Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce

I tried this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens magazine on a lark and was pleasantly surprised at how easy and tasty it was. Definitely a great recipe for when you're short on time. The recipe said it would take 20 minutes to prepare and it really did. 

Of course, I had to change a few little things from the original. And, we have declared this a "keeper" recipe so I will definitely be making this again soon. 

Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce

(adapted from the May 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens)

Serves 4
Approximate cooking time is 20 minutes

 2 cups of fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
1 pound shelf-stable potato gnocchi
 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup 2% milk
4 oz of packaged or whipped cream cheese (I used a reduced-fat version)
teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cups torn fresh arugula
Crushed red pepper (optional)

 1) In Dutch oven cook gnocchi according to package directions, adding corn the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Drain gnocchi and corn kernels, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Do not rinse.

2) Meanwhile, for cream sauce, in medium saucepan combine half-and-half, cream cheese, salt, garlic powder, dried herbs, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently using a whisk. Stir in reserved pasta water.

3) Return cooked pasta to Dutch oven. Pour cream sauce over pasta; heat through, if necessary. Stir in arugula. Serve in bowls. Sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, dried herbs, and crushed red pepper.

Notes and Variations: If you don’t love the peppery taste of arugula, you could easily substitute fresh spinach. I also think that you could add in a cup of shredded roast chicken for a more robust meal. And, I am sure that shrimp would be tasty as well. In other words, play around this recipe, it is very forgiving.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Kale Chips

Kale chips are my new friends. They are delicious and really easy to make. Sure, there is olive oil involved so they aren't exactly fat-free but they are still more nutritious than potato chips. Even kids and normally kale-adverse adults like them. 

This is just a really basic recipe. But, you can certainly add more than salt to the chips. I have see recipes that include curry powder or chili powder and even those that are tossed with grated parmesan cheese. So please feel free to get creative and let me know what your favorite way to make these is.

And, yes, that really is supposed to be a low temperature setting on the oven. Remember, you are baking a leafy green and not a hearty root vegetable that contains sugars. If the temperature setting is too high, you'll probably end up with kale ash instead of chips.


Serves 4 (snack-sized servings)
Time: 20 minutes prep and approximately 1 hour cook time


1 bunch of kale, washed and dried
2 tbs. olive oil
¼ tsp. kosher or sea salt


1) Preheat the oven to 200°F.

2) Set out two baking sheets.

3) Remove the ribs from the kale and cut or tear into 1 ½ - inch pieces.

4) Put kale into a bowl and toss with the olive and salt. Make sure that all of the leaves are coated with oil.

5) Arrange the kale on the baking sheets in a single layer. Bake until crisp. Rotating the sheets half-way through the cooking time. Bake for approximately 1 hour till the kale is crispy and the edges are beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheets. Then place in a bowl and enjoy. Try not to eat them all by your self.