Cooking Beyond Limits

When people hear I am a vegetarian, they immediately assume I only eat salads. Now that I’ve thrown gluten-free into the mix they envision meals of lettuce and cardboard. I can honestly assure you that lettuce doesn’t even make up 1/20 of the food I eat (and I have never eaten cardboard because that is just weird).

In America we have grown so accustomed to the life of fast food and a meat-based diet. If you have flirted with the idea of going meat-free or have been told to give up gluten due to health reasons, it’s likely that you have feared the choice due to not knowing what to eat, how to order when you are at a restaurant or think you will starve. As someone who is vegetarian and gluten sensitive, I have definitely never gone hungry and neither will you if you have an open mind.

Here are a few things I have been enjoying since going gluten free:

Pancakes
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Pasta
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Gnocchi
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Suddenly gluten-free and vegetarian doesn’t look so bad, right?

More recipes are to come, but for now we’ll start with the sweet potato gnocchi.Gnocchi is a dish I have always wanted to make, but saw it as a challenge I wasn’t quite ready to accept. Plus it was always so much easier to buy the pre-made ones in the grocery store. However, due to most of the store-bought gnocchi containing gluten, I figured now was as good a time as any to test my skills. I encourage you to try this too! I was pleased to learn just how simple it is to make homemade gnocchi. Feel free to sub regular potatoes if you are not a fan of sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter
Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups flour (I used a combination of brown rice flour and gluten-free all purpose flour)
1/2 cup petit peas (optional)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup fresh sage leaves (you could also used dried)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork, place on baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
2. Once the potatoes are cool enough, cut the potatoes length-wise and scoop out the flesh of each potato into a large bowl. Thoroughly mash the potatoes and allow to cool completely.
3. Add salt, nutmeg and pepper to the sweet potatoes. Gradually add the flour in 1/2 cup increments. Once a soft, slightly sticky dough has formed, divide into six portions.
4. One at a time, on a floured surface, roll each dough portion into a rope with 1/2 inch diameter. Cut the rope into 1 inch pieces and press lightly with the back of a fork to create ridges. Continue with the remainder of the dough.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat butter and sage in a large nonstick skillet until it bubbles.
6. When water is boiling drop small batches (10-12 gnocchi) into the pot and let cook for 4-5 minutes. The gnocchi will float to the top when they are done. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked gnocchi to the pan of butter and sage. Continue until all gnocchi is cooked and simmering in the butter/sage mixture. Now is when you will add the peas if you are adding them. Cook until peas are warmed.
6. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
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