DDD #152 – Vegan Mushroom Pate

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2020

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Vegan Mushroom Pate

INGREDIENTS

3 TBS vegan butter

1 small onion or several shallots – diced

1 lb or more of mushrooms – sliced

4 garlic cloves – minced

5 oz vegan cream cheese

1 TBS chopped rosemary (or thyme or fried sage)

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter in a large saute pan.  Cook the onion over med-low heat until soft.  Add the mushrooms & herbs & saute until most of the moisture is out of the mushrooms.  Add the garlic & salt & pepper.  Saute a minute & then transfer to a food processor.  Add the cream cheese and S&P & puree.

Chill & serve.

 

 

DDD #90 – Vegan Fried Sage and Mushroom Cream Pasta Sauce with Orecchiette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Ok – this pasta.  A Facebook friend requested it & I could not believe I had not already posted the recipe.  This dish is an old regular of mine from 25 years ago & there is a funny story that goes with it.  I used to make it all the time at home & for company & many of my friends had asked for the recipe.  One day, my then boyfriend & I were served a mushroom cream pasta dish at my friend Angie’s.  My boyfriend took one taste & looked at me and said, “Babe!  This is amazing!  You have to ask for her recipe!”

Yeah.  Well – it WAS my recipe.  The only difference was that she added salt to hers & I was still brainwashed into thinking using salt was a capital sin.   I learned that lesson well that day & now I consider salt a genuine ingredient in most things – not just a forgettable & optional seasoning.  There are all kinds of fancy salts widely available now, too, and some even have healthy benefits.  Pink Himalayan salt, for example, boasts these benefits:

(from http://fitlife.tv/10-amazing-benefits-of-pink-himalayan-salt/)

  • Create an electrolyte balance
  • Increases hydration
  • Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells
  • Balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux
  • Prevent muscle cramping
  • Aid in proper metabolism functioning
  • Strengthen bones
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Help the intestines absorb nutrients
  • Prevent goiters
  • Improve circulation
  • Dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins

So, yeah – use salt.   Salt is not just a flavor unto itself.  It also brings out & enhances other flavors.  Trust me.  Too much is awful but just the right amount is magic.

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Vegan Fried Sage and Mushroom Cream Pasta Sauce with Orecchiette

Feeds 2 very well

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pasta cooked according to package instructions

Olive oil

10 or more fresh sage leaves

1 lb mushrooms (of nearly any variety or mix) – sliced

2 shallots – chopped

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1 cup (or more) vegan dairy (a combo of non-dairy milk & some vegan soft cheese of your choice)

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan

Salt & pepper to taste

Parsley – chopped as garnish (it adds a lot of flavor!)

Extra Parmesan for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta.  Reserve about a cup of the pasta water (in case you need it to thin your sauce later) & drain the pasta.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil over med-high heat & fry the sage a few minutes.  It need not brown.  Drain on paper towels.

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Add the mushrooms & about a tsp of salt & raise the heat to high.  The salt will help the mushrooms release their moisture.  Stir the mushrooms occasionally – letting them get seared.  When they are nice & brown – add about another TBS of olive oil & the shallots & garlic.  Fry for about 2 minutes & then add the vegan dairy & Parmesan.   Crumble the fried sage & add that to the sauce.  Bring to a boil & then lower to a simmer.  It should thicken very quickly.  Use more cream & cheese if you want a pasta with more sauce.  Add some pasta water if it gets too thick.   When it is the consistency of a heavy cream sauce – season to taste with salt & pepper.  Add the pasta, stir to combine & serve it up.  Garnish liberally with chopped parsley & maybe more Parmesan.

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DDD #88 – Garlic Roasted “Simon & Garfunkel” Mushrooms with Mixed Herbs – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

I love mushrooms.  This dish is very simple and could be tossed with pasta or dropped onto a pizza or crostini or over potatoes.  I used all button mushrooms but any variety or combination of various mushrooms would be lovely.  Mushrooms shrink a lot when they are cooked so you should probably make more than you think you need.

Garlic Roasted “Simon & Garfunkel” Mushrooms with Mixed Herbs – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs mushrooms – sliced

Olive oil

2+ garlic cloves – sliced

1-2 TBS each: thyme, sage, rosemary

Fresh chopped parsley as garnish

(If you are feeling fancy, drizzle some nice balsamic on them – or a bit of truffle oil)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the mushrooms with a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic, sage, rosemary & thyme.

Cook for about 45 minutes – stirring once.  Season with S&P & garnish with parsley.  If using balsamic or truffle oil – get on that & then eat this yummy guys!

