Homemade Gnocchi

The following text and photos are courtesy of Etsy and the article can be seen in full here.

Eatsy: How to Make Homemade Gnocchi

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Photo by Adrianna Adarme

Story by Adrianna Adarme

Published on May 14, 2013 in Eatsy

As a person who adores comforting and cozy food, gnocchi is high on my list. It makes for a delicious meal that’s hearty, filling and super inexpensive.

Gnocchi is far from difficult to make, but it is very touch and feel. Knead it too little and it won’t hold together; knead it too much, and you’ll end up with very gummy gnocchi. If you’ve never conquered gnocchi-making, seeing a step-by-step how-to might bring you and a delicious bowl of pillowy gnocchi a little closer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 pounds (about 2-3) Russet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

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Gnocchi begins by roasting starchy potatoes. In this instance, I used good ol’ Russet potatoes. They take about an hour to cook all the way through; a little slice in the top releases some of their steam so you can handle them.

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I used to make mashed potatoes by mashing them with one of those hand mashers, but ever since I started using a potato ricer, I’ll never, ever go back. A potato ricer is a dreamy kitchen tool.

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All of the potato gets scooped out and put through the ricer. It’ll come out in pretty little strings that are so very fluffy.

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Half of the flour is added to your kitchen counter or cutting board and the riced potato is poured out.

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The next step is kneading the potato and flour together. This is when it’s very much by touch. If it’s not kneaded enough, the dough won’t stick together; if it’s kneaded too much, the potato will turn into a gummy mess. I go little by little until everything starts to come together.

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After it’s kneaded a few times, the rest of the flour is added.

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A bit more kneading…

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And then the test! A small piece of gnocchi is rolled out, cut and dropped into a pot of simmering hot water.

If the gnocchi falls apart, it wasn’t kneaded enough, which is totally fine because you have the rest of the dough to correct. You know the gnocchi is perfectly kneaded when it rises to the top of the pot after a minute or so and comes out only slightly ragged around the edges. A little bit of raggedness is fine.

Then the rolling and cutting of the rest of the dough happens.

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Roll…

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…repeat…

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And cut.

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After the gnocchi is cut, you could make it right away, or you could freeze it for later. If you’d like to freeze it, transfer it to a floured, parchment-lined baking sheet and place it in the oven for 20 minutes, until the gnocchi is firm. Transfer the gnocchi to a freezer-safe plastic bag and boil when you’re ready!

Gnocchi
Serves 6

2 pounds (about 2-3) Russet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until they’re tender when poked with a fork. This should take about one hour. When the potatoes are done, immediately slice them open to let the steam out.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a few pinches of salt. Scoop out the potato flesh and transfer it to a potato ricer or food mill. Push the potato ricer down and repeat until you’ve passed all of the potato through the ricer. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt and adjust according to your liking.

3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour onto your clean counter or cutting board. Knead the potatoes with it, sprinkling in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, until the dough just comes together. If it’s still pretty shaggy, add more flour one tablespoon at a time.

4. Now for the test! Pinch off a piece of dough and roll out into a tube. Cut it into a few pieces and boil it to make sure it holds its shape. If it falls apart in the water, this means you’ll knead the dough a bit more. When right, the gnocchi will float to the top and look a little ragged but hold together when ready.|

5. Roll the rest of the dough into ropes that are about 1/2-inch thick, then cut the ropes into 1/2-inch lengths. Transfer the gnocchi to a parchment-lined baking sheet, being sure the gnocchi don’t touch each other.

6. Add the gnocchi to a boiling water a few at a time. Adjust the heat so the mixture doesn’t boil too vigorously–it should be more like an aggressive simmer. When the gnocchi rise to the surface of the water, they’re done. Remove them with a slotted spoon or mesh strainer and transfer them to your sauce or to a paper towel.

All photos by Adrianna Adarme. 

Adrianna Adarme is a recipe blogger and content producer living in Los Angeles. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, easy, everyday recipes from her kitchen.

