faux-cacciaThis recipe is for an individual serving of olive and herb grain-free FAUX-caccia (fake focaccia, get it? hee hee). I cooked it in the microwave so it took less than 5 minutes to make.

This fake focaccia is my own variation of “Low Carb Bun For One” from Free Range Cookies. I found Linda’s site a couple days ago and was intrigued by making individual servings of grain-free breads in the microwave. (You can also bake it.) I happened to have the ingredients (mostly) on hand, so I made the bun for one and it was decent!

I didn’t have any coconut milk on hand, so I used 1/2 tablespoon coconut cream and 1/2 tablespoon of water instead. The bun came out tasting a little more like coconut flour than I would have liked, but that could have been because of my substitution. Had I followed the recipe exactly, maybe the taste would have been “great”. But I used it to make a delicious sandwich with mustard and that covered the taste, so I didn’t really care.

On the Bun For One page, Linda linked to her recipe for focaccia. I love focaccia, but obviously don’t eat it anymore because of having to avoid grains. I couldn’t try her recipe because I don’t use yeast or “gluten-free flour blends” or guar gum. But I noticed that the oil in the focaccia is olive oil rather than coconut oil so I hatched a plan.

I replaced the coconut oil AND coconut milk in the Bun For One recipe with olive oil and then topped it with Herbes de Provence and some chopped up olives instead of sesame seeds. I know Herbes de Provence is a French blend, not Italian, but it’s what I use in my salad dressing and really like the flavor. You can also use just rosemary or any herbs you want. I also like olive breads, so I decided to include chili pepper stuffed olives (not pimiento – actual spicy chili peppers).

Obviously this isn’t going to be as bread-y as something with yeast in it. But the experience was focaccia-ish and olive bread-ish and that is good enough for me.

Grain-Free Faux-caccia For One


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon almond meal, packed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour, packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda


  • your favorites herb(s) – I used Herbes de Provence, to taste
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3-4 big olives, chopped up


  • I whisked everything except the toppings together in the ramekin I cooked it in. Fewer dishes! Then I rubbed oil around the sides of the dish above the batter so it didn’t stick if it puffed up while cooking.
  • I sprinkled the salt, herbs, and olives on top before cooking, so they’d bake into it. If you’re using brined olives, go easy on the sea salt.
  • Linda suggests using a 4″ round microwave safe ramekin to cook this in the microwave at full power for 55-60 seconds in a 1500 watt oven. As with everything cooked in a microwave, cook time varies based on the power of the microwave.
  • My ramekin is 4.5″ in diameter across the bottom, so the bread comes out not quite as thick, but that’s OK. The first couple times I made this, I cooked it for 60 seconds and it was cooked through. Then I discovered our microwave is 800 watts, so I tried 2 minutes just to see what would happen and it was maybe a little overdone. The fourth time I made it, I cooked it for 90 seconds and that was probably my favorite.

Please see Linda’s original recipe for baking instructions. I haven’t tried this in the oven so I don’t want to make any suggestions about baking. She also has a suggestion for making two rolls instead of one bun (including decreased cooking time).

Because it’s cooked in the microwave, it doesn’t come out with brown edges like in her pictures of the bun. But I’m not about to heat up the oven for one serving. The whole point for me of making one at a time is to make it quick…

So when it came out of the microwave, I browned the top and bottom on a non-stick pan. I didn’t time it, but it was probably less than 2 minutes total, on low heat, starting with a cold pan. If I’d have started heating the pan while the bread was in the microwave, it probably would have been even faster.

pyrex-4-5-inch(This is my Pyrex French White dish that holds 16 ounces and is somewhere between 12 and 16 years old. The current French Whites look a little different.)




In the time it took me to type this, I could have made this at least twice. How awesome is that?? Nice to know I have a quick solution if I have a strong craving. 🙂

Good luck! And let me know what you think if you make it.

Linda also has a recipe for a Rye-Style Bun For One that I want to try. I just don’t have any cocoa powder on hand. Let me know if you make that one too; I’m curious!

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Easy no cook desserts

English: Blueberries.

Several days ago, Sunflower Farmers Market asked their Twitter followers to name their favorite no-bake homemade desserts.


We don’t eat a lot of traditional dessert in our house – we consider fruit to be dessert and we don’t even eat that every day. If you’re like us but sometimes want a little something extra, I have a couple of no-cook / no-measure dessert suggestions.

Berries and “cream”

  • Put 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries in a flat bottom bowl or on a sall plate
  • Drizzle with about a tablespoon of coconut cream
  • Pop in the freezer for about 5 minutes until the coconut cream hardens like that old school “magic shell” stuff
  • Remove from the freezer and enjoy!

If you use frozen berries, you may not even need to pop the dish into the freezer – if you drizzle lightly, the berries will probably harden the coconut cream on their own. I’ve also done this with blackberries, but blueberries are my favorite.

“Frozen” yogurt

We make our own coconut milk yogurt, which is a little more labor intensive than just buying it. But if you can tolerate dairy and buy yogurt at the store, this treat is pretty much zero work. Again, it uses the magic of frozen berries to do the work for you. 🙂 No work and no waiting.

