Maple Sausage Patties

Paleo Maple Sausage Patties | BeckyAmyLew

Anyone who follows my Instagram or Facebook page knows I LOVE BREAKFAST! Since starting the Paleo lifestyle, breakfast has easily become my favorite part of the day. With a meal plan, there is a comfort in knowing what is for breakfast the next morning. A feeling that sometimes turns into excitement. It’s like knowing that Christmas morning always starts with a huge plate of dad’s world famous french toast.

These little Maple Sausage Patties are money! Easy and delicious, that is all. I plan on making more with the remaining herbs and freezing them for quick grabs in the future.

 

Maple Sausage Patties
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs Ground pork (DON'T use lean or extra-lean)
  2. 2 Tbsp Maple syrup
  3. 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  4. 1 tsp freshly ground Black pepper
  5. 2 tsp minced fresh Sage
  6. 1 tsp minced fresh Thyme
  7. 1/2 tsp minced fresh Rosemary
  8. 1/2 tsp Ancho chile powder
  9. 2 Tbsp Ghee or fat of choice
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients (except the ghee). Be careful not to overwork the meat -- you don't want your patties to be dense and tough.
  2. Use your hands to form the meat into sixteen 2-inch rounds. The patties should be roughly 3/4 inch in height.
  3. Melt the ghee in a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium heat. In two batches, cook the patties in the hot ghee for 4 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and golden brown.
Notes
  1. ~I think dried seasonings will work just fine.
  2. ~Ancho chile powder is pure chile powder made from poblano peppers. It is a dark red color and can be found with the other Mexican spices. I found it at Sprouts, and I'm pretty sure I've seen it at Price Choppers.
  3. ~I used a lean pork (93/7), because that is all they had at Sprouts. But I would definitely use regular pork if you find it.
  4. ~I cooked my sausage patties on an electric skillet. I don't have a cast-iron skillet, yet (that is on my Christmas list!)
  5. ~If avoiding sweeteners, replace maple syrup with grated apple.
Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Kielbasa and Cabbage

Kielbasa and Cabbage

Last week, I bought a huge head of cabbage from the farmers market that is literally bigger than my head. I love cabbage, but for some reason, I have not cooked with it that much. Consequently, it has just been sitting in the fridge, patiently waiting its turn while I decide what to cook.

My first attempt was at cabbage rolls. It was one of those days where I didn’t feel like reading any recipes, so I winged it. Meh, they turned out okay, but will definitely require some modifications.

Of course, I had plenty leftover, and decided to take a stab at Kielbasa and Cabbage. Lately, I have seen a lot of posts on Instagram with Kielbasa and Cabbage that always look so wonderful. I found this recipe online that looked simple enough, just the way I like it. I have to confess I did not know what Kielbasa was (polish sausage, duh!), and just used leftover Italian sausage from the fridge. It still turned out delicious, but I have a feeling using Kielbasa would take the flavor to another level. I already bought some to use for next time. This is an easy, easy recipe that can be whipped up ahead of time for lunch or even a light dinner. And, you just cannot go wrong with bacon.

 

Kielbasa and Cabbage
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 large head Cabbage, cut into small wedges
  2. 1 lb Polish kielbasa
  3. 6 slices Bacon
  4. 1 Onion, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup Water
  6. 3 tsp Caraway seed
  7. 2 tsp minced Garlic
  8. 1/4 tsp crushed Red pepper flakes
  9. 1/4 tsp Seasoning salt
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, fry bacon over medium high heat until browned, turning once. Remove bacon from pan, leave drippings in pan. Place bacon on paper towels.
  2. Stir water, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, seasoning salt, and caraway seeds into drippings. Add cabbage, and gently stir. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add kielbasa to the pan. Cover, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Crumble bacon over top, serve hot.
Notes
  1. The original recipe calls for 2 Tbsp white sugar, which I omitted. I did use a little bit of honey, but I'm not sure if it made any difference, because I didn't really taste any sweetness. I probably won't even worry about it next time.
Adapted from Allrecipes
Adapted from Allrecipes
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet Potato Salad | BeckyAmyLew

Happy Fourth of July weekend! Holidays usually mean one thing..potlucks! I spent yesterday pool-side and grill-side with a fabulous group of friends. I am always nervous about deciding what to bring to a BBQ/potluck, because you never know the variety of taste buds that will be in attendance. I opted for this Sweet Potato Salad recipe that I have been eyeballing on Pinterest for awhile. We love sweet potatoes at our house: Baked, roasted, grilled, smoked, mashed, and any other ways it can be prepared. This dish has a very delightful subtle southwest flavor, making it a perfect candidate to accompany any meal. It was a hit at the BBQ yesterday, and will certainly become a staple in the Lewis Household!

