Everyone Loves Kale
If you follow this blog, you know how much I love this nutrient powerhouse. Unfortunately, so do aphids. I have been fighting them for the kale lately so I need to consume it before they do. By the way, if you are growing kale, check the bottom of the leaves for these little guys. Another clue that you may have aphids is the presence of ants. Ants and aphids have a symbiotic relationship. A mild soap spray can get rid of aphids but you will have to continue to use it.
Anyway, getting back to the kale, I made this very quick and simple sauce to go over gnocchi. I found some nice whole wheat gnocchi which I believe is vegan. It's from Italy and although it doesn't say "vegan", it doesn't list any animal products. This sauce would also be good over a short fusilli (corkscrew) whole grain pasta.
Delicious, Light, Filling and Healthful
Most of the time when you order gnocchi in the restaurant, it comes drenched in a heavy cream or cheese sauce with tons of fat and calories. This sauce is light yet the gnocchi makes it quite filling. Each serving is less than 300 calories and has less than 1 gram of saturated fat yet it packs over 8 grams of fiber and tons of healthful plant nutrients! The kale alone has over 45 different flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Why does Gnocchi only Serve 3?
Gnocchi from Italy usually comes in a 400 gram package and although it says there are 4 servings, it really only serves 3. In Italy, perhaps, it is meant as a first course (or primo) followed by a heavier "secondi" so you would only serve a small amount. But in the U.S., this dish may be the entire dinner along with a small salad so I don't think it's enough for 4 people. It certainly isn't around this house! So if you are cooking for 4, double the recipe and have a few servings left over for lunch!
Whole Wheat Gnocchi with Kale and Carrots
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
3 small garlic cloves, minced
4 packed cups of kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
One 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
One 400 gram (14.1 ounce) package of whole wheat gnocchi
Salt for the water
1/2 teaspoon of salt for the sauce (more or less to taste)
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley
Serve with small bowl of nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese (not vegan)
Bring salted water to a boil, cover and let simmer on low until needed.
Heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté garlic until fragrant, about one minute.
Add kale and carrots and stir until coated, about a minute. Add the basil, salt, some juice from the diced tomatoes and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water (just enough to steam the vegetables). Cover and simmer until the kale and carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes. Don't overcook.
Add the diced tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes are bubbling.
Bring the water back up to a boil and add the gnocchi. Drain them as soon as they rise to the top. (Cook the gnocchi at the last minute since they only take a few short minutes to cook).
Mix the drained gnocchi into the sauce and serve immediately. Top with freshly ground black pepper and nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese.
Per serving: 298.5 calories, 4.8 g fat, 0.7 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10.6 g protein, 9.2 g carbohydrates and 5.2 g of fiber.