cinnamon sweet potato gnocchi

Gnocchi comes from Italy, but they are very popular in many European countries in a slightly different forms and with multiple ingredients. That gives basically endless variety of options of sizes, shapes and flavours. It’s a great meal idea if you’re on a budget, although maybe not extremely nutritious (depending if you use as a main course or just addition) but for sure delicious and filling.

It’s not something I would prepare as our everyday meal but from time to time it’s a great idea to prepare your own gnocchi – homemade, freshly cooked always taste better than the one from the supermarket.

I had three lonely sweet potatoes and some time, so I decided I will make some homemade gnocci as my carb treat 🙂 My partner wasn’t really fancy about them, but when he saw me frying them with butter and cinnamon he couldn’t resist and grabbed himself a portion. As I always say – butter makes everything better, in this case butter, cinnamon and a little sweetness made them even better 🙂 I sprinkled my portion with pumpkin seeds – I like adding seeds to everything.

I used plain wheat flour and spelt flour in proportion 1:1, but you can use only plain flour. Also if you have an option to steam sweet potatoes rather than cook them – it will be a great idea, as they soak up a lot of water during cooking. And less watery they become – less flour you’ll need to use to prepare dumplings.

Also you don’t need to fry them. If you want to keep them soft, just melt some butter and drizzle all over cooked portion of gnocchi, sprinkle with cinnamon and any type of sugar. Frying makes them a bit harder, but golden and crispy on the outside. So use a method that’s the best for you.

cinnamon sweet potato gnocchi

INGREDIENTS for 2 large portions:

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • plain flour and spelt flour in proportion 2:1
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 -2 tsp xylitol, honey or other type of sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS

Peel and cook sweet potatoes until tender, steaming will also be a great method, as they want soak up water. Drain and mash them with potato masher and set aside to cool down completely.

Add one egg and start adding flour, spoon by spoon and start kneading. Add flour until you get non sticky dough. Divide dough in couple pieces, using your hands make a thin roll, flatten it slightly with your hand and cut off small chunks using a knife.

Boil lots of salted water, boil gnocchi for about 4-5 minutes from the moment they start to float on the surface. Remove from the pot using slotted spoon.

Heat the large non stick pan with some butter, add gnocci and fry until golden on both sided, sprinkle with cinnamon and xylitol/honey and serve.

Enjoy!

vegan green lentil dumplings made with rice flour #glutenfree

This recipe is sponsored by my friend who was moving out from the UK and kindly gifted me some food items. There was couple items I never tried before, so I decided to make some experiments and prepare dumplings made of rice flour with green lentil filling.

I found a recipe for rice flour dough somewhere on the internet and it worked quite good, especially for the first attempt. Lots of this kind of recipes usually needs some practice, but this one came out surprisingly well.

Rice flour dough is much different than regular and it requires different method of preparation. But actually it was quite easy to make it. More complicated was trying to stick dumplings together without breaking gentle dough. Rice dough is much less elastic than regular wheat flour dough due to gluten that makes the dough more flexible and easy to work with. So the rice dough is more prone for breaking, what you can see on the photos. But surprisingly I lost only one or two dumplings in the process of cooking. The best thing is not to roll out the dough very thin, make it a bit thicker than regular – there’s less chance that it will break during cooking.

And now the taste. The dough has quite specific texture and taste, it’s not bad at all, but I prefer regular wheat flour dumplings. But if you absolutely cannot eat gluten, definitely you should try this recipe. It may need some practice to perfect it, but it’s definitely worth trying. The filling is really tasty, good enough that my partner wants me to make more green lentil dumplings. Next time also instead of adding sesame oil I will fry some onions and use it as a garnish, because sesame seeds oil was a little bit bitter in this case.

Final opinion: this recipe will stay in my menu for longer, although with wheat flour rather than rice flour dough. The more that green lentils are great source of protein and fibre, and will be a great replacement for meat. Lentils contain more complex carbohydrates and are great source of iron, which is essential for functions such as carrying oxygen to the body, generating energy and accelerating metabolism.

Have you tried rice flour dumplings? Do you have other dumpling dough recipe ideas that I could try?

vegan green lentil dumplings made with rice flour

NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS for dough:

  • 1 cup of rice flour plus some for dusting
  • couple tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp natural rock salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 425ml water

INGREDIENTS for filling:

  • about 450g precooked green lentils (I used precooked So Organic lentils from Sainsbury’s)
  • 1 small brown onion
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • couple white mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp thai 7 spice (mix of: cumin, lemon pepper, chilli powder, garlic powder, ginger, mustard seed and cloves)

DIRECTIONS

Start with preparing the dough. It’s much different than regular wheat flour dough, also preparation is much different.

