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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gnocchi, Gnocchi, a Thousand Times Gnocchi......


I do the grocery shopping in my household (my Mom occasionally goes to one of the local farmer's markets, but I do most of the shopping). So I am exposed to so many foods that I can't buy. Lately, I've been obsessed with gnocchi.

When I'm going to sleep, I have a tendency to think about new recipes I want to try, so the idea of making gnocchi was tossing over and over in my brain. I had wanted to use pumpkin puree, but the canned pumpkin puree I've used in the past hasn't been in the stores for a while [noto bene: I want to try making some pumpkin desserts for Thanksgiving so, after my best friend told me an easy way to deal with fresh pumpkins, I picked up a handful (that's 4) small pumpkins at the local organic food co-op. I hope to be able to report some successes with that sometime in the next few days.] so I decided to use baby food (I like to keep small jars of organic baby food in my pantry/closet for just this reason). I took one jar of sweet potatoes and one jar of winter squash and added some spices (I like the curry spices -- I added turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika and ginger) and sprouted grain wheat flour (I started with 1/2 cup, then added more by tablespoon until it got to a firm consistency -- I ended up with about 3/4 of a cup). When the dough was smooth, I put up some filtered water to boil.

I then took the dough and took small amounts (that I then shaped into a ball, more or less) and dropped up to six at a time into water with a rolling boil. After making sure it didn't stick to the bottom of the pot (that usually only happens when the water isn't boiling vigorously enough), I wait until the little orange balls float to the top. Then I set the timer for one minute and let them boil another minute.

After the timer buzzes, take the dough-balls out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Do this until you have created dough-balls with all the dough.

You can put these in the refrigerator or the freezer or serve them. I put my cauliflower sauce on it and it was delicious. If you have a favorite sauce, try that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanks to the Chew....


I like to watch "The Chew". For those of you who don't know about "The Chew", it's sort of a take off on "The View" with food, recipes and cooking -- and Dr. Oz's daughter.

I'm a big fan of Dr. Oz's and, though I don't agree with everything he says or has on his show,I respect him. I've read several of his "YOU" books (with his best friend Michael Roizen) and I try to watch his Fox program whenever I can.

While Dr. Oz isn't a vegetarian, he has mentioned that his wife is. A few days ago, Lisa Oz was on "The Chew" with her daughter, Daphne, and together they made a nice autumn chestnut soup. Now, of course, I never follow anyone's recipe (except my own :-) without making some changes.

I decided to keep some of the main ingredients, but I made it my own.

Here are the ingredients I used:

2 cups Vegetable broth (I used packaged Imagine)
1/2 cup frozen shiitake mushrooms
1 small sweet potato, diced
2-3 cups frozen broccoli florets
2 cups almond "milk"
1/2 teaspoon each turmeric, paprika, ground ginger and coriander
1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves, garam masala and cumin
5.3 ounce package of chestnuts
2 tablespoons dried cranberries (optional -- I use the apple juice sweetened variety)

(All the veggies and spices I use are organic, as are the chestnuts)
I basically started by putting the first 3 ingredients in a pot and started cooking until it boiled. I turned the flame down, simmering the ingredients. I added the "milk" and spices, continuing to simmer, then added the chestnuts. When everything was cooked through, I added the broccoli and simmered for about 2 minutes, then turned off the flame and allowed the mixture to cool a bit. I put all the solid ingredients with as much liquid as I needed into my food processor and pureed. I added the cranberries after most of the pureeing was finished and pureed some more, leaving some chunks of cranberries. The cranberries add a bit of sweetness.

I'm sure you can try this with other veggies, perhaps some onions, scallions, garlic, perhaps carrots (or other orange veggie) or even zucchini (or other "summer" squash).

If you'd like to see the segment where Daphne and Lisa Oz collaborate to make Daphne's version of this soup (the segment is about 6 minutes long with commercial), see it here.