Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

March 26, 2017

© Mike McColl

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Gnocchi with squash, kale and Parmesan

30-minute meals from one of Canada's experts on nutrition

Gnocchi, which means dumpling in Italian, is a made from a soft potato dough. It's true comfort food. Although it's tasty in a simple tomato sauce, it's paired in this recipe with cubes of butternut squash, kale and two cheeses to make it a heartier -- and more nutritious -- dish. The vegetables and cheese keep the gnocchi moist, so no sauce is needed. If you like a more flavourful cheese than Parmesan, try Romano, Asiago or Pecorino. Vegetarian.


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes


1 tsp. (5 ml) vegetable oil
1 c. (250 ml) diced onion
11/2 tsp. (7.5 ml) minced garlic
salt and pepper
11/2 c. (375 ml) diced peeled butternut squash
1 c. (250 ml) diced red bell pepper
1 lb. (500 g) premade gnocchi (about 1¾ c. / 430 ml)
8 c. (2 L) lightly packed chopped trimmed kale leaves
3/4 c. (180 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. (80 ml) shredded light mozzarella cheese


Preheat the oven to 425F (220C). Spray a 9- x 13-inch (23- x 33-cm) casserole dish with vegetable oil.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, squash and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the squash is tender. Transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and return the water to a boil. Boil for 4 or 5 minutes, just until the gnocchi rise to the surface and are tender. Stir in the kale during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain well.

Add the cooked gnocchi and kale to the squash mixture and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and gently toss again.

Transfer the gnocchi mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with the mozzarella. Bake for 5 minutes or just until the cheese has melted. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition tip: Butternut squash is filled with vitamins A and C, potassium and fibre. Kale is a cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetable that contains our daily amounts of vitamins K, C and A.

For kids: Try making this with either baby kale or spinach, which tend to be sweeter and slightly more tender than large kale leaves.

Nutritional information per serving

Calories 234
Carbohydrates 41 g
Fibre 4.1 g
Protein 10.2 g
Fat 4.5 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Sodium 625 mg

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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