Chicken with Cherries & Olives

Hi again! After yesterday’s more serious post about modifying the SCD to fit my lifestyle, I thought I would make today’s post very light, including a couple of awesome recipes. But first…

Monday Recap

Breakfast: Almond bread with almond butter, honey, and banana slices. I went back for a round two slice without the bananas though.

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Run: Breakfast did a great job of fueling me for a great 3-mile run around the neighborhood. I took it nice and slow and it actually felt like  good run for once. It’s been a long time since I could say that. I am excited to start incorporating more of it into my routine again. My next race is a 5k at the end of August, and I am going to be ready!

Lunch: I salivate over these salads. Mixed greens with grilled chicken, strawberries, avocado, mandarin orange slices, feta cheese, and raspberry walnut vinaigrette (Newman’s Own). Insanely delicious. These are the salads I have been missing all summer. It’s time to make up for lost time.

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After lunch, my mom and Abbie came over and we hung out and girl-talked it up for a while outside. As always, I love my family time. 🙂

Dinner: Quinoa with kale basil pesto.

For the pesto: food process two small handfuls of fresh kale, about 2-3 tablespoons (I used 7-8 small leaves) of fresh basil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic olive oil, garlic powder, and salt until well blended. Mix the pesto in with cooked quinoa, top it with parmesan cheese, and you have yourself a winner winner quinoa dinner.

 

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Our evening was spent watching the Olympics. My favorite is still gymnastics, but I am really loving the volleyball (except it makes me so nervous), and synchronized diving. I love it all though, really. My husband’s crazy love for the Olympics is starting to rub off on me a little bit.

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The second recipe comes from Sunday night. I scanned our fridge for dinner ideas and after seeing the cherries and olives, I thought hmm…I could do something with that.

I remembered a chicken dish that Dana’s mom had made for us a while back that had dried cherries and olives, so I thought I would try to make something of that sort except use fresh cherries instead, since that is what we had on hand.

Ready to see what I came up with?

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Baked Chicken with Cherries and Olives

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup green olives, sliced
  • 3/4 cup red wine (I used a red zinfandel)
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Directions

  1. Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. Use cooking spray to lightly coat a large non-stick skillet; cook chicken over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the inside is no longer pink; remove from pan.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the hot pan, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil until liquids reduce and you are left with about 1/4 inch of sauce in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Return chicken back to pan, allow to heat through for 5 minutes, and serve warm.

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This dish paired well with quinoa and would be great with a side of steamed green beans as well. It could be made for date night, a dinner party, or even just a casual Sunday evening. Have fun with it!

Happy Tuesday!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite go-to summer lunch?

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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. 🙂

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!

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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
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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.

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Cabin Weekend Photo Recap

We had such an absolutely amazing time away at the cabin this weekend. It was a sunny, relaxing, laugh-until-your-cheeks-hurt, 100% laid-back good time. 🙂 The family members at the cabin were my aunt and uncle Chip and Patti, two of their kids Aaron and Ali, my aunt and uncle David and Doreen, their two boys Matthew and Nathan (their cabin is next door to Chip and Patti’s), my mom and dad, and Dana and me.

This post doesn’t need many words, so how about a photo cabin recap instead? Here it goes…

I didn’t want to leave on Sunday; I had such a blast. This is definitely what the doctor had ordered. Thank you to my gracious aunt and uncle/Godfather for having us out to your lake place. I hope we can make this happen more often!

In case anyone was wondering, I did manage to stick to the SCD all weekend. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. I really want to reach my hands into the popcorn bag and the peanut M & M’s, but I resisted and snacked on some cantaloupe instead.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend as well! I have a healthy and delicious nacho recipe coming your way tomorrow. You’re probably going to want to check back. 😉

Have a great day!

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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. 😉 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!

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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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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.

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Feeling Overwhelmed

Happy Thursday to all!

Let’s talk about this Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a second. I’d be lying if I said the SCD has been easy. It hasn’t quite been two weeks yet but I can honestly say I am exhausted from it already. The biggest issue I’m having is simply finding enough time to do all of the food prep, not to mention clean up afterwards, especially since I am still going in to work. This diet looks into every last ingredient in a food item, which means I have to make all of my dressings and sauces from scratch and then there’s the meals of course, snacks, bread, crackers, etc. This is obviously pretty time consuming, and not the most practical in my life. I may be speaking out of sheer exhaustion right now, but I am thinking I may convert to a more modified version of the SCD. I have some thinking to do.

First things first. A recap from yesterday.

