DDD #64 – My “You Are Not Vegan Enough” Rant & Holiday Leftovers Shepherd’s Pie & 14 Other Ideas

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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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Ok – so I posted my Vegan Whole Turkey (seen above) – and the vegans on Facebook lost their collective shit.  Despite knowing it was a vegan item – I got blocked & banned & verbally assaulted SAVAGELY.  This video below is my response to the “You are not the right kind of vegan” attacks I got from the most self-righteous douchebags ever.  I also show you how I reinvented a bunch of random leftovers into and epic Shepherd’s Pie.

Below the video here are the 14 recipes I suggest as potential uses for your holiday leftovers.

Click the image to watch the video.

Thanksgiving Vegan Torta Rustica with Creamed Spinach and Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes & Sweet Potato-Butternut Squash Puree

Vegan Chicken & Mixed Vegetable Pot Pie

Vegan Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Vegan Marinated Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich

Vegan Horseradish Chicken Salad with Pecans and Jalapeno Potato Salad in Baked Wonton Cups

Vegan Chicken Salad Wraps

Cool Vegan Cashew & Cranberry Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado

Sweet & Spicy Vegan Island Chicken with Pineapple

10-Minute Spicy Vegan Sriracha Chicken & Broccoli Bowl

Healthy Vegan Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon

Healthy Vegan Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Asian Dressing

Vegan Cold Chicken Piccata Pasta Salad with Asparagus & Spinach

Vegan Firecracker Chicken

Vegan Beef and Vegetable (Shepherd’s Pie) Empanadas

Vegan Horseradish Chicken Salad with Pecans and Jalapeno Potato Salad in Baked Wonton Cups

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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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It is another hot motherfucking week here in LA & I am in no mood to cook.  Still – I was tasked with bringing an appetizer to a little gathering & I was up early enough today to get the little cooking these recipes require done before the heat set in.

You can really stick any old thing in these baked wonton cups – like flavored mashed potatoes & cheese or taco fillings or pizza fillings but I did not want to have to use the oven at my destination to reheat or melt anything & cold salad fillings just sounded better today, anyway.   I will have to assemble these at the destination because I do not want the cups to get soggy but that is no big deal.   I only mention this to explain why I do not have photos of a bunch of these assembled.  I just made one of each & photographed them – and then ate them up!  This is the curse of a blog made of exclusively foods I am eating myself or feeding others.  I do not have the funds to waste on food that won’t be eaten nor the heart to throw good food away nor the family around to each a bunch of extras that I might create.   What you see here is typically my day to day menu – and these little party treats are no exception.

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Baked Wonton Cups

INGREDIENTS

1 package small wonton skins – round or square

cooking spray

mini cupcake pan

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to about 325 degrees.

Spray the mini muffin pan with cooking spray & press a wonton skin in each.

Bake for between 6-9 minutes or until they are nicely browned.  Check the first batch frequently – because I burned mine.

Set out to cool.

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Vegan Horseradish Chicken Salad with Pecans

 

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken (I really recommend the awesome Beyond Meat version)

1/2 cup scallions – chopped (do not forget to regrow the ends – like HERE)

2 celery stalks – minced

1/4 pecans – chopped

1/2 cup lettuce (romaine is best) – chopped with extra for garnish

1 TBS prepared horseradish

1/2 cup vegan mayo (or real – if you are not vegan) – more if you like a wetter chicken salad

1 TBS of Dijon

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Cube the chicken up small so it will fit in the wonton cups.  Then – just mix all the ingredients up & season with S&P.  Chill until you are ready to put it into the cups JUST before serving.  Maybe add some freshly cracked pepper & a shred of lettuce as garnish.

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Jalapeno Potato Salad

INGREDIENTS

3 medium potatoes – boiled until tender & cubed small

2 scallions – chopped (do not forget to regrow the ends – like HERE)

1 large jalapeno – seeded & diced

1/2 red bell pepper – diced

1/2 tsp (or more) chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 cup mayo (vegan or not)

1/4 cup yogurt (vegan or not – and you can change the ratio of mayo to yogurt to suit your taste)

3/4 cup cilantro – chopped

S&P to taste

OPTIONAL – add 1/2 cup corn kernels (I try avoid corn that is not from a local farmers’ market because of GMO)

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DIRECTIONS

Mix that shit all up & season with S&P.  Chill (as with the chicken salad) until just before serving.  Maybe garnish with extra cilantro & freshly cracked pepper.

