Sweet and Savory Gnocchi–Blab Cooking Show

Sweet and Savory Gnocchi

Two recipes–one sweet and one savory, makes parents happy and kids happy.

The best part is that the kids see that the same ingredients are used in the savory version and are more inclined to try something new.  I never try to “trick” my kids into eating food.  I put it on the table and they need to try it.  Over the years the drama of trying new foods has diminished.  Occasionally, we have a bit of choking–but usually it is on the fake side–choking as they look out of the corner of their eye to see how I’ll respond.  As a new mom, I would freak out–but now, I’m much more laid back because I know that one shred of spinach will NOT provoke choking.

As a compassionate parent, if I know my kid hates tomato soup but eats other veggies–I DO NOT give him tomato soup.  I will offer it and he/she will make a choice.  The idea is to offer tomato soup or a salad.  Both are good options.  I won’t offer tomato soup or a pop tart!!  That would just be crazy.


Cinnamon Sugar Gnocchi

Ok, this is not complicated.

Boil the gnocchi, strain, add the a pan of melted butter with cinnamon sugar.

How positively simple is that?  You can check out the blog post I wrote here.

Blow your mind VEGAN savory gnocchi!

Go ahead and tweet that!

Seriously, this is the best vegan pesto I have ever made.  The recipe comes from the Wall Street Journal–a great story about how Chef Massimo Bottura, with the help of Catholic Charities  Caritas Ambrosiana, cooked for homeless residents of Milan during the Expo 2015.  I so love this on all levels.  It completely dovetails with my personal support of Our Lady of Angels in Chicago feeding, clothing and offering household items to the poorest section of Chicago.

Chef Massimo had limited supplies and out of necessity comes amazing things.  I have changed his recipe quite a bit–I have kept the essence of frugal, funky and fun!


Frugal, Funky, Fun Pesto!

Ingredients for pesto:

  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil (something that you like to eat raw)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs from really good hearty flavorful bread–because honestly, that is the ONLY kind of bread to eat.
  • 2 cups mixed greens, herbs, tops of the fennel and carrots
  • 1 lb of gnocchi

Ingredients for the veggies:

  • fennel sliced thin
  • carrots cut longwise

Boil salt water and add gnocchi into the boiling water.

While the water is coming to a boil make the pesto.

In the food processor add the garlic and puree.  Slowly add the olive oil.  Add the mixture of green and pulse a few times.  DO NOT OVER PULSE–if you do it will become a green mush and won’t look very appealing and will be a sticky green mess.  Not what you want.  Add the bread crumbs and pulse.  You just made vegan pesto!


Slice the fennel and the carrots as thinly as you can.  Begin to sauté veggies in olive oil for a few minutes.  When they are just tender, but not too much, add 1/4 cup of the gnocchi water to give them a quick steam.

Add 1/4 cup of the pesto and a bit more of that gnocchi water adding a layer of flavorful goodness.

Using a slotted spoon–transfer gnocchi to the pesto/fennel/carrot pan.  Stir gently.  Add more pesto if that’s what gets your groove on.

Do a little dance as you eat a super yummy vegan dinner!

Try it!

Make this recipe and let me know how it worked!  Did you switch out fennel for leeks?  Pumpernickel bread for onion?  Mint leaves instead of Basil? How did you change it and did you like it?

Let me know in the comments!

Plant Based Nutrition Tips

  • Try different types of gnocchi–this variety happens to be vegan.  If you go vegetarian you can find many interesting varieties.
  • Make your own fun gnocchi.  Ok, I am totally not practicing what I preach here but maybe you will have better luck than I did!
  • Play with the greens in the pesto–this recipe lends itself to what is in season and what you love to eat.  Make it your own.
  • Change up the veggie combinations.  Peppers and tomatoes, sweet potato and onion–haha, almost said bacon there!, broccoli and kale.

Be Blessed as you live and eat with L.O.V.E.,

oxox Renee

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Vegan Halloween

Why I want a Vegan Halloween

Halloween begins the “holiday” season in our house.

  1. Halloween proper, not to mention the various other school/soccer/band/art parties!  Now I love a good party but too much is still too much.
  2. Birthday Party for my #2 kid.
  3. Thanksgiving.
  4. Birthday Party for my #3 kid.
  5. Christmas Eve (my new tradition is to have a big Polish 12 dishes meal.)
  6. Christmas Day (I fill the kids stockings with their favorite treats.)
  7. New Year’s Eve.
  8. New Year’s Day.

That is a boat load of cakes, cookies, fudge and candies–some are vegan and some are not.

My intention for myself is to not eat animal products, to eat as close to the source as possible, rarely eat anything that comes from a box, I’m certainly not perfect but I do my best to align with my own personal values.  Each member of my family has a different set of personal values . . . this is where it gets a bit tricky, lots of namaste moments and tons of respect.  From everyone.

I’d like to promote compassionate celebrations . . . that is my bottom line.


How I have a Vegan Halloween

I’m not the kinda girl who recreates the wheel.  I’m a cheerleader!  I love to share what others are doing.  I know my limitations!  And my gifts.  This is where I went to create my vegan Halloween.

  1. 10 Halloween Recipes that include hummus and cupcakes.  The bloody fingers were kind of gross and cool at the same time!
  2. This is an amazing Pumpkin Pudding Latte Cake from Oh She Glows!  and it’s Gluten Free!
  3. Amazing Vegan Pumpkin Caramels.  So good.  Seriously good.  Just stop reading this and go make them!  They are that good!!!

What I discovered (and I’m disappointed about)

Lots and lots of “vegan” recipes aren’t really vegan.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes don’t read labels as closely as I should BUT if I make something that uses honey (which is rare) I would say 98% vegan, includes honey.  Or chocolate is another thing that typically isn’t vegan but where I live . . . I can’t find it.  So I need to get it while I’m traveling back home in Ann Arbor or mail order it–a minor pain in the tukus.

That is my pet peeve, when I get something different from what is presented.

pumpkin jedi

Do you want to eat and live with more compassion?

If your goal is to eat and live with more compassion and gratitude you may want to consider getting a email from me each week on how I eat and live with L.O.V.E., compassion and gratitude.  I’m not perfect but I try really really hard–it is in failing and getting back up each time that I learn more about my authentic self.

Be Blessed as we eat and live with L.O.V.E., compassion and gratitude.


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Grandma's spoons

French Toast Sticks (Dairy Free)

French Toast Sticks!

Dairy Free French Toast Sticks were a hit on Instagram this week!  This recipe is not vegan.  I tried to make it vegan and it didn’t work.  I was a bit bummed.  I was also not thrilled with how they turned out . . . but my kids assured me that they were perfect!  I didn’t add powdered sugar but I thought about it.  What bugged me was the inconsistent coloring . . . I know, I know–who gives a shizzle?  But I do.  I like things a certain way.  Next time I will cook them on the griddle and see how they look!


The Recipe (such that it is . . . I don’t really like recipes.)

  1. cut a stack of bread into 4 pieces.
  2. crack 3 eggs in a bowl, whisk.  add almond milk until the mixture is less yellow and more white–that is the perfect “wash” for the bread.  If you are using eggs and milk it is the same thing–add the milk until the mixture isn’t yellow.
  3. add the bread to the mixture one slice at a time, turning to coat them.
  4. place the “sticks” into the hot oiled/buttered/earth balanced pan–same temp as for pancakes.
  5. enjoy!

Don’t Forget

This is a great make ahead meal AND a great lunch meal.  I have also frozen them for traveling or for breakfast.  I play around with different breads . . .

What to do next?

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Be Blessed as you eat and live with love, gratitude and compassion.

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