Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sweet Potato Quinoa Drop Dumplings

With Electric's large array of allergies- coming up with interesting foods has gotten more and more challenging the more we try to get healthy. Dumplings are one of those make it or break it foods. Traditional dumplings are made with wheat and oil (among other ingredients) and just those two ingredients alone would send us over our fats or him into some digestive distress. (wheat allergies/intolerances are no joke). When looking at making gnocchi-it was the same issue. Wheat flour and, usually, russet potatoes. Russet potatoes are not the best type of potato to be eating a lot of because of the simple carbs and starches that come with them.  Being that we have moved from rice to quinoa (so much quinoa) and sweet potatoes were super cheap (and we had a lot) we started to experiment. After some Google-fu we stumbled across the idea of gnocchi. Even though that attempt failed (so horribly) we did some get some nice drop dumplings out the whole thing. So yeah...this is a recipe for that. You're welcome.

Roughly 1.5 lbs of sweet potato
10 ounces dry and uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup real egg or egg beaters. If you want fat free, go with egg beaters or have fun separating those whites and yolks!
3 tbsp corn starch/powder
Pepper (optional...but HIGHLY suggested)

Pot for boiling
Mixing bowl
Food processor or electric spice grinder
Measuring devices (a food scale works best.)

To the cooking!

First things first, get those potatoes mushy. I dropped mine into a slow cooker on low for overnight. They were a little TOO mushy for this as the water that got baked out also pooled into the crock-pot with the help of condensation. I didn't really think to drain them before adding everything else until it was too late. Pro-tip: drain your potatoes.

While the potatoes are cooking, or draining, begin grinding your quinoa as this will take a while depending on the size of your food processor or spice grinder. I used our spice grinder mainly because I hated the texture from our food processor - and the spice grinder helped to make sure 99% of the quinoa was finely ground.

After, or if you get tired of grinding quinoa for a while, go ahead and start mashing the potatoes. Don't use a mixer because that is boring-also the mixing is not that intensive. Less clean-up means more fun for cooking and eating!

You can add the ingredients in whatever order suits you best. I like to add the most liquid-y ingredients first and move to the most dry just so I am not having to work in a liquid ingredient to an already dry mix. With the drop dumplings you want them on the dry side, but not stiff. Depending on how moist your sweet potatoes are you might need less quinoa at the end. 

After all of your main ingredients are all mashed and mixed together - this would the time to add the pepper (or whatever other spices you have on hand/ in mind). Electric is a huge fan of pepper-y dumplings as his maternal grandmother, Nonny, use to make them and he has missed them since her passing. So I do like to try and recreate as many of his faves as I can. No idea how much pepper I added (pretty sure it was a bushel...). I just ground it, dumped it, and stirred it in.

Now to the oh-so fun part. Changing this sweet potato, quinoa, egg mush into a delicious and firm dumpling. You can get fancy if you want and shape them with spoons - I did that for about 6 of them before laughing at myself and just scooping and dropping them into the water- or if you have a pipping bag/apparatus go ahead and use that. You get as fancy (or lazy) as you want. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop one in for the test. Depending on the size they can take a bit. Once it is nice and float-y, you can take it out. Drain if you must. Cook the whole batch this was way. Really just wait until the are bobbing all over the place before taking them. I know, this recipe is incredibly technical and precise.

And...ta-da! Low fat, gluten-free, vitamin loaded dumplings are yours to enjoy on or in whatever you desire. They freeze well and just need to be re-heated in the microwave. If you are wanting to add them to soup- you can add them while your soup is cooking or after it is done. The world is your dumpling...err...oyster?

This recipes makes about 30 dumplings of medium size.

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