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sweet potato gnocchi

I have had 2 giant sweet potatoes sitting on our counter for over a week now and wanted to make them into something yummy and comforting for our Friday night dinner.  I decided on Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Butter -yum!

I looked up a few recipes and got some inspiration from Kath and Giada and went to town.

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1.5-2ish cups whole wheat pastry flour (use what you need)

Start by cooking the sweet potatoes in the oven at 375°F for about 60 minutes.

Then, cut open and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

After the potato has cooled, scrape out the insides and dump them into a bowl, leaving the skins out.

Add the cottage cheese, salt, cinnamon and pepper and mash it all together.

Then begin to add the flour a little bit at a time until a soft dough forms.

Lightly flour your counter or another surface and place the dough on it, then cut into 4-6 sections.

Roll each section into a long rope about 1-inch wide.

And, cut into 1-inch sections.  This recipe makes tons of gnocchi!

I ended up freezing about 3/4ths of this for later!

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the gnocchi in 3-4 batches in order to keep them from sticking together.

Cook about 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  They should be tender, but a little firm.  (You do not want mushy gnocchi!)

Remove them from the water when done and continue with each batch.  Add the cooked gnocchi to a strainer and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking and sticking together.

Once all gnocchi are cooked, you are ready for the sauce!

Ingredients for Maple Butter Sauce

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Add the butter and coconut oil to a saute pan over medium heat and cook until it browns a little.

Then add the thyme, cinnamon and maple syrup and stir to combine.  Add the gnocchi and saute for a few minutes until their sides become browned.

Serve the gnocchi warm with a side of roasted broccoli* and maple steamed spinach**.

These gnocchi turned out great!  They were surprisingly flavorful and super filling.  A bit sweet from the maple syrup and cinnamon, but savory from the thyme.  We both absolutely loved these and can’t wait for leftovers!

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*For the roasted broccoli, I cut up 1 head of broccoli and placed it in a pan to cook.  Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees while you are making the gnocchi.

**For the maple steamed spinach, add 1 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of maple syrup to a saute pan over medium-low heat.  Add a bunch of spinach and cover.  Leave covered for a few minutes until lightly steamed.  It has just a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup.

a randomly delicious meal

I made a delicious dinner last night, but then we were up way to late doing our taxes for me to post!  It was a lot of random stuff basically thrown together, but the combination worked out perfectly.  I starred into the fridge trying to figure out what to make and came out with Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, and Heirloom Grape Tomatoes – here’s what I came up with for a dinner for two!

First up, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries & Gorgonzola.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts, washed, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

I chopped up my brussels sprouts and walnuts and combined them in a baking dish with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  I used just enough olive oil to coat each brussels sprout, and adjusted the salt and pepper while serving.

I then baked the dish at 350°F for 35 minutes, stirring once halfway through to brown all of the brussels sprouts.  After 35 minutes, I took out the dish and mixed in the dried cranberries, then sprinkled the crumbled gorgonzola on top.  Back into the oven for 10 minutes to melt the cheese and brown the top of the dish.

This random combination of flavors came out perfect!  It was so delicious.

Next up, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Thyme.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (I used heirloom)
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • dried thyme

I learned a great new trick while watching Rachel Ray the other day at the gym for how to make roasted cherry tomatoes.  I love roasted tomatoes, and have made them before, but they do come out a little soggy on the bottoms.  Well, Rachel Ray had a great tip – squeeze out the seeds before cooking them and bake them on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet.  Brilliant!

By squeezing out the seeds and cooking them raised above the cookie sheet, they cook much faster and come out a little crisp.  We loved them.

I baked them in the same oven as the brussels sprouts at 350°F for about 30 minutes.

After about 30 minutes (make sure you watch them, as larger the size of the tomato will determine cooking time), they came out shriveled and crisp on top, but still soft and sweet to eat.

Brown Rice with Lemon, Salt & Pepper

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • lemon peel from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

While the brussels sprouts and tomatoes were roasting away in the oven, I popped some brown rice into my rice cooker to serve alongside the veggies.  Once the rice was cooked, I added the juice of 1/2 lemon, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste.  This rice was a mix from Trader Joes, so it had chopped carrots, peas, etc in it, but you could replace that with any rice or a grain.  I topped the rice with the Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

Lastly, Sweet Potato with Cinnamon & Coconut Butter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato (or 2 small)
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut butter
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Once the brussels sprouts went back into the oven to melt the cheese, I popped my sweet potato in the microwave wrapped in a damp paper towel (and with holes poked in the top!) for 7 minutes on high.  Time will vary depending on size of potato and your microwave.  You could also bake the sweet potato in the oven, but I decided on the potato last minute!

After cooking it, I let it sit for a few minutes, then cut it in half and sprinkled it with cinnamon and coconut butter.  The coconut butter melted into the hot potato and the flavors together were delicious!

This was a delicious, well-balanced meal!  I love dinners like this that come together easily and completely randomly, but still taste awesome.  Hope you enjoy!