SCD Legal Stuffed Bell Peppers

A few months ago, I posted a stuffed bell peppers recipe that wasn’t SCD legal. Now that I’m on the SCD, I’d been wanting to modify that recipe. This afternoon, I did just that, and let me tell you, the stuffed bell peppers I made today taste 100 times better than my original recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 12 red bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 c. Campbell’s tomato juice (in order for it to be SCD legal, the tomato juice you use can’t have tomato paste in it. It’s been reported that V8 has tomato paste, which is why I use Campbell’s brand.)
  • 1/2 c. Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt (I love pink Himalayan sea salt!)
  • Pepper

Preparation:

Just like my original recipe indicates, you’ll want to wash your bell peppers, cut the tops off, and remove the seeds and membranes. This time, I also kept the stems, instead of discarding them like last time. Place them in a pot of salted, boiling water. Boil for 7 minutes. When it’s time to remove them from heat and rinse them in a colander, the skins of your bell peppers should look shriveled up. This is what you want! Last time I made my stuffed bell peppers, the skins hadn’t wrinkled, yet, so the bell peppers were a little crunchy, even after being in the oven for so long.

Put your bell peppers aside to cool a bit and let’s move on to preparing the stuffing.

In a large nonstick pan, cook your ground turkey. Drain the fat in a bowl once the turkey has browned. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute your onions until they become translucent. Add the garlic, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Add 2 cups of the tomato juice and stir your stuffing, so that it mixes well and the flavors distribute evenly.

Spray the bottom of a 13 x 9 Pyrex with cooking spray. Cover the entire bottom of the Pyrex with the remaining 1 cup of tomato juice. Grab each bell pepper, sprinkle the inside with sea salt, and stuff the bottom with a small amount of Jack and cheddar cheese. Add your stuffing so that it fills up half of your bell pepper, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, and fill the rest of your bell pepper up with more stuffing. Place your bell peppers on the tomato juice in the Pyrex.

Put your bell peppers inside a 350 degree heated oven with their lids on top. Cook for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove your bell peppers, take off their stems, and sprinkle your bell peppers with a mix of Jack and cheddar cheese. Place the stems inside the Pyrex but not on the bell peppers. Cook for 8 minutes, until your cheese nicely melts and browns.

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I threw one green bell pepper in there for aesthetic purposes but generally speaking, red bell peppers are so much sweeter than their green counterparts and add so much more juicy flavor. Although my modified stuffed bell peppers recipe today had way fewer ingredients than my original stuffed bell peppers recipe, it tasted a whole lot better! I felt having fewer ingredients helped bring out all the flavors more. Also, boiling the bell peppers longer in water helped soften them, which added to this dish’s flavor.

On a side note, the stuffing obviously is enough for more than 3 bell peppers but that’s all I had on hand. I would guess this recipe could easily fill a dozen bell peppers total.

These stuffed bell peppers are ooey, gooey, cheesy, and delicious! I will definitely be making them more often in the future. I hope you try your hands at them. If you do, be sure to let me know how they turn out.

Enjoy!

Grain-Free Donuts

Being on the SCD can be tough for many, since you inevitably miss a lot of the old foods you used to be able to eat. Luckily, we live in a time where Google exists, so finding a proper substitution for your favorite foods is just a few clicks away! The other week I found a grain-free donut recipe. I wasn’t sure how the consistency of the donuts would be but to my surprise, the donuts turned out very moist and fluffy! They also taste divine! The “frosting,” which is made up of food processed dates, raisins, peanut butter, vanilla,  cinnamon, and coconut oil, is so out-of-this-world delicious. I never knew food processing ingredients like that together could come anywhere close to resembling and tasting like real frosting.

I didn’t have a donut pan, so I had to make a trip to Target to pick one up. It was a small price to pay for how delicious these babies turned out! The original recipe can be found here:

http://www.texanerin.com/2012/05/grain-free-cinnamon-roll-donuts.html

I almost followed the recipe to a tee; the only substitution I made was swapping out the almond butter for peanut butter, since I didn’t have almond butter on hand.

My fear before making these was that they would taste too much like almonds because of the almond flour base. But, I think what really masks the almond flour taste is the addition of cinnamon, coconut oil, and nutmeg! Also, for the frosting ingredients, I would strongly recommend using the coconut oil, though the author of the recipe mentions that she might leave that out next time she makes them. The addition of the coconut oil ensures your frosting is as smooth as possible and easily spreads onto your donuts.

Word to the wise, don’t try to spread your frosting on while your donuts are piping hot or else you’ll ruin your donuts. Wait about 2-3 minutes, so that they’re still a little warm, and then, spread your frosting.

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These donuts are so good that words can’t even describe them! Try them for yourself. They definitely make me not miss the traditional sugar-laden donuts.

Enoy!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

When I found out about almond flour crust pizza, I thought whoever came up with it was brilliant. That’s until I heard about cauliflower crust pizza. I heard of this amazing pizza crust a few months ago and had been itching to try it ever since. But, since I didn’t have a food processor and didn’t feel like grating the cauliflower by hand, I put it off. Luckily, I just bought a food processor, so, I’ve been trying out all sorts of recipes, including this one!

I found two recipes online and switched between the two to make my pizza. The recipes can be found here:

Basically, I’m going to list out which parts of the two recipes I followed. The recipes call for medium heads of cauliflower. The cauliflower I bought seemed large, so, I used only half of it, only to have to go back and repeat the process to use the other half, since it barely yielded any “dough.” After food processing my cauliflower, I microwaved it for 4 minutes, like the first blog, The Lucky Penny, says. I also used all of the ingredients she listed in order to make the crust (which, I must add, turned out to be amazing!), including the almond meal, minus the red pepper flakes (I used regular black pepper.) Adding the egg white is listed as optional but I advise you use it because it helps the dough bind together better. I found that without the egg white, my dough wasn’t adhesive.

