companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Green Tea Party

My friends and I have decided to make a monthly girly day for tea, lunch and girl talk. Today was my day to hostess. The sweet girls who came to my house are also friends of the Diner, so they agreed to let me experiment on them. Haha!  Since the theme for the March News is Green, that meant I served mostly green foods. We had a Basil Vinegar Roasted Green Beans, Spinach Gnocchi, and Chicken Alfredo in Spinach Crepes. Amazingly, neither spinach dish tasted very much like spinach, but they were a gorgeous green color. Despite the full bag of fresh spinach that went into these two dishes, they tasted more like---cheese! That is always a great thing for me, since I adore cheese.

Both test recipes worked well, even though I decided I liked the baked gnocchi better than the traditional boiled potato variety. That is the recipe I will give to you. I will share that one here on the blog, but it will be in the Diner News too. The wonderful crepe recipe, well, that will stay in the Diner News for my subscribers. I really appreciate those of you who support me by ordering the Diner News. I try hard to keep it different from the blog, although sometimes, recipes are available in both places. Other recipes I am including this month? Broccoli Bites, Romanesque Dolma, Nori Chips, Avocado Dip, Spinach Flatbread, Cream Cheese Mints... and more assorted veggie recipes. It is all green!

Now these Spinach Gnocchi. I tried them boiled the traditional way, and baked. I much preferred the baked. The texture is a little lighter than my Notato Gnocci from the Low Carbing Among Friends book. Those I like boiled. Baking is actually a little faster too. These are tender, not chewy. The are great with Alfredo sauce poured over the top. Use that sparingly, because these are tasty without sauce. I think I may try the leftovers with some garlic butter. I will keep you posted on that one!

Baked Spinach Gnocchi
8 cups fresh spinach
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
4 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Place the spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, coconut flour, xanthan, salt and baking powder in a food processor or good blender. Pulse until all ingredients are finely blended. Chill dough for an hour or more.

Using a small scoop, drop balls of dough on parchment or a silicone liner on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and cool two minutes before removing from sheet. Serve with Alfredo or red sauce.

 These might be good enough just to serve as snacks, rather like spinach puffs. They are a little more moist than bread, but lighter than most pasta. Good either way! 

Tea parties are such fun. We probably tried 15 flavors from my tea arsenal. I borrowed an idea from Martha, and used mismatched china and napkins, so that each serving was unique. Since I collect one of a kind pieces for my photography, I doubt I could put together a formal service these days anyway without pulling out my Christmas china...but we had fun.The younger girls were not too keen on the green beans, but we old ladies liked them. I needed the tangy bite of vinegar to balance all the cheesy flavors from the other dishes. Our dessert was a strawberry lemon mousse served as dessert shots. I was not so crazy about that, but I was trying to use up the rest of the container of ricotta cheese, leftover from the gnocchi. Maybe I should have just made more gnocchi? Any way, a good time was had by all. I think in this hurry scurry world, we often forget to create the time to spend with our dear friends, nurturing those relationships. I made a special meal, and we spent real time connecting. I can't help but think those are the moments that matter the most.


Danielle said...

Hi Lisa,

I've just recently started following your blog and have made a couple of recipes from it with great success (thanks!). Any ideas for a substitute for zanthan gum? Would arrowroot work?


Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

There are a few gals at work I'm trying to get over to the LC side of the fence. Having to give up bread is hard enough, but Pasta (heaven forbid)! I'm hoping the baked spinach gnocchi will do the trick. I'd like to serve them as an appetizer. Any suggestions on dip?

Thanks, Rica

Lisa Marshall said...

I used a jarred alfredo sauce poured over, but home made would be better. They aren't very much like pasta, so I don't know if that would cure a pasta fix. Unfortunately, I have never found anything really close to true al dente pasta.

Lisa Marshall said...


Sorry to not have answered. Just saw the comment.

Xanthan gum is very similar to guar gum. I have never used arrowroot powder. It probably depends on the use. For thickening sauces, yes, that would substitute. As a stabilizer for egg white breads and other doughs, I really don't know.


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