Category Archives: SCD

Friday, August 17, 2012

Allergy-Friendly Camping Cuisine (with s’mores of course) + Happy Birthday To Me!!

I LOVE camping.  I grew up camping – it’s in my blood.  My happiest memories in life are of being out in nature, singing around a campfire, playing for hours in a creek, fishing, hiking, lazy afternoon naps in a tent with a cool mountain breeze wafting around me…ahhhh.  Thinking about it makes me instantly happy and calm.  We took the kids camping last week in celebration of my 35th birthday.  We had a great time.  I was a busy bee cooking/baking, but over the years I’ve become accustomed to all this preparation.  I hope these recipes and food ideas are helpful for your next camping trip (allergy-friendly style).  

First up: S’mores.  
A MUST when camping. 
(these were amazing – they melted nicely and were ooey-gooey)
(these are the perfect chocolates for evening s’mores, caffeine free so the kiddos have a good night sleep)
(there are so many recipes out there to choose from)
S’mores – yes please.
I tried my hand at some grain free SCD graham crackers before we left.  I was sort of in a hurry (after alll my cooking, I was tired) so I googled “grain free graham crackers” for some ideas and literally threw this recipe together (I didn’t write anything down).  The recipe was…okay.  Certainly not blog worthy, but they did the job and held the good stuff in.
Next: allergy-friendly breads – and hot dog buns.
Another MUST when camping.  
Here is a list of homemade and store bought food items we enjoyed on this camping trip
7.  Chocolate Milk
8.  Slow-Cooker Curry Chicken
11.  Tomatoes and zucchini from our garden
From the store:
7.  Fresh Organic Local Eggs
9.  Bananas, Apples & Nectarines
12.  Mustard & Vegan Mayo 
13.  Dried sugar & sulfur free cranberries
14.  Carrot & Celery Sticks
Here are some pictures of our fun time:
   Mommy playing some guitar – a MUST when camping.  
My sweet husband
My mountain girl
There was a lovely creek running through our camp site.
We had fun playing in the refreshing, cool water.
Mountain Mommy!
I feel my happiest in nature, especially near tall, beautiful, delicious smelling pine trees.  So healing.
 Here are a few pictures of me on my birthday
(35 years baby- woot!)  Here’s to many, many more happy, healthy years to come.
I’m an avid thrifter, and I found this super cute dress and belt while thrifting with my best girlfriend, Moe.  We are thrift store/garage sale addicts! Moe is my lucky charm, as I always find cute stuff and great deals when we’re together (plus she is really good at haggling).
My sweet-pea son, Ethan
 My sweet-pea daughter, Sky
And check out my birthday cake!!

(yes, I made my own birthday cake)
Thanks to Jenni at The Urban Poser for this great recipe.
It was amazing.

Shared on: Whole Foods Friday

Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, dessert, SCD, summer cuisine, summer treats.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Creamy Chilled Mint Avocado Soup With a Puckery Kiss of Lime (SCD, raw, vegan)

The searing heat wave that was plaguing the East Coast and Mid West has now made its way to Northern California.  We’ve had a very mild summer and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, but it’s always a shocker when those triple digits hit (and for multiple days).  Turning on the oven is out of the question (unless it’s very early in the morning).  So I’ve tried to be creative with meals and do most of my cooking before it gets too hot.  I’ve made this avocado soup four or five times in the last couple of weeks.  I happen to adore avocados, so this dish is a delight.  I’ve experimented with several different ingredients (adding cucumber, omitting the mint, playing with various measurements of lime), and this recipe is my favorite.  I LOVE strong flavors.  My palate is quite needy in this way.  Tart is one of my favorites.  So, I add more lime than you might see in some avocado soup recipes.  This recipe is slightly adapted from Joy the Baker.  As you can see she adds more liquid, less lime, and other ingredients (including corn and bacon).  I wanted to keep this soup raw, SCD and vegan.  I love the complex flavor combination of the mint and lime, offset by the creamy avocado.  My favorite topping is creamed beet “cheese” sauce (cashew based).  The sweet beets are PERFECT against this tart dish.  Let me know if you try this recipe – what you add, what you omit.  I always appreciate variations. 