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Pizza Treats Two Ways – Baked Wonton Pizza Rolls & Pizza Pinwheels

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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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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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I almost didn’t post these guys because I am having oven issues.  It seems the fan in there and/or the thermostat are kaput so the oven seems to really overheat.  The result is – I am burning everything I bake and these guys only narrowly avoided that fate.  Because of the unreliable temperature in my oven – these guys are not as pretty as they could be but they remain easy to make & delicious – so fuck it.

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Baked Wonton Pizza Rolls

INGREDIENTS

Wonton skins

Some kind of tomato sauce (I used a chunky, homemade pasta sauce with lots of peppers etc)

Grated cheese (I used a shredded mozzarella) – or vegan alternative

Extra sauce for dipping

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375.

Treat a cooking sheet with cooking spray or use a silpat baking mat.

Lay out some wonton skins.  You can either top them in layers, moisten the edges with water, fold over & press sealed – like this:

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Or – you can mix the sauce & cheese in a bowl & top the wontons with that mixture, moisten the edges, fold & seal.

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Spray the rolls with cooking spray.  Bake them for about 15 minutes or until they are golden/browned & crisped.  Serve with extra tomato sauce & devour!

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Pizza Pinwheels

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough

Tomato sauce

Grated cheese – or vegan alternative

Any other toppings you like on pizza

Extra tomato sauce for dipping

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface.

Top with the sauce, cheese & anything else you like.  Roll it up & slice into rounds.

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Place the pinwheels onto a greased cooking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted & the dough is browning.

Serve with additional sauce.  Eat them all, alone, in the kitchen – while standing up.  There are no calories that way – especially if there are no witnesses to your indulgence.

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Egg Wonton Ravioli with Arugula & Ricotta

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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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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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These are pretty easy to pull off, despite the fragility of the eggs.  You could do these ravioli with proper pasta dough but wonton wrappers really do work in a pinch.   I used small round ones.  I do not recommend that.  I’d go square & either leave them square or use a cookie cutter or rim of a glass to cut them round.  These round wrappers were pretty small & left little room for error – especially as the tight squeeze threatened to rupture the egg.

These could be made with any filling at all.  Anything.  I used an arugula & ricotta mix but spinach or goat cheese or sweet potato or whatever would work.  This recipe would make about 6-10 ravioli, depending how large you go.   While this recipe only shows a ravioli made with egg – my recommendation is that you only make one egg ravioli per person & make the rest just stuffed with whatever else you are using.   The egg adds a great creaminess but an egg in every ravioli might get overwhelming.  If the egg grosses you out – blow it off completely.  Or – maybe consider just making one of these per person – as an appetizer.

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Egg Wonton Ravioli with Arugula & Ricotta

(for two)

INGREDIENTS

Wonton skins (12-24 – depending on how large you make them)

2 eggs

2 cups arugula

4 garlic cloves

Olive oil

1/4 cup ricotta

1/2 cup Parmesan

S&P to taste

Parmesan, olive oil & parsley – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat a TBS or two of olive oil in a pan.  Add the garlic for about 30 seconds & then the arugula for about another 30 seconds until wilted.  Puree the arugula with the ricotta & Parmesan in a food processor or chop the arugula & mix well with the cheeses in a bowl.   Add S&P to taste.

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Lay out some wonton skins.  Put a small amount of the arugula mix on the wontons.  Create a well in two of them to accommodate & secure the egg yolks.  Crack an egg & separate the yolks & whites – reserving the whites in a bowl.  Carefully place the yolks into the little wells you created.  Whisk the whites a bit & brush the edges of the wontons with it.  Top with another wonton, carefully squeezing the edges sealed while also trying to work out any excess air pockets.  My ravioli were so tight, I had to pinch them with my fingers & really manhandle the whole thing but, if you were listening, you got larger wontons & you have some room to spare.  Fork tines might work to seal the edges, in that case.

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Boil water & lower the heat so the boil isn’t so intense that it assaults (and breaks) your ravioli.  Boil about 3 minutes for the egg ones – three to four minutes for the others.  Carefully remove with a slotted spoon & place on plates – serving each person one of the eggy ravioli.  Top with a drizzle of olive oil, some grated Parmesan, some chopped parsley & some freshly ground pepper.  Serve immediately!  Use some nice bread to sop up any leftover cheesy egg mixture.  Rejoice!

