Category Archives: gluten free

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 

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


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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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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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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicken Cabbage Soup (SCD friendly recipe)

Oh boy I love cabbage – especially in soup! Have you tried it in soup?  It’s a must.  I used a special broth in this recipe (made from leftover vegetable pulp from a vegetable drink) and wow what a burst of flavor.  Any broth would be great – or even water.  Whatever you have on hand.   
-1/2 yellow onion, small chop
-3 tablespoons oil
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
-4 celery stalks, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-3 cups green cabbage, shredded
-2 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped 
-1 bay leaf 
-2 cooked chicken breasts (I use up leftovers)
-4 cups broth + 2 cups filtered water (add more if needed, just make sure you cover the ingredients) 
-A few turns of the pepper grinder 

How To
1.  Add oil to pot and saute onions with salt until translucent.  Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
2.  Add mushrooms, carrots celery and cabbage, saute until veggies start to wilt.
3.  Add chicken and mix well.
4.  Add broth, water, bay leaf and pepper.
5.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered until vegetables are soft.
6. Remove bay leaf, check for seasoning, and serve .

Shared on: Pennywise PlatterMiz Helen’s Country Cottage Lunch Box Love Fridays, Freaky FridayFresh Bites Fridays & Sunday Night Soup NightGluten-Free Wednesdays

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


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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Roasted Beets, Cabbage and Green Apples (a SCD friendly recipe)

I am a big fan of roastinganything.  I love to roast like some love to bake.  Peeling and chopping is oddly soothing to me.  And much like your seasoned baker, I find great satisfaction upon seeing the final product.  The transformation is more about the flavor than the look really, but what a grand transformation it is.  Have you ever tried a roasted beet?  It’s a beautiful thing, and not just the color I’m talking about here, oh that flavor.  And cabbage?  Delicious!  This dish was inspired by Valentine’s Day.  I call this an “any-time” dish.  I ate it for lunch, as a main dish, and a side dish and yes, a few eggs made this a great breakfast.  What a fun and healthy way to get a splash of vibrant red on the ever popular lovers Holiday (oh, and be sure to wear a nice big apron to cover your pretty clothes – beets are wonderful but so unforgiving).

– 1 lb red beets, chopped (about 5)
– 11 oz green cabbage, sliced  (3/4 of small head of cabbage)
– 3 1/2 lbs of Granny Smith apples, chopped (3 extra large)
– 3 tablespoons oil (I use grapeseed)
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon garlic granules

How To
Preheat oven to 375
1.  Add beets, cabbage, apples, salt, oil and garlic granules to roasting pan of choice (I use a 4 QT glass Pyrex).
2.  Mix well
3.  Roast for 35 minutes 
4.  Mix and serve 
  Ready for the oven.  
Just love that beautiful color
Posted by Amber at

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


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Friday, January 27, 2012

Raw Cranapple Sauce

After I made my sweet and savory applesauce for pork chops, I knew a raw sauce was in order.  I had some leftover dried cranberries and thought, hey, this might work.  Yummers!! No sweeteners needed for this one, just a bit of orange juice.  Really delicious, healthy, refreshingand raw!  

-6 organic red apples of choice, chopped. (3 peeled, 3 with skins) 
-1 cup dried cranberries, soaked in filtered water for about an hour (try to find dried berries with no sugar added or sulfur dioxide) 
-1/4 cup orange juice (I used two small Clementines, but adding orange juice is totally optionalI just happen to love anything tart!
How To
1.  In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, blend apples until they start to release some of their juice.
2.  Strain cranberries and add to apples, blend until well incorporated.
3.  Add orange juice and continue blending until desired consistency.  I went with a traditional applesauce texture.  
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, gluten free, raw, sauces, SCD, sugar free.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chocolate Pumpkin Coconut Pudding (dairy free, cane-sugar free)

My daughter is a budding chocoholic like my sweet husband, and nothing makes me happier than creating a healthy, nutrient dense treat for my girl.  I use cacao on occasion in desserts.  Due to this sparing use it’s greeted with treasured delight.  I used what I had on hand today, but you can throw just about anything in chocolate and it will tastelike chocolate!  I made an allergy-friendly version of this pudding (coming soon) for my son who can’t have chocolate, and I have to say it’s mighty tasty.  I actually prefer it over the chocolate, which causes my husband to seriously question my sanity.  I’ll tell ya, my husband and chocolateget a room!    