  • Put the amount of plain yogurt you want to eat in a dish.
  • Add frozen blueberries (about 1/2 as much fruit as yogurt) and stir quickly.
  • Enjoy!

The frozen berries will freeze the yogurt into a slushy consistency and it will be like eating melty frozen yogurt but so much healthier. No sugar, no additives! (Assuming you start with quality PLAIN yogurt.)  We’ve done this with homemade coconut yogurt and homemade goat yogurt (incubated for 24 hours per SCD instructions) and they are both delicious. We are used to tart yogurt so we don’t need to add sweetener. If you haven’t fully weened yourself off sugar yet and want a little more sweetness, drizzle a teaspoon or two (you don’t need a lot) of honey on top and stir it in.

Parking lot blueberry “pie”

This is one of my favorites because it is SO easy and portable. You can even walk into the grocery store, buy the 3 ingredients, grab a spoon, and be eating this by time you get out to the parking lot.

You can “make” this one serving at a time or one spoonful at a time. I’ll give you the spoonful directions and you can expand to making it in a small dish or ramekin.

  • Scoop up a small amount of almond butter in a spoon – just enough to fill the bowl of the spoon – you don’t want it heaping.
  • Put 3-5 blueberries on top of the almond butter – however many fit on your spoon. You can use frozen, but I think fresh is best in this case.
  • Drizzle a teensy-tiny amount of honey on top – more like a drop or two.
  • Eat it!

I know that almonds aren’t ~the~ healthiest nut because of their omega-6 oil and phytic acid, but this combo sure is delish. And it’s great when you want something quick because it doesn’t require advance planning or a freezer.

Banana nut “cookies”

I saved this one for last because it’s the most involved. You actually have to do some slicing (with a knife, fork, spoon, chopstick, whatever) and you have to wait 30 minutes for the result.

  • Slice a ripe banana into rounds about 1/2 inch thick and arrange them nicely on a plate, cut side down
  • Put a dollop of almond butter on top of each round
  • Top with a raisin or two
  • Put the plate in the freezer for 30 minutes
  • Remove from the freezer and enjoy!

If you leave them in the freezer longer than 30 minutes, the bananas will get too hard to eat easily and they won’t be as fun or delicious.

We didn’t like our name for this one as much as the others. Do you have a better suggestion? Some other names we considered are “banana trail mix”, “banana ice cream sandwiches” (and actually use two banana slices to make little sandwiches), and “banana fudge”. What do you think?

What are YOUR favorite no-bake (healthy-ish, real food) desserts?

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Sauerkraut Burrito

countertop fermentation

(Photo credit: pinprick)

Here’s a recipe I came up with a couple weeks ago. It sounds weird, but it’s yummy (if you like sauerkraut).

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp dry yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • ~1/8 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup sauerkraut (preferably the kind that is still “alive” and made via lacto-fermentation, not with vinegar) – drained/squeezed so it’s not super “wet”
  • a little bit of coconut or palm (or your favorite) oil – enough to cover the bottom of the pan
  • omelet pan
  1. Whisk egg in a bowl
  2. Heat oil in omelet pan on med-low heat (I put my dial on 3 out of 10)
  3. Pour egg into pan, let set for a few seconds, then swirl around to cover the bottom of the pan
  4. Sprinkle the mustard, tumeric, and salt evenly over the egg
  5. Cover the pan and cook 3-4 min
  6. Flip over and brown on the other side (about 1 min covered)
  7. Put on a plate, put sauerkraut down the middle and roll up into a burrito
  8. Pick it up and enjoy!

If you want to get crazy, sprinkle a few caraway seeds (not too many – they have a strong taste!) on the egg when you add the mustard and tumeric. That’s also delish!

I put a range for the amount of sauerkraut because how much you use will depend on what size omelet pan you use and how fat you want your burrito. 🙂 I love sauerkraut so I go for the max amount that one flat egg can hold and still wrap all the way around so I can pick it up like a burrito.


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Apathy (Photo credit: Toban Black)

This blog has officially entered a state of blathy (blog apathy). I was inspired to acknowledge this sad condition by the Clever Zebo blog’s own admission of suffering from this affliction.

So… “What the heck happened,” you ask? Well, the problem wasn’t lack of ideas. I have about 10 posts in draft form. But I couldn’t seem to focus on finishing them and posting. One thing that got in the way was a change in my employment status that required I spend more time focusing on the areas of life called “career” and “income”.

Another was that I was having some extra challenges with my IBS. I seemed to be gaining weight, even while following the SCD strictly. I decided to take on the Primal Challenge in September. Since the SCD foods are basically the same as Primal foods, and I was already being strict with which foods I was eating, I focused on cutting my consumption of nuts and honey to get my carb intake under 50g per day.

Continue reading

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The Run: Moving Natural Medicine Forward

Have you heard of The Run: Moving Natural Medicine Forward (facebook page | website) “event” that’s happening now to raise awareness of how lifestyle choices and natural medicine is “the cure” to optimizing health for which we have been waiting? On Monday, Aug 8th, 3-6pm, Sunflower Farmers Market Salt Lake City, UT (656 E 200 S) will host a “Meet the Naturopaths” event with the runners. Get your questions answered & meet local Natural Medicine Doctors! I’m going to try to make it. Will you be there, or at any of their other stops across the country?