Creamy Chilled Mint Avocado Soup with a Puckery Kiss of Lime (vegan, raw, SCD)

-2 fresh, ripe avocados 
-1 1/4 cup filtered water (or veggie stock) 
-2 to 4 tablespoons lime juice (I use 4) 
-1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
-3 tablespoons cashew cream (see below in notes)
-1 to 3 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped (I use 3, which is 1 Tbs) 
-Optional: 1/2 peeled cucumber (surprisingly, I don’t care the cucumber in this soup), roasted red pepper, bacon, vegan yogurt, parsley.  The options are endless really.  

How To:
1.  In a food processor mix avocado, water, lime juice, salt, cashew cream, and mint until creamy and well incorporated.  
2.  Transfer to refrigerator until chilled.  
3.  Serves 4 as antipasto, or 2 large meal servings.

*To make the cashew cream, soak 1/2 cup cashews in filtered water for 4 – 6 hours.  Drain cashews and blend with 1/3 – 1/2 cup filtered water (you want a thick, creamy texture).  After you add this 3 tablespoons of cashew cream to the soup, from here you an add in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup roasted beets and make a delicious cashew “cheese” beet spread on pizza crust or as a topping on the soup.  
For garnish: prepared black beans or garden fresh tomatoes 

Super easy creamed beet “cheese” sauce with Caralyn’s SCD/dairy free Cauliflower Pizza Crust 

Shared on: Allergy-Free Wednesdays,  Keep It Real ThursdaysRaw Foods Thursday , Wellness Weekend, Fight Back FridayFresh Bites Friday.Freaky FridayLifeologia Summerizing Party, Friday Food, Allergy-Friendly Fridays, Whole Foods FridayGluten Free WednesdaysReal Food Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays,

Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, SCD, sides, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.


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Monday, August 6, 2012

Simple and Delicious Carrot Curry Lentil Soup with Lemon (SCD Friendly) – with a video of the foggy West Coast.

I have a confession, I’m one of those crazy girls that can eat anything for breakfast.  I’ve always been like that.  I never turn down food in the morning just because it’s not “breakfast” material.  See, this is where my sweet husband and I differ.  He likes his meals compartmentalized where I’m all over the place.  I’ll eat cold pizza, roasted veggies, chicken, pasta, any variety of leftovers, pasta, and yes, even soup for breakfast.  I’ve come to realize that this free love with food for breakfast is a good thing on SCD.  Breakfast is perhaps the most difficult part of SCD for me.  It’s a very grain-egg-meat dominated set-up.  But luckily, I’ve found some great substitutes (but I’ve also come to realize that I don’t do well with a lot of nuts on SCD, so I can’t rely on nut-based substitutes every morning).  So what does all this breakfast talk have to do with soup?  Well, I wanted to share a soup with you I’ve been making to eat during the week (for breakfast or whenever).  Mornings are a perfect time to eat soup in the summer.  And let me tell you friends, it gets HOT HOT here in Northern Cali, but the mornings are great, so I don’t shy away from soups.  This soup is so flavorful and filling.  It really hits the spot in the morning and gives me incredible energy – it’s like my new oatmeal (hey, why not).  So I hope you enjoy this simple, versatile soup.  We sure do. 

I need to remember that it’s not HOT everywhere in the summer.  We live about 80 miles from San Francisco, and it can be 110 degrees here in valley and 55 degrees on the coast (no joke).  My husband grew up 1/2 mile from the beach near San Francisco and last week we had a visit with his family.  After a long day playing on the chilly, foggy, beautiful beach I made this soup for dinner and it warmed us right up.  My husband’s heart will always be with the sea.  I love watching him play with our children at the same beach he romped around on as a child.  I’ve included a video of our day below.  

