Pizza Frittata

The Bachelor is one of my guiltiest pleasures. I literally cringe every time I admit to watching it, but I can’t help being sucked in. My mom and sister watch it, too, and for a long time we would have weekly phone conversations about what was happening in the show, dissecting every interaction and making predictions about what would happen. My parents recently moved to the desert also, though, so now we get to watch The Bachelor together, in real time!

Last Monday night, I had my parents over so we could watch the show, and I made this cauliflower crust pizza for us to eat as we watched. It turned out even better than I expected. I mean, I could actually pick up my pizza. It has been a long time since I’ve had pizza that was both good for me and pick-up-able. Chris is picky about his pizza, so I got him a flatbread instead for his crust, but he thought the cauliflower pizza was as good as his flatbread pizza. You better believe I’m going to make this again, and make extra to freeze for the next time we need a really quick meal.

After Monday’s meal, I had a bunch of leftover ingredients that were already cut up, but I was out of cauliflower. I experimented a little and came up with an insanely easy dinner that used up all my leftovers. More than a recipe to follow step-by-step, this is an idea you can use on those “OMG I am so exhausted and we have nothing in the fridge” days. You can easily adapt it to what you like and what you have on hand, or to keep scraps of this and that in the fridge from going to waste. This can be a quick one-dish meal, or it would be great alongside a green salad or veggies. It’s even fast enough that you could make it in the morning, and feel good about eating pizza for breakfast!

Here are my ingredients. You can see this is not an exact science, people. Literally just a bunch of random leftovers.P1000986

Saute the sausage and veggies.P1000987

Going into the oven, and coming out.

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And the finished melty, saucy product. Like a deep-dish pizza with egg instead of a crust.P1000990P1000993

Pizza Frittata Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons cashew milk, or other “milk” of choice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
  • roughly 3 cups chopped veggies of choice (I used green bell pepper, purple onion, and cremini mushrooms)
  • 1/3 cup pre-cooked sausage*
  • 7 pepperoni slices*
  • 1/4 cup prepared pizza sauce*
  • handful of shredded cheese (I used a blend of mozzarella, parmesan, and fontina)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Pizza Frittata Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron, or other oven-safe, skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add chopped veggies and sausage to hot oil and saute about 3-5 minutes, until veggies are soft
  • Meanwhile, beat together eggs, milk, and nutritional yeast. Season mixture with salt and pepper, just as if you were making scrambled eggs.
  • Transfer the hot, cooked veggies to the egg mixture and whisk together. Then add the other 1 tablespoon olive oil to the hot pan and swirl to coat.
  • Pour the egg and veggie mixture back into the prepared pan and top with slices of pepperoni. Transfer to the oven for 15 minutes, until the eggs are set.
  • Remove the frittata from the oven and spread the prepared pizza sauce evenly over the eggs. Top with shredded cheese. Return to oven until the cheese is melted, about 3-4 minutes. Slice and serve!

*Check ingredients to make sure these are SCD compliant. You might have to shop around for brands that comply, but they are out there! I use Aidell’s chicken and apple sausage from Costco (it does list a rather vague “spices” on the ingredients, but I say it’s close enough). I can find nitrate-free, uncured pepperoni and pizza sauce that list only SCD-compliant ingredients at Sprout’s, and I feel comfortable using these, but of course if you feel otherwise you can omit, use homemade pizza sauce, or simply add fresh tomato with spices from your own pantry and olive oil to the top instead.

Baked Butternut Squash Pancake with Orange Blackberry Bourbon Compote

On New Year’s Day, I wanted to make a special breakfast for my honey but I wanted it to be good for me, too, after all the holiday indulgences. I hadn’t planned anything ahead of time so I had to scrounge in the fridge, and I saw that we had a bunch of leftover butternut squash from a risotto Chris had made for a dinner party. A quick Google search led me to this recipe, which I revised a little to make it SCD legal and, um, possible.

You see, I have a problem making paleo pancakes. No matter how many times I try, I can’t get it right. I try high heat, low heat, medium heat, cast iron, non-stick ceramic, lots of oil, a little oil, and I inevitably end up with an infuriating glop of pancake mush or burned little pucks. Even when the people who write the recipes swear that this is the best/easiest/simplest paleo pancake ever. I tried frying this batter and the first attempt had to be rinsed down the drain, so I improvised and decided to bake the rest of the batter instead. And, guess what!? It turned out to be delicious! It was also easier and less messy than frying individual pancakes, making this a perfect addition to a low-key weekend breakfast.

Here is what the pancake looks like coming out of the oven. You can kind of see how the edges are pulling away from the pan.

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And voila. Breakfast. I ate mine without maple syrup and it was still sweet and moist.

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Baked Butternut Squash Pancake Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • heaping 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Orange Blackberry Bourbon Compote Ingredients

  • 1 small carton blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (or feel free to replace with juice)

Baked Butternut Squash Pancake with Orange Blackberry Bourbon Compote Method

  • Place a cast iron pan on a middle rack in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Meanwhile, combine all compote ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let cook for 30-45 minutes, until the fruit is broken down and the liquid somewhat reduced. Remove from heat to let thicken.
  • Place all pancake ingredients, except butter, in a food processor and blend until very smooth.
  • Once the oven is preheated, add the butter to the preheated pan and swirl to coat. Pour pancake batter into the pan. Bake 18-20 minutes, until the top is set and golden and the sides of the pancake are pulling away from the pan. Slice and serve with a generous spoonful of compote, and maple syrup (ok for paleo, not for SCD!).

