With the holidays quickly approaching, we find ourselves yet again in the kitchen preparing daily feasts for our families and friends. Whether we are cooking traditional foods or new recipes, we sometimes get lost in the idea that the more complicated the recipe, the tastier and more impressive it is. In my own cooking, I find that it’s usually the simpler recipes using fresh and seasonal produce are the most delicious and healthier to boot. Let’s put the healthy back into the new year and cook fresh, seasonal foods and this butternut squash gnocchi is healthful and delicious.
Aviva Kanoff’s new cookbook “Gluten Free Around the World” comes out November 1, 2014.
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 large egg
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more for hands and work surface
3 Tbsp butter
¼ cup fresh sage leaves
sea salt to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
Boil butternut squash in 4 cups water until soft, then strain. Mash or puree in a food processor.
Set a large pot of water to boil. In a medium-sized bowl, combine butternut squash, egg and salt. Add flour in 3-4 separate additions, stirring to combine after each addition. Continue adding flour until dough is firm enough to handle, but still somewhat sticky.
With floured hands, pinch off about a quarter of the dough. Roll between palms and on floured work surface to make a 1-inch thick rope. Cut rope into bite-sized pieces. Repeat with remaining dough.
Drop gnocchi into boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add sage leaves and cook, swirling frequently, until butter browns. Set aside.
Drain gnocchi on paper towels, then add to brown butter and toss. Sprinkle with sea salt and Parmesan cheese if desired.
While looking at cooked spaghetti squash one day and noticing its remarkable likeness to its namesake, spaghetti, I was inspired to experiment with a noodle kugel. I researched classic recipes for a “yerushalmi kugel” calling for caramelized sugar using 2 cups of oil and two cups of sugar, in addition to eggs. At first I attempted it, but seeing all that oil and sugar in the pan, I couldn’t bare to expose my beautiful and healthful squash to such a fatty fate and decided to experiment starting with just a teaspoon of sugar and a few tablespoons of oil. To my surprise and delight, the kugel came out light, fluffy and delicious.
To cook the spaghetti squash, follow these directions which I love. I hope you enjoy this healthy alternative!
3 cups shredded spaghetti squash
3 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp sugar
¼ cup matzah meal
¼ cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients except for the oil.
Pour oil into a 9x12 pan and place in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
Pour squash mixture into hot oil and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove kugel from oven and pour off excess oil.
If the kugel is still too watery, bake out some of the moisture before serving.
Aviva Kanoff is an artiste extraordinaire. She paints, teaches a mixed media art class, and dabbles in photography. Her creative approach to life led her to artistic experimentation with food, and after years of creating her own recipes and working as a personal chef, she wrote The No-Potato Passover, an expression of her intuitive understanding of flavors, aromas, and colors.
For the chicken:
1 lb chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts, sliced into long, 1″ thick strips
1/2 cup matzo cake meal
1 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
6 Tablespoon canola oil
For the dipping sauce:
5 ripe plums, diced
3 Tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the chicken:
Beat eggs in a bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine cake meal and shredded coconut. Dip chicken in egg mixture and then cover in coconut crumbs.
Fry chicken in oil, 3 minutes on each side (depending on thickness of chicken) until golden brown. Serve with plum dipping sauce.
For the plum sauce:
In a small sauce pan combine plums, lime juice and sugar. Bring to a boil.
Once the mixture has come to a boil continue to cook for 10- 15 minutes until plums become soft. Allow to cool and add cardamon and cinnamon.
Serve plum sauce at room temperature.
1 lb of parsnips
1 large onion, diced
6 button mushrooms, diced
5 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
Bring large pot of water to boil, and cook the parsnips until soft and tender. Drain and set aside.
In a skillet, saute the onions and mushrooms in canola oil until brown.
In a mixing bowl, mash the parsnips and add butter or margarine, mushroom and onions.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.