5/7/19

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole | SCD, Gluten-Free

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I know I am not alone when I say that sometimes, and by sometimes I mean a few times a month, we resort to breakfast for dinner. I always feel like it is a mom fail when the day has slipped by and I have nothing prepared for dinner. Yet, every time I announce it's breakfast for dinner the kids are beyond excited. In fact, more excited about that meal than when I spend hours slaving away on a new dish. Go figure!

Obviously, scrambled eggs or omelets are the easiest go-to for this simple dinner option, but I prefer to make a casserole so we have leftovers for our actual breakfast the next day or school lunches. This Broccoli Cheddar Casserole is super simple to make and chances are you may already have these ingredients on hand. When organic frozen vegetables go on sale, I like to stock up because I know I can use them in soups, casseroles or kids' lunches. I used frozen broccoli for this recipe and simply unthawed it before baking. You can also use any SCD compliant bread, but we used Liberated Specialty Foods. Again, I always take advantage of sales and stock up so our freezer is loaded with healthy, clean options.

Broccoli totes a lengthy list of benefits. This vibrant, green vegetable is full of phytochemicals which contain anti-cancer properties. It is rich in fiber, which aides in digestion, and high in vitamin C to help boost the immune system. And because it is high in fiber, chromium and potassium broccoli can help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.

This casserole cuts easily into small squares and can be stored in an airtight container for several days.

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR CASSEROLE
SCD, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
yield: about 10-12 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 cups frozen broccoli, unthawed
1/4 cup diced onion
12 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup cubed SCD compliant bread (I used Liberated Specialty Breads for this dish)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
4 strips cooked bacon (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil
salt & pepper

DIRECTION
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease a casserole dish with coconut oil, I used a 9x12 baking dish.
3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs together, then whisk in the almond milk. Add the black pepper and salt, adjust to your liking, and then mix in about a third of the cheese.
4. Place the broccoli florets and bread crumbs in the casserole dish, crumble the bacon over the broccoli and sprinkle 1/3 cheese over the mixture.
5. Pour the egg mixture over the broccoli and sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese.
6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
7. Allow to cool and cut into squares.

5/2/19

Crunchy Vanilla Granola | SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free

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There was a point in time, when the kids were smaller, that we would fully embrace our mornings. We would find ourselves lulling around the kitchen and lazily cooking a large and lavish brunch. I distinctly remember the lack of rush and the ability to finish an actual cup of coffee. Fast forward to present day and it is a different scene. School mornings are rushed and chaotic and there is nothing calm about our kitchen. The counter tops are usually a site of destruction, the dog is barking to go out, someone can't find something (always) and we make our mad dash to the garage so we can get into the carline at a decent time. As for the weekends, sadly, brunch is a rare sighting these days. I am usually on the road with one of the boys for soccer, traveling out of town or out of state. And if we happen to be home, we are forced to conquer and divide our games and field locations.

With all this being said, my children are to an age where they are capable of making their own breakfasts and I encourage them to do so. However, if I don't give guidance, chances are my oldest would make a smoothie every day or oatmeal, which happens to be a very special treat. After four plus years of following the SCD diet, we have successfully introduced organic oats. While my son could eat this every single day, it's important to remember these new foods should only be consumed in moderation. To make it easier for the family, I like to have simple breakfast foods prepped in advance.

Granola is a great option for breakfast and can be served several different ways; add it to yogurt and fruit, pour almond milk over it, or layer it into a berry parfait. You can even add it to homemade ice-cream for a sweet treat! (You can find my easy vanilla ice-cream recipe HERE, but it's from a very old post so the cookies are not SCD compliant.) In the photos above, we used homemade vanilla yogurt, added thinly sliced Bosc pears, granola and a homemade date syrup drizzle.

CRUNCHY VANILLA GRANOLA
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
yield: about 5 cups

INGREDIENTS
1 egg white
1 cup cashews
1 cup almonds
1 cup pepitas
2 cups shredded coconut
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbs coconut oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2. In a food processor, combine all the nuts and coconut. Pulse until desired texture.
3. Transfer to a large bowl and add the spices, honey and coconut oil. Mix together and then stir in the egg white. Add the raisins and cherries and stir to combine.
4. The dough will be slightly sticky. Press evenly into a pan lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely, at least for a 1/2 hour.
6. I like to break mine apart into large chunks, but the kids like it broken into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

**When purchasing your raisins or cherries make sure they don't have added sugar. We like THESE cherries.

4/12/19

Healthy Hair | Phillip Adam Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo + Conditioner

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"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
Hippocrates

We've been hearing about the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for some time now and it turns out this trend it not new. Vinegar has been used medicinally for centuries and during biblical times, vinegar was used to flavor foods, as a preservative and for medicinal purposes, plus it is mentioned in both the old and new testaments. In ancient Greece, around 400 BC, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed apple cider vinegar mixed with honey for a variety of ailments. Throughout history, there are numerous references to ACV both for medical purposes and beauty intentions. Today, we still reap the benefits of apple cider vinegar and can easily incorporate this healthy aid into our daily routines.

