Greek Tomato Salad and Major R & R

Wait a minute. Did this weekend really happen? I feel like it came and went so fast. I know I always say that, but you know how certain weekends really really go by fast sometimes? Anyway. I have a lot to share so let the fun begin

We had a very nice leisurely Saturday morning. I ate a Chobani Pomegranate yogurt, headed to the gym for a nice workout (elliptical and core work primarily), and then came home to hang out with the boys.

Moose enjoyed some Animal Planet…

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In the afternoon we headed over to a carnival/fair in our area to check out the action. There were games, rides, food, local companies promoting their products, fire trucks tours, pony rides, a huge inflatable jumper for the kids, helicopter rides….I was pretty impressed.

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The fireman did a demonstration using the jaws of life to open up this smashed car. It was actually pretty neat to see the process.

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After the carnival we headed out to Dana’s parents for dinner. My mom and dad joined us as well. We set up croquet in the backyard. I can’t tell you the last time I played. It was a very relaxing game. I definitely didn’t win though; 2nd to last actually. All that matters is that I had fun.

Moose spectated.

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Before dinner, Sue brought out a bunch of appetizers: veggies, crackers, cheese, hummus, a sweet peanut dip, and liver pate.

Mom says I ate liver when I was younger which I don’t remember (maybe I chose to forget Winking smile). Either way, I did try the liver pate just so I could make sure I wasn’t missing out on anything I loved. After one taste I decided I’m not. I am proud I tried it though! I know a lot of people do like liver plus it’s so good for you; I wish I did like it.

For dinner we had surf and turf kabobs, my mom’s Ramen salad, and I brought a Greek tomato salad (recipe at the end of post). Dinner was literally heaven on my plate with all of the veggies.

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For dessert, gluten-free biscuit with strawberries and fat-free whipped cream.

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We had such a great time on Saturday night. Can’t wait to do it again!

Sunday

On Sunday morning I slept in until 9:00! That is unheard of for me. I must have really  needed it. We did our usual Sunday morning brigade: newspaper, coupons, coffee, breakfast, grocery shopping. Our fridge is very well stocked again.

In the afternoon we got involved in some more community action. Part of the weekend fair included a parade which was right in our neighborhood. We took the pooch down and enjoyed a great parade which ended up being an hour and a half long! The weather was perfect and it was a really pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

Moose got 5 million compliments from the folks in the parade. “I love your dog,” “he’s so beautiful”…His head was the size of a hot air balloon by the time we left. Man, the more I think about it, Moose had a pretty great weekend!

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For dinner we grilled up chicken breasts and topped them with turkey bacon, and cheddar cheese. I ate mine with BBQ sauce and a side of garlicky roasted broccoli.

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A lot of Sunday was spent converting my blog from WordPress.com to self-hosted. It’s a good thing my husband is good with computers AND very patient, because there is no way I could have done that on my own. I would have pulled out half of my hair and eaten a 5 lb bag of M & M’s  by the time I was done with it. Confused smileThe switch has been made, now I just need to figure it all out.

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Greek Tomato Salad

Back to simplicity for a second. I wanted to share the salad recipe with you from Saturday night because I LOVED it and so did everyone else.

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Greek Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (heaping)
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 Tbsp. ground mustard
cracked black pepper

Add ingredients to a container, cover with a lid, give it a shake.

Greek Tomato Salad

Ingredients
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced into cubes
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise
  • Greek dressing (as much or little as desired)
  • Sprinkle of feta cheese crumbles
Instructions
  1. Add tomatoes, zucchini and olives into a large bowl. Combine gently.
  2. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad, mix gently.
  3. Sprinkle with feta cheese and garnish with fresh basil.


I am off to get a workout in and I have REALLY been in a baking mood, so I may need to do something about that today too. Hope you all have a great day.

Stuffed Poblano Pepppers

Hello there! Everyone having a great weekend? Mine has been wonderful. I have quite the Saturday recap for you, hope you’re ready.

Breakfast

I blended up a fruity smoothie packed with strawberries, banana, cherries, spinach, yogurt, and sweetener. I also ate a spoonful of almond butter to pack in extra protein.

Farmer’s Market

After breakfast we cruised on over to the big Minneapolis Farmer’s Market. Holy cow I was in fresh vegetable heaven.

It was so crazy busy but it always is. It’s always encouraging as a dietitian seeing SO many people at the Farmer’s Market getting excited about fresh produce. Let’s just hope they don’t go home and make them into fried green beans and buttered bacon mushrooms. :smile: My brother Scott would say what’s wrong with that?!

We ended up buying: onions, cilantro, carrots, Poblano peppers, grass-fed ground beef and bison.

Whole Foods

We were getting pretty hungry after all of that commotion, so on our way home we stopped at Whole Foods for their outstanding salad bar.

We enjoyed our salads at the beautiful Centennial Lakes.

On our way home from lunch we drove by a few garage sales. We are thinking about buying a book shelf for our office and ideally would like to find a cheap one from a garage sale or Craig’s List, and fix it up if need be. No such luck at the sales yesterday, but we are keeping our eyes out.

Dinner

Back at home, I prepped for dinner. It was only about 2:30 in the afternoon at this point, but Dana and I were going to church at 5:00, so I figured I would get everything prepared beforehand, so that after church, we could just finish up the cooking process and have ourselves a delicious meal in no time.

Dinner involved the fresh farmer’s market Poblano peppers. I began by cutting off the tops, deseeding the peppers, and baking them in a 400° oven for 15 minutes.

***MAJOR TIP! Wear gloves or use a spoon to scoop out the seeds if you handle these bad boys. I learned the hard way; wasn’t even thinking about the fact that these were spicy peppers, and ended up with a right hand that burned for a good hour. You’ve been fore-warned.

