Date Energy Balls

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I love making energy balls because they’re nutrient-dense, portable, easy to make, and the perfect healthy on-the-go snack.  Especially now that we’re quarantining and working remotely at home, it’s more important now than ever to have some handy and wholesome snacks available.  Personally, I’m so laser-focused when I work from home, that I find it hard, at times, to get up and prepare a proper snack for myself.  These energy balls are ideal for that very reason-—you can easily grab them from the freezer and pop a few in your mouth to give you the energy you need.  And I do prefer keeping these in the freezer because I like the bite to be extra cold.

This recipe was inspired by Melissa’s Healthy Kitchen Birthday Cake Bliss Balls.  I tweaked it slightly to make it SCD legal.  I haven’t tried this, yet, but I think these energy balls would also taste amazing with some lemon zest added to them because lemon zest makes everything taste better.

Ingredients:

  • 16 walnuts (32 halves)
  • 5 Medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Drizzle of honey (optional)
  • Dash of sea salt

Preparation:

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts and shredded coconut until crumbly.  Add in the dates, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt until well combined and a sticky mixture forms.

Scoop the dough by tablespoons and shape into balls.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the balls.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Nutrition facts per serving (serves 12): 103 calories, 7.4 g fat, 3.8 g saturated fat,  1.1 mg sodium, 1.2 g protein, 8.1 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 6.6 g sugar

SCD Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote

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A few weeks ago, I made my very first SCD cheesecake with blueberry compote and I’ve been in love ever since.  I was intimidated to make it at first but it was actually SO easy.  After many Google searches, I found this recipe that uses coconut flour as the crust, which I was thrilled about, because I don’t tolerate nut flours.  I used a 9″ springform pan.

The taste is incredible and truly out of this world.  I’ve seen other SCD cheesecake recipes where people said the cheesecake just tasted okay and was nothing like New York-Style Cheesecake but I swear to you that this SCD cheesecake literally tastes like the real thing!  I’ve been making it weekly and help myself to two slices a day for breakfast since the slices are thin and much smaller compared to New York-Style Cheesecake.

For the dry curd cottage cheese (DCCC), I dripped 3 cups of yogurt for 24 hours, instead. Legal DCCC is nowhere to be found where I live.

For the blueberry compote, I used a different recipe than the one indicated in the cheesecake recipe that I just shared.  I actually got the recipe from @approvedpaleo on Instagram.  I used a few cups of fresh blueberries, 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 3 tbsp honey, like her recipe called for.  I brought it to a simmer and then, turned the heat to low for about 15 minutes until the compote thickened.  Make sure to constantly stir the mixture so that it thickens and doesn’t burn.  If you decide to use frozen fruit, you’ll have to cook it for much longer since the frozen fruit will let out more moisture as it defrosts.  When I made strawberry compote, I actually had to add 1 tbsp of gelatin because it just wouldn’t thicken.

If you’re a cheesecake fan, I highly recommend this recipe.  It’s hands down my favorite SCD dessert recipe I’ve tried in the almost 2 years that I’ve been on SCD (and trust me, I’ve made a lot of SCD desserts!)  You get the sweet indulgence of cheesecake without the guilt, bloat, and calories!

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Nutrition facts per serving (serves 8): 227 calories, 9.1 g fat, 5.5 g saturated fat, 79.8 mg cholesterol, 13.8 mg sodium, 5.1 g protein, 32 g carbs, 3.6 g fiber, 17.4 g sugar

Persian Omelet

Growing up, my dad would always make us Persian omelets on the weekends, which consisted of eggs mixed with tomatoes, onions, and turmeric.  If you’re Persian, then you know that turmeric is a staple spice in every Persian’s household.  Not only does it give a unique and distinctive taste to dishes but it’s anti-inflammatory and jam-packed with health benefits.

My dad’s Persian omelets were something that my brother and I never stopped looking forward to eating.  However, after eating my dad’s Persian omelet and then, seeing an American omelet, I remember feeling confused.  Persian omelets look nothing like the traditional omelets we make in America.  Persian omelets look more like scrambled eggs, whereas American omelets are typically rolled or folded over, with meat, veggies, or cheese in between.  Nevertheless, Persian omelets are absolutely delicious and a true favorite of mine.  Although I love cooking and consider myself to be a good cook, I find myself feeling intimidated when it comes to making Persian dishes I grew up eating, even if it is just an omelet, in this case.  But when my dad recently showed me how to make a Persian omelet, I couldn’t believe just how easy it really was and wondered why I didn’t attempt to make it sooner.  Breakfast time definitely would have been more exciting, delicious, and nutritious.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 eggs
  • Red onions, chopped (use however much to your liking; I’m a little sensitive to onions, so I use less than a handful but enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Cilantro (optional)

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Preparation:

Heat a tbsp of oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat.

