Monthly Archives: March 2015

Vegan Gnocchi

 

Gnocchi with Marinara

I tried my hand at gnocchi for the first time this week. I also decided to make a simple marinara sauce to go with them, and the results where pretty good for a first attempt. I can’t say that I’ve ever had gnocchi before – perhaps in some frozen form from a grocery store, but I suspect it’s one of those foods that people always assume is difficult to make but actually isn’t. The ingredients are pretty straightforward: potatoes and flour.

Marinara

The marinara and potatoes will both take about 40-45 minutes to cook; start working on both so that they finish around the same time. In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil to medium. Add in garlic and onions and cook about 5 minutes or until tender. Combine remaining ingredients for the marinara and simmer uncovered for 4o minutes.

Simultaneously, bring a large pot to boil, add in 2 lbs. of potatoes, and cook for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a toothpick. Make sure they’re fully cooked through. One of my potatoes was still lightly hard in the middle after boiling. I think it caused some lumps to remain in the dough. Other than appearance, I don’t think this ultimately had any effect on the flavor or texture of the gnocchi.

Russet PotatoesRusset Potatoes

Remove potatoes from water and allow to drain. Use your fingers to peel skins while they’re still hot. Process potatoes through a potato ricer. I don’t own one of these so I used a box grater instead. Add flour to a fine metal strainer and evenly sift flour onto potatoes. Thoroughly incorporate both using a scraper/chopper then use hands to knead the mixture into a dough. Form into a large loaf, cover with a towel, and let rest for about 10 minutes.

The marinara should be done cooking at this point. Let it cool slightly before puréeing in a blender. Pour back into pot and set aside for later use. I kept mine simmering on the stove until I was ready to use it.

GnocchiGnocchi

On a floured surface, slice a piece from the loaf and roll to a thickness of 1″. I rolled mine out slightly thicker than my thumb. Use the scraper/chopper or a knife to cut these into .8″ pieces. Repeat this process until all of the dough has been used.

Use a floured gnocchi board or fork to give the gnocchi texture. Use your thumb to press each one along the ridges of the board or tine of the fork. It took me a few attempts but I quickly got the hang of it. This process isn’t necessary but it does look nice and is supposed to hold the sauce better.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop the gnocchi into the water and cook until they float to the surface. I cooked mine in several batches. This recipe could also be halved if you’re not planning on feeding several people. Alternatively, freeze the uncooked gnocchi on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for later use. Cook the frozen gnocchi as mentioned above.

That’s all it takes and they are now ready to eat! Serve with the marinara sauce as well as salt and pepper, if desired.

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

test

Vegan Gnocchi
Print
Gnocchi Ingredients
  1. 2lbs. russet potatoes
  2. 2-1/4 cups flour
  3. Salt (optional)
Marinara Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1/2 large yellow onion
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 2-14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  5. 1 tsp. dried basil
  6. 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  7. 1/2 tsp. sugar
  8. 1/4 tsp. salt
  9. Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. 1. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add potatoes and boil for 40 minutes. Potatoes are ready when they're easily pierced with a toothpick.
  2. 2. Begin making the marinara once the potatoes begin to boil. On a separate element, add olive oil to another pot and bring to a medium heat. Add in onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until both have softened.
  3. 3. Stir in remaining ingredients and let simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
  4. 4. Drain and peel potatoes while they're still hot. Put potatoes through a ricer or use a box grater.
  5. 5. Use a fine mesh strainer to evenly distribute flour onto potatoes. Incorporate flour into potatoes using a scraper/chopper then use hands to knead into a dough.
  6. 6. Form into a loaf, cover with a towel, and let rest 10 minutes.
  7. 7. Remove marinara from heat and let cool before puréeing in a blender.
  8. 8. Slice a piece from the dough and roll out on a floured surface. Roll to a thickness of about 1". Use scrapper/chopper or knife and cut into .8" pieces. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
  9. 9. Use the gnocchi board or fork to create indentations on the gnocchi. With a little flour on the board or fork, use thumb to roll gnocchi along the surface.
  10. 10. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop gnocchi into water and cook until they begin to float to the surface. Remove, drain, and serve with marinara sauce.
Notes
  1. *Freeze uncooked gnocchi on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Throw into a bag once frozen. Cook as normal.
Artisanal Vegan http://www.artisanalvegan.com/

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Getting the right consistency in a meatless burger can be tricky. Many recipes either don’t hold together very well or the texture is completely off. It’s a battle that I’m constantly waging; the perfect burger recipe seems ever elusive. When I think I’ve finally thrown in the towel and given up, I find yet another recipe to try out!

I found this recipe while flipping through the November 2014 issue of Organic Gardening. I liked the combination of quinoa and black beans. The latter possibly being a great binder for the burgers. Full disclosure: I made my burgers full sized and they were a little more moist then I’d prefer. Next time I make this recipe I’ll form smaller patties as suggested in the magazine.

Quinoa

Measure out and rinse 1 cup of quinoa. Add to pot and toast until dry and fragrant. Cook with 1-1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt for 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes, fluff, and set aside. 

Pulse black beans with 1/2 cup water in a food processor. Mix until well blended but still retains some texture. Add 2 tbsp. of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables and sauté for about 7 minutes or until softened. Add herbs and spices and cook an additional minute. Stir in black bean mixture and continue to cook for 7-10 more minutes. Cook down the black beans until they become dry and stiff.

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Stir the black bean-vegetable mixture and green onions into the quinoa. Add salt to taste. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before forming into 10-12 patties.

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Place patties in a lightly oil pan set to medium heat. Cook each side for about 3 minutes or until they’re a golden brown color. It might take several batches to get through all patties. At this point use whatever toppings you desire or have on hand. I placed whole wheat buns along with patties topped with slices of Daiya swiss cheese under the broiler. Watch both carefully as the bun will easily burn and cheese will melt quickly. Remove and top with caramelized onions, tomato, and lettuce.

Black Bean and Quinoa Burger

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers with Caramelized Onions
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 1-1/2 cups black beans
  3. 3/4 tsp. salt
  4. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  6. 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
  7. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  8. 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  9. 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  10. 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  11. 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  12. Whole grain hamburger buns
  13. Daiya swiss style slices or other vegan cheese (optional)
  14. Caramelized onions (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Rinse quinoa then transfer to a pot. Toast at medium heat for about 5 minutes until quinoa is dry and fragrant. Add 1-1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 more minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl.
  2. 2. In a food processor, pulse black beans with salt and 1/2 cup water until blended but still textured.
  3. 3. In a pan at medium heat, add olive oil, onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté for 7 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add in herbs and spices and cook an additional minute. Mix in black bean purée and continue to cook an additional 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly. The black beans will become dry and stiff as the water is absorbed.
  4. 4. Transfer the vegetable-bean mixture into the bowl with the quinoa. Add green onions and salt to taste. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  5. 5. Form into 10-12 patties. Lightly oil a pan and cook patties for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  6. 6. Place patty topped with cheese under a broiler set to high. Remove once cheese begins to melt. Layer patty with caramelized onions with any additional toppings onto bun.
Adapted from Organic Gardening magazine
Artisanal Vegan http://www.artisanalvegan.com/