Next, I sautéed 2 diced small onions with 3 minced garlic cloves. After about 4 minutes, I removed them, and added 1/2 of a pound of ground beef to the same pan (the less dishes the better!). I browned up the meat, then brought it to the sink so I could rinse and drain some of the fat off. I returned the meat and the onions to the pan, no longer on any heat.

I then added 1 fresh tomato—-from our garden. Our first normal tomato of the summer!

And 1 tablespoon chopped fresh farmer’s market cilantro, 1 tablespoon salsa, 1/2 teaspoon cilantro, 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and if I would have remembered I would have put a dash of chili powder in there, but I forgot. I mixed everything together to make the “stuffing” for the peppers.

I stuffed all of the peppers using a spoon, wrapped them individually in tin foil, and placed them in the fridge for later. 

Next, I made a small batch of guacamole using 1 ripe avocado, 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, lemon juice because I didn’t have lime, a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. I gave this all a mix, covered it and put it in the fridge.

When we got home from church, and after running a couple of errands, we got the grill fired up. The peppers did their thing on the grill  for about 20 minutes over medium-high heat.

Transfer to your plate, remove the foil, top with guacamole and some salsa if you like, and there you have it. Deliciously healthy stuffed Poblano peppers.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Ingredients

  • 5 Poblano peppers, top cut off, deseeded
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp salsa
  • 1/4 cup cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place prepared peppers onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. In medium pan, saute onions and garlic for 4-5 minutes; remove from pan, return pan to heat.
  4. In same pan, brown the ground beef; rinse and drain in sink, return to pan and take off heat.
  5. Add remaining ingredients including the onion and garlic, to the pan to make the stuffing.
  6. Once peppers are done, use spoon to fill peppers with stuffing.
  7. Wrap peppers individually in aluminum foil.
  8. Place on heated grill and grill for 20 minutes.**
  9. Top with guacamole, salsa, or enjoy as they are!

**These would also work in the oven, although I am unsure of the temperature and cooking time so you may have to experiment!

I’m a Saucy Gal

I am happy to say I survived yet another Monday. I hope you all did too!

I am still doing my best to stay on track with the SCD intro diet, but did deviate slightly from the plan mentioned yesterday. I started it off right with two hard-boiled eggs and pineapple juice jello. I know that jello in the morning sounds totally weird, but I was limited for options. I didn’t even give myself my morning cup of coffee and being that it was Monday and that I was trying to follow the intro diet which generally makes me feel a little low energy, it made for a pretty lethargic day.I felt the same low-energy back a few weeks ago when I had started the SCD. The only difference was, I started it on a Sunday and didn’t have to be at work which can of course be draining (I also had that Monday off). Needless to say, yesterday was a little rough, but I did my best to not let it show.

It was obvious to me that I was missing my morning mojo, when I was on my way to work and realized I forgot my lunch in the fridge at home. Womp wompppp. Luckily, I only live about 9 minutes away from work so I was able to come home during my lunch break, but I had originally had intentions of running to Target on break and scoping out the women’s clothing clearance rack. Maybe another day.

My food for the day was extremely lame. Lunch and dinner were basically identical.

Lunch: Crockpot chicken with honey mustard, cooked carrots with cinnamon, and applesauce.

Dinner: Crockpot chicken with honey mustard, carrots with cinnamon, and a piece of SCD cheesecake which I still don’t like, and a bite of peanut butter.

I had told myself I was going to lay off the pb for a couple of days (this is where I deviated), but I am finding it very difficult to do that. It is such a major part of my diet and I love it oh so much. During the first couple weeks of the diet, I was doing a great job of keeping a food and symptom diary, but since then have kind of forgotten about it. I know it would be a good idea for me to start it up again so I can really track my trigger foods. I should probably do that.

I plan to continue the SCD, and continue to slowly introduce foods into my diet. Eventually, I would like to adapt to a SCD/Paleo/more personalized type diet. For one thing, I don’t want to live a life without chocolate; one of my absolute favorite foods. Life is too short and I want to be able to enjoy that little piece of heaven on earth. Second, I want to adapt the diet to my own life and needs. Everyone is different and reacts differently to foods, and I will continue to experiment and learn what my body is able to handle.

Slightly off-subject, but before dinner, I met up with a new friend (I sound like I am in first grade I realize). Our mutual friend, Kalley introduced us. Her name is Marissa and she is a fellow dietitian. We met at Centennial Lakes in Edina and went for a nice warm stroll around the lake. It’s always great to meet other dietitians and hear about the different jobs in the field and talk about our experiences with education and dietetic internships. We had LOTS to talk about. Thanks Kal for introducing us, and Marissa can’t wait to meet up again!

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I mentioned yesterday that I was a very busy girl in the kitchen on Sunday. I had prepared a laundry list of foods including homemade BBQ sauce and guess what? You’re going to hear about it. You all know I am a saucy gal. I love sauce and dips whether it’s for chicken, fish, broccoli, whatever, I just love sauciness. I know that if I want to survive this SCD bit for much longer, I need to step it up in the sauce department, so I got to work on a BBQ sauce. My inspiration came from this recipe. Here’s what I threw together.

BBQ Sauce (SCD-friendly, Gluten-free)

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-46 ounce can tomato juice
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • a touch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions

  1. Over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in oil until transparent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add remaining items. Stir and turn to medium-low.
  3. Let simmer uncovered for about 2 hours; stir often. Sauce will thicken as the water evaporates.
  4. Once sauce has thickened and reduced down, place in food processor and puree to smooth.

That’s it! Okay, two hours plus later, and that’s it. I have only tasted it off of a spoon so far, not on any meat or in a meal yet, but it is definitely tasty.

