Inbox: Cooking Questions
I have a tip for you that some SCDers may not have tried yet. The first time I made yogurt I stood by the stove for an hour waiting for the milk to heat up. It was a real drag. The next time I made 2 quarts of yogurt I put the milk in a glass bowl (in 2 separate batches) in the microwave and heated each bowlful on high for 8-10 minutes each. When they were done I transferred them to a pot and put the stove on low heat. The milk reached 180 F within about 3 minutes - it was great. Now I can get the milk ready really quickly and be on my way.
Another thing we did in preparation for the diet was to can tomatoes. As you know the diet calls for canned tomato juice only, which I think would be quite limiting. My husband and I bought about 50 lbs of roma tomatoes and made canned tomatoes, marinara sauce (yours), stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and tomato salsa. It makes it so much easier when you are cooking to just grab what you need off the shelf. This might be a helpful tip for those people planning to start the diet.
I'm very happy that I have found your website. I have been doing my own research since no doctor has really given me much as far as dietary direction. After looking at your website I did go and buy the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle and am trying to get started doing the diet. So far it has been challenging trying to figure out how to organize my kitchen and life to get started. I live with my boyfriend and I still haven't figured out how can I make meals for both of us so I don't have to make something different for myself and then feel like i'm missing out. Any advice you might have would be helpful for me. I'm feeling very overwhelmed and am not sure what to do.
Thank you very much. Overwhelmed
Thanks so much for your note! I'm sorry it took awhile to get back to you - I just got back in town after visiting family over the holidays.
Basically, what I do to make meals that work for both my husband, son and myself is that I will make a very "normal" SCD recipe for us all, and then add non-legal food on the side for them, such as bread, rice, potatoes, chips, etc. I have found that this works really well. Find out what kinds of recipes your boyfriend likes and then try to make SCD versions using SCD cookbooks and my website. My favorite main dishes from the website are: San Antonio Tacos, Minestrone Soup, Chicken with Lime Butter, Oven Fried Chicken, Havarti Chicken with Veggies, Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Mom's Meatloaf, Thai Chicken and Vegetables, and Morroccan Chicken. These are all very normal recipes that he should like also.
My mom has put together an Easy Menu Packet that has a week of meals you can use over and over. All the recipes are collected on one laminated page and the packet also includes a pad of 50 grocery lists, so it really helps when you're feeling overwhelmed with cooking!
You could also get ideas on menus through the Menus to Get You Started page on our website.
In addition, you might check out a couple of our magazines that have ideas and tips on cooking:
Shopping and planning tips, kitchen tips: July / August I Want To THRIVE magazine.
Saving time in the kitchen: March/April I Want To THRIVE magazine.
Also, 4 of our magazines have a section titled, "5 Nights, 5 Dinners" which includes a grocery list for each week, so you can plan ahead for a whole week's dinners. They are: January/February; March/April; July/August; November/December.
You might also look at two of my favorite SCD cookbooks: "Lucy's SCD cookbook" and Raman Prasad's "Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet." Raman's has a section that gives a run-down of the basics of the SCD that is really helpful. You can find these and other cookbooks on our Links to SCD Related Websites page.
I hope this helps! Please write any time you have questions...
Been making coconut milk using Elana's Pantry method - with shredded coconut - and it is delish. I no longer trust any canned coconut to be completely pure even if they only list coconut and water as ingredients so this is what I use now. So it is good for people who really need to be super strict or are in the process of figuring out what is causing them trouble.
I modify Elana's recipe by using hot to boiling water to soak coconut directly in my blender. I let it cool a bit and then blend for a full minute. Then I run it through my juicer which I prefer to squeezing it through the strainer bag.
Another item I love recently: Napa Valley Naturals vinegars. They all say no added sugar. They have a balsamic vinegar that is called Grand Reserve that says it is aged up to 18 years. Wow, how incredibly exciting for us SCD'ers out here to have balsamic - so sweet and opens up so many culinary opportunities.
Hey Erin..I am so so thankful for your website..thank you so much, I love your magazines....Anyways, I have been on the diet 2 months now, I was on it for 2 years about 5 years ago and it helped greatly and pretty much treated me....but after two pregnancies and strong hormones...I guess it's back? Anyways....that's beside the point..I was wondering if you knew of any legal tomato paste? It seems some recipes call for "a can" of it and I'm not sure....just thought I'd ask :) thanks... J
I'm so glad you're back on the SCD. You already know it works since you were successful with it a few years ago, so it's great that you are going to get your health back! I've been on it for over 8 years now, without ever going off, and I just live a totally normal life with no intestinal health issues at all, no meds, no pain, no nothing!
