Tag Archives: food

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

2 Comments

Filed under The Griddle

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

Leave a comment

Filed under The Griddle

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

6 Comments

Filed under Beginning, Blog, The Griddle

Essential Fats!

Sometimes I hear about good fats.

I usually don’t pay attention.

I haven’t worried much about my fat intake because I’m active and have digestive issues, so I always figured any fat is probably okay for me. But now that I’m trying to heal myself through diet modification with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I want to make sure that I am eating enough of these good fats.

Good fats are monunsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like essential fatty acids. At the molecular level, unsaturated fats have a double bond, which makes the molecule easy to break. Molecules termed mono- have only one double bond, but those called poly- have multiple double bonds. (If you want more information about “good” fats vs “bad” fats, go here.)

Do you know how important essential fatty acids are?

When I refer to good fats, I am talking about essential fatty acids. These are polyunsaturated oil molecules known as omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid). They are necessary for good health, but the body cannot synthesize these, so we must ingest foods rich in essential fatty acids.

There are other fatty acids that aren’t known as “essential” because humans possess all of the enzymes required for their synthesis. These are incredibly important, like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), (these are found in fish), and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid (AA), (these last three are derived from omega-6 linoleic acid).

Essential fatty acids serve many functions such as:

  • mediate inflammation (extremely important for those of us with IBD)
  • play roles in cellular functions
  • make healthy, flexible cell membranes
  • affect mood and behavior
  • protect us from cell damage by neutralizing free radicals

Really, these fatty acids affect our whole bodies. If you want to learn about them, go here and here.

People can be deficient in their essential fatty acids. It is most obvious in the skin; dry skin (who doesn’t have dry skin?), scaly or flaky skin, cracking/peeling fingertips or heels, lackluster skin, and small bumps on back of upper arms. There are many more symptoms. In order to see a more complete list, visit this link.

Is easy to be deficient in the omega-3 fatty acids because alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA) is tough to get. It is such an important micronutrient that I have begun to specifically search it out. It is found in these food sources:

  • Flaxseed oil and ground Flaxseeds (the oil is legal, but the seeds are SCD-illegal)
  • English Walnuts (higher concentrations), Walnut oil, Black Walnuts (lower concentrations
  • Canola oil (SCD legal but not recommended)
  • Soybean oil and firm Tofu (both SCD-illegal)
  • Kiwi fruit seeds
  • Purslane (an herbaceous weed that grows almost everywhere in the U.S. – unsure if this is SCD legal)

ALA easily oxidizes, which is why producers partially hydrogenate oils that contain it. According to The Green Kitchen Handbook, by Annie Berthold-Bond, “manufacturers removed essential fatty acids from oils in the interest of preserving their shelf life.”

The omega-6, Linoleic acid (LA) is much easier to acquire. It is in various oils, seeds and nuts like:

  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower seeds and oil
  • Pine nuts
  • Corn oil
  • Soybean oil (SCD-illegal)
  • Pecans
  • Sesame oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Other sources include almonds, chicken fat, egg yolks, lard and butter.

The oils containing LA also have saturated fats. These are fat molecules with structures of single bonds are more difficult to break. They are stable and have longer shelf lives. This has led to their widespread distribution and thus, are much easier to incorporate into your diet.

These good fats are so important, but don’t take my word for it. Here is an excellent article that explains much of this information in greater depth and also gives intake recommendations.

See you later, I’m going to run out and pick up a bottle of flaxseed oil!

Theresa ~ SCD Griddle

2 Comments

Filed under Blog

Bad Food Advice

This past weekend, I went to the library.

I had some free time. See, for the past couple of month I’d been studying like crazy in order to pass a few exams (they went well, by the way). I’m on the road to licensure in landscape architecture- well, I think I am. I don’t receive the results for a few more weeks.

Anyway, my exams are over for now and I wanted to find a book at the library, something light. I walked through the stacks,  perusing the titles, hoping one would catch my eye since I didn’t have any particular book in mind. I had to stop when I realized I was in the middle of their ‘food and diet’ section. They had a ton of books on the subject, of course. I noticed the book called Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel. I pulled it off the shelf and briefly paged through it.

On page 219, one sentence caught my eye. It said, “This one’s for all you low-carb people.”

Hmmm, I thought, Bethenny is giving advice to low-carb people. This is going to be good (she didn’t disappoint).  A side note: I am one of these said Low-Carb People because I follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which doesn’t exclude all carbohydrates, but a lot of them.

She writes, “I love a few choice bites of steak, but I also know that too much red meat isn’t good for anybody.”

How does Bethenny Frankel know that too much red meat isn’t good for people?  Did she conduct a few nutritional studies?  Did she ever read research papers about it? Does she know that so-called “studies” are often skewed and full of misinformation? And how much is “too much” anyway?

