I started working my way through some of the new recipes I chose the other day. We had turkey and courgette burgers last night (not actually new, but I’d only made them once before) with roasted brussel sprouts and salad. For today I decided to make the aubergine-wrapped ricotta gnocchi with sage butter. The recipe says it serves 2 as a main course, but just in case it isn’t enough we still have some of last night’s burgers to serve on the side. 🙂
This is one of those recipes that can trip you up if you (like me!) tend to pick out recipes without reading through them. Thankfully, I’ve learned that Ottolenghi recipes sometimes take prep ahead of time — I’ll always give them a quick skim and underline anything that needs to be done ahead so I don’t forget! In this case, the gnocchi can be almost entirely created a day ahead of time, which means if they’re tasty I’m going to keep track of this as a possible party food. But they have to be started about 4-5 hours before you want to eat them, so it isn’t something to make last minute.
I was planning on throwing together the gnocchi batter last night so it could chill overnight, but I forgot. Instead, I woke up this morning and assembled the batter before starting work. After lunch, I grilled the aubergine, boiled the gnocchi, and assembled everything on a baking tray. This evening it’ll be 10 minutes in the oven (and throwing together the butter sauce) and dinner will be ready. When you spread it out like that, it hardly seems like any work at all!
My husband and I have decided to try eating low carb again (or at least he has — I might eat high carb lunches to avoid becoming a perpetually hangry monster). But changing our diet means looking at our meals in a new way, without sides of bread, rice, and starchy vegetables to fill us up.
So today I pulled out my favorite cookbooks to pick out some new side dishes (and a few mains that called to me!) that are mostly low carb.
It’s fun to look through recipes with a new goal in mind — foods that previously looked uninteresting or that I had just overlooked suddenly stood out as appealing choices. It also cut down on the overwhelming feeling I always seem to get when I’m trying to choose a new recipe to try.
If you’re curious, here are the dishes that made the list:
Aubergine-wrapped ricotta gnocchi
French beans, mangetout, and hazelnuts
Broccolini with tofu
Chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic
Parsnip and pumpkin mash (but I’ll use celeriac and butternut squash)
Burnt green onion dip with kale
Mixed Chinese vegetables
Whole roasted celery root
Zucchini and manouri fritters
Beef brisket croquettes with Asian coleslaw
Five-spiced tofu, steamed eggplants, and cardamom passata
Fried tomatoes with garlic
Turkey and courgette burgers
What do you think? If you have any favorite low carb side dishes, please share! (Just no cauliflower … it smells and tastes rotten to me.)
We enjoyed two beautifully bright Ottolenghi salads over the past two days: Sweet and sour celeriac and swede (rutabaga), and Chargrilled asparagus, courgettes (zucchini) and manouri. I made a few tweaks based on what ingredients were more accessible (zereshk instead of sour cherries, and haloumi instead of manouri) but otherwise stuck pretty close to the recipes. Both salads were as tasty as they looked!
We recently had smart meters installed. It seemed like a small thing at the time (it was a free installation as part of a larger national initiative) but I’m finding myself checking the display throughout the day and considering tweaks to my energy habits. I guess it was a meaningful change! #thepowerofdata