Sweet potato gnocchi is so easy and delicious! It only needs three ingredients and takes about 20 minutes to make. Here, I’ve paired it with a quick creamy spinach sauce that’s rich and moreish. I’ve used mostly frozen ingredients, so this is a convenient meal to put together quickly, though you can use fresh as well.
It’s nearly Mother’s Day, so I created this feast in honour of my mum. She moved from Northern Ireland to be closer to us when I had my daughter and she has been an incredible help to us all. She’s there to help with the school runs, to sew the badges onto Beaver’s jumpers, to kiss grazed knees and to give the best Grandma cuddles.
For me, she’s there for trips to the theatre, coffee breaks, chats and to be one of my chief taste testers. She looks after the kids so Marc and I can escape to the pub sometimes and she takes me to the shops because I hate driving. She’s amazing and no words (or cake!) could ever repay her for doing so much for us. Thank you mum. xx
I’ve been working with Iceland Foods quite a lot and they challenged me to create a three-course meal for Mother’s Day, using frozen foods to highlight the Power of Frozen. Just check out this spread! And it all came from convenient frozen foods.
As I perused the aisles, I was spoilt for choice. I wanted to make the main course from scratch, but I knew that I could find some convenient gems for the starter and dessert. I planned to use their frozen sweet potato mash for the gnocchi, which would be filling, so I settled on a lighter soup for starters. The tomato and basil soup was perfect.
As for the dessert, I spent ages hovering over the cabinet trying to decide. There were cheesecakes, mousses and puddings all calling my name. I settled on the chocolate and hazelnut marquise – because, you know, chocolate is everything. I served them with some frozen berries that I had in the freezer already.
Gnocchi is surprisingly simple to make at home, and is a fantastic way to use up leftover mash. I made mine with sweet potato mash as I love the flavour and sweetness that it brings.
It really is a matter of just mixing three ingredients together, then rolling it out and cutting it. Boil for a few minutes and presto – gnocchi! You can adapt this recipe with normal potatoes or even purple potatoes. Try adding herbs or spices for a bit of variety!
I packed quite a lot of vegetables into this meal, as I always try to do. Recently, it has been in the press that we should be aiming for 10 portions of fruit/veg a day, rather than the current government guidelines of 5. I’ve had this in mind a lot recently and although it’s not always achievable, there are plenty of ways to make it easier. I keep Iceland’s frozen smoothie packs in the freezer and have those most mornings for breakfast. Then it’s usually soup for lunch with fresh veggies and hummus. For dinner I’ll often stir fry Iceland’s Zesty Bean Quinoa with some teriyaki sauce. It’s a yummy and healthy veg-packed meal in just a few minutes. By stocking up on frozen fruit and veg, I love that I can just use what I need and it won’t wilt or go off.
I always want green at every meal, plus I needed something to cut through the richness of the gnocchi. So, I used frozen onions, garlic and spinach to quickly make this creamy spinach sauce. It’s the sort of sauce that can be used in many dishes. I’d add a tin of tomatoes to it and bake a few eggs in for a brunch shakshuka, or even add a bit of stock and puree it for soup. Instead of adding cream, you could use coconut milk and add some chilli to make a Jamaican callaloo side dish. It’s very versatile and I always have my freezer stocked with the ingredients.
Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Spinach Sauce:
- 500g (2 cups) frozen mashed sweet potato (or the same amount, baked and mashed until smooth)
- 250g (2 cups) plain (all purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ an onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 500g (5 oz) frozen spinach
- 1 tbsp creme fraiche (or soya cream)
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Either microwave or add the frozen sweet potato to a pan over a medium heat and heat to thaw and evaporate excess moisture, according to packet instructions. If using freshly mashed sweet potato, heat it to remove moisture as well. If there are still any lumps in the mash, mash it again until smooth. Allow the potato to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix the mashed potato with half of the flour, and the salt, and mix well. Add more flour, a little at a time, to get a thick dough consistency. You may not need all of the flour. Knead the dough well to ensure the flour is all incorporated.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces and on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a long thin strip - about ½ inch thickness. Make a cut every 3cm, to create equal bite-sized pieces.
- Lightly dust each piece with flour, and press on them gently with a fork to create small indentation marks. Store in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until translucent, then add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a further minute. Add the frozen spinach to the pan and stir, allowing it to defrost.
- Transfer the spinach mixture, along with the cream and nutmeg, to a food processor or blender and whiz until smooth. Taste and season well.
- When you’re ready to cook the gnocchi, but a large pan of salted water onto the boil. Add the gnocchi pieces, then turn the water down to a simmer.
- Cook for a few minutes until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with the spinach sauce.
THE POWER OF FROZEN
Have I convinced you about the amazing PowerofFrozen yet? Since I started working with Iceland Foods last year, I’ve been truly impressed by their offering of freshly frozen foods. I’m not one for ready meals, so I hadn’t been into their shops before, but now that I’m a regular shopper I can safely tell you to give them a try. They have a big variety of frozen fruit and veg from frozen pineapple to frozen kale. I also love the frozen onions, garlic and ginger – all of which save me a lot of time in the kitchen by cutting out the fiddly jobs.
I’m quite health conscious and they have a great range that are good for me, as well as being massive time-savers. For this sweet potato gnocchi, using frozen sweet potato made it a meal that I could rustle up in minutes!
There are plenty of reasons to switch to frozen. Since the fruit and veg is frozen at their peak of freshness, the flavour is locked in. I love that you can just use amount you need, so no food gets wasted. And it’s all delicious! Check out Iceland and the #PowerofFrozen.
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Try my other Power of Frozen recipes:
Pistachio Blondies with Raspberry Swirl Hearts
Miso Quinoa Soup and Tamari Roasted Cauliflower
Red Cabbage and Brussels Sprout Tart
Spinach and Pea Burgers
Sweet Potato cakes with Pea Puree
10 Minute Spaghetti with Kale, Asparagus, Chilli and Lemon
Disclosure: This recipe for Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Spinach Sauce was commissioned by Iceland Foods. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to write Veggie Desserts – Healthy Food and Lifestyle.