Category Archives: dairy free

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Veggie and Sun Dried Tomato Turkey Burgers

Monday, for some reason, usually turns into a burger night for us.  It’s a quick, easy meal that’s perfect for the start of the week.  I make a variety of different veggie and meat based burgers and I just LOVE the addition of sun dried tomatoes.  Gives it just a little kick.  If you’re looking to jazz up your burger night, give these a try.  

-1 1/2 pounds ground organic free-range turkey
-1 medium zucchini, peeled and grated 
-1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
-1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (I used marinated) 
-1/4 cup onion, diced (I used a shallot)
-3 tablespoons oil (I used organic olive oil)
-2 tablespoons gluten free Worcestershire sauce or Coconut Aminos (omit both if SCD, and add extra 1/4 teaspoon salt)
-2 teaspoon garlic granules (or 1 clove garlic, minced)
-1/4 teaspoon salt 
-A few grinds of fresh pepper 

How To
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1.  Add ingredients to a bowl and mix.
2.  Form into patties.
3.  Bake for 25 minutes (or until internal temp reaches 180 degrees).  
4.  Dress with favorite burger night fixins’.
Makes 6 medium patties or 4 large patties 

*Double the above recipe and freeze the remaining patties for another dinner.  Great for those late night sport or dance practices! 

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Labels: dairy free, gluten free, main dish.


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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Roasted Asparagus Soup (Vegan/SCD Friendly)

Can you tell I’m on a kick here with the creamy soups?  Cashew cream just adds so much flavor and texture to vegan dishes.  Just love it.  My husband told me this soup tastes like an “asparagus cheese soup.”  So there you go.  

Lemon and thyme make a strong appearance here.  I load on the thyme for its healing qualities (we all suffer from allergies, and thyme is a great way to decrease phlegm and heal respiratory distress).  Thyme also imparts a mild lemony flavor which I love with asparagus. I find that roasting the main ingredients adds far more to the dish than just boiling or sauteing.  You don’t have to roast, but I recommend it.  I served this soup with sauteed lemon pepper Brussels sprouts, and Danielle’s crusty rollsall very complimentary.  
It was like a spring party for my mouth. 

-1 lb fresh asparagus, cut in half
-1 medium zucchini, peeled, trimmed and rough chop
-1 medium yellow onion, rough chop
-6 cloves fresh smashed garlic
-3 cups cashew cream*
-4 cups filtered water 
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon dried thyme (if using fresh, only add about 1 teaspoon)
-Oil of choice 
-1 tablespoon garlic granules + 1 teaspoon garlic granules 
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
-Fresh ground black pepper to taste 

How To
1.  Add the asparagus, onion, zucchini, and garlic to your favorite roasting dish and toss with oil and 1 tablespoon garlic granules
2.  Add to a 400 degree preheated oven and roast for 30-35 minutes
3.  In a large soup pot, add roasted mix, cashew cream, water, salt, and 1 teaspoon garlic granules.  Bring to a gentle simmer, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
4.  Turn down to low, cover and let cook gently for about 30 minutes.  Uncover and turn off heat.  Allow to rest for about 10 minutes, then blend with immersion blender (or blender of choice).
5.  Stir in dried thyme and lemon juice.  Serves 4. 
6.  Garnish with dried thyme, a squirt of lemon and black pepper  


* For cashew milk: soak 1 cup of cashews in filtered water 4 to 8 hours.  Drain, rinse, and blend with 3 cups filtered water (I use a Vitamix).  Poor into glass jar and store in fridge up to 4 days.

Posted by Amber at

Labels: ACD, dairy free, SCD, Soup, vegan, vegetarian.


