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.

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Albondigas!

You know how on December 26th or so you start thinking that you never want to eat food or drink alcohol again, like ever?

I exercised a little more control than usual this year. It helped a lot that much of my family has adopted a paleo-ish style of eating. For example, for my sister’s college graduation dinner, which we also celebrated over the holidays, we had: lamb shanks braised in beef broth with fennel, carrots, and onions; julienned radishes cooked in butter; parsnip mash topped with the reduced braising juices and veggies; and kale with bacon, blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar, and pecans.

It was a delicious and special meal that still felt good to eat. But then we followed it with tiramisu and White Russians and, well, you get the idea.

On top of the holiday indulgences, I started getting infusions of a new treatment this week. I read that I should expect to feel very tired for a couple of days. I feel pretty good so far, but I already stocked the fridge with food for meals that Chris could prepare in case I couldn’t. First up was one of our all-time favorite meals, a super-flavorful, veggie-packed albondigas (meatball) soup.

This soup is very adaptable to different dietary restrictions. For example, if nightshades are a problem for you, simply omit the tomatoes. You can also substitute plain ground meat for the chorizo, if chorizo is too spicy or if you can’t find one with acceptable ingredients, or switch out the summer squash for a winter squash or sweet potatoes. We’ve made this soup dozens of times–usually without a recipe and with whatever we have on hand. But the recipe I’m sharing here is our fave.

Chris did the cooking, but I prepped for him. I got out all the pantry ingredients…

ingredients

And chopped up all the veggies. In the back left, I have the sliced squash. In the ugly orange bowl, I prepared all the veggies that will go into the meatballs. In the front left, you can see the mirepoix that will be cooked first. And in the last bowl, cilantro. You can do this ahead of time, too, to make dinner a breeze.

prepped

Here is the final product. Buen provecho!

yum

closeup

Albondigas Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground meat (I used white meat turkey, but any ground meat will do)
  • 1 pound bulk chorizo (beef or pork is fine; just read the list of ingredients to make sure it is legal)
  • 26-28 ounces strained tomatoes (I use the Pomi cartons because they are BPA-free)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and divided
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 summer squash, halved and sliced
  • 8 cups chicken or turkey broth (homemade is best, but this is a great substitute)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped and divided
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 limes
  • Coconut oil
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Hot sauce, optional

Albondigas Method

  • Thinly slice 2 and 1/2 of the carrots and 2/3 of the onion. Set the rest of the carrot and onion aside for the meatballs.
  • Heat 1 spoonful coconut oil over medium-high heat in a heavy stockpot. Add carrots, celery, and onion and saute for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle generously with cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add broth and tomatoes to stockpot and bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, make meatballs. Grate the leftover carrot and onion and combine in a bowl with half the finely chopped cilantro. Mix the vegetables with the ground meat and chorizo. Season lightly with salt and pepper (go very easy if you are using chorizo, since it is already seasoned). Roll into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
  • When the broth boils, carefully drop in the meatballs and gently stir so they don’t stick together.
  • Turn down the heat so it’s just barely boiling. Then let simmer for 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked.
  • Add sliced squash to the soup and cook about 8 more minutes, until the squash are soft. Taste and adjust seasoning of broth.
  • Serve in bowls topped with lime juice, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and hot sauce to taste.

Sonoran Shrimp Cocktail

My husband and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary!

We had agreed not to do gifts, and to spend money instead on a great night out or a little trip, but the husband happened to see a juicer while he was out shopping and, knowing how much I’ve been wanting one, he couldn’t resist getting it for me. To be fair I also broke my end of the deal, but I got him something much less extravagant.