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Add your onions and cook until golden.

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Add your tomatoes.

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Cover the pan with a lid for about 5 minutes, keeping a watchful eye on it.  You don’t have to worry about your onions burning because the steam trapped inside the pan from the closed lid will add moisture to the onions.

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When you remove the lid, the tomatoes should be soft enough where you can break them up with a wooden spoon or the spatula you’re using.

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Add your turmeric, salt, pepper, and another tbsp of oil, in order to prevent the tomatoes from sticking to the pan.

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Crack your eggs right into the pan and swirl around.

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Keep swirling the eggs around with the tomato and onion mixture until they form into scrambled eggs.

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Voila!  Just as easy as that, you’ve got yourself a Persian omelet.

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While it’s not traditional to garnish it with cilantro, I did, because I absolutely love cilantro on anything.

I hope you enjoy this dish!  Please leave me a comment if you decide to try it.  I’m curious to know how many others love this dish as much as I do!

Nutrition facts: 162 calories, 10 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 370 mg cholesterol, 146 mg sodium, 12 g protein, 5 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar

Deliciously Crispy Paleo Waffles

I admit that my waffle maker, until recently, had been quietly stashed away into a dark corner in one of my cupboards. I like waffles and have experimented with some recipes but none of them gave me that classic crispiness that traditional gluten waffles are known for. Luckily, I recently ran across Ashley’s 3 Ingredient Crispy Waffles recipe on her blog and decided to give it a go. I figured I didn’t have much to lose with a recipe that requires only three ingredients.

I didn’t have any full-fat coconut milk, so I used the light coconut milk I had on hand and prayed for the best as my waffle sizzled away in the waffle maker. Needless to say, my heart was quickly won over by these waffles! The tapioca flour made the waffles crispy but also gave them this incredible elasticity that made them chewy at the same time. The waffles were also subtly sweet from the coconut milk with a hint of a nutty undertone from the almond flour. They were so good that I had them two days in a row and plan to make more this weekend.

I topped mine with melted butter, a dash of cinnamon, chopped pecans, bananas, and maple syrup! Be sure to head over to Ashley’s blog for this brilliant recipe.

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Sweet Potato Hash & Saturday Morning Traditions

Saturday mornings, for me, have always been reminiscent of my childhood, where I would wake up, bleary-eyed, watch my favorite cartoons, and eagerly wait while my parents made us a hearty breakfast. It resulted in us all sitting at the table, enjoying the finished masterpiece together, and creating memories, while sounds of laughter swirled around the kitchen. Now that I have my own family, I like carrying on that same tradition and so, I’m constantly on the lookout for new recipes to try when my own creative spark doesn’t automatically go off. Last year, I came across a gem of a book called The Paleo Kitchen by Juli Bauer & George Bryant. There is a Sun-Dried Tomato Sweet Potato Hash recipe in there that I put a slight but simple twist on to make the most delicious breakfast that doesn’t take much time at all to whip up. Sweet potatoes on their own are already so tasty that you really don’t need to do much to make a dish involving them taste good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a dash of basil, dried or fresh

Preparation:

Set your stove to medium heat and melt your coconut oil. Add your diced sweet potatoes and stir them around for a few minutes to get them nicely coated and sizzling in the coconut oil.

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Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, then, remove the lid and continue cooking the sweet potatoes for another 10 minutes until they’re nicely browned on all sides. Once the sweet potatoes have browned, add your onions and keep cooking them until they turn translucent.

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add four wells into the sweet potato and onion hash, and crack your eggs into the wells.

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How long you cook your eggs will depend on the firmness at which you want them. I usually find that cooking them for a few minutes, so that they are not completely hard but slightly runny, is plenty to my liking.

Remove from heat. Garnish with basil and serve.

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The combination of coconut oil, sweet potatoes, and eggs gives this dish an incredibly rich, satisfying, and warm taste. It is sure to leave a lasting impression if you decide to incorporate it into your own Saturday morning tradition.

Breakfast Smoothies

I’ve been on a hiatus but I’m back! While I love the Specific Carb Diet and everything it stands for, I have to admit that I haven’t been following it religiously these past 6 months. The reason is that I’m pregnant (yay!) and as most pregnant women can vouch, the thought of most meat dishes still repulse me. In fact, being pregnant has made me crave all those starchy carbs that the SCD is not about, hence, my lack of posts on here lately. But, I am not sweating it. If I can’t give in to my indulgences while pregnant, then why can I? After all, I am eating for two now, right? 🙂

I do have a few yummy smoothie recipes for you all, though. The first one is SCD legal, while the second one is not, since chocolate is not legal on the SCD. Let’s jump right into it!