Carrot Curry Lentil Soup with Lemon
-2 cups brown lentils soaked for 15 – 20 hours (water changed 1x)
-1 medium yellow onion, small chop
-2 cups chopped carrots
-2 cups chopped tomato
-1 can SCD/BPA free coconut milk (or 1 1/2 cups homemade coconut milk)
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-2 teaspoon garlic granules
-2 teaspoons green curry paste
-4 cups filtered water 
-Oil of choice (I use grapeseed)

How To:
1.  Coat the bottom of a large soup pot with oil and sauté onions with salt for about 5 minutes.  
2.  Add the chopped carrots and tomatoes, sauté for about 3 minutes.
3.  Add garlic granules and curry paste.  Stir to incorporate.  Add the coconut milk, drained lentils and stir.
4.  Add water, stir. 
5.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and turn down to a simmer on just above low for one hour.  
6.  Turn off heat and keep covered until ready to serve.  Reheat as needed.
7.  Serve with 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon.  I also prefer freshly grated ginger with freshly ground black pepper.  Avocado or vegan cashew sour cream is also delicious for garnish.  
-Serves 6


*I can’t guarantee results if a different curry is used.  The green curry paste is fantastic and I highly recommend it.  If you have success in making this soup with a homemade curry or a powder curry, please share in the comments.  

The beautiful, foggy West Coast:

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Labels: dairy free, main dish, SCD, Soup, vegan, vegetarian.


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Homemade Pizza Sauce (SCD Friendly)

I make pizza every week for my family.  My kids love it – especially my son who’s never had “real” pizza, so it’s such a treat for him.  I make an allergy friendly crust (that I will be sharing with you on Friday) which he loves.  For a long time I purchased a popular canned organic pizza sauce, but then one day it dawned on me that I could make the sauce, and another added bonus, I can have an SCD pizza sauce on hand.  It’s so easy to double this batch and freeze for the following week.  Many store bought brands add sugars or thickeners (boo).  You can control every ingreidnet in homemade (yay).  And making your own pizza sauce is yet another way to decrease waste in your kitchen, thus one more step toward a greener kitchen (double yay).  There are only a few ingredients (and summer garden ingredients too).  So give it a try and have fun adding your own twist and flavors.    

-1 pound of small slicer tomatoes, chopped 
-1 medium yellow onion, chopped 
-1 ounce fresh basil (about 1 1/2 cups)
-1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
-1 1/2 teaspoons garlic granules
-1/2 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
-1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
-1 tablespoon oil
-1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon honey (optional) 

How To:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1.  In a large roasting dish, combine above ingredients (except honey) and toss to incorporate.
2.  Roast veggies for 25 minutes. 
3.  Remove from oven and cool.
4.  Blend in food processor or blender of choice, add in honey at this time if desired.  I add in about 1/4 teaspoon, just to offset the acidic tomatoes – add more if using very acidic tomatoes. 

*Using the right tomatoes is important, as some tomatoes have much more juice.  The key to a successful pizza sauce is minimal liquid.  So, I add just a bit of oil for roasting, use meaty tomatoes, and squeeze out any juice (I like smaller slicers or big meaty heirlooms).  Romas are very watery, but if this is all you have, try and squeeze out all the liquid before roasting.  
(free of: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, yeast, nuts, and sugar) 

Shared on:  Melt in your Mouth MondaysKeep It Simple Mondays, Monday Mania, Mealtime Monday My Meatless MondayJust Another Meatless MondayMade from Scratch MondayFat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysRecipe Box Tuesday 

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Labels: sauces, SCD, spreads.