In the morning I wasn’t feeling the best, but I still wanted to attempt a run. I went into the run telling myself it was okay to walk if need be. I started off in a slow jog and continued that pace for a couple of miles. I kept my route real close to home in case I needed to make it home quickly, and towards the end of the 2nd mile, I really wasn’t feeling too well, so I made my way home. I still managed to work up a nice sweat in that short period of time. Although it was only two miles, like I say, two miles is better than no miles at all.

I wasn’t hungry for breakfast which rarely happens. I think it can be attributed to my cookie monster fiasco the night before. I knew I had to eat something before work and it needed to be substantial enough to hold me over for four hours until lunch. I made cinnamon honey peanut butter alongside a banana. That did the trick.

For lunch, I still wasn’t very hungry (again, cookie monster), but I made myself a plate of cooked carrots, pulled chicken, and topped it with homemade honey mustard.

I had to work late again last night so once I got home, I was finally hungry. It was just a matter of making dinner that sounded like the biggest task in the world. Not only could I not decide what sounded good, I also didn’t want to be spending the next 45 minutes in the kitchen, so I needed to choose wisely. We still had lettuce cups leftover from the Thai lettuce cups, so I started off with that idea in mind. Then, I began sautéing carrots, zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms which I spiced up with basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Once they were thoroughly cooked, I placed a heaping spoonful of veggies on top of three lettuce cups and topped them with pulled chicken.

I thought I would leave it at that, but the meal was tasting pretty bland to me (I feel like this has been a common theme lately), so I topped the remaining two lettuce cups with a small dollop of peanut butter.

I am starting to think I could add peanut butter to anything and I would enjoy it: a sock, a shoe….anything. 😉  This minor addition to the meal improved the dish a little, but this still wasn’t my most favorite ever. But, it wasn’t so bad either. I am just really missing my sauces, especially soy sauce in this case. I am a saucy gal. Dinner tasted very  fresh and healthy, I just don’t think it was really what I was in the mood for.

For dessert, I controlled myself and had only two of the cinnamon cookies. I also made up a batch of honey almond butter and had a few samples of that, you know, to make sure it tasted okay.

Today is my Friday of work because I have tomorrow off. I am really looking forward to it. I feel like after vacation, the week back is always so exhausting and really wears you out.

Back to the SCD.  I will be updating you soon on my decision to possibly deviate slightly from the plan. It is important to remember that each person and each case is different, and each individual heals differently and at varying rates. I know this may not seem like a good idea to those of you reading this who have been following the diet for quite some time, but it may be what I need to do in order to maintain my sanity, control my stress level, and enjoy my summer fully. If anything I would continue to eat grain-free, but I may look into buying some store-bought dressings and sauces. I would scan the ingredient labels carefully and try to stick to ones that were the closest to “legal.” I am trying to remain as stress-free as possible, but this diet is really starting to exhaust me, and I think these minor changes would help me to not feel so overwhelmed, and would help me to heal.

I don’t want to discourage anyone out there who is following this diet exactly as it is supposed to be followed. I strongly admire those of you who have been following this for years or even months. Your dedication is truly something that should be recognized. I will continue the SCD and continue to support all of you who are following the SCD.

I am off for the day! I’m keeping my head up, and I hope you all are too. The sun is shining, and I just finished my morning cup o’ Jo. Have a great day.

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A Cinnamon Cookie or Two or Three…

Happy Wednesday everybody…

Workout & Breakfast

Yesterday morning I grabbed a half a banana with peanut butter as a pre-workout snack before heading to the gym.

At the gym, I hit the elliptical for 30 minutes, then to the treadmill for a fast mile run, and I finished off with leg weights. I felt pretty darn good after that one.

When I got home I made myself breakfast: a smoothie packed with yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, banana, mango, spinach, and a splash of Welch’s 100% grape juice.

I don’t have food photos from lunch or dinner because I ate at work and being we were in meetings, it would have been kind of awkward if I started snapping photos of my food. 🙂 I can tell you though I spent time in the kitchen yesterday morning prepping my healthy SCD friendly meals.

For lunch, I made Thai lettuce cups much like these ones but the only veggie I included yesterday was the carrots. For dinner, I made a chicken and veggie sauté. I sautéed carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms until thoroughly cooked and soft, then added the chicken. For sauce, I whisked together honey, fresh orange juice, and a dash of ginger. I poured the sauce over the cooked veggies, sprinkled with salt and pepper, gave it a stir, let it cool, and packed it in my Pyrex to go. I had two super delicious and healthy meals yesterday. It was worth the extra effort for sure.

Amidst the work meetings yesterday, there were chocolates and candies being passed around. I can’t tell you how bad I wanted to reach into that bag of chocolates and savor every last chocolately bite. I think chocolate is what I miss most while on this diet. Of course I didn’t eat any of the chocolates, but I was feeling a little “deprived” at the end of the day, and had a hankering for something sweet. Lately when I want something sweet, I have been eating a bite of peanut butter with honey, but last night, I really wanted something else. So, although I worked late and wasn’t home until late, I decided I was going to make myself a batch of SCD cookies.

