Monthly Archives: November 2011

Learning to Love My Crockpot

Salmon Cake

I love to cook but to be honest with you my crock pot was something that used to sit on the bottom shelf in an obscure corner of my kitchen except when I needed it for a social event (and even then I often opted for a warming tray).

Then the GAPS diet came into our lives and I have learned to love my crock pot.  I use it daily–99% of our broth/soup stock is made in a crock pot.   I learned to make GAPS approved baked beans in it and my daughter has learned to bake our bread in one.  I have now made a baked salmon loaf…and I plan to continue to learn to utilize the crock pot more in my kitchen. 

I have several crock pots of different sizes lined up in my kitchen instead of hidden in some obscure corner.  When using the crock pot I save money by not heating my oven all of the time. When the weather is hot, I can plug it in on the porch and cook outside to keep the kitchen cooler.  

Another use for the crock pot these days is that it allows me to carry meals with me when going to someone’s house or to some other social setting where food for the family might be needed. By having a crock pot ready to haul to someones house when we visit allows me to meet the food needs of my family without putting a burden on the hosting family.  Let’s face it GAPS/SCD is a bit weird for some people and you will run into those that will snidely talk about “your diet”;  or those that will not understand that it is not okay to eat just a little of something.  If we are prepared to feed ourselves then those that we offend are less offended if we bring your own food. I found this to be a tremendous help to us particularly in the intro stage of the diet.  A good smelling pot of stew “just for us” can make the snide comments cease in the background.  

In the later stages of the diet, it is just practical to have things on hand  in order to stay on track.  (When hubby got to feeling better, it didn’t take him long to be enticed by that one little bite or two of something he shouldn’t have when he was hungry.)  Having something always ready in a crock pot can be a good way to keep the hungry family members on target. This is something I am still learning and working at. 

So this winter I am going to endeavor to learn more ways to really use this once neglected kitchen appliance.

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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Crock Pot


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Slavonic Steak

Slavonic Steak

When my Darling Hubby began having diverticulitis attacks it was always after having too much red beef- i.e. steak.   We have never done a lot of grilling but have always enjoyed a good charcoal grilled steak.  So after many months of not having anything grilled, let alone a steak…last weekend we had a special treat.  Grilled steak perfectly covered with a lot of garlic powder and salt.  Yummy!! 

We have some leftovers and so tonight, being it is Tuesday, thus our NCIS night, our special meal is going to be Slavonic Steak–or at least my rendition of it.  Bear with me while I share the story of how I learned about this special treat, it is one of my husband’s favorites.

Years ago when we were young, we were stationed in Hawaii and at that time there were still quaint places that one could go for a romantic evening.  The Crouching Lion was one of those places, built in 1927 it still had that feeling of times slower and less cluttered.  Because it was on the other side of the island from where we lived it was an enjoyable drive to what at that time was a rather remote area.  The food was not overly priced and the atmosphere was romantic which for a young married couple was perfect. I can still hear the sound of the steak coming out on the hot platter sizzling in the butter.  

 When I have leftover steak, which admittedly is not very often, I reheat it and serve it like the Slavonic Steak that my husband remembers.  It is very simple to do.  You slice your cold leftover steak and crush some fresh garlic cloves on to it, and drizzle a little lime juice over it.  After you have your meat ready, heat an iron skillet on high, toss in a good glob of butter (the hot butter is what makes this all work), scare the meat around in the skillet only long enough to get it hot.

It is fast, good, and something special.

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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Meat Leftovers



Salmon Loaf

Salmon Loaf

RATS!  I forgot to plan lunch again today and I really didn’t want the left over beef from yesterday (again) and I didn’t have a lot of time before the people started oozing out of the woodwork wondering about what and when is lunch….

At times like this I often fall back on a can of salmon.  Canned Salmon is a GAPS/SCD approved food, it is inexpensive and fast to work up into some kind of concoction or another.  I once read that most Alaska canned salmon is wild caught and thus is probably better for you than the various farm raised varieties that you find frozen at the grocery. 

I fix canned salmon a lot of different ways but today I decided for speed and ease so I went with a salmon loaf.   The recipe went something like this….

1 can of salmon to include the water it is packed in

2 eggs

chopped green pepper

chopped onion

coconut flour-maybe a 1/4 cup I didn’t measure it, I just dumped some in until it looked right.

salt, black pepper, powder ginger (1/8 tsp), paparika.  (Ground mustard would probably have been good too but I didn’t think of it until right now.)

I also put in about a cup of kefir cheese (I have asked one of my daughters to write about that so stay tuned to learn the wonders of this ancient food group); but one could use dry curd cottage cheese (maybe in a few weeks when I have nothing else to do we will talk about making a batch); or a scoop of sour cream; and if you have none of these, just stir in a good portion of colby cheese and it will be just as good.

