Category Archives: SCD

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!! 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: ACD, dairy free, gluten free, sauces, SCD, vegan, vegetarian.


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Monday, February 13, 2012

Raw Carrot Cake Cookies

I wish I could take credit for these delicious, healthy cookies but I cannot.  A while back I found these at my local Natural Foods Coop.  I was looking for something to snack on, and these looked perfect.  Can I tell you – they were AMAZING!!  They are super healthy, grain free, nut free, sugar free, and raw. See HERE for my homemade lemon cookies.
Needless to say, I ate um’ all up in like 2 minutes…and of course wanted more, but at nearly $6.00 for a bag…no can do.  So I kept the little bag, made note of the ingredients (only 5), and then started making my own.  It took a while to find the right ratios, but I did it!  And my homemade creation taste just like the store bought variety.  So much more cost effective to make them.  My kids eat these up like gangbusters.  I made my family a batch with Valentine’s Day in mind and wanted to share them with you.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful Valentine’s filled with love and laughter!
-6.5 ounces of carrots, peeled then grated (3 medium)
-14 soft dates, pitted and soaked in filtered water for an hour
-4.5 ounces unsweetened shredded coconut
-1 cup sesame seeds
-1 teaspoon nutmeg
*(I didn’t make these “hot and spicy” but you totally could – for the hot and spicy factor, add in some ginger and/or a pinch of cayenne)
How To
1.  In food processor fitted with the s-blade, add grated carrots and dates.  Blend well.
2.  In another bowl, add coconut, sesame seeds, and nutmeg.  Mix well.
3.  Add carrot and date mixture to coconut, sesame seeds, and nutmeg and with clean hands, mix well.
4.  Spread out “dough” on a non stick surface, I use this (spray the mat with a little oil before you spread out the dough) and then make your desired cutouts.
5.  The dough is a little tricky to work with, but you’ll get it.  My advice is to use a metal spatchula – slide on the cookie and then slide off (the slide action works well).  It took me a while to find my groove.  You can make any shape; I also made cute little carrot cake balls (see below)!
6.  Okay so, place the cutouts in your dehydrator (on a mesh fitting) and dehydrate at 105 degrees for 24 – 30 hours.  Crank it up to 135 degrees for the last hour. I know this sounds like a long time, but this low temperature really preserves all the beneficial nutrition.  I have no idea how these would work in the oven, but please let me know if you try.
*These cookies don’t get crispy hard like the store bought.  They are slightly chewy and soft.  However, you may be able to get that crisp cookies texture if you dehydrate longer.
*I put my dehydrator in the laundry room and just forget about it.  I make a batch at night and they are ready the following night.
*If making the cute little carrot cake bites, dehydrate 105 degrees for 12-15 hours.
Posted by Amber at

Labels: cookies, nut free, Paleo, raw, SCD, snacks, vegan.


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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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Friday, January 20, 2012

Homemade Almond Milk

Homemade almond milk is fabulous.  It’s the #1 milk substitute in our home.  I started making almond milk years ago.  When I started I didn’t have a fancy high-speed blender;  I just used my Ninja (which I purchased on sale and with a coupon – so it was super cheep and perfect for me at the time).  Don’t shy away from making homemade nut milks because you don’t have a highspeed blender.  You can still do it my friends!  And making your own nut milk is a great way to decrease your waste in the kitchen, a mission I take very seriously everyday.

I’m writing this post today because I make almond milk a little different.  From what I’ve read in cyberspace, a typical recipe calls for 1 cup almonds to 3 or 4 cups water.  Well, I use a lot more water.  I find the milk is still rich and delicious.  I purchase raw, organic almonds in bulk, and they can be expensive (although they are often on sale at my Coop) so I like to stretch my dollar a little further by adding more water.  So today I wanted to share my recipe with you and my almond milk making process.

1 cup raw, organic almonds
7 cups filtered water 
1 teaspoon vanilla  

How To
1.  Soak almonds in filtered water for 10-20 hours, or just over night.  I prefer soaking them on the longer end (and I change the water once).  While making breakfast for the kids in the morning I get a bowl of almonds soaking, change the water before bed that same day, and then make the milk the next morning during breakfast.  I find it easier to make the milk while I’m already in the kitchen doing something – I have a momentum going and it works for me.

2.  When the almonds have been properly soaked, drain and rinse with filtered water

3.  To your blender add almonds, 7 cups water, and vanilla

4.  Blend on high for 60 seconds (I currently use a Vitamix) 

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, 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 4 days

*If using a “regular” blender, 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 & taste with 5 cups.

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

Posted by Amber at

Labels: ACD, dairy free, drinks, SCD.