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DDD #87 – Vegan Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Fried Sage

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is another super easy & healthy one!  I used sweet potatoes but any orange squash would also work.  No dairy in this at all & it still tastes so decadent!  If you own a blender – you can make this in less than 30 minutes.   The sauce can be used as it is here – over pasta – but if you added a bit more stock or some non-dairy milk or vegan heavy cream – you would have a delightful soup!  Or – leave it thick & make ravioli.  Or slather some in a white lasagna.  Mmmmm!

 

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Vegan Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Fried Sage

Serves 4 well

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta (if you use less pasta – see notes above about how to re-purpose the extra sauce)

2 TBS olive oil

1 package or bunch of fresh sage

1 large sweet potato (2 lbs or so – or 3 cups) – peeled & cubed

1 medium onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS (or less – if heat bothers you) crushed red pepper

2 cups vegetable stock

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain your pasta – but reserve about a cup of the hot pasta water.  Toss the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking.  Set aside.

Over medium heat – warm the oil in a large saute pan & fry the sage.   Be careful not to burn it (it should not brown in the pan).  After 2 minutes or so – drain it on papers towels & set aside.

In the same pan, add the onions.  Once softened, add the sweet potato, garlic & crushed red pepper.  Stir for one minute & then add the stock.  Bring to a boil & boil until your sweet potato is soft.

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Being careful not to burn yourself, puree the sweet potato mixture.  Season liberally with S&P (to taste).   Put the noodles in the pan you cooked the sweet potatoes in.  Spoon only as much of the sweet potato puree onto it so you get a light cover.  You don’t want to drown the pasta.  I had a lot of puree left over from the 1/2 pound of pasta I cooked & I will make it into soup (see notes above the recipe).  If it gets too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water – a bit at a time.

Plate the pasta & crumble sage on it.  Garnish with fresh cracked pepper & maybe some vegan Parmesan.

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DDD # 62 – Vegan Apple & Sage Stuffing

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

This is super easy & really quite delicious.  I used a spice called Bell’s Seasoning – but I think this might only be available in the Northeast.  If so – just use poultry seasoning.

So – no fanfare today.  So much to do.  To eat.  To drink.  So I will just get on with the recipe.

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Vegan Apple Sage Stuffing 

INGREDIENTS

7 cups cubed bread (even gluten-free bread if you like)

1/2 cup diced shallots (or onion)

5 celery stalks – chopped

1 Golden Delicious apple (or any apple) – diced

10-20 sage leaves

olive oil

2 cups non-dairy, unsweetened milk

4 TBS vegan butter

1 tsp Bell Seasoning (or poultry seasoning)

1 tsp dry sage

1 tsp each S&P

2 vegan egg replacements (or other vegan alternative – like – 1/2 cup pureed silken tofu)

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DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the cubed bread in a large bowl.

Heat a TBS or two of olive oil in a large pan.  Saute the shallots/onion & celery until soft.  Add the apple & heat through.  Add this to the bread.

Add another TBS of olive oil to the same pan & fry the sage leaves until they begin to brown – turning them a few times.  Drain on a paper towel, crumble them & add to the bread.

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Melt the butter in another pan & add the milk.  Warm it & add the spices.  Add this to the bread.  Add the eggs to the bread & stir to combine well.

Grease a casserole dish with butter or cooking spray.  Put the stuffing in there & bake, covered, at 350 for 45 minutes.

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Remove the cover & bake another 20 minutes or so – until the top is crusty & golden.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!

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Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Fried Sage (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Pretty much everybody has a pumpkin or two around at this time of year.  After they have served their Halloween purpose – there are a lot of great reasons to re-purpose them.  Reason number one – fresh pumpkin puree (seen above).  That can be used in many recipes – soup, pasta sauce, pie filling, panna cottagnocchi, dog biscuits, dog treats, and even as a healthy additive to your dog’s dinner.  Pumpkin is a great canine diarrhea cure.   You can toast the seeds (seen blow) as a healthy snack.  The recipe for toasting the seeds is HERE.

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So – today I made this dish.  It is delicately flavored & creamy & delicious.  I made this vegan but real cheese would also be nice.  You could use canned pumpkin but I made mine fresh.

Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Puree

INGREDIENTS

Fresh pumpkin (I used two small pie pumpkins & got about 4 cups of puree from them)

Water

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the tops off & then pumpkins in half (or quarter them, if your pumpkin is large), seed them (keeping the seeds for roasting!) & roast for about 40-50 minutes or until the skin is soft & the meat is fork tender.