I baked it at 350 for about 30 minutes, the first 20 minutes covered with foil so it would not overly brown. When it was all done I topped it with a layer of cheese.

And since I am always looking for ways to make my life less stressful and more frugal without giving up the quality of our lives I decided to to try baking a second salmon loaf in my crockpot to see if it would be as agreeable as the one baked in the oven.  And yes, it was good, even better than the one baked in the oven.  It was more moist than the one from the oven.  I will definitely be repeating this crockpot salmon loaf again!

Salmon loaf baked in crock pot


Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Fish


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Green Fried Tomatoes with Cheese


Green Fried Tomatoes with Cheese

We are in the process of cleaning up the rest of the garden leftovers and there were a few green tomatoes that didn’t ripen for the last batch of salsa, which is still simmering on the stove. 

Fried green tomatoes are one of those things that a person probably only wants to eat occasionally.  I made this recipe up a few weeks ago and we enjoyed it, so instead of throwing out the few tomatoes we had left I made them for lunch today.

It takes firm green tomatoes sliced about 1/4 inch thick fried in a little oil. Brown both sides, place on a buttered cookie sheet (or you can layer it in a baking dish). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and any of your favorite herbs.  I then put chopped up red onion and mushrooms on top and gave the whole thing a layer of cheese.  I baked this at 350 with a sheet of foil over the top for about 15 minutes. 

It was definitely inexpensive to make and did not take much effort. It is a bit time-consuming to stand and fry the tomato slices but not overly so.  The flavor on this is not quite what one thinks of Italian food but it is not bad.  Darling Daughter #2 is not fond of green tomatoes but she thought this was okay “for green tomatoes”.

This recipe concept also works well with eggplant, zucchini squash, or Portobello mushrooms.  Pan fry it, pitch on some herbs and some cheese and you will have a different vegetable.  Variety helps a restrictive diet from becoming boring and mundane…when we get bored with things we lose interest and with the GAPS/SCD diets we have to keep that long distance healing process in front of us. We have to keep ourselves and our families from craving and wanting the old favorites.   

Another thing about variety is that it helps fill the various nutritional needs.  If we don’t vary our veggies and meats our bodies do not get the well-rounded vitamins and nutrients that it needs.   



Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized


Curried Onions with Baked Liver

Curried Onions with Oven Fried Chicken Livers

Yes, I am aware that some folks really can’t stand liver while others enjoy it.  Either way liver is one of those foods highly recommended on GAPS/SCD.   I usually fry liver but recently I have learned how to oven fry it.  Today we got a recipe from the Pecan Bread site that worked quickly and easily for us. If you are interested go here:

As a review, I thought the liver came out a bit drier than I like but because of the ease of the recipe we will use it again in the future.   ( This recipe would make an outstanding pate or chopped liver. )   As an aside, one can bake liver in the same manner without dusting it with the almond flour. 

But because I know that a lot of people do not care for liver the focus of this particular blog is going to be on the curried onions.  Onions as a side dish can often be over looked.  I cook with a lot of onions, I put them in everything, they are a great way to stretch a lot of recipes.   Yet, they can be almost a meal in themselves if prepared properly.  


As we have said before GAPS/SCD can take extra time and some times we just don’t have the extra time or we make a meal and look down at it and say to ourselves, “No way is that going to be enough to fill everyone up…”  Well, maybe that never happens to you but it does to me.  

If you have some onions you have the ability to stretch a meal in a yummy way.  I figure 1/2 to 1 whole med onion per person.  Slice them very thin, fry them in butter (or any GAPS/SCD approved oil or combination of oils-today I used coconut and butter).  Cook the onions down until they begin to brown add salt, pepper, paparika.  Toss in a splash of white wine (if you have it).  Stir well.  Splash in milk, cream, kefir (whatever kind of dairy stuff you use in your house), and then dump in curry powder until it reaches the color and flavor you like.   For some variations one can add a tablespoon of honey; or garlic; or extra/different spices and herb; or peppers; or carrots for color and texture; or green peas; or tomatoes…. You see the possiblities are endless.   

And for those looking for even easier ways to make curried onions quicker, use frozen onions.  Grab a bag out of the freezer and within minutes you will have that extra something to make your lunch or dinner a little better.   (BTW curried onions go very well with scrambled eggs.)

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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Hello, I am privileged to be asked to guest-post here on Mom’s site…the topic is GAPS approved bread. Coconut flour and eggs are the main ingredients to make a successful GAPS bread (in fact, these coconut flour breads are the first breads that I ever have made with alternative flours that actually look like real bread!)

