This recipe was a series of, “Hmmmm… I wonder what would happen if I did this…?” Luckily, the cooking gods blessed me and at each
experimentation step everything worked out. I’m always amazed when my random thoughts turn into edible recipes but I guess that’s pretty much how ALL recipes come to be. Someone thought of throwing a collection of things together and then eating that collection of things.
Man, I make cooking sound like poetry. Continue reading
Have you ever heard of gnudi? Don’t worry I hadn’t either until a little while ago. It’s kind of like the big brother of gnocchi (also pronounced with a silent “G”) and it’s delicious. I saw a recipe for it in the Clean Eating magazine and at first I dismissed it as too time consuming to make. Then I had a free Saturday and decided to see if I could tackle the gnudi. I changed a few things, put my own spin on it and while it does take a little bit of time to put together, it isn’t as hard to make as I thought it would be.
I love the dumpling-like texture of this dish. It’s filling but not too heavy especially topped with a fresh tomato sauce, plus it gets in all the good nutrients that come with spinach and butternut squash.
If you aren’t like me and don’t have 10 lbs of butternut squash in your freezer you can substitute canned butternut squash or pumpkin instead. Also, make sure to leave enough time for the gnudi to rest in the refrigerator before you cook them or else they will fall apart in the hot water.
Onto the gnudi!
Butternut Spinach Gnudi- adapted from Clean Eating’s Ricotta, Spinach & Sweet Potato Gnudi
- 1 cup pureed butternut squash (or canned pumpkin)
- 6 tbsp aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- 1 cup cashew ricotta
- 2/3 cup almond meal
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach (frozen or fresh, I used frozen and just made sure it was thawed)
- 4 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 batch of my tomato sauce or your favorite store bought sauce (make sure to check the label!)
- In a large bowl, whisk the 6 tbsp of aquafaba until it’s frothy. Then whisk in the cashew ricotta, almond meal, and all the seasonings.
- Once that is all well combined mix in the spinach and fold in the butternut squash. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of the brown rice flour and stir to combine.
- Spread out 2 cups of the brown rice flour onto a large baking sheet. Using your hands, form the butternut mix into medium sized balls, about the size of a golf ball. Place the balls onto the baking sheet and repeat until all the mixture is used up. Cover the balls with the remaining flour and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Warm up your tomato sauce in a medium saucepan. Once the balls have set, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working in batches of 4-5 balls, gently immerse them into the boiling water and cook until they float to the top. Remove from the water and set aside until all the gnudi is cooked.
- Plate a few of the gnudi and top with tomato sauce. You can also sprinkle a little parmesan cheese or my vegan version.
Yes it looks like a lot and it looks like it will take forever and you wonder if I think you’re an Italian grandmother who has nothing to do but make gnudi. Trust me you can do this and it isn’t that hard. Plus you’ll be rewarded with a delicious healthy meal that will have everyone coming back for seconds. So give it a try, you might just surprise yourself!
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have an awesome weekend!
Road trips for our family often included a stop at the Cracker Barrel. It was awesome because not only was it a restaurant but an old-timey store too with things like penny candy and old fashioned toys. Whenever we went to the Cracker Barrel I would get two things, stick candy (tutti-fruitti and root beer) and chicken and dumplings. I loved the chicken and dumplings, the creamy gravy and the soft doughy dumplings were my idea of comfort. It’s been a long time since I have had that dish but last winter I got a craving for those dumplings and wanted to try and create something similar but a lot healthier. Long story short, this dumpling soup is NOTHING like the Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings. But I don’t count this recipe as a total failure because I ended up with a really delicious, warming, and comforting soup. This is a perfect cold day meal and it doesn’t take too much effort to put together. While I’ve left out chicken and added beans, you can easily add in cooked chicken to this soup.
For the soup
- olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 to 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
- 5 to 6 stalks celery, diced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional but adds a nice cheesy flavor)
- 1 1/2 cups white beans, dried and cooked or canned
- 1 to 2 tbsp brown rice flour, divided (you could also use coconut or whole wheat flour if not gluten-free)
- 5 cups water
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
For the dumplings
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp dill weed or other favorite seasoning
- 1/2 cup milk (I used almond)
1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute onion, carrots, and celery until lightly brown. Add in garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Stir in thyme and sprinkle vegetables with a tablespoon of brown rice flour. If all your vegetables aren’t coated add another tablespoon of flour. Add in beans, nutritional yeast if using, and water. Make sure you have enough water to cover the vegetables and chickpeas. Add in paprika, salt and pepper, and bay leaves and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cover.
2. While your soup is simmering, whisk together all the dry ingredients for the dumplings. Add in the 1/2 cup of milk and stir to combine. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes.
3. Uncover the soup and drop spoonfuls of the dumpling dough into the soup. Once the batter is gone, cover the sip with a lid and leave for 20 minutes. DON’T lift the lid during this time to check the dumplings because that will lengthen your cook time. At the end of the 20 minutes uncover and check dumplings. They should be fluffy and a little brown around the edges. If some of the dumplings have fused together just break apart with a wooden spoon.
4. Ladle both dumplings and the soup into bowls and enjoy!
The dumplings and flour help make a wonderfully thick and creamy soup. While I didn’t get exactly the recipe I was looking for, I got a really yummy soup that is perfect for the cold weather that is coming. This is also a really good soup to share with a group of people. Perfect for family gatherings in front of the fire. Isn’t that a cozy picture? Have a great weekend everyone and see you on Monday!