Sweet Potato Gnocchi ~ Good Intentions

by DanicasDaily on February 24, 2010

Happy Hump Day All!  Sorry I never made it back yesterday to post this fantastic Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Mushroom Spinach Sauce Flop.  Ok, well, actually the sauce was AWESOME, but, my Sweet Potato Gnocchi gets a needs improvement.  Let’s get into how my Tuesday went down…..

First, I just have to give a QUICK Bachelor Tell All statement ~ I LOVE that ABC didn’t cut out all the good stuff and they actually let some of the FANTASTIC comments by Roslyn come through ~ that girl has some cahones :D  It totally made for a great show :)

I knew I had to eat something before my dentist appointment, but, I wasn’t really hungry.  I opted for a 2 point Perfectly Hard Boiled Egg because I figured the protein would hold me over the longest.

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After getting my mouth all sawed on (0k, just a cleaning plus having a filling replaced since it made my tooth break), I treated myself to a 3 point “dirty latte” (Grande, NF, Decaf, 2 pumps of Mocha).  I figured I’d earned it and since I couldn’t eat for 3 hours…..

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On my way back, I had to make a quick stop and look what I found ~ BAGEL THINS!!!! Just like the Sandwich Thins, but, 1 point of CHEWY, BAGELNESS!  I picked up the Everything Bagels and the Whole Wheat.

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Check the stats ~ awesome!!! I may just LOVE these more than Western Alternative Bagels.

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You know lunch HAD to involve my new find, plus I wanted something I didn’t involve too much chewing.

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I steamed up my immunity blend of Green Giant Veggies while I heated my Amy’s Tomato Bisque soup.  I LOVE adding veggies to my soup because it just makes it more satisfying.  I LOVE so many of Amy’s Soups, but, this, well ~ it was just too sweet.  I sorta felt like I was eating spaghetti sauce and I totally missed any hint of herbs :(  4 points for the soup and 1 point for the veggies.

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Bagel thin plus 1 Laughing Cow Lite Wedge = LOVE!!! (2 pts)

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Two HUGE Glasses of Soda Stream Fizzy Water….I honestly think over half of my water intake each day comes from bubbly water :)

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I did have a few croutons to put in my soup too.

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Another one of these 4 point eggs may or may not have appeared as my afternoon snack.  I LOVE the eggs more than the regular version because like Alison says…they contain so much more salty peanut buttery goodness!  Totally a great justification to buy a holiday shaped candy :D

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I was hungry again an hour later so I snacked on a 1 point cheese while I whipped up dinner.

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I have totally been wanting to try to make Gnocchi ever since I first tried them for our Holiday Party Celebration a few months back.  I would’ve LOVED to have tried the pumpkin gnocchi but seeing as I’ve never made it and only had it one time, I went with a traditional recipe that I could find online for Sweet Potato GnocchiHowever, I decided to put my own spin on it and create a Creamy Mushroom Spinach Alfredo sauce in an attempt to recreate the dish I had at the party.

Here are the steps I took to make my Sweet Potato Gnocchi.

I peeled and chopped up 5 small sweet potatoes.

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Since I didn’t have time to bake them in the oven, I added them to my microwave steamer with a little water and steamed them for about 10 minutes.

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Using my potato smasher, I smooshed them into a puree.

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You could easily use a food processor or blender, but, this was super easy to make the pulp since them were super soft.

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I measured out 1 1/2 cups of my Sweet Potato Pulp and saved the rest for some cinnamon sugar smashed sweet potatoes another day.

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Plus, I measured out 1 cup of Low-Fat Ricotta and 1/4 c shredded parmesan.  I went with a low-fat cheese and less parmesan to help lighten up the calorie/fat content.

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1 Tbsp of Brown sugar for extra sweetness :)

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Stir to combine all of the above ingredients you just measured out.

