Monthly Archives: January 2012

Scrappy Burgers


GAPS and SCD both require a lot of bone broth and meat stock.  I am not one that likes to waste food. With the cost of food rising, I am attempting to learn more and more inventive ways to make this diet affordable.   At times frugality can almost be a game to me.  Today was one of those days.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I make about a gallon of stock daily and that requires bones and meat.   Some days we have a meat roast or chicken.  But other days I use other stuff. Because of where I live, it is culturally not wierd to find trotter (pig feet), neck bones, and other various bones at affordable prices.   I have tried various ways to use the meat and gelatin off these bones in the past and I usually come up with something akin to meat cooked with onion and mushrooms.  While with the right seasonings this is not anything to really complain about it does get boring.  So today, I decided to try something different.

My bone broth was made out of trotters and a chicken back with chicken necks and a couple chunks of ginger.  I pulled the meat out and let them cool. Then I picked off as much meat and gelatin tissue as possible trying to be very careful to not get any bones.  I put the bones in my freezer bag to be reused and then proceeded with my creativity.

In the food processor went all the scrappy meat.  I ground it up well, using a rubber spatula to push it down from the sides a couple of times.  I then added in two eggs and chopped it up some more.   I dumped this out into a mixing bowl and then folded in some chopped onions and green peppers, salt, pepper, paprika, and fresh parsley.   After that I stirred in a scoop of coconut flour to thicken the dough up a bit.

I fried this in coconut and palm oil following the same method as I did yesterday for the Mackerel Cakes.   I wasn’t sure how well it was going to taste.  I tried something similar to this one other time without much good to say about it.

Well, I gave my first cake a nibble to see if it was going to be edible.  To my surprise it was good.  I decided to add some fried onions and a honey sweeten mustard as condiments.  I feed them to the family asking what they thought and was rewarded with “it’s good”.  Even daughter number three who is a bit more reluctant with things like this said it was pretty good. (Not her favorite but okay.)

In looking back at the success, I think I would have to say that the trotters is probably what made these “burgers” successful.  Their gelatinous nature made the dough very sticky.  This gelatin is extremely good for the body, helping the digestive process.  But getting some GAPS people to eat it can be an exercise in futility.

I can think of all kinds of ways that I can build on this successful attempt.  I am thinking that approved sausage seasonings would make for wonderful sausage patties or links.  Also other veggies could be added to it like grated carrots, spinach, etc to make a protein rich veggie fritter.

Well, that was my cooking adventure for today….

1 Comment

Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Helpful Tips, Meat Leftovers


Tags: ,

Another Kind of Fish Cake

Time is ticking and it is quickly going to be lunch time again.  I was not feeling the best yesterday so when planning lunch for today I managed to get meat out of the freezer with the intent of getting up in the morning and having it on to stew for lunch.  All goods plans are subject to change in our household and by the time I got around to thinking about lunch it was far too late to get the meat cooked.   So I quickly switched plans. 

Today we are having Mackeral Cakes. Mackeral used to be a fairly popular fish product but has sort of fallen by the way side.  It is very affordable.  It has a much different flavor than salmon and higher in iron and calcium.  I have one daughter that prefers it over salmon.  For years, I stopped eating it for fear of mercury, but like many things I studied up on the topic, and I personally no longer have any concern about occasionally eating canned mackeral.  There can be some differences of quaility in the various brands.  The smaller the mackerel packed in the cans the better the flavor and less risk of mercury.  ((On a personal note, I do not care for any Bumble Bee seafood product…))

So here is my quick and easy, GAPS/SCD approved Mackerel Cakes

Start by putting a good heavy bottomed skillet (preferably iron) on the stove to heat and proceed to mix up your fish dough

Dump one 15 oz can of mackerel into a bowl, add a little chopped onion, green pepper, a clove of crushed garlic (garlic powder will work), paprika, salt, pepper, and a good dash of powdered ginger.  Two eggs and a scoop of coconut flour (enough to thicken up your fish so you can make it into patties.)

 It took me a while but I have finally learned that when cooking with coconut flour you must fry at a little lower heat than when using wheat or corn flours.  So I got my skillet good and hot, (not on high but my second setting). I used a small scoop of coconut oil and a small scoop of palm oil.  Enough to cover the bottom of the pan but not overly generous. (Overly generous will result in something like a plop of goop–tasty but not very attractive) .   Then I turned my skillet down a notch and proceeded to fry fish cakes. 
I have found that forming the fish patty in my hands seems to make them stick together better than just spooning the dough into the skillet. Also, it helps to make the patty rather thick, this keeps it from falling apart.  Something like 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick  is about right.  I let one side brown nicely and then turn it over to brown the other side. To keep it from burning I might turn it two or three times.   Some times it is hard to know whether or not the patty is done….usually when something like this is done it gets a lighter feeling to it on the spatula.  If you are still in doubt put a lid over the skillet for two or three minutes, that way if it is not quite done the lid will create a steaming process that will finish off the cooking process.
One added comment before I go….
I try to cook with a good quality palm oil because of its Vitamin E structure.  Unfortunately, palm oil can have a very unpleasant flavor…I have found one that is actually very good.   If you have time, go here and read a bit about the health benefits of this wonderful oil.
Well, the family is beginning to gather around so I gotta go…. have a great rest of the day!!
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Fish


Tags: , , ,

Reviewing the GAPS and SCD Food Lists

Chickory Flowers

I have been rather busy with other things of late and blogging has had to fall by the wayside. Today, I will attempt to get something useful written.