Having a juicer has made my life so much easier. I can make almond milk without having to strain by hand. I have been making syrups with fresh ginger and citrus that I boil on the stove with honey and then mix in with sparkling water for a healthier alternative to soda–kind of like a homemade ginger ale. And most importantly, having a juicer helps me make sure I’m getting enough veggies because, while I can’t large amounts of most eat raw veggies–especially greens–I can juice a huge amount and drink them just fine! I replace a meal or two each week with veggie juice–like a big salad in a cup–and sometimes make green juice to use in my morning smoothies, which helps to cut down on (naturally-occurring) sugars and boost nutrient content.

Chris loves tomato juice and a couple of weeks ago he asked me to make him something like a homemade V8 for a weekend lunch. I’m usually not a fan, but I tasted it and was surprised by how much I liked it. As we were sipping on it, the same thought occurred to both of us: SHRIMP COCKTAIL. 

This is my second variation on the Sonoran shrimp cocktail. As I explain in the first post, this is one of my husband’s favorite, but most recipes call for lots of processed foods including Clamato juice, ketchup, and even orange soda. This version replaces all that with a homemade, fresh-pressed juice made from tons of veggies. Chris claims that he likes it even more than the traditional stuff, and whether you have special dietary restrictions or not, this version is definitely much healthier!

Sonoran shrimp cocktail is usually more of a summer food since it is served at room temperature or chilled, but maybe you need a break from all the heavy holiday food. Rumor has it shrimp cocktails are also a miracle cure for hangovers–not that anyone would need to worry about that during the holiday season, of course. I think this could even be served up in small glasses as an alternative to the classic shrimp cocktail appetizer. Also, I’ve listed approximate amounts of everything below, but you know, feel free to mix it up if you like your juice more or less spicy, for example.

I mean, this is just what goes into the juice. This dish should be able to revive the dead, not just the hungover.P1000896__1416170084_61672__1416170084_63047

These are the veggies that should get chopped up to be eaten instead of drunk.P1000904__1416170000_56295__1416170000_14550

Chopped veggies waiting for a delicious juice bath.P1000905__1416170243_66839__1416170243_87530

Looking at this picture makes me want to be on the beach. With one of these to munch on.P1000909__1416170275_58108__1416170275_27179

Sonoran Shrimp Cocktail Ingredients

Juice Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium sized tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), stemmed and seeded
  • 2 peeled oranges
  • 4-5 stalks celery, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach (I know, my measurements are super precise here)
  • 15-20 small chives (about the equivalent to 1/4 cup roughly chopped)
  • the stems from a bunch of cilantro
  • 1-2 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 beet, chopped in half
  • the juice of two limes
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos*
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce of choice (we like Cholula!)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

*I always thought coconut aminos were SCD legal. I’ve recently found out this is controversial in the SCD community, but most people report no ill effects of including them in their diet. If you feel uncomfortable adding coconut aminos, simply omit and add sea salt to taste as a replacement.

Other Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • the tops of a bunch of cilantro, finely diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled and diced

Sonoran Shrimp Cocktail Method

  • First prepare your juice. Wash all of your veggies really well. Juice all of the vegetables and fruits, except for the lime, listed in the juice ingredients according to your juicer’s instructions.
    • Pour the juice into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and let boil about 5 minutes, until it has reduced slightly. Remove from heat. NOTE: If you are going to eat all of your cocktail immediately, you can probably skip this step. However, for food safety reasons, any fresh pressed juices should be pasteurized or boiled if you do not expect to consume them in less than 24 hours.
    • Stir in the coconut aminos, hot sauce, fish sauce, and sea salt. Taste and adjust seasoning. Then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then grill over medium heat until pink and curled.
    • When the shrimp are cool enough to handle, remove tails and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set in refrigerator to chill.
  • Finally, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Combine the cucumbers, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro in a large bowl. NOTE: I use the food processor to chop these ingredients quickly, finely, and uniformly. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Add in the juice to the large bowl and stir to combine. Serve in bowls topped with shrimp and avocado, with extra lime and hot sauce on the side.

Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Orange Ginger Butternut Squash Puree

Last week I learned that you can spiralize butternut squash. I mean. This changes my life. Here is a video on that, completely unrelated to the rest of my post:

You can see that you end up with a lot of leftover squash that you can’t spiralize. So, I had the butts of two large butternut squash and some leftover cores that I needed to use. I’m a little tired of just plain old roasted veggies right now, so I decided to step it up a notch by making a puree. It was inspired by this recipe, which I’m sure is delicious as is, but I tweaked it so it would pair better with the pork tenderloin and marinade I planned to serve with it. The pork, by the way, is a variation on this recipe, which is probably my favorite pork tenderloin recipe of all time.

Let’s take a second to look at some of the nutritional highlights of this meal. Pork tenderloin has a similar nutrition profile to skinless chicken breast, which means it is a very lean source of quality protein. It also happens to be relatively inexpensive (I paid a little over $7.00 for a tenderloin that feeds my husband and I two meals each) and very easy to prepare. Butternut squash is also very healthy; it is a great source of vitamins A, C, and B6, and it is also high in potassium and folate, along with other vitamins and minerals. It also contains a lot of the antioxidant beta carotene and has anti-inflammatory and insulin regulating properties as well. This makes it a great grain-free and potato-free source of carbohydrates. Combine all that with a healthy dose of fresh ginger, which is famous for its soothing and anti-inflammatory effects on the GI tract, along with fresh orange zest and juice, and you can see that this meal is as healthy as it is delicious.

Did I mention that this is also a perfect fall dinner? Last night marked a very important seasonal shift in the lives of desert dwellers: the First Open Window Night. My husband and I took our greyhound on a walk around 8:00 last night and I almost wished I had a sweater. So when we got home we opened all the windows, made a cup of cinnamon spice tea, and luxuriated in the first delicious hint of fall in the air. It was a happy coincidence that we had also eaten a fragrant fall classic for dinner. When we were finishing, Chris looked at me and did his best Gordon Ramsay impression, “What a shame. I wish there was a little more.” I have a feeling there will be plenty more of this meal in the future.

Here are all your marinade ingredients, and what it looks like when you are marinading your pork tenderloin.p1000861p1000862

You can see here the butternut squash going into the oven and coming out, when they are glistening and soft and just beginning to brown.

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And here is the final product:p1000868 p1000867

Marinated Pork Tenderloin Ingredients

  • 1 Pork Tenderloin (whatever size works for the crowd you need to feed)
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup marsala cooking wine (or any dry red wine plus an extra tablespoon of honey to be completely SCD compliant)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced sweet onion or shallot
  • 1 tablespoon dried herbes de provence (no salt added)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

Orange Ginger Butternut Squash Puree Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • dash of cinnamon
  • salt to taste

Marinated Pork Tenderloin Method

  • Combine all marinade ingredients.*
  • Place the tenderloin in a small casserole dish or large bowl, and add just enough marinade to cover it half way. Marinate 1-2 hours, turning over halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, place reserved marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and let simmer until significantly reduced, about 1 hour.
  • Grill pork tenderloin over medium-high heat for 20-30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Let rest at least 3 minutes to continue cooking; then, slice into medallions. Top with a generous spoonful of reduced marinade to serve.

Orange Ginger Butternut Squash Puree Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Toss cubed squash with olive oil and a generous dash of salt. Spread out in a thin layer on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
  • Roast about 40 minutes, depending on size of cube, until the squash is very soft and just starting to brown in some places.
  • Place squash in food processor along with all other remaining ingredients. Process until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

*Note: This marinade is the bomb.com so I purposefully make extra to use later on in the week. It is great on grilled seafood, pork, and chicken. You can even use it as a quick stir fry sauce. Tonight we’ll be using the leftovers to jazz up chicken, pepper, onion, and pineapple kabobs. But, if you don’t foresee another use for it, you can always halve the recipe to prevent waste.

