Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice

Last night I was craving something healthy (I never thought the day would come in my pregnancy when I would say that!), so I decided to spruce up an old classic. I took my original Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe, added some chicken to it, and tweaked some of the ingredients. Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lbs. lean chicken breasts, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (omit for Specific Carbohydrate Diet)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (omit for Specific Carbohydrate Diet)
  • Salt, to taste (I like using Himalayan Pink Salt that you can freshly grind yourself; I feel it tastes more mild than other salts)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation:

For this part, you can refer to my original post, as I pretty much prepared it in the same way, except this time, I sautéed the garlic last. So, after cooking your red onions, add your green onions, then add your garlic. Since garlic burns quickly, I felt it would be best to hold off on cooking it until the end.

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I also sautéed the chicken in a separate pan for about 15 minutes until it turned golden brown. Then, I added the chicken and eggs to the cauliflower fried rice last, after I had added the final two ingredients of soy and Worcestershire sauces.

Here is the finished product!

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The end result was a delicious, satisfying, and completely guiltless meal. The chicken was a nice touch, as the protein helped keep me full longer than usual. And, I have to add that even if you don’t like cauliflower, you will like this dish because once you sauté the cauliflower, there is no real cauliflower taste. The cauliflower  acts as a nice substitution for rice without the calories.

Bon appétit!

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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!

Banana Ice Cream

Have you ever craved ice cream but wanted to spare the calories (and the guilt?) Well, then, I have a treat for you! You can make healthy ice cream (I know, sounds like an oxymoron) with just one simple ingredient: bananas!

All you need are bananas, which you’ve frozen ahead of time. For the picture below, I used two frozen bananas and pulsed them in my food processor until they turned creamy. If your bananas are super frozen, it will take a few minutes until they turn smooth. You’ll just want to keep taking off the lid to your food processor, scraping the sides, and pulsing the bananas until they turn into an ice cream consistency.

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If you want it to have the true ice cream look, you can freeze your ice cream after you food process it; then, after a few hours, scoop it with an ice cream scooper. It will then look like this:

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And, if you want to get really fancy (like I was in the picture above), you can add 1 tablespoon of all-natural, no sugar added peanut butter after pulsing your bananas.

It doesn’t get much tastier and healthier than that!

Enjoy!

Strawberry Mango Almond Milk Popsicle

One thing I love about summer is popsicles! I remember those summers as a kid when I would relish eating the Popsicle brand ice pops. The thing I love most about popsicles is how easy they are to make and how versatile they are. You just get whatever ingredients you want, add some liquid, and freeze them. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, right? 

I realized last night that I don’t have any popsicle molds, so while I was at Target, I picked some up. How cute are these?!

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After getting home, I decided to make almond milk popsicles and let me tell you, they came out terrific! It was so good I’m considering going for round 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 10 strawberries
  • 1 small mango

Preparation:

Now, here’s the easy part! Blend everything together and pour into popsicle molds. After pouring them in, I also cut up a strawberry and threw small chunks inside the molds to make the popsicles look pretty. The hardest part was letting them freeze overnight!

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Such a cool, refreshing, and yummy summer treat!

Enjoy!

Homemade Plum Jam, Sweetened with Honey

One huge benefit of having fruit trees (besides the yummy fruit it yields) is getting to make jam! This season, our plum tree has been producing more fruit than we can keep up with, even with giving bucketfuls away to family.

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Yesterday, I realized the plums I picked last week were still in the fridge and had gotten quite ripe, so, I thought to myself, why not make some jam? I had never made jam before but didn’t think it would be terribly difficult. Thanks to Google, I was able to find this recipe that is SCD legal since it uses honey, instead of sugar, to sweeten the jam. I didn’t have pectin, which I found out is a naturally-occurring thickening agent used in jams but luckily, my jam set perfectly without it. I also didn’t have cardamom on hand nor did I add water, since my plums were already very ripe and mushy after I chopped them.

Also, in case you’re wondering why my plum jam looks more like apricot jam, it’s because our plum tree at home grows three different types of plums — green, orange, and purple, and I used the orange variety. I just thought I’d mention that, since a friend of mine asked me about that today and I can now see why she was puzzled about it.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups plums, pitted and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice

Preparation:

Get your freshly washed plums and pit them. I do this by cutting around the corners and taking the pits out.

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Afterward, you can either chop the plums by hand or do what I did and put them in the food processor. I found that the latter was much more efficient.

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Now, get a large, deep pot. If I could do it all over again, I would have not used the small pot I had because it made the jam-making process so annoying. The jam kept splattering on my face and arms, burning me. Also, by the time I was done making the jam, the entire stovetop, microwave, counter space, and ground was sticky with jam. I also had to wear a robe and two oven mitts (the oven mitts met their demise last night, as they were completely covered with jam by the time I was done!) to prevent further burning. I bet if anyone were watching me, it would have been a hilarious sight! So, again, I repeat: get the deepest pot you have and set it aside!