Let them cool a bit & then scoop out the meat & puree in a food processor or blender.  I added about 1 cup of water to mine to thin it enough to blend.  Add a bit of S&P.

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Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Fried Sage (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta – cooked & drained

3 cups pumpkin puree (recipe above – or canned unsweetened)

20 fresh sage leaves

4 oz (vegan) cream cheese

1/4 – 1/2 cup of (vegan) Parmesan

1 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)

2 TBS (vegan) butter (or olive oil)

2-5 oz coconut milk

1 – 3 tsp crushed red pepper (optional or to taste)

S&P

Potential garnish: some reserved fried & crumbled sage, chopped parsley, grated (vegan) cheese or Parmesan

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DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter & fry the sage a few minutes being careful not to burn it.  Drain them on a paper towel.

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Add the pumpkin puree to the sage butter & add the rest of the ingredients – except the coconut milk – and maybe reserving some fried sage for garnish.  Once the other ingredients are combined – add as much coconut milk as you like – either to taste or to achieve the level of creaminess you desire.  My puree was pretty thin so I only added about 2 oz of coconut milk.  Season with S&P.

Add the pasta & heat through.

Serve with garnish of choice.

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DDD #88 – Garlic Roasted “Simon & Garfunkel” Mushrooms with Mixed Herbs – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I love mushrooms.  This dish is very simple and could be tossed with pasta or dropped onto a pizza or even served on top of a piece of meat.  I used all button mushrooms but any variety or combination of various mushrooms would be lovely.  Mushrooms shrink a lot when they are cooked so you should probably make more than you think you need.

Garlic Roasted “Simon & Garfunkel” Mushrooms with Mixed Herbs – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs mushrooms – sliced

Olive oil

2+ garlic cloves – sliced

1-2 TBS each: thyme, sage, rosemary

Fresh chopped parsley as garnish

(If you are feeling fancy, drizzle some nice balsamic on them – or a bit of truffle oil)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the mushrooms with a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic, sage, rosemary & thyme.

Cook for about 45 minutes – stirring once.  Season with S&P & garnish with parsley.  If using balsamic or truffle oil – get on that & then eat this yummy guys!

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Vegan Sausage, Broccoli & Cheese Quiche with Tofu & Fried Sage

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This quiche is very dense with the vegan sausage – and it was quite tasty!  I bet if you told someone it was egg whites rather than tofu – you could fool a bunch of folks.  You might not want so much sausage in yours and – if that is true – just use more broccoli to make up the gap.

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Vegan Sausage, Broccoli & Cheese Quiche with Tofu & Fried Sage

INGREDIENTS

1 lb extra firm tofu

14 oz vegan sausage (I used Lightlife Gimme Lean)

1/2 large onion – diced

1 small head broccoli – chopped

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

3 (or more) slices cheese of your choice (I used Field Roast Chao Tomato Cayenne)

10-15 sage leaves

1 vegan pie crust

5-10 cherry tomatoes – quartered

Olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 1 TBS olive oil to a pan & flash fry (just a minute or so) – the sage – being sure not to burn it (see above photo).  Drain on paper towels.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large frying pan & brown the sausage.  Add the onion & saute a few minutes & then add the broccoli & saute until the broccoli is softened.

In a blender or food processor – pulse the tofu, jalapeno, cheese, fried sage & some S&P until well blended.  Add this to the sausage & broccoli & mix well.

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Press the crust into a pan & fill with the sausage etc.  Crinkle the edges – if you care to – and top with tomato pieces.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the crust is nice & golden.  My oven heats unevenly – hence the unevenly cooked crust.

Let it sit 10 minutes before cutting into it.

Devour!

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3-Mushroom, Zucchini & Fried Sage Pizza with Blue Cheese and Fresh Mozzarella

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I must admit – some dishes are harder to make look pretty than others & my troubles are compounded by a full-time job that means I can only photograph things early, before work, or late – after work.  I am certainly not going to make a pizza at 8am & – honestly – the light at 8pm sucks.  So – many of my photos lately have been a tad underwhelming & I find that very depressing.  But – I do not have the luxury of a blog that earns me any money so – this is just a reality I am having to deal with – the fact that I am in a challenging food photography world for a while.

