Airplanes, Food, and the SCD


If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t presented any recipes to y’all lately, it’s because my family and I are preparing for a nine-day trip to New York, to see our extended family.

And we’re going by plane. Ugh.

If that isn’t bad enough, airplanes don’t like the SCD. No, they like to offer pretzels and junk-filled peanuts and Biscotti (*YUM*– 😦 ).  So, I have to bring my own food in order to survive.

About two weeks ahead of time, my mom and I discussed the possibilities. Our first decision was concerning Larabars, which are SCD-legal and oh-so-yummy. They are also filling, which is important when I am taking a long trip.

I also plan to bring some storebought applesauce that I have thoroughly investigated and found SCD-legal. Applesauce is a major staple in my every day life, and the cups are small, so there should be no problem getting them on the plane.

I also decided on some cheesesticks, which we’ve found at our local health food store.

I will prepare a small jar of homemade yogurt, already sweetened with honey (and maybe some berries) to take along.

Lastly, I plan on baking a batch of cookies, so that I don’t pig out on the Larabars right away.

Everything will be stored in a small cooler, which we will substitute for one of our carry-ons.

The last time I travelled with food, I put it through the X-ray machine (ew, but it had to be done). When leaving Texas, a lady called me over and examined my food, making sure things were sealed and questioning me a bit about my homemade yogurt. She let me through after that with no issues. However, when returning from New York, they wouldn’t let me take it. I am still going to try and take it to and from this time around, and if they don’t let me take it on the airplane, I will just eat it right then and there! So there! To put it in my mother’s words, “She’s not going to blow up.”

When I get to New York, my aunt will already have my yogurt ready. We also ordered some snack foods to be sent ahead of us, so everything will be available upon my arrival. We may still have to go shopping, but for little things.

I plan on keeping a food log of my stay in New York, in the hopes that it will inspire y’all for future plane trips. I know how hard it is to go different places on the SCD, but I’m here to show you that it can be done, and safely!

Happy travelling!

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A Yummy Alternative


Good evening!

Tonight, my mom decided not to make dinner. On such occasions, we pull anything we want out of the refrigerator–usually fruits, veggies, cheese, and the like–and eat with a minor amount of clean-up to see to afterwards.

I was in the mood for my “salad” when dinnertime came around tonight. My salad is lettuceless, because I cannot tolerate large amounts of fiber. And lettuce is very fibrous. Perhaps some of you who have gastrointestinal disorders also cannot tolerate much fiber. I know I can’t because I have a particularly severe case of Crohn’s Disease.

My salad consists of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, grated cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Simple and easy, and so flavorful! I know most people like their salad with dressing, but please try my salad just the way it is! You’d be surprised at how tasty it is.

Recipe Remedies: Blackberry Thumbprint Cookies


Good afternoon!

My family is having some friends over for dinner tonight, and I decided to make some cookies for dessert. I’d been thinking about thumbprint cookies for some time and finally tried them out with SCD restrictions.

Thumbprint Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fruit preserves, any flavor

Now, at first glance, this might not seem like much of a remedy. Replace the sugar with honey and the flour with coconut flour. However, coconut flour is drier than regular wheat flours. I discovered, with my first attempt at thumbprint cookies, that you can’t just substitute the same amounts for all-purpose.

So, I started with one cup, stirring it in gradually. After that, I used 1/4 cup measures. I only used slightly over one cup, instead of the 1 3/4 cup the recipe calls for.

As for the preserves, I substituted crushed blackberries, blended with unflavored gelatin and honey.

Blackberry Thumbprint Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 egg yolks
  • approx. 1 cup coconut flour

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup blackberries, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • honey, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, honey, and egg yolks. Mix in flour a little bit at a time until soft dough forms. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. If dough is too soft, refrigerate 15-20 minutes. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Use your finger or an instrument of similar size to make a well in the center of each cookie.
  3. Bake 8-10 minutes in preheated oven, until golden-brown on bottom. Remove from baking sheet to cool on wire racks.
  4. While cookies are cooling, crush blackberries in a food processor, until smooth. Add two teaspoons of unflavored gelatin and honey, to taste. When cookies are cooled, place on a plate and fill with blackberry mixture. Chill for one hour, or until ready to serve.

Bon Appetit!

  • Like “Recipe Remedies”? Don’t miss a single one! Subscribe for e-mail or RSS updates, and feel free to comment below to tell me what you think. Your feedback is much appreciated. Happy cooking, everyone!

(I entered this recipe in Sugar Free Sunday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 6/1/10, Real Food Wednesday 6/2/10, and Gluten-Free Wednesdays 6/2/10)

Quick & Easy Alfredo Sauce


While y’all are waiting for my next recipe remedy, I thought I’d share this recipe for an SCD-legal alfredo sauce my mom discovered tonight while looking for something different to season fully-cooked chicken.

