IN THE KITCHEN WITH: AMANDA

Amanda is a vegan foodie and designer from Toronto that I first met a few years ago while taking her photograph for Lookbook Cookbook.  We became fast friends over our shared love for healthy living and all things witchy.

I always feel quite spoiled while I’m in her kitchen, watching her whip up most things from scratch, like her daily fresh almond milk; so when she told me about a gnocchi recipe she was going to veganize and try out, I knew of course that I needed to be there.

After discovering she had several food allergies, Amanda took on a plant based, gluten-free and all natural diet. She’s always finding new ways to create recipes without any allergens and with the purest of ingredients. You can check out some of them on her website.

P.S. This recipe was also tried with sweet potato instead of beets and was also very delicious.

RED BEET GNOCCHI WITH LEMON PESTO

FOR THE GNOCCHI

4 medium sized beets, scrubbed
olive oil to drizzle
salt and pepper
1 cup brown rice flour
¼ – ½ cup chickpea flour
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper
extra flour for dusting
extra olive oil, for frying

FOR THE PESTO

1 cup of fresh basil, tightly packed
1 clove of garlic, minced
½ cup of walnuts
zest of a Meyer lemon
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 400°. Place the scrubbed beets on a large piece of parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil, and season with some salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, until the beets are tender. Pearce with a fork to test.

While the beets are roasting, make your pesto. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times. While the food processor is running, add the olive oil in a slow stream. You can add as much or as little oil as you like.

Put your pesto in a separate bowl, cover, and set aside until you’re ready to serve. Clean out your food processor because you will need it to make your gnocchi dough!

When the beets are done, allow them to cool slightly and then peel off the skin. If you are using organic beets, you do not have to remove all of the skin, but I like to get rid of the gritty parts. Place the beets into a food processor and pulse several times until you have a smooth puree.

Add the salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and flour. Add the flour a little at a time until you have achieve a doughy consistency. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. Keep adding flour until it is not so sticky; however, the goal is to use as little flour as possible.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  This will be used to test your gnocchi before making a full batch.

Pinch off a small piece and roll it lightly in flour.  Drop it into the boiling water. When it starts to float (after about three to five minutes) cook it for 30 seconds more. If it fell apart in the pot or it is falling apart, add more flour into the dough. If it didn’t work the first time, keep on testing until you have it right.

Once you get the consistency correct, place a few pieces of parchment on a flat surface (to keep the beets from staining the counter) and divide the dough into four portions. Make sure the parchment covered surface is well floured, and roll each portion out into a snake that is about a ½-inch thick. Using a knife or a metal spatula, cut the dough into ¾-inch bites. Press the backside of a fork into each one to make a slight indent.

Lightly flour a baking sheet and move the gnocchi over to it when they are done. Let them dry for an hour or refrigerate them for up to one day.

Boil the gnocchi as per the test batch. Once it is finished, toss into a frying pan with a little bit of olive or coconut oil to fry. Garnish with your pesto and whatever else you fancy and enjoy!

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