It is especially disappointing when the dish is as outrageously delicious at this pizza was.  I like to go light on cheeses so this pizza looks sorta dark & not as pretty as others I have made but – if you like mushrooms – you are in for a treat.  As one of my three mushrooms – I used this jarred sauce here:

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I have to say – I am not a fan of jarred sauces (Rao’s Arrabbiata as a notable exception) but this stuff here is a revelation!   It is heavily saturated with the flavor of porcini mushrooms.  I recommend it highly.

My second mushroom element was a last minute drizzle of truffle oil – after the pizza came out of the oven.

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My third mushroom element was just a handful of sliced mushrooms sauted in olive oil with some thinly sliced zucchini.

I used a new recipe for the pizza dough.  It came from How Sweet It is – and is intended expressly for a very thin crust.  It is an easy no–rise dough & I found it wonderful.  The recipe is HERE.

I used two kinds of cheese simply because I had them.  If you don’t like blue cheese – skip it.

Fried sage rounded out the flavors & gave this pizza an autumnal flavor.  Sage is a perfect companion for mushrooms so – if you haven’t tried it – you must.

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3-Mushroom, Zucchini & Fried Sage Pizza with Blue Cheese and Fresh Mozzarella

(quantities of each are up to you – to suit your taste)

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough of your choice (I used THIS)

Mushroom pasta sauce

Truffle oil

Sliced mushrooms

Sliced zucchini

Fresh sage

Olive oil

Crumbled blue cheese

Fresh mozzarella – sliced

S&P

Crushed red pepper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Prepare the dough & roll out some to a pizza of shape & size that you determine.

With a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a pan – fry the sage a few minutes – being careful not to burn it.  Drain on a paper towel.

Add the mushrooms & zucchini to the pan with a few pinches of S&P.  Saute on high until soft.

Put your dough on a cooking sheet (covered with parchment paper – highly recommended – or greased).  Top with sauce, vegetables, sage and cheeses.

Cook for about 10-15 minutes – depending on your oven & how done you like your crust & cheese. When it looks read – take it out & drizzle with truffle oil.  Add some crushed red pepper – if you like – and eat the whole fucking thing alone.  I did!

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Vegan Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Fried Sage

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is another super easy & healthy one!  I used sweet potatoes but any orange squash would also work.  No dairy in this at all & it still tastes so decadent!  If you own a blender – you can make this in 30 minutes.   The sauce can be used as it is here – over pasta – but if you added a bit more stock or some milk or heavy cream – you would have a delightful soup!  Or – leave it thick & make ravioli.  Or slather some in a white lasagna.  Mmmmm!

I used these fresh (non-vegan) egg noodles I got from an Asian market but any pasta at all works in this.

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Vegan Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Fried Sage

Serves 4 well

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta (if you use less pasta – see notes above about how to re-purpose the extra sauce)

2 TBS olive oil

1 package or bunch of fresh sage

1 large sweet potato (2 lbs or so – or 3 cups) – peeled & cubed

1 medium onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS (or less – if heat bothers you) crushed red pepper

2 cups vegetable stock

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain your pasta – but reserve about a cup of the hot pasta water.  Toss the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking.  Set aside.

Over medium heat – warm the oil in a large saute pan & fry the sage.   Be careful not to burn it (it should not brown in the pan).  After 2 minutes or so – drain it on papers towels & set aside.

In the same pan, add the onions.  Once softened, add the sweet potato, garlic & crushed red pepper.  Stir for one minute & then add the stock.  Bring to a boil & boil until your sweet potato is soft.

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Being careful not to burn yourself, puree the sweet potato mixture.  Season liberally with S&P (to taste).   Put the noodles in the pan you cooked the sweet potatoes in.  Spoon only as much of the sweet potato puree onto it so you get a light cover.  You don’t want to drown the pasta.  I had a lot of puree left over from the 1/2 pound of pasta I cooked & I will make it into soup (see notes above the recipe).  If it gets too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water – a bit at a time.

Plate the pasta & crumble sage on it.  Garnish with fresh cracked pepper & maybe some grated Parmesan (or vegan alternative).

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Fried Sage and Mushroom Cream Pasta Sauce with Orecchiette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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First of all – I want to point out some new eggs I found.  I am not vegan – though I wish I were & will likely be one day – but until then, I feel real guilt whenever I buy cheese and especially when I buy eggs.  Free-range is a bullshit fraud.   Watch THIS video (sad but not graphic) of a bunch of free-range hens being released to a sanctuary & tell me that you think they led happy lives.   They clearly did not.

So, I have been buying pastured eggs & paying about a dollar each for them.  That is OK – because I don’t eat a lot of eggs & I am happy to have my money support genuinely humane farming practices.  So – imagine my delight when I saw this brand of eggs selling for about $6 a dozen.

