Liz VanderLeest
Account Coordinator

Office: (216) 264-5543

Email: lvanderleest@wellnessiq.net

On the Clock:
Liz VanderLeest joined WellnessIQ in 2021 and is currently the Account Coordinator. Liz graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. Prior to joining WellnessIQ, Liz worked as a household manager, assistant director at a daycare and guest and donor relations at the Maltz Museum. Liz is well versed in data management and manipulation, marketing, along with project communication and coordination.

Off the Clock:
Liz and her husband are residents of Cleveland Heights. She enjoys staying active by competitively sailing on Lake Erie, hiking with her husband, and playing ice hockey in the winter. Liz also enjoys spending time painting on the side, cooking delicious meals in the kitchen and eating her way through charcuterie boards.

Fun Fact/Unique Skill:
Liz has 8 siblings and plethora of nieces and nephews!

Turkey Sausage and White Bean Gnocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon (13g) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced (1 cup; 130g)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 package (13 oz.; 368g) Smoked Turkey Sausage, coined
  • 1/4 cup (65g) Swanson's chicken stock (or broth; water works too)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz. 411g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon EACH: dried oregano, dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, paprika
  • Fine sea salt and pepper
  • 1 can (15.5 oz; 439g) white kidney or cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 package (16 oz.; 453g) gnocchi (shelf-stable)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (37g) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (50g) freshly grated mozzarella cheese (plus more for serving)
  • 1/4 cup (17g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
  • Optional: fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

PREP: Move a rack in your oven to the upper third of the oven and then preheat to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). Prep ingredients before starting — cooking goes quickly. Dice the onion, mince garlic, cut sausage into coins (~1/2 inch thick), drain and rinse white beans, coarsely chop spinach, grate cheeses.

ONION, GARLIC, AND SAUSAGE: Place a large oven-safe skillet (I use a deep 12-inch cast iron skillet) on the stove over medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil and when hot, add the diced onion. Sauté, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until the onion is transparent and becoming golden, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds. Add the coined turkey sausage to the skillet. Cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.

ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS: Add in the stock/broth or water, undrained diced tomatoes, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, paprika, thoroughly rinsed, drained, and dried off white beans, uncooked gnocchi (break apart any that are sticking together), and spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I add 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.) Stir until everything is well combined. Top with grated mozzarella and Parmesan.

BAKE: Bake for 17-23 minutes. If desired, broil for 1-2 minutes for a delicious crispy top (watch closely — it can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds!)

ENJOY: Remove from the heat, and let slightly cool before tasting for any additional seasonings. Top with fresh parsley and enjoy hot! If desired, top individual bowls with more cheese – yum!