I am feeling pretty lethargic yet again today; but I think it’s due to the weather. It is rainy and gloomy here; the kind of day where you just want to snuggle on the couch with some reality TV and great snacks. Oh…if only. :smile:

I hope you all have a great day. Catch up with you soon.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite condiment?

Mine is probably ketchup if you can believe that. I really love honey mustard too though, especially Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard. I miss that stuff!

Banana Cookies & Feeling The Love

Could we please slow this weekend down a bit? It is FLYING by and I’m not okay with that!

We had a great day yesterday…

I set my alarm for 7:00 am with the hopes that I would be motivated to get out of bed and get a run in to begin the day. Well, the alarm went off at 7, but I just wasn’t having it. Although I think I only slept for another 15 minutes after that, I was happy with my decision to skip the workout yesterday. I officially declared it a rest day.

After I rolled out of bed and showered up, I made myself a tasty comfy belly breakfast: banana with homemade almond butter and a touch of honey.

Then it was time to finish getting all prettied up before hitting the road for our friend’s Kari and Tony’s wedding. I’ve been friends with Kari since 1st grade. She is one of the most genuine, kind-hearted, and thoughtful people I know. I was very excited to help them celebrate their special day.

The Ceremony

As I mentioned yesterday, the morning started off very rainy, and it was still sprinkling when we were walking into the ceremony at 10:00 am, but after the ceremony, it started clearing out. The ceremony was beautiful. Kari was glowing with happiness and Tony was cool, calm, and beaming as they exchanged vows. They chose a song called “I Will Be Here” to be sung during the unity sand part of the ceremony, and this was a song that Dana and I had also chose to be sung at our wedding ceremony. I couldn’t help but be brought back to my own wedding. I teared up several times because 1. You could see and feel the love between Kari and Tony and it was so real, and 2. I was able to reminisce about my own wedding and remember the joyful moments. I am such a sap, wow. I love weddings.

Reception

We had about an hour in between the ceremony and needing to be to the reception, so we headed home and hung out with Moose. On our way to the reception, we dropped him off at the groomers’ to get a full on doggy shampoo and brush out. OMG he was stanky…and I mean so bad that I couldn’t even touch him. Poor dog. I think it was from all the swimming the weekend before. He’s just not used to it, and his skin and body oils couldn’t keep up. I don’t know. That’s just my guess. But he was rank.

At 12:30, we made it to the loading dock on Harriet Island in St. Paul. Their wedding reception was on a boat on the Mississippi! How cool right?

But first, we had to get a photo in front of the building behind us because this is where our dear friends Adam and Stacy had their wedding reception. I boogied the night away right inside that building. A lot of great memories there.

Next, it was time to board.

We boarded at 12:30 and took our seats.

For lunch, a “brunch” style buffet was served. There was french toast, muffins, potatoes, eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit. Another first wedding experience for me was having a brunch. Very cool! I was even able to stick to SCD by eating scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit. Bring on the protein!

However, I will not tell a lie…I ate a piece of wedding cake. That is not SCD legal, but I decided I wanted to live a little and went for it. I didn’t have any repercussions but this isn’t to say I will eat cake every day. I will admit though, that cake was TASTY! Num.

After lunch and the speeches, Dana and I made our way to the top of the boat where there was open air and a nice cool breeze. At this point, the sun was completely out and it was just perfect outside. We cruised the Mississippi for three hours.

Then it was time for the first dance. We made our way back down to watch. Isn’t she stunning?

Then back outside we went to cool off again. I had the chance to catch up with my long time friend, Malia who I have known since I was 3 years old. We met at dance class and ironically, my dad and her mom went to grade school together. After we met in dance, we went to school together through 6th grade and have been friends since. We still keep in touch and I love her to pieces. It’s always great to see that gorgeous girl.

We deboarded the boat at about 4:00, and wished the newlyweds well once more before heading home. We picked up Moose on the way home. He looks like a stud, and no longer smells at all. We have our boy back. Now I can hug him and kanoodle him again. :smile:

Dinner?

I wasn’t really in the mood for anything in particular for dinner, so I made it a snacky kind of night. I ate watermelon, cooked carrots, almond butter, and then I made these…

This was definitely a cookie experiment as I wasn’t using a recipe. I threw some ingredients into a bowl, baked them up, and crossed my fingers for a decent outcome.

Banana Cookies (Grain-free, SCD)

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick cooking mat.
  2. In small bowl mix to combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In medium bowl beat together bananas, egg, vanilla, and honey.
  4. Add flour to banana mixture; mix until combined.
  5. Drop cookies onto baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 19-21 minutes. Cookies will be lightly golden on the bottom and tops are firm but soft.

I immediately said that these would be 100 times better if they had chocolate chips in them, but since that’s a no-no with the SCD, I opted out. But even without the chocolate, they were pretty good! They taste like a softer, lighter version of banana bread. Dana and I ate half the batch last night if that tells you anything. If you are looking for a gluten-free, SCD-friendly cookie recipe, I would give this one a shot! It was super easy too.

Alright, it’s Sunday Funday which means we have some grocery shopping to do. Catch up with you all soon! Happy Day!

Kiss Me, I’m Nuts

Oo la la looky what I have! Fresh green beans from our garden! They are so crisp and wonderful. The tomatoes are popping up like crazy too but not quite ready to be picked. I love having fresh veggies right in the backyard.

In the back I pulled fresh beans, in the front I snagged a box full of almond flour from nuts.com. By snagged, I mean I bought a box of almond flour; 25 lbs to be exact. Check out the awesome box it came in. This should be a theme box for my blog; so cute and nutty. :wink: I especially love “Kiss me, I’m nuts.”