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Vital Farms even includes the above little flyer explaining the lives of their ladies.  I love that they call them ladies.  Anyway – assuming they are not pulling off some elaborate hoax – these guys seem to be a good source for eggs that come from happy chickens.  I got mine at a local Ralph’s but their site lists other venders.  Look for one near you!

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Ok – onto this pasta.  A Facebook friend requested it & I could not believe I had not already posted the recipe.  This dish is an old regular of mine from 25 years ago & there is a funny story that goes with it.  I used to make it all the time at home & for company & many of my friends had asked for the recipe.  One day, my then boyfriend & I were served a mushroom cream pasta dish at my friend Angie’s.  My boyfriend took one taste & looked at me and said, “Babe!  This is amazing!  You have to ask for her recipe!”

Yeah.  Well – it WAS my recipe.  The only difference was that she added salt to hers & I was still brainwashed into thinking using salt was a capital sin.   I learned that lesson well that day & now I consider salt a genuine ingredient in most things – not just a forgettable & optional seasoning.  There are all kinds of fancy salts widely available now, too, and some even have healthy benefits.  Pink Himalayan salt, for example, boasts these benefits:

(from http://fitlife.tv/10-amazing-benefits-of-pink-himalayan-salt/)

  • Create an electrolyte balance
  • Increases hydration
  • Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells
  • Balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux
  • Prevent muscle cramping
  • Aid in proper metabolism functioning
  • Strengthen bones
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Help the intestines absorb nutrients
  • Prevent goiters
  • Improve circulation
  • Dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins

 

So, yeah – use salt.   Salt is not just a flavor unto itself.  It also brings out & enhances other flavors.  Trust me.  Too much is awful but just the right amount is magic.

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Fried Sage and Mushroom Cream Pasta Sauce with Orecchiette

Feeds 2 very well

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound pasta cooked according to package instructions

Olive oil

10 or more fresh sage leaves

1 lb mushrooms (of nearly any variety or mix) – sliced

2 shallots – chopped

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1 cup heavy cream (more if you want a heavier cream sauce) – or vegan alternative

1/4 cup grated Parmesan – (more if you want a heavier cream sauce) – or vegan alternative

Salt & pepper to taste

Parsley – chopped as garnish (it adds a lot of flavor!)

Extra Parmesan for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta.  Reserve about a cup of the pasta water (in case you need it to thin your sauce later) & drain the pasta.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil over med-high heat & fry the sage a few minutes.  It need not brown.  Drain on paper towels.

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Add the mushrooms & about a tsp of salt & raise the heat to high.  The salt will help the mushrooms release their moisture.  Stir the mushrooms occasionally – letting them get seared.  When they are nice & brown – add about another TBS of olive oil & the shallots & garlic.  Fry for about 2 minutes & then add the cream & Parmesan.   Crumble the fried sage & add that to the sauce.  Bring to a boil & then lower to a simmer.  It should thicken very quickly.  Use more cream & cheese if you want a pasta with more sauce.  Add some pasta water if it gets too thick.   When it is the consistency of a heavy cream sauce – season to taste with salt & pepper.  Add the pasta, stir to combine & serve it up.  Garnish liberally with chopped parsley & maybe more Parmesan.

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Vegan Carrot and Sage Soup – Easiest Soup Ever!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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 Another crazy easy recipe & it is seriously yummy & guilt-free.  This can be made with so many other veggies, too.  Instead of carrots, you could substitute them with squash or broccoli or pumpkin or sweet potatoes.  Sage adds a real depth to this so I really recommend you include it.

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Vegan Carrot and Sage Soup – Easiest Soup Ever!

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs carrots – cut into chunks

1 large onion – cut into chunks

Olive oil

1 cup (or one bunch) fresh sage – chopped

1 tsp each of S&P

6 cups of vegetable stock

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DIRECTIONS

If you want to, you can put a glug or two of olive oil into a stock pot & saute the onion until it softens but this step can be skipped.

If you wanna just cut to the chase, simply boil all the ingredients together (skipping the olive oil) until the carrots are soft.

Puree in increments in a blender – being VERY careful not to burn yourself.  Season with S&P.

Eat.

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Fried Sage and Mushroom Pizza – A Vegetarian or Vegan Thanksgiving Alternative

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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What can what say about pizza except, “Yes, please!”?

I love pizza.  I love sage.  I love mushrooms.  WTF?  Why haven’t I posted this pizza before?