Quick & Easy Alfredo Sauce

  • 8 ounces plain homemade yogurt (whole–don’t use non-fat)
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • cracked pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)

Instructions

–Melt butter in pan. Slowly, add homemade yogurt, stirring constantly. Shake in parmesan while stirring until sauce thickens. Add pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

P.S. I was so excited to try it I forgot to take pictures 😀

(I entered this recipe in Tempt My Tummy Tuesday 6/7/10, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 6/8/10, Real Food Wednesday 6/9/10, and Gluten-Free Wednesdays 6/9/10)

Recipe Remedies: Spicy Ginger Chicken


Good evening!

Boy, am I stuffed. My recipe remedy for this week was a huge success, and I have a happy, full tummy to prove it. I also love that this is a crockpot recipe–not as much clean-up!

The Original Recipe

  • 12 chicken drumsticks and/or thighs (2.5 to 3 pounds total), skinned
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans Muir Glen No-Salt-Added Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 cups hot cooked whole grain couscous
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

Since tapioca is a starch, and since nut flours can be a substitute for starches, I used coconut flour to thicken the sauce.

I diced 5 tomatoes instead of using canned diced tomatoes, and since canned tomatoes have excess juice, I used approximately 4 ounces tomato juice to supplement the tomatoes.

Instead of brown sugar, I substituted 1 3/4 teaspoons honey.

And lastly, thanks to a suggestion from tastyeatsathome, I substituted cauliflower, chopped into rice-sized bits, for the couscous.

Spicy Ginger Chicken

  • 2.5 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 5 large tomatoes, diced
  • approx. 4 ounces tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • butter and salt, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken pieces in a 3 1/2- or 4- quart slow cooker.
  2. For sauce, in a medium bowl combine diced tomatoes, tomato juice, coconut flour, ginger, cilantro, garlic, honey, salt, and crushed red pepper. Pour sauce over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours or on high heat for 3-3 1/2 hours. Skim fat from sauce. Serve with cauliflower.
  4. For cauliflower, cut into florets and steam until just soft. In food processor, chop into rice-sized pieces. Add butter and salt, to taste.

Bon Appetit!

  • Like “Recipe Remedies”? Don’t miss a single one! Subscribe for e-mail or RSS updates, and feel free to comment below to tell me what you think. Your feedback is much appreciated. Happy cooking, everyone!

(I entered this Recipe in Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 5/25/10, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday 5/24/10, Gluten-Free Wednesdays 5/26/10, and Real Food Wednesday 5/26/10)

Substitutions


Hello, all!

I hope your week has been successful in the culinary realm. So far, I’ve not had one opportunity to experiment in the kitchen, but I have done a lot of thinking. So rest assured; I will have a recipe for you by the end of the week!

My topic for today is substitutions. Being on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, it’s sometimes hard to substitute certain ingredients.

For instance, what do you do when you want to make beef stew? We always used to put potatoes in our stew, but since they aren’t allowed on the diet, we usually just leave them out. However, recently I was experimenting on a recipe brainstorm for my cookbook and discovered that mushrooms make a hearty substitute in stews. Hoorah!

Another one of my favorite substitutes has been spaghetti squash. I use it in place of rice and–you guessed it–spaghetti. Italian meals aren’t the same without some sort of pasta, but spaghetti squash looks like the real thing and almost tastes like the real thing with lots of sauce, butter and salt. I even eat it plain. It’s soooo good.

What different substitutions have you discovered over the years?

LARABAR, anyone? Oooh, Yes…


My week was booked with homework and housework, so I am sorry to say that I do not have a recipe for y’all. While this makes me sad, I am taking this opportunity to rave about one of my store-bought, SCD-legal snack foods.

I discovered Larabars when I was in town, having nothing to eat and feeling pretty desperate. Home was 45 minutes away, so I couldn’t go and come back very easily. I was hesitant to try one, since I’d tried one once and hadn’t particularly liked it. But in the end, I just grabbed a Larabar Apple Pie and headed for the cash register. I was HUNGRY.

Well, it was just about the best thing I’d ever tasted. And it tasted *just* like apple pie. And it was made with all natural ingredients (NO gluten, NO sugar, NO soy, NO dairy, NO grains–just fruit, spices, and nuts). And I wanted *more*. 

Right now, I am content to stick with Apple Pie, but I’m starting to drool over some of those other flavors; Key Lime Pie and Ginger Snap, to be exact.

In Texas, Sunharvest and HEB carry them. Beyond Texas, I wouldn’t know, but I think you’d probably be safe to start searching in your local health food store… and then also, they’re on the internet.

If you decide to try them, I would urge you not to just take my word for it, but read each ingredient carefully and compare it to the dos and don’ts of the SCD. This snackbar is not allowed for beginners, but it’s something to look forward to, isn’t it?

Bon Appetit! 😉

(I entered this post in Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 5/18/10)

Tuning In


Our bodies can tell us a lot about what we are eating. When I first began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I just ate what I was told and avoided what was “illegal.” This was exactly what I should have done, of course. However, with gastrointestinal disorders, sensitivities to certain foods can vary drastically from person to person. One person may be able to eat such and such, while another person can’t.

