A Cozy Gnocchi Soup for Rainy Days

Viviana's Kitchen

Hey fam.

It’s a windy, rainy day today and I have the weekend off, so I was feeling the cooking fire under my butt this morning and I made brunch (bacon, eggs, and cheese bites) and lunch/dinner – a gnocchi soup that’s so good, my friend Betsy has even made it. And the only reason I mention that is because we’re both stubborn people at times and it’s difficult to convince each other to do simple things like HEY WATCH THIS MOVIE. But HEY, she tried this soup and has added it to her cooking lineup, so that’s awesome, right?

Anyway, the original recipe is a vegan version – that I’ve made until Christmas and Easter lent. However, today I made it with reduced fat milk and it turned out just as well.

Here’s the link to the original recipe. And here’s the recipe breakdown if you don’t wanna move your eyes from the gorgeous photos I took of my soup.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic diced
1/2 yellow onion diced
4-5 stalks celery diced
5 whole carrots diced
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 tsp. Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base
4 cups + 3 tbsp. water separated
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 package gnocchi
pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots and sauté until veggies are softened (approx. 10 minutes).
  2. Dissolve cornstarch in 3 tbsp. water in a small bowl.
  3. Dissolve bouillon in 4 cups water to create “chicken” broth.
  4. Add cornstarch mixture, “chicken” broth and almond milk to veggies. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add gnocchi and spices and simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve with fresh parsley.

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Moroccan Veggie Stew with Turmeric Basmati Rice

Viviana's Kitchen

It’s Lent season at my house which means vegetarian food all day errday.

We don’t celebrate Lent for religious purposes in my house, but we do celebrate it for dietary purposes. My mom seems to strugglebus when it comes to cooking vegetarian sometimes, but I cook vegetarian like 85% of the time that I decide to make actual meals (not desserts), so of course it’s pretty easy for me to find exciting recipes to try out.

And of COURSE I got my ass on Foodgawker last night and this morning. Actual morning today because I got up at a semi-reasonable time. I was that excited about making rice.

I knew I wanted to make the rice before I knew what the “main dish” would be. But I found the perfect match  – I wanted to do something with chickpeas again, but a little different from straight up Channa Masala.

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So I found this great recipe for Moroccan Veggie Stew.  I didn’t have saffron because that shit is expensive. And if I had known that pitted dates tasted so good in this recipe, I would’ve added WAY more than the 4 it calls for. My tweaked recipe can be found below, and you can follow the link to see the original.

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Moroccan Veggie Stew

Ingredients

1 onion
3 carrots peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 baking or russet potatoes peeled and chopped
4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped (I recommend putting a fistful in there)
1 16 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup (or can) of tomato sauce
2 cups of water
1 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground cumin
1-2 pinches of ground coriander
1 teaspoons of smoked paprika
A pinch of saffron (optional)
Olive oil/Grapeseed for cooking
Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan (or dutch oven), saute the onions, carrots and celery on medium heat with some olive or grapeseed oil and a pinch of salt. Saute the vegetables until they start to soften – about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes, chickpeas, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and saffron. Stir the ingredients and spices around for about a minute, being careful not to burn the spices.
  4. Add the tomato sauce with two cups of water. Stir in the garlic and the dates. Adjust the salt, cover the pot and bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer the stew on the stovetop for about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer to the stew to the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. I also transferred mine to a Pyrex bowl before I popped it in the oven. If you’re using a dutch oven with no plastic on it, you can leave it in your dutch oven pan.

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As for the turmeric Basmati rice, I followed this Jamie Oliver video for how to make perfect fluffy rice because I literally always fuck up rice when I cook it. But LO AND BEHOLD, following this video actually worked for me. And the rice turned out great. I did have to add extra salt after it was done because my “pinch” wasn’t enough when I seasoned it at the beginning.

Turmeric Basmati Rice

Ingredients

1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups water
3 pods of cardamom
10 pieces of whole cloves
1/2 stick of cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse rice in cold water to get rid of starch and imperfections.
  2. In a heated sauce pan, combine your rice, water, spices and salt.
  3. Cover and bring to a simmer-boil for 8-10 minutes (or until water is evaporated). Do NOT remove cover, but make sure the water doesn’t bubble over.
  4. Once all the water is evaporated, remove cover and remove cardamom pods and stick of cinnamon. Stir gently and serve.

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Breakfast Clafoutis with Cherries

Viviana's Kitchen

Hello hello!