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Ahi Sushi Tower with Mango Salsa & Avocado, Spicy Mayo and Baked Wonton Crackers

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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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Isn’t that pretty?  Tasted even better!  Like most of my recipes, there is nothing difficult about this beyond the fact that it requires a few ingredients some might find a bit exotic & it takes several steps to accomplish.  Still, once you have made the rice & the salsa & the sashimi & the guacamole – you have the stuff to make many of these in minutes.  As to the ingredients, I think nearly everything I used can be found in most major supermarkets.  If there is something I use that you cannot find – Google that ingredient followed by the word “substitute.”   Usually – someone out there will have posted a simple solution to your dilemma.

There are two sauces on the plate here with this dish.  One would do so if making both overwhelms you – make the one that sounds tastier to you.

I bought two pieces of ahi at Costco yesterday at $14 pound.  They are each about 3/4 of a pound & look like this:

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This same fish is $27 a pound at Gelson’s.  If you buy ahi at a supermarket with a full service seafood department – I recommend having them dice the fish for you.  Tuna has fat running through it that resists cutting & gets all gross & sinewy if you try to cut across the grain or with the grain – whatever way is the wrong way.  I managed to salvage most of this slab but some was beyond repair & was eaten eagerly by my three dogs.  Giving already spoiled dogs sushi grade tuna is outrageous – but cutting the fish incorrectly will leave you in the same situation.  In fact – before I venture into my second slab tonight – I am going to watch one of these tutorials HERE.  Maybe you should, too.

I am going to give the ingredients & directions to each of the levels of this tower individually.  This tower is topped with a pinch of micro arugula which is CRAZY spicy for such a delicate looking little herb but it costs $5 for a small container.  I splurged on it yesterday – rationalizing that I’d save so much on the tuna that I could afford it.  Nobody can afford it.  It is obscene to spend $5 for just a garnish but sometimes you just gotta say “fuck it.”

OK – so – the tower is comprised of a layer of sushi rice, a layer of mango salsa, a layer or avocado & then the ahi sashimi.  The wonton cracker atop was DELICIOUS & so easy to make so I really recommend you make a bunch of these to use as scoops to devour your creation.  I decided to try making them because I couldn’t bring myself to buy a lesser version in the chip aisle at Gelson’s, pay $5 for them & get a bag that, despite weighing 3 ounces, somehow packed 1600 calories.    MAKE THESE.  You won’t regret it!

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Baked Wonton Crackers

INGREDIENTS

Wonton skins

Sesame seeds (black or white)

Egg whites – whisked

DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Swipe some egg white wash on each wonton & sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake about 5 minutes on each side or until they are golden & crisp.

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Spicy Mayo

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup mayo of your choice

2 TBS sriracha

1 tsp sesame oil

DIRECTIONS

Blend together.  If you have a squeezy bottle to put it in do – because then you can make pretty designs on the plate with the mayo.

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Soy-Mirin Sauce

INGREDIENTS

3 TBS soy sauce

2 TBS mirin

1 TBS rice wine vinegar

1 TBS lemon juice

1 tsp sesame oil

A few drops hot chili oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Blend together.

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Avocado Layer

INGREDIENTS

1 large ripe avocado – diced

1 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS lime juice

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Mix together.

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Mango Salsa

INGREDIENTS

1 ripe mango – chopped

1/2 red onion – minced

2 scallions – minced

1/2 red bell pepper – minced

1 jalapeno (or 2 serranos if you love heat) – minced

S&P to taste

Juice of half a lime

Juice of half a lemon

DIRECTIONS

Mix together.

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Sushi Rice

INGREDIENTS

3 cups Japanese sushi rice

3 1/4 cups water

1/3 cup rice vinegar

3 TBS sugar

1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.  I used a rice cooker here & made the rice with just the water.  Stove top – I imagine you boil the water, add the rice, lower heat, cover & cook as long as the package suggests.

While that cooks, heat the rice vinegar in a small pan.  Add the sugar & salt & dissolve them.  Remove from heat & allow to cool.

Once cooked – cool the rice completely.  Fold in the vinegar without mushing up the rice & set it aside until you are ready to use it.