-1 can full fat coconut milk (I prefer Native Forest, which has a BPA-free can or Natural Value, which is free of gums and preservatives).
-1/2 cup plain pumpkin puree
-3 tablespoons raw cacao (or more to taste)
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 tablespoons ground chia (I ground the seeds in a coffee grinder)
-3 to 4 tablespoons sweetener (I have used honey and maple syrup)
-1/2 ripe avocado (optional) for added nutrition  

How To
1.  Combine all ingredients in blender, high speed or otherwise
2.  Transfer to glass container and store in refrigerator
3.  Pudding will thicken as it cools

 Check out these links for more chocolate + pumpkin recipes 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, chocolate + pumpkin, dairy free, dessert, gluten free, pudding, vegan.


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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Parfaits with Panache: Persimmon-Cranberry Pudding with Coconut Ginger Granola (vegan, gluten free, cane-sugar free)

There is just something about a creamy pudding (or yogurt) and granola that is deliciously lovely.  It’s the most divine afternoon snack.  When I made my persimmon cranberry pudding (which is a nice yogurt substitute for me) I knew a granola was soon to follow.  It’s like the snappy shoes after the cute dress.  I’m very pleased with this granola recipe.  It’s sweet, but not too sweet, full of protein and fiber.  I make one batch and we are set for the week.  My husband loves it on yogurt, my kids enjoy it on pudding and dairy free ice cream, and this granola makes an outstanding cereal.  
 There are so many variations of granola, endless really, but I have to say I’m hooked on this recipe and hope you enjoy it too!
See here for vegan persimmon cranberry pudding recipe

-2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats (omit and sub more nuts and coconut for grain-free)
-1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
-1/2 cup raw almonds
-1/2 cup walnuts
-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
-2 tablespoons hemp seeds
-1 tablespoon chia seeds
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ginger 
-1/4 cup honey
-1/4 cup coconut nectar
-1 teaspoon vanilla 
-2 tablespoons oil

How To
Preheat oven to 375
1.  Combine oats and coconut
2.  In food processor (with S-blade), chop up almonds until they are in little bits and then add to oats and coconut
3.  In food processor, chop up walnuts and pumpkin seeds until in small bits, add to mixture.  Add hemp, chia, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
4.  Mix well.
5.  In separate bowl add honey, coconut nectar, oil and vanilla.  Mix well with spatchula (I use a silicone). 
6.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix (with hands preferably) until the entire mixture is well incorporated and moist.

A note on how to cook the granola:

a.  If you prefer a chewy, soft granola, use this method:

-Spread mixture out on a silicone baking mat (I don’t know how this would turn out on unbleached parchment paper or just a baking sheet, but please let me know if you try).  Okay, so spread it out until it reaches all edges and tap it down a bit.  Place the mat on a baking sheet.   
Bake for 10 minutes.  

It will look something like this:

b.  If you prefer a hard, crunchy granola use this method:

-Spread mixture out on a silicone mat until it reaches all edges and tap it down a bit.  Place the mat on a cookie cooling rack and place directly in the oven.  Bake for 8 minutes.  
It will look something like this:


I went a little crazy over the Holidays and made like 10 batches of this granola and gave it as gifts.  I’m pleased to say it was well received by all!

Posted by Amber at

Labels: breakfast, cane sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, snacks.


