Sunday, September 27, 2009


I love chicken. I really do. I used to purchase frozen boneless and skinless SCD legal chicken breasts, but eventually I got tired of them being totally tasteless. Plus, they're expensive.

So, here's a great way to cut your chicken costs.

Look for sale prices on SCD legal, bone-in chicken breasts. I've seen several legal brands of these available fresh. Foster Farms and Sanderson Farms are two brands local to me (I live in Los Angeles).

Much of the time, I can get these for $2 per pound regular price, and 99 cents per pound while on sale!

But of course, this is an SCD blog. And one of the major themes of SCD is "make it yourself"!

This overwhelms a lot of people, but the secret to surviving is to buy, and cook, in bulk.

So! Here is about 10 pounds worth of bone-in chicken breasts, ready to go into the oven. I can fit two 9x13 glass pans side by side on the top shelf, and I have a slightly larger glass pan that I put on the bottom shelf.

I cook these at 450 degrees for about an hour and fifteen minutes. There's no need to cover them if you leave the skin on.

I was going to take a picture of the chicken after it cooked, but I forgot. Sorry!

Anyway, what I usually do is I cook all of this chicken. Then, I personally eat all of the skin. This is a meal for me, because my son is the only child in the history of the universe who does not like chicken skin. I know, I know. What is the world coming to?

After the chicken has had time to cool down, I pull all the meat off and store it like so in the refrigerator:

This way, I have food for at least four days or so, and it took at most an hour of work total. I eat it on salads, or alone with olive oil, salt and pepper. You will have to re-season it, though, since most of the seasoning was probably on the chicken skin.

Once you've eaten chicken breast off the bone, I swear that you will never want to go back to frozen chicken breasts. This stuff tastes WAY better.

And guess what else? You can save all those bones to make the best chicken stock ever. If I'm not ready to make stock, I just throw all the bones and leftover little pieces of chicken and cartilage and stuff into large ziploc bags for later use. Occasionally I'll just throw a bunch of bones in the crock pot and let it cook all night long.

So there you go -- cheap, fast, easy, delicious (and convenient) chicken!

Friday, September 25, 2009

kitchen stuff giveaway

All of us SCDers could do with some help around the kitchen. The Sweeps4Bloggers blog is giving away an assortment of items from Chef'n.

Items include some nice mixing bowls with spouts, measuring cups, and one-piece spatulas that are easy to clean.

Check out the rules and enter here!

Friday, September 11, 2009

canning jars

Next on my list of things to buy are canning jars.

I haven't made the foray into real canning as of yet, but these jars are so useful, I can't believe I haven't picked up more of them yet. Here's what led to my revelation.

If you're on the specific carbohydrate diet, you have to be careful with many things. Things such as spices.

I go out of my way to find additive free garlic and onion powders and granulations at places such as The Spice House and Penzey's. I often buy them in bulk.

Of course, when buying in bulk, you want to be able to store your spices neatly. I purchased a large 8 oz jar for spice storage around the same time that I bought my last batch of spices. I got really annoyed when I found out that the cardboard inside the lid wasn't removable, and the big glob of cement-like glue was impossible to remove.

If I'd known the lid wasn't washable, I wouldn't have purchased it.

Thinking about this, I noticed my other larger Ball jars on the counter (holding kosher salt and coffee), and realized I could buy jelly jars for my spices.

Canning jars are fantastic for this kind of storage. They're always washable in the dishwasher, and the lids are replaceable. Plus, the jars are cheap. I checked at the grocery store, and a dozen jelly jars only costs $10.

Instead of struggling to get your measuring spoon into your spice containers, wouldn't it be nice to have that nice big jar opening? I admit you don't need this for all spices, but I'd definitely appreciate it for things I use all the time, like garlic and onion.

It's ridiculous I didn't think of this sooner, but there ya go.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


A good example of a food that varies widely due to how it's produced is the humble egg.

I can very easily tell the difference between the organic omega-3 eggs I purchase at Costco (about $4.50 for 18 eggs) and the "regular" grocery store eggs.

For one thing, the regular egg is much thinner. I could easily crush it in my hand, and the shell would just disintegrate without causing me discomfort.

If I tried to do that with one of the organic omega-3 eggs, I'd end up with some painful, hard shell pieces poking me. I think I'd be afraid to try it, honestly. The shells of the omega-3 eggs are at least twice as thick as those of their conventionally produced cousins.

Conventional egg yolks tend to be pale. The organic omega-3 eggs have a much darker, firmer yolk that stands up well in a frying pan.

Remember that "free range" and "cage free" don't necessarily mean the egg is any better for you or for the hens. The hens might have been treated well -- or they might not have. They might have been outdoors -- or they might have been kept indoors the entire time with no access to bugs and other healthy morsels.

In terms of egg quality, it means nothing at all.

Check out the Food Renegade's guide to eggs for more detailed information on what you should look for in an egg.

Monday, September 7, 2009

cooking marathon returns!

I went back through my old posts with the intention of organizing my past recipes a bit better.

I did make some headway on that, although some of those recipes need to stay in the archives. A few are just embarrassing. :)

Anyway, I had forgotten that I used to do these cooking marathon posts. The thing is, I don't do all that many cooking marathons anymore. I still cook in bulk a lot of the time, though, and I will often make two or three things in a day, but rarely will I devote the entire day to cooking.

I've made quite a lot of food over the last two days, however, so I will share that with you. Cooking marathon returns!