Raw Lemon Bars

The following text and images are courtesy of Oatmeal with a Fork. See the full article here. Enjoy! 

Thick Raw Lemon Bars

Lemon bars have always been a favorite dessert of mine.

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My mom got me hooked on them as a little girl, and I pine for them whenever I cruise by a bakery display…out of necessity is born a recipe!

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This raw version is made up of a chewy, sweet, and slightly tangy bottom layer topped with a rich and creamy layer of lemon-y goodness…the sweetness offsets the lemon enough to keep you from puckering, while still maintaining the citrus flavor that makes these bars so fresh and clean.

Thick Raw Lemon Bars
Prep time- 10 mins
Total time- 10 mins
Author: Lauren Goslin
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • Bottom Layer:
  • ¾ c. walnuts
  • ¼ c. unsweetened coconut
  • 5 soft dates (I used Medjool)
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 2-3 t. lemon zest
  • Top Layer:
  • 6 T. coconut oil, softened
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 t. lemon zest
  • 3-5 drops stevia, to taste
  • pinch of turmeric, to enhance yellow ‘lemon’ color, optional
Instructions
  1. Process together the ingredients for the bottom layer.
  2. Make sure it is well combined, and press it into a small glass dish (I used a 7 x 5 inch Pyrex dish).
  3. Place the coconut oil into a small bowl.
  4. Beat the oil with a hand mixer until creamy (about 1-2 minutes).
  5. Add in the lemon juice, zest, maple syrup, stevia, and turmeric (if using) and mix until combined and a bit fluffy.
  6. Spread the top layer onto the bottom layer.
  7. Place into the fridge or freezer until set (15-30 minutes)**.
  8. Cut and enjoy!
Notes
**If you store your bars in the fridge or freezer for a long period of time, you will need to set them out a bit in advance before consuming them, as they will need time to soften a bit.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 9 Calories: 179 Fat: 16 g Saturated fat: 8.9 g Unsaturated fat: 7.1 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 8.3 g Sugar: 3 g Sodium: 68 mg Fiber: 1.3 g Protein: 2.7 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Thick, luscious bars….

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…and the obligatory bite shot…

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I can see myself nibbling on one of these while sipping a cup of tea in the late afternoon…bliss.

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Salted Caramel Lava Cakes

The following pictures and text are courtesy of Etsy and the full article can be viewed here

Eatsy: Salted Caramel Lava Cakes

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Photo by Adrianna Adarme

acozykitchen

Sure, Valentine’s Day is all about love, Cupid and romantic gestures, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, this holiday’s real lure is the sweets. While I’ll gladly pass on stale conversation hearts, a-bit-too-rich truffles or drugstore chocolates, my world stops for salted caramels. I’ll forever be a sucker for the flavor contrast of salty and sweet.

Many of you might find yourselves needing a quick and easy dessert recipe post work-day. This recipe will make two delicious, gooey salted caramel lava cakes with minimal ingredients, and a speedy assembly and bake time. And if you’re a single lady (or dude) on this Valentine’s Day, please make this —the recipe is easily halved!

Salted Caramel Lava Cakes 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and divided
6 ounces dark chocolate
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon large sea salt flakes (such as Maldon), plus more for sprinkling
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 1-inch square good quality sea salt caramels

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottoms of two 6-ounce ramekins with parchment paper. Next, butter the ramekins’ sides with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside.

In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water), melt the chocolate and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; stir until smooth. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool until it’s warm to the touch, and then mix in the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Fold in the flour and combine until the batter is smooth.

Equally divide the batter between the two ramekins. Next, gently nuzzle two caramels into the center of each ramekin, until the batter covers the caramels. Transfer the ramekins to a baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 12-13 minutes. Invert the cakes onto plates and top with a sprinkling of sea salt and a dollop of whipped cream. Or serve with ice cream; that’d be good, too!

All photos by Adrianna Adarme.