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One thing I LOVE about this recipe is that is allows you use measuring cups or your super cool food scale to measure everything out.  I used my Eat Smart Precisions Pro Scale ~ don’t forget, you have ONE more day to get this scale 15% off :D

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After I turned my scale on and toggled to grams, I placed my bowl on top ~ pretty cool to know that my bowl weighs 372 grams LOL.

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I hit the TARE button one time and it automatically makes the scale go to 0 with my bowl on there ~ I LOVE that TARE feature!

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I measured out 75 g of Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Flour (mistake #1 ~ don’t use Whole Wheat Flour to make Gnocchi ~ it makes it gritty, versus smooth). 

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Stir your dough until it dough holds together but is still very soft and light.  Place it on a floured surface (making sure to leave your spoon in your flour bag because you will need more).

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Divide it into 3 equal dough balls.  Don’t forget to have two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper at this point as you will be placing your finished Gnocchi on it.

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Slowly roll each ball into a nice long strip until it’s about 1 inch thick.

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I honestly have NO clue what it means to roll the gnocchi on the tines of the fork to give them ridges.  So, I just flattened them peanut butter cookie style and fluffed them up a little :)

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Bring a big pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add 15 gnocchi at a time.  They sink to the bottom.

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When they float to the top, they are done and you can remove them placing them on a your parchment paper.

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While the Gnocchi were cooking in batches I sautéed some mushrooms in a little butter.  Then, I wilted in a few handfuls of spinach adding a little tomato and basil after it was done cooking.  I also slow cooked my Low Fat Alfredo Sauce (recipe coming up soon) too.

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I let my Sweet Potato Gnocchi cool and get firm.  Then, I scooped up about 8 of them, topped them with a little of the veggie mixture and a scoop of my Low Fat Alfredo Sauce.  Looks good huh?  The sauce is AWESOME ~ totally thick, creamy, garlicky and peppery.

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It doesn’t look so pretty all mixed up LOL….

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But, it looks better with each bite.  Sweet potato doughy balls of goodnes ~ sounds bad lol!

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Ok ~ so here is what I learned:

1.   Gnocchi is actually pretty easy to make, but, buying it may be easier than making it :D

2.  Don’t use Whole Wheat Flour because it doesn’t allow the gnocchi to have the smooth doughy consistency. 

3.  Make your Gnocchi into small bites, like 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch ~ mine were way too big so it made them feel like you were eating HUGE dough balls.

4.  There is a reason that all the Sweet Potato Ricotta Recipes I found involved frying them in a butter sauce ~ the ricotta makes them extra soft so they “need” the frying to make them firmer.  If you are not using a butter sauce, then, opt for a Gnocchi recipe that doesn’t involved ricotta.

5.  Not all recipes will work perfectly the 1st time ~ even Julia Child had recipe fails….I am bummed this was just ok since I put so much LOVE into it.  However, I did learn from  it and will definitely try again.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SCORE ANY OF THE TRAIN LIKE AN OLYMPIAN ITEMS AT 15% OFF WITH FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $25.  DON’T MISS OUT!

Have an awesome day all ~ I will see you all tonight!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Food Makes Fun Fuel February 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

The gnocchi look awesome! I haven’t had any since new years eve. I still need to have my gnocchi of the new decade!

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Sydney Hunter February 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

Great post. Where do you buy those “colby” cheeses? I love how they are already measured out for you and come in little packages. Also, I have never seen those bagel thins – are they just like a skinnier version of a bagel? It is funny because I always cut my bagels into “skinnier” slices – I can get 2 bagels out of one. Although, bagels tend to make me even hungrier (thanks to their high place on the GI Index…I can eat about 5 no joke!) but I have a feeling these wheat ones would be perfect.

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katie February 24, 2010 at 10:35 am

ohh yummy dinner!
i LOVE those reeses eggs-def my weakness this time of year!

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Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) February 24, 2010 at 10:41 am

I’m sorry it didn’t work out so well – it sounds like such a delicious flavour combination!