 

Sweet Potato Salad
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  2. 1/2 onion, finely chopped (I used red onion)
  3. 1 Red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  4. 4 Green onions, thinly sliced
  5. 1/4 cup Vegenaise (I used homemade Paleo mayonnaise)
  6. 3-4 Tbsp Plain greek yogurt (or omit for vegan preparation and increase Vegenaise)
  7. 1/2 Lime, juiced
  8. 1 tsp Smoked paprika, or to taste
  9. 1/2-1 tsp Ground cumin
  10. Dash of Cayenne pepper, or to taste, optional
  11. Salt and freshly ground Black pepper, to taste
  12. (For sweeter version, add 1/2 tsp of Agave or Honey, to taste)
Instructions
  1. Add sweet potatoes to a large pot of cold salted water*. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool in colander.
  2. Once the potatoes are cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add onion, red pepper, and green onions.
  3. In a separate bowl, add Vegenaise, yogurt, lime juice, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Whisk or stir to combine. Pour over the potatoes and veggies. Mix thoroughly. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 hour.
Notes
  1. *If you add potatoes to a pot of boiling water, they will cook from the outside in, and you will usually wind up with a potato still raw in the middle.
  2. ~Two of my large sweet potatoes weighed in at about 2.3 pounds. I made two batches for the BBQ and had plenty left over.
  3. ~15 minutes seemed long for my potatoes. They were a little too tender for my taste. Next time I will try to under cook it a bit to obtain a firmer texture. I will let you know how it turns out!
  4. ~I omitted the yogurt.
  5. ~I made this the day before, letting it sit overnight, and it turned out fine.
Adapted from Natural Noshing
Adapted from Natural Noshing
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Paleo Mayonnaise

Paleo Mayonnaise | BeckyAmyLew

After months of searching, I have found the perfect mayonnaise recipe! I couldn’t be more excited, because this opens up more opportunities in the kitchen to get creative. Mayonnaise is such a versatile food that can be used to make dressings, salads,  sauces, and more. I could not believe the ease of this recipe. I have an immersion blender, and would definitely recommend buying one if you have been thinking about it. Otherwise, I am also including the version that uses a hand whisk. I have not tried the latter, so if you do, please let me know how it turns out! My first order of business? Sweet Potato Salad, which turned out amazing!

Paleo Mayonnaise
(with immersion blender)
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 large Egg yolk
  2. 1 Tbsp fresh Lemon juice
  3. 1 Tbsp Water
  4. 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  5. 1 cup Macadamia nut oil or Avocado oil (I used Extra light olive oil)
  6. Kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Throw the egg yolk, lemon juice, water, and mustard into an immersion blender cup. Add oil.
  2. Place the head of your immersion blender at the bottom of the cup, and pulse. As the emulsion forms, carefully lift and tilt the head of the immersion blender so that the mayonnaise forms evenly.
  3. Season with salt to taste. If you're not using the mayo right away, cover and store it in the fridge. It should keep for up to a week or two.
Notes
  1. ~Make sure to use one of the oils listed above. I have tried regular olive oil before, and it was too strong. After attempting to hunt down extra light olive oil at Natural Grocers, Sprouts, and Trader Joe's, I finally found it at good old Price Chopper (go figure).
  2. ~I did not use any salt, and it was perfect in my opinion.
Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/
Paleo Mayonnaise
(with hand whisk)
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 large Egg Yolk
  2. 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  3. 1/4 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  4. 1 1/2 tsp fresh Lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp distilled White vinegar
  6. 3/4 cup Macadamia nut or Avocado oil (Extra light olive oil should work as well)
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the yolk, salt, mustard, lemon juice, and vinegar for about 30 seconds, or until the yolk thickens and the color brightens.
  2. Pour about one-third of the oil in a slow, steady stream into the bowl while whisking the mixture vigorously for about 1 minute to create an emulsion. ("A measuring cup works fine, but I like to drizzle my oil from a squeeze bottle; it helps me maintain a light, steady stream.")
  3. After the oil is incorporated, slowly add half of the remaining oil and continue to whisk rapidly. Once it's emulsified, repeat with the rest of the oil. You'll soon have a mayonnaise that's thick enough to hold it's own shape.
Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Ginger and Scallion Fish

