"I Live to think for myself. I refuse to be a mindless sheep following the crowd into cookie-cutter oblivion. Otherwise I'd just be a zombie with no heart or passion in life" - Hervey Taylor IV


Thursday, July 19, 2012

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I've never posted about food before but I'm thinking maybe I should start. If there is one thing I love in this world, it's food. Maybe a little too much. I love it so much that if I had enough money and knew I would be successful business owner, I would drop out of the sciences and open up my own bakery. The muffin, scone, bagel, cupcake type of bakery. But alas, the economy is horrible and I am in no position to start a business nor am I a good enough cook to achieve excellent success.

But I do love to cook. Food is so much a part of our culture and who we are as human beings. It's what we do when we get together with friends. It's what you we do when family comes to visit. It's what we do when you have a good day and want to celebrate with something special or when you have a bad day and need a little pick me up. Food is pretty freakin fantastic.

It's gotten harder though as I grow up and move on in the world though. Food takes time to prepare... and time is not something I find readily. And sooo much food is not good for you. But lets be real with ourselves. It's not logical to cut out all of the unhealthy things we eat. That is just asking way too much. Balance and smarter cooking I think are the keys. So lately I've decided to try and maximize my food and stay healthier while also being practical with my time.

I've had several people ask me about this dish and I happened to make it today so I decided to post it on here. It's absolutely fantastic. I found it on yummly.com which is one of my all time favorite sites when it comes to looking up recipes. That and pinterest of course. You can find just about anything you could imagine on yummly and you can tailor your search to a specific food item or even to a specific calorie amount that you're looking for.

This particular recipe is called Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas. If you've never actually made gnocchi, you are missing out. You can make them homemade which I hear is excellent or you can be lazy (like me!) and purchase them from any grocery store. All they are are dumplings. Magical little potato pillows of goodness. And they are ridiculously easy to prepare from the package.

After all of this healthy talk I just threw at you, I'm going to give you a recipe that isn't the healthiest thing in the world. It has quite a few carbs (hello, they're made from potatoes!) and higher in fat but relatively low in calories. So it is one of those meals you make every once in a while... not every day.

So here is the recipe, and as I find good delicious things to make I'll put them up on my blog and let you know.

 Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas

1 cup of frozen peas that have been thawed
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 tsp of hot red pepper flakes (I use more... a lot more because I like firey, spicy food but be careful because it can get hot fast)
1 garlic clove smashed... or 2 or 3 really. You really cannot go wrong with garlic.
1/4 tsp salt
3 packed cups of baby spinach
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 lb gnocchi
1/4 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese

Simmer the peas, cream, red pepper flakes, garlic and salt in a covered skillet for just about 5 minutes until the peas start to get tender. Remove the lid, add your spinach and cook on medium-low heat until your spinach is wilted. It looks like a lot of spinach at first but spinach cooks down crazy small. Remove from the heat and add in your lemon juice and lemon zest.

At the same time, boil your gnocchi in salted water until al dente. About 2 minutes after they start to float to the top. Save some of the pasta water and drain the gnocchi. Add the gnocchi to your peas and spinach mixture. Toss together and add extra pasta water to coat make sure everything is evenly coated. Top with your parmesan cheese.

And that is it folks. Easiest meal ever and never takes me more than 15-20 minutes. I always save the leftovers and they make pretty decent lunches for work. Keep in mind gnocchi is much better freshly made than re-heated... but hey, it beats a sandwich for lunch!

Nutrition (per serving - 4 servings total)
Calories: 326
Fat: 14 g
Carbohydrates: 46 g
Protein: 10 g

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