Yesterday it was still hot, although not quite hot enough to keep the apartment shut tight, thank goodness. Air quality has been an issue, due to the Station Fire here in SoCal. We kept the windows open while I cooked a whole butternut squash in the oven. If you've never cooked squash this way, I highly recommend it. My hands aren't a fan of cutting up anything as hard as that, so it's very nice to just set it in a small glass pan, prick it with a fork, and leave it for about 90 minutes at 400.

At the same time, I made some hard boiled eggs. When they were done, I rinsed out the pan and then used it to start a large batch of SCD ketchup. You just reduce Campbell's tomato juice to the thickness you'd like. I posted about how to make ketchup here, and that's one of the posts I wish would be lost to the sands of time. I now simmer it in a very large pan with a mesh screen on top and I leave it alone. I bought the screen for $2 at Ikea. So now I don't have to watch it at all anymore!

Later in the evening, I pulled together what was left in the produce drawer and made a vaguely Mexican skillet meal. I really can't share the recipe, because I haven't truly yet succeeded in making anything taste really Mexican. I used some nice lean ground beef and chopped up some green onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos. I then heavily seasoned it, but like I said, it wasn't all that great. :)

The next day (today), we went shopping. First, I made Karianne's bread, and left it out to cool (after Clark begged a piece, of course).

We bought the following SCD legal items while out:

--almond butter
--coconut milk
--goat milk cheddar
--2 pounds frozen spinach
--red peppers
--yellow peppers
--1 bunch red leaf lettuce
--1 bunch romaine
--6 bunches green onions
--bok choy
--organic raspberries (99 cents for a little container, yay)

Now, the almond butter, coconut milk and goat cheddar will likely last at least two weeks, but most of the other food will likely last around 10 days (if we're lucky).

Due to my bargain hunting ways, this trip did not break the bank. At Trader Joe's, the almond butter is $5 per jar. The coconut milk is 99 cents a can. The goat milk cheddar is around $10 per pound (I don't buy it often; it's more a treat for my son), which is half the price of any other goat cheddar.

The most expensive produce I purchased was the yellow peppers and the frozen spinach. Both were $1.29 per pound.

OK! Next, I left the spinach on the counter to thaw, and then I decided to be brave and bold and try a triple batch of totally safe mayo in the blender. It worked! It was also delicious so *cough* it's already half gone *cough*.

My last cooking task of the day was meatloaf. I took the now-thawed spinach and dumped both pounds of it into a large bowl. Then I realized it was really really wet, and I figured that wouldn't work well for meatloaf, so I decided to drain it. I dumped it into my colander over another pan and drained it just by pressing down with my hands, since I was short on time.

Once that was done, I put what was left of the spinach back in the big bowl, along with four pounds of beef, about 1/2 a cup of SCD legal ketchup, and spices and seasonings. I made four small meatloaves and tossed them in the oven at 400 for about an hour and a half (I think I accidentally set the oven at 375, which is why they took so long. Argh.)

They turned out OK. Nothing to write home about, but they'll be adequate for the coming week.

So that's all for me. *sigh of relief* I guess it kind of was a marathon, wasn't it?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

karianne's grain free bread

I've been hanging on to this recipe for a while, and I've been looking forward to sharing it with you!

Months ago, on the Pecanbread mailing list, member Karianne (who has Asperger's) posted a recipe for a loaf of specific carbohydrate diet bread.

It was so simple it was hard to believe.

Many of us scrambled to try this bread. We had to do some recipe conversion, since Karianne lives in Europe, but we managed!

This bread is moist, delicious, holds its shape well, and can be toasted.

And it's made from almond butter! No flour required.

Karianne made hers with cinnamon. I left it out and made a few more tweaks to be more like a sandwich bread, but I'm still going to call it hers. Thank you, Karianne, for your amazing recipe!


1 16 oz jar of almond butter
1/2 c cooked butternut squash
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp baking soda
5 eggs
1/4 tsp salt (if almond butter is unsalted)

Beat ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Pour into a parchment paper-lined loaf pan (or well greased loaf pan). Bake at 325-350 degrees for one hour.

The bread will be firm to the touch and a knife will come out clean when it's done.

Storage: Allow bread to cool completely (this is important). Place loaf in a large ziploc bag on top of a folded paper towel. Squeeze air out and store in refrigerator.

Here's what it looks like coming out. Believe me when I say it's very solid. It will not fall apart!

And here's my little guy enjoying it!

Now go make some bread! The recipe is very forgiving, so try some different ingredients out with it. It's awesome!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

salads and a new blogger

I eat salads at least once a day, sometimes twice. So I thought I would post my of-the-moment salad ingredients.

On the menu this week:

Broccoli slaw (2 pounds for $2 at Smart n Final, yay!)
Romaine lettuce
Some kind of green curly leafed lettuce
Radishes (cheap and tasty)
Cilantro (also cheap and tasty, and good for detoxing, I understand)

The dressing I've been making is olive oil, cider vinegar, and spicy mustard. Salt and pepper, and garlic and onion powder (from Penzey's, since their spices are SCD legal) occasionally make an appearance as well.

In other news, I was recently contacted by a gluten free (non SCD) blogger who goes by Ariana, so stop by her blog over here if you're interested and would like to follow her food escapades. :)

In other news, I have been having difficulty with images, which is why I haven't posted too many recipes lately. I would like to blame this on the fact that I have to use my husband's digital camera -- I have to ask him to download the images, and then ask him to put them on my computer, since I don't have my own camera. But the real problem is that I didn't have good image editing software. Now I do, and once it's installed, you should be seeing a few more recipes!

I'd still like my own camera though. :)

Enjoy the rest of your week and I hope to post more soon!