Proven Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar For Skin, Hair and Health
Hair:
1. It has properties that balance your scalp and hair pH levels.
2. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties help combating scalp dryness, itchiness and dandruff.
3. Applying apple cider vinegar, with its acidic properties, may improve the condition or appearance of hair.

Body:
+ It can prevent premature aging with its powerful antioxidant abilities.
+ It balances the pH level of your skin and is best to use it as a daily toner.
+ It is great for treating warts, sunburn, age spots and acne.
+ Vinegar is well-known for its antibacterial properties and has been shown to be effective against many strains of harmful bacteria.
+ Soak a washcloth or cotton ball with ACV and water and apply to the face as a toner or apply to sun spots for 30 mins and rinse.
+ Add one cup apple cider vinegar to your bath.

Health:
+ Some evidence suggests that taking apple cider vinegar could help lower both total cholesterol and triglycerides.
+ ACV works to detoxify your liver for better overall health and bodily functions.
+ Drinking apple cider vinegar may help provide relief from acid reflux symptoms by introducing more acid into the digestive tract to prevent acid back flow.
+ ACV adds a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria into your diet and improves the health of your digestive system.
+ Dilute one to two tablespoons apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water and drink, do not exceed 16 ounces in one day.
+ Note, its high acidity can damage tooth enamel so make sure to dilute with water and use a paper straw to drink.

One thing I am striving to pass on to my children is how to take care of our bodies and I want them to understand it goes beyond what we eat. The products we use on our skin, the body's largest organ, have a direct impact on our health. We strive to use clean products that are free from parabens and phthalates and are eco-friendly and cruelty-free. We recently had the chance to partner with Phillip Adam and sample their apple cider vinegar shampoo and conditioner. Phillip Adam prides themselves in producing nature infused hair and body care products with carefully chosen plant-based ingredients. Their products contain vital nutrients derived from botanical extracts which are proven to have favorable effects on hair and skin.

Gentle and nourishing, their ACV shampoos are suitable for fine to normal hair types including colored hair, making their products the perfect fit for my hair type and my children. They add natural shine and help maintain a healthy pH balanced scalp and are family and pet friendly! They are available in several different scents such as Green Apple, Verbena Sage, Orange Vanilla or Unscented. I can't wait to try their Curly Hair Shampoo formula, I don't show my natural curls too often, but when I do wear my hair curly I like to embrace its natural state and use products designed for curly hair.

Phillip Adams hair products are the perfect fit for our eco-conscious, clean living family and I highly encourage you to check them out.

Phillip Adams | Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

*This post was created in partnership with Phillip Adams.
**The adorable rattan earrings pictured here were purchased in Mexico, but you can buy similar ones HERE.
***Jessica's dress is courtesy of Tea Collection".

4/9/19

Memories of Paris, Jim Morrison, and A Healthy Frappuccino | SCD, Paleo, Vegan

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"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons."
T.S. Eliot

I can vividly remember my very first taste of coffee; my sophomore year of high school my mom and I escaped to Paris for an experience of a lifetime. Well, at least an experience of a lifetime for a high school student. I can remember sitting in the quaint hotel eating some of the richest food I had ever indulged in for breakfast; puff pastries, thick baguettes, delicate slices of aged cheese, cured meats. And I can remember that first sip of coffee, rich and dark, thick as molasses. It was bitter to my young palette, but there was something that drew me in. A sophistication I yearned to attain, even at the young age of fifteen.

My trip to Paris with my mom will forever be embedded in my mind. Just thinking back to those days brings a smile to my face and a silent laugh to the air. I remember strolling the streets of old Paris, wearing a vintage fur coat of my mothers, my hair cut short in a bob and thick black eye liner that made me feel like Twiggy. I remember dragging my mom through Père Lachaise's cemetery, because surely my heart would break if I didn't stop to visit Jim Morrison's grave. At an age of naivety, I felt that moment was the greatest moment in my life. To visit the resting place of Jim Morrison, the iconic lead singer of the band The Doors, a self-taught poet, and legendary rock star, would be a conquest that I would never forget. It was during this time my mother introduced me to more sophisticated creatives like Colette, Molière, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, and Gertrude Stein. These iconic novelists and playwrights fed my passion for the written word and creativity and the thought of visiting their tombstones as well opened my mind to a new world.