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Broccoli chicken salad

Broccoli chicken saladWednesday means grocery shopping for us – both Whole Foods and Sunflower Farmers Markets have good deals every Wednesday. At Sunflower Farmers Market, their sales run Wednesday to Wednesday, so you get the sales from both ads (“last week” and “this week”) on Wednesdays. Yay! Savings galore! For Whole Foods, their rotisserie chickens are $6.99 instead of $8.99. And it’s their One Day Sale day – one or two items are offered at a ridiculous discount.

We picked up a rotisserie chicken tonight for Luis (I’m taking a little break from chicken and beef right now), so I thought I would share a recipe for a delicious chicken salad that I created last month. It’s so quick and easy to make and is super yummy.  Continue reading

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Conversation with the CEO of Beachbody

Earlier this evening, Carl Daikeler, the CEO of Beachbody, asked this on Twitter: Do you think individuals really care that there is increasing obesity?

Someone else replied: Sadly, not enough care.

Carl said: But everyone freaks out about the cost of healthcare. Why don’t they link the issues?

I replied: I think people do care but think, “How could I help, I’m only one person.” And many realize it’s an uphill battle until our food supply improves.

Carl asked: But what about their own situations? Don’t they want to feel better?

[BTW, isn’t there a way to easily insert a little “tweet clip” or some such into a blog post? Why can’t I remember right now?]

To which I replied Yes. And the rest of my reply was way over the tweet limit, so I’m answering here:

To Carl: Sure people want to feel better, but it’s overwhelming to start. Especially if they’ve tried stuff in the past that didn’t work.

A few years ago, I was about 20 pounds heavier than I am now. I wasn’t obese but my metabolism was stuck. Even P90x didn’t move my fat % -until I worked with a doctor to unstick my metabolism. Even then, it only went down a little. In the meantime, I got discouraged and thought “why bother exercising.”

I continued to have issues getting rid of fat, and then last year was diagnosed with IBS. I’ve radically altered my diet to manage the IBS (see SCD and About Jen on this blog, if you’re curious): I no longer eat any grain, soy, dairy, refined sugar, legumes, or starchy vegetables like potatoes or jicama. I also don’t consume processed meats such as hot dogs or “lunch meat”, nor do I eat any canned meats, vegetables, fruits, or juices. And nothing artificial. The only sweetener I have is honey. Certain legumes, cheeses, and homemade yoghurt (fermented for 24 hours) are included in the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but my system doesn’t yet handle them.

When I first made the switch, learning new ways of thinking about food and preparing food was a full time job. (Ask any newly-diagnosed Celiac.) I did well for several months until I got cocky and went on a 5-day plantain-eating binge and messed up my digestion again. I have been unable to lose the weight I gained from that little binge, even with two hardcore months of Insanity, so I am now working with a trainer who is also a nutritionist. I need to re-heal my gut so my body will drop the fat.

My point is that sometimes exercise isn’t enough -that’s why you (Beachbody) have supplements and diet recommendations, right? All three of those are a lot to take on learning all at once.

As an example, I have a friend who has been saying that she “wants to lose weight” for years. But she continued to eat exactly the same way and not exercise because the thought of suddenly having to change everything about how she shops for food, cooks it, and eats was too overwhelming. Over the past year that we’ve become friends, we’ve had several conversations about food – why whole foods are better than processed, which fats are good for us, how to use spaghetti squash in place of pasta, etc. She also went grocery shopping with me a few times and asked lots of questions.

She started replacing some of her junkier snacks with healthier ones, and started reading food labels. A few months ago, she quit drinking soda, even diet soda. I kept telling her how bad it is, and she finally went and did some research on her own and then gave it up. A little while after that, she stopped eating “sweets”. She’s not yet avoiding all added sugars or even avoiding all processed foods. She just stopped eating candy, cookies, cakes, pastries, and the like. She’s lost 40 pounds since Jan 1 just from doing those 2 things. I can’t remember at the moment how many more pounds she wants to lose – I think it’s around 30 more. For years, she made no progress because she looked at it as an “all or nothing” proposition. But from our talks, she saw small, manageable changes she could make and she’s dropping weight “effortlessly”. We haven’t even added exercise yet!

One last thing that I think sometimes keeps people from taking action to get fit: Being healthy / fit requires a mental shift. With so much conflicting information out there about what’s the “right diet”, the “right workout”, or the “right supplements”, who do we trust with our mental state?

[Disclosure: I don’t work for Beachbody or profit from the sale of any of their products. I do own several products, that I purchased, and I’m currently borrowing one product from a friend. They seem like a fantastic company and I love the products. Even though I have not achieved the fat loss results I wanted with the Beachbody products, I do think the programs are well done and I continue to use them. My cardio fitness has been greatly improved from using the videos and I think my issues with fat loss have to do with my metabolism and digestive issues, and not the quality of the Beachbody programs.]

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