I priced it out and found that it was a better deal to order the almond flour in bulk, versus buying smaller individual packages from the local stores (which wasn’t surprising). Also, I really wanted almond flour, not almond meal, and buying individually packed almond flour in the store is ridiculously expensive, so this was definitely the way to go.

That is quite the load of flour!

With the help of my trusty assistant Dana, we bagged the flour into gallon freezer bags and placed all of the bags into the freezer except for one. Thank goodness we have a large freezer in the garage.

As for that bag of flour I left out, I had baking plans. I wanted to see how the SCD bread would bake up with the almond flour compared to the almond meal that I have been using. I made two loaves so that I could freeze one for another time.

And the verdict? I like the bread better with this almond flour. It is less crumbly which makes it easier to eat. The taste is pretty much the same though.

That was a quick recap from a couple of days ago…now on to yesterday.

For breakfast, I sliced myself up a big ol’ piece of that fresh loaf of bread, topped it with homemade almond butter and a drizzle of honey. Almond on almond…mmm love it.

 

Lunch at work was nothing to write home about. I made myself a bowl of SCD yogurt with a banana, and cooked carrots. After work I headed to the gym and snacked on watermelon on the way. At the gym, I hopped on an elliptical and sweated it out for 35 minutes or so.

Not long after I got home from the gym, I was pretty darn hungry. I grabbed a couple of handfuls of cherries to tide me over. I used our cherry pitter to help me enjoy the delicious reds even more. Eating a cherry without the pit in there is fantastic! With the pit is fine too you just can’t enjoy it as much because you are weeding out the pit. The cherry pitter was a wedding gift and it was a great one at that.

 

Dana and I were both hungry at about 5:00 so we decided instead of more snacking, we would just go ahead and make dinner. We fired up the grill and cooked up two very lean round steaks (I think that’s what they were). We also cooked some mushrooms to top our steaks. I served myself another helping of cooked carrots, which btw are really starting to grow on me, and Dana had a side of broccoli.

What’s that red stuff on my plate you ask? It’s ketchup of course. I like ketchup with steak sometimes.  Is that weird? My homemade ketchup actually kind of tastes like Heinz 57, so it wasn’t weird to me at all.

 

It was a simple, nutritious, and tasty meal. Simple is definitely the way to go on a Friday night. Success.

The rest of the night was spent hangin’ with the boys, painting my toe nails, and getting ready for a wedding we are going to today. Right now it’s raining out, and I’m hoping for the bride’s sake that it stops by the afternoon. No matter what though, it will be a beautiful celebration! I am excited to help celebrate with them today.

I hope you all have a great Saturday! Catch up with you soon dudes.

 

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Well hello there friends. Happy Thursday to you all.

A week ago I had a venting session about how overwhelmed I was with the SCD and how I wasn’t sure if I could continue to follow it as closely as I had been. I wrote that post at the end of a long work day and on a day when I wasn’t feeling well. Needless to say, my thoughts at that moment were most likely hinged to the fact that I was in fact exhausted, but not because I couldn’t handle the food preparation and the details of the SCD, more because I had a rough week.

Since my vent session, I have continued to follow the SCD very closely, sticking to “legal” foods and progressing with the diet at a rate based on my own health status. I have been doing very well with sticking to the allowable food items. I am really learning to pay attention to my body and how it reacts to different foods and activities. I continue to experiment with introducing foods back in to my diet to see how my body reacts (I learned I wasn’t ready for raisins—I knew better too).

I am about 2 1/2 weeks in to the SCD and I am feeing well, but still not 100%. It is rare that I have a “bloaty” day, and if I do, I can usually immediately associate it to a certain food that I ate, or correlate it to not eating as frequently as I should throughout the day, not drinking enough water, etc.

I continue to see the gastroenterology specialists who are treating my U.C. with medications, and who are fully aware that I am following this diet. I will continue to heal and share my journey with you all. It has been about two months now that I have been in this “flare” stage, but it feels like it’s been a whole lot longer than that. Thank you all for supporting me through this process. I can only hope that I am helping someone else out there who is facing the same challenges as I am.

On a lighter note, how about a Wednesday recap?

Breakfast: plain yogurt (SCD) sweetened with honey and topped with 3/4 of a peeled peach or maybe it’s a nectarine? Either way, it was delicious.

Lunch: I didn’t get to snap a photo of lunch because I literally had to stuff my face in a couple of minutes due to getting out of work late and Moose deciding to upchuck in the living room. I grabbed peanut butter and a banana before I had to head back to work.

Dinner: After work I came home and dug into some more of that super juicy refreshing watermelon salad I made the other day. This was part one of dinner.

I had two artichoke hearts from Costco while I pondered dinner options. These babies are packed in oil, so I gave them a rinse in the sink before eating them. They are very tasty! Dinner part two.

I was completely indecisive about what to eat for the more substantial portion of my meal. In the meantime, I meandered out to the backyard to check on the growth of one particular zucchini in the garden (aka the only zucchini in the garden right now). To my delight, it was ready to be picked! Finally, our first one of the year. I have a feeling now that the first one has been picked, they are going to start shooting out like wildfire like they did last year. I am going to have zucchini coming out of my ears soon (I hope!). I can’t believe how fast they grow. Just the day before I picked it was at least 2 inches shorter I could swear.

So clearly the next part of my dinner had to include the zucchini.

 

I remember an idea I saw on Pinterest for some sort of zucchini pizzas, and I ran with the idea.

First, I cut the zucchini into 5 mini rounds. I blotted each one with a paper towel to remove some liquid. Ideally, I would have like to let these sit in a colander with a sprinkle of salt for 20 minutes, and then blot them off with a towel, because I would be able to remove even more liquid. But since I was not in the mood to wait 20 extra minutes, I forged ahead.