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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Heart Pasta (SCD/GAPS/Paleo)

I’ve been on a total zoodle kick. Today I used them in a dish I usually prepare with brown rice pasta, and the zoodles (adorably named by Jen) were a perfect substitute!  And this meal comes together quickly, like 10 minutes- no joke!  As someone with IBD, I have a very hard time digesting brown rice pasta (all grains really) which is why I wanted to make it SCD.  This dish was very filling and extremely satisfying, and I felt so light and peaceful.  No digestive distress.  If you haven’t used zucchini yet for the noodle factor, you should because they are awesome. 
Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Heart Pasta 
GAPS, SCD, Paleo, Vegan

-1/2 cup chopped onion (red or yellow)
-1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
-1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (confirm ingredients) 
-1 6.5 ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts (confirm ingredients) 
-2 cups fresh organic spinach 
-4 medium peeled and trimmed zucchinis 
-1 1/2 teaspoons garlic granules (or 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced)
-Oil of choice 
-1 teaspoon dried basil 
-Optional: red pepper flakes and black pepper 

How To:
1.  In a large saute pan, add in some oil and heat on medium low
2.  Add onions, olives, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and garlic granules, and saute for a few minutes
3.  Add in spinach and saute until slightly wilted 
4.  Add in zucchini noodles and saute for just a couple of minutes 
5.  Remove from heat, add in dried basil and optional red pepper flakes and black pepper, and a few fresh spinach leaves for garnish

*I use this gadget to get the zucchini to look like pasta noodles.
*Or this awesome julienne peeler works great too.
Posted by Amber at

Labels: ACD, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, main dish, SCD, vegetarian.


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chicken "Zoodle" Soup (SCD Friendly)

Hellowinter?  Spring showers?  Who knows.  It’s raining, and it’s fabulous.  To give you an example of how dry it has been here in Northern California, we haven’t had more than three consecutive days of rain in months, I believe since last winter.  Crazy. Scott and I are weather nerds – always watching the forecast, and every morning he checks the live snow cams at the ski resorts.  Anyway,  just super glad we have some wet weather and snow falling in the mountains so we can get the kids up to Tahoe and strap on the snowboards. 
This nice cold weather called for some nice warm soup.  Chicken noodle was in order, but I wanted to make it SCD.  So I turned to my fellow SCD blogger, Jen, from My Big Fat Grain Free Life.  Check out her blog when you get a chance, lots of great SCD recipes.  She makes a chicken “zoodle” soup (the zoodles obviously being zucchini in place of the noodles).  So awesome!  I made my usual chicken soup recipe and added in those delicious zoodles.  My kids thought they were so fun too.  My son declared, “Noodles,” like he was just presented with a prize or something.  Hooray for fun dinners.  If you’re looking for a fun way to replace traditional noodles, give zucchini a try (see here). 

-1 medium yellow onion, small chop
-3 cups carrots, small chop
-2 cups celery, chopped
-2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (great way to use leftovers)
-2 large zucchini, made into “zoodles” 
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-3 cloves garlic, minced 
(I also add 1 teaspoon garlic granules)
-2 bay leaves
-8 cups filtered water (or any broth, but I used water) 
-Oil of choice
-Pepper to taste 

How To
1.  To pot add oil, salt, and onions and saute for 2 minutes 
2.  Add celery, carrots, garlic cloves, garlic grans, and saute for 2 minutes
3.  Add water, bay leaves, and bring to a gentle simmer; simmer for about 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender
4.  Add chicken and zoodles, stir
5.  Turn off heat, cover and let sit for about 15 minutes; warm through before serving 
Serves 4 

Serve with: SCD Crusty Rolls or SCD Hot Cross Buns

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Labels: ACD, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, SCD, soups.


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Friday, March 9, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Hummus (SCD Friendly)

It’s Thursday and it has been a good week.  My deepest thank you for your support and well wishes while healing from my most recent Crohn’s flare.  I’ve never bounced back this quickly and it feels WONDERFUL.  The balance of meds and SCD allowed my body and immune system to heal rather quickly.  We’ve had some gorgeous weather this week and I do believe spring has arrived.  I’ve been making some light dishes and this hummus dip accompanied the kids and me for a fun midweek picnic.  I made two batches.  One for my kiddos (with light garlic granules) and one for me with the full garlic spice you know I love.  Have a beautiful weekend.


