Balsamic Glazed Gnocchi

My passion for cooking blossomed early on in my life, stemming from eating dinner on the floor with my dad every Monday while my sister was at her after school grocery store job.

Mondays were our days, and we would usually make turkey burgers and rice-a-roni while we watched 30 Minute Meals and eventually Everyday Italian.

Although I loved Rachael Ray at first, I got annoyed over the years by her voice’s varying stages of raspy-ness and her general over-the-top characteristics.

With Giada, it was the opposite. I started out not being able to stand her seemingly perfectionist personality and pretentious ways, but grew to appreciate the passion behind her style and the sheer beauty of her dishes.

I thank Giada and those Monday TV dinners for introducing me to the wonder that is Gnocchi, an Italian potato dumpling.

After some research I figured out that gnocchi weren’t all that difficult to make, even as a vegan!

This recipe is ridiculously simple, and though it does require a bit of effort, you can easily cook the potatoes ahead of time and make as many or as little as you please, freezing the dough for another gnocchi craving in your near future.

(Photos thanks to my kick ass boyfriend. Tryna take my pic game to a better level hehe).

gnocchi

INGREDIENTS:

For the Gnocchi

  • 3 Medium russett potatoes
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (sub white if you’d like), plus about 1/3 cup more for dusting/kneading

For the Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite red wine
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh minced rosemary
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste

Once potatoes are cooked ( I just zapped mine in the microwave), let cool and peel skin off. Cut into chunks and place in food processor or blender with 1 cup flour. Pulse blend until dough comes together in one big lump.

Dust a clean surface with remaining flour and dump dough on top, kneading until a smooth, elastic dough forms that does not stick to your hands.

gnocchiroll

Once dough is kneaded, separate into 3 separate chunks. Roll first section in your hands as you would make a playdoh snake, about 12 inches long, and 1 inch thick. Create gnocchis by cutting 1/2 inch sections of dough until you reach the end.

gnocchicut

Repeat with remaining 2 sections, or freeze the other chunks of dough (I used 2 chunks, froze 1). Once dumplings are cut, use your fork and just press lightly into each gnocchi like you would when smashing avocado into toast to make indentations. This step isn’t necessary, it just makes them look more ~profesh.~ 

Place about 8 gnocchi at a time in boiling water. When they rise to the top, they’re done! They cook in just about 3-4 minutes!

While gnocchis are cooking, heat a saucepan on medium-high with a touch of nonstick spray, water, or oil if you wish. Add minced garlic and saute for just 2-3 minutes to release the garlic scent. Add wine and balsamic, bringing to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, and add herbs and spices. Once sauce is reduced by about 1/3 and has a luxurious, syrupy consistency, it is done. 

Carefully toss cooked ghnocci with the glaze, and serve with whatever your heart desires! I just sauteed some summer veggies and made a side of corn on da cob…so good.

Make this gnocchi and impress your man/woman/parents/self with this “fancy” treat that really isn’t so fancy to make after all!

signature

Sweet Potato Garbanzo Burgers & Seasoned French Fries

I’m not sure if it’s the summer talking through my taste buds or what, but lately all I’ve been wanting to eat are veggie burgers slathered with spicy mustard and sandwiched between fluffy, grainy buns spread with an abundance of avocado…OMG.

And of course I couldn’t think about veg burgers without their BFF, french fries, who have also been popping up in my foodie day dreams.

Since my face is very VERY sensitive to fats, from avo to peanut butter to any kind of oils, if I eat overt fats too many days in a row, my pimple problem rears its ugly head and I wake up with a fresh cluster.

It’s cruel, really, since avocado and crunchy peanut butter are two of my absolute favorites.

Because of this fat intolerance, I’ve been leaning towards a more high carb low fat diet and only enjoy avo, nut butters, and oils once or twice per week. While eating high carb and low fat makes me feel my absolute best and allows me to eat in abundance and not feel sluggish, fats help me feel truly satisfied and are so fucking delicious.

I combined the best of both worlds for these recipes.

My burgers are chock full of carbs and are virtually fat free, while my fries are steamed then baked with NO OIL WHAT SO EVER and still end up being both soft and steamy on the inside, and crispy on the outside.

Because of the lack of fats in the actual meal, I slathered my bun with avocado and called it square.

This meal 100% COMPLETELY satisfied my veg burger and fries craving and ended up being one of the very best veggie burgers I’ve ever had.

vegburgers

INGREDIENTS:

For the Burgers (I made 2 just because I was lazy, but you could double or triple everything easily):

  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 large sweet potato, or 1 small
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cook sweet potato all the way through in microwave or oven. Once cooled, add to food processor with chickpeas, garlic, oats, and spices. Blend until smooth and mixture is slightly wet, but not sticky. Flour your hands and form mixture into two patties, lightly coating them with a bit of flour.

Turn pan to medium-high heat, spray with cooking spray, and add patties, getting a nice sear on each. Once each side is seared (about 5 minutes on each side), turn heat down to medium and cook for another 5-7 minutes on each side to ensure middles are warm. Serve on a bun with plenty of avo and whatever condiments your heart desires!

For the Fries (again, I just made two servings, so feel free to double or triple):

  • 2 large potatoes, washed
  • 1 tsp. cajun spice
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Slice potatoes into strips, keeping them thin enough to get nice and crispy, but thick enough to hold up when being steamed. Steam sliced potatoes for about 7-10 minutes, or until fork tender. While they’re steaming, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dab steamed fries with paper towel to remove excess water and spray cookie sheet with non stick spray or coat with parchment paper. Evenly space fries on cookie sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway through and checking frequently to avoid burning.

These recipes require minimal ingredients, come together in a perfectly work-weekable flash, and prove once again that vegans miss out on NOTHING 🙂

signature