This is my favorite recipe and the one I always use…I tried one or two others in the beginning, but this one is quite versatile and tasty. I will give the foundational recipe and then hints for variations.

Zucchini Bread

3/4 cup shredded zucchini (can be raw or cooked)

8 eggs

1/4 butter (or any kind of GAPS approved oil- lard is great)

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup coconut flour

I usually start with the eggs, mixing them well; then I add everything else, starting with the butter and working down the list from there. Once all that stuff is stirred in I add the zucchini, then the coconut flour. (In the original recipe, it said to pre-mix the baking powder and flour–I skip that step.)  If you’d like you can add in 1/2 cup of walnuts.  Bake for 1 hour at 350*. (I usually start checking on them at 45 minutes–sometimes they are done.) To check doneness, poke with a knife as you would with a cake–when it comes out clean it is done. (I’ve had a few loaves that passed the knife-test but where still kind of squishy–I tossed them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes and that did the trick.)

To make a variation of the Zucchini , you can use grated beets (raw or cooked), or winter squash of any variety (I steam it enough that it’ll mash). Personally, I like the beet bread a lot. But probably everybody’s favorite variation is the Chocolate Beet Bread (or cake). To make this you follow the above recipe, using beets instead of zucchini, and adding extra honey. (That’s a total of 3/8 cup according to my recipe–if that’s not sweet enough you can add more to taste.)  Add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (more or less depending on how dark you like your chocolate:))

One more interesting note…line your bread pans with greased parchment paper. Once the bread is done, all you have to do is pull the parchment paper out of the pan and then move the bread from the paper to the cooling rack. If you don’t use parchment paper, the bread tends to stick in the pan.

~~Racheal from

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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


Turnips–Okay/Not Okay


Replacing Potatoes with Turnips

Well, it is November and this is the time of year that turnips coming out of the garden are best.  With three rows to harvest, it is probably why I decided to write about them today.  The official GAPS list have them on the avoid list.  On the SCD forum we find the following

In the most recent printing of BTVC (Ninth Printing – May 2002), turnips
were moved from the ‘allowed’ list to the ‘not allowed’ list. Many new
SCD™ers found they were having trouble with turnips, in part because they
are quite fibrous, and because they contain inulin. For those that are
eating them and doing fine, they may continue. For those who are just
beginning the diet, they should wait until their symptoms are in remission
before introducing turnips, and then only with great care.
For those who have been on the diet for some time, and begin to find they
are having problems, if turnips are part of their repertoire, they should
be removed.

So the bottom line is that if they bother you then don’t eat them.  My family has had no problem with them so we enjoy them.  They allow us another vegetable and can be consumed much like potatoes.  Yesterday I put some in a beef stew with some carrots and while it didn’t have that decisive potatoe flavor the mind would think potatoes and some times  that can be helpful on a restrictive diet. 

I also have been frying them lately.  Like with other things I change from season to season and from year to year…I think this year, the fried turnips are my favorite.   So for this post I am going to share the simple fried turnip recipe that I have been making.

I always peel  my turnips.  Some people do not but I have found that peeling them helps remove most of that “turnippy flavor” (that I do find offensive).   If you are going to make curry or boiled turnip it is adviseable to drain off the water which can also contain a strong turnip flavor.

I have fried turnips crisp in flat disks but most of the time I just toss a pile of fries into some hot oil and it comes out more scrambled . (More like a scalloped potatoe minus the cheese)  They do fry up nicely but I hate standing around frying up nice little crisp things. (Too time consuming for me.)   I usually sprinkle them generously with salt, some black pepper, a lot of paparika, and for fun I squeeze in a clove or two of garlic (or add garlic powder). This gives them that seasoned fried potatoe flavor that I am fond of.  (The spice and herb combination is really endless with this food group)  This recipe is fast and easy.

Seasoned Fried Turnips

I found a recipe to toss the fries in oil and then place them in the oven to make oven fries.  I have not tried that yet but I plan to later on.

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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Uncategorized


Lowly Lentils

Lentil Stew

Today is going to be one of those days when I know that I am going to be busy.  I also know that I do not have a meal planned for lunch and I am getting a late start.  Often on days like this I fix a pan of lentils.  I find that a lot of Americans do not know what lentils are and fewer eat them.  One friend says she dislikes the texture, while another only eats beans that are sweet, and others simply just do not like the color. 

Lentils come in various colors; red, yellow, brown, and green.  While there may be a variance in flavor, for me it is not significant enough for me to pay the higher price for the fancy colors.  Lentils are a legume so thus have all the nutrients of such.  Unlike other legumes, they do not require a long soaking period to break out the phytic acid.