This is more of her advice: “Give your body a rest: don’t eat red meat more than twice a week, and never eat more than a piece the size of a small sponge in one meal. You don’t need it, and after a while, you won’t want it, either.”

Ha! Never eat more than a piece the size of a “small sponge”- ha ha, how big is a small sponge?

She concludes this paragraph by writing, “But eating pounds and pounds of red meat every day is no way to be healthy or naturally thin.”

Right.

What if I told her that I eat about a pound of red meat everyday and have done so for over 6 months? That my gastroenterologist advised me to go on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet? And I am the healthiest that I’ve been in over 15 years.

It is advice like this that has sent the American diet in the wrong direction. Way to lie to readers who don’t know better, Bethenny. What rubbish.

 

Snarkily yours,

Theresa ~SCD Griddle

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog

A Balanced Life

Lately, I’ve had a lot to do.

I’m busy and you’re busy. We are all people with places to go and people to see. I don’t know how you deal with stress, but when my schedule gets hectic, my priorities become obvious.

For many years, what I regarded as important was wrong-headed. In the past, my husband was first on my list of priorities, followed by a very close second and third (I’m sorry to say), my job and my night classes. My health and “stomach problems” were somewhere much, much lower on the list. In fact, they were so low on the list that I ignored them for years.

These days I’m following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) to heal myself. Feeling healthy and taking care of myself is much more important to me now. I’m willing to compromise unnecessary things in order to maintain a balance. It is hard to do, but I am determined to take care of my family while I consistently eat well to improve my health. Now that I’m in a crunch time, I’ve kept my schedule in equilibrium by shifting a few things; I get up before the sun rises  to work a few hours, then I go to my job. When I get home, I can focus on my family without feeling stressed.

I’ve cut out a lot of things in order to keep this balance.

I don’t watch much television anymore and I go to bed early. But these days, I actually have time to go on a date night with my husband. Or see friends. Imagine that! What has really helped me maintain order and harmony in my life is the SCD. This also requires some give and take. Yes, I’ve cut out complex carbohydrates and refined sugar. But meal preparation is a snap, thanks to bulk cooking, and my health is still improving.

I cannot describe how happy I am to have my diet and my health under control. And I’m glad to have my priorities straight.

 

xo,

Theresa ~ SCD Griddle

 

 

 

8 Comments

Filed under Beginning, Blog

The Best Approach to Diet Modification: Contentment

Bad attitudes will get you no where quick.

Since the beginning of March, I harbored a bad attitude. See, I’m on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). I struggled for 4 months while I tried to solve a few gastrointestinal problems by modifying what I ate. I went about doing the physical work of eating the proper items listed in Breaking the Vicious Cycle and in the stages listed on Pecanbread. Little did I know that my attitude toward SCD, or any kind of diet modification, would ultimately determine my success.

Fast and furious.

I approached SCD with a fast and furious attitude. When I began, I attempted to power through the stages because the faster I progressed, the quicker I’d be able to eat like a “normal” American. Basically I was unsatisfied, wanted more variety and I was hungry. I missed my creamy (real cream) coffee with sugar, I longed for a piece of cake and I craved chocolate. I desperately ticked down the foods listed in the stages. I spent hours in the kitchen; peel, cook, puree! I ignored many of the signs that my body tried to give me. Like the time my stomach felt flip-floppy after I devoured bananas fried in olive oil. I carried on, grateful that I didn’t end up in the bathroom after that banana, although many, many other times I did.

My new way of eating took over my life. I constantly stopped by the market to pick up this or that. With all of the busy-work, I didn’t face my ingrained attitudes. They remained un-mined and unexamined. I put on blinders and endured months of little success on SCD. By June, things got so bad that I faced the decision: quit or keep going. I stayed on SCD. I had more work to do.  I researched my issues; fructose malabsorption, leaky gut and phenols.

I started over. From the beginning. But this time around, I was armed with way more information. After a meal, I listened to the signals that my body gave me. It has told me lots of things. I have been doing the physical work of food preparation, which has dramatically decreased, and I’ve also scrutinized my deeply-held beliefs.

This time around, I have an attitude of contentment.

Being satisfied is the most powerful health-building attitude. Previously, I endured a few frantic months of utter failure, but now SCD is working for me. I am advancing through the food stages slowly and purposefully. My bodily reactions are my guide and I am extremely grateful to have arrived at this point.

Who knows if I’ll ever get back to a semi-normal American diet. At this point, I don’t really care. I am just happy that I’m not in the bathroom.

 

How did you approach diet modification? Did it work for you?

 

xo,

Theresa ~SCD Griddle

10 Comments

Filed under Beginning, Blog