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Ahi Sashimi

INGREDIENTS

3/4 pound of high grade ahi tuna

2 scallions – chopped

1 tsp sesame oil

1 TBS olive oil

2 tsp black sesame seeds

2 tsp white sesame seeds

1 TBS white truffle oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Watch a Google tutorial on cutting raw tuna for sushi – the cube the ahi up.  Mix with the other ingredients.

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To assemble the tower:

I used a food ring mold.  I love my ring mold & I recommend you get one!  If you do not have one – you can assemble this free form (rice then salsa then avocado then ahi) or in a backward sequence in a bowl (sprayed with cooking spray), ending with the rice, then just flip in onto a plate.  Drizzle with either the spicy mayo or the soy-mirin sauce – or both!  Top with micro arugula, if you are a spendthrift or with more diced scallions and/or avocado or more mango salsa.  Serve with the baked wonton crackers.  Impress yourself as well as your friends!

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Fresh Beet Pasta & Sweet Potato Ravioli with Sage, Brown Butter & Blue Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

OK – I am not gonna lie.  This beet pasta almost broke my spirit.  I tried a while back to make a beet-based gnocchi and all I got was about 4 pounds of magenta spackling paste that got on EVERYTHING & stuck to everything like a horny terrier & dyed everything it touched pink.  I added so much flour to un-stickify it that I knew the gnocchi would come out as light & fluffy as pool balls.  It was very disheartening & I threw the dough away without even getting to the gnocchi stage.   Actually – that is not true.  I did make a small batch & served it to two friends.  It didn’t taste bad but they were very heavy & even worse – looked like chunks of raw meat on the plate or some kind of dog treat – like THESE –  that I had dressed up with a nice sauce.  It was pretty nasty.

Still – I’ve had such success with the spinach & my magical kale pasta – I thought I could pull this off with the same ease.

I could not.

I looked over a few beet pasta recipes online & made some mental notes & then decided to basically wing it – based on my vast pasta making experience.  In general – folks seemed to recommend a 1-2 cups pureed beets to 3-4 cups flour ratio with three eggs thrown in for good measure.  I started with a solid two cups of puree, only added two eggs & used a bit more than four cups of flour to get this result:

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I was very excited!  It seemed to come together so easily.  And it was such a vibrant magenta, too!!  But it was during the rolling out process that everything went to Hell.  It was VERY, VERY wet inside that innocent looking ball & it looked like raw meat getting pressed through the pasta-maker gears.  Gross.  And – I am guesstimating – but I think I must have added at least 3 more cups of flour to the dough in the various stages of getting it from that ball there to this:

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Doesn’t it look like giant slabs of bacon?  And it made a FUCKLOAD!  That had to be 8-10 servings of pasta, conservatively.  At any rate – I only used about 1/4 of this recipe to make ravioli.  I made the other 3/4 into fettuccine.

It took FOREVER to manipulate the flour & moisture levels to the point that the pasta could be pressed this thin.  I kept thinking as I made it – nobody who hasn’t succeeded in making regular or spinach pasta a few times (at least) should ever attempt this.  And I couldn’t help but fear that all that flour – that seemed to be twice the level others used – was going to result in a starchy, thick pasta that destroyed any hint of beet – both in color and taste.

The GOOD news is – it made the most beautiful ravioli ever.  I can’t say there was a beet flavor to the pasta but there isn’t really a spinach taste in the spinach pasta.  It really all seems to be about color.  The ravioli held their color pretty well.  The fettucine did not – in that it faded to this color when boiled:

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That might even be a tad more vibrant than it really was.

I started with these beets:

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I roasted three in the oven at 400 degrees to set aside to add to the pasta later.  I boiled the rest for an hour & pureed them for the noodles.  I think the roasted ones – when chopped & added to the pink pasta – will bleed out into that pasta & restore the heavy magenta color it originally had.  We will see.  But this blog is about the ravioli.

