My go to comfort food is always some form of Italian- it’s simple, yet so delicious. I’m not sure if it’s the carbs, olive oil, or garlic, but they all sound sooooo appetizing. At the same time I really strive to be healthy, even if I go for comfort food…
When you think about the food you buy at the grocery, whether it’s processed or pre-prepared… it begs the question… what’s actually in my food?
I am not saying you should ditch your pasta, because ease is sometimes necessary when you find that your days are overly busy. It’s also amazing- pasta with marinara sauce is so yummy! But If you have a free weekend you should definitely try your hand at making your own pasta. I tried making gnocchi because it was so simple to make and I had all the ingredients in my kitchen.
I had some sweet potatoes left in my apartment so I decided to try my hand at home-made gnocchi. Most people add some ricotta cheese to enhance the flavor a bit, but I didn’t have any cheese in my fridge so I did without. Surprisingly, gnocchi was simple to make and was pretty good! Next time I want to try regular potatoes with marinara sauce. Another alternative with sweet potato gnocchi would be some type of brown butter sauce, I think it would really enhance the sweetness of the sweet potatoes!
-2 medium sweet potatoes
-S & P (~1/4-1/2 tsp)
-2 large chicken breasts (cut longways- “chicken finger style”)
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-juice from 1/2 lemon
-1 tsp minced garlic
-S & P (~1/4-1/2 tsp)
…balsamic brussels sprouts…
-2 cups brussels sprouts (quartered)
-3/4 cup red onions (sliced)
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
-1/4 tsp S & P and red pepper flakes
-4 cloves garlic minced
Begin by preparing your chicken and marinade by placing all ingredients in a gallon baggy, mixing it up, and placing in the fridge for at least two hours.
For the gnocchi, use a fork to poke holes in each sweet potato and microwave until they are soft. Peel the sweet potatoes and put the soft insides in a small mixing bowl. Then crack an egg in the bowl and mix until it reaches an even consistency. Add S & P and mix. Slowly add flour while you turn the gnocchi dough over itself. I did not have an exact measurement for the amount of flour I used, I just kept adding it little by little until it reached a firm and non-sticky consistency. Then divide the dough into three small chunks and roll each out like a long snake to about 1/2 inch width. Cut each piece about 3/4 inch to an inch- I just tried to make mine bite sized! Place your uncooked gnocchi pieces in a bowl and set aside.
Begin to boil water while you cut your brussels in to fourths (if they are larger cut hem into sixths), then chop your onions. Heat olive oil in a pan to medium heat and add your brussels sprouts and onion.
When your water begins to boil add your gnocchi (this may take a few rounds), cook until the gnocchi pieces rise to the surface. The cook time for gnocchi is very short, mine took maybe 3-4 minutes! Scoop your gnocchi pieces out with a spoon, draining all the water, then place in a bowl.
When your brussels and onions become very tender add the garlic and balsamic vinegar. Then combine your gnocchi and brussels sprouts into one pan, turn off heat and cover with a lid.
In a separate pan cook your chicken on medium to high heat about 3-4 minutes on each side. Pour all the marinade into the pan to make sure the chicken becomes extra flavorful. Cut into a piece to see if the chicken is fully cooked. Grab a plate and put the gnocchi and brussels mixture on first, then top with the balsamic chicken. Enjoy!