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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Homemade Cashew Butter + Cashew Honey Spread

I’ve been straight obsessed with cashews lately.  I can’t get enough. I’ve been using them in everything.  What a fabulous little nut, wouldn’t you agree (ahem, unless you’re allergic that is).  What prompted me to make my own cashew butter is the pricey jarred cashew butter I use to make Danielle’s awesome bread (as seen in the pictures).  I can get it pretty darn close, but I think you need a magic machine to yield the creaminess you’ll find with Artisana.  But it does the job and I love it.  I wanted to share with you how easy it is to make it yourself.  I make this in a high speed blender (Vitamix).  Cashew butter is delightfully creamy and mixed with honey it’s quite divine.  I hope you’ll give it a try.
Homemade Cashew Butter + Cashew Honey Spread (SCD Friendly)
  • 2 cups room temperature raw organic cashews *
  • ½ teaspoon oil (or as needed)
  1. Add the cashews to blender and start on low, allowing the cashews to turn into flour. Then turn it up a notch and use the tamper to keep things moving.
  2. You will feel like the motor is going to burn out, but you're okay (and it's loud). Keep it moving.
  3. I don't turn the blender on high during this process (you know, that left switch) - I just keep it turned up to about 10.
  4. After it looks really well incorporated and starts getting creamy, add in the little bit of oil and continue blending. The oil just helps move things along in the final process. Add more as needed.
  5. The cashew butter will be very warm the longer you blend. YOu might want to take a break if things are getting too hot. Use a silicone spatchula to scoop everything out. Don't worry about the little bit remaining between the blades, just make a smoothie and it will clean it right out.
  6. You can store the cashew butter in an air tight container in the cupboard.
Cashew Honey Spread
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  1. Mix until incorporated

Shared on: Melt in your Mouth MondaysKeep It Simple Mondays, Monday Mania, Mealtime Monday My Meatless MondayJust Another Meatless MondayFat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysAllergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free WednesdaysReal Food Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Raw Foods Thursdays, 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: kids, raw, SCD, spreads.


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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chewy Granola Bars (grain free, dairy free, cane-sugar free, SCD friendly)

We are a granola bar loving family.  My husband takes one to work everyday with his lunch and the kids love them for an afternoon snack.  However, it’s hard to find granola bars with (1) no cane-sugar, (2) no grains, and (3) SCD friendly.  So I made some.  And they are super delicious.  They are everything I like in a granola bar: chewy, not too sweet, and easy to digest.  These granola bars are great for SCDers, not only because they are legal, but because all the main nuts and seeds have been soaked and dehydrated for optimal digestion.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

-2.5 ounces seeded Medjool dates (6 dates) soaked for at least 3 hours (I soak mine for 5)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon honey 
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cashew butter (I love this brand)
-2 tablespoons coconut oil

-1/4 teaspoon salt

How to soak and dehydrate nuts/seeds for better digestion 
-1 cup almonds
-1 cup walnuts
-1/2 cup sunflower seeds
-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
-1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots, must be finely chopped 
-1/2 cup dried cranberries (sugar free, unsulfered)

How To:
Preheat oven to 350
1.  Add almonds and pumpkin seeds to food processor.  Pulse until they are broken down, especially the almonds.  Mix around with a spoon so the larger pieces are exposed to the blades.  
2.  Next add the walnuts and sunflower seeds and pulse until incorporated and they are slightly chopped (this only takes a few pulses).  These granola bars will only hold together if the nuts and seeds have been chopped enough.  Transfer nuts and seeds to a large bowl and add the chopped dried apricots and dried cranberries.    
3.  Clean out food processor.  Add all the wet ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
4.  Add the wet ingredients to the nut/seed/fruit mixture and mix WELL. 
5.  Spoon onto a silicone baking mat and bake on a baking sheet.  I have only made this on a silicone baking mat, so I’m not sure how it will cook on any other surface.  Watch for burning if on a baking sheet or parchment paper.  
6.  Form a large rectangle.  I literally smack this together with a silicone spatula – this also pushes the ingredients together.  You’ll need just over 1/2 inch in height.   
7.  Bake for 18 minutes.  Watch for browning.  Every oven is different.  Check at 15 minutes.  You just want a slight browning of the edges.
8.  Remove the mat from baking sheet and transfer the mat to a cooling rack.  Cool completely before cutting.  
Makes 18 – 20 bars

It helps if you wet or oil the spatula while pounding into place 

Crumbled up, these bars make a great cereal!

