Tag Archives: vegetarian

Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup

It’s good to be back! It’s been a crazy few months, and it’s still going to be crazy for two more weeks. But thankfully, our little hiatus allowed me to write when I had the time and now I have a bunch of posts I can’t wait to share with you. I had a little trouble deciding which post to use today! But I finally settled on this one because I’ve made it twice more since the first time, it’s that good. Also, it has pumpkin in it and we are kind of getting out of pumpkin season. To be honest though, I’ll probably keep making it as long as it’s cold.

When I found this recipe I was feeling completely uninspired in the kitchen. And it wasn’t just that I didn’t feel like cooking, nothing sounded appealing to me. Not even super simple dishes like spaghetti or Cream of Mushroom Chicken & Rice. But I have to eat, and ordering out gets expensive fast. So…I went in search of inspiration. And I found it thanks to a blogger who I actually know in person. Ruthie over at The Chronicles of Ruthie Hart started her blog either right before or right after she got married last February, I can’t remember for sure. When my family lived in Texas, my parents and her parents were really good friends so our families spent a lot of time together. I decided to check out her recipe page and see if anything struck my fancy. When I saw Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup, I was immediately intrigued. I also already had most of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to give it a shot. She says she created this recipe as she went along, which is seriously impressive because it’s so good! I made a few changes, but for the most part, I followed her incredibly simple recipe. It was chilly and rained on and off all day the day I made this recipe, making soup sound especially enticing. And pumpkin + soup just screams “Fall” to me.

You’ll Need

1 Tbs olive oil

1 15 oz can pumpkin

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream (the original recipe calls for two cups milk, but I wanted a creamy bisque-like soup so I added cream)

1 16 oz package gnocchi  (I used whole wheat)

3 cups frozen corn, thawed

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp garlic powder


1. Put the olive oil in the bottom of a large pot, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir well

2. Bring to a boil and boil until gnocchi is soft, about 2-3 minutes (be sure not to overcook the gnocchi). Then serve and enjoy. How easy is that?!

A word of caution: My pot wasn’t even half full and this soup still sprayed everywhere once it really got boiling. So wear an apron and stir almost constantly! The only thing I would change is maybe adding a little salt next time, since I used garlic powder instead of garlic salt. But I really like the flavors of this soup and I’ll definitely be making it again!


As I said, I’ve made this several more times since the first time. So here are a few notes for you

  • The second and third times I made this, I didn’t have any heavy cream on hand, so I just used milk like the original recipe called for. I didn’t notice any difference, so I think I’ll stick with just milk from now on and save some calories
  • The last time I made this, I also decided to add some cooked shredded chicken to make the soup a little more filing. I really liked it this way!

Stay tuned for more!



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Vegetarian Cooking For Meat eaters, and the Secret to Perfect Pasta

My mom often makes delicious and healthy pasta dishes that she throws together  off the top of her head. Not all that long ago, when I was first trying to expand my repertoire in the kitchen, I asked her to help me come up with a similar dish that I could make on my own. It was a big success, even on my first attempt, and it now makes a regular appearance at dinnertime. Obviously I’m not a vegetarian, but occasionally incorporating vegetarian dishes into your everyday diet is never a bad idea. And this hearty pasta will fill you up, despite the lack of meat-based protein. The best part is, it makes a lot of pasta and freezes well. I love pasta, and as a college student juggling a part time job and an 18 hour course load, I love leftovers even more!

Hearty Vegetarian Pasta

*All of the measurements in this dish are a matter of personal taste and can be doubled or reduced without affecting the recipe

You’ll Need:

1 box whole wheat pasta, any kind (white pasta is okay too, but I recommend whole wheat for this dish)

2-4 bell peppers, sliced (any color is fine)

Approximately 1/2 an onion, chopped

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes,drained (if you prefer saucier pasta, leave them as is)

2 cans large pitted black olives, drained

Garlic & onion powder

Minced garlic (for sauteing)

Olive oil (for sauteing)

Grated parmesan cheese (optional)


1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onions in olive oil, and a dash each of onion and garlic powder, until the onions are sizzling but not quite softening

2. Add the sliced bell peppers and minced garlic and continue to cook over medium heat until the peppers  start to soften but are still crisp (the longer and slower you cook them, the sweeter they’ll be)

3. While the peppers and onions are sauteing, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the box

4. Once the pasta and peppers are done cooking, combine in a large mixing bowl along with the olives and tomatoes and mix well. top with parmesan cheese if desired (highly recommended) and enjoy!

Before I go, I’m going to let you all in on a secret. When you boil pasta, always salt the water liberally. You’ve probably seen in the cooking directions on pasta packages to add salt “if desired.” But the secret to perfect pasta really is in the salted water. Trust me.


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Filed under Healthy Living, Recipes by Vanessa