Category Archives: The Griddle

How I Drink Coffee (When I Drink Coffee)

Do you like coffee? I am mad for it.

In my daydreams, I sip on a mug-full of the rich, creamy elixir. Sadly, the good old days when I could drink the stuff are over.  I haven’t been able to stomach it for awhile now, even if it’s watered down.

That’s sad, right? I think many people with IBS / IBD have had a similar experience.

Recently, I’ve noticed that coffee is a popular topic. There’s an article about special coffee here, a post about it there. I’ve heard that the type of roast is important, or the way it is dried may make a difference in its palatability. But I have a hard time believing that I can’t drink coffee anymore because of some mycotoxin that is introduced during the drying process. So instead of wasting money on a pound of the artisanal expensive stuff (which will probably give me an aching belly, too) I thought I’d try something else first; a cold-brew technique.

Paleo in PDX has mentioned cold-brew coffee every now and then, in fact, in this post, she wrote about making a coffee ice cream out of it. She also wrote that the cold-brew technique yields coffee that is about 70% less acidic than normal coffee. Paleo in PDX talked about how good it is.

I decided to try it. I deeply missed a yummy cup of coffee.

Whether it is lukewarm or piping hot doesn’t make a difference, I wanted to enjoy a simple pleasure again.

I searched around a little and found an incredible How-To post which explains the steps to the cold-brewing process. It was written by an editor named Dan Souza at America’s Test Kitchen. You know, they are the folks who write Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Oh how I used to love that magazine. Anyway, I digress. Dan has described and illustrated the process so well, that I’m going to link to it here.

I followed his instructions and brewed a batch of coffee concentrate. After I strained it and added a bit of water (not too much, I like it strong) , I sampled it next to the normal hot-brewed stuff that my husband drinks. The verdict: the cold-brew version produced a superior cup of coffee. It is delicious. It is smoother and more complex, less bitter, noticeably less acidic and all-around tastier. I don’t drink it everyday, or even a few times a week, but for the first time since I’ve began my diet modification journey, I can drink a small cup of joe without stomach pains.

And I don’t miss the cream and sugar that I used to dump into my coffee cup! It is that good.

Thanks to Paleo in PDX and Dan Souza at America’s Test Kitchen, I can enjoy one of my favorite beverages again – every now and then!

It may seem like a small thing, but it has made me extremely happy.

Thanks!

Theresa ~SCD Griddle

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Turkey, Turkey Everywhere

Turkey day is right around the corner.  I’m so excited, aren’t you? Chris and I are travelling to Pittsburgh this year and we’re going to eat Thanksgiving dinner with our folks. We haven’t celebrated this pilgrim-inspired holiday in Pennsylvania in 10 years! Where has the time gone?

It seems like the blogosphere is full of recipes for turkey, this side dish, or that dessert (they all sound so good, don’t they?). What am I going to post about?

I’m going to tell you about ground turkey, something I eat at least 3 – 4 times a week.

It is difficult not to get stuck in the routine of making turkey burgers with salt and thyme. They are delicious, but I need some variety!

So here are two recipes for turkey burgers that will provide you with some variety (and you won’t feel like you’re eating Thanksgiving leftovers).

Autumn Turkey Burgers

This recipe is a favorite because the ground turkey that I buy can get awfully dry after I bake or pan fry it. The veggies keep the meat moist and the herbs add a ton of flavor. Wow, I wish I had one of these on hand, the picture is making me hungry.

Autumn Turkey Burger Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/3 of a small, yellow onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 1/2 of a zucchini, grated
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 fresh sage leaf chopped fine (don’t overdo the sage, those fresh leaves are potent!)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 T ghee or olive oil for cooking

Directions:

Combine thyme, sage, onion, red bell pepper, carrot and zucchini with the ground turkey in a large bowl. Break up the ground turkey and mix the ingredients together. It is okay if the herbs and vegetables aren’t totally evenly mixed, just do your best. Make your patties – with a pound of ground turkey, I usually make 3 patties. Don’t worry about smushing all of the veggies into the burger patties, you can use them later.

Heat up your skillet on medium heat. Add the ghee or olive oil when it comes up to temperature. Place patties on the pan, let them sizzle! Flip them once, usually around 4 minutes. It takes about 8 minutes cooking time, total.