We have been at this diet for a bit over a year now and overall doing well but we cannot say that the problems plaguing us are all better.   So as we continue to work toward recovery I periodically have to step back and check the food lists making sure that everything I am cooking with is okay.     So I thought for today, in this blog I would talk about the importance from time to time to step back and check to make sure nothing has crept into the diet that should not have.

This link   will take you to a site that gives you a neat little sheet that can be printed off and taped inside a kitchen cabinet door for easy reference.  For me, I do best checking the avoid list first then go to the recommended list.  Perhaps that is because we were on a limited diet to begin with and so for us, going GAPS only required cutting out a few extra things.     For those that are new and used to eating a more typical diet I recommend studying both lists, first the avoid and then what is allowed.  Some of the foods on the allowed lists may be new so thus with time you will be learning new flavors to incorporate into your cooking.   It is also important to compare the two lists because some things are listed on both lists with guidelines.  For example, coffee, you are allowed to drink freshly brewed coffee, but not allowed to drink instant- this is due to the processing.

You will find the SCD diet list here

I highly recommend that if you are doing GAPS to please spend some time studying the SCD list.  I find it to be very helpful in understanding some of the do’s and don’ts of both diets.

So please take the time to periodically stop and review the diet lists.  Today, as I was checking and rechecking I found two things I need to eliminate.  Recently, to save a few cents on coffee I bought one with chickory in it.  Chickory is a no-no.  Perhaps that explains why my entire family has been a bit off normal this week?   Also, checking my hubby’s vitamin, I found that it has a small amount of iron in it.

I am not discouarged, as Scarlett was known to say, “Tomorrow is another day.”  Tomorrow we remove the offending items and go on….


1 Comment

Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Helpful Tips


Tags: ,

Adding Ginger Root

Some times when I am standing in the kitchen cooking I will remember things that I forgot to put into a post or something that I “should” include but usually I promptly forget as I go on with my daily chores of life.   Well, this morning I thought that instead of trying to remember it all I might just start a Helpful Hints category enabling me to include some of these things that I forget at the time of writing.

Yesterday, as I was making a yummy pot of chicken stock, I remember that I had forgotten to mention something I learned a lot of years ago from the Korean culture. The Koreans put ginger root in their chicken when they boil it.  They will often stuff the cavity of the chicken with ginger.  This adds a clean yummy flavor to the chicken stock and I am sure that is the reason they use it.  But I have found that the ginger root also seems to cut the impurities that cooks out of the meat.  I was once told it cuts the unpleasant smell of cooking chicken, which I have found to be true.

It seems that only the Koreans use ginger like this in their chicken.  One day while shopping in the Asian store run by a Chinese woman, another Asian woman from a different cultural background came in.  From the conversation between the two I gathered the details.  This woman was involved in having a special graduation dinner for a Korean young woman.  This young woman had requested a particular recipe–chicken stuffed with ginger.  This lady was not Korean didn’t have a clue to what the young woman wanted, and was asking the Chinese woman for help, which she was unable  to give….And so there I stood, the obviously white caucasian, what else could I do but interjected into the conversation?  I explained to both women how the Koreans stuffed the chicken full of ginger.

Here you will find a traditional recipe

Not GAPS/ SCD approved but the basic tenants of the good flavors are still there.  Take out the rice and soy sauce and add in some of your own substitutionary ideas.  GAPS/SCD isn’t really that hard, we just have to get to the basics of good food and then work outwardly, eliminating those things we are not to eat and adding in those that we are allowed to eat.  For instance, I would replace the rice with carrots and celery.

In closing, Ginger root isn’t just for when you are sick but has many daily uses.  So the next time you are walking down the store aisle and see a clump of ginger root grab a hold and give it a fresh try.



Posted by on January 11, 2012 in Chicken, Helpful Tips, Soup


Tags: , ,

Banana Pudding better known as Southern Comfort

In the southern culture no wedding, funeral, or any other social gathering is complete without a big bowl of banana pudding.  It is affectionally known as “comfort food”.

Well, Banana Pudding is not GAPS/SCD approved.  Even homemade pudding has flour or cornstarch added. And the vanilla wafers are certainly a no-no!  But one afternoon, as I was going through a stack of Southern Living magazines for disposal one of the covers had these beautiful parfait glasses filled with layered banana pudding.  My mind said, “Yummy!” and then came back the reality of this is not GAPS food….but instead of pushing the thought from my mind I got to thinking of ways that I could make a GAPS approved banana pudding and it didn’t take too long to formulate an idea.

