Meatless Monday: Spring vegetable baked gnocchi

Whelp, it's been a while since my last post and if I'm being honest, it's because I've been obsessively online shopping for shoes to wear to my college reunion. But it's not as shallow as it sounds! I'm focusing my energies on something I can control because there's a lot right now that I can't. It's easier to compare heel heights and debate the pros and cons of suede in DC humidity than to worry about, say, authoritarianism or long-term career plans or huge and imminent life changes. It's enough to give me an ulcer. Which is also something I worry about.

This casserole has been helpful on busy days and is, as always, a helpful vehicle for vegetables. The leftovers are also great when crisped in the oven. I tend to shy away from baked pasta since it requires an extra step that the original ingredients don't necessarily need to taste great. But smothering things in cheese is always better than NOT smothering things with cheese and since the gnocchi cook so quickly, the overall prep and cooking time isn't overwhelming. Also, the gnocchi have a lot of starch thanks to the potatoes, which thickens the ricotta so that a bechamel or flour-based sauce isn't necessary.

Baked gnocchi

1 package potato gnocchi, cooked al dente
1 large shallot, minced
1 bunch asparagus, woody stems chopped off
1 box baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 box shitake mushrooms, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup full fat ricotta
½ cup parmesan
½- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat broiler. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is heating, melt butter in a sauté pan and cook the shallots until opaque. Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to release some water. Add the garlic and asparagus and cook until the water evaporates. If the mushrooms don’t release any water, feel free to add a tbsp or two with the asparagus and cook until it evaporates.

When water is boiling, add the gnocchi and as soon as they start floating to the top, scoop the gnocchi out with a slotted spoon or strainer and put into a large bowl. If only a few gnocchi float at a time, scoop them out in small groups. If the gnocchi aren’t floating or some seem to be cooking at the bottom of the pot for longer than 3-4 minutes, test for doneness and scoop out as long as they no longer taste doughy.

Mix the gnocchi with ricotta, parmesan, sautéed veggies, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake under the broiler until cheese is brown and bubbly, about 10-12 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

Green curry fish stew

Green curry fish stew | Me & The Moose. Bottled green curry makes quick work of this tasty Thai-inspired stew that’s chock full of fish and veggies. #meandthemoose #Thaicurry #healthymeals #whole30 #whole30recipes #onepotmeals #dinnerrecipes

Guys, Friday happened. I'm still in denial and I can't have wine for 6 MORE DAYS. Why did I do a Whole 30 now? I'm talking about the inauguration of DJT, obviously. A more thoughtful post is in the works, but I couldn't write about food without mentioning the thing that has occupied my brain for the past week.

For me, one of the things I like about having a child is that his needs are so immediate that caring for him forces me to be in the moment much more than I ever was pre-parenthood. That required compartmentalizing has gotten me through the past few days. I feel this way about cooking too. It's an activity that forces me to pay attention and helps me to block out the worry that can sometimes drag me into its vortex.

So, it'll be an active four years in my kitchen.

No doubt, I'll be making this Thai green curry fish stew A LOT. It's a very delicious vehicle for vegetables and while not technically "hiding" them, the vegetables become part of a whole and don't taste like themselves necessarily. When M was a baby, one of his favorite purees from Baby Foode was chicken, carrots, mango, and Thai red curry paste, so he's always liked these flavors.

This version of Thai curry is not at all traditional and is also technically more of a soup than a stew because there's a lot of sauce. But to me, that's the best part, so I'm not complaining. If you're doing a Whole 30 or are just curious about what's in your food, check your labels because not all Thai curry pastes are created equal. Thai Kitchen brand is definitely Whole 30 compliant.

And don't be scared of kohlrabi. If you can't find it, cabbage or broccoli stalks are the closest substitutes and also the closest in taste. You can eat kohlrabi raw, sauteed, boiled, or roasted and it's available in most grocery stores and farmer's markets. Here is a great description of what kohlrabi is and some suggestions about what to do with it.

A note about stock: Read carefully because we've only found one brand that is Whole 30 compliant. We could make it ourselves, but stock is one food prep area where I get REALLY lazy, largely because we have a store around the corner that makes homemade stock that is cheap, Whole 30 compliant, and really really good. And then I don't have to handle a whole raw chicken again. Bully for me.

Green curry fish stew | Me & The Moose. Bottled green curry makes quick work of this tasty Thai-inspired stew that’s chock full of fish and veggies. #meandthemoose #Thaicurry #healthymeals #whole30 #whole30recipes #onepotmeals #dinnerrecipes

Green curry fish stew

½ large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cup fish stock (or chicken/vegetable stock or water if you can't find a Whole 30 compliant stock)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
5 Tbsp Thai green curry paste (or just go ahead and use the entire little bottle)
1 pint mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch baby broccoli (if using regular broccoli, use 6 oz or about 2 cups)
1 medium kohlrabi bulb, chopped
2 cups raw baby spinach (1 cup frozen)
1 lb white fish (thawed, if frozen)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
Cilantro for garnish

Heat oil over a medium flame and add onion and garlic, cooking until the onions are opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they start to wilt a bit, about 5 more minutes. Add the baby broccoli and cook for one minute. (I removed the long stems because they didn’t fit into my pot, but you can absolutely leave them on or cut them up into chunks.)

Add the coconut milk and the fish stock and bring to a boil. Add the spinach, kohlrabi, and fish and bring back to a boil (this only takes a minute). Push the fish down to make sure it's covered by the cooking liquid.

When the pot is back to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer until the fish is flaky. I had extremely thin slices of cod, so this only took about 8 minutes, but if your fish is thicker, it will take longer. When the fish is cooked, stir in the fish sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.

Makes 7-8 cups, which was about 4 adult servings and 2 toddler servings

Green curry fish stew | Me & The Moose. Bottled green curry makes quick work of this tasty Thai-inspired stew that’s chock full of fish and veggies. #meandthemoose #Thaicurry #healthymeals #whole30 #whole30recipes #onepotmeals #dinnerrecipes