-2 cups cooked green lentils* 
-1/4 cup tahini
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
-1/2 teapsoon salt
-2 teaspoons garlic granules, use less for kids. (if using raw garlic, just use a little for the spice factor, or add roasted garlic.  Just make sure you check the spice if making for kids)
-1/3 cup oil of choice (more if needed)

How To
1.  To roast pepper: Preheat oven to 400. Cut 1 red pepper in half, remove stem and insides.  Place the pepper in a glass baking dish, no liquids, just the pepper.  Roast until browned (around 20 minutes, if not browned, roast longer).  Remove from oven and place a towel over the pepper in the glass dish.  Allow to cool.  Remove the pepper skin when cooled.  
2.  To prepare lentils: soak 1 cup green lentils for 6 hours.  After the soak, discard water.  Cook lentils with 1 1/2 cups water (bring to boil then cover for about 15 minutes) or until water is absorbed. 
3. In food processor fitted with the s-blade, blend cooled lentils, pepper, tahini, lemon, garlic and salt.  
4.  Drizzle in oil, add more if needed  
5.  Store in airtight container in fridge.

*I was soaking lentils according to the guidelines in the book, but I came across a recent Q&A in which Elaine Gottschall states that soaking lentils 3-4 hours was fine.  I error here on the side of 6.  You can read more Q &A here.  

Some beautiful signs of spring in our neck of the woods
mouthwatering organic strawberries
Sweet blossoms on our trees
Snow peas are growing like crazy in our garden
Pretty tulips on the table

Shared on: Real Food WednesdaysGluten-Free WednesdaysWhole Food WednesdaysPennywise PlatterFull Plate Platter ThursdaysWellness WeekendFreaky FridayFresh Bites FridaysLunch Box Love Fridays Fight Back FridayFriday FoodAllergy-Friendly Friday, Superfood Sunday 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: ACD, dairy free, dips, gluten free, grain free, SCD, vegan, vegetarian.


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Monday, March 5, 2012

A Personal Note, Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup (SCD Friendly) , and a funny for your Monday.

-1 medium yellow onion, small chop
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-4 cups cooked broccoli (I used baby broccoli)
-1/2 cup chopped zucchini 
-2 cups cashew milk* (see below notes for water-cashew ratio)
-2 cups filtered water or homemade stock (I used water) 
-1/2 teaspoons garlic granules
-Lemon and pepper for garnish/to taste 
-Preferred oil (enough to coat pot)

How To
1. Steam broccoli until just tender, set aside 
2. Add oil, onions, zucchini and salt to pot and saute for 3-5 minutes 
3. Add broccoli and garlic granules, saute for a few minutes
4. Add cashew milk and water (or broth)
5. Bring to a gentle simmer
6. Simmer until mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes
7. Remove from heat and carefully ladle into blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend until incorporated (or your desired consistency)
8. Serve warm with pepper, and fresh lemon juice is a must! 

* For cashew milk: soak 1 cup of cashews in filtered water 4 to 8 hours. Drain, rinse, and blend with 3 cups filtered water (I use a Vitamix). Poor into glass jar and store in fridge up to 4 days.

I must confess friends, I’ve not been well.  As you might know I started taking medication for Crohn’s disease 5 months ago (first time on medication in 8 years).   And last week I experienced my first flare on medication.  Gasp!  I was so sad when it hit, as I’ve been enjoying and cherishing these pain free/symptom free days, and to my delight, put on nearly 20 pounds (I know, how often do you hear a 34 year old woman say that with excitement!).  

Before I started this medication I was very sick.  I weaned my son (of 2 years) over the summer and shortly after that my body went a little nutso.  I was experiencing some new (and scary) symptoms and losing weight.  So in August I had another colonoscopy and sure enough my entire colon was inflamed.  During my first colonoscopy most of my small intestine was inflamed and some of my colon, interesting how the inflammation changed location.  