Know this – I made two kinds.  One with the beet pasta that was nearly the death of me & one with leftover wonton skins I had in the fridge.  If you want the EASIEST ravioli recipe on the planet – just make the sweet potato puree & saged brown butter – and you will be blown away by how easy & delicious – AND LIGHT – these are.  If you are more adventurous – the beet pasta makes phenomenally beautiful ravioli.  I did not effectively capture their beauty here.  I was still feeling a bit beaten up by the pasta-making process & wanted to get on with EATING this shit.  And I can report – they really were pretty awesomely delicious.  But – no reason to slave over beet pasta.  Just make regular pasta – or use the dang wontons.  You are not trying to run a food blog.  Give yourself a break, for Chrissakes!  🙂

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Fresh Beet Pasta & Sweet Potato Ravioli with Sage, Brown Butter & Blue Cheese

INGREDIENTS

2 cups beet puree (4 medium beets?) PLUS 3 more for roasting (optional)

2 eggs

flour – and lots of it – potentially 8 cups

1 tsp sea salt

Sweet Potato Puree

1.5 – 2 lbs sweet potatoes (or yams)

2 small onions – diced

1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

wonton wrappers (6 per serving) – if NOT doing the beet pasta

Sauce

Lots of butter (12 or more TBS)

3 TBS chopped fresh sage

olive oil

1-2 whisked egg whites (optional) – to seal the ravioli.  Water works, too.

Pepper to taste

Blue Cheese (or feta or even shaved Parmesan if blue overwhelms you) as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Roast your yams (having pierced them with a fork several times) in a 400 degree oven.  If using – you can also roast three beets at the same time by covering them with a small amount of olive oil & wrapping them in foil.  Sweet potatoes AND beets should be fork tender in a bout an hour.  You can open the foil around the beets for the last twenty minutes to get a more roasted appearance – if it suits you.  Be sure the sweet potatoes are soft in the center.  Remove from oven & COOL.  When cool – peel the yams & slip the skin & tops off of the roasted beets.  Set aside.

The puree beets – cut the greens off ABOVE the meat of the beet.  Leave the beet in tact & boil like that to retain as much color as possible.  Boil for about an hour or until fork tender.  Drain & cool.

Heat some olive oil in a pan & saute the onions until they begin to brown.  5 minutes or so.  Set aside.

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Mash the sweet potatoes with the cinnamon, nutmeg, grated Parmesan & salt to taste.  Do this in a food processor if you have one & get these guys REALLY smooth.  Once creamy – add sauteed onions & set aside.

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Peel the boiled beets in the sink – again basically by squeezing them.  The outer skin slips right off.  Press the base of the greens off, too.  Put these beets in a food processor & puree.  The rest of the instructions are the same as for regular noodles – with the exception that you put the beet puree in the flour well with the eggs.  I’d start with a well made of 6 cups of flour.

Copy & paste this link

https://delightfuldeliciousdelovelyblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/homemade-pasta-fettucini-noodles-23/

to view the guide to making plain pasta noodles – or got to http://www.delightfuldeliciousdelovely.com & search for “homemade noodles.”  Again – please note: plain or spinach noodles are WAY easier than this beet version so, if you are trying the beet version, BE PATIENT.  This dough WILL come together but the wet to dry ingredient ratio is trickier.

Once you have noodles pressed flat (or once you have your wonton package open) – use a cooking cutter or large glass to cut the pasta into circles (bigger – like 2 inches across or more – are easier to work with).  No need to cut wontons into circles but you certainly can.  Get a small bowl of water (or some whisked egg white) & a pastry brush (I just used my fingers).  Place a circle of dough (or a store-bought easy-peasy wonton) on the work space.  Put about a tablespoon of sweet potato mix in there.  Wet the rim with a brush or your fingers with either water or egg white then top with a second round (or wet & fold your wonton) & seal.  You will get better at guessing how much filling these ravioli can take as you get the hang of it.  You can seal with your hands or the tines of a fork.  I found the pasta & wontons too thin to really seal with a fork.

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Melt the butter in a pan over high flame.  Once hot – add chopped sage.  Saute about 1-2 minutes or JUST until the butter begins to brown.  Add a little S&P.  Remove from heat.

Boil water.  Once boiling (but not rapidly.  We don’t want to beat up the fragile ravioli) – drop the ravioli in.  They will cook quickly – likely less than two minutes.  They begin to float up when they are ready.  Remove with a slotted spoon & put some on each plate.  Spoon some brown sage butter over the ravioli.  Top with some chopped roasted beets (if you are using) and a small quantity of blue cheese (go LIGHT) or feta or Parmesan.  Crack some pepper atop that & serve!

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