Ahhh, Winter has arrived
As per the usual trend, the cold came along and I immediately hit the treadmill. Then the kitchen.
And pretty hard.
We’ve been overdoing it just a bit with some of these meals. Usually this wouldn’t even be an issue. I’ve taught myself how to stay fit and eat what I want with respect for my body and the planet.
Yeah, yeah. I still eat meat. We eat it very conscientiously, and about fifty percent less than we used to. I get a lot more questions about my personal eating habits as a “yoga person” than I used to. My answer is this: I’m not pure. I’m not a Guru or a Saint. I’m just doing the best I can do, with respect to my body and the planet. I’m vegan-curious and I go many Monday’s and meals without meat. I feel good about that. I’ll never put a label on my eating, and I’m not convinced that my body can thrive without meat as a lifestyle. We’ll talk about it another day.
The point is, sitting around for way more of 2020 than I ever have in previous years has me carrying a little more fluff than I like. Some of us don’t realize it until that annual checkup with our physician is being scheduled. Then we rush to the bathroom and pull out that dusty old devil called a scale. I gave mine up quite some time ago. The scale is a level of fuckery I will not even go on a tangent about today. We are here to talk food, but you know how I roll. There will be a few other distractions before the recipe.
Well, anyway. I’m in the mood to cook. I haven’t been working at the restaurant due to, eh, you know. I don’t even want to say it and attract it into my realm anymore. The thing. So, while my annual cooking binge is cool, my body is like WTF?? I normally get six to ten thousand steps in each shift. I’ve been sitting around writing, and frankly I’m chunky AF.
Did that stop me from making this decadent, tummy-warming, hearty, comfort dish?? Nope. Did I eat this and try to “burn it off” on the mill? Nope. Will I eat smoothies, salads and lean meat for the rest of this week and the following one? Probably.
I am going to have to add in more cardio to off-set the calories I’m not burning from running around that big old place. Life sure has gotten weird.
On a more serious note, I hope anyone who reads this is finding comfort in family and loved ones. I know it’s a difficult time. I’m sure we’ve all had to make tough choices and witness uncomfortable situations this year. I’m hoping we can end it on a loving note and a high vibration to bring in the next one.
Hell, bring on the comfort food. We all need it. We all deserve it. It’s my way of hugging you from way out here in the woods. I love you guys. Let me get this done so you can be as food goofy as I am.
You could probably do this differently and make it a one-pot gig, but I’m the chick who likes three or four pots going. It’s a challenge to multi-task like that and be able to serve it all hot, with the veggies cooked just right, the gnocchi and chicken as tender as they should be, the sauce at just the right consistency. It’s a whole vibe and I dig it.
This sauce clung to everything perfectly, and it was inspired by some cream and sour cream that needed to be used, plus an almost empty container of sage I want gone so I can open the new one. I kitchen purge on Fridays. Recipes happen from it. That’s how it goes. Still didn’t use all the sage. Guess we have to make this again!
The gluten-free gnocchi may not be your thing, but for me it was so blissful to eat a meal like this and not have awful gut pain later. Go with what you prefer. Writing a recipe and instructing a class is the same to me. As a recipe writer or yoga instructor, I just guide you through the basics, and I want you to feel free to adjust the dish or pose to your taste or comfort. Make sense? Fabulous!
One more thing and I’ll get to the recipe. No, for real. It’s important. When you drain the gnocchi, don’t forget to reserve 1 1/4 cup of the broth you boiled it in. It’s for the sauce. You may even want more to keep your chicken moist while it cooks.
Alright. Aprons up, Cookers!! Of COURSE I am emulating Mrs. Maisel. I fucking love her. Any word on a new season?? Fingers crossed. Ok. Here’s your recipe. Kisses!!
What You Need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pre-seasoned with whatever you like. My preference is Cajun, and I always have this stuff around.
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 bunch (about 12) asparagus, chopped into 2” pieces
1 large, red bell-pepper, diced
1 medium sweet onion diced
1 c fresh mushrooms, sliced or diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 c sour cream
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp ground sage
1-2 Tbsp Arrowroot powder
Note: you can substitute with any thickener, but look up the correct sub conversion.
Pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. However much you need.
Dash of Italian seasoning for garnish
What You Do:
Begin by starting 5 quarts of water to boil for the gnocchi. Put the boullion cubes in now. They will dissolve and give you super flavorful little dumplings.
Let this boil, but don’t add the gnocchi until the chicken is close to done.
At medium-high temp, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet.
Add the chicken. Cook at medium temp for 8 minutes while you prep veggies.
Wash and prep the onion, pepper, asparagus and mushrooms.
Turn chicken after 8 minutes, and continue cooking 12 minutes longer. If the pan starts to dry, ladle a bit of the broth from the gnocchi pan and cover it. Maybe lower the heat and let it slow simmer while you do your thing.
This is where it can get hairy. We’re sautéing veggies and chicken in different pans, then we have to add that gnocchi to the boiling broth and make sure it doesn’t cook too much. In the meantime we are gathering up sauce ingredients. You’ll be fine. Breathe and focus.
Rock them pots and pans, Cookers. You got this!!
Keeping an eye on your chicken and turning it regularly; heat another skillet on medium with the remaining olive oil.
Add the vegetables and cook until just tender. They will cook more in the sauce.
When they are done, remove from heat, dust them with 1/2 Tbsp of arrowroot powder and stir once to coat. This works with flour or cornstarch, too. Set veggies aside.
Done looks like this to me. Still bright, crisp and colorful. I can’t stand a plate of overcooked, grayish green vegetables. You just know the fresh is cooked right out of it.
By now you should have boiling broth, so add the gnocchi and cook according to directions. Be sure to stir and loosen the pieces.
As soon as the gnocchi floats, get it drained and cooled so it doesn’t get mushy.
Drain the gnocchi into a colander remembering to reserve 1 1/4 cup for sauce. I usually have this set aside in my Pyrex measuring cup before I drain.
Add the 2 Tbsp of butter to the gnocchi pan, and heat on medium-high.
Add the garlic and let it cook until the aroma is distinct.
Add the broth, as well as the garlic and onion powders.
Check on the chicken. It might need flipped or turned down further.
Pour your heavy cream into the butter and broth mixture.
Whisk in the sour cream and the sage.
Don’t forget your chicken. It’s probably done.
Allow this to get hot and bubbly, then add in 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder and whisk gently.
Grab the colander of gnocchi and dust with the remaining arrowroot powder. Toss them around to loosen.
Add gnocchi and veggies into the sauce and continue to stir until it is to your desired temp and consistency.
I took a pic, but all the fanning in the house wouldn’t move the steam.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
All that’s left is plating! Well, and eating, of course.
Ladle the creamy gnocchi and veggies down into a pretty bowl and top with diced or sliced chicken. I tried both and liked the diced look better. Rustic and gorgeous, isn’t it?? Some fresh grated Parm would have worked here. Hmmm…next time for sure.
I really missed having bread with this. And wine. And dessert.
I’m not in another “I quit everything” phase. I’ve been sober without even thinking about it for a minute. Oh, wait!! I had a Slippery Nipple Coffee a couple weeks ago. Just one. At home with the fella, and no alcohol buzz was acquired because no alcohol buzz is required. Plus, I’ve got shit to do. No time for hangover recovery days.
If you’re not restricting, please enjoy this with some quality garlic bread, a nice buttery Chardonnay and for the love of all things foodie, a fine dessert of Tiramisu or creme brûlée.
I’ll be seeing you real soon. I am sending out lots of love and holiday cheer!!