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After you have your pot, measure out your honey, set your stove on a little less than medium low heat, and pour the honey inside.

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Give it a minute or two for the honey to warm up.

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Next, stir in your plums.

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Keep stirring, so that the honey doesn’t burn, until everything comes to a boil (this takes a bit of time.) Afterward, add in your lemon juice and orange juice. Now, here’s the fun part: keep stirring until the mixture thickens and turns into jam. You’ll notice that white foam will appear on top throughout the process; don’t worry, that’s normal, just keep keep stirring and mixing the jam.

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I read that if you want to use a candy thermometer to better gauge when your jam is ready, that the thermometer should read 220 degrees, since that’s the ideal setting point. However, my jam ended up setting at about 180-200 degrees. You’ll know it’s ready once the mixture thickens. For me, it took about an hour and a half, on low to almost medium low heat, for my jam to harden.

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When it hardens, you should be able to scoop it up like this and not have it be watery.

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Alas, time for pictures of the finished product. Ladies and gentleman, I give you homemade jam!

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After making this jam, I was then compelled to go to Target and buy some cute Mason jars!

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The jam itself is absolutely delicious! I LOVE plums, so having plum jam is like icing on the cake for me.

Although it can be a little time consuming, homemade jam is not hard to make and is totally worth the time it takes to make. It feels so much better eating something that has only 4 simple ingredients, as opposed to a whole laundry list of ingredients that are made up of chemicals and can’t be pronounced.

Enjoy!

Cauliflower Tortillas

Bread is probably one of the top things I miss the most since starting the SCD. Luckily, there are a ton of SCD legal recipes online for pretty much anything I might be craving. A few weeks ago, I was in the mood for some soft tacos and so, I went on the hunt to find a good tortilla recipe. That’s when I came across this recipe for cauliflower tortillas. I also watched a separate YouTube video on it, which I found extremely helpful. For those of you who are more visual learners, the video will come in handy! Can we say genius?! I’ve experimented with cauliflower fried rice, cauliflower mash, and cauliflower crust pizza, all of which were a hit, and each time, I found it crazy how this vegetable can mirror the perfect substitute for bread and starchy carbs. So, when I found the recipe for cauliflower tortillas, I had no doubt the tortillas would taste fantastic.

One head of cauliflower made 5-6 tortillas. The only downside is that I felt it took quite a bit of time to prepare it all for so few tortillas. The plus side is that the tortillas tasted absolutely amazing, so amazing that no one would ever be able to know they were made out of cauliflower. They kind of tasted like corn tortillas but more flavorful. I should also mention that I spruced up the original recipe by adding oregano and thyme to it. You can feel free to add your favorite herbs to add as much flavor as you want. Also, word of advice: at the end when you’re browning your tortillas, make sure not to add any oil or cooking spray to the pan. The tortillas are already delicate, so I experienced adding any oil just made them more fragile. Just press them down lightly with a spatula to give them a nice golden color.

Here are how mine turned out:

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The ones topped with feta cheese are my husband’s. I garnished each taco with cilantro and some chopped green onions. My husband’s exact words were that I outdid myself and that this meal is now one of his new favorites.

Happy eating! Enjoy!

Baked Pesto & Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Brussels Sprouts

Two posts in one day?! Yes! I owe it to you guys and gals for taking so long to post a new recipe on here. So, I made baked pesto and cheese stuffed chicken breasts for dinner tonight, along with a side of Brussels sprouts. My husband raved about it and said this is up there as one of my all-time top dishes! SCORE!

Thanks to Pinterest for another recipe, which can be found here. I made some modifications, mostly because I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand and because I thought it would taste good either way.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Pesto
  • One slice of your favorite cheese (I used Tillamook’s medium cheddar)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp almond meal
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Preparation:

First, put your chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and pound them. If you have a meat mallet that’s great but unfortunately, all I had to work with was a potato masher, which ended up doing the trick. Then, get your pesto and spread it on your chicken breasts. Cut a slice of cheese in quarters and put two quarters on each chicken breast on top of the pesto. Roll your chicken and secure with toothpicks (I needed 3 for each.)

In a bowl, beat your egg. Fill another bowl with your almond meal. Dip each chicken breast into the egg and coat with almond meal. Place in a 8 x 8 casserole dish that’s been coated with cooking spray. Drizzle olive oil on top of the chicken breasts. Place in a 375 degree heated oven and bake for 35 minutes.

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Follow the recipe for the Brussels sprouts here. I assure you that they will be the best darn Brussels sprouts you’ve ever had, even if you’re not a Brussels sprouts fan. The sprouts turn out crispy, salty, and delicious! Remember to season generously with sea salt.

And, voila! Here’s the finished product:

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Both the chicken and the sprouts were made in an hour. I love easy dinners that look like they took so much longer to make.

Enjoy!