Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Sweet potatoes are fabulous for you, and gnocchi is delicious and can easily be made vegan. If you’re intimidated by the idea of making your own gnocchi, well, so was I. Fear not! I was delighted by the ease of this recipe. Also, orange food makes for a good October dish. #spooky

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Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 T ground flax
3 T water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t sea salt plus a pinch
1/2 t nutmeg
2 c flour

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine ground flax and water and allow a few minutes to congeal. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Once cool enough to work with, remove potato peels and mash potatoes in a large bowl.
  5. Mix garlic, sea salt, nutmeg, and flax egg into the potatoes. Finally, mix in the flour a little at a time until you have soft dough. I recommend the dough blade in a food processor for this part.
  6. Bring a large pot of  water and pinch of sea salt to boil.
  7. Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut into pieces, roughly 1″ (see photos).
  8. Drop pieces into boiling water, allowing them to cook until they float to the surface. Remove floating pieces with a slotted spoon.
  9. Serve with organic Earth Balance or a vegan cream sauce.

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Serves 4-6.

Adapted from Sweet Potato Gnocchi.

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Recipe: Malai Kofta

Malai kofta is my all time favorite Indian dish. I knew it was vegetarian, but didn’t know much else, ingredient-wise. I learned that it usually has heavy cream, so here’s a vegan version to make at home.

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Ingredients

Part One: Kofta
3-4 russet potatoes*
14 oz extra firm tofu
1/2 c arrowroot**
2 T cilantro leaves and stems, minced, more leaves for garnish
1 T lemon juice
2 t garam masala
1 3/4 t sea salt
1 c frozen green peas
coconut oil for baking

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Part Two: Sauce
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 c cashews
4 cloves garlic, minced
1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 t garam masala
1 t ground turmeric
1/2  t cayenne pepper
1 t sea salt
1 t fenugreek
1 15 oz can coconut milk

*Or 4-6 yukon gold potatoes
**Or cornstarch

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  1. Cover potatoes with water in a pot, then cover with lid. Bring water to boil over high heat, then turn heat down to medium for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork. Drain water from the potatoes, mash them smooth, and set aside.
  2. In another large pot add onion, canned tomatoes and their juices, cashews, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, sea salt, and fenugreek. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Transfer onion / tomato mixture to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Make sure to vent so hot air doesn’t build up in the food processor or blender. Pour mixture back into pot and add coconut milk. Mix together, cover, and set aside until kofta are ready.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mash the tofu by squeezing it in your hands until it’s creamy or blend it in a food processor until smooth.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 ºF.
  6. Mix potatoes, arrowroot, cilantro, lemon juice, garam masala, and sea salt into mashed tofu. Test consistency by forming a ball. It should hold together and might stick to your hands a little, but if it is very sticky and falling apart add a bit more arrowroot.
  7. Mix in frozen peas.
  8. Line a baking tray with parchment and spray or brush with oil.
  9. Shape kofta mixture into balls, about one tablespoon each. Arrange kofta so there is about an inch between each, then spray or brush the tops with oil. Bake for 40 minutes and flip halfway through, until both sides are golden and the edges of the kofta are crispy and chewy.
  10. To serve, pour sauce over kofta and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy with naan or brown basmati rice.
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tofu post-food processor

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Omnomnomnomnom.

Serves ten.

Adapted from VEGAN MALAI KOFTA: INDIAN DUMPLINGS IN CURRY TOMATO CREAM SAUCE.

Recipe: Greek Quinoa Salad

If stanning for my own cooking is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right. Addictive, easy Greek quinoa salad, right this waaay!

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Ingredients

3 1/2 c vegetable broth
2 c quinoa
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/2 c red onion, diced
4 oz feta cheese, chopped
3 T olive oil
3 T apple cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, juiced
sea salt and black pepper to taste

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  1. Combine broth and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and lower to simmer about 15 minutes, until broth is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Transfer to large serving dish.
  2. Stir all other ingredients into quinoa, tossing until evenly coated.
  3. Eat warm or pop into fridge for an hour to let flavors meld. It’s good both ways… I’ve done the legwork.

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Apollo

“Every salad you make, every thing you bake. Every drink you shake every breath you take I’ll be watching you.” – Apollo Aldrich

Serves ten.

Adapted from Best Greek Quinoa Salad.

Recipe: Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

In my head, an ideal dinner is 4-6 different vegetarian sides that people can pick, choose, and build a plate from. This roasted garlic cauliflower is delicious and everyone will eat it, even those who don’t typically like cauliflower.

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Ingredients

1 cauliflower head, chopped
3 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 c freshly grated parmesan cheese, more to taste*
1 T fresh parsley, chopped

*For a vegan dish, leave out parmesan cheese or replace it with a vegan substitute. From my experience with vegan parmesan cheese, I prefer the real deal or none at all over the alternative.

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  1. Preheat oven to 450° F and lightly oil a large casserole dish.
  2. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cook time.
  4. Top cauliflower with parmesan and parsley, then broil dish for about three minutes until top is golden brown.

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Mmm. Simplicity.

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Serves four.

Adapted from Roasted Garlic Cauliflower.

On Mental Illness and Weather

At the moment I write this, buckets of rain are pounding the hot cement in Manhattan. Thunder that sounds like an amplified bowling alley is roaring the background – a rarity and special treat for a Texan who misses the drama and majesty of true thunderstorms. Like most people, I don’t want to go outside and get soaked. Unlike most people, I am delighted to be shut indoors, limited to the offerings of the apartment in which I reside. I am at peace.

Depression makes me a bit of a homebody, somebody who needs to refresh and be alone at home after limited engagements, like an old iPhone battery desperate for a charge after only a few hours of use. When the weather is terrible, my natural inclination is affirmed by circumstance and the pressure to perform is absolved. Unsavory weather limits options for activities, and my self-imposed pressure melts away. It’s okay to be indoors, to be in my feelings. There is no need to explain why I stayed in all day, because most people probably did, too. For an average person it may have been the weather, but for me it is the depression I live with like weights tied to my ankles.

On sunny days I am often gripped with guilt and dread. If I’ve slept too long, I feel guilty. If I don’t have a hyper-productive day that includes an outdoor galivant, I feel like a fraud just waiting to be found out by a daily itinerary inspector who doesn’t exist. I do take pleasure in being outdoors at times. My ideal getaway is a peaceful beach vacation, after all. But, it’s the getting home I look forward to: stripping off sticky or dirty clothes to put on something clean and comfortable, hugging the peaceful golden retrievers I live with, unpacking what I brought home, eating something waste-free and healthful I make with my own hands, cracking a book, settling in to watch a TV show I’ve been eager to see, being near Rick.

If rain is special to me, you may have correctly concluded that winter in New York City is sacred. The dirty snow banks pile up and street corners become mysterious lakes of melted snow, depths unknown. I outwardly commiserate with other New Yorkers about never-ending winter and join the chorus of deep desire for spring and summer. Secretly, this time is when I feel safest, un-judged, and mentally at peace. There is no pressure, only justification in holing up in the warmth and safety of my shoebox that sits under and on top of other shoeboxes filled with other humans doing the same. For them, it may be because of the weather. For me, I can just be, and I don’t have to explain anything.