I usually make my own sauce but this particular Rao’s is like crack for me & I use it when I am feeling very lazy, in a hurry or if I just don’t have the ingredients to make a sauce.

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It has a genuine kick & a great texture and I can literally eat it cold out of the jar with a spoon.  It is $$ but it is SO worth it!

I made my own dough (and always do) but I use this pizza dough recipe from SAVEUR – though I just dump all the ingredients into my bread machine (without letting the yeast do its thing) and I let the machine knead.  I also tend to use the dough the same day – but it makes enough for at least 4 individual pizzas so it takes a few days for me to get through it all.  If making your own dough is not your idea of fun – use your favorite store version.

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With many recipes, the quantity of each ingredient really depends on one’s personal preferences.  I like spicy food & I like thin crust pizza with toppings that do not overwhelm.  You might like a marinara or a thick pizza & triple cheese.  So – I will just tell you what I used – without strict quantities listed – and you make this bad boy to suit your own tastes.  The flavors here are reminiscent of the traditional Thanksgiving tastes – and nobody has to die!

Fried Sage and Mushroom Pizza

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I use THIS recipe)

Sauce (I used Rao’s Arrabbiata)

A handful of mushrooms – sliced

Garlic cloves (I left mine whole but you can chop yours)

Fresh sage

Butter or olive oil

S&P

Mozzarella cheese (fresh in water is best but I used the cheap grated shit & it was delicious) – or vegan alternative

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DIRECTIONS

Get your oven all the way to 450-500 degrees.  Full temp is important.

Melt 1-2 TBS butter or olive oil over medium-high heat & fry the sage for about a minute.  Do not burn it.  It should still look green & even still seems soft.  Remove the sage leaves with tongs or a slotted spoon & drain them on paper towels.  Raise the heat to high & fry the mushrooms and garlic in the sage-infused butter/oil.  Cook them until they are to your liking.   Set aside.

Roll out the dough to your preferred thickness.  Put it on some kind of cooking sheet.  I use a really cheap, old, round pizza pan topped with parchment paper but I could just treat it with cooking spray.  I have come to really love parchment paper, though, because nothing seems to stick to it & it because it looks pretty when it comes out of the oven.

I pre-cooked my crust after brushing it with olive oil (as you can see in the images) but I don’t really recommend that unless you are topping your pizza as lightly as you would a flatbread.  Just top it raw.

Add some sauce, mushrooms, sage & cheese.  I left my sage whole but can crumble yours, if you prefer.

Bake 8-12 minutes or until it is cooked to your liking.

Slice it up.  Eat it.  Make another.  Eat that, too.  Fuck it!  It is the holidays!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!

Marilyn Monroe circa 1951 ** I.V.

Marilyn Monroe circa 1951 ** I.V.

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Roasted Pumpkin Lasagna with Red Chard and Fried Sage Bechamel (with Homemade Pumpkin Puree)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This recipe requires a few steps but all are pretty easy & the result is an impressive crowd pleaser.  I roasted a couple of pumpkins myself but you could use canned pumpkin with little change in the result.  The only real difference is that canned pumpkin doesn’t come with seeds & I am going to post a roasted pumpkin seed recipe next & they are SO FRIGGING YUMMY – you will definitely be missing out if you do not try them.

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Roasted Pumpkin Lasagna with Red Chard and Fried Sage Bechamel (with Homemade Pumpkin Puree)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 – 1 lb lasagna noodles (I used about 10-12 noodles)

3 cups pumpkin puree (recipe for homemade is below)

16 oz ricotta cheese

1 bunch red chard (or rainbow or green chard or kale) – thick ribs cut out

1-2 TBS crushed red pepper (optional)

1+ cups grated Parmesan

1+ cups grated mozzarella

S&P

for the bechamel

4 cups milk (I used almond milk)

7 TBS butter

6 TBS flour

1 large bunch of fresh sage

Pinch of nutmeg

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the lasagna noodles for about half the time recommended for them to be al dente and – being sure to reserve the boiling water – scoop them out & run cold water over them in a colander.  Maybe toss with a touch of olive oil to be sure they don’t get sticky.

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Plunge the greens you are using into the hot water & let them sit 2-3 minutes.  Drain & chop them & set aside.

Melt 1 TBS of the butter in a small saute pan & fry the sage leaves for about 1 minute of med-high heat.  Do not brown it.  Drain the sage on a paper towel & set aside.

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Melt the remaining 6 TBS butter in the same pan in which you fried the sage (to take advantage of all the lovely sage flavor) & then transfer it into a stock pot large enough to hold 5 cups of milk.