Steak Sandwiches with Spicy Aioli

Steak Sandwiches with Spicy Aioli 

My husband recently went out of town for business for the day, and went with coworkers to a restaurant where he got a steak sandwich. He couldn’t stop talking about it. He really was inspired to make something similar at home. I love a good sandwich, so I got behind that. Plus, it gave us an opportunity to experiment and try to create something without a recipe at all. Here is the sandwich assembly station:p1000768

And, yeah, here is the final product. It’s kind of embarrassing to look at, actually. As you can probably guess, this might not be the best option to eat if you care at all about eating like a lady. But it was delicious. Chris said that if this sandwich were on the menu at our favorite local burger joint, he would order it instead of the classic cheeseburger (grain-free bun and all!). That is a big deal, you guys. p1000770

Steak Sandwiches with Spicy Aioli Ingredients

  • 4 grain-free hamburger buns (I used Danielle Walker’s recipe, of course)
  • 1/2 cup grated mild white cheese (I used a raw white cheddar)

Steak

  • 1 ribeye steak
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

  • 2 small yellow onions, sliced very thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Spicy Aioli

  • 1 cup avocado oil
  • 1 egg (pasteurized if possible)
  • juice of one large lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons sambal oelek or other hot sauce of choice

Method

  • Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions. Turn heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden (but not brown) and the mushrooms are tender. The longer and slower you can cook your onions, the better!
  • Meanwhile, season your steaks with a generous shake of salt and pepper on both sides, and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Make the aioli. Place the egg, lemon juice, and dijon mustard together in a blender or food processor. Slowly, drop by drop, add the oil until it emulsifies. Then add in all remaining ingredients and blend until well incorporated. Place in the refrigerator until it’s time to assemble sandwiches.
  • Sear the steaks over medium-high flame for about 5-7 minutes on each side depending on thickness, until a thermometer reads 135-140 degrees (if you like your meat medium). Let rest 5 minutes.
  • Slice the meat thinly. Layer the meat, then cheese, then onions, then mayonnaise on a bun. Make sure you have plenty of napkins handy and dig in!

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Cumin Vinaigrette

The blog posts have been slowing down. In part that’s because WE FINALLY GOT A GRILL! I know, I know, we’re like the last adult human beings on earth to acquire a grill.

Here is a very blurry picture of my handsome husband grilling. This is why you should use real cameras, folks, instead of your smudged phone camera.

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So, since we are newbies when it comes to grilling, we have spent the last few weeks grilling a lot, but most of the stuff we have made has either been too simple to warrant a post, or has been pretty much an exact replica of somebody else’s recipe. Also, I’ve been working my usual research job, teaching, and returning to yoga (which is a really big deal since I’ve basically lived on the couch for the last year!) so I’ve been a little busier than usual. I’ll post some recipe reviews of our more successful grilling sessions later (including a post about those kebabs in the picture above), but today I will post my very first grill-involved personal invention.

I’m really excited about this recipe, you guys. For one thing, it doesn’t require me to cook anything at all inside. That’s a big deal in the desert in the summer, when the last thing you want to do is turn on an oven inside the precious cool oasis of your house. Secondly, it involves crunchy, fresh raw veggies that I actually seem to tolerate really well! And, of course, it tastes so good. The salad dressing is really light and just adds a hint of tangy-sweet flavor to the salad without overpowering the taste of the veggies.

The inspiration for this dish was one of my husband’s summer favorites: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mexican-shrimp-cocktail/. It’s really good, but I mean, every variation of the recipe includes stuff like clamato juice (hello, MSG and HFCS), ketchup, and even orange soda, so I wanted to find something that would be just as refreshing and flavorful but a little better for us.

Here are the basics. Not everything would fit on the cutting board, but you get the idea, right?p1000726

The shrimpies get a quick toss in the marinade/salad dressing. p1000728

Then you chop up all the veggies.p1000729

Finish off your salad dressing.p1000730

Toss it with the veggies. p1000731

And serve. Yum. It looks like a tropical vacation on a plate!p1000732

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Cumin Vinaigrette Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and deveined, tail on or off (your preference)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, diced*
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (about 3/4 cup)
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or other light-tasting oil)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix (optional)

*If you are planning on eating the whole salad right away, mix the avocados in with the rest of the veggies. Otherwise, chop up one just before eating and serve separately.