9 Essential Cookbooks for the Plant-Based Athlete

Thank you No Meat Athlete for this collection of essential cookbooks for the vegetarian athlete. You can find the full article here. If you have any favorites you’d like to add to the list, please do so in the comments. I’d love to hear some recommendations.

9 Essential Cookbooks for the Plant-Based Athlete

Written by Matt Frazier

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My cookbook (and wine) shelf

When it comes to cookbooks, my wife and I are big fans of the library.

You can leaf through a normal book and get an idea of whether it’s any good, but you can’t really decide about a cookbook until you try it. So we like to borrow first, then buy if it’s great.

And so we’ve tried a bunch (well over 50, I bet) in our short three and a half years of being vegetarian. I’m always surprised at the selection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks in most libraries, even if a lot of them are those 1980′s-style designed ones, with tons of fake meat recipes that are probably a lot worse for you than the even real thing.

(Case in point: I recently saw a recipe in this book, which my sister checked out from the library, for vegan chili cheese dogs. The recipe: get a vegan hot dog, vegan cheese, a bun, and vegan chili, and microwave them. Then assemble as you would an ordinary hot dog. This book also has a “Vegan Chopped Liver” recipe …)

Anyway, my point is that we’ve tried a ton of cookbooks, and we usually end up buying our favorites. And from this handful of favorites, we cook probably 90% of the meals we make.

Before I get to my list, let me explain the criteria.

What makes a great vegan or vegetarian cookbook for athletes?

I called this list 9 Essential Cookbooks for the Plant-Based Athlete, and here’s what I mean by that. To make my list, a vegetarian or vegan cookbook’s recipes had to be:

  • Whole-food based — more than any particular nutrient mix, this is my main criterion for healthy (see this post).
  • Not rabbit-foodish — it’s gotta be substantial, filling, satisfying food.
  • Quick — most meals shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes to prepare, since athletes are generally pretty busy.
  • Tasty — maybe the best athletes don’t care so much about this, but the rest of us do.
  • Varied — I wanted each book to have a lot of different types of food in it, so that you could buy just one and still have a nice mix of meals (as opposed to just vegan Indian or Italian food, for example).

So with that, here’s my list. Please note that amazon.com links are affiliate links, so No Meat Athlete will earn a small commission when you buy anything through them!

1. Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

To me, this is a classic, even if it’s only five years old. Though some of the recipes are slightly more involved than I have time for on a weeknight, most every meal in this book turns out wonderfully, and makes you feel like you did something. There’s also tons of supporting material to introduce the reader to different ingredients and techniques used in vegan cooking, making this a perfect first “serious” vegan cookbook.

See my review, along with the recipe for BBQ Black Eyed Pea Collard Rolls, here.

2. Thrive Foods, by Brendan Brazier.

Probably my favorite of all, and the one that I’d rescue from a fire if some weirdo came and lit only my cookbook shelf on fire. The reason I love Thrive Foods is because it’s the perfect balance between extremely healthy (Brendan was a pro triathlete and developed many of these recipes to fuel his career) and normal. I wouldn’t call most of this food gourmet — you can tell that health comes first in most of these recipes — but even my two-year old will eat it, and that’s saying something. And the first one-third of the book makes for interesting reading about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

See my review of Thrive Foods for more, including the delicious Shanghai Rice Bowl recipe.

3. Clean Food, by Terry Walters.

Simple, seasonal, whole ingredients are what I think of when I think of Clean Food. Though it doesn’t say so anywhere on the cover, the book is entirely vegan and mostly gluten-free, too. This is my favorite cookbook for finding what’s fresh at the farmer’s market and making it for dinner that night. (Terry is also a marathoner and triathlete, so it’s no coincidence that the food here is so perfect for athletes.)

Here’s where you can find my review of Clean Food, along with a recipe for Millet Black Bean Patties with Corn.