Apple Spice Probiotic Smoothie

I haven’t blogged in a while primarily because I recently got both of Danielle Walker’s fabulous cookbooks and I’ve been cooking everything in them. I’ve been eating lots of good food, but none of it has really been original. If you are paleo or SCD, I can’t recommend her cookbooks enough. Her recipes have never failed us!

However, all of our feasting came to an abrupt halt when my GI doctor put me on a round of hefty antibiotics because he was worried I was forming a new abscess. While he was encouraged by my progress over all, ramping up medication always feels like a bit of a failure on my part. It’s easy for me to start thinking, “did this happen because I let myself get too stressed,” or, “if I hadn’t eaten out that one time a couple weeks ago, would I be feeling better today?” I’ve been learning about meditation and mindfulness, because it is one of the things that people with chronic illness report as being most helpful to them, and I’ve been reading about just how self-destructive these kinds of thoughts are. It is better to react to setbacks with self-compassion and equanimity since we can never know for sure if there was anything we could have done to alter the outcome, and allowing negative and stressful thoughts to control us only further exacerbates both physical symptoms and mental suffering. So I’ve been working on that during this round of treatment.

Anyway, the antibiotics make me so nauseous I can’t even stand to look at most food–much less cook it and eat it. Plus, my GI doc stressed the importance of probiotics while I was on the antibiotics, so I started drinking most of my meals instead. I’ve been making all kinds of smoothies, often times with some hidden veggies or a raw pasteurized egg blended in so it makes a better meal replacement, but the following recipe is my absolute favorite–light and easy on the tummy, and it even helps those of us who are still dealing with summer weather get into the fall spirit. It tastes way better than a pumpkin spice latte when the AC is still running!

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Apple Spice Probiotic Smoothie Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup SCD legal yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
  • about 8 ice cubes
  • 1 cup frozen banana chunks
  • 1 tablespoon plain almond butter (optional; it makes the smoothie richer and adds some good fats and a little protein)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Apple Spice Probiotic Smoothie Ingredients

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend! If it’s too thin, add a few more chunks of banana or ice cubes. If it’s too thick, add apple juice until it blends easily. This makes one large meal-sized serving, or two generous snack-sized portions.

 

One Dish Italian Baked Eggs

Chris and I are in the middle of having pretty much our whole house painted and recarpeted. We are very excited to finally be able to make this happen, because our house (which had previously been through 2 foreclosures) needed some serious TLC.

This means that we have been banished from most of the house, though. While we can get into the kitchen, there are little piles of things sitting everywhere. There are pictures from the entryway walls on the island, painters’ toolboxes on the breakfast table chairs, and couches cuddling the dining room table. Since we’ve had to have the doors and windows open to air out paint fumes, our kitchen has also become a fly’s paradise. As you can imagine, this has put a serious damper on our culinary adventures. Still, a girl’s gotta eat!

It would be so easy to pick up sandwiches or pho (and, who am I kidding, it might still reach that point before this is all over), but so far we have successfully been holding on to our diet by scaling back to bare basics. This is one of the dishes that has been getting us through this week. It is super easy to make and clean up, and Chris was a little upset that there wasn’t enough for seconds, which means it is tasty. This is also one of the few ways I can tolerate cooked spinach, which I typically hate, but my GI doc really stressed the importance of cooked leafy greens now that salads are (hopefully temporarily) out of my life. Everyone knows spinach is healthy, but it has special benefits for IBD patients because it is high in iron and folate–both of which are common deficiencies with IBD–and it also is a good source of calcium, which is important because many people with IBD cannot digest dairy. Spinach also contains glycoglycerolipids, which are protective against the damage from inflammation in the digestive tract and cancer.

So, ok, fine, I’ll eat spinach as long as it is mixed in with lots of mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and sausage. This is easy and quick enough to make for a super healthy weekend breakfast, but it’s hearty enough to be good for dinner as well.

Good ratio of yummy veggies to yucky spinach.p1000564

Chicken sausage, onions, and garlic cooking over high heat.p1000565

Then add in your mushrooms and tomatoes.p1000567

Then your spinach. p1000569

Make wells and crack eggs into the pan. Pop in the oven.p1000570

Voila. Our egg yolks are cooked pretty solid because we take leftovers for lunch (and half-cooked eggs don’t keep so well) but feel free to cook a little less time if your like your yolks runny.p1000571

Mmm mmm mmm. I can even forgive the spinach!p1000573

One Dish Italian Baked Eggs Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut into large dice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 ounces whole mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 links chicken or pork sausage (with only SCD legal ingredients; or, substitute 1/2 pound plain ground meat of your choice and add in extra basil, oregano, fennel, salt, and pepper)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or equivalent of basil, oregano, and fennel)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chives or other fresh herbs (optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Melt butter in oven-safe pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken sausage and stir for about one minute.
  • Add onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Add in mushrooms and tomatoes. Continue sauteing until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are very soft and have released most of their liquid.
  • Add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir. Taste and adjust seasoning. It is ok if it tastes just slightly overseasoned right now because you still have to add in the spinach and eggs.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in baby spinach to wilt. Make a well in the pan for each egg and gently crack into the pan.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, or until egg yolks are done to your liking. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve!

