Grain-Free Chickpea Gnocchi w/ Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

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Chickpea Gnocchi! The easiest, less labor- intensive pasta you’ll ever make.  No pasta machine needed.  Just you and the dough.  I enjoy making homemade pasta.  It tastes amazing, is fun to make with your kids, and has a unique texture that you can’t get with dry pasta. But, wait Corynne.  Are gnocchi pasta?  Yes and No-ish.  I’ll start with the no.  No, because it is mostly made with potato, however you can use any type of flour, as in this recipe.  Not all gnocchi are created equal, but they’re equally delicious.  The yes is that it is served much the same way as pasta in Italy.  As I mentioned, they are traditionally made with potato producing a light, airy texture.  I highly encourage you to make your own and freeze the remaining, as the store-bought kind often tastes acidic due to lactic acid.  However, if you know of a less acidic tasting brand, please comment in the section below.  As a mom, I completely understand the need for shortcuts, especially on weeknights.

For this recipe, no potato was used.  I wanted a completely plant-based recipe and was inspired by Renee Byrd of Will Frolic for Food’s recipe Grain-Free Chickpea Ravioli with Almond Ricotta Filling.   Though not as enveloped as Renee’s recipe, I chose instead to create my favorite, gnocchi. For this recipe I used a food processor to blend the chickpeas and to incorporate the remaining ingredients.  Everything comes together quickly.  If you find your dough a bit sticky, add additional flour until a shaggy, firm dough starts to form. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading to produce a smooth and elastic ball, about 10 minutes.  Cut your dough into six pieces (refrigerate/freeze unused) and begin rolling each piece into a rope.  Cut into 1-inch pieces and with a slotted spoon, slowly place in a pot of boiling water.  You’ll know the gnocchi are done as they will rise to the top.  Remove the gnocchi with the slotted spoon, spoon into bowls and top with the Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, additional olive oil and parsley.  Enjoy!

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Chickpea Gnocchi w/ Roasted Cherry Tomatoes//serves 4

gnocchi
2-15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon fresh nutmeg, grated
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

roasted cherry tomatoes
2 pints cherry tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

To start gnocchi, place chickpeas in a food processor and process until no large pieces remain.  Add chickpea flour, gluten free flour, eggs, olive oil and salt.  Process until mixture comes together and begins to form a ball.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface.  Begin kneading the dough until the texture holds together and is pliable.  If the dough is too sticky, add additional flour until firm.  Divide dough into 6 pieces.  If not using all the dough, wrap extra pieces in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one to two days or freeze for two to three months.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Roll each piece of dough into a rope about ½ inches in diameter.  Cut into ¾ inches to 1-inch pieces.  Place gnocchi on a lightly-floured parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of dough.  To cook the gnocchi, using a slotted spoon, lower a couple of gnocchi at a time in the boiling water.  Note: Do not drop the gnocchi in the water, as this will cause the water to splash.  Save yourself the pain.  Once all the gnocchi are cooked, (they will float to the top indicating they are done), remove with the slotted spoon.  Place the gnocchi in serving bowls.  Sprinkle olive oil on to gnocchi to prevent sticking.

For the roasted tomatoes, preheat oven to 450° F.  Toss the cherry tomatoes with garlic and olive oil until evenly coated.  Bake the tomatoes in the preheated oven until the skins pop and start to brown 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Split the tomatoes between the bowls of gnocchi.  Drizzle additional olive oil on top.  Garnish with parsley.  Serve.

 

10-Minute Creamy Shrimp Fettuccine w/ Sundried Tomatoes & Arugula

Hello everyone!

I have totally been in a fix it quick and healthy mode lately.  Perhaps it’s the heat, the summer vibes, or a combination of both.  Either way, I want to spend less time at the stove and more time catching those last hours of sunshine getting ice cream with my little ones and/or watching them play in the park.

My 10-minute Creamy Shrimp Fettuccine w/ Sundried Tomatoes & Arugula is dairy-free, bursting with flavor and is super-quick to prepare.  Wait, did you say dairy-free? Yes, I did.  I love a good cream sauce especially paired with seafood, but I also don’t like that weighed down feeling I get after I’ve eaten plate after plate of it.  I just can’t do one plate.  So, I used almond milk as a base for the cream sauce.  I’m relying on the brininess of the shrimp and the intense, tangy, yet sweet flavor of the sundried tomatoes to flavor the sauce.  The remaining ingredients required are fettuccine, garlic, arugula or whatever green you have on hand, vegetable stock and cornstarch to thicken.

I made sure I made enough to have for L & D the next day as cream based pasta meals are a total hit in my household.  So, add this to your week day meal rotation. It is clean eating at its best.  Stay tuned for my summer healthy eats.

Bye for now.

Hello everyone!

I have totally been in a fix it quick and healthy mode lately.  Perhaps it’s the heat, the summer vibes, or a combination of both.  Either way, I want to spend less time at the stove and more time catching those last hours of sunshine getting ice cream with my little ones and/or watching them play in the park.

My 10-minute Creamy Shrimp Fettuccine w/ Sundried Tomatoes & Arugula is dairy-free, bursting with flavor and is super-quick to prepare.  Wait, did you say dairy-free? Yes, I did.  I love a good cream sauce especially paired with seafood, but I also don’t like that weighed down feeling I get after I’ve eaten plate after plate of it.  I just can’t do one plate.  So, I used almond milk as a base for the cream sauce.  I’m relying on the brininess of the shrimp and the intense, tangy, yet sweet flavor of the sundried tomatoes to flavor the sauce.  The remaining ingredients required are fettuccine, garlic, arugula or whatever green you have on hand, vegetable stock and cornstarch to thicken.

