Thursday, February 21, 2019

happy food: Beyond Sausage




While I am happily (mostly) a pescatarian (I eat tuna and salmon), my husband is a meat-eater. I don't mind making meat-based dishes for him but with a toddler in the house, lately I have been making three different meals each night for dinner. Looking through my cookbooks this weekend, I tried to find recipes that would make us all happy. (Me: Keto/pescatarian, L: Meat-based and Toddler: Whatever I can get her to try.)

When I was at Whole Foods this weekend, I discovered that Beyond Meat has a new product called Beyond Sausage. Both L and I LOVE their Beyond Burger which tastes so much like a beef burger that if I didn't make it myself I would have thought I was eating beef.  How we like our Beyond Burgers: L: On a grilled Brioche bun with crumbled blue cheese and mine wrapped in lettuce. Both topped with Maille Blue Cheese & White Wine Mustard.

So, while the baby had pasta with roasted butternut squash, L and I tried the Beyond Sausage, served with Trader Joe's Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions. It was an easy dinner that took less than 15 minutes to prepare.

First, I cut two sausages into 1/4 inch slices and added them to a skillet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, cooking on medium until the sausages were browned. Then I added half the bag of the frozen peppers and onions tossed with the sausage until heated (about ten minutes). For L, I toasted the brioche bun and served it warm. I served mine simple, in a bowl.




The Taste


Well, I've never had an Italian sausage. So for me, it tasted great, I liked the spicy slices of sausage against the fire roasted peppers and onions. For L, who loves a good Italian sausage sub (or grinder or hoagie, depending on where you're from), he thought the taste was exactly like a great Italian sausage sub. He said the texture, bite and flavor were all on par with a pork sausage and had I not told him it was a plant-based sausage, he would have thought it was meat. I asked him if I should buy it again and with a mouthful of a perfect Italian sausage grinder, he shook his head in a vigorous yes.

What Else There is To Like About Beyond Sausage

I have been a pescatarian since I was in grammar school. At the time it was because once I realized I was eating a cow or pig, I just couldn't eat something that I could bond with. So for me, Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage are a delicious way for me to enjoy the same meal as my husband. I have tried different veggie burgers throughout my life but I've never found one that I like. I also prefer to stay away from soy (just a personal choice) and gluten.

The only thing that throws me a little is that it tastes so much like meat that it feels a little strange eating it and even preparing it. The Beyond Burger, especially, "bleeds" (the secret is beets!) when you cook it, just like a traditional beef patty. It smells exactly like a burger when you cook it, as does the sausage. Each time I eat one I think "If I didn't cook this myself, I would swear it was a real burger or sausage." So, it's a good thing that it tastes like meat but also if you are a vegetarian, it may take awhile for your brain to relax and enjoy it because it does taste so much like meat.

In addition to the ethical reasons for eating a plant-based burger, there are also the health benefits. They are made without soy or gluten. They are antibiotic-free, hormone-free and GMO-free.  There is more protein (16 grams versus pork's 14 grams) and less fat (12 versus 21.)



Being on my new wellness program, I've become incredibly conscious of not only the fat and calories (in fact these take a backseat)  but also what I am putting into my body, as well as my husband's and my daughter's. I try to stock our home with as much food that is plant-based, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, GMO-free, soy-free and gluten-free as possible, which makes Beyond Sauage and Beyond Burgers a home run in my book.

I'm excited to see what else Beyond Meat comes out with. If they could create a maple-flavored crispy bacon, well Sunday brunch would pretty epic at our house.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

thought for the week: play




I think as adults we've forgotten how to play. How to just play. There are jobs to go to. Partners, pets and kids to tend to, bills to be paid. There is housework to be done and family obligations that take up  any free time. When we do make time for ourselves, it's usually for things we know we need to do like working out at the gym. That isn't playing. When I finish I working out, I know that I did something good for my body but I never finish my treadmill workout thinking "Wow! That was so much fun!"

This was a long weekend that was filled with things that needed to be done. We did a deep clean of our closet and spent time with the baby, making sure she was happy as we try to teach her to be a well-adjusted, well-rounded individual. We grocery shopped and did chores around the house. As we collapsed together on the sofa last night I looked at my husband and said "You know what? We forgot to do something this weekend."

L turned to me and said, "Impossible. We did everything on the list."

"Yeah, we did everything on the list but we didn't have fun. We need an extra day of the weekend now to just play."

That's the problem. We pack our weeks and especially our weekends full of things that we are supposed to do and by Sunday night we are wiped out and not energized for another work week. After realizing last night that we were both so exhausted from a weekend of chores, I vowed that next weekend we would book time just for play. We wouldn't think about whether it was educational for the baby or whether we would get the garage cleaned out. Next weekend, and every weekend after we would book time just for us to play as a family. I think we need that time to relax and laugh just as much as we need food. water, air and sleep to survive. With play added in, then we thrive.

So, whether it's rolling around the floor with your favorite person or animal, coloring or building a snow fort, this week make time to breathe and play. And laugh. How can you not feel happy when you feel like a kid again?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's pretty simple. Today is about love. I believe in loving with abandon. Love wildly. Today, of all days, show that love. Call someone you love who may need to hear it. Cuddle with your pet. Call your grandmother. Make up with someone. Put down your phone. Make eye contact.

Most of all, love yourself. Treat yourself kindly. You are incredible. You. Are. Transcendent. Remind yourself that you are not your past. You are someone who is full of love and you the kind of person who emanates kindness.

I hope that today you feel loved because you are.

xoxo

Monday, February 11, 2019

thought for the week: February 11, 2019



When I think about the people I admire and trust, I realized that one commonality is that I never hear them talk about other people negatively. They will lift others up, even if it is a competitor. I once had a friend talk about a colleague who got a promotion over her (one that she desperately wanted and thought she had). I wouldn't have blamed her if she talked negatively about the guy who did get the job but instead she said "He deserved the promotion.  He worked as hard as I did. This just shows me that I need to hone my skills further. I'm going to meet with my mentor so I'm ready the next time an opportunity comes along." This shocked me. I was expecting her to be furious.  I respected her for taking this approach. It was such a lesson in grace. I think about how often we tend to talk negatively about people.

We don't mean to hurt anyone when we say something negative about someone behind their backs, but when we do this, it just makes people around us think that we will do the same thing to them when they aren't there. I think about the times I was in a conversation when we were talking negatively about someone.  I felt dirty, especially if it was a friend. Several years ago I made it a point to stop talking behind someone's back. I wouldn't take part in these conversations. I realized though, that you can take this one step forward.

If you want people to like you, to trust you, if you want to feel good about yourself, talk positively about someone behind his or her back and mean it.  It's a lesson that I practice every day.  It can be a challenge at first when everyone around you is gossiping and it feels harmless to join in but there is no such thing as harmless gossiping. Be the one who stands up for someone. Be the one who has someone else's back. Be that person who can be trusted.

Here's to a happy week!


 
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