pumpkin Muffins!


I LOVE pumpkin anything, so I’m thrilled to see the pie pumpkins in grocery stores.

On the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, we can’t eat canned pumpkin, so I have had to learn how to use fresh pumpkins.

I wish I had seen this Website before I got started with fresh pumpkins. They list a few different options for removing the skin, and I hadn’t thought about using an ice cream scoop to remove the seeds. But since I didn’t see the PickYourOwn.org site initially, this is how I have been removing the skin:

1. Cut off the top of the pumpkins
2. Cut the pumpkin in half
3. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon or my hands
4. Put the pumpkin halves in a microwave-safe bowl
5. Add about a half inch of water to the bowl
6. Microwave for 10 minutes on high, check the pumpkin halves and microwave for an additional 10-20 minutes if needed.

I found the skin on the organic pie pumpkins I bought at Central Market came right off within ten minutes of microwaving the pumpkin halves. The conventional pie pumpkins from Kroger took nearly 30 minutes each and I still had difficulty getting the skins off some. Perhaps it had something to do with how ripe they were.

Once I have gotten the skins off the pumpkins, I cook the pumpkin for another 15 minutes to make sure it is soft. Once cooked, I put it in the food processor and puree it. I store the pumpkin puree in glass canning jars until I need to use it in recipes.


Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Please keep in mind that these muffins are made to be “legal” for Specific Carbohydrate Diet followers to eat. They are nut-free, gluten-free, and free of refined sugars.

Ingredients

- 4 eggs (I use medium, cage-free)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup honey (I use 1/2 cup because I thought the 1/3 cup was not sweet enough)
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (or less)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves (or less)
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4-1/2 cup of homemade applesauce OR 1 banana

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
2. Mix all items (except the coconut flour) with an electric mixer until combined.
3. Add coconut flour and continue mixing
4. Fill muffin cups half-way
5. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown

Makes approximately 12 muffins. I have been doubling the recipe because 12 muffins are gone in two days in my house.

I adapted my recipe from Amy McKenna’s recipe posted at SCDRecipe.com since my daughter is allergic to nuts.

I have been struggling with how to use coconut flour so that my baked items do not taste like bricks. I finally found some information online that suggested using four eggs for every 1/4 cup of coconut flour. This has worked for me!

The initial batch of muffins I made weren’t too sweet though (I like sweet), so I increased the honey to 1/2 cup and added a little homemade applesauce in one batch and a ripe banana for another. Both varieties came out very moist and they held together unlike the coconut banana muffins I had been making.

I found I could really taste the nutmeg, cloves and ginger, so I used a bit less than what was recommended in Amy’s recipe. If you like to taste a kick of nutmeg, ginger or cloves, keep the amounts listed above. If you want to taste them, but not be overpowered, try using a little less than what is recommended.

Try these combos:

- Homemade applesauce (I put the muffin in a bowl of applesauce and ate it with a fork). I have also tried it with pear sauce.

- Warm pumpkin butter (I drizzled warm pumpkin butter on top of my pumpkin muffin and the taste reminded of brownie sundaes – which probably won’t be the case for everyone, but since following the SCD, I have found my taste buds have changed).






Jelly Donut Cupcakes (these are healthier than they sound!)

I wanted to find a new Specific Carbohydrate Diet-legal “treat” to make for my daughter and me, so I was thrilled to see a posting by Stacey on the Breaking the Vicious Cycle Yahoogroup for Jelly Donut Cupcakes.

Stacey adapted this recipe from a recipe posted at Elana’s Pantry. Elana’s recipe looks delicious so if you don’t have major dietary restrictions, you might want to check out her recipe.

The modified Jelly Donut Cupcakes turned out pretty well and were gone within a day. I actually made two batches over the weekend, and they didn’t last through Monday!

Here’s how to make them (credit to Stacey for the adapted version):

CUPCAKES
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup applesauce (if you follow SCD, you need to make your applesauce*)
- ½ cup grapeseed oil
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda

JELLY FILLING
- ½ cup fruit jam (if you follow SCD, you need to make this jam**) – I used frozen, organic mixed berries
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
1. Combine eggs, applesauce, grapeseed oil, honey and vanilla in a food processor
2. Pulse in coconut flour, salt and baking soda
3. Allow batter to sit and thicken just a bit
4. Prepare the filling by combining the raspberry jam and coconut flour in a small bowl and stir until blended (watch out for pockets of flour)
5. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners
6. Spoon two heaping tablespoons cupcake batter into each cupcake liner

7. Spoon one heaping teaspoon of jam mixture (on top of batter) into each cupcake liner
8. Spoon another tablespoon of batter onto cupcakes to cover jam mixture
9. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes
10. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes and then serve

* To make applesauce:
1. Peel, core and cube apples, preferably organic due to pesticides
2. Place apple cubes in an oven-safe dish and add fill dish with 1/4 water
3. Drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon on top of apples
4. Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes
5. Remove from oven, let cool and then place baked apples in a blender or food processor to make into the sauce.
6. Store applesauce in a mason jar in the fridge.

The cupcakes looked “normal” for about a minute, but quickly sank as they cooled. They were also very moist – almost like they weren’t fully cooked – however I cooked the second batch longer and they still came out extra moist.