Paloe Ginger and Scallion Fish | BeckyAmyLew

One of the reasons I love food is because it appeals to multiple senses of sight, smell, and taste. Consequently, certain dishes invoke nostalgia of my childhood memories. Among them is going to an authentic Chinese restaurant and indulging in a family style dinner. I used to love when my mom ordered a whole fish, which usually came in a light ginger sauce that could turn a bowl of rice into something magical. This Ginger and Scallion Fish recipe is one of those nostalgic dishes that has become a household favorite. It offers variety in your weekly meals for fish entrees, and makes a perfect light lunch or dinner.

Ginger and Scallion Fish
Print
Ingredients
  1. 10 oz. Basa fish fillet, cut into pieces
  2. 2-inch Ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices
  3. 2 stalks Scallion, cut into 2-inch lengths
  4. 1 1/2 Tbsp Oil
sauce
  1. 3-4 Tbsp Water
  2. 1/2 Tbsp Soy sauce (Paleo: Substitute w/Coconut aminos)
Instructions
  1. Marinade the fish for about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat wok with cooking oil. Add ginger slices when oil is very hot. Stir-fry ginger until aromatic.
  4. Add fish, stir-fry until fish is half cooked.
  5. Add sauce, continue to stir-fry until fish is cooked all the way through. If sauce dries out, add a little water.
  6. Add chopped scallions and do a few quick stirs.
  7. Serve hot.
Notes
  1. ~Eat over spinach. Or, add spinach, and eat with cauliflower rice.
  2. ~Add some black mushrooms for that "unami" flavor. It is yummy!
  3. ~I have used Swai fish, Tilapia, and Alaskan cod for this recipe. All have worked fine. However, our favorite is Swai fish, because of its firm texture. I am not 100% sure what Basa fish is. From what I read, sounds like it is a type of catfish that is similar to Swai fish.
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)

Sundried Tomato Pesto Zoodles | BeckyAmyLew

Back when I was oblivious in the kitchen, I thought everything was too difficult to make myself. I relied a lot on McCormick, Kraft, and let’s not forget Great Value (Shout-out to my home state, Arkansas!) for flavor and quick meals. Nevertheless, as I continue to fumble around the kitchen, I continue to learn how easy some dishes can be to make. Pesto is one of my recent discoveries. It is quick, versatile, and you can make it ahead of time to save time. All you need is a food processor to mix everything together, and you are golden. Toss it with zoodles to get your pasta fix, or use it to marinade your meat of choice.

I recently purchased a vegetable spiralizer, and have not looked back! It is extremely easy to use and makes veggie noodles with less effort. However, you can also make the zoodles with a vegetable peeler or a mandoline.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Zoodles
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 Zucchinis
  2. 2 cups Basil leaves
  3. 1 cup Walnuts
  4. 1/2 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes + 2 pieces for garnish
  5. 1/4 cup Olive oil
  6. 2 Garlic cloves
  7. Juice of 1/2 Lemon + more for storage
  8. 1 tsp Sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, cover sun dried tomatoes with just enough water to soak it for 10 minutes until soft. Set aside 2 pieces, cut into small chunks for garnish.
  2. Use vegetable peeler to drag along the zucchini to create long, spaghetti-like noodles. Rotate around the zucchini, and continue to peel into noodles until you hit the seeds.
  3. In a food processor, blend remaining ingredients: basil, walnuts, 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, lemon, and salt. Refrigerate with extra lemon juice squeezed on top to prevent oxidation, until ready to serve.
  4. Place zoodles in a large bowl, add pesto, and toss until everything is well coated.
Notes
  1. ~When making zoodles, rotating the zucchini as you peel helps to keep the surface balanced and provides consistent strands. You can also use a spiralizer or mandoline.
  2. ~I add the sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor at the end, after the other ingredients are nice and blended. Give it a few pulses to produce chunks. Otherwise, your pesto will turn completely red. Call me weird, I like my pesto green.
Adapted from Just as Delish
Adapted from Just as Delish
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Paleo Portobello Pizza

