Gluten free, Atkins, South Beach, Paleo…
Even if you haven’t personally been on a low carb diet, you’ve almost certainly had to deal with someone who has.
I’m not hatin’: the evidence still backs up these diets as effective. If you want to lose weight, lower your blood sugar, cholesterol, or blood pressure, then you could do worse than this route.
Then walked in the beast of them all: the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).
It’s not only the most restrictive, but it’s intention is unlike all the others: people follow the SCD in an attempt to manage symptoms of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.
A member of the SCD camp, and one of my most favorite people in the entire world, came to spend a week with me. This eliminated the possibility of dining out (imagine no restaurants while on vacation? in NYC of all places??), but it did result in some creative ‘problem solving’ dinner experiences.
The SCD limits nearly all carbs. Specifically, disaccharides and polysaccharides (chains of simple sugars) are avoided in preference to monosaccharides. The idea is that an excess of carbs in the intestines, and the resulting overgrowth of microbes that feast on these carbs, contributes to GI symptoms. Through limiting the quantity of carbs and the energy the body spends on breaking them down and absorbing them, intestinal balance is hopefully restored.
|Specific Carbohydrate Diet|
|starchy veggies||non-starchy veggies|
|beans & legumes||low sugar fruit|
|anything with added sugar
(why does everything have sugar added??)
Monosaccharides: the most basic units of carbohydrates (molecules of carbon, hydrogen, & oxygen)
• Glucose, Fructose, and Galactose
Disaccharides: two linked monosaccharides
• Sucrose = Glucose + Fructose (table sugar)
• Lactose = Glucose + Galactose (milk)
• Maltose = Glucose + Glucose (product of digestion)
Polysaccharides: chains of 3+ monosaccharides
• starch (corn, potatoes, rice)
• cellulose (dietary fiber: wheat bran, apple skin, spinach, etc.)
• glycogen (the storage molecule of carbohydrates in the body)
Pan to my new favorite thing: Sage Rosemary Walnut Spread. Imagine something between pesto and nut butter. And fortunately for my houseguest, it’s SCD legal.
Crazy Go Nuts makes the spread, a part of a whole line of flavored walnuts and walnut butters. Their savory flavors are particularly interesting (Garlic Parmesan, Buffalo, and Sage Rosemary, of course), but the sweet ones are also fantastic. I just straight ate a jar of the Orange with a spoon. Don’t judge.
I tried the Sage Rosemary spread as a pesto-like sauce paired with spaghetti squash. The result was intensely rich and creamy, and absolutely delicious. Surprisingly, it was much closer to an Alfredo sauce than pesto in both mouth feel and flavor. I’ll definitely make this recipe again, even without the confines of the SCD.
- 1 lb shrimp (peeled, deveined, & tails removed)
- 1 large spaghetti squash (about 4 lb)
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 oz butter
- 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1/3 cup Crazy Go Nuts Sage & Rosemary Walnut Spread
- 1/3 cup water
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Microwave the squash 5-10 minutes to soften slightly. Cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. Place in a baking pan cut side up and roast till tender (about 40 minutes).
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and salt and pepper; sauté until softened. Add the walnut spread, shrimp, and water, stirring continuously to mix and prevent burning. Cook until shrimp is cooked through.
- Serve sauce mixture inside halved squash. Or serve squash, scooped out with a fork to “shred” into noodles, topped with the shrimp mixture. Or mix squash flesh into the sauce in the skillet before serving.