If you have extra veggies that weren’t incorporated into the patties, throw them into the pan when the burgers are almost finished- that way you can cook them and enjoy them. It would be a shame to waste them, they are really yummy! This way, your meal and the extra diced veggies are done cooking all at once. All of the cooking is done!  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ground Jerky Turkey

This meal really gets my salivary glands pumping, it is really drool-worthy! And if you try this recipe, I highly suggest you make it with the avocado addition, because the chili spices and lime really make the nutmeg flavors in the burger jump!

Ground Jerky Turkey ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 green onions, sliced (use only green parts if on a low FODMAPS diet)
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno – finely diced, ribs and seeds removed (substitute green bell pepper if you are new to SCD- see NOTE below)
  • 1 clove garlic (omit if on a low FODMAPS diet- but it sure adds a lot of flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg (if your nutmeg is old and tasteless, this recipe won’t pop)
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 bibb lettuce leaves (instead of a bun)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 T. coconut oil for cooking

Chili-Lime Avocado ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 green onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 of a fat lime, juiced
  • 1 T. chopped cilantro
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine green onions, jalapeno, garlic, thyme, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon with the ground turkey in a large bowl. Break up the ground turkey and mix the ingredients together. Make your patties. Bring your skillet (or SCD Griddle!) up to medium temperature and add coconut oil. Flip about 4 minutes into cooking, for a total of 8 minutes (or until pinkness in the middle is gone). While the burgers are cooking, you can get the star-side dish together.

Add all of the Chili-Lime Avocado ingredients together in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

When the burgers are finished, sandwich the Ground Jerky Turkey burger and a pile of the Chili-Lime Avocado in between two pieces of bibb lettuce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This is a messy burger, but it is finger-licking good. Be sure to have napkins on hand while you get a taste of the Caribbean!

NOTE: A word of warning to those with sensitive stomaches; the jalapeno can cause some discomfort! If you have any doubts, substitute the green bell pepper in place of the jalapeno.

Yum, where are my leftovers?

Have a great Thanksgiving!!

XOXO

Theresa ~SCD Griddle

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Recipe Review: Pecan Apple Crisp

I enjoy the process of baking, but I like to eat the results of my baking efforts even more.

I’ve not made many SCD-legal baked goods because my diet was unstable for a while. Well, I’ve finally reached a point where I have a pretty good handle on what I can/can’t eat. So when I saw this recipe posted by The Paleo Nurse, I had to try it.

I made mine with some giant honeycrisp apples. And I essentially halved her recipe and still got 4 servings from it. The bowl of Apple Pecan Crisp in the picture above is dessert for two!

It was tasty! And if you have problems with dairy and wheat flour, this is a great dessert to try. Check out The Paleo Nurse recipe here.

I hope that you are all having a great weekend!

XO, Theresa ~ SCD Griddle

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The Only Constant is Change

The only constant is change.

We’ve moved from the scorching furnace of summer into the harvest-time of fall.

The days gradually shorten. With an abundance of darkness, I’m tempted to try hibernation.

But I digress, I like to celebrate this time of year- it is Halloween.

I usually don’t go overboard with costumes and decorations, but I embrace the holiday in my own way.

My city holds an annual pumpkin festival. It is held in the park down the street.

While enjoying the activities and booths of arts and crafts last year, my husband and I came upon a pumpkin carver.

He sculpted the most wonderful jack o’ lanterns.

Aren’t they great?

As the tree leaves turn color and the autumn weather turns more crisp, I continue my journey on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

The SCD has revealed itself to be much more of a journey than I expected.

One of the biggest ways that I welcome the transition into fall is by altering what I cook.

These are my most recent undertakings:

I’ve been roasting pumpkins and seeds.

Who doesn’t love pumpkin? Wonderful in soups, amazing in baked goods.

And the seeds are great simply prepared with ghee and salt.

Or if I feel more adventurous, I add a few generous dashes of Penzy’s Spice mixtures.

The pumpkin seeds are crunchy and I was surprised that they didn’t give me trouble- I must be healing! 🙂

(After 7 months, I hope so!!)

Baking meats…

This turkey made a great dinner – with plenty of leftovers!

Don’t you love how the act of oven-roasting heats up the whole house?

Nice and warm and full of great scents.

I totally enjoy squashes…. roasted butternut squash is tasty.

Especially if I leave it until there is a touch of brown caramelization.

Add a bit of chopped parsley and it makes a perfect side dish!

It is so sweet that it is almost like dessert.

(But I’m sure you already knew that).

And speaking of dessert…. I whipped up this cheesecake. The recipe is in Breaking the Vicious Cycle.