I got the oven preheating to 375°. I prepared the zucchini bites on a piece of aluminum foil (easy clean up). I sprayed the aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray but in reality, I probably didn’t need to do that as there was so much water that came out from the zucchini in the baking process and I don’t think they would have stuck.

I then sprinkled garlic powder on the zucchini, then layered on a tablespoon of homemade marinara sauce, cheddar cheese, and chopped green olives, and popped these bites in the oven for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, I turned the oven to broil, and cooked for an additional 3 minutes until the cheese was melty.

 

A quick, easy and healthy SCD meal in less than 20 minutes. Um, hello, yea! Dinner part three.

I debated sprinkling some parmesan cheese on the top but decided they were cheesy enough as is. I would make these again in a heart beat. They would be perfect for little ones too or even a fun snack or appetizer option.

Zucchini Pizza Bites (serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a zucchini, cut into 5 circles
  • Garlic powder
  • Marinara or pizza sauce
  • 1-2 Tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • Your favorite pizza toppings: mine happens to be olives

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Cut zucchini into 5 rounds, blot with towel to remove excess liquid, and place on baking sheet or aluminum foil
  3. Sprinkle zucchini with garlic powder
  4. Spoon sauce on each zucchini, then cheese, lastly toppings
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn oven to broil and bake for an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Not too shabby for not knowing what I was going to eat for dinner, right?! Bring it on zucchini, I have a lot more plans for you. After dinner, I walked on the treadmill for an hour while watching Wheel of Fortune and So You Think You Can Dance.

I am out for the day. Enjoy this day, and I will catch up with you later gators.

 

Na Cho Average Nachos

Well, hello there! How is everyone’s Tuesday rollin’ out so far? I’m going to give you a quick run-down of my day yesterday and then I have a super amazing recipe I want to share with you from Sunday evening.

Monday Morning

I started off my morning lacing up the sneaks for a 3.5 mile run around the neighborhood. It was a hot and sweaty run, but there was a nice breeze which helped keep me comfortable. Post-run, I attempted to model my new strawberry cup I bought at Target the other day. It matches my strawberry plate! I also bought a lemon cup to match my lemon plate. The summer dishware was 70% off and I just couldn’t pass it up.

For breakfast, I whipped up a smoothie, made my to-do list, and hit the road. My most recent smoothie obsession is a smoothie made with a frozen banana, a splash of pineapple juice, 1/4-1/2 cup SCD yogurt, and a dab of honey. It is so creamy and tropical tasting. I am loving it.

See-Food Lunch

I got home from running my errands around 11:00 and I was starvin’ marvin. I pulled out the watermelon from the fridge and snacked on some of that while I pondered my lunch options. I really couldn’t decide on anything substantial so I chose to start with a bowl of seedless english cucumber slices. I peeled the cucumber, sliced some of it up, splashed it with vinegar, a pinch of fresh dill, and salt and  pepper. This was my experimental food for the day. I am hoping I can tolerate it okay. The salad was very refreshing and I would love to make a big batch of it.

And so began my see-food diet day. I saw food, I ate it.

I ate some peanut butter and honey.

And some SCD crackers. I made one batch of crackers and then split it into two batches: one cinnamon and sugar (saccharin) batch, and one salt and pepper batch.

I also snacked on a handful of cherries. I am making sure to chew the cherries very thoroughly to help aid in the digestion process. I realize that cherries may be slightly “advanced” at my stage in the SCD, but I have decided I will not go all summer long without eating cherries. They are in season right now and the season is so short-lived and I have been eating a few here and there. They don’t seem to bother me at all. I am enjoying every perfect bite.

I had a sliver of SCD bread too.

I was wanting something dessert-like yesterday, so I searched around and found a SCD gummies recipe on Comfy Tummy’s site. The only ingredients are 1/2 cup grape juice (or whatever juice you have on hand), 3 unflavored gelatin packets, and 1 Tablespoon of honey. I just followed the directions right from Comfy Tummy’s recipe, and this is what I got.

These weren’t too shabby for a sweet treat, but they don’t compare to my grocery store bulk gummies that I like so much.

Afternoon Walk and Dinner

In the afternoon I met up with my girly Kate for a walk around the neighborhood. It was going to be a walk around the lake but when I found out we would have to pay $6.25 for parking, we made other plans. We headed to a nearby neighborhood and hit some beautiful trails around there. We walked for an hour which, in the 100° heat, turned us into hot sweaty messes.  As always, it was SO good to spend time with her and catch up on life. I love her, love her, love her.

By the time I got home at 6:30, I still wasn’t hungry for dinner. I think it was a combination of snacking all day and over-heating from the walk. I actually felt nauseous for a little while. Eventually I came around and ended up eating a bowl of cooked carrots, a couple of cinnamon cookies, a bite of muenster cheese, and a few more cherries.

Okay, I have got to move on to the long awaited recipe I have been so excited to share with you (drum roll)…

Butternut Squash Nachos!

Butternut squash SCD legal nachos. I kid you not. These are na cho average nachos. To begin, I peeled a large butternut squash.

I used the long neck of the squash to make “chips” on the mandolin. I sliced these very thin so they were chip-like. I steamed the other portion of the squash in the microwave and pureed it in the food processor. I bagged up the puree and placed it in the freezer for another day. You know I wouldn’t waste food. Haste makes waste.

Okay, so once the chips were sliced, I placed them into a pot of boiling water and boiled for two minutes. After two minutes, I placed them into a colander in the sink and rinsed with cold water until the chips were cool enough to handle.