Set the heat at med-low & whisk in the flour.  Keep whisking until the mixture smells nutty & takes on the color of light sand – about 6-7 minutes.

Meanwhile – in another pot – warm the milk but do not boil it.  Add the milk to the flour & butter roux – one cup at a time – and whisk until smooth & thick.  Reserve a few sage leaves for garnish & then crumble the rest into the bechamel.  Bring to a boil – whisking the entire time.  In 5-10 minutes – remove from heat, add some S&P and the nutmeg & set aside.

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To make assembly easier – I blended the ricotta & pumpkin puree in my food processor.  This isn’t necessary but ricotta tends to be thick & hard to spread so blending it with the puree makes spreading easier & assures an even distribution.

Treat a small lasagna pan with cooking spray & assemble the lasagna.  Put 1/4 of the sage bechamel in the bottom of the pan & top with a layer of noodles.  Layer 1/2 of the ricotta & pumpkin & top with 1/2 of the greens & a sprinkling of crushed red pepper.  Add another 1/4 of the bechamel & another layer of noodles.  Top this with the other 1/2 of the pumpkin/ricotta and the other 1/2 of the greens.  Add more crushed red pepper – if you like – and maybe some S&P.  Add another 1/4 of the bechamel & another layer of noodles.  Top with the rest of the bechamel & spread the Parmesan & mozzarella on top.  Garnish with a few sage leaves.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling & beginning to brown.  Let the lasagna rest about ten minutes & then start hacking into it & shoving it into your pie hole.  Mmmmmm!  Autumn!

Oh!  And in the interest of full disclosure – the pictures I used here of the lasagna on a plate is really TWO pieces of lasagna stacked on top of each other.  You can do this when you serve it – if the deeper lasagna appeals to you visually.

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Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Puree

INGREDIENTS

Fresh pumpkin (I used two small pie pumpkins & got about 4 cups of puree from them)

Water

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the tops off & then pumpkins in half (or quarter them, if your pumpkin is large), seed them (keeping the seeds for roasting!  I will post a recipe for that next) & roast for about 40-50 minutes or until the skin is soft & the meat is fork tender.

Let them cool a bit & then scoop out the meat & puree in a food processor or blender.  I added about 1 cup of water to mine to thin it enough to blend.  Add a bit of S&P.

This puree is REALLY good for dogs & can be a miracle cure for doggy diarrhea if you add some to their food.  Just FYI.

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Vegetarian/Vegan Apple Sage Stuffing

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is super easy & really quite delicious.  I used a spice called Bell’s Seasoning –

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but I think this might only be available in the Northeast.  If so – just use poultry seasoning.

So – no fanfare today.  So much to do.  To eat.  To drink.  So I will just get on with the recipe.

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Vegetarian/Vegan Apple Sage Stuffing 

INGREDIENTS

7 cups cubed bread (even gluten-free bread if you like)

1/2 cup diced shallots (or onion)

5 celery stalks – chopped

1 Golden Delicious apple (or any apple) – diced

10-20 sage leaves

olive oil

2 cups non-dairy, unsweetened milk

4 TBS vegan butter

1 tsp Bell Seasoning (or poultry seasoning)

1 tsp dry sage

1 tsp each S&P

2 vegan egg replacements (or other vegan alternative – like – 1/2 cup pureed silken tofu)

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DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the cubed bread in a large bowl.

Heat a TBS or two of olive oil in a large pan.  Saute the shallots/onion & celery until soft.  Add the apple & heat through.  Add this to the bread.

Add another TBS of olive oil to the same pan & fry the sage leaves until they begin to brown – turning them a few times.  Drain on a paper towel, crumble them & add to the bread.

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Melt the butter in another pan & add the milk.  Warm it & add the spices.  Add this to the bread.  Add the eggs to the bread & stir to combine well.

Grease a casserole dish with butter or cooking spray.  Put the stuffing in there & bake, covered, at 350 for 45 minutes.

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Remove the cover & bake another 20 minutes or so – until the top is crusty & golden.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!

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Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi with Three Sauces: Orange Cream, Pumpkin-Sage & Pistachio Pesto

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I used a 29 oz can of pumpkin for this recipe & it made a BOATLOAD of gnocchi.  Gnocchi is pronounced “Nyawkki,” for those that are unsure.

