Paleo Spinach Dip

Paleo Spinach Dip

This is going to be short, but I have had many requests for this recipe since I posted it on Instagram. I know you all have many holiday and football potlucks ahead of you, so here it is. There are two versions, one with goat cheese and one without. I have not tried it with goat cheese, but it sounds amazing. While goat cheese is not Paleo, it is not the worst cheese to cheat with.

This Spinach Dip makes a great mushroom stuffer. Other ways to use it: Dip (of course! Sweet potato chips, Plantain chips, Paleo breads), pasta zoodles, pizza topper, and more! Be creative.

 

Paleo Spinach Dip
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Ingredients
  1. VERSION 1 (NO CHEESE)
  2. 2 (14oz) can Artichoke hearts, chopped
  3. 16 oz frozen Spinach
  4. 1 cup Cashews, roasted and unsalted
  5. 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  6. 1/2-1 Tbsp Garlic powder
  7. 1 tsp Onion powder
  8. 1 tsp dried Basil
  9. 1/2-1 tsp Sea salt
  10. 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  11. 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

  12. VERSION 2 (WITH CHEESE)
  13. All ingredients above
  14. 2oz Goat cheese, at room temperature
Instructions
for version 1:
  1. Add frozen spinach and artichokes to a large saucepan over medium heat and sprinkle with just a bit of salt. Allow spinach to thaw and artichokes to warm up.
  2. Meanwhile, process cashews in a food processor. Grind until cashews become a flour. Begin to pour in olive oil, process until mixture is a creamy consistency. Like creamy cashew butter.
  3. Once spinach is thawed, drain excess water from saucepan, and transfer spinach and artichokes to a large bowl.
  4. Add creamy cashew mixture and remaining ingredients to bowl, mix thoroughly.
  5. Serve warm or cold.
for version 2:
  1. Follow steps above.
  2. Add goat cheese to cashew, spinach, and artichoke mixture. Mix well to combine.
Notes
  1. ~As I am typing this up, I realized that both times I made this, I only used 1 can of artichoke hearts. I do not know if a second is needed, but I will leave that up to you based on your level of like for artichokes.
  2. ~I used salted cashews, tasted just fine.
  3. ~For version 1, I added about a 3/4 cup of Paleo Mayonnaise, to make it creamier. If you add mayo, may want to cut back on the salt.
  4. ~Bacon is always an option!!
Adapted from PaleOMG
Adapted from PaleOMG
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Double Header Pickling Recipes: Dill Pickles and Pickled Vegetables

Dill Pickles and Pickled Vegetables | BeckyAmyLew Paleo Recipes

Happy Friday! I am kicking off the Labor Day weekend with a double header post featuring two recipes. It is full-blown pickling season in the Lewis household and no vegetable is safe. If it fits in a mason jar, it will be pickled.

I tried some pickling last year for the first time, but they ended up being very heavy on the sugar and coriander. Nevertheless, it is a brand new year, and I was given two foolproof recipes that will satisfy all your pickling needs. Plus, there is no sugar involved, therefore Paleo-friendly. The best part is they are so easy! The process is a lot simpler than what I remembered. These recipes are very flexible, so play around with them and make them your own.   

 

Dill Pickles
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Ingredients
  1. Baby cucumbers
  2. 1 1/2 cup Water
  3. 1/2 cup Cider vinegar
  4. 1 Garlic clove
  5. 1 head fresh Dill
  6. 1 Tbsp canning Salt
  7. 2 tsp Minced dried onion
  8. 1 tsp Mustard seeds
Instructions
  1. Wash cucumbers, cut lengthwise into spears.
  2. Place head of dill in a clean pint sized jar. Add cucumber spears.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients together in a saucepan, bring to boil. Boil until salt is dissolved. Pour over sliced cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch head space from top.
  4. Place lid on jar and set on counter for 3 days. Occasionally turning the jar upside down to let the flavors combine.
  5. After 3 days, place in refrigerator. Will store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.
Notes
  1. ~Makes 1 pint.
  2. ~Use homegrown cucumbers from a farmers market. Cucumbers from the grocery store have wax on them that hinders the pickling process.
  3. ~Cut pickles however you want. I made spears and sliced pickles.
  4. ~I used sea salt instead of canning salt, because that is what I had.
  5. ~I used dried onion, because I was out of minced dried onion. Turned out fine.
  6. ~I boiled the lids and kept them hot before placing on jars to sterilize.
Adapted from Creative Homemaking
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/
Pickled Vegetables
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Ingredients
  1. Vegetable of choice
  2. 4 cups Water
  3. 2 cups Vinegar
  4. head of Garlic
  5. fresh Dill
  6. 6 tsp Kosher salt
  7. 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  8. 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  9. 1/2 tsp Black peppercorn
  10. 1/2 tsp Chili flakes (optional)
  11. 1 Jalepeno, split (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, add water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to boil.
  2. In the bottom of each jar, add 1 crushed garlic clove and 1 sprig of dill. For spicy, add chili flakes and jalapeno.
  3. Divide seeds and peppercorn, add to each jar.
  4. Pack jars with vegetables tightly, leaving 1/2 inch head space from top.
  5. Pour hot liquid into jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space from top.
  6. Place lid on jar and set on counter for 3 days. Occasionally turning the jar upside down to let the flavors combine.
Notes
  1. ~Makes 4 pints.
  2. ~I boiled the lids and kept them hot before placing on jars to sterilize.
  3. ~No storage instructions available, but I am assuming they are the same as the Dill Pickles above.
Adapted from Jeff Fink
Adapted from Jeff Fink
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Strawberry Guacamole

