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!

Lox, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad

The highly compatible combination of smoked salmon, avocado, goat cheese and spinach are perfect for a healthy and filling lunch on the run.

In about 3 minutes, you can toss pre-washed spinach in a bowl, add lox right from its package (cut if desired once it’s in the bowl), scoop in half an avocado, then drop in a pat of goat cheese and finish with olive oil. Slap on a lid and go!

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

I’ve gone a little overboard with jars of roasted red peppers and discovered three in the cupboard, beyond the two in the fridge today. So for our neighbor’s potluck, I decided to try making a roasted red pepper dip with coconut milk yogurt (a new option since goat cheese yogurt was not available), white bean hummus and goat cheese. Let’s hope the neighbors approve…

Mix two jars of roasted red peppers, a small container of hummus, 6 oz of yogurt and a small log of chevre in a food processor. Salt to taste, and serve with carrots, other veggies, or chips. Pretty easy and healthy as far as dips go!

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Dairy Goat Grub

On my journey to find greener pastures to replace cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and triple-cream brie, I’ve only encountered one or two trolls. But rather than resort to bland soy or tofu substitutes, I’ve happily swapped in goat cheese for cream cheese, goat milk yogurt for sour cream, and continued to indulge in addictive gourmet chevre that will dominate any cheese board. Burritos and bagels, rejoice!

For those of you trying to cross that bridge, here’s some of my favorite dairy goat grub:

Once you make the switch – oh, the places you’ll go! Here are my recipes featuring goats milk substitutions.

With that, I’ll leave you with a sleeping baby goat at Surfing Goat Dairy:

Going, Going, Gone Goat Cheese Bean Dip

There is a highly addictive bean dip that for years permeated many a holiday party and Super Bowl. Then it took a leave of absence as two primary ingredients posed a bit of a problem: cream cheese and sour cream.

For the big game yesterday, I gave it a goat milk makeover and it was a huge hit. To hear previously restricted party-goers give themselves permission to dig in and enthusiastically go back for seconds, made me so happy. There’s no reason we can’t all enjoy traditionally cream-based party dips!

So without further ado, here’s how to make “Going, Going, Gone Goat Cheese Bean Dip” for your next party:

Blend the following in a bowl or food processor:

1 can Frito Lays Bean Dip (available in the chip aisle)
8 oz goat milk yogurt (replaces sour cream in the original)
8 oz goat cheese (replaces cream cheese in the original)
Half a packet or 3 tbsp taco seasoning
Half a bunch of green onions, chopped

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Cover with Mexican blend shredded cheese (I used a cheddar blend, which is naturally lactose free but shredded goat cheese could work too). Sliced olives can also top the cheese, if you prefer.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with chips and watch as it makes a disappearing act.

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.

Where did you go?

So it’s been awhile. I lived out of a suitcase for the better part of April, May and June. But I’ve settled into my new neighborhood (and new kitchen), and I’m ready to get back to business.

Lets start with some Midtown Farmer’s Market inspired meals. This chèvre from Jollity Farms is creamy and mild, unlike its tangier counterparts. It made a delicious topping for peaches and basil, and provided a fresher take on your average cheese and cracker combo.

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Then there’s the Pasta Queen. She ruled July in my house. I served up “Goat Cheese & Garlic in Roasted Garlic Pasta Ravioli” on my porch (Mom’s idea) with pear tomatoes. And then this week, David and I dined on a divine truffle and mushroom ravioli served with heirloom tomatoes and mixed greens.

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The Pasta Queen reigns! But in case you don’t come across her majesty, a simple angel hair with pear tomatoes and fresh basil is also delightful. Or fettuccine with rosemary/olive oil-tossed heirloom tomatoes and Parmesan. Buon appetito!
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Ladies who Lunch (at home)

The fun thing about working in an office is going out to lunch, especially when you work in a thriving foodie corner like San Francisco’s Mission district (see evidence). But working from home presents some lazy lunch temptations. Thinking about my upcoming beach vacation, I decided to trade grilled cheese for veggies…

1. Take a tortilla, spread goat cheese on it, add your veggies of choice and roll it up. I used mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes, spinach and greens. Optional: Cut into 1-inch slices so you can enjoy the pinwheels of colorful veggies and textures.

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2. Good news: you can still be lazy about lunch, and eat healthy. This Butternut Squash Ravioli with Walnuts frozen meal from Safeway is low calorie and packed with colorful veggies. The sauce is really good too! If you’re like me and prefer not to microwave plastic, then you can remove the frozen block, put it on a plate and cover it with a bowl. Just decrease the microwave time slightly.

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Desperately Seeking Lasagna

My supply of vegetables was rather sad, and after setting my sights on lasagna, I realized the ground turkey had expired four days ago. In these situations, my instinct is to experiment and hope all goes well.

For this particular veggie lasagna, I simmered diced tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper; and went to work on a sauce. I started by boiling frozen corn in chicken broth, to which I added some leftover goat cheese, a scoop of plain yogurt, and a generous amount of almond milk.

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For the architecture of the lasagna, layer 1/3 tomatoes, followed by 1/3 corn mixture; sprinkle a layer of Parmesan, followed by three no-bake lasagna noodles. Repeat three times. Finish with more almond milk and parmesan to cover the top layer of noodles. (My top layer of noodles dried out, so make sure they’re covered in liquid.) Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Recipe Remix: “Hamburger” Casserole with Goat Cheese

Here’s another healthy take on the traditional hamburger sour cream casserole, this time using yogurt and goat cheese in place of sour cream and cream cheese. I also swapped in ground turkey, like last time. Can you tell my kitchen lighting and iPhone camera pixels have improved?!

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“Hamburger” Casserole with Goat Cheese

Brown 1+ pound of ground turkey in skillet with 1 minced garlic clove. Add two cans of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, boil a bag’s worth of egg noodles and drain. Next, stir together one bunch worth of sliced green onions with a 5 oz. cube of goat cheese and 1+ cup of yogurt, or enough to create a sauce. Layer all three (meat, noodles, sauce) in a casserole dish, and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Stir halfway through baking so the noodles don’t get too try.

Bonus: leftovers for a couple of nights, depending on how hungry you are!

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