Then came the tedious part. I used a paper towel to dry each individual chip and placed them onto my baking mat (I used two baking sheets). This took me a while but considering the end result, it was so totally worth it. Once all of the chips are placed onto a baking mat or parchment paper, spray with olive oil or canola oil, sprinkle with salt, and place in a preheated 375° oven.

I wasn’t sure how long they would take to bake, but it ended up taking about 30-35 minutes, turning the pans and switching shelves half way. I ended up flipping the oven to high broil at the end so that I could try to crisp up the top a bit.

While the chips were baking, I prepared the toppings. I took one avocado, diced it, added a splash of lime, cilantro, cumin, and salt and pepper. I gave it a stir and had guacamole in a flash. I grated cheddar cheese to melt over the chips. I seasoned some leftover pulled chicken with chili spices.

When it was time to assemble, I placed a layer of chips on the bottom of the plate, topped them with cheddar cheese and chicken and popped them in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Then I topped the nachos with organic salsa and a heaping spoonful of guacamole.

Holy moly you guys will not believe how insanely delicious this was! I didn’t want it to end. Can you believe this is SCD friendly? I am very proud of this dish. It was worth every bit of effort and Dana agrees. These nachos are the bomb.

I am going to leave you with that to drool ponder over. I hope you all have a great Tuesday. I will catch up with you soon!

 

Na Cho Average Nachos

Butternut Squash Nachos (for two)
Ingredients
  • Chips:
  • 1 butternut squash neck, peeled
  • Cooking spray or canola oil
  • Salt
  • Toppings*:
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salsa
  • Guacamole (mix all ingredients)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Dash of Cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • *Use whatever nacho toppings you enjoy: lettuce, tomatoes, onion, black olives, would be great additions to this dish.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mats.
  2. Use mandolin or sharp knife to slice squash into thin round chips.
  3. In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add chips; cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove chips from stove and pour into a colander in the sink; run cold water over chips until cool.
  5. Use towel or paper towel to pat each chip dry and place on baking pans.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the chips begin to crisp.
  7. Turn oven to high broil and broil for 2 minutes, watching carefully so that chips don’t burn. Once they are crisped up to your liking, remove from oven.
  8. Plate the chips and add cheese and chicken. Cook in microwave for 45 seconds.
  9. Top with the rest of your toppings and devour.

She’s a Maniac in the Kitchen

I was a machine in the kitchen yesterday. I mentioned that we were going to be heading to my uncle’s cabin this weekend, and since we are following the SCD, we decided it would be easiest for everyone if we just brought our own food for the day. That means I had to get busy.

Friday Recap

Friday morning started out with a purple smoothie. I decided not to bore you with yet another nearly identical smoothie photo. It looked like this and was extremely tasty. While I slurped my smoothie, I attempted to blog, but our internet was moving at snail speed and I was getting extremely a little impatient. I decided I would hit the gym and run my errands in the meantime while the computer took an hour to upload one photo (exaggerating only slightly).

At the gym, I started off with a two-mile run while listening to Pandora. I am a little disappointed in the television show selections at the gym these days. They used to always have one TV that played Bravo/E! shows like The Real Housewives, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, you know, all of those thought-provoking shows. :wink: I would always make sure to plunk myself in front of that TV. Lately, I’ve had to settle with Fox News. Anyway, the run felt pretty good, the entertainment not so much. Then, I hit the weights for some bicep and back work. Once I was done with the weights, I hopped back on the treadmill to finish off one more mile. I was sweatin’ big time by the end of this workout!

After the gym, I had to make a few stops to pick up some last food items for the weekend. Back at home, I attempted blogging again. This time around the internet was working much  more efficiently, thanks to the hubs. I ate a completely random lunch before getting busy on food prep. If I recall, I ate cooked carrots, pulled chicken, half of a banana, a couple bites of peanut butter.

Then it was food prep time. I started by making our dinner meal which was turkey and vegetable lasagna. I used zucchini as the noodles. To prepare the zucchini for the lasagna, I cut the zucchini on a diagonal to give long 1/4 inch thick or less strips. I threw them into a strainer, sprinkled them with salt, and let them sit in the sink for about 20 minutes to help remove excess liquid. After 20 minutes, I blotted each strip with a paper towel then got to layering my lasagna. I didn’t measure exact proportions but I can give you some idea of what I did.

Layers from bottom to top:

  • marinara sauce (homemade SCD)
  • zucchini
  • ground turkey, browned
  • a sprinkle of oregano and basil
  • spinach leaves
  • sauce
  • repeat
  • top with cheddar and parmesan cheese
I baked this in a bread loaf pan since I was only making the lasagna for Dana and myself. I baked it at 357° for about 55-60 minutes. I finished by turning the oven to low broil to lightly crisp up the top.

I placed it into the fridge to let it cool. Once it was cooled I cut out to large pieces and packed them up for the weekend.

Then I got to making a loaf of almond bread but am using a different recipe now than the one I posted here. The new recipe comes from livinglavidamama and I like it better than the other one because it doesn’t have butter. The taste is nearly identical to the other recipe.

Recycled reused photo:

While the bread was baking, I cut up a perfectly ripe cantaloupe. Cantaloupe isn’t usually my first choice of melon, I prefer watermelon and honeydew over it, but being the loving wife that I am and knowing the hubby likes it, I went with the cantaloupe this time. I munched on a few pieces while I cut it up and enjoyed it. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t prefer it. It will be a perfect snack for us today.

Okay, so lasagna done, bread done, cantaloupe done (I learned how to spell cantaloupe today btw, yet another perk of blogging), next on to lunch.