Smoothie #1 (SCD Legal)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • A handful of frozen mixed berries
  • A handful of frozen pineapple chunks
  • A handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 banana
  • A splash of 100% orange juice
  • A drizzle of honey

Preparation:

Blend all ingredients together, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

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Smoothie #2 (Non-SCD Legal)

Now this second smoothie is the non-SCD legal one, as I’ve pointed out above. I was at Trader Joe’s the other day and decided to get their chocolate almond milk.

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Its consistency is smooth and the drink itself tastes no different than regular chocolate milk; you can’t even detect any trace of almonds in its taste. I initially wanted to add bananas to this smoothie but since we just ran out, I had to get a little creative.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter
  • A handful of frozen mixed berries
  • A few ice cubes

Preparation:

Blend the first four ingredients together, adding the ice cubes at the end. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

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What I liked most about this smoothie is that it doesn’t even taste like it’s supposed to be good for you — instead, it tastes chocolatey, peanut buttery, and downright delicious! An added bonus is that it really is healthy for you, though it’s not SCD legal.

Now that I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, I can actually stomach a lot of things I wasn’t able to in the beginning, so I hope to post more SCD recipes in the near future. I want to thank each of you for being faithful subscribers; I really do appreciate all of you stopping by, leaving me comments, and checking my page out, though I know my updates have not been frequent.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year! Cheers to a great 2014!

Baked Frittata

Call me silly but I never knew, until recently, what a frittata was. Turns out it’s an open-faced Italian style omelette. It makes a great breakfast, is perfect for brunch or even lunch! The best part is that you can use whatever veggies you have in your fridge and just throw everything together.

I found the recipe here. I love that there’s an instructional video there, too, because it takes out the guess work. Here’s how mine turned out:

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I used zucchini and rosemary from our garden, sun dried tomatoes, onions, and garlic for my frittata. The end result was delicious and I even had leftovers to take to work for breakfast the next morning. I think this would have tasted even more wonderful with some turkey bacon and cherry tomatoes.

Enjoy!

Apple and Berry Crumble

I’ve been slacking, somewhat, lately, when it comes to experimenting with new dishes. In the past few weeks, the latest I’ve tried have been this apple and berry crumble, as well as cauliflower fried rice (which is amazing!) The apple and berry crumble is perfect for those moments when your sweet tooth gets the best of you but you still want to eat something clean.

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
  • A handful of mixed frozen berries (I use Costco’s Kirkland brand of Nature’s Three Berries, which has raspberries, blueberries, and marionberries)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 c. almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Honey to drizzle on top

Preparation:

Spray a 8 x 8 dish with cooking spray and add your apples and berries. Mix the egg white, almond flour, coconut oil, and lemon juice. Separate your “crumble” into chunks and crumble on top of your fruit. Sprinkle the cinnamon. Drizzle honey on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

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This dessert is so heavenly! I was a little worried tomorrow’s leftovers would turn soggy from the almond flour crumble but it held up nicely.

Enjoy!

Almond Flour and Coconut Flour Pancakes

This recipe is a play on my original almond flour pancakes recipe I posted a few months ago. Since coconut flour gives everything a subtle and deliciously sweet taste, I decided to experiment with it. These pancakes turned out fluffy, moist, and so good; I loved the little chunks of coconut inside the pancakes as I ate each bite. I doubled some parts of my original recipe. This recipe makes about 6 pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (for cooking the pancakes in; I used Trader Joe’s organic virgin coconut oil)

Preparation:

Mix the ingredients together (except for the coconut oil.) Heat your nonstick pan up with your coconut oil. Pour the pancake batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto your pan. Cook for about a minute to a minute and a half on each side (turning when the edges are dry and bubbles form on the surface of the pancake.) After removing from the pan, layer a piece of butter in between each pancake. Drizzle honey on top and enjoy!

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Fried Banana

We’ve all been guilty of buying bananas, with the best intentions of eating them, only to see them ripening away on the counter, untouched. Instead of throwing them into a smoothie or frantically searching your cupboards for ingredients to bake them into something, why not fry them into a delicious treat? The best part of this recipe is that you need only a few ingredients, which you most likely have lying around the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • A drizzle of honey

Preparation:

Heat a nonstick pan with the coconut oil. Wait a minute and allow it to heat up. Take your banana, cut it in half, and then cut it lengthwise down the middle, so that you have four pieces of banana. Lay each piece in the pan on the coconut oil. Fry on medium heat for 2 minutes on each side. flipping with a spatula. Remove your banana from the pan and transfer onto a plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle lightly with honey.

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This is great as a snack (especially for pre and post-workouts), for dessert, or even for breakfast! It’s simple to make, tastes delicious, and is healthy. And, you’ll be sparing your bananas from being thrown away, too!

Enjoy!