So I started the medication in October.  Within days I was symptom free.  Medication is a wonderful reprieve, but here’s the dealit doesn’t always work.  And really, who wants to be on medication for their entire life.  Oh, and the medication I’m on (Lialda) costs a dreadful $500 per month – ouch So obviously, several legitimate reasons to find alternative sources of healing.  All these years I thought I was doing it all right with my diet, but I was wrong.

About a month after starting medication I learned about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  I immediately bought “the book” and started researching recipes.  My goal is to try this diet (100%) and get off medication.  The SCD is pretty restrictive, it takes careful planning and research.  Success comes from strict adherence.  Over these few months I’ve been creating recipes and found some amazing SCD blogs and a network of support that was missing in my life.  None of my friends have a chronic disease and my family, well, they all have superior immune systems/digestions (and I joke, could probably digest a cinder block).  I’m grateful for my cyberspace blog friends for their stories and SCD information that offer up some much needed inspiration and recipes.  This diet requires preparation.  If you’re interested in the legal and illegal foods, see here.  

I’ll be sharing more about my healing journey with Crohn’s disease, and I believe a post is in order sharing WHAT to eat during a flare. This is a difficult time for IBD sufferers – what you put in your body can either heal or exacerbate symptoms.  So I’m putting together what I call, “The Flare Diet.”  Some easy to prepare SCD legal dishes to eat during a flare (something that really helped me this time around).  So stayed tuned for that.  I would love to hear from the IBD community (if you’re out there).  How are you?  Where are you at in your healing journey?  Do you care for someone with IBD?  If so, how do you find support? 

I wish you well and thanks for listening!

Okay, after all this serious talk, I think we need a little laugh.  Here’s another funny video from Genevieve.  I love her! 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, SCD, soups, vegan.


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Friday, March 2, 2012

Homemade Walnut Milk

One of my awesome readers, Erin, left the best suggestion on my homemade almond milk post: homemade walnut milk!!  I make a walnut nut butter and walnut flour…why not walnut milk?  Well let me tell you it’s delicious, so thank you Erin.  This comes at a good time for me, as almond flour and almond milk have not been agreeing with my digestion.  I make this walnut milk in the same fashion as my almond milk.  I use a high water-to-nut ratio compared to most recipes.  I purchase organic nuts in bulk, so I try and stretch my dollar by adding in more water.  I happen to adore the flavor, but it may not be for everyone, especially if you’re accustomed to a thicker nut milk.  Do what feels right to you and what you like.  Thanks again for the great suggestion Erin!
-1 cup raw, organic walnuts
-7 cups filtered water
-1 teaspoon vanilla
How To
1.  Soak walnuts in filtered water for 8 -10 hours, or just over night.
2.  When the walnuts have been properly soaked, drain and rinse with filtered water
3.  To your blender add walnuts, 7 cups water, and vanilla
4.  Blend on high for 90 seconds
5.  Here’s a step in the process that might be different from most:

*After blending I let the milk sit in the blender for about 5 minutes.  This gives the milk time to settle and the foam to gather on the top.  After the 5 minutes I scoop off all the foam.  After removing the foam my original 7 cups remain.  I dislike straining foamy milk through the nut milk bag.  See pictures below for foam scooping process:


5.  After you scoop off the foam (and discard into the sink), strain the milk through a nut milk bag.  I strain the milk into an 8 cup glass Pyrex

6. Transfer to glass pitcher with lid and store in the fridge for up to 5 days
*If using a “regular” blender (not high-speed), start with 5 cups water and blend on high for up to 2 minutes.  Add more water in future batches if you like the consistency and taste with 5 cups.

Check out this  great site on: what to do with your nut pulp.  There’s like a zillion recipes!  So awesome!! 


Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, drinks, how to, non-dairy milk, SCD.


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Monday, February 27, 2012

Super Simple Super Tasty Marinara Sauce – and a funny for your Monday.