Strawberry Guacamole | BeckyAmyLew Paleo Recipes

The first time I saw someone add strawberries to their guacamole, I thought it looked disgusting. Fruit in guacamole just does not sound right. But I continued to see it on my Instagram feed, so I had to give it one try before I swore it off. Well, since I am sharing this recipe, you are safe to assume that it was not that bad. In fact, it was absolutely delicious! Fruit is so versatile, and when combined when the right ingredients, can turn a dish into something magical. Serve it as a dip, or as a side dish with any meal. I have brought this to several pot lucks/BBQs, and it is always a huge hit. Give it at least one try before saying “ew”!

Strawberry Guacamole
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Avocado
  2. 1/2-1 cup Strawberries, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  3. 1/8 Onion, chopped (about 1/4 medium onion)
  4. Salt & Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, add avocado, onion, salt & pepper. Mash avocados to desired consistency.
  2. Stir in strawberries. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Makes 2 servings.
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Daikon Noodle Salad

Daikon Noodle Salad | BeckyAmyLew Paleo Recipes

With its clean and simple flavor, daikon was always a childhood favorite of mine. My mom used to cook it in soups and stews, usually beef. The daikon adds a nice palate cleanser in the heavy beef broth, and pairs nicely with the meat and other vegetables. 

Because I have never seen it prepared any other way, I was intrigued with this recipe by Practical Paleo. It is a refreshing dish to help beat the summer heat, and not to mention easy. We all know I love easy! The original recipe is topped with a Red Palm & Coriander Tuna…Yep, you guessed it. I did not have tuna on hand, and Red Palm sounds like a type of tree in Florida. So, I sauteed shrimp I had in the fridge, threw it on top of the salad, and called it good. A little recipe remix never hurt anyone.
   

Daikon Noodle Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 2-3 Daikon radishes
  2. 1 large Carrot
  3. 1 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped
  4. Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  5. 1 Tbsp extra-virgin Olive oil or cold-pressed Sesame oil
  6. Sea salt and Black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse and peel the outer skin of the daikon radishes with a standard vegetable peeler.
  2. Using a julienne peeler (or continue with the standard peeler if you don't have a julienne peeler), continue to "peel" the radishes into noodle-shaped pieces. Repeat this process with the carrot.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the julienned radishes and carrots with the chopped cilantro, lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately to retain the crunch (the daikon will become soggy if it sits too long before serving).
Notes
  1. I used a vegetable spiralizer to make the "noodles".
Adapted from Practical Paleo
Adapted from Practical Paleo
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
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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/

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
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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/

Crispy Kale Chips

Paleo Kale Chips | BeckyAmyLew

I absolutely love the summertime when the Farmers Market opens for business. This morning, I made a trip to the nearby market for some spinach. What really happened was I came home with gigantic chard, beets, radish, heirloom tomatoes, no spinach. Oops. Everything was just so beautiful, I could not resist. My colanders were hard at work while I was washing, cutting, storing, and labeling. I just did not have enough room for everything on top of what was already in the fridge. So, I decided to play with the kale. I have always wanted to try making kale chips, but just never got around to it. I found the simplest recipe I could find, for me and for you!

While my chips turned out pretty well for it being my first time, I received a lot of questions about how to get them crispy. From my experiment and online research, I think the most important thing is to ensure the kale is fully dried before baking. I immediately washed my kale when I got home. Then I left it out in a colander for a little bit while I worked on other things. Next I used a salad spinner to throw the water off. Last, I patted it down with a paper towel. My other thought is where you purchase the kale. The kale leaves I bought from the Farmers Market were huge, some were as big as my face. I hope that helps.