I usually soak my lentils for about 45 minutes before I cook them. This is more to speed up the cooking process than anything. Like all beans they need to be washed and rinsed well before being put on to soak.  But soaking is not necessary so if you do not want to take the time just rinse and put them in your pan.

Most people who eat lentils usual follow some kind of Middle Eastern recipe, partly because this is where the recipes come from.  Many people believe that the Red Stew that Esau served Jacob was a pot of red lentils, and it could very well have been. 

While I usually vary the stuff I put into lentils there are some basic ingredients that I almost always use.  Lentils (1lb), celery (1 stalk), carrots (2), onion (1 med), garlic (2-3 cloves) salt, paprika, and white pepper (to taste).  Some times like today I will add tomatoes (1-2 cups)  because I have some that need to be used up.  And because it is chilly outside I will probably add in some fresh jalapeno and cummin (to taste) for a Mexican flavor.  (Any time you use cumin, lime enhances the flavor.)  Oh yes, because I have extra chicken stock I will cook them in stock but even that is not necessary yet it does seem to enhances the texture a bit so I highly recommend it.  And because I am making this as a soup/one pot meal, I will add in some meat.  This can be leftover beef or pork or ground beef or pork.  Before I serve it I will toss in some scallions and parsley (only because I have some they add color and texture). 

I would be remiss if I did not mention that my children love to top their lentils with sour cream…but we don’t have any today so that is just going to be too bad, so sad for them.   That is kind of the way with lentils, you can add and subtract from the recipe and still come out with an inexpensive, relatively easy yet nourishing meal.

Before we started on GAPS we would often use lentils as burrito stuffing and found it quite agreeable.  So they can be smashed up and made up like refried beans and are very good with salsa and sour cream on top. 

If hummus is your thing, try making it out of lentils.  You could take the above recipe and subtract the meat, grind it all up in a food processor toss in, extra garlic, and a little olive oil.   But that should be a topic for another day….

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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Lentils


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Mustard Honey Wings

Wow, what a day it has been!  We processed 18 chickens today and we are ready for a light and entertaining evening.  Tuesday night has become our family night.  We view very little tv but we are NCIS fans, possibly because these shows have a military connection or maybe just because the story lines are good. But mostly because we have a couple of grown children studying the art of scriptwriting and filmmaking. These two shows are a good study in what works.

Our family night has turned into a special evening to include out of the ordinary foods and a more relaxed snacking kind of meal. 

And since I had an extra chicken wing or two, I decided to make them this evening’s meal.   Since we had a tomato based lunch I didn’t want to do anything with tomatoes.  Nor did I have time to marinade the wings…So I decided to make a mustard sauce.   I don’t think I can give you a recipe but I can tell you what I did. 

I took a bowl and scooped in a big clump of mustard, poured in some honey to just barely sweeten the mustard, poured in a little kefir whey, tossed in the following paparika, ground sage, ground rosemary, onion power, garlic powder, ground ginger, salt and pepper.  I stirred it all together, tasted it and decided it was just right.  Then I poured it over the wings, popped them in the oven at 350 and walked out of the kitchen.  

GAPS/SCD approved wings, a family night snack food and a glass of wine.  Thus we shall call it a day!!




Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


Making Kraut

Fermenting Kraut

 A better part of the day was spent in making Kraut.  I harvested several cabbages the other day so today’s chore was cleaning and chopping, smashing and packing kraut jars.  When all was said and done I ended up with exactly 4 gallons!!  I will put it in the basement and forget about it until much later.

I have been making lacto-fermented kraut for years now.  The recipe is found all over the internet and in several books so no need to duplicate that information here. As I have said in a previous post, I am not one to follow recipes very well.  But when I first started making kraut I was so afraid that I was going to do something wrong and eat spoiled food.  Since then, I have learned a good deal about fermenting. I am fearless now when it comes to lacto-fermenting.   If you have never played around with this wonderful way to preserve foods you are missing out on the fun and health benefits.

Kraut is like a good science experiment and you get to eat it too. Watching the fermentation process work is fascinating.  I have let jars of kraut sit for two years until the fermentation process is totally complete.  Kraut at this stage is safe to eat and very tasty.  By the time it has quit working the cabbage is very tender as if cooked yet darker in color.  Darling Hubby and child #3 likes it this way particularly cooked up with onions and butter.

I am still all excited about something that I learned last year when making up my fall harvest of kraut.  Because we always have excess whey from our kefir I went to using more whey and less salt. The kraut quits working before it gets to that “fully cooked” texture. Also it does not darken.  But the best part is that it tastes better, less salty.  I have gone to doing this with more of my veggies and we are very pleased with the outcome. 

Fermentation has become a great hobby of mine…and with that I must be off to another project. Salsa!

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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Fermented Foods