Now that my diet is stable, I’m really drilling down to make sure I know what my sensitivities are.

That means that I need to try new things. So I baked up a batch of cheesecake, which is made with dry curd cottage cheese.

It went well at first…. then after dealing with my body reacting negatively over the course of a week or two, I realized that dairy and I don’t get along.

HUGE epiphany.

And yes, dairy includes yogurt….maybe I won’t cut yogurt out completely yet.

I’m surprised by the foods that I thought were my friends!

Now that I’ve cut way back on dairy, except for ghee,  I feel better!

Dairy is now the enemy.

I want to substitute  yogurt and dairy treats like cheesecake for a little meaty snack…

Something to keep on hand when I need some extra calories. Something safe.

I’m considering beef jerky.

Know of any good recipes? 🙂

Have I told you how much I like pecans and cashews?

I soak and dehydrate nuts weekly. These little babies made excellent snacks.

We seem to get along pretty well if properly soaked.

Never forget to soak them. Trust me.

This concludes my latest endeavors.

The SCD has revealed itself to be much more of a journey than I expected.

I’m surprised by the foods that I can’t tolerate… I thought many of them were my friends. Apparently not.

I’m surprised by the need for constant evaluation. My food tolerances keep changing; it definitely keeps me on my toes.

But I can take the continual modification because it means that I will just feel better and better.

And that is always a good thing.

I couldn’t leave you without one last picture of the magnificent jack o’ lanterns!

Happy Halloween!

xo, Theresa ~SCD Griddle

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A Calming, Tasty Tea

Cooking foods that adhere to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet rules can be time (and energy) consuming. If I am not careful, I can spend entire afternoons in the kitchen as I whip up sweet concoctions, snacks and meals. Every now and then, I like to sit down with a cup of tea and relax.

The tea that I like best is from a plant that I grow myself. It is Chocolate Mint, or Mentha x piperita ‘Chocolate’, if you are a plant nerd like me. This variety actually smells chocolate-y.

This is how I make my Chocolate Mint Tea:

1. Pick 2 – 3 sprigs that have large leaves

2. Rinse Mint sprigs to make sure they are clean

3. Put them into a sauce pan with 2 cups of boiling water for 3 minutes.

4. Throw out the boiled stems and leaves, pour myself a cup of tea!

I also find this tea especially reassuring because I used to drink it before I ever heard of SCD. It makes me feel like I can still enjoy many of the things that I used to eat and drink. And if you want a little extra piece of mind about the legality of this tea, all “peppermint and spearmint herb teas are legal” per Breaking the Vicious Cycle legal/illegal foods list, under tea.

And here comes my big, inner-plant nerd: I suggest you try your hand at growing your own Mint. There are tons of varieties (apple, lemon and others) and are easy to grow, even if you don’t have a green thumb! Check out this website. Mint plants are perennials and will happily thrive for years if the conditions are right. But make sure that you plant it in a container because they are very vigorous, invasive plants. When they take off, they take over and spread as far as they can go.

Enjoy!

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A Juicy Burger


I’ve always loved a juicy burger. Little did I know how much I’d come to depend on them while on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). I eat one every day and I still look forward to it! I pair my patties with tasty side dishes. Avocado and butternut squash really complement ground beef.

I’m not alone in my frequent hamburger-eating. A third of all Americans have consumed ground beef in the last 24 hours.

In the past, I didn’t cook very many of them myself. I mostly ate hamburgers at restaurants and fast food joints. My favorite places included The Habit, In and Out Burger, Wood Ranch Grill. But since I began the SCD, I’ve stayed away from dining establishments and have had the opportunity to hone my skills on my griddle.

Lately I watched an old episode of Good Eats which was all about hamburgers. Alton Brown reviewed his Burger Rules.

Burger Rule #1: No patty smashing.

I definitely agree. Once you’ve placed the formed hamburger on the griddle, do not press down on the patty with your spatula. This only forces liquid out of your meat, onto the cooking surface. This produces a drier hamburger.

Burger Rule #2: One flip only.

According to Alton, cook one side of the burger, then the other, then take it off the griddle. People who believe in the One Flip Only rule cite more even cooking and better flavor development. But, sorry Alton, I don’t agree with this one. If a cook flips the burger more than once, say very minute or every 30 seconds, the burger cooks more quickly and there is less overcooked meat. If faster flipping will get me out of the kitchen faster, I’m all for it!

My only Burger Rule is: enjoy it.  YUM!

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