Paleo Portobello Pizza

My husband’s birthday was earlier this week, and we went to a Brazilian Churrasco to celebrate. You are safe to assume that we ate ourselves into a protein coma. All the different types of meat are so delicious and just melt in your mouth, it can be hard not to. Consequently, we were looking forward to eating something light the next day.

Pizza is a longtime favorite food of mine, so I am always looking for alternatives. Gluten free crust is nice every once in awhile for a cheat meal, but what about the non-cheat days? We played around with a cauliflower pizza crust, but we are 0/2 right now. Attempt #3 is being saved for a rainy day.

Portobello Pizzas are quick, easy, very customizable, and make for a light dinner. Some of my favorite toppings are bacon, spinach, chard, red bell peppers, artichokes, squash, and anything else in the fridge that I want to get rid of. If you want to get crazy, top it with a little parmesan cheese to make it a party. I won’t tell.

Paleo Portobello Pizza
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 Large Portobello mushroom, stemmed
  2. Marinara sauce
  3. Protein of choice
  4. Veggies of choice
  5. 1 Tbsp Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel (do not wash).
  3. Scoop out the inside gills with a spoon to make room for your goodies.
  4. Brush mushrooms with olive oil.
  5. Add marinara and toppings.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Notes
  1. I usually add leaf greens first, before the marinara.
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Chicken Stock (Bone Broth)

bone-broth

For some odd reason, I have always disliked buying chicken broth. Low sodium, low fat, fat free…too many choices. How do you know if any of them are really that good for you? Consequently, I usually make my own broth. I used to wing it and throw in whatever I felt like that day. However, it seemed like I always reduced to adding excessive salt to achieve flavor. 

I found this bone broth recipe on Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain. Love her! I love her, because the majority of her recipes are simple. I have a threshold of about 10 ingredients and 5-10 steps before I move onto the next, because “ain’t nobody got time for that”…at least I don’t. This bone broth is great in soups. You can freeze it to use for later. And, if you become obsessed with it like me, you can drink it! The vinegar and parsley really give it a nice flavor, so you do not need to add much more for a simple chicken or vegetable soup. I like to buy rotisserie chicken and save the bones to use in this broth. If you do not plan to make it right away, freeze the bones. The best part about this recipe, is that it is in a crockpot! No more heating up the house and accidentally letting the water boil over on the stove top. Set it, and forget it!

Chicken Stock (Bone Broth)
Print
Ingredients
  1. 12 cups Filtered water
  2. 3 lbs Bone-in chicken parts and gizzards
  3. 1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 Yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  5. 3 large Carrots, cut into large dices
  6. 4 cloves Garlic, smashed
  7. 2 stalks Celery with leaves
  8. 2 Bay leaves
  9. 1 tsp Sea salt
  10. 1/2 tsp Cracked black pepper
  11. 1 bunch Fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Place water and chicken parts in a slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours.
  2. Skim off any foam from the surface and remove the chicken. Shred the meat off the bones, and set the meat aside. Return bones to the pot.
  3. Reduce slow cooker to low. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the parsley, to the pot and cook on low for 12 hours or on high for 6 hours.
  4. Turn off the pot, skim the fat off the top, stir in the parsley, and cover for 30 minutes.
  5. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. Scoop off any solidified fat before using.
Notes
  1. ~I do not worry about the filtered water.
  2. ~I always seem to forget about the gizzards. Not sure if that has much impact on the flavor, but it is probably rich in nutrients.
  3. ~Sometimes, I skip step 1 with the chicken, and just use leftover bones I have the freezer.
Adapted from Against All Grain
Adapted from Against All Grain
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Race Day Preparation: 10 Tips for Running a Half Marathon

Runners Race Day

Kansas City’s oldest Road Race and 41st annual Hospital Hill Half Marathon & 10k is right around the corner, which means race day for me. As I sit here reflecting on whether my last few months of training is enough to help me face this challenge, I cannot help but wonder why in the world I signed up to run on a hill that has its own name?