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Friday, January 6, 2012

Roasted Leek and Mushroom Pork Chops Topped with Homemade Applesauce

This is the easiest dinner in the world to make and it tastes like you spent hours meddling with it.  I’m a sucker for the sweet/savory factor, and this dish delivers.  The leeks and mushrooms become perfectly roasted under the pork chops and the applesauce is a burst of sweet delight.  It’s extremely satisfying.  This is my sweet husband’s new favorite dinner.  And it’s so easy – even he can make it! 
Roasted Leek and Mushroom Pork Chops Topped with Homemade Applesauce (SCD Friendly Recipe)
  • 4 boneless pork chops (please see note section about brining the chops)
  • 3 cups chopped leeks
  • 3 cups chopped crimini mushrooms
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Half leeks and chop (use all the white and the green until the leaves), large chop mushrooms; put leeks and mushrooms in your favorite roasting dish
  3. Place pork chops on top of leeks and mushrooms
  4. Sprinkle the salt and garlic granules over the leeks, mushrooms, and pork chops.
  5. Cook for 20 - 30 minutes, or until internal temperature of chop reaches at least 160 degrees
I HIGHLY recommend brining the pork chops. I find that pork chops get very dry and brining helps retain moisture during baking. At least five hours before you cook the chops, place them in bowl/pot with water (covering completely). To the water add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Place the brine in the refrigerator. Before you bake the chops, simply remove from the brine and place in your baking pan.
Homemade Honey Sweetened Applesauce
  • 4 apples of your choice (I use a mix of green and red)
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Peel and small chop apples
  2. In a pot over medium heat, add apples and salt
  3. Cook for about 2 minutes, add the water
  4. Cook for about 2 minutes, add orange juice
  5. Cook for about 2 minutes, add honey & cinnamon
  6. Give a good stir and turn down to low, cover
  7. Allows apples to steam cook in the covered pot on low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let applesauce sit in pot until you're ready to spoon them onto your pork chop
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Labels: dairy free, gluten free, main dish, SCD.


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Roasted Garlic Lentil Hummus Dip

I was recently introduced to Mrs. Ed’s blog by Shirley @ GFE.  Among other things, Mrs. Ed’s blog is dedicated to recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and she has a fantastic recipe index.  I was so thankful for this reference and Mrs. Ed’s wonderful information.  So keeping in theme with the SCD, I created a fun twist on traditional hummus by using lentils.  Lentils are legal on the SCD if prepared properly.  Breaking the Vicious Cycle recommends soaking lentils to remove indigestible sugars (up to 6 hours is fine).  Chickpeas are illegal on this diet, so lentils make a great substitute for hummus.  And you know I’m insane over garlic so of course I threw in a ton.
I always have dip in the fridge.  I snack on it throughout the day, and all you busy mommies out there know how easy it is to forget to feed yourself  – and feed yourself healthy food!  Here are some other fun (not necessarily SCD dips I love to make during the week):

Have dip…will have dippers!
In all honesty, my favorite dippers are fresh fruit or vegetables.  Simple carrot and celery sticks, sliced apple, dehydrated bananas, etc.  I also LOVE Kohlrabi (although this is illegal on the SCD) it doesn’t bother me at all at this time.  When I start the diet I will see how it works with my system as I progress.  But for now it’s a fave.

-2 cups cooked green lentils (shown with yellow lentils above, but these are hard to find, so green lentils are great and actually much more flavorful)!
-1/4 cup tahini
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-1/2 cup roasted garlic (or 2 teaspoons garlic granules)
-1/2 teapsoon salt
-1/3 cup oil of choice (more if needed)

How To
1.  To prepare lentils: soak 1 cup lentils up to 6 hours.  After the soak, discard water.  Cook lentils with  1 1/2 cups water (bring to boil then cover for about 15 minutes) until water is absorbed.
2. In food processor fitted with the s-blade, blend cooled lentils, tahini, lemon, garlic and salt.
3.  Drizzle in oil, add more if needed
4.  Garnish with dried apricots and pine nuts – this hummus is super yummy with the contrasting flavor of dried apricots!
5.  Store in airtight container in fridge.


Shared on: Fat TuesdaysTraditional TuesdaysWellness Weekend Pennywise Platter

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, dips, gluten free, go ahead honey, SCD, vegan.


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