I’ve been working on a SCD lasagna recipe.  Almost there!  Can’t wait to share the recipe with you soon.  In the meantime, I wanted to share my homemade marinara sauce.  I have trouble with store bought pasta sauces, as they are just too salty for me.  So with homemade I can control the seasoning.  Plus making your own sauce is a great way to cut down on your kitchen waste (no cans or jars to throw out).  There are a zillion recipes for marinara sauce out there.  What I have for you today is a base sauce, this is delish on its own, but from here you can add in a variety of other ingredients.  See below in notes for some suggestions.  A quick word about tomatoes.  It’s very important to choose meaty tomatoes, or the sauce gets a bit watery.  I find that little slicer tomatoes are very meaty with little juice.  And in the summer it’s all about those gorgeous heirlooms.  I’ve also made marinara with Romas, but the sauce was awfully acidic and watery (see notes below about how to make a less watery sauce, especially if making this sauce for lasagna).  If you find your sauce too acidic, add in a little honey or other sweetener of choice.  Or add in some cashew milk, other thickened nut milk, or full fat coconut milk (just a few tablespoons or until desired taste/texture).  This will create a creamy sauce and cut down on the acid factor.  It’s fun to experiment with marinara.  I hope this recipe will serve as a nice base and get you going. 
-1 medium yellow or red onion, chopped
-3 stalks celery, chopped
-2 1/2 lbs organic tomatoes, chopped (find small slicers during winter and big fat meaty heirlooms during the summer).  If using this sauce for a lasagna, make sure you squeeze the juice out of each tomato.  This yields a thicker sauce.  I don’t recommend Romas.  Round slicers or any meaty heirloom works the best – they are lower in water content and have more tomato meet.  
-A big handful of fresh basil (about 1 1/2 cups)
-1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
-1 tablespoon garlic granules (or 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped)
-1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
-2 bay leaves 
-Oil of choice 
-Fresh ground pepper

How To
1.  Coat the bottom of your favorite pot with oil, add onions and salt and saute for 3-5 minutes.  Add celery and saute for additional 3-5 minutes.
2.  Add chopped tomatoes, stir and add in garlic granules, Italian seasoning, and basil.  Stir until well combined.  
3.  Mix in bay leaves and fresh ground pepper  
4.  Cook uncovered on med heat/low heat until tomatoes release their juice (about 10 minutes).
5.  Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.
6.  When tomatoes are cooked down, remove bay leaves and blend.  I use an immersion  blender.  This yields a thick and slightly chunky sauce.  For a smooth sauce, blend with high speed blender or any other counter blender. 

*If you are making this sauce for a lasagna, be sure to squeeze all the juice out of the tomatoes before you put them in the pot.  A watery tomato sauce will not work well with lasagna. 
*Here are a few other veggie suggestions for your marinara sauce.
-Red, green, or yellow bell pepper
-Yellow winter squash
-Roasted cauliflower
-Celery root
-Roasted Parsnips

I always say: start the week (or day) off on a funny note.  I love this girl – she always makes me giggle!  So awesome.  I’ve said like 99% of this stuff at one point or another.  Come on, you just have to laugh!! 
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Labels: ACD, dairy free, gluten free, sauces, SCD, vegan, vegetarian.


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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Coffee-up your Whip: Vegan Coffee Flavored Whipped Cream (or mousse)

So a fun, weird fact about me.  I love the idea, smell and flavor of coffeebut don’t drink the stuff.  And I come from a looong line of coffee drinkers.  Listen, I would love to be one of those cool sophisticated retro hip moms never to be seen without a cup of Joe in their fun, whimsical coffee mugs, but what can I tell you, I’m a hippie tea drinker at heart.  Once upon a time I worked in a coffee shop and can you believe I never once had a cup of coffee!  Okay, I would have a latte now and then (and thus wouldn’t sleep for like 3 days), but never just a straight cup of coffee.  But I seriously LOVE everything about coffee, it just doesn’t agree with me (and by me I’m referring to my weak little stomach).  Scott doesn’t drink it either – he’s my tea loving partner in crime. During my coffee shop days my beverage (drug) of choice was Oregon Chai Tea. Amazing!  After Scott and I moved in together, we made our own Chai teas and would sip them together in our tiny little apartment and have deep conversations about Dawson’s Creek, and deliberate over which band we were going to see downtown on Friday night.  
Ah, those were the days.  
So I was craving a coffee flavored something and created this incredibly satisfying whipped dessert.  This is crazy good! It tastes like a creamy, delicious mousse.  This would be fabulous on top of your vegan ice creams or milkshakes, on a cookie, or as an icing on a cake.  I have several thoughts on the matter.  So stay tuned!