In the morning I started up two chicken breast in the crock pot. At around 2:00, I removed them and cut about 1 1/4 of the two chicken breasts into chicken salad size bites. I added one peeled and chopped apple spritzed with lemon juice, mustard, celery seed, and pepper and mixed it all together. I then prepped a handful of lettuce cups. For lunch: chicken salad lettuce cups. Easy! Lunch, done.

So what was left? A veggie with dinner perhaps and breakfast.

After I cleaned out the crock pot, I thought I would do a little experiment. We have a bag of sugar snap peas that had been in the fridge for quite some time. They weren’t bad yet, but since I’m not able to eat them raw at this point, I wanted to try to use them up before they went bad. I wanted to try to “steam” them in the crock pot. I added the bag of snap peas to the pot, added a cup or two of water, a squeeze of honey, covered them, and set them on low. I let them go low and slow for 2-3 hours. The result was a sort of smoky snap pea. They definitely taste different, but I kind of like them and so does Dana. I added a little salt, packaged them up, and voila.

Last prep was breakfast. I made us both banana egg pancakes like the one I had on Thursday. This time I added cinnamon, a touch of nutmeg and allspice to the batter before pouring it on to the sauté pan. Once they were cooked, I packed them up and also packed about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (1 Tbsp each) for us to add to the top of our cakes.

Are you ready for the entire day’s worth of meals in one photo?! Get ready…..

Ta da!

Lunch: Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps with Cantaloupe.

Dinner: Turkey and Vegetable Lasagna and Slow-Cooked Sugar Snap Peas.

Breakfast: Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter.

She’s a maniac, maniac…in the kitchen! I am pretty proud of my work. That is how you do camping SCD style.

Oh what was that? I still need to make dinner? Darn it! I decided to go real easy and made myself an omelete with one egg and one egg white, and topped it with leftover veggies from the other night, a sprinkle or parmesan cheese, and served it with a big dollop of homemade ketchup. MMmm ketchup!

It came together in less than 5 minutes which was just what I needed. I spent the rest of the night relaxing, packing, and painting my toe nails. Today is going to be a GREAT day. I am super duper excited. Can’t wait to fill you all in. Have an amazing day friends!

Veggie Nut Pizza

It’s Friday!

I will be spending my day running errands, getting a workout in, cleaning, and planning and preparing food for this weekend. We are going to be cabin bound tomorrow and I am so ecstatic for a mini getaway. We will be heading to my aunt and uncle’s cabin (actually two of my uncle’s cabins) and my mom and dad are going too. There will be loads of relaxing, laughs, and hopefully lots of sun involved. It will be the cure for my ailments. :smile: I am in a much more positive mood today compared to the other day and it feels good. I still have some decisions to make regarding my diet, but I am not stressing about it anymore.

Let’s back the train up a bit and talk about Thursday shall we? I had a real good day of eats yesterday.

Starting with breakfast…


A two ingredient pancake. In my mini blender, I blended one ripe banana with one egg.

I should have added a dash of cinnamon to the blender, but since I forgot, I sprinkled it on after I poured the pancake batter into a lightly oiled pan on the stove top.

I cooked the pancake over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the bottom was beginning to lightly brown and then flipped to the other side. It was a challenge flipping this guy over and I broke it into a few pieces in the process. I cooked the other side for another 3-4 minutes. It finished cooking right in time before I had to head out the door to work. I tossed the warm pancake into a Tupperware container, topped it with a teaspoon of peanut butter, and off I went.

Lunch

I was feeling pretty hungry yesterday and my tummy was really talking to me around 11:00 am, but I had to wait until noon to eat lunch. I ran home at break (not literally) and threw together a bowl of cooked carrots and butternut squash sprinkled with cinnamon and almond butter. So far it was a nut butter and cinnamon-y kind of day!

I had another bite of almond butter and some watermelon to finish off lunch before having to head back to work. BTW if you think the almond butter looks a little dry, it’s because it is. :smile: I used a little sunflower oil in the mixing process to try and smooth it out but apparently it wasn’t enough. I still really enjoy it though.

Gym and Dinner

After work I headed to the gym but really wasn’t in the mood for a workout. I was feeling a little bloated and was completely wiped from my day. I decided to make it an easy one and nestled myself onto an elliptical with a copy of Rachael Ray’s magazine. I finished off 30 minutes and called it a day.

Now, dinner is something I am excited to talk about. I got pretty creative in the kitchen last night and concocted a stinkin’ awesome recipe, and it follows the SCD too! I made what I like to call Veggie Nut Pizza, and I blew myself out of the water with this one if I do say so myself.

Get that oven going to 350°.

The first step is to grate zucchini and carrots into a large mixing bowl. I had frozen grated zucchini leftover from last fall so i thought I would use that up finally. I used about 1/2 cup zucchini with the water squeezed out. I grated about 3 carrots to make 1 cup of shreds. Next, I added 1 cup of almond flour, 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, 1 egg, 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, and cracked black pepper. I mixed it all up.

On a baking sheet, I used a paper towel to lightly coat the pan with olive oil. I placed the pizza dough on to baking sheet and spread it out evenly. I used a 9 x 13 baking sheet and the dough didn’t cover the whole thing. The crust was about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 35 minutes. The top of the pizza should have a light golden color once it’s done baking.

Next, top the pizza with marinara sauce (I made homemade SCD marinara last weekend and froze it), cheddar cheese, a sprinkle of parmesan, and whatever toppings you have on hand. I had mushrooms and olives so I threw some of those on. I went light on the cheese on top of the pizza because there’s some in the crust already. Bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes.

While the pizza baked, I snacked on some cooked carrots.

Once the cheese had melted on top, I switched the oven to low broil, to finish off the top and set the cheese just how I like it. You probably wouldn’t have to go through this step, but both Dana and I are kind of particular about how we like our cheese melted on our pizzas.