While I try to get my mind mentally ready for tomorrow, I recall lessons learned from previous runs that make good general tips for race day, regardless of distance. Please note, I run to stay active and motivated to achieve one goal at a time (and maybe I also run for medals). If you are a serious runner seeking PRs and placing, some of these may not apply to you.

  1. Apply Vaseline or Body Glide to prevent chaffing. I just use Vaseline, because I have it on hand. I apply it between my thighs and under my arms.
  2. Start slow. So slow that you feel like you are in slow motion. Do not bolt from the starting line looking like Flash DC, and expend all your energy in the beginning. This is the time to set your breathe and get your legs warmed up. Your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, …winds will be that much better.
  3. Use your breath to work through pain. Wherever the pain may be, breathe through it. Your breath is very powerful and can be used to work through any discomfort.
  4. Don’t stop at every water station. For me, it is hard to get going again when I stop. I usually wait until mile 5 or 6 for water. [This may be specific to me, listen to your body!]
  5. Don’t forget to smile. Our bodies follow our facial expression, which has great influence over our mood and tension. Smiling will lighten the mood and release tension.
  6. Use jazz hands to encourage blood flow. A lot of us inadvertently tend to tighten up our arms when running. Give them a break by raising your arms and wiggling your fingers. Treat yourself to some positive energy.
  7. Get your Rocky on. A good tip for running form is to keep your body in one plane, arms and legs. The pumping forward movement of your arms help your legs and momentum. Sometimes, I find that my arms become stagnant, or at least not moving like they should. So I throw a few air punches to get them going again. 
  8. Smile for the camera. There will be a photographer somewhere along the course and at the finish line. Smile big and show your pearly whites. Action photos may be expensive to order, but it is nice to have the option.
  9. Don’t be afraid of high fives. Kids, adults, and volunteers will be available for high fives. Don’t be scared. Have you ever had a high five that wasn’t fun? Heck, even some of the other runners can probably use one. Do not underestimate the power of the human touch.
  10. Try singing out loud. My last two long runs were rather…well…long. After mile 8, it can get challenging and mundane. So, I sang out loud: “because a hustler’s work is never through~we making it because we making moves~work hard~play hard”. That’s my jam! I got few weird looks from my neighbors, but it made me smile and actually sent a surge of energy through my body. People may look at you funny, but who cares.

I know some of these seem silly, but they work for me. What are your lessons learned? What tips do you have to add?

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice | BeckyAmyLew

People always ask me what food I miss the most since switching to Paleo. Rice is my answer. Because it is a grain, it is a Paleo no-no. I was born in Taiwan, and grew up in a household where rice was served with everything. Everything includes steaks, shake and bake pork chops, mashed potatoes and more. Surprisingly, it was not extremely difficult to give up rice. If you are committed to your health goals, your body eventually conforms. Nevertheless, I was very excited to find out about Cauliflower Rice.

One of my first Paleo meals was Curried Salmon. It was delicious, but I wanted some bland and refreshing rice to absorb the sauce and bring balance back to my palette. It’s times like that when this recipe is a gift from heaven. And, cauliflower is extremely healthy for you, it’s a win-win. It is very close in texture to rice, which is key to fooling your mind. Do not be shy with the coconut oil, for that is what brings out the semi-sweet taste of real rice. Hooray for creativity!

Cauliflower Rice
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 head of cauliflower, chopped coarsely
  2. 1 small onion, chopped finely in a food processor
  3. 2 Tbsp Coconut oil
  4. Sea salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Throw cauliflower pieces into food processor. Pulse until the size is similar to rice or couscous.
  2. In a large skillet, saute onions in coconut oil over medium, until translucent.
  3. Add cauliflower and stir.
  4. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Cover skillet and cook for 5-10 minutes, until soften.
Notes
  1. This recipe is very versatile, add any seasonings you would like! I have been known to add garlic powder, onion powder, or oregano. Whatever you are in the mood for.
Adapted from nom nom paleo
Adapted from nom nom paleo
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/