Serve with homemade milks
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, gluten free, grain free, SCD, snacks.


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Friday, July 6, 2012

Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream With "Caramel" Sauce (dairy free, cane-sugar free, SCD friendly)

One thing I haven’t had in years is caramel.  As a child I just loved warm caramel drizzled over ice cream (ahhh).  I’ve been experimenting with a few different “caramel” sauces, and I think this one is my favorite.  Does it taste just like caramel, no.  Does it taste delicious, yes.  Is it a fun topping on ice cream, yes and yes.  One ingredient that gives it a nice creamy texture is cashew butter.  I always have some of this brand on hand (as I use it to make Danielle’s awesome bread).  It’s an expensive brand, but it has a creamy texture I’ve yet to replicate.  It’s sweet and delicious and makes the most amazing cashew icings.  

SCD Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 
-2 cans coconut milk, this brand is SCD friendly
-4 ounces of seeded Medjool dates (7 dates)
-1/3 cup honey (vegans use grade B maple syrup) 
-1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
-Filling from 1 vanilla bean 

How To:
1.  Soak dates with 1 can of the coconut milk for at least 3 hours
2.  Blend above ingredients until well incorporated
3.  Transfer to ice cream maker and churn until thick
4.  Transfer to glass storage and store in freezer for at least 4 hours
5.  Remove 10-15 minutes before serving (depending on the season- summer 10 minutes, cooler weather, give it up to 15)

“Caramel” Sauce 
-4 ounces of seeded Medjool dates (around 6 or 7) soaked for at least 3 hours
-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil 
-2 tablespoons honey (vegans use grade B maple syrup) 
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons cashew butter (optional, but worth it)

How To:
1.  In food processor, blend above ingredients until well incorporated and creamy
2.  Serve immediately on ice cream
3.  Store in fridge and bring to room temp, or warm slightly, before serving 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, dessert, ice cream, SCD, summer treats.


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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cherry Banana Ginger Smoothie (SCD Friendly)

There is nothing like the sweet taste of cherries.  Such a quintessential summer fruit (next to my beloved strawberries of course).  I made this lovely smoothie one morning and it was quite satisfying.  The cherries pair well with the creamy bananas and of course I always throw in some ginger.  Ginger is a big part of my healing regimen.  It’s a wonderful natural anti-inflammatory.  
-1 cup nut milk, I used homemade walnut milk
-1 cup frozen bananas (see notes on how to freeze your own)
-1 cup seeded fresh cherries 
-0.2 or 0.3 ounces of ginger (I like my smoothie with some bite, so I go with around .3 to .4 ounces)

How To:
1.  Blend above ingredients, serve immediately.  If you like a super cold and slushy smoothie, add ice.  This is a nice thick, smooth, cool drink (this is how I prefer my smoothies – not overly slushy).  

*Go green and make your own frozen bananas, slice up 4 or 5 ripe bananas (preferably ripe with freckles).  Place on a non stick surface and freeze for 4-6 hours. Transfer banana slices to glass container and store in freezer.  Use as needed.  
More Smoothies from The Tasty Alternative

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Labels: raw, SCD, smoothie, summer treats.


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Strawberry Cherry Pie with Cashew Cream Topping (gluten free, grain free, dairy free, cane-sugar free, SCD friendly)

This pie is fantastic.  I do believe cherry pie is the greatest thing EVER.  I made this for my sweetie pie (my husband) for our 10 year anniversary.  He LOVED it and I’m so excited to share it with you (and psst, it’s SCD friendly) hooray!  As you might know, us folks on the SCD don’t have a lot of options in the thickening department.  Gelatin (while not my first choice otherwise) is great at thickening desserts.  But fruit does contain natural pectin, so this may thicken up a bit without the gelatin, but won’t hold its shape.  For vegans not following SCD, I’ve provided options below.  

