A Cozy Gnocchi Soup for Rainy Days

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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Romanian Style Crepes

I am so excited to share this recipe with you all.

I was visiting my aunt a couple weeks ago and happened to stop by while she was preparing to make Romanian crepes – or as we call them, Clatite. So I asked her to explain her process as to how she makes them, and surprisingly, it’s pretty easy. The thing is, it’s not a set recipe, so I’m going to try to translate it into one as best as I can.

Her style of making crepes is delicious and I personally view it as one of her specialties, so I was geeked to try it out on my own. Below, I have a recipe that should yield roughly 16 crepes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups flour
2-3 eggs
a good pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
milk
mineral water
rum extract/essence of rum
a small bowl with oil and a silicon brush
filling of choice (we like prune or rosehip jam)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, eggs, salt, sugar, rum extract, and milk until blended together well. Add the milk slowly so you can build a batter.
  2. Once you’ve got a mixture that’s a little on the thicker side, slowly add mineral water to the mixture until the consistency becomes almost soupy. You don’t want it too thin, but you don’t want it so thick that you can’t swivel the mixture around in the pan to coat it.
  3. Add rum extract to taste. My aunt dumped like a good 2 or 3 TABLESPOONS in there, but probably a solid 1 to 1.5 teaspoons should be good.
  4. Heat up a large skillet on high heat. Before putting in your batter, brush the skillet using a silicon brush with some oil to ensure your crepe doesn’t stick.
  5. Pour a large ladle-full of batter in the center of your skillet and take the skillet off the stove while you swivel it to ensure the batter coats the whole bottom of the skillet.
  6. Using a long knife, (you can use a spatula, but a knife works better – and if you have a particularly flexible knife, use that) flip your crepe after roughly 30 seconds or  until the batter is no longer wet and cook for another ~30 seconds or so.

Tips:

  • If you’re having trouble swiveling the batter, your batter may be too thick. Add more mineral water or milk.
  • If you’re having trouble with your crepes breaking after the first couple (flipping them with a knife does take some practice) your batter may be too runny and you should add a little more flour to thicken it up.
  • In our family, and even traditionally in Romania, we like to roll up our crepes with prune jam or rosehip jam, but you can eat them however you please.

Sauted Mushrooms

I was avoiding posting this for a while because I couldn’t remember what I found the recipe, but I finally recalled that I watched a video for it – so thank God for Youtube history searcher!

I used a lot of mushrooms in my dishes during lent, and I had a lot of button mushrooms the day I made this side dish. It’s a relatively simple recipe and, even better, is you can visually follow along with the video. Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget you can follow me on Instagram for more photography! @vivianapodinaphotography

Gluten Free Cardamom Crepes

Heyyy.

So I have a few recipes up my sleeve that I tried in the past couple months and I wanted to share with you guys.

This first one is super easy and doesn’t actually have a real recipe per se.

I usually make pancakes on Sunday mornings, but I wanted to try making crepes instead, using Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake flour that I always use. I actually have an additional recipe, straight from my great-aunt, from scratch, that I’ll be sharing later.

For now, though, this one is very simple and delicious. Check it:

Ingredients

(Makes ~8 crepes or pancakes)
1 cup Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake Mix
1 egg
1 tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup water
cinnamon and cardamom to taste
Fruits, honey, whipped cream for toppings

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Heat a non-stick pan on high (if you don’t have one, just use spray oil before every crepe) and pour your batter one scoop at a time. Swivel your pan to spread the batter as thinly as you can without breaking. You can also use your ladle to help you out with this if the batter is too thick.
  3. Chop your fruits. Optionally, you can mix them with your honey and set aside while you make the crepes. Stuff your crepes with fruits and roll up, then top with whipped cream or more honey and fruits.

 

Carrot Cake Snowballs

Like just about all of my great recipes, I found this one on Foodgawker and it looked so delicious and so easy, I said LET’S DO IT!

I’m not a huge fan of carrot cake – but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the vast majority of American desserts. I find that most of them taste like sugar on steroids rather than actual flavor. However, this one has that middle eastern twist and I can deal with that.

They involve pitted dates, but given that I live within 5 minutes of a middle eastern grocery store, I have something better – DATE PASTE. No need to get your blender sticky with dates.

This recipe also contains cashews – my new favorite nut, by the way. I only had salted cashews, so I rinsed them before I pulverized them in my Ninja blender. I also gave the oats a spin in there. If you’re using a package of date paste, I suggest doubling up on the other ingredients.

My altered recipe is below:

Ingredients

  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 13 oz date paste (1 package)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • zest from 1/2 orange and freshly squeeze juice from said orange
  • desiccated coconut for rolling

Directions

  1. Peel and wash your carrots. Grate your carrots.
  2. Rinse your cashews if they’re salted. Pop them in a blender 1/4 cup at a time and burst blend them until they’re between coarse and fine.
  3. Blend your oatmeal as well. You don’t want a fine powder, but you do want everything to be about the same size.
  4. In a large bowl, combine carrots, date paste, oats, spices, salt, zest of an orange, and the juice if your orange together. You can of course opt to do this in a blender, but why clean more than you need to? Use your hands to mix together well.
  5. In a separate bowl, add coconut. Form your snowballs into balls and roll around in coconut.
  6. Pop the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving, to firm up.

Vegetarian Fettucine Alfredo

It’s still Lent season, but this was not a Lent-friendly dish. However, it was a dish I made twice and one that had absolutely no leftovers, twice.

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Who knew fettucine alfredo was so easy to make? I mostly followed a video from Tasty on 4 ways to make fettucine and went with the second version in. But of course, I altered it.

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Here’s my version, a Vegetarian Fettucine Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 1 package fettucine pasta
  • 2 packages of baby bella mushrooms; or 1 pack of 4 portobellos, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced (no number because I like a lot but some ppl only like a little)
  • half a bunch of spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive or grapeseed oil

Directions

  1. Fill a large pot about 3/4 of the way up, add about 1 tbsp salt and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until you’re satisfied with how cooked it is. A lot of people like their pasta “al dente” aka firm to the bite. I don’t because I think that’s stupid and undercooked, so I like mine to cook a little longer but not so long that it starts disintegrating.
  2. Drain your pasta and set aside.
  3. With medium-high heat on, in the pot you used to boil your pasta, add about 2-3 tbsp of oil, chopped onions and garlic. Cook until they JUST start to get translucent, then add your tomatoes and sliced mushrooms. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Once the mushrooms start to shrink, about 3-4 minutes, add in your spinach. After your spinach is no longer crisp, add in your heavy whipping cream, simmer for about 2-3 minutes then add in parsley and stir.
  5. Turn off the heat and add in your pasta, mix together well. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve!

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Tasty video for those who like cooking visuals like me:

Moroccan Veggie Stew with Turmeric Basmati Rice

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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