Method

  • First mix up your marinade/salad dressing by combining the lime juice, avocado oil, honey, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper. Reserve half and set aside for later. Pour the other half over your shrimp.
  • If you are using the Arizona Dreaming seasoning, sprinkle generously over the shrimp (as in the picture) and toss the shrimp with the seasoning and marinade to coat. If you are skipping the seasoning, you may want to sprinkle a little paprika and cayenne on the shrimp for a bit of color and heat.
  • Send your sweet husband outside with the shrimp. Grill over medium heat until curled, white, and opaque throughout.
  • Meanwhile, toss all the chopped veggies except for the cilantro together in a bowl. I chop my veggies in the food processor so they are more uniform.
  • Place the reserved dressing in a food processor and add the cilantro. Pulse until the cilantro is finely chopped. Toss salad dressing with veggies. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • That’s it. Serve with grilled shrimp and fresh fruit, if desired.

Lentejas, por favor!

I studied in Spain for a semester when I was a youngling, and while there I lived with a wonderful Spanish couple named Trini and Pepe. Trini would often come into the room I shared with my American roommate and ask us, “Que quereis comer??” There was only one thing Trini made that we didn’t want to eat–cold hard boiled eggs stuffed with tuna and dropped in marinara sauce–but otherwise we loved all her food, so this was always a hard question.

Trini, Pepe, their son, and all of my many Dutch and American hostsiblings, gathered around the table after another spectacular Spanish meal.scan0079

Trini made flawless paella with squid and gambas the size of your hand, on Tuesday afternoons, as if it was no big deal. She would serve huge platters of golden, whole fried anchovies with lemon as an appetizer. Pepe owned a bakery and would make us homemade flan, serving only the perfect ones that slid onto the plate without cracking, and cakes made with chocolate and butter and nuts and three kinds of alcohol.

Trini and Pepe’s talents were not limited to the kitchen.scan0073

In other words, it was a food paradise, but one of the most-requested dishes in the house was also one of the humblest: lentejas con chorizo. A bowl of lentil soup with a chunk of Pepe’s crusty white bread just always seemed to hit the spot.

So, when I found out that lentils (as long as they are properly soaked overnight) are SCD-legal, I immediately thought about Trini’s lentejas. This version is not super authentic, since I can never seem to find real Spanish chorizo and since I substitute carrots for potatoes and American bacon for a Spanish cured ham, but it’s satisfying, nutritious, easy to make, and reminiscent of Andalucia all the same.

This is all you will need, plus some spices (and the lentils of course!). p1000684

Saute your bacon with peppers and onions. Remove bacon when it’s done and set aside. p1000686

Add in other veggies and sausage and cook until all the veggies are soft.p1000688

Now add in the chicken stock and lentils, bring to a boil and reduce down to a simmer.p1000689

Cook until lentils are soft. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve!p1000691

Sopa de Lentejas Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 2-3 pieces bacon
  • 3 links smoked sausage, sliced (check ingredients to see if it is SCD legal; I used a smoked chicken apple sausage)
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • The night before you want to make this, place lentils in a stockpot with enough water to generously cover them. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat off, cover, and leave to soak overnight. When you are ready to cook them, strain them, discard the soaking water, and rinse with fresh water.
  • Cook bacon in large stockpot until starting to brown. Add in olive oil, bell peppers, and onions and cook over medium heat until soft.
  • Remove bacon and set aside. Add in tomatoes, carrots, garlic, and sausage, and cook about 5 more minutes, until vegetables are mostly soft and tomatoes have started breaking down. Chop up bacon and add back into the pot.
  • Add in the soaked, drained, and rinsed lentils and enough chicken stock to cover them by 1-2 inches. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer about 45 minutes, until lentils are very soft and much of the liquid has reduced. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Salmon Fillets and Hazelnuts in Lemon Dill Mayonnaise