I made sure I made enough to have for L & D the next day as cream based pasta meals are a total hit in my household.  So, add this to your week day meal rotation. It is clean eating at its best.  Stay tuned for my summer healthy eats.

Bye for now.

 

10-Minute Creamy Shrimp Fettuccine w/ Sundried Tomatoes & Arugula//serves 4

creamy fettuccine
1-lb fettuccine
2 tablespoons oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
¾ pound large shrimp (about 16), shelled and deveined, tails removed
4-oz sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
1 ¾ cups almond milk
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups baby arugula

In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté minced garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add shrimp and cook for 2 more minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through.  Remove shrimp and set aside on a plate.  Add the sun-dried tomatoes and stir fry for 1-2 minutes to release their flavor. Reduce the heat, and add the almond milk and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the cornstarch and water mixture and stir until thickened.  Add the arugula and allow to wilt in the sauce.  Return the shrimp to the skillet and stir through.  Serve immediately.  Garnish with red pepper flakes and parsley if desired.

In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving some pasta liquid.  Add cooked pasta to creamy shrimp fettuccine and garnish with additional crushed red pepper and herbs.

 

Buffalo Falafels w/ Blue Cheese Fries and Ranch Style Tzatziki Sauce

Buffalo Falafels w/ Blue Cheese Fries and Ranch Style Tzatziki Sauce

Yes, these are Buffalo Falafels!  A wonderful healthy take on the traditional buffalo wing that is a mainstay at many sports bars, tailgating and super bowl parties.  This falafel recipe is adapted from one of my favorite bloggers I follow, Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest. It is a recipe packed with pungent and tangy flavors from the buffalo sauce and my absolute favorite, blue cheese.  Before starting this blog, I would make these falafels, just for myself, whenever I would host a sports party.  I’m not the biggest fan of buffalo wings (mostly restaurant) as I’ve had one too many times of feeling just plain awful after consuming them, but I also find making buffalo wings too daunting a task, especially for a lot of people.  The last thing I wanted is the disappointment of someone’s team losing AND the wings weren’t that great!  I didn’t want that responsibility.  It’s too great! 

When I came across this recipe, I was sold.  I liked the flavor of the buffalo sauce, but I never got around to creating a recipe that I could enjoy sans the chicken.  I pretty much am an all or nothing gal sometimes, so I banished buffalo wings from my life.  Until, this recipe found me and it has been my go to for lunch, dinner and at home sporting event get togethers. It also aligned with my diet preferences, which have changed over time (more heavily plant-based), so they're just for me.  It is an easy recipe requiring a total of an hour to prepare.  Of course, you can prepare your falafel mixture and tzatziki sauce the day before and refrigerate.  Once you come home, the only thing left to do is bake the fries and the falafels and arrange on pitas.  Done in under 30 minutes. 

I like this recipe as it is filling.  When it comes to plant-based living, a lot of my family or just people that I meet or have met, wonder how I stay full eating a mostly plant based diet.  I let them know  1. My life revolves around food.  I don’t eat to live, I live to eat.  I’m always educating myself on eating more consciously and eating balanced meals. 2. I eat a combination of foods that offer satiety or keep me full such as oatmeal, brown rice, grains with legumes, nuts, nut butters, veggies, fruits, and so on.  A lot of these foods are high in fiber, which fill you up.  If you’re just starting out, opt to do a plant based meal once or twice a week or a plant based day.  See how you feel, adjusting your protein intake, which fills you up also.  The more chances your body has to eat plant based foods, the healthier you’ll feel. 

Buffalo Falafels w/ Garlic Blue Cheese Fries and Ranch Style Tzatziki//serves 4
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

garlic blue cheese fries
4 medium size russet potatoes or sweet potatoes, skin-on and cut into wedges (you can opt and do a mix of both potatoes)
2 cloves garlic finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley or basil chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt + pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
4-oz blue cheese, crumbled

falafels
2- 15.5 oz cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
½ sweet onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cumin
A good pinch of salt and pepper
1 small bunch fresh cilantro
1 cup prepared buffalo sauce
4 store-bought pitas, warmed

ranch style tzatziki
½ cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ seedless cucumber, chopped

Prepare the ranch style tzatziki by combining the ranch dressing, greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, dried oregano, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.  Mix until combined and then stir in the cucumber.  Store, covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Next, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Place the cut fries into a medium bowl and toss with oil, garlic, parsley or basil and salt and pepper.  Spread on a baking sheet in one layer.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, then rotate and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.  The potatoes should be crisp, but not burnt.  Once the fries are cooked, remove from the oven and toss with the blue cheese and fresh chopped basil.  Once fries are down, turn down the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Start preparing the falafels by combining the chickpeas, garlic, onions, olive oil, flour, baking powder, cumin, and salt and pepper in a food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Add the cilantro and pulse a few times more.  Once the mixture is combined, with wet hands, form into small balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until crisp on top and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and toss with the buffalo sauce.

If you opt to fry the falafels, add a few inches of oil to the bottom of a heavy pot.  Heat to 375 degrees F.  Fry the balls for 2-3 minutes or until golden and cooked through.  Drain on paper towels and then immediately toss with the buffalo sauce.

To serve, place the falafels on warm pita bread.  Top with the blue cheese fries, drizzle with extra buffalo sauce, blue cheese and parsley. Serve with the ranch style tzatziki sauce.