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Monday, January 9, 2012

10 Minute Creamy Dairy-Free Mushroom Soup (SCD Friendly Recipe)

I grew up on mushroom soup.  Loved it.  But as an adult I haven’t given much thought to this popular childhood staple and funny thing I’ve never attempted to make an allergy friendly version for my kids?  Not sure why.  So I’m pretty excited about what I whipped up today.  I had a bunch of mushrooms in the fridge on the verge of going bad (like, I’m going to forget about these puppies and I will be sad when they are old and stinky).  Also in the fridge sat some left over cashew milk (used for a previous dinner).  Same scenario (cashew milk was on the clock).  So I said to myself: Could this work?  Could I actually make a decent batch of mushroom soup (dairy free even)?  By golly I did.  So excited about it.  And it took a whopping 10 minutes.  Hello.  No doubt there are many variations of dairy-free mushroom soup out there.  I used what I had on hand.  Sometimes things just work out.  
Good times.   
1/2 yellow onion, small chop
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-5 cups chopped crimini mushrooms (or preferred mushrooms)  
2 cups cashew milk* (see below notes for water-cashew ratioI make a thicker milk for baking and “creamed” dishes)
1 cup homemade stock (of choice: chicken, mushroom, veggie, etc.) 
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic granules
Pepper for garnish or to taste 
Preferred oil 

How To
1. Add some oil to pot (I use a dutch oven); add onions, salt and saute until translucent
2.  Add mushrooms and saute until soft
3.  Add garlic granules, stir
4.  Add cashew milk and broth
5.  Bring to a simmer
6.  Simmer until mixture starts to thicken: about 5 minutes 
7.  Remove from heat and blend with immersion blender (or any blending method of your choice) 
8. Soup will thicken up even more as it cools

* 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: dairy free, SCD, soups.


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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
Posted by Amber at

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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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cranberry Almond Honey Cookies

These cookies are a big deal for me because they are my first Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) cookie.  And they are good…and they didn’t fall apart!  I will be starting the SCD here shortly and until then I will be creating recipes for myself to eat during this adventure.  My plan is to try the diet for 1 month.  The SCD has shown to help folks like me who suffer from Crohn’s Disease (and other forms of IBD, Celiac & Autism).  I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2004 and medication free up until a couple months ago.  It’s hard for me to believe I just learned about the SCD like 2 months ago!!  Geez, where have I been?  Shirley over at gfe has been such a wonderful, loving support.  Thank you Shirley!  I’m sure I will be calling upon her for support and a pick-me-up here and there after I start this new food routine.  I’m currently reading this book and I will be sharing what I’ve learned, and my new recipes here very soon.

Shirley recently sent me some excellent blog resources dedicated to the SCD:
And a few I’ve found by luck:
 1.  Roost
Cranberry Almond Honey Cookies
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, soaked in filtered water for about 2 hours (find unsweetened, or sweetened with only fruit juice, and always free of sulfur dioxide).
  • 2 cups raw organic almonds (preferably soaked and dehydrated for optimal digestion)
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In food processor (fitted with S-blade) grind almonds until they release a bit of oil.  Add coconut flour and blend into a light, fluffy flour.  Add salt and baking soda.  Blend.
  3. Strain cranberries and add to food processor and pulse, pulse, pulse, until the flour is incorporated with berries and forms a ball of dough.
  4. In separate bowl mix together melted oil, honey, and vanilla.
  5. With hands mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients.  To create cookie I recommend making a ball first, then with wet palms, press into little cookies.
  6. Bake 12-13 minutes.  Take care to not overcook
Posted by Amber at

Labels: cookies, dessert, egg free, Paleo, SCD, vegan.


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Friday, November 11, 2011

20-Minute Cane-Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

20-Minute Cane-Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce
(my kids ate this up like candy!)

-16 ounces fresh cranberries (about 5 cups) 
-1 1/2 cups filtered water (or 1 cup water and 1/2 cup orange juice)
-1/2 cup (3 ounces) Medjool dates, seeded and diced
-3/4 cup sweet red apple, peeled and very small chop
-One large, juicy orange 
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon  
-1/4 cup honey (vegans use maple syrup, coconut nectar or coconut sugar and adjust to your sweet preference) 
-1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia (SCDers use additional 3 tablespoons honey)
How To: 
1.  In medium sauce pan bring cranberries and water (or water/juice) to a boil, stir and turn down to a rapid simmer (for about 5 minutes)
2.  Add apple, dates, honey, and stir to incorporate, and gentle simmer for about 10 minutes 
3.  Add juice of 1 orange, stevia, and cinnamon, and very gently simmer for an additional 5 minutes
4.  Turn off heat and let cool on the stove top in the pan, uncovered  
5.  When cool, transfer to fridge until ready to serve
Posted by Amber at

Labels: SCD, sides, thanksgiving side dishes.


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