Storage: Well, about that…my chips did not make it to see a storage container for very long. To be continued…

I tried different versions: with and without garlic powder, with and without red pepper flakes, tossed in a mixing bowl, light toss on the pan. I prefer without garlic powder. Kale has such a robust taste that it is just fine with a light dust of sea salt. The spicy batch I made with red pepper flakes was waaay to spicy. Next time, I will ease up on the flakes, or maybe use a grinder. I am still not sure about the method. When tossed in a mixing bowl, it seemed to coat everything evenly. However, when lightly tossed on the pan, the chips seemed fuller. Any kale chippers out there? What are your thoughts?

Crispy Kale Chips
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
  2. 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  3. Sea salt, for sprinkling
  4. Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Remove ribs from kale. Cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and sea salt.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crisp, turn leaves halfway through.
Notes
  1. I used parchment paper on the sheet. I'm not sure if this makes a difference or not, but makes clean up easy.
  2. UPDATE 6/9: No need for parchment paper, works just fine on the baking sheet.
Adapted from Melissa d'Arabian
Adapted from Melissa d'Arabian
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Sweet Potato Fritters

Paleo Sweet Potato Fritters | BeckyAmyLew

I recently visited a dear friend in Chicago for a mini-vacation. It was a weekend of great company, much needed girl time, and one of my favorite cities to visit. Among our many chats throughout the weekend, my friend advised me that she does not care for sweet potatoes. This is incomprehensible for me, because I love everything about a sweet potato, prepared every which way. She said she has tried many recipes, but they are all too sweet for her. So, this recipe is for you, Pamela! Hoping you find at least a smidgen of love for sweet potatoes, so you may experience all the healthy goodness that they have to offer. 

In my opinion, these Sweet Potato Fritters are fairly mild when it comes to sweetness. I found this recipe through Instagram, posted by @planksloveandguacamole. She frequently posts Paleo recipes, in all varieties. I have tried several, and have yet to be disappointed.

If you are new to Paleo, Instagram is a great resource. It is a very helpful way to find meal ideas, by simply browsing through photos without the distractions of long opinions and explanations, and  of course, ads. These are everyday people actually eating, living, and breathing Paleo; who better else to learn from? I know for certain some of my friends laugh at or frown upon hashtags, but for this purpose, they are very resourceful. Try #paleo #eatclean #paleorecipes #sweetpotatoes, and whatever else you may be looking for.

Sweet Potato Fritters
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Ingredients
  1. 3 heaping cups shredded Sweet potato (use cheese grater)
  2. 3 chopped Scallions (about 1/2 cup, or to taste)
  3. 3 large Eggs
  4. 1/4 cup Coconut flour
  5. 2 Tbsp Arrowroot starch or Tapioca starch
  6. 1 tsp Sea salt
  7. 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  8. 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  9. 1/4 cup Bacon grease or fat to fry in
Instructions
  1. Preheat frying pan on medium.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
  3. Add sweet potato and chopped scallions to the egg. Lightly mix.
  4. Mix up dry ingredients in a small bowl: coconut flour, arrowroot, sea salt, black pepper, and onion powder.
  5. Dump dry ingredients into the large bowl. Mix to combine.
  6. Heat fat.
  7. Use your hands to make balls (2-3 Tbsp), flatten to fry. Makes about 8.
  8. Fry fritters in a hot fat, fry about 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned and crisp.
Notes
  1. ~I couldn't find Arrowroot starch. The tapioca starch worked just fine.
  2. ~I didn't have bacon grease. I just used coconut oil. It worked alright, but I can see how bacon grease can liven the flavor. I have already started my jar of bacon grease to use next time!
Adapted from Planks, Love, and Guacamole
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/

Easy Red Cabbage Slaw

Paleo Red Cabbage Slaw | BeckyAmyLew

Lately, I have seen lots of photos of Paleo meals accompanied by red cabbage: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Naturally, I was curious. As I suspected, my research revealed that red cabbage is stocked full of vitamins and nutrients; particularly Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Potassium. I normally assume you cannot really go wrong with vegetables that are deep in color.

I experimented with flavors and came up with this super easy recipe. My husband loved it so much, that is all he talked about throughout dinner. And let me tell you, it was even better the next day.

Easy Red Cabbage Slaw
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Red cabbage
  2. 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 Tbsp Honey
  5. 1/2 tsp Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
Notes
  1. You can serve this right away, but it is best when chilled.
BeckyAmyLew http://www.beckyamylew.com/