Leek and Bacon Breakfast Pie

This is another adaptation of one of Against All Grain’s absolutely amazing inventions. I’ve made this a few times and each time made a couple of tiny revisions, not because the original isn’t fabulous, but just to work better with the equipment and ingredients I usually have on hand. I think we’ve finally nailed it. This is a savory, rich treat that I would be proud to serve to at any brunch, or that we will happily gobble up as breakfast for dinner after a rough day. Feel free to play with this recipe–use sausage instead of bacon, add more veggies to the topping, or change up the herbs in the crust.

One thing to note is that this dish is rich in fat and calories. Usually this is not too much of a concern for IBD patients, who tend to be underweight anyway. While I am not underweight, personally, I have lost a lot of weight since being diagnosed with Crohn’s. Some of this might be the effect of the disease, but I also think that my body is better able to appropriately digest and utilize fats and proteins than complex carbohydrates. My husband and I both lost quite a bit of weight while on the Paleo diet, which is also a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet not so different from SCD. I think there is more and more evidence supporting the idea that complex carbs, too much sugar, and highly processed foods are behind weight problems, and that dietary fat (especially from good plant-based sources) is not what makes us fat. More on this later.

In the meantime, make this breakfast pie immediately. Chris kept talking about Heaven the whole time he was eating this, and I take that as a pretty good sign.

Mix up your filling first.P1000518

Then prepare your crust. Throw all crust ingredients into the food processor.P1000520

This is what it will look like when the dough is ready.

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Press it into a cake pan. Pop it into the oven.P1000522

Now get o work on your toppings. Saute bacon until about halfway cooked and then add shredded leeks. Your house will now smell like heaven. Try not to eat all the bacon and leeks now. You will need them for your pie!P1000523

Your crust should be ready for fillings now. Layer in the cheese and then the bacon and leeks. Pop it in the oven again until the cheese is all melty and delicious.P1000524P1000525

Crack eggs on top. Pop in the oven one last time.P1000526

Devour!P1000527

Leek and Bacon Breakfast Pie Ingredients (serves 4-5 as main dish; more as side)

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons cold goat or cow milk butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cold water or bone broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg

Filling Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain strained yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cheese (I used a mixture of fontina and swiss because that’s what I had on hand), shredded
  • 1 leek, cleaned, trimmed of dark green leaves, and shredded
  • 7 slices bacon, diced (to be completely SCD legal, make sure it doesn’t have any sugar or other ingredients in it!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 6 eggs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add all crust ingredients to food processor with dough blade and process until a ball forms. Press into a 9-inch cake pan (the dough might not reach all the way up the sides, and this is ok).
  • Place the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Mix yogurt, shredded cheese, salt and pepper, and nutmeg together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Brown bacon in a pan until halfway cooked; add leeks and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until bacon is cooked but not yet crispy and leeks are softened.
  • Remove crust from oven. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the cheese mixture first, then layer the bacon and leeks on top. Return the pie to the oven for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and crack eggs on top. Bake for 15 more minutes, or until the egg yolks are cooked to your liking, and let set for 5 minutes before serving. We like to eat this with a few slivers of fresh avocado. It would also be lovely with fruit and a simple green salad with vinaigrette or roasted tomatoes.

Spiced Pear Breakfast Nut Crumble

My mom was recently telling me about how my grandma can’t eat raw fruit anymore, and how much she misses it. Since I’m in the same boat, I started thinking about how to work in cooked fruit. I came up with this easy baked pear dish that is perfect for breakfast served with yogurt or even as a light dessert.

Start with the nuts!Image

Then bake them.P1000540

While that’s baking, prepare the fruit. Here’s what you’ll need.P1000541

And here’s what it will look like ready to go into the oven.P1000542

And coming out of the oven…P1000543

Breakfast of champions!P1000545

Sea Salt Nut Crunchies Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw nuts (I used half hazelnuts, half almonds, but any combination you like is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Spiced Pear Filling Ingredients

  • 4 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into bite size pieces
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or equivalent of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

Method

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Add all ingredients for the sea salt nut crunchies to a food processor with the blade attached. Process until they are broken down a bit but not yet turned into a nut meal.
  • Spread mixture on a parchment paper or silicone mat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until they are fragrant but not browned. Resist the urge to eat all the warm nuts, but go ahead and eat a few because they are reaalllyyyyy good.
  • While nuts are baking, combine all ingredients except for butter in a small casserole dish. Resist the urge to gobble up all your spiced pears raw. Place the pieces of butter on top.
  • Turn oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 30 minutes, until fruit is soft and liquid is bubbling. Top with nut mixture and serve plain or with yogurt.