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Anna February 24, 2010 at 11:41 am

I’ve learned few tricks to make the gnocchi work, always best if you roast the vegetable you are using because it get ride of the liquid and concentrate the flavors, and the ricotta it helps if you drain the water with a cheese cloth. Then voila… you don’t need to use too much pasta flour. Love the combination of veggies and Alfredo looks very healthy. :-)

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Tay February 24, 2010 at 11:58 am

Mmm even if the recipe didn’t turn out so great, it sounds delicious! Oh glad to know they make Whole Wheat bagel thins! I’ve only seen plain ones at Costco, but I wanted whole grains. I’ll have to keep my eye out for those ones!

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Heather February 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I made sweet potato gnocchi earlier this winter. They were ok but I think I’ll stick to buying them instead.

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DanicasDaily February 24, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Hi Sydney,

I buy the little Sargento Colby Cheeses at Sam’s Club in the big pack. They are 1 point each and honestly do not taste low fat at all.

Yes, the Bagel Thins are like thinner bagels – they do not have that diety light bread taste at all. I am super impressed with how you can cut your bagels up :D

Danica

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DanicasDaily February 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Hi Anna,

Thanks so much for the tips and tricks for how to make it work. That totally makes sense now for why they roasted their potatoes versus steaming them. I will definitely have to try both of these things next time!

Danica

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BroccoliHut February 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm

So jealous of your bagel thins! I can’t find them around here yet.

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Michelle February 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I can always count on you to have great stories to tell – and this time I mean the gnocchi!! The ones you made look fantastic, and those are incredible tips!! I actually had no idea people fry them a little, but…now i do! And of course, whole wheat flour is NOT in fact invincible. :( BOO.

Muaaahahaha about the bachelor. I wish with all my heart Tenlee gets picked. I loved the part when Vienna was like – I think…this girl may dream in cartoons! hahaha I can’t WAIT for next week, and I wish that the show would put Gia up for the next Bachelorette. She’s just so sweet and deserves the best. :( SIGH. Poor girl!!

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Leighanne February 24, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Danica, did you strain the ricotta cheese before you measured it out? It’s best to strain it with a cheese cloth or tea towel and a strainer for at least two hours (longer if possible) before using it for gnocchi. You want to eliminate as much liquid from the recipe as possible. Also, were your sweet potatoes completely cooled before you started mixing everything together?

Everything still looks delicious and I’m going to try that sauce asap!!!

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Tiffany February 24, 2010 at 9:23 pm

LOL at doughy balls of goodnes. Hehe

Kudos for trying to make those–I would have never thought to make them with sweet pots but attempted to make it a month ago and it was good but not what I was hoping for. I had a recipe from an Italian restaurant in CA so I was expecting it to be amazing but now that I see your comments, I think the whole wheat flour is where I went wrong. I will have to try regular next time and use the sweet pots. It took soooooo long and so much effort and I may have said a prayer to my late grandmother who used to make gnocchi all the time!

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Danica's Daily February 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

Hi Leighanne,

Nope, I read in some recipes they strained it and others they didn’t. I really think that would’ve made a BIG difference in the success of the recipe. I will definitely try it out next time. Nope, I didn’t let them cool long enough. I almost thought of putting my dough in the fridge to cool. Maybe I’ll make the potatoes the night before?

Thanks for the tips!

Danica

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terri February 26, 2010 at 8:47 am

danica~those sound like heaven ! i have a recipe for these from giada, that i have yet to try…..i just might have to attempt them now…..you made it look easy, however, i think i will most likely get frustrated! ohhhhh and how yummy those bagel thins look! i have not seen them near us……..cant wait to see your alfredo sauce…..mmmm..

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Quinn February 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Bagel Thins?!?!!? I think I’m in LOVE! Where can I get them? And with Laughing Cow? OMG, what I wouldn’t give for some cheese. 30 something days til this Lent thing is over with :)

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