Monday, October 10, 2011

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

    It comes that time of year where we all tend to want to splurge on various comfort foods, but this winter try being kinder to your body while still enjoying the abundance of food this season has to offer with a few vegan recipes. This vegan sweet potato gnocchi was altered from an amazing recipe I found on which has step by step instructions with pictures on how to make it. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
     This wonderful recipe is traditionally made with mashed potatoes, but this fall try spicing it up by making sweet potato gnocchi. You can also make it using pumpkin or butternut squash instead.


Gnocchi:                                                  Sauce:
3 medium sweet potatoes                        1 can of diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups of flour                                     2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of salt                                              A handful of pitted black olives
½ tsp of nutmeg                                       One small celery stalk
                                                                 One small onion, diced                  
                                                                 3 basil leaves, roughly torn
                                                                 2 tablespoons of olive oil
                                                                 1 teaspoon of oregano
     Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 and bake the sweet potatoes whole for 45 to 55 minutes or until very tender (they should start to ooze a little out of the skin). After they have slightly cooled cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp with a spoon into a mixing bowl. Put in the freeze to cool for about 30 minutes.

    Step 2: Once the sweet potatoes have cooled mix in the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Turn the dough onto a flour covered surface and continue to knead the dough. Separate the dough into 1 inch tubes and segment them into half inch pillow shapes. Put to the side.

    Step 3: Sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and olives until tender. Add the diced tomatoes and spices. Simmer until it is a saucy consistency and most of the tomatoes chunks have been broken down which should be about ten minutes.

     Step 4: When the sauce is almost done boil a large pot of lightly salted water. Once it is boiling add the gnocchi (make sure they don’t stick together). Continue to boil the gnocchi for 2 to 4 minutes. Once they are done the gnocchi will float to the top. Drain the gnocchi in a colander and return them to the pot. Add the finished sauce and they are ready to be served.

(Serves 4)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The 101 Day Challenge Celebration

      The other night I celebrated the completion of my 101 day Vegan Challenge by inviting a bunch of my friends over for a vegan potluck and karaoke party. I thought that it would be the perfect way to celebrate for I would be surrounded by tons of great vegan food and challenge others to bring a vegan dish of their own. People came with a variety of different foods such as; veggie platters, fruit, soup, cookies, cupcakes, and chips. I must say my favorite dish was the ingenious dessert my roommate came up with. Not only did she make delicious vegan cupcakes, but they were shaped like microphones!

    Here is the recipe for those of you that would like to try and make these amazing cupcakes.

Microphone Cup Cakes
1 cup soymilk
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 box (24 pack) of ice cream cones
Vanilla frosting
A few drops of black food coloring
Silver Sprinkles
Mini muffin paper liners
Mini muffin pan

    Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F and line with the mini muffin pan with paper liners.
    Step 2: Mix the soy milk and vinegar together and let sit for a few minutes. Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and into the bowl and mix.
     Step 3: In a separate large bowl use a handheld mixer to cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy (but don't beat past two minutes). Beat in the vanilla and soy milk mixture.
    Step 4: Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way and bake for 15 minutes.
    Step 5: Mix a few drops of black food coloring with the vanilla frosting until gray. Use the back of a spoon to spread the frosting around the inner sides of the cones to affix the cupcakes.
     Step 6: Once the cupcakes have cooled remove them from their wrappers. Stick one cupcake right side up into the cone and frost its top. Then stick a second cupcake on top of the first and frost its top.
     Step 7: Pour the silver sprinkles in a bowl and coat the top cupcake with sprinkles.

(Makes 4 dozen mini cupcakes - 2 dozen full microphone cupcakes)