Boil water with salt and olive oil. When water is boiling, switch off the heat and add rice flour, stir it quickly – it will become thick in couple seconds. Sprinkle pastry board with couple tablespoons of cornflour and transfer dough on the board. Let it rest for a while, so you’re not going to burn yourself when kneading.

In the meantime prepare lentil filling. On a non stick pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Chop and fry onion until golden. Peel and chop white mushrooms also add to onion. At the end add precooked lentils (drained from water) and spices. Sprinkle with some salt if needed. Switch off the heat and let it completely cool down.

When dough cooled down start kneading. If necessary, add water or rice flour – the dough should be delicate and a bit sticky. Cover it with foil or kitchen towel and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6 parts. Roll out each part previously dusting pastry board with some rice flour. Don’t roll out too thin, because dumplings may break during cooking. Rice flour dough is more delicate and much less elastic, so you have to be quite gentle. Cut out circles using a glass or cookie cutter. Place some filling on each circle and stick the sides together.

In a large pot boil some salted water, when it starts to boil gently put your dumplings, one by one. When they start floating on the top carefully cook for about 5 minutes on a low heat and gently remove using a slotted spoon.

Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. The best are freshly cooked.

homemade black pudding dumplings

Let me tell you that, despite the seemingly dull and boring work that must be put into their preparation, making dumplings gives me a lot of joy. It’s like yoga for chefs 😉 When you can let go of all your thoughts and focus only on sticking together pieces of dough, pinching a nice frill on each one. It’s even more fun to eat afterwards, because nothing tastes as delicious as freshly cooked dumplings. That’s what I love about cooking from scratch – you’ll never get the same taste even from the best, most expensive store-bought food. It’s the same with homemade pasta – when you eat it once, store-bought one will never taste the same.

And because now we rarely eat pasta, I decided (similarly to bread making) that I will try to make my own when we fancy to have some. The same with dumplings. I never found store-bought dumplings good enough to replace the homemade ones. That’s why I always make my own dumplings.

Homemade dumplings are so delicious! Sprinkled with a large amount of fried onions – tastes like heaven 🙂 I love leftover pieces of dough, cooked and drizzled with butter and crispy onion.

I decided to fill them with Scottish staple food: black pudding (which is very similar to Polish “kaszanka”), but you can use another Scottish delicacy – haggis. They both will be great and easy stuffing to make. But you can fill up your dumplings with all sorts of ingredients, depending of your liking. If you’re a fan of black pudding and dumplings – this combination will not disappoint you. If you want to make a bigger batch it’s time consuming, but for me the reward is worth time spent in the kitchen.

Dumplings are suitable for freezing, you can do so by placing them on the kitchen board and freeze, then put to a freezing bag (this way they won’t stick together and won’t break while cooking from frozen). But in my opinion they won’t taste as delicious as when fresh. But I’m a bit picky about dumplings and in this case I don’t like compromises.

I hope I encouraged you enough to go to the kitchen, grab some flour, black pudding and make your own black pudding dumplings. Maybe you’ll even enjoy the process 🙂

homemade black pudding dumplings

NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 400g black pudding
  • about 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 brown onions
  • 3 tbsp butter or lard

DIRECTIONS

Heat a frying pan adding 1 tablespoon of butter or lard and add sliced ​​black pudding. Fry stirring occasionally until black pudding is cooked, then switch off the heat and leave it to cool it down – stuffing is ready.

On a large kitchen board make a small mountain of flour with the hole on top, place the egg in the hole and slowly start mixing flour with the egg. When the dough starts to crumble add a little water and start kneading. Slowly try to knead the dough, if it is too dry add little water. After a few minutes, everything should combine. Knead the dough until it’s smooth, elastic and quite loose – so that it can be rolled freely. If necessary, either add a little water or sprinkle it with flour. I used less than 2/3 of a glass of water.

When the dough is ready, take a portion and start rolling out. Sprinkle kitchen board with a little bit of flour. Don’t use too much flour to roll the dough, because it will become dry and will not stick together and there is a chance that dumplings will fall apart during cooking. Roll it to a thickness of about 2 mm, as evenly as possible, too thin dough may also break during cooking. Cut out circles with a glass, put some filling on each circle, fold and stick edges together with your fingers – I always connect the edges, and then additionally pinch the edge into a “frill”. Place each dumpling on a clean cloth while waiting to be cooked.

Put dumplings on boiling salted water and cook for about 3-5 minutes on a low heat (high heat may break them) from the moment they flow out to the surface. Garnish with salted onion, diced and fried with butter or lard.