Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I’m a sucker for good gnocchi, and wanted to use up the abundance of sweet potatoes and almond flour that have been hanging out in my cupboard for a good three months. The kicker is I don’t do ricotta, so I adapted this recipe to make sweet potato gnocchi with goat cheese and my own (mediocre) kale pesto creation. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and takes no more than an hour from start to finish.

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For starters, peel and chop a 2 lb bag of baby sweet potatoes or 2+ large sweet potatoes. Boil for 20 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once the sweet potatoes are tender, drain the water and add 1 cup of goat cheese to the pot. Mash with a potato masher, and then add 2 1/2 cups almond meal/flour and combine into a dough-like texture. Roll into bite-size scoops and place on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet; bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Note: depending on the sauce you choose, you may want to opt for boiling the gnocchi. That’s what I’m going to try next time for that pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Optional: I made a kale pesto with sauteed kale, olive oil, parmesan cheese and almond milk. This particular combo needs a little more work before it’s ready for the spotlight. Feel free to share your favorite kale pesto recipe in the comments!

3-Egg Broccoli Breakfast Casserole

This morning, my excitement and plans to remake last weekend’s delicious breakfast casserole were thrown a curve ball when I discovered only 3 eggs left in the fridge. But not to worry! Adding more veggies and shredded cheese does the trick.

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First, saute frozen breakfast sausages (I like Applegate) until thawed on low; then fill the pan with frozen broccoli and continue cooking and stirring until thawed. Slice sausages into pieces.

Next, combine 3 (or more if you have ’em) whisked eggs, 1/4 cup of almond milk, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (adjust based on your heat tolerance), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese in a bowl.

In a 9×13 greased pan (or smaller for thicker slices), pour the broccoli and sausage, along with a handful of spinach or kale (I used the latter). Then pour the egg batter in and stir to combine. Sprinkle a little extra cheese over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees, covered, until golden brown on the edges. (It took about 45 minutes in my oven, but keep an eye on it.)

I believe the the red pepper flakes are the secret to this recipe’s success (and David’s ringing endorsement); and for a girl that is a major wimp about anything spicy, I’ll be the first to admit it.

Checklist:

4+ frozen breakfast sausages

1/2 bag frozen broccoli

3+ eggs

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded cheese, plus extra for topping

Kale or spinach, optional

Steel Cut Oats & Blueberries

What’s healthy, sweet and purple all over? Oatmeal with frozen blueberries added during cook time.

Simply cook steel cut oats according to directions, add frozen blueberries and continue simmering until cooked through. Serve with almond milk and maple syrup, to taste.

Oscar Remix: Crock Pot Almond Milk Pulled Pork

In 2009, it was raining on Oscar Sunday, so I whipped up a milk-braised pork tenderloin and mashed potatoes dinner using ingredients on hand in our tiny SF apartment. Last year, same occasion, I swapped in almond milk and added pappardelle. Today, it’s act III, but the crock pot is now playing a lead role in my kitchen.

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To the crock pot, add pork tenderloin and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Add about 1 cup of chicken broth and 2 cups of almond milk. Cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6-8), or until pork can be easily separated with forks.

Optional mashed potatoes:

Midway through cooking the pork, place 4 peeled russet potatoes around or on top of the pork. Cook for 2 hours, and flip halfway through. Remove potatoes and mash with melted butter and almond milk. Season with salt & pepper, and stir in green onions. Keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees, as needed.

Served pulled pork over a bed of mashed potatoes; ladle juices over the top.

Almond Milk Mac & Goat Cheese

Comfort food was in order. So I simmered noodles in almond milk until tender, stirred in two pats of garlic & herb goat cheese, and a sprinkle of salt. Yum and done.

Almond Milk Mac & Cheese

Pinterest makes anything seem possible. “Life changing mac & cheese in minutes!” This pin inspired me to try boiling said noodles in milk (in my case, almond milk) and then simply stir in shredded cheese at the end.