I found a recipe from this site, tweaked it the slightest bit, and got to baking. Here’s the recipe:

SCD Cinnamon Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (SCD homemade)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 saccharin “sugar” packets**
**The saccharin helps to cut the tartness out of the yogurt. The original recipe calls for applesauce but I didn’t have any on hand so I substituted yogurt instead. If using applesauce, you probably would not need the saccharin.
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°
  2. Mix all ingredients together
  3. Spoon walnut-size cookies onto a no-slip mat or parchment paper covered baking sheet about 2 inches apart
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies begin to turn golden brown
Notes: The dough is a little tricky to work with as it is pretty sticky. I used a spoon to scoop the dough and used my finger to slide it off onto the mat. You want to bake these long enough for them to begin to crisp up just a bit, if not, they turn out very crumbly and bread like. Also, I would probably add even more cinnamon next time around. It would be nummy to add in butternut squash puree instead of the yogurt too. I may have to try that in the future.

So, how did they turn out? Well, they aren’t even close to being in the same ballpark of deliciousness as a Nestle chocolate chip cookie, but they did a pretty good job of relieving me of my sweet hankering. They have a hint of cinnamon and their texture was sort of like an airy but slightly crispy pancake or muffin top (kind of hard to explain). They were a tiny bit bland, so I ended up making myself an even more special treat by lightly spreading peanut butter and a touch of honey to the cookie.  They were pretty good when eaten plain though too, just not what I am used to when it comes to cookies. If it’s a choice of cookie or no cookie, I would take this cookie. I have to confess….I ate WAY too many of these last night. I think I was really missing my treats and just went overboard. Yes, the Dietitian just admitted that she over-did it on cookies; pretty embarrassing. My body is not very happy with me today. I am a little down because I worry that I set myself back on my healing progress. I have been feeling SO good lately, and the last thing I want to do is back track. I’m trying to stay positive. Today’s a new day. I know I will be okay!

How about this for positive, it’s Wednesday! Half-way through the work week. I hope you all have a great day. I will catch up with you later.

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Kabobs and Family Time

Well, we survived Monday! I always feel a sense of accomplishment from making it through my least favorite day. 🙂

Breakfast

For breakfast I made a bowl of yogurt with honey and bananas and drank a cup of weak coffee (that’s allowed!).

Lunch

Pulled chicken with honey mustard dressing and cooked carrots with a touch of honey and salt.

And a half a ‘naner with peanut butter, plus 2 more bites of peanut butter with some homemade SCD crackers.

Dinner

After work, I headed to mom and dad’s to enjoy our last evening with Jeff before he headed back to Colombia.

Kevi and I were wearing the same shirt last night so of course my nerdy self had to snap a photo. Wooo Warriors! Thanks for humoring me so often, Kev. You’re such a good sport.

For dinner mom and dad were busy making and grilling shrimp and chicken kabobs. The copious amount of food looks like they were feeding an army, but in reality, I would say all but one of those bad boys got eaten. There were a lot of men at our house! We had Dad, Grandpa, Jeff, Kevin, and Dana all there, and they were hungry. Mom and I didn’t do so bad ourselves either. This is basically what our food quantities looked like growing up with three teenage boys and my dad around the house. Mom would always joke that her paycheck went right to the groceries.

I asked mom and dad to keep mine and Dana’s separate because we have to be careful with our sauces and seasonings with the SCD. I found a “jerk seasoning” in their cupboard that had all legal ingredients, so I sprinkled our kabobs with that prior to grilling. The seasoning definitely had a kick but it wasn’t too spicy that I couldn’t handle it.

On the kabobs: bell pepper, mushroom, shrimp, zucchini (no skin thanks to mom), chicken, and onion.

I had at least one and a half of these plus a whole lot of watermelon. We had so much fun together last night. We sat around for a couple of hours and chatted away, and amidst our conversation I came to the conclusion that if I were stuck on a deserted island and could only have one food item, mine would totally be peanut butter. If I had two food items, it would be peanut butter and banana. Dad’s would be hot dogs. That still cracks me up! Grandpa’s would be roast beef, Dana’s would be a club sandwich on sourdough but everyone decided that was too complex and that’s cheating, mom would want lobster, and Kevin and Jeff both were being too difficult to give me a straight answer. Jeff said Whole Foods Market and Kevin said a sandwich full of steak and chicken and meatballs,and veggies, etc.