At any rate – this recipe will produce three cookie sheets of raw gnocchi – like this:

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I would say each of those sheets represents four very healthy servings.  You might want to cut this recipe in half.  Not wanting to turn orange from pumpkin consumption, I opted to freeze the bulk of these.  To do that, I put the entire cookie sheet in the freezer & when the gnocchi were frozen solid, I chipped them off the cookie sheet & put them in individual zip lock bags – each containing a single serving.  To cook frozen gnocchi – put them in boiling water directly from the freezer & boil until they float to the top.  If you let them thaw first, they will become a gooey mess.

Another note, these gnocchi are vegan.  In the past, I have made potato gnocchi & they required eggs.  These do not & I like any opportunity to skip the use of eggs & dairy (though there is lots of dairy in two of the sauces).  However, the resulting gnocchi were more dense than the potato variety – even though I was careful not to over flour them & even rolled & cut the dough while it was still a bit tacky.  I am not sure if that is true because of the lack of eggs or maybe the wet pumpkin just combines differently than baked potato – but – just know these are pretty substantial – maybe even a tad chewy.  I will make potato ones soon, which come out a bit lighter.

As to the sauces I made – I wanted to avoid the traditional fried sage & brown butter sauce, mainly because it is how pumpkin things are always served.  These sauces might have photographed better with a white gnocchi beneath them (especially the green pistachio pesto which wasn’t pretty on the orange gnocchi) – so do not be thrown by the images here.  I must confess, I underachieved in the photography department here partly because I had color combos that were not ideal and, primarily, because I had three different gnocchi to photograph & I wanted to EAT them before they got cold.  I had my friend Mike taste all three sauces with me.  He liked the lemony pistachio pesto & the orange cream best.  I thought the orange cream was a tad sweet, despite the fact that there is no sugar added.  Maybe the California Cutie I used was too sweet for this recipe – and a regular orange would have been better.

I liked the pumpkin cream sauce but, in the future, will add much more fried sage (which I can eat like chips).  I liked the pistachio pesto – but I think it might be better served with a more neutral flavored gnocchi.  All the sauces are VERY easy to make & all would do well over pasta – so – if they sound good to you but an hour of rolling gnocchi does not – just open a box of penne or something & use the sauces on that.

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Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi

INGREDIENTS

1 29 oz can pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp nutmeg

5 1/2 – 6 cups flour

1/2 tsp each of S&P

DIRECTIONS

On a floured surface or in a bowl – combine the ingredients, adding flour incrementally just until the dough is no longer sticky.  Knead the dough for several minutes until it is soft & pliable.

OR – stick everything in your bread machine & run it on the pasta dough cycle.  This is what I did.

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Divide the dough onto sections about the size of a child’s fist & roll each out into snakes that are about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut the snakes into pieces (under an inch) and either use them as they are or roll them over fork tines to get a texture or use this awesome tool I got on Amazon for a few bucks.

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Let them rest on a lightly floured surface (or refrigerate) until you are ready to cook them.

To cook – simply boil water, add gnocchi & boil until they float to the surface.  Drain & top with your sauce & devour!

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Orange Cream Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 orange – zest & juice

2 TBS butter

3/4 cup vegan heavy cream

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Zest the orange – set zest aside.  Juice the orange – set juice aside.

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Heat the butter in a sauce pan & add the zest – reserving some for garnish later.  Let this cook on medium heat until it begins to thicken.  Add the cream & cook until it begins to thicken.  When it reaches a consistency you like – add S&P.

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Pumpkin-Sage Sauce

INGREDIENTS

olive oil

2 TBS butter

20 fresh sage leaves

1 small onion – diced

3 cloves garlic – minced

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 cup vegetable (or other) stock (I use water & veggie bouillon)

1/2 cup vegan heavy cream

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DIRECTIONS

Heat  butter with a little olive oil in a frying pan.  When hot – add the sage leaves & fry for a minute of two – until they begin to brown.  Drain on paper towels.

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Add onion & garlic to the pan & saute until they soften.  Add the pumpkin, stock & cream & simmer until it thickens.  Reserve the fried sage to top the gnocchi as garnish.

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Pistachio Pesto

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh basil

2 garlic cloves

3/4 cup shelled, roasted pistachios

1/3 cup vegan Parmesan cheese

1 TBS lemon juice

1/4 olive oil

1 tsp each S&P (or to taste)

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DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients in a food processor to create a paste.  Add water if you feel it is too thick.

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To assemble your gnocchi, just top hot gnocchi with either the orange cream garnished with orange zest or the pumpkin-sage sauce & the crumbled, fried sage or with the pistachio pesto with some crushed pistachios as garnish.  Get likkered up & gorge!

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