Pie Filling Ingredients:
-1 pound seeded black cherries
-1 pound strawberries
-1/4 cup honey (vegans use 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup)
3 dates, seeded and chopped
-1/4 cup orange juice
-1/3 cup cool water
-1 packet of gelatin which is 1 tablespoon (vegans use guar gum)*

How To:
1.  Wash and trim strawberries.  Wash and seed cherries (see below for how I seed cherries).
2.  To a medium sauce pan, add strawberries, cherries, honey, chopped dates, and orange juice.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for about 10 minutes.  
3.  Remove pot from heat.  In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup cool water with 1 packet of gelatin.  Pour gelatin into hot berry mixture.  Stir to incorporate.  You will see it start to thicken up a bit.  
4.  Pour hot berry mixture into baked pie crust (you will have some leftover, so don’t overfill crust.  This leftover mixture makes a tasty jello, so place in a small glass container and store in fridge, when firm, top with cashew cream for a yummy snack).
5.  Allow pie mixture to cool at room temperature.  When cool, place in fridge and allow to set up for at least 4 hours.
6.  Top with cashew cream and serve.

-I used this cookie recipe for the crust (omit cacao for SCD and add 2 tablespoons coconut flour)
-It helps to oil the entire glass pie dish, line the bottom with wax or parchment paper, then push in the dough.  Poke some holes in the bottom of the crust before baking. Bake 375 for 12 minutes.  See notes for additional crust recipes. 

Cashew Cream Topping:
-2 cups cashews soaked for 4-6 hours
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla 
-1/3 cup honey (vegans use agave or maple syrup) 
-3/4 cup liquid + more to blend up properly (you can use date sweetened water, nut milk or just plain water for the liquid).  
-2 tablespoons vegetable glycerine  (optional) 
-1 teaspoon lemon flavor (optional)

How To:
1.  In high speed blender, blend above ingredients.  Add the initial 3/4 cup liquid and blend.  Add more liquid until a soft, creamy texture is acheived.  
2.  Transfer into glass storage and place in fridge for at least 4 hours (this mixture will thicken in the fridge)
3.  Top pie

*As a general rule, if a recipe calls for 1 packet of gelatin, vegans can substitute 3/4 teaspoon of guar gum.  This resource says to replace gelatin with guar gum at a ratio of 1 part guar gum for every 5 parts gelatin (e.g., 1/2 teaspoon guar gum will replace 2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin). 
*Additional SCD crust recipes: (1) Honey Gram Cracker Crust, (2) Dan’s Awesome Pie Crust, (3) Vegan Raw Pie Crust, (4) Deep Dish Pie Crust

I use one of my stainless steel straws to seed the cherries – they pop right out!
Serve with coconut vanilla bean ice cream (SCD friendly) 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, dessert, gluten free, grain free, SCD, summer treats.


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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Steamed Baby Broccoli with Lemon and Sautéed Garlic (SCD Friendly)

We eat broccoli a couple times each week.  I prefer baby broccoli because it’s soft, buttery and just plain delicious (and it has very sweet flavor all on its own).  We all enjoy our little green trees, but lately I’ve been bored with the same old steamed dish (what’s new), so I jazzed it up with a sprinkle of Celtic sea salt, fresh lemon and my favorite, sautéed garlic.  I thought this made a lovely presentation.  And what a perfect side for lasagna night!  

-2 bunches of baby broccoli
-One lemon
-1/2 cup fresh garlic cloves 
-Garlic granules 
-Celtic sea salt (or whatever salt you have on hand) 

How To:
1.  Wash and trim broccoli and steam in filtered water until just slightly tender (or however you like your steamed broccoli).  
2.  While the broccoli is steaming, saute the garlic.  To a small pan add a touch of oil, pinch of salt, and dash of garlic granules (how’s that for a recipe).  Saute on med/low heat, taking care to not burn the cloves.  You’ll know they are done when they are no longer spicy.  They will be soft, slightly brown, sweet and delicious.
3.  To finish, squeeze some lemon over broccoli, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and garnish with lemon and that lovely garlic.  

Posted by Amber at

Labels: SCD, sides, vegan, vegetarian.


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