After our imaginative conversations, it was time for us to hit the home-front .We said our good-bye’s and Jeff gave us a gift he brought from Colombia: Colombian coffee. Oh yes. I am excited to break into that! It’s always hard saying good-bye, but this one was a little easier knowing I was going to be seeing him in the Fall, and being that time has been absolutely FLYING by, I know it won’t seem like long. We sure love having him home though!

It was such a great night with the family, we were just missing our Scotty. Jeffrey, can’t wait to see you in the Fall but feel free to come home before that if you want though. 😉 I love my family so much I can’t even begin to explain. I feel so lucky.

Have a terrific Tuesday. I’ll catch up with you later. Oh and btw, not too happy with the Bachelorette outcome last night…

Question of the day: What one food item would you choose if you were stuck on a deserted island?

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Grab a Snack

I really like that word, “snack.” I don’t know if it brings on a feeling of comfort or what it is, but when I hear the word it makes me happy. It makes me think of snuggling on the couch and watching a movie; it gives me a cozy feeling. I also love during Rachael Ray’s show when she is about to go into a commercial break and says, “go grab a snack and come on back.” I am a weirdo I am aware. But, speaking of snacks, I have some of my favorite SCD snacks to share with you all. Even if you aren’t following the SCD, these snacks are healthy and delicious options if you are in need of a little pick-me-up.

But first, let’s recap dinner last night because it was pretty darn tasty. I sautéed asparagus spears and green peas in a tiny bit of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. I also had shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce made from SCD ketchup and horseradish. On the side, butter lettuce with homemade honey mustard sauce.

Honey mustard: mustard, Dijon mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar.

For me, the asparagus and pea sauté stole the show. I love those two veggies. Num num.

For dessert I ate a bite of peanut butter with honey. Later in the evening I munched on cooked carrots and applesauce.

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Now, on to those snackies. These have been some of my go-to’s lately. They are all SCD-friendly but like I said, SCD or not, they are great snacks for all.
1. Juicy, sweet watermelon. I keep this stocked up in the fridge, all cut up and ready to go. Sure it’s a little bit of a pain to cut up, but it’s well worth it.

2. Cooked carrots. When I have a little extra time I make a big batch and store them in the fridge so that they are easy to grab. I keep them at eye level so I am more likely to go for them first when in need of some energy.

3. Hard-boiled eggs. These are a great source of protein so if I need something to hold me over for a little while, I eat one of these. I like using our egg slicer to make perfect slices, and I sprinkle with a touch of salt.

4. Yogurt bites. Cool, refreshing, and fun.

5. Banana soft serve or yogurt and honey. It’s like eating ice cream, ’nuff said.

6. Mini muffins made from almond flour. Limit to 1 or 2 mini muffins a day though!

7. Smoothies with fruit, SCD yogurt, and spinach.

8. Banana with nut butter or just a bite of nut butter on its own.

9. And my newest snack addition: Almond Saltine Crackers. I found a great recipe from Comfy Belly’s site.

Here’s how you make them. To begin, preheat your oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of almond meal or almond flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Next, add 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix well. It’s okay to use your hands to help mix, I did! Form into 2 balls of dough.

Place a dough ball on a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper, and top the dough with a layer of parchment paper (like a cracker dough sandwich). Use a rolling-pin to roll the dough into a flat large rectangle/circle/whatever shape you can roll it into. Carefully peel off top layer of parchment paper.

You can see mine was far from perfect. It doesn’t matter though! Use a pizza cutter to cut into cracker size rectangles, and transfer the baking mat and crackers to a baking pan. Sprinkle with a light amount of sea salt.

Bake for 20 minutes (baking time with vary so keep an eye on crackers and watch for a lightly golden color and crisp edges).

Split crackers apart.  Once cooled, store in an airtight container and you have a salty snack on hand when you need it. They taste a whole lot like saltine crackers and I really like these salty snacks.

Almond Saltine Crackers (courtesy of Comfy Belly)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • sprinkle of sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together almond meal and salt.
  3. Add egg and olive oil; mix well and form into 2 balls of dough.
  4. Place a dough ball on a non-stick baking mat, and top the dough with a layer of parchment paper.
  5. Use rolling-pin to roll the dough into a flat large rectangle/circle/or whatever shape (it really doesn’t matter).
  6. Carefully peel off top layer of parchment paper.
  7. Use a pizza cutter to cut into cracker size rectangles, and transfer the baking mat and crackers to a baking pan. Sprinkle with a light amount of sea salt.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes (baking time with vary so keep an eye on crackers for a lightly golden color and crisp edges).
  9. Split crackers apart.  Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

Happy snacking! Oh, and happy Monday? Kidding, yes it will be a happy Monday. Again, I’ll try and be positive about Monday if you will! Catch up with you later.

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