Recipe Box: Raw Vegan Spring Gnocchi with Beet Green Pesto

IMG_1193 These days, I’ve been trying to take life a little bit slower. To enjoy the pause between moments, to slow down to reconnect.  In fact, this is a theme I’ve been consciously exploring this year. When I was first starting my business and even before that, back to when I was working my first real salaried job out of college, I had this intense drive to work as hard as I could – as if I had to prove my worth and work ethic every moment.  I was always stressed out, running from one thing to the next, often falling asleep at 2-3am with my laptop on my face as I tried to eke out one more project before I passed out. How terrible and unbalanced does that sound? I was so overwhelmed in this desire to do more, to be more, to get more done each day, I forgot how to simply just…BE.

Red Beet Gnocchi-001 A few years prior to this, I had a “profound” thought one day while sitting alone on the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. In a somewhat chaotic blur, I had just graduated university, said goodbye to friends and a dear chapter of my life, packed up everything I owned into a tiny storage locker, drove to New York then hopped a 17 hour non-stop flight to New Delhi all in 2 days. Delhi was just reflection of that internal chaos that was going. I got horrendously sick in Delhi (I’m still convinced it was malaria!), and it wasn’t until I recovered some ten days later that I arrived at a moment of stillness in the foothills of the Himalayas.  As I finally allowed myself time and space to slow down, I had this somewhat silly “ah-hah” moment that we are not called “human doings” we are “human beings.” We spend so much of our lives filling our days with endless errands, to-do lists and tightly packed schedules, that we forget how to just be – how to slow down and sip in the moment fully. And I found, the less I got wrapped up in doing and more in being, the richer life became. My interactions with people became more meaningful, the conversations more stimulating, and a deep calm that transcended over me seemed to allow my day-to-day life to tap into that divine flow of the universe. Things just started to unfold effortlessly and naturally. Life felt right.

Red Beet Gnocchi

I lived in this flow for a while, but somewhere between returning to the States and getting a dream job position – I got wrapped up in the hustle. I let these invaluable lessons get pushed to the back of my consciousness for a while, feeling like if I wasn’t hustling things weren’t happening.  But the harder I worked, the more disconnected I got, and soon the stress was creating a pattern of disharmony again in my life.  I think it’s a natural ebb of life, but 2014 to me is all about getting back into the flow and slowing down to reconnect. And the result so far has been more productivity and more joy in my life.

Red Beet Gnocchi-002 These days, I’m spending more time doing the things I love.  I’m tapping back into my morning yoga practice, going on outdoor adventures, reading books for pleasure, taking afternoon walks with friends, lingering in the kitchen creating new recipes with my local CSA bounty, then sharing them over good wine and laughter around the table.  This recipe is one I created in those moments.  It’s a slow down- take your time-enjoy the process kind of recipe…maybe a perfect one to share around the Easter dinner table this weekend.  Wherever you are, I encourage you to take time for yourself just to be. Put on some good music, open the windows, open your heart and let the energy flow.

Tell me, what ways do you slow down and enjoy joy life? I’d love to hear the little things that make your days richer.

IMG_1210

RED BEET GNOCCHI WITH BEET GREEN, BASIL & PISTACHIO PESTO

Gnocchi
2 large red beets, shredded in food processor raw + strained (about 2 cups beet pulp)
1 ½ cup macadamia nuts, soaked 4 hours
½ cup coconut flour
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¾ cup water

In a food processor, pulse the raw chopped beets until ground down into a pulp.  Strain the pulp through a chinois or fine mesh stainer. Place beets back into food processor and combine with remaining ingredients.  Spread your cutting board with a handful of coconut flour. Take a portion of the dough and roll into a short 6-8 inch long by 1-inch wide log.  Use knife to cut 1-inch long rectangular dumplings, reshape and form as necessary. Repeat until dough is gone, makes about 40-50 dumplings. Make indentation with fork over top each dumpling.

Dehydrate: Place the formed gnocchi onto your teflex/dehydrator sheets.  Heat at 135 for 3-4 hours.  Once firm, flip dumplings and place back in the dehydrator to heat for another 5 hours at 115 degrees. Remove dumplings when firm, but still tender in the center.

Bake: Preheat oven to lowest temp.  Place the gnocchi on parchment-lined baking sheet. Place your Dumplings on the top rack or away from the main heat source in your oven.  Leaving the door cracked open, bake for to 2 to 3 hours.  Avoid over-baking as they will become dry and crumbly if left in too long. Remove dumplings when firm, but still tender in the center.

Beet Green Pesto
1 bunch beet greens, washed well & chopped
1 cup fresh basil
3/4 cup shelled pistachios, soaked 2 hours
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp olive oil

Place all ingredients, except the olive oil, in a high-speed blender or food processor. Pulse until well combined.  Add the olive oil and pulse again to emulsify. Transfer to an airtight glass container and store in your refrigerator.
To Serve, place a handful of arugula or fresh greens on your plate. Scoop several spoonfuls of pesto in small dallops unevenly around the plate, then place the gnocchi over top. Drizzle olive oil and crack black pepper to finish.