But at the time, music was rich to my bohemian soul and fed my blossoming vision. As we made our way towards Jim Morrison’s grave, the air was filled with heaviness and an eerie perception loomed around us. The cobble stone paths that led the way were slightly uneven and covered in a trace of moss, hinting to the rich history of this Parisian park and cemetery that surrounded us. On most days, his resting site is so crowded with visitors it is difficult to truly embrace the nostalgic moment. But yet, mysteriously, our visit brought us to an empty grave filled with stillness. In the air, a spiritual feeling lingered and if I closed my eyes and listened hard enough to the silence, I could hear the subtle sounds of Jim Morrison’s raspy, raw voice whispering his poetic, dark lyrics across the cemetery.

I was surprised to see his grave was modest and sensible, tucked into a small space between several other enclosures. The bust that once adorned the site was sadly stolen in 1988 and the neighboring graves were wrapped in layers of graffiti that built up over years. At the time of our visit, there were no barricades and we were free to roam as we liked. But today, due to the consistent defacing, officials have put up metal barricades to surround the site, forever changing the feel and atmosphere.

I have so many fond memories from that trip, memories to last a lifetime, memories that perhaps one day I will share with my own children over a strong cup of coffee or cappuccino. And maybe, just maybe, The Doors will be softly playing in the background. I have yet to introduce them to the band that captivated my mind for so many years of my youth.

Some of the finest moments in life are rooted in simplicity. For me, coffee and music have always invoked a sense of emotion and remembrance. There are times when I can smell the slightest aroma of savory coffee and I am instantly whisked back to Paris, sitting in that quaint hotel with my mother, sipping cappuccino and nibbling on puff pastries all while dreaming of strolling down the cobble stone paths of Père Lachaise.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

VANILLA FRAPPUCCINO
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan
yield: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 shots espresso
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups ice
2 Tbs. almond butter
10 dates
1 tsp. MCT oil or coconut oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender or Vitamix.
2. Divide among two glasses and enjoy.
2. You can add an optional cacao drizzle by mixing together 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, 1 tablespoon cacao powder and 1 tablespoon honey. You can also add a dollop of chilled coconut milk, the thick cream on top.

3/15/19

Baked Green Pea Fritters with Tzatziki Sauce | SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free

SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
"Luck is believing you're lucky."
Tennessee Williams

We decided this weekend is the perfect time to embrace the warmer weather and hints of spring so we've added a little green into our day and into our food. I have been working on a recipe for veggie bites for some time now, but I haven't been able to narrow down a taste and texture that my whole family agrees on. My youngest has a serious passion for green peas and eagerly suggested I use them in my recipe. And you know what, she is on to something! Peas are the perfect texture for these veggie fritters and they are one hundred percent kid approved. Since peas are naturally sweeter in flavor, they balance well with the other veggies and healthy herbs. Add a side of homemade tzatziki sauce and dinner is covered!

Health Benefits of Peas
1. Peas are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which plays a significant role in in the production of collagen. Collagen helps keep the skin firm and glowing. Vitamin C also protects the cells from damage caused by free radicals.
2. The insoluble fibre content present in peas helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. The lutein and vitamin A in peas also protects your eyes. Lutein, a natural plant pigment, is concentrated in the eye, and its antioxidant activity can protect you from both cataracts and macular degeneration by preventing oxidation. Vitamin A helps keep the surface of your eyes healthy.
4. Green peas offer a myriad of potent antioxidants. One of its powerful antioxidants includes coumestrol, a polyphenol that may lower your risk of stomach cancer.
5. Green peas contain an impressive amount of fiber, which has been shown to provide many benefits for digestive health.


Baked Green Pea Fritters with Tzatziki Sauce
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
yield: about one dozen fritters

INGREDIENTS
2 cups frozen peas, ¼ cup reserved
1 cup almond flour
¼ cup chopped parsley and cilantro, mixed together
1 cup riced cauliflower (broccoli will work too)
2 eggs
salt & pepper
olive oil or coconut oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and grease with olive oil or coconut oil.
2. Place all ingredients, with the exception of the ¼ cup peas, in a food processer and pulse until combined. Make sure not to over mix.
3. Stir in the reserved peas.
4. Using a tablespoon, roll into balls and press into round patties that are about ¼ inch thick. Place on the parchment.
5. Bake for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully flip over and bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Allow to cool and serve with tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Yield: ½ cup

INGREDIENTS
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup finely chopped cucumbers
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 garlic clove (optional, I omit due to an allergy)
salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined and creamy.
2. Serve immediately.
3. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

**This recipe was created for Babiekins Magazine and originally published HERE.