Archive | November 2013

Herb Gnocchi with Sautéed Spinach and Charred Cherry Tomatoes

255059_766405215953_31204842_38625469_8274873_n

This month’s recipe is a bit of a splurge, but it is usually worth it. Instead of carb loading on heaps of pasta the night before a big race, have some fun making these Gnocchi. They can be a little time consuming to produce, but they freeze well and the result is always worth the effort. Even though this meal is a little starchy, the potatoes and the herbs provide nutrients that you won’t find in a box of pasta and if prepared correctly it can even be a healthy addition to the diet when eaten in moderation.

Ingredients

–       2 Pounds Starchy Potatoes

–       2 Egg Yolks

–       2 Cups All Purpose Flour

–       1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

–       1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

–       2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

–       1 Bunch Parsley (Finely Chopped)

–       1 Sprig Rosemary (Finely Chopped)

–       2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (Finely Chopped)

–       1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

–       2 Cups Spinach (Packed Tightly)

–       1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes (Halved)

–       ¼ Cup White Wine

–       1 Teaspoon butter (Optional)

–       2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (Optional)

Preparation

  1. Boil the whole potatoes until soft (about 45 minutes). Peel while still warm and pass through a ricer or vegetable mill into a large bowl.
  2. Boil 1.5 gallons of water in a large stockpot. While water is coming to a boil, set up an ice bath of 6 cups of ice and 6 cups of water beside the stove.
  3. Make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle all over with the flour. Place egg yolks, herbs and spices in the center of the well and mix egg mixture into potatoes and flour with a fork as if you were making regular pasta.
  4. Once everything is well blended and dough has formed a ball, roll it out onto a clean, floured surface and knead like bread dough for about 3-5 minutes until the dough is dry to the touch. Up to 1 more cup of flour may need to be used during this step, depending on how moist and starchy your potatoes were to begin with.
  5. Cut hunks of dough off and roll into ¾ inch diameter dowels that resemble snakes and cut into ¾-1 inch pieces. Drop the pieces in the boiling water and cook until they float (about 1 minute). As they rise to the top, scoop them out and put them in the ice bath. Let sit a few minutes in the ice bath and then drain.
  6. Meanwhile, be heating up a sauté pan with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil at medium-high heat. Drop tomatoes in the pan, and toss for about 20-30 seconds until you see a little color on them. Then, add about 2-3 cups of your gnocchi to the pan and continue to sauté for about 1 minute until they begin to lightly color and heat through. Feel free to add a little more olive oil if your pan looks too dry.
  7. Finally, add the white wine to the pan along with the spinach. Continue tossing until spinach is wilted and wine has cooked down. Remove from heat, toss with butter and parmesan. Adjust seasoning to your preference and serve.

Note: This recipe makes 8-12 servings. If you are not going to serve the whole batch at once, then lay the gnocchi out on a greased pan and freeze. Once frozen, they can be stored in a Ziplock bag or plastic container in the freezer for a few months.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 3/4 cup

Calories: 225 / Fat: 8g / Saturated Fat: 3g / Carbohydrates: 38g / Fiber: 3g / Protein: 7

Advertisements

Vanilla Vegan Cake with Berry Couli

IMG_4647

Rarely, do I see my vegan friends splurging on desserts. And when they do decide to surrender to their sweet tooth, it is more often than not that they temporarily surrender their veganism. While I’m not one to judge, there is usually a bit of credibility lost when someone decides to label themselves a certain way and then gets busted crossing back over to the other side. Deciding to go vegan for whatever reason can be quite challenging and dessert, for better or worse, may never be the same. However, this month’s recipe gives those who are animal-free a bit of hope for those special occasions when dessert is nearly mandatory. This vanilla vegan cake holds up quite well and tastes surprisingly good, while still being lighter than most traditional cakes that use butter and eggs. The berry couli is the perfect accompaniment, along with a scoop of one of the very decent vegan ice creams that are on the market today. A scoop of Greek yogurt goes well with it too. That is, if it’s not beneath you to surrender back to the other side every now and again.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup soy or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Berry Couli:

  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

1. Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Then in a separate bowl, whisk the next 3 ingredients together. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth.

2. Add the vinegar, whisk for about 5 seconds, quickly pour into a well-greased cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until cooked all of the way through.

3. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a rack.

4. Meanwhile, melt the mixed berries, agave and vanilla extract together in a small sauce pot. Bring to a simmer and then blend using a blender or food processor. Putting the couli through a strainer will make it smoother, but it is not absolutely necessary.

5.Serve cake with a scoop of vegan ice cream and the berry couli drizzled on top.

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 165 / Fat: 7g / Saturated Fat: 3g / Carbohydrates: 32g / Fiber: 1g / Protein: 2g