I began to discover this fairly early on in my SCD journey. One thing I knew bothered me (but was allowed on the SCD) was pork. I couldn’t eat it without getting nauseous before, during, and after. Yes, I said before. The mere thought of eating pork sent my tummy into turmoil. I knew it wouldn’t be wise to eat it, so I stopped.

As I learned to tune in to my tummy more and more, I began to realize that it wasn’t only what I ate that might bother me, but the amount of food I was eating. For instance, I know I can eat seven strawberries in one sitting. However, if I go beyond seven, I know I may be in for some discomfort later on. The seeds in strawberries will begin to bother me if I go above this amount.

As I continued to learn about my gut, I further realized that my body could tell me when eating certain things wouldn’t be a good idea at the time. Foods I love can become detrimental if my gut is not 100% ready for it. I will actually get nauseous at the thought of favorite foods if I have overindulged in another area. An example would be beef. I love beef, but since it is harder to digest, I eat it occasionally. If I’ve had beef recently (as in the last few days), my stomach will tighten and feel heavy, like it does after I’ve eaten beef. I’m smiling now, because even simply writing this is giving me these sensations (I had beef only a few days ago).

So, as you can see, learning to listen to your body is extremely important. Just eating what you are supposed to might not be the wisest course. Examining what you are eating and knowing how each food affects you is taking one giant step toward taking better care of your gut. It might mean narrowing down your choices for a while. Note that I said “a while.” Never give up hope that you’ll be able to try certain foods again, provided they are SCD legal.

A suggestion would be to make a food log for a few weeks of everything you eat and any symptoms/sensitivites you experience.

Tune in and eat wisely!

Recipe Remedies: Blackberry Jam


Last weekend, my family and I hosted a couple of our friends from northern Texas. They love to cook and introduced us to homemade strawberry jam! Unfortunately, it had fruit pectin in it, which is illegal on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

Still, I fixed this recipe with very few modifications. I figured that unflavored gelatin could easily take the place of fruit pectin, and I was right. As it happened, the gelatin package had a “slushy fruit cup” recipe on it, so I combined the two to make homemade blackberry jam! (I didn’t have enough strawberries on hand)

The Original Recipes

Blackberry Jam

  • 5 cups crushed berries
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1 1.75 oz package fruit pectin

Slushy Fruit Cups

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (6 0z) can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 (20 0z) can crushed unsweetened pineapple
  • 2 bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1 (10 0z) package frozen strawberries, thawed

Well. I didn’t have strawberries, bananas, or pineapple, so of course I left those out. And I didn’t have nearly enough blackberries to make a large batch, so I used just 1 cup of blackberries in place of the five cups listed above. I substituted the 1/2 cup sugar in the slushy recipe for 1/4 cup honey, and I omitted the lemon concentrate.

Feel free to adjust the honey to your particular taste. I don’t like a strong taste of honey, so the 1/4 cup was just enough to sweeten the berries, but no more.

Blackberry Jam

  • I envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup blackberries, crushed

Instructions

  1. In large saucepan, stir together gelatin, water, and honey. Heat over low heat until gelatin dissolves, about 5-6 minutes. Add crush blackberries, stir until well-blended. Pour into mason jar and refrigerate.

Enjoy!

  • Like “Recipe Remedies”? Don’t miss a single one! Subscribe for e-mail or RSS updates, and feel free to comment below to tell me what you think. Your feedback is much appreciated. Happy cooking, everyone!

(I entered this recipe in Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 5/11/10, Real Food Wednesday 5/12/10, and Gluten-Free Wednesdays 5/12/10)

Diet Experiment: A Lesson in Moderation


After four years on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I understand how tiresome the same foods can become (I wrote on this topic here). I also know how difficult it is to make yourself try new foods. I for one have always been overly cautious when I try something new (that is SCD legal, of course). Sometimes I just refuse to try it at all. 

This week I tried peanuts for the second time since I started the SCD. I’d noticed a couple years ago that, whenever I made peanut butter cookies, I got nauseous and uncomfortable after I ate. So I swore off anything with peanuts. In the last couple of weeks, I decided to try them again. I ate them every day for about a week (the time period recommended in Elaine Gottschall’s book Breaking the Viscous Cycle).

At first, I seemed fine, so I increased the amount I ate. After a few days, however, I started to feel queasy and got a few minor twinges. I realized that I could eat peanuts, but only in moderation.

Moderation has always been a major part of my life since I began this diet, but sometimes I just feel like forgetting the whole thing and eating as much as I please. This is something that we all should guard ourselves against, because it could be detrimental, not just to our gut but to our weight and general health. A balanced, portioned diet can make all the difference.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that subject! It’s a lesson I’m continuing to learn every day.

P.S. My Recipe Remedy is still in progress. I should be able to post it by tonight or tomorrow, so stay tuned!