I used Closet Cooking’s cooking times, since my pizza crust was pretty thick. I baked my crust for 20 minutes. You’ll notice when it’s done, as it’ll give off a nice light golden brown color. After taking it out of the oven, I layered my pizza with mozzarella cheese (as much as you want), spinach, green onions, red onions, tomatoes, and turkey pepperoni. For those on the SCD, we can’t eat commercially bought pizza sauce, so, I left that out. I then put a final layer of mozzarella cheese on top, in order make all the toppings stick. I put my pizza back in the oven and baked for 10 minutes and broiled for another 3 minutes. Just remove your pizza from the oven when your cheese melts and begins to bubble. When it’s ready, you’ll be able to tell.

My first impression of this pizza was that it’s absolutely incredible! My husband is often my guinea pig, since he gets to try my recipes before they, “hit the public.” He seriously couldn’t stop talking about how fabulous it tasted. You really can’t tell it’s not “real” pizza, either. The cauliflower taste isn’t even noticeable, especially since the pizza crust recipe is jam packed with all those flavorful herbs! Plus, the only real fattening part of this pizza is the cheese, so, really, how can you go wrong with this recipe? I can’t imagine how much more amazing it would have tasted had I added some sauce to it but we didn’t notice any difference in flavor.

The best part is that the actual crust looks like real pizza crust. Just be sure to ring out all the water after you microwave your cauliflower, so that your crust doesn’t become soggy. We probably wrung out about a cup of water. If you’re like me and don’t have much hand strength, ask your husband or significant other to ring it out for you!

Here’s the masterpiece, in all its magnificent glory:

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I urge you all to try this incredible pizza! If you have kids and are trying to sneak some healthy options into their meals, I guarantee you they will love this and that they won’t be able to tell the difference!

Enjoy!

Grilled Avocado

I LOVE avocados! When I started the SCD and saw avocados were SCD legal, I was ecstatic. The three foods I don’t think I could ever live without are avocados, mangos, and cheese! The grilled avocados I made yesterday were wonderful; any true avocado aficionado will enjoy them. I used mini avocados for mine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • Salt (I used pink Himalayan salt; I feel it gives it way more flavor than regular table salt)
  • Pepper

Cut your avocados in half, remove the pits, and sprinkle generously with the grated Parmesan cheese. I put mine in the toaster oven on broil for about 5-10 minutes. Depending on your oven, you’ll want to remove your avocados once the cheese melts and gives a nice brown color. Remove from the oven, squeeze  fresh lemon on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

My stomach can’t handle spicy foods but if you like spicy, you can add some chili powder or cayenne to yours. If you’re not on the SCD, you can also add some Sriracha hot sauce for a little extra kick!

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Black Bean Brownies

This is another pre-SCD recipe that I tried a few months back. I had tasted black bean brownies before but the recipe didn’t use egg as an ingredient, and while they were good, the brownies tasted very dry. This recipe I found online for black bean brownies is delicious and makes the brownies turn out very moist! I gave them to our guests and no one knew I had used beans, instead of chocolate, for the main ingredient; in fact, they kept going on about how good the brownies tasted! You can find the recipe here.

I made very few changes. I left out the instant coffee completely; instead, for the cocoa powder ingredient, I used Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Mocha Hot Cocoa Mix, so that the brownies would have both a coffee flavor and a chocolate flavor all in one. I also left the chocolate chips out, to keep it as healthy as possible. These brownies are seriously good!

What I love even more is that you literally throw all the ingredients together in a blender, pour it in a baking dish, and put in the oven. I used a 8 x 8 inch baking dish for mine.

I hope you have fun making these and enjoy eating them even more!

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Hearty Vegetable Stew

I made this stew during winter, before I had started the SCD, and my husband and I really enjoyed it! It’s thick and full of flavor! It’s also the first stew I ever made, so, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty it turned out. I’ve come to realize that stews are pretty much foolproof. The best part about stews is that although they sometimes require a lot of ingredients, you mostly just throw everything in one big pot and let the flavors all come together.

This stew is perfect for those cold fall and winter nights when you want something that will really warm you up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 of a 15.5 oz can of garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 of a 16 oz. can of kidney beans
  • 1/2 of a 15.25 oz can of corn
  • 1/2 of a 4 oz can of green chiles, chopped
  • Handful of colorful mini bell peppers, chopped
  • Handful of baby carrots
  • 2 c. spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 c. tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

In a pot, saute the chopped red onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the green chilies and diced tomatoes, and continue sauteing. Remove everything from the pot and puree in a food processor; then, return to pot and add the chicken broth and water.

Add the garbanzo beans, kidney beans, corn, mini bell peppers, spinach, and baby carrots. Add the oregano, basil, rosemary, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on medium to low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally in between. Remove from heat and enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Baked Chicken Tenders

The chicken I made last night looks like fried chicken but is actually baked and it has only 1 gram of carbs per serving! OMG, yes, I said only 1 gram of carbs!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg

Preparation:

Mix the almond meal, paprika, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Cut your chicken breast lengthwise into 10 strips. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, put it inside the bowl with the almond meal and seasonings, and give the bowl a few shakes, so that the chicken tenders get evenly coated.  Lay the chicken tenders flat on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree heated oven for a total of 16 minutes; after the first 8 minutes, flip the chicken tenders over, allowing both sides to brown nicely.

Chicken 1

Chicken 2

Lift each chicken tender up with tongs, allow to cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!

Chicken 3

Chicken 4

I love how these look fried but are actually baked. Yum! And, did I mention each tender only has 1 gram of carbs?! Now, how can you beat that?