4. Jai Seed, by Rich Roll.

Jai Seed is a little different — partly because it’s an ebook, but not just that. There’s something else about the food that distinguishes it from that of the other cookbooks on my list. The recipes are unique and interesting, and in general, the ingredients Rich uses are fresh, often raw, superfoods that he combines in simple smoothies, salads, sauces, meals and desserts — and some they turn out to be delicious. And it never hurts to know you’re eating the same food a vegan Ultraman triathlete eats!

See my review of Jai Seed here.

5. Appetite for Reduction, by Isa Chandra Moscowitz.

Isa is the only author to appear twice on my list, but Appetite for Reduction is somewhat different from Veganomicon, so I won’t lose sleep over including both. The focus is on simplifying, so that these meals are quicker, healthier, and cheaper than those in V’con. And my friend Matt Ruscigno, a vegan Registered Dietitian and ultra-distance cyclist, contributed a nutrition primer and lots of nutrition notes throughout the book (see the protein and iron posts Matt wrote for No Meat Athlete).

PS — We made the black bean zucchini tacos a few nights ago, and they were mind-blowing.

6. 1000 Vegan Recipes, by Robin Robertson.

1000 Vegan Recipes was the first vegan cookbook I ever bought, and my gateway from vegetarianism to veganism. To be honest, I haven’t found a ton of standout recipes in this book (Mac ‘n’ Chard is one delicious exception), but the sheer number (you’ll never guess how many!) and variety of quick and simple recipes in the book makes it a go-to for so many nights when I’ve got nothing planned but need to get something on the table fast. The salads section is long and excellent, too.

7. World Vegetarian, by Madhur Jaffrey.

This is the only non-vegan cookbook on my list (many of the recipes call for yogurt or other dairy products, for which you could often substitute vegan versions). But if you don’t own an ethnic cookbook, this is the one to start with. I’m always impressed by the authenticity of these meals and the depths of unfamiliar flavors in them; this is the book that helped me fall in love with vegan cooking back when I was still stuck on the idea that cooking wasn’t as much fun when you were restricted in your choice of ingredients.

8. Supermarket Vegan, by Donna Klein.

Great book, great title, kinda dumb tagline: “225 Meat-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free Recipes for Real People in the Real World.” Okay, I got the first part from “vegan,” and exactly who counts as not a real person in the real world? Still, like I said, it’s a really great book — it selectively uses prepared ingredients from the grocery store to save a lot of time when you’re in a pinch, and most of the recipes turn out well. And for the most part, these meals are cheap, even when you’re paying for the prepared ingredients. If you find yourself time-crunched or otherwise intimidated about cooking, Supermarket Vegan is a place to start.

9. __________, by ___________. Ah, trickery. I said there were nine, and I could only think of eight that truly deserved to be on *my* list. But I’m only one guy, with one set of taste buds, so I want to hear what your favorite is! Leave it in a comment and we’ll have massive list of new books to try!

Happy cooking!

Recipe: Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding is one of my Father’s favorite dessert. Every year we go the the Sussex County Fair and split a dish from a very, very old man who comes every year with his tapioca truck. It is delicious! Thick, creamy, and not too sweet. Perfect!

We missed the fair this year; therefore, missing the tapioca pudding. This was in August. I promised my Father I’d cook him up a batch and it took me until this weekend to actually get around to doing it. Having never made tapioca pudding before and with the high expectations of my Father, I was a bit apprehensive.

It came out delicious! Just as good as the truck at the fair. If you like tapioca, this recipe is perfect! I added a dash of cinnamon on top and a few goji berries. Yum!

Recipe courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill

Classic Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

  • 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 2 1/4 cup of 2% or whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Soak tapioca in water for 30 minutes in saucepan.
  2. Add milk, salt and lightly beaten egg yolks to tapioca and stir over medium heat until boiling. Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir often.
  3. Beat egg whites with sugar until soft peaks form. Fold about 3/4 cup of hot tapioca into egg whites then gently fold mixture back into saucepan. Stir over low heat for about 3 minutes.
  4. Cool for 15 minutes then add the vanilla.
  5. Serve!