I’m back with a delicious recipe I tried out this morning/afternoon. Afternoon, cause I got out of bed at 11:15 and didn’t finish this until after 12, BUT ANYWAY.

I wanted to eat something different from just cereal or eggs or toast, so I got my ass on Foodgawker as usual and found this easy Lemon Dutch Baby with Berry Compote and put myself to work. It’s not too sugary-sweet or too weird and foreign. I thought it was going to turn out like the Finnish “pancakes” I made like 6 years ago, but I realized when I started eating that it’s a whole lot like the Clafoutis recipe I make, except loads simpler to prepare.

Here’s the breakdown of ingredients and directions. I did not make the whipped cream, but I did make the berry (CHERRY!) compote.

Ingredients

for the Dutch Baby:
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
for the Berry Compote:
2 cups frozen berries (‘triple berry’)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
for the whipped cream:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
OR
your whipped topping of choice
Instructions

  1. Remove frozen berries from freezer, in a bowl combine berries, lemon juice, and tablespoon of sugar. Toss to mix. Set aside to thaw, toss occasionally while dutch baby is cooking.
  2.  Place 12 inch cast iron (or oven safe skillet) in oven, preheat to 425º F.
  3. In a blender add lemon zest, flour, eggs, milk, sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until combined.
  4. Once oven is preheated and skillet is hot, use oven mitts to remove the skillet. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, swirl the skillet until the butter melts and the sides and bottom of the skillet is covered in butter.
  5. Pour the batter from the blender into the skillet. Return skillet to oven.
  6. Bake 22-24 minutes until edges are golden brown.
  7. If you are making your own whipped cream add vanilla and heavy whipping cream to the stand of an electric mixer. Beat on high 1-2 minutes until whipped cream is to preferred consistency.
  8. Give Berry Compote a final stir and pour over the Dutch Baby, top with Whipped Cream. Serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Banana Chia Pudding

Viviana's Kitchen

I’ve recently become obsessed with the idea of chia pudding and last night I finally got around to making some.

Before I get into the recipe, which is the easiest thing you’ll make all day, let’s talk about the awesomeness of chia seeds.

Part of the mint family, chia seeds provide a variety of health benefits, including fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids (more than salmon!), micronutrients, and antioxidants which prevent them from going rancid.

Other health benefits include:

  • High fiber and protein content = weight loss aid! The fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach, increasing fullness and slowing absorption of food. (x)
  • Improve metabolic health
  • Lower the risk of heart disease & type 2 diabetes
  • High in calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium which are good for your bones
  • Lower triglycerides and cholesterol

They’re basically power-packed full of goodness and if you’re not incorporating them in your diet, you’re doing yourself a disservice. I’ve been sticking them in my smoothies for several years now, but I finally got around to making that pudding.

Recipe below!

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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter powder
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup almond milk (or whatever milk you want to use)

Directions

  • Blend bananas, PB powder and almond milk until smooth.
  • Pour over chia seeds, and stir.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Enjoy! (with more antioxidant rich foods like blueberries!)

Lemon Poppyseed Tiramisu

Viviana's Kitchen

I’m a huge fan of anything lemon flavored, and after making two tiramisus around Christmas/New Years, I had a brilliant idea – how about I alter the recipe and make a lemon tiramisu instead?

I finally did a couple days ago after work.

It’s pretty simple, as you really only need to change a few things:

  • I used lemon liquer instead of brandy/cognac.
  • I dipped the lady fingers in a slightly sweetened lemon juice & water mix instead of coffee.
  • I topped the tiramisu with poppy seeds instead of cocoa powder.
  • I added in fresh grated lemon rind from a whole lemon to the cream.

The result is absolutely delicious. I squeezed fresh lemon juice on top of my individual slice to give it more of a sour kick and it’s seriously so good.

Here’s the original recipe for those of you who are interested.

Ingredients

6 eggs, separated
~6 cups coffee, cooled
16 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup sugar (I usually use 3/4)
1/4-1/3 cognac or brandy
1 package lady fingers
cocoa powder for dusting

Directions

  1. Combine 6 egg yolks, 2 tbsp coffee, sugar, and cognac into large bowl and beat 3 minutes.
  2. Add Mascarpone cheese and beat 5 minutes until smooth.
  3. In another bowl, combine 6 egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form (and you can turn the bowl upside down and it won’t fall out).
  4. Gently fold into the Mascarpone mixture.
  5. Quickly dip lady fingers into coffee and lay out into a baking dish. Pour half the mixture over, and repeat the steps.
  6. Dust with cocoa powder and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.

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