On Epiphany we always have a special candlelit meal to sort of close out the Christmas season.  This year I set my mind on making banana pudding for dessert.    You are going to love this as a simple way to make a fast and quick “special dessert”.  It could be served in a bowl but we did ours in parfait glasses as individual servings.

I started with plain yogurt.  Yogurt has more of a pudding texture than kefir (although I am sure that kefir would taste just as good).   I stirred in a good amount of vanilla and honey to make it taste sweet and vanilla-ish.  In a separate process I mixed crushed nuts and coconut (one could add a pinch of cinnamon).  Then I layered bananas, the yogurt mixture, and then a layer of the nut/coconut.  After two or three layers in the glasses we topped it off with nuts.  If you have access to raw cream you could even put that on before the final nut layer.

Simple and easy!    So this post is to encourage you to think outside of the box (in this case the pudding box) and to consider your own options that might work for your favorites or cultural foods.    

So as we close out our Christmas season we pray that your new year be one that draws your heart closer to the great Love of our heavenly Father.


1 Comment

Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Banana, Desserts


Tags: , , ,

Chicken and Cabbage Soup


Chicken Soup is one of our favorites.  I rarely follow a recipe when making any kind of soup, yet I do have some basics for the various meats I use.  Most of the time when I think of Chicken soup I want something light and not overly heavy.  Chicken and cabbage soup is one of the “lighter soups” and very GAP/SCD approved. 

I prefer to cook my chicken on the stove top instead of the crock pot, although I once had a young man tell me that it is best cooked in a crock pot.  So whatever your preference will be best for you.  

Today I started with a big roasting bird and stuffed him in the new dutch oven my mother gave me for Christmas, filled up the pot with as much water as it would hold and sprinkled the said bird with salt, pepper, paprika, added some home dried lemon thyme, oregano, a hand full of mixed basils and set the bird on to simmer for several hours.  Simmer might not be the right word,  I basically got it good and hot (boiling) and then turn it down on to my lowest setting (warm).  I find this gives the soup a cleaner less heavy flavor.

By late afternoon, I got around to finishing it up.  At first, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the chicken and stock…but I needed to make sauerkraut and as I got to chopping up cabbage for kraut I decided that chicken and cabbage soup was just what we wanted for dinner. 

I used 3/4 of a head of finely chopped cabbage, two good stalks of finely chopped celery, one medium-sized onion finely chopped, two or three small carrots for color.   And of course some of the deboned chicken.   And last but not least some freshly chopped parsley before serving.

 Chicken & Cabbage Soup

This basic recipe is also extremely variable.  I have made it at other times with tomatoes.  One can add green beans or peas for extra color and texture.  Or if you wanted a cream soup, you could blend up the veggies and add a dash of nutmeg.  The possibilities are endless.  So the next time you make chicken broth, let your creativity flow.


1 Comment

Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Cabbage, Chicken, Soup


Tags: , ,

Carrot Soup

A couple of days ago, I prepared the juice for my next batch of carrot wine. I hate to waste food so I decided to use the leftover cooked carrots to make a carrot soup.   The problem was that I didn’t have any chicken stock on hand but I did have venison broth.  I was not sure if an alternative stock would be very good, particularly since the carrots themselves were a little bitter.  But I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  I blended up most of the carrots in the stock and immediately thought it was a mistake.  Have you ever done that, started out with a good idea and then stopped after you started on something only to think that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all? 

Well, that was the way of my carrot soup. Now, I had a big pot of “soup” and I had to figure out a way to make it something my family would be willing to eat.   Well, I opened up the spice drawer and began with the salt and pepper.  When making soup you always start with the salt and pepper. These two are essential.  Salt is necessary to bring out the flavor in the spices.  Pepper is just part of most good foods.   I added in a scoop of coconut oil to give the carrots and venison a little fat to help the digestion along.  Then I decided on curry powder because it goes well on most veggies.  At this point my carrot soup tasted more like carrot goo and I was beginning to panic.   In a state of wondering what we were going to eat for lunch if this failed, I remembered that a dash of nutmeg is essential to all vegetable soups.

The mess still tasted bitter…I kept thinking and looking in my spice drawer, asking myself what goes with nutmeg?   Well of course, coriander and cinnamon.  That was much better but I could still detect a faint bitterness from the carrots.  What would you do?

I added in some crushed mint.   This was a real gamble because darling hubby isn’t always fond of mint in his food.  He tolerates it very well in his mint juleps and tea but when it comes to food it can be over powering to his palate.

Surprisingly, the mint cut the bitter and the soup was actually good. (Even according to Hubby.)  I gave it a good drizzle of honey to sweeten it up a little bit and we had lunch!!

So when you are having one of those days, when things aren’t working out the way you want them to, take a deep breath, and don’t give up.

Happy New Year!!

carrot soup


Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Carrots, Soup