Confession: I got the inspiration for this recipe on the back of a package of frozen wild-caught salmon fillets from Costco. I ended up changing it pretty substantially (the original called for fat-free mayonnaise!?) but I think it turned out pretty delish. It also looks kind of fancy. This was so simple to make–it was only about 10 minutes of active time in the kitchen for both the fish and the veggies–but it was tasty and pretty enough that I would not hesitate to serve it to guests.

Cooking fish in mayo sounds kind of weird, but it yields a really moist and flavorful dish. Seriously. Try it.

Snuggle your salmon fillets into a parchment-paper lined roasting pan. These look kind of frozen but really they were pretty much thawed.p1000649

Pour over the mayo and then sprinkle the hazelnuts and lemon zest on top.p1000650

The end! Serve on top of veggies of choice.p1000651p1000652

Salmon Fillets and Hazelnuts in Lemon Dill Mayonnaise Ingredients (Serves 2-4, depending on serving of salmon)

  • 2 fresh salmon fillets
  • 1/3 cup raw chopped hazelnuts
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup avocado oil (or other light-tasting oil like grapeseed, coconut, or non-virgin olive oil or some combination of the above)
  • 1 egg*
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place salmon fillets in casserole dish lined with parchment paper.
  • Add egg, dijon mustard, and lemon juice to food processor. Process until combined. Pour in the 1 cup oil, drop by drop, until the mixture emulsifies.
  • Add dill, salt, and pepper to food processor and pulse several times, until combined.
  • Pour half the mayonnaise over the salmon fillets. Top with hazelnuts and lemon zest. Bake about 30 minutes, until thermometer reads at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Save the other half of the mayo for whatever you like later in the week–it would be great mixed with some canned tuna, onions, and hard-boiled eggs for a quick tuna salad.
  • Serve salmon over veggies of choice (pictured here with roasted asparagus tossed with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper). If you like, you can spoon a bit of the baked mayo juices over the veggies for even more flavor.

*Again, exercise caution when using raw eggs. I use these and recommend them to anyone serving young kids, pregnant women, the elderly, or people who may have a compromised immune system. Or, look into pasteurizing your own eggs at home. In this dish it’s not a big deal because the eggs in the mayonnaise will get cooked, but if you plan on serving the leftover mayo raw please be careful. There are a lot of sources arguing that raw eggs (especially from pastured chickens) represent only a very tiny risk salmonella risk, but it’s a risk I’d rather not take since I can so easily avoid it.

Meatloaf Stuffed Bell Peppers

Is it weird that this is my second meatloaf recipe to post already?

Meatloaf is just so comforting and homey and hard to screw up too badly. Plus I had found a gigantic bag of beautiful bell peppers in Costco, that once again I couldn’t pass up, and stuffing them with meat was an obvious way to use up a bunch of them. The filling is a pretty traditional meatloaf, which cooks a little faster in the bell pepper shells since it is smaller than a whole loaf. Plus you get a little boost of nutrition from the bell peppers and the generous addition of sweet and tangy tomato sauce.

The ingredient list is pretty long, but it’s mostly a lot of spices and, honestly, you probably have most of this stuff in your kitchen right now.