Here is the final result:

I am a complete novice in the kitchen – learning as I go. If you have suggestions for how to keep the cupcakes from sinking, please let me know!




What We’re Eating: Chicken Nuggets with “Hidden” Green Beans


I decided to try some new Specific Carbohydrate Diet recipes and this one turned out to be easy and tasty, so I thought I’d share it on my blog.

I wish I had a better digital camera so I could get a better photo of these chicken nuggets, because the photo doesn’t do them justice!

Here’s how to make them:

   - Boil a pound or two of chicken breasts or chicken tenders.

   - Cook 1/2 to 1 cup of green beans.

   - Once both are done, throw them into a food processor or blender, and grind/mix them. The consistency will be similar to tuna fish salad.

   - Add herbs, salt, spices – if desired. I added some Basil, Herbes de Provence and salt. I didn’t measure the quantities of each so use amounts that you think would be best for you.

   - Mix again to make sure the spices, herbs and/or salt are blended into the meat/green bean mixture.

   - Cover the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil.

   - Make small “nugget-sized” balls and flatten them into patties.

   - Fry them in the olive oil until brown on both sides.

I gave my daughter three dipping sauces to try with the nuggets: honey, cooked mango sauce and applesauce. She preferred the honey and applesauce. I preferred the mango sauce (as pictured above).

I especially like these nuggets because they’re easy for school lunches and they include the protein and vegetable in one item! And if you use fruit sauce, you get the serving of fruit too.

I am going to see how do after being frozen as I would love to be able to make a large batch of them and freeze them for last minute lunches and dinners. I’ll update this post once I see how it goes.

Thank you to Pecanbread.com for the original recipe, which is slightly different from what I did.

Irene’s Peach Surprise

I purchased several pounds of peaches at Newflower Farmers’ Market last week when they were $0.47/lb, so I needed to use them up. I made peach sauce with most of them, but also found Irene’s Peach Surprise recipe in the July 2010 issue of Real Simple Magazine when I was trying to clear magazine clutter from my house.

I made the recipe comply with the rules of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet by using homemade peach sorbet instead of vanilla ice cream, and the SCD meringues posted at ComfyTummy.com.

Unfortunately 2-3 minutes cooking time was not long enough to cook the meringues. Maybe it’s because of my modified meringue recipe, but I think 5-6 minutes or possibly longer is needed to thoroughly cook the meringues.

The homemade peach sorbet (which was just peach puree with a few pureed slices of banana that I ran through my Cuisinart ice cream/sorbet/frozen yogurt maker) went really well with the peaches. When I get around to making cows’ milk SCD yogurt (which now looks like Monday or Tuesday), I plan to make vanilla ice cream and try the recipe again.

For anyone following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet….
I should have cooked the peaches and removed the skins. I removed the skins before my daughter ate them, but she still consumed raw peaches, which are too advanced in the early stages of the diet.


Specific Carbohydrate Diet Pizza


After seeing lots of pizza boxes on stage at Giggle, Giggle, Quack on Saturday, I had a strong craving for a pizza. But pizza dough contains ingredients that are not permitted on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)*, and my daughter has a nut allergy, so no nut flours can be used. I had to get creative.

I found a round cake pan on clearance at Williams-Sonoma today (they’re currently having their annual summer clearance in stores and online), and decided I’d try to make a pizza using the pan. I wasn’t sure if it would cook the flourless bread, but it worked out just as well as my Pyrex dish (which I used the first time I made the bread).

Here’s how I made it…

For the “pizza dough”, I made the Nut-free, dairy-free bread for Stage 1 recipe on Pecanbread.com.

I used my pressure cooker to get the well-cooked (aka over-cooked) vegetables that are required during early stages of the SCD. I pureed the cooked celery, onion, zucchini squash and carrots in my food processor and then pressed the water out through a strainer.

Once the pureed vegetables looked like a paste, I mixed them into the egg yolks and then folded that mixture into the egg whites.

I cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the cake pan, and poured in the mixture. I used the rest of the mixture to fill a rectangular pan of the bread.

Here’s where I think I made a mistake. About 12 minutes before the round bread was done, I took it out and added the tomato sauce (Pomi Italian strained tomatoes + Mutti Italian tomato paste + two cloves of garlic + Italian herbs) and cheese (Italian provolone + cheddar), and then continued cooking it. I added cooked hamburger when the pizza was done. Unfortunately, by taking out the bread 12 minutes early, it wasn’t cooked enough and it soaked up some of the tomato sauce, which made the bread taste soggy.

It wasn’t horrible, but I wasn’t satisfied, so I took a piece of the bread that I let cook the entire 40 minutes and put tomato sauce and cheese on top, and then cooked it at a higher temperature (350 instead of 300).

It was a little better – not nearly as soggy as the first attempt! In the future, I plan to bake the bread for the full 40 minutes and then raise the temperature to melt the cheese and heat the tomato sauce.

If you need a cake pan, the Williams-Sonoma one I purchased on clearance today is very nice quality and made in the USA! I almost missed it, because it wasn’t with the rest of the clearance/sale items, so if you stop by Williams-Sonoma, be sure to look all around the store.

* The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a “diet” for people with certain medical conditions. We are following it to try to improve my daughter’s health.




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