Friday, February 19, 2010


It all started with leftover pepperoni crumbles. I made a double batch of this recipe from have cake will travel. We are, as a couple, very into seitan and most of the faux meats, meat analogues, protein intensives, and what have you. So anytime I come across a new way to prepare seitan, I hit it. And hit it hard. First, I made pizza pockets with some leftover phyllo dough.

(The phyllo, incidentally, was leftover from making Joni's amazing recipe for Seitan en Croute. Maybe I'll review that the next time I make it. I did end up subbing phyllo for the puff pastry specified in the recipe because I couldn't find the latter.)

While the pockets were a big hit, I ended up with lots of leftover seitan crumbles. I really like the flavor of these crumbles, but they disappoint me when they're mixed in with anything saucy or in any way given an opportunity to soak up extra liquid. The crumbles are thirsty little bastards, and I didn't like the way they sort of dissolved into gumminess in the pockets. Tasty gummy, but gummy. Thus, I wanted to use the remainder in a way that took advantage of their dryness and didn't compromise it or expose them to watery temptation.

C and I brainstormed a bit about what to do with the remaining, and the resulting dish was actually his idea. Though it was my execution, please understand. He said "Gnocchi." I concurred. The following is an approximation of my recipe, which we both thought was delicious. We sprinkled the pepperoni crumbles on top, but I think you could easily eat this just as is and find it quite tasty.

Gnocchi with Greens, Tomatoes, and Fennel

(I really need to get a better feel for naming recipes)

1 pkg gnocchi
1 bunch collards, chopped
1 small head fennel, sliced thinly
1 head garlic
4 large roma tomatoes, largely diced
ground black pepper
1/8 c - 1/4c nutritional yeast
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. On a baking sheet, toss fennel and garlic with some olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, stir, and roast for 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, boil water in a large pot. When it reaches a rolling boil, toss in gnocchi and cook for 2-3 minutes. They float when they're ready. Dump the gnocchi into a colander and return the pot, with a small amount of water in it, to the stove. Cook the collard greens for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened and bright green.

Combine gnocchi and roasted vegetables with greens. Add a few tablespoons olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. Stir to coat and serve hot.

At this point, we topped with pepperoni crumbles, but, of course, you don't have to.

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