Prep your ingredients.p1000639

This is what the cleaned and halved bell peppers should look like.p1000640

Stuff your peppers.p1000643

On goes the tomato sauce.p1000645

We ate ours with a little spoonful of kefir cheese on top, but this is totally optional!p1000647p1000648

Bell Pepper Meatloaf Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

  • 3-4 bell peppers, any color, halved and cleaned of pith and seeds
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (sharp is better, so parmesan or sharp cheddar would be good options)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • extra shredded cheese, kefir cheese, or creme fraiche (optional)

Tomato Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 cups tomato sauce or reduced tomato juice (use the tomato juice to be 100% SCD legal)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil and blanch bell peppers for five minutes. Place blanched peppers in a roasting pan, hollow side facing up.
  • Combine all other meatloaf ingredients in a bowl and mix until just blended. Divide the mixture between the bell pepper halves and stuff, pressing down just enough to hold the meatloaf mixture together.
  • Combine all tomato sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour over and between the stuffed bell peppers.
  • Bake uncovered for 50 minutes, until a thermometer reads 160 degrees in the thickest part of the little meatloaves.
  • If desired, top with more shredded cheese in the last ten minutes of baking; or, top with a spoonful of cultured creme fraiche or kefir cheese (as I did) after removing peppers from oven.

Quick Salmon Cakes

I don’t talk to that many people about my diet in real life, because let’s face it, people that go on and on about their dietary restrictions can be boring. But, when I do find someone who is interested and I explain what I should and should not eat, the reaction I usually get is something along the lines of, well…what do you eat?? This question is usually followed with isn’t that expensive? and how do you find the time!? 

I am so grateful that, prior to being diagnosed with Crohn’s, my husband and I had experimented with the Paleo diet and the even more restrictive Whole30. We had done that to lose weight (ha…ha…becoming less and less of a problem every day…!) and it worked well for us. It also forced me to learn how to cook meats (I was previously mostly vegetarian), how to make a lot of new things from scratch, and how to get creative with substitutions. These diets prepared both our palates and skill sets for SCD. The biggest problem I had with Whole30 cooking–and with the SCD–is the amount of time required to prepare for and make meals. It can also be expensive.

I will write more in response to the usual questions in another entry, but one big way we have coped with the challenges posed by preparing SCD legal meals is by becoming super organized about our shopping and meal planning. I can tell you, always, exactly what meals we are going to have between now and my next planned grocery shopping trip. I think ahead by a couple of days so I know if I need to get started on a new batch of almond milk or bone broth. I always make enough of everything so that we have leftovers to take for lunch. We make breakfast for dinner a lot. And I have an arsenal of a few tried and true recipes that are very quick to make in a pinch, and that rely on ingredients that are inexpensive, healthy, and that I will always have on hand–the kind of recipes you can talk yourself into making even when you are getting home late and exhausted and running low on groceries. This is one of those recipes.

Here are all the ingredients you will need.P1000504

Start by finely dicing the onion and cooking in butter over low heat until soft. Let cool slightly. Then place in a bowl and add in all other ingredients. Mix well.P1000505

Use your hands to press the mixture into 6-8 patties. You may notice that the canned salmon has some tiny bones and skin in it. I try to pick out the bones but most cans say that they are edible, and in fact, they do seem soft enough that you won’t notice them once the salmon is cooked. Kind of freaky but…eh…just try not to think about it.P1000508

Heat up cooking oil in pan to medium heat and gently slide in patties. Cook fora few minutes on each side, until golden brown.P1000509

Serve with roasted vegetables (I served with my Mediterranean Roasted Veggies) or salad greens. I had some leftover Everyday Paleo Garlic Basil Mayo so I added a dollop of that to the eat with the patties and veggies. Tzatziki would also be nice. P1000510

Easy peasy!

Quick Salmon Cakes Ingredients

  • 1 14.75 ounce can wild-caught salmon (it should only list fish, water, and possibly sea salt as ingredients. Whole Foods’ 365 store brand works well), drained and flaked
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour or almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Method

  • Heat butter over low heat and add diced onions. Cook on low heat until soft. Let cool slightly.
  • Combine onions with all other ingredients except for cooking oil into bowl. Mix well with hands and shape into 6-8 patties. Try to squeeze out extra moisture as much as possible.
  • Heat cooking oil over medium heat and slide patties into pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • Serve with roasted veggies (pictured here are my Mediterranean Roasted Veggies) or salad greens, and your favorite creamy salad dressing or dip if desired.