I'm glad you like our magazines, too! We're hoping they'll really help people enjoy the diet and see how they can make it part of a regular lifestyle.
About the tomato paste, you can make an easy tomato paste by grinding up some tomatoes in a food processor and then draining the pulp in a strainer lined with a coffee filter. Leave it for a while until it's nice and thick and use as much as you need. During summer, when tomatoes are cheaper, you could make a bunch of it and freeze it in ice cube trays, then when you need some concentrated tomato flavor in a dish, just throw in a cube or two.
Another idea is to buy legal tomato juice (we use Campbell's original tomato juice), pour the whole bottle (or desired amount) into a high sided pan and let it boil for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's thick. This is a great way to make tomato sauce. If you add a little honey, vinegar, cinnamon, etc. to taste, you can make catsup.
Yet another way to get wonderful tomato flavor is to roast whole plum tomatoes in the oven. In a cookie sheet with sides, place several whole tomataoes, salt and pepper them to taste and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning tomatoes once. This makes a great and flavorful, thick sauce that can be used in lots of ways. Hope these ideas help! Erin
I wanted to come up with a cake that at least faintly resembled a birthday cake. My daughter and I love Jim's Fluffy pancakes. My husband gave me the idea of using the Fluffy pancake recipe as a cake recipe. I just wanted to let you know that I doubled the recipe and poured the batter into two 8 in round pans greased with shortening. I baked them at 325 for about 40 minutes. I put a raspberry/gelatin/honey spread (similar to your strawberry spread for the pancakes) between the 2 layers and served. Delish!! Thanks for your website. The info is invaluable. Three members of my family are on the SCD diet and all are doing well.
Thank you for all you do. A few things:
1. We tried "Jim's Fluffy Pancakes" and it is the best SCD pancake recipe that we've tried. I noticed one of the ingredients is 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla, I'm thinking you might have meant 2 teaspoons. Also, since 4 TB = 1/4 cup, you could change the honey measurement to 1/4 cup which would be easier for the baker.
2. I went to Spectrum Natural's website and I read that their Organic Mayonnaise contains Soybean Oil. Per the Legal/Illegal list on www.pecanbread.com, soybean oil is "illegal" so I'm thinking the mayo may not be a good option for people.
3. We ordered (but haven't received yet) some SCD legal biscotti. Have you tried these yet? The web site is: http://www.jkgourmet.ca/. They also sell granola.
4. And here's a nice find: have you found the web site for Digestive Wellness? It is: http://www.digestivewellness.com/
Here people can purchase Marinara Sauce that's sugar free and SCD compliant! There are other products here too. We ordered some of the baked goods, but quite honestly our homemade baked goods are better.
Happy eating! R.M.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the pancake recipe! It's so fun to have "normal" tasting pancakes, isn't it? The 2 Tablespoons of vanilla is correct. Thanks for the tip on the honey measurement.
I know that the soybean oil issue is a bit confusing. I go by what "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" says - all oils are legal according to the book, including oils made from illegal ingredients such as soy or corn. Some people don't prefer to use soy oil, but that is a personal choice. The legal/illegal list is a little confusing on a handful of ingredients, so when in doubt I go by what Elaine said in the book.
Yes, I love the digestive wellness site! I also have ordered some of the premade baked goods and have found this to be a nice treat every once in a while, or when I go on vacation. I have them as a link on "Links to SCD-related sites."
Dear Erin, Your site is such an encouragement , especially the prepared products. Thank you so much for your time. I love chicken but more than that I love marinated chicken, Most all of my recipes for marinade call for soy sauce. Have you found any substitute for soy sauce in your cooking? Thanks so much.
I asked my mom about this question, as she is a very experienced cook and has put together a lot of the recipes for the site, and this is what she wrote:
“I know, soy sauce is a real staple for marinades. Part of what it provides is salt, so you can add that to pineapple juice or lime/lemon juice. I also like to add a little toasted sesame oil to add that Asian flavor. There's nothing I know of with the right color, but that's a secondary consideration. Adding honey to all this will give some of the same effect as teriyaki sauce. Yogurt based marinades are also good. The yogurt has a tenderizing effect like the lemon juice does. The Garlic Chicken Kabobs recipe on page 4 of the Menus to Get You Started documents has a garlic/yogurt marinade that's really good. Also, people often use a regular recipe for Italian vinaigrette dressing (see "great dressings" recipe) as an excellent marinade. Hope this helps!