Beet Gnocchi with Walnuts and Crispy Sage

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We sure love our gnocchi – be it regular potato gnocchi or any other variety – and can’t imagine a more satisfying yet sophisticated meal. Over the years, we’ve tried and tested our way through a range of root vegetables as the base: parsnips, carrots, beets… And while we can’t quite pick a favorite flavor-wise, beets just provide the most gorgeous color – and the sweetness pairs so nicely with sage and walnuts. While it might seem a daunting meal to cook, making your own gnocchi is really quite simple – just some mixing, shaping and boiling and it’s all done. Here, you obviously have to make the beet puree*, but it’s not that big of a deal (plus, really convenient to prepare beforehand and store in the fridge until showtime). We just boil the beets for however long it takes until they’re soft (usually around an hour), and then peel them quickly by almost “squeezing” them out of the peel. Some blitzing later (hand mixer works just fine) and your puree is done. Just remember to wear an apron, because beet juice stains pretty badly…

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Bean Dip 3 Ways

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Bean dips. Bean spreads. Hummuses. Staples of our fridge. Easiest things to make and best hanger-rescues there are. I could just keep going: they are cheap, packed with nutrients, easy to adapt based on season. Yesterday, we finished an entire tub as a mid-morning snack (actually, it was the butternut squash version you’ll see below that we dug into – it might very well be our favorite bean spread ever). Best afternoon-pick-me-up is a slice of bread, a thick layer of bean spread and a crispy vegetable on top. If we’re feeling fancy, we’ll go all in with a sprinkle of sesame seeds as well. Ah, the small things in life. Throw in some spring sun, which would mean snacking takes place while sitting on our deck, and we couldn’t ask for more! Appreciating those glorious moments in the day-to-day is key to contentment, we think. Taking the time to stop for a second, take in your surroundings, look up from the screens, notice the weather and the seasonal changes… to us, those are all crucial aspects of a life in harmony. And apparently, bean spreads can be a great help along the way!

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Root Vegetable Grain Bowl

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Ah, wheat berries. Again. You’ll have to excuse us, but we love them! Nuttier and chewier than rice and about a million times more eco-friendly, it’s a winner any day. Another fun grain alternative is naked oats (Swedish: nakenhavre). Have you ever tried it? Really good as well, and actually even more of a nutritional power house than wheat berries, with higher protein content among other things. We’re working on developing some recipes with naked oats too, so stay tuned! But anyway. I think the first time wheat berries ended up in our home was back in New York, when Mike bought some with the intention of making his own wheat flour. Only, his coffee grinder surprisingly didn’t do the trick (it was hysterically funny) so the box was forgotten about for a while until one of those let’s-clean-out-the-cabinets cooking endeavors took place, and those wheat berries were put in a kale salad of some sorts. Since then, they’ve become a staple, and I’d say we eat wheat berries at least once a week.

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Vegetarian Borscht

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Before moving to NYC, I thought maybe I’d find an awesome bagel spot that I’d make “mine”. Or a pizza place, or a coffee shop. I wasn’t expecting becoming a regular at a Ukrainian/American eatery serving up pierogi, borscht and blintzes next to eggs Benedict and chocolate chip pancakes as if the most natural thing in the world, but I did. And while Veselka, as this cultural landmark is called, was a favorite of Michael’s too, I’m proud to say I’d been there multiple times already, when meeting him! (I believe this scored me some extra points there, early on you know) We’ve enjoyed more delicious meals at Veselka than we can count – for example, the thought of a large plate of potato pierogi was the only thing that could get Michael out of fetal position and up from the couch after his first half marathon distance run. It was also the place I took my parents for brunch when they came to New York for the first time, and they did in fact order said chocolate chip pancakes… Whenever we go back to visit these days, a dinner there beats any temptations the fancy restaurants throw at us – and we’re lucky that our brother/brother-in-law doesn’t turn down an opportunity to get his Ukrainian food fix, so we can combine seeing Max AND eating potato pancakes with apple sauce and sour cream. Win-win.

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