Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Perfect Meal for When You Don't Want to Cook

My after hot yoga power boost!

There are those days when I just really don't want to cook. No, seriously! Usually they're the days when Atlanta traffic likes to make my afternoon commute an hour instead of twenty minutes, or after seventy-five minutes of sweat inducing bikram yoga... I just don't have it in me to make anything worth eating. That's when the fast food drive thru lights start flashing. Not good.
I know it's hard to want to cook for yourself. Especially something that's good for you. I've had my share of popcorn dinners with a side of gummy worms. Whether you're cooking for just yourself, or a bouncing off the walls family of 4, this dish is something easy enough for even the busiest of busy bodies. And with all of the rich iron and veggie protein, it'll fill you up without slowing you down.

Everything I used in this recipe I made from scratch earlier in the week - for moments such as this. If even that is too much to think about, go ahead and use ready-made pesto, gnocchi, and sun dried tomatoes straight from the grocery store. It's a great way to make this dish just-that-much-easier.

Literally, it took me less than 10 minutes to put together. That's faster than most drive-thrus. Tastes better too...

...and yes, I'm still in my sweaty yoga clothes.

Pesto Gnocchi with Kale and Adzuki Beans

*This recipe makes enough to fill one person. If making for more, simply multiply the quantities.

2 big handfuls of fresh kale (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup of cooked adzuki beans (if you can't find adzuki beans, you can use any kind of bean you like) 
2 tablespoons of basil pesto 
150-200g potato gnocchi
2-3 oven-dried tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil over the stove. Add a few large pinches of salt to flavor the cooking liquid.

Rinse the kale to make sure there is no sand or dirt in the leaves. Remove the stem and ribs from the kale so you are just left with the tender leaves. 

In a hot frying pan, heat the oil and butter, and add the kale. Salt to taste. Saute on high until the greens become vibrant and tender, about 5 minutes. Place sauteed greens into a bowl or serving dish.

Add the beans and pesto to the same frying pan you cooked the kale in, and warm together on medium heat. Stir gently to combine the pesto with the beans.

Gently drop in the gnocchi into the pot of water once it is boiling. Once the gnocchi float to the top, remove them from the pot with a strainer or slotted spoon and place directly into the saute pan with the pesto and beans.

Gently stir everything together until the gnocchi is completely covered with the pesto. Place this on top of the sauteed kale. 

Top with roughly chopped tomatoes. Freshly grate as much cheese as you would like over top and salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Bonjour Katrina, I just stumbled onto your awesome blog, thanks for the wonderful recipes!

    Also wanted to ask what camera are you using to get your fabulous photos!? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Florence! For most of the photos, I use my old Canon Rebel XTI, but for some of the newer photos and things on my flickr and instagram I'm just using my iPhone4 :) Thanks for reading!

  2. I love gnocchi. I'm impressed that you are organized to have all of those ingredients already prepared and on hand. Looks like a great dish.