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Not bad, although I should have been more generous about the amount of cheese.

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Almost #Fail Almond Milk Pancakes

One of the reasons I hardly ever bake is that I’m not good at following step-by-step directions with precise measurements. Instead, I prefer to wing it or rush it. I made that mistake this morning with the first batch of pancake batter. Lesson learned: don’t combine all the ingredients willy nilly; it’s not a salad!

My next rookie move was to cook the pancakes too quickly. Once I finally slowed down and let them sit much longer in the pan, they had that pretty golden color. (The first few were 50 shades of ivory.)

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Adapted from a blueberry pancake recipe first attempted here. (And minus the blueberries, unfortunately.)

Mix in a medium bowl:

  • 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (note: recipe simply calls for sugar, but I didn’t have any)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Separately, mix together; then gradually incorporate into the dry mixture above and whisk until the lumps are gone:

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 eggs

Cooking in 1/4 cup spoonfuls over medium heat seemed to be slow, but less accident-prone. Makes about 8 pancakes in a smallish frying pan.

Seafood: To Can or Not to Can

Since I always struggle with stocking meat and using it before the expiration date, I decided to experiment with canned seafood. The smell is pungent and not for the fish-averse. But adding shrimp or crab to a meal is incredibly easy when it’s stored in the pantry for dinner emergencies.

Breakfast can benefit too. I made baked eggs with almond milk, spinach, and canned crab meat. For the recipe, see New Year’s Resolution-Worthy Baked Eggs.

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I also made a simple “fried rice” dish by sauteeing the canned shrimp in a pan and adding frozen peas towards the end, while cooking the rice separately. Mix it all together and serve. (Even better, try adding the shrimp to a Caesar salad.)

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Lazy Lasagna

I came home to chaos in the kitchen, and had to quickly make dinner while keeping an eye on my cone-headed puppy. It took me two minutes to throw get this into the oven, so I could get back to juggling all the other balls in the air.

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Throw a couple of lasagna noodles in a buttered square casserole dish, add a layer of diced tomatoes and some parmesan; repeat twice, and pour almond milk over the final noodle layer until it was soaking. Finish with parmesan, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until noodles are swollen and tender.

Ingredients:

  • Butter to grease casserole dish
  • No-bake lasagna noodles
  • Can of diced tomatoes
  • Shredded parmesan
  • Almond milk

New Year’s Resolution-Worthy Baked Eggs

This morning I embraced resolutions to eat healthy, make more meals at home, and embrace imperfection. Inspired by a baked eggs recipe from Saveur, I made some tweaks; adding mushrooms and onions, swapping cream for almond milk, and leaving out the bacon. Despite some timing adjustments with the eggs, the result was a delicious brunch that’s deceptively healthy.

First, saute sliced mushrooms and chopped onions with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach at the end and remove from heat. Grease two oven-safe bowls or small gratin dishes with butter.

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Next, divide mushroom mixture between two bowls. Make 2 wells in each bowl, and carefully crack 1 egg into each well. Add 4 tomato wedges and 2 spoonfuls of almond milk to each bowl. Sprinkle with parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

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Bake uncovered at 425 degrees or higher if your stoneware can handle it. Remove once the egg whites are opaque, and topping is golden brown.

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Note: It took me much longer than the 5 minutes (under a broiler) that the recipe suggested, to cook the eggs through. In fact, I discovered there was still clear liquid on the bottom layer, so I put them back in until I felt safer about the finished result. In total, I probably cooked them for 20 minutes or so, but it will ultimately depend on your risk tolerance, oven and cookware.

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Delicious when served and scooped with sourdough toast!

Ingredient list:

  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Sliced mushrooms (4-6 buttons)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • Butter or nonstick spray
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tomato, cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 spoonfuls of almond milk
  • 2 handfuls of shredded parmesan
  • Nutmeg
  • Toast, optional

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