1 can full fat coconut milk (keep in refrigerator for a few days).  I use this brand because of this issue.
-2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
-1 teaspoon coffee flavor 
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

How To
1.  Scoop out all of the coconut cream from can and add to your favorite mixing bowl.  Save the coconut water for another day.
2.  To the cream add the maple syrup, coffee flavor, and vanilla.
3.  Whip with a hand mixer until well incorporated.
4.  Transfer to glass storage and allow whipped cream to cool and set up in fridge before use. 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, dessert, vegan.


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Monday, February 20, 2012

Sweet and Sour Chicken Awesomeness

Ah, sweet and sour chicken.  As a young girl I learned how to use chop sticks eating sweet and sour chicken.  This was a dish my Gramie made quite a bit (and served with my own set of chop sticks of course – how exciting). To this day I refuse to eat Asian cuisine with a fork – just can’t do it.  I had the pleasure of living with my grandparents for many years growing up, so I was exposed to my Gramie’s fantastic cooking, all from scratch and all amazing.  Although not the healthiest at times (my Gramie was a lot like your Paula Deen with the butter and salt and the beef and the butter and the butter).  Considering she grew up on a farm, I give her credit for incorporating some really creative, fresh dishes.  And every single night we had a salad.  And I ate my salad like a good little girl, and thus rewarded generously with a big hunk of cake for dessert (yes, there was always fresh baked cake, muffins, pastires, etc., in the house). I will always remember Gramie’s sweet and sour dish.  My grandparents and father lived in Japan for several years during the Korean War.  I do believe she was greatly inspired by the food and culture, as this was definitely reflected in her cooking.  

Your traditional sweet and sour dish is loaded with sugar and salt, not to mention gluten.  My version differs greatly in this respect, but is not lacking in flavor a bit.  However, I feel it’s important to not expect a toned down version to taste like the original.  We must appreciate the simplicity and goodness for what it is: wholesome and real in its own right.  This is a quick, easy dinner that delivers on health as well as on taste.   


-1 yellow onion, chopped
-1 large red bell pepper, chopped 
-1 can of pineapple chuncks (or fresh if you can find it) 
-2 cooked chicken breasts (great way to use leftovers)
-1/2 cup cashews 
-3 tablespoons pineapple juice
-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon low sodium, gluten free soy sauce
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon garlic granules
-Oil of choice 
-Fresh ground pepper 
-Red pepper flakes (for mom and dad) 
-1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)

How To

-I used white basmati.  Really nice flavor.  1 1/2 cups rice to 3 cups water.  In a medium sauce pan, bring water and rice to a boil, add in a drizzle of oil.  Turn down to low and cover.  This rice cooks pretty quick.  When all the water has cooked away, turn off heat and let rice sit covered until ready to serve.

Sweet and Sour Chicken: 
1.  Coat a large saute pan with oil, heat on med/low, and add onion, pepper and salt.  Saute for a few minutes.
2.  Drain pineapple juice from pineapple chunks and add pineapple to pan along with chicken and cashews.  Saute for a few minutes.
3.  Add soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, pineapple juice, and garlic granules (and optional ginger).  Keep pan on medium low and cook down liquid, stirring occasionally.  Cook veggies until desired tenderness.  
4.  I didn’t add any thickener to this dish, as there was a minimal amount of liquid.  If you like more of a sauce, then simply add more oil, pineapple juice and soy sauce and mix in your thickener of choice.
5.  Serve with red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste 


*If you are avoiding rice, quinoa or millet would be great 
*For vegetarians, use tofu or mushrooms in place of meat.

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, gluten free, main dish.


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