Sweet Potato Gnocchi

gluten free sweet potato gnocchi 1
Welcome to Comfort Food Week! This week, I have three recipes designed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, even though it might be cold and sad and disgusting outside. Part one is here

It’s sort of an unspoken secret in the food world that, on a basic level, food that chefs make is better in part because they have the balls not to go light on the fat.

Let me back up. Flavor is essentially made up of three components: fat, salt and acid. There’s an umami factor too, like the flavor found in dried mushrooms, but those are the building blocks. If you dish seems a little tepid, probably something is off in the fat/salt/acid balance — and that’s why adding butter to salty, acidic tomato sauce is a genius call.

The theory here is that home cooks rarely have the temerity to throw a stick of butter into a pan and fry something in it. A chef does, because she knows that extra fat is going to make all of the difference to her dish.

At least, that’s what I told myself when I melted half a stick of butter in a pan to make this dish. There’s nothing wrong with butter, I told myself. Nothing wrong with butter. Fat is good for your brain. And your soul. Clearly.

The gnocchi turned out perfectly, of course, beautiful little pillows of slightly sweet gluten-free pasta with a perfectly crunchy golden outside. The slightly astringent note from the rosemary kept everything from getting too heavy, and the salt in the dough and in the Parmesan cheese balanced everything nicely.

Speaking of which, maybe a little fat will bring balance to your life and diet this week. Winter means not being afraid to stock up a little for the cold times ahead, so long as you’re feeding your body good, nourishing food. So embrace the butter, my friends.

I know it’s cheating a little to use a gluten-free flour mix here, but I intended this recipe to be easy to throw together. Feel free to experiment with other flours if you have the time and inclination. You can also sub in wheat flour if you are not gluten free.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
 
Author: Kate Wutz
Serves: 4 servings
A quick and easy gnocchi recipe ready to make you feel good about winter. Don’t skimp on the butter — you’ll regret it, I promise.
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • I large egg
  • 1 Tbsp freshly minced rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4-1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • Parmesan cheese and thyme for serving
Instructions
  1. Microwave or roast the sweet potato until it is very tender. This will take about six or seven minutes in a microwave, or about an hour to an hour and a half in a 325 degree oven. Once cooked, let cool, then remove from skin and mash very well.
  2. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine the sweet potatoes with the egg and beat until well-combined. Add rosemary and salt. Stir in flour, starting with the lesser amount and adding more just until the dough is not sticky.
  4. Dump dough out onto a countertop. Divide into eight equal pieces and roll each piece into ropes of dough that are about 1 inch in diameter. Cut ropes into little pieces approximately one inch in length. Press each piece with the tines of a fork.
  5. By now, your water is probably boiling. Drop gnocchi in in batches. Cook for two to three minutes, or for about a minute and a half after they start floating. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain. If they seem to be very, very sticky, then rinse a bit with cold water. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.
  6. When all gnocchi are cooked, melt that butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring, until both sides are golden brown.
  7. Serve with Parmesan cheese and a little fresh thyme sprinkled over the top. Winter is coming.
 

 

 

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Sweet Potato Chips

sweet potato chips 1 vegan paleo gluten-free

Some would argue that the best snacks are cut fruits and vegetables. That’s fine. But I have never been one of those people. Even when I was doing a Whole30 last summer (an effort that failed spectacularly, by the way), I was one of Those People who snacked on dried fruit and nuts, which technically you’re supposed to limit.

So, snack food is pretty much a must for me sometimes. I think we all have those crispy chip cravings every once in a while, but the second you look at the list of ingredients on the back of even the most innocuous snack food (PopChips come to mind, with their maltodextrin and canola oil), you worry about what you’re putting into your body.

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kale apricot butternut squash salad paleo gluten-free

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That something was switching back to Paleo. I am pretty sure I’m not intolerant to dairy, nor do I really think I have any kind of gluten intolerance — though I will say that my skin cleared up considerably once I made the switch again. All I know is that on Paleo, I have fewer stomachaches, and while I’m positive that 100 percent Paleo is not right for me in the long term, it is until June 20.

Of course, the second I made that decision, I started craving my favorite kale and quinoa salad from a sandwich shop downtown. Continue reading

Sweet Potato Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

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I interviewed Mark Bittman last week for a publication called Edible Idaho South. He happened to be in my town giving a lecture, and I was lucky enough to nab an interview.

Thanks to my contract, after publication, I can throw that interview up here for your enjoyment! But until then, you’re just going to have to reap the benefits of my pre-interview research.

For those of you who don’t know, Mark Bittman is formerly The Minimalist over at The New York Times. He’s still a food writer there, and has also recently launched the VB6 (Vegan Before 6) movement, in which he encourages people to avoid meat, dairy, eggs, processed foods, and other animal products before 6 p.m., after which they can eat anything  in moderation. Mostly, he’s an advocate for easy, fresh, produce-based food — just my kind of guy.  Continue reading

Sweet Potatoes with Onion and Apple

See that orange blot? Sweet potatoes. I know. Awful picture.

See that orange blot? Sweet potatoes. I know. Awful picture.

Welcome to ABB Thanksgiving! Here, you’ll find Thanksgiving recipes designed to help you enjoy the holiday without sacrificing some of your favorite traditional items. 

Let’s face it: mashed potatoes are kind of boring. Any flavor is infused through of extraneous additions such as garlic, butter, chives, sometimes olive oil or even — dare I say it? — ranch dressing. Regular potatoes, while delicious with these additions, are not going to be the star of any table.

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