Remove from oven, slice up, and seriously enjoy.

I am telling you, this pizza will rock your socks. It is gluten-free and fits right into the SCD. Sure it takes a little prep, but this one is completely 100% worth it. Dana and I finished the pizza off with no problem. Yum.

Veggie Nut Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup zucchini, grated and drained
  • 1 cup carrot, grated
  • 1 cup almond flour or meal
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • cracked black pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Mix all ingredients together
  3. Flatten pizza onto lightly oiled 9 x 13 inch baking sheet
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly golden*
  5. Remove crust and add sauce, cheese, and toppings
  6. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes*
  7. Remove, cut into slices, and enjoy

*Baking times will vary; keep an eye on your pizza!

It really was a good day of eats! I am off to get some work done. I hope you all are having a wonderful Friday. I will catch up with you all soon.

Banana Muffins and Yogurt Bites

Happy day everybody!

The weather has finally cooled down around here and it is so pleasant again. I was getting a little tired of the 100° heat. I live in Minnesota, now come on I’m not used to that. It is in the mid-70′s right now and supposed to warm up to the 80′s or so which is just perfect considering we are going to a pool party today. Want to know the most exciting part? My brother is here all the way from Bogota, Colombia! I haven’t seen him since our wedding in October and I am psyched to see him!! YYYYYaaaayyyyy!

This morning, Dana and I made our way to the gym after sleeping in until 8:40 am. I couldn’t believe we slept in until then, we don’t ever do that. We must have needed it. Anyway, we warmed up with a mile run then hit the weights and cranked out triceps, shoulder, and chest work. Dana was my personal trainer today and he whooped my butt. My arms are already sore. I couldn’t take a picture without holding my arm with my other hand to stay steady. I’m a serious wuss. But hey, I strength trained today! I said I wanted to get back on that train, and although I may be a little weak right now, you have to start somewhere. I feel like I am starting over now that I am starting to get my energy back again. That’s okay though.

I have a large watermelon to cut up before the party today and a few other things I want to do, so I am going to try to whiz through the rest of this. Here goes a recap from yesterday!

Saturday Lunch

This is a sorry attempt at a photo of a banana with cashew butter. It was really tasty but the photo sure doesn’t present itself that way!

I also stuffed my face with a load of watermelon which again, I forgot to take a photo of it but you know what watermelon looks like.

Afternoon workout and snacks

In the afternoon, I made my way down to the treadmill and got a half hour walk in while watching The Doctors. I also weeded the garden in the back which is looking real good! I can’t wait for all of the fresh veggies soon to come.

I made myself a snack of yogurt with honey and cinnamon a little while later.

And whipped up some nummy little frozen treats for Dana and I.

Please welcome strawberry-banana yogurt bites.

I simply blended:

  • Homemade SCD yogurt (you could use whatever yogurt you prefer)
  • Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 banana
  • Touch of honey (because the yogurt is slightly tart)

Once blended, I poured the smoothie mix into the star freezer molds and place in the freezer overnight.

Today I popped them out of the molds and taste-tested. They turned out perfectly sweet and are such a nice and healthy way to cool down in the heat of the summer. These are perfect for adults and kids alike. If you don’t have fancy freezer molds, you could simply use a mini muffin tin or an ice-cube tray.

So cute, right?!

Speaking of mini muffin tins and cuteness…a few days ago I gave you a little sneak peek to a muffin that I had made. Well, it’s sharing time. :smile:

I am working on making snacks for Dana and I that are quick and tasty, and that can hold us over for a little while. I searched around and found a recipe for SCD Banana Muffins from this site. However, knowing me, I adjusted the recipe slightly. I am so excited to share these little gems with you. I prepared them in mini muffin tins so they are perfectly snackable.

Mini Banana Muffins SCD-friendly (makes 2 dozen mini muffins)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2 medium overripe bananas,  mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 honey
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 2-mini muffin tins with sunflower oil (or whatever you have on hand); set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine almond meal, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves; mix well and set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl, beat together bananas, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add vinegar and honey and mix.
  5. Mix in dry ingredients until combined; do not overmix.
  6. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pans half-way through.
  7. Muffins are done when toothpick inserted in middle of muffin comes out clean and tops of muffins begin to feel firm. Remove from oven and enjoy!
I am loving these little guys just plain jane or with a little smear of cashew butter.
For Dinner…
We brought dinner over to the Greg and Sue’s (my in-laws) last night. We brought lean hamburgers seasoned with salt and pepper, SCD ketchup, butter lettuce to use as our burger “buns,” and asparagus to grill on the side. I topped my burger with legal cheddar cheese and a slather of mustard and loaded my plate with asparagus. I went back for seconds of the asparagus. What is it about grilling asparagus that makes it so absolutely delicious?! LOVE! Before we grilled the asparagus, we nuked them in the microwave for 4 minutes to make sure they was cooked enough and easier for me to digest.
This was OH so GOOD!

When we got home I started making another batch of homemade SCD yogurt because I ate up the first batch. Then I was led out back where there was a little excitement. Our neighbors just got a 4 year old golden retriever and they met for the first time last night. Moose was introduced to a new friend named Sadie. Moose goes crazy over golden retrievers; he absolutely adores them. Remember this photo from the dog park?

Ok, that may not have been a golden retriever, but close.

It was so sweet watching Moose and Sadie together. Sadie was a little apprehensive but she was also just introduced to a new home and is working on adjusting to a lot of changes. I give it 2 weeks and they will be BFF or lovers, one of the two.

Alright, I am off to prepare for the day! Enjoy your Saturday wherever you may be. I am loving life.