Penne In Pear Cream Sauce


Penne In Cream Sauce


  • 1 pound Penne Pasta, dry
  • 2 tablespoons earth balance organic spread
  • 2 firm pears (d’anjou or Bartlett), peeled and cut into a ½” dice
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 ½  teaspoon Coarse Salt
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 ½ cups soy milk
  • 4-6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 4 handfuls of spinach or kale
  • Ground Black Pepper


  1. Cook penne pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking…
  3. Heat the earth balance spread on medium/high in a large frying pan. Add the diced pears, rosemary, and salt, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until pear is soft. Pour in the white wine and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated. Pour in the soy milk and bring to a simmer. Add the nutritional yeast, cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes on med, or until sauce has thickened and reduced by half.  Add 4 handfuls of spinach or kale and cook until wilted.
  4. When the pasta is done, drain the water and place back in the pot. Pour the cream sauce over the pasta and toss to coat.
  5. Serve immediately with fresh ground pepper over the top.




Creamy Potato Soup



  • 1 Medium White Onion
  • 2 Medium Carrots
  • 3 Medium Stalks of Celery
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3 Medium Russet Potatoes
  • 1/3 Cup Of Vegetable Broth
  • 4 Cups or 1 Qt of Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Handfuls of Kale
  • 1 Cup Soy Milk (or other Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk)
  • 1 to 2.5 teaspoons salt

Optional Toppings:

  • Coconut Bacon (or any other vegan bacon)
  • Green Onions
  • Vegan Cheddar Cheese
  • Chives
  • Or anything else you like


  1. Roughly chop up the onion, carrots, celery, kale and potatoes and garlic.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium high heat, and add the 1/3 cup vegetable broth. When it is hot, toss in the celery, carrots, and onions. Sauté the veggies, until they start to look a bit caramelized and delicious. Add the garlic and sautee for one minute more.
  3. Add the potatoes, kale, salt and veggie broth. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The soup is cooked when the fork easily pierces all the way through the veggies.
  4. Blend up that soup! Use an immersion blender straight in the pot. Blend until it is perfectly smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can carefully scoop some soup into a standing blender, and blend in very small batches. Remember to not fill your blender up too high or you will have a hot soup explosion!
  5. Stir in the soy milk or non-dairy milk of choice. 
  6. Sprinkle on some delicious toppings.



Way Better Gnocchi

My husband is a miracle worker.  He can walk into a kitchen with almost no food, and ten minutes later, plop a gourmet meal on the table.  Today, that meal was a new take on Potato Gnocchi and it was AMAZING!  Not only that, it doesn’t have any packaged meatless items (saving money, and unnecessary processed food).

So, I share with you, Cameron’s Better Gnocchi:

1/4 of an onion – diced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
6 oz. Edamame (ours was frozen)
5 “grabs” of spinach (you know, where you reach in the container and grab a handful)
2 tsp salt
12.5 oz. sugar-free marinara sauce
1 bag gnocchi cooked according to instructions
Fresh basil

Saute the first five ingredients until soft, add in the marinara, strain the gnocchi and mix it with the sauce.  Stir in fresh basil leaves and serve!

And we know it’s a success when the five year old who hates food says, “Mom, you see these bumps on my tongue? Those mean that I like this food! Um…is that what it means?”


Vegetable Lo Mein

Kids new fave!! And super easy!  I forgot the spinach – oops! This will be one I put the ingredients in broth in bags in the freezer and pull out for a quick easy dinner.

Thanks to this recipe from Raising Generation Nourished.

This feeds the 2 little kids and me just fine with no leftovers, but when everyone is home, we have two adults, one adult child, and two littles, so of course, I doubled the recipe.  Doesn’t work so well – way too much liquid, plus it spews like crazy when you release the steam.  Darn!  To double, we need:

  • 3 cups veggie broth (You can make veggie broth in the IP too!)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (I use less for a less ginger-spice flavor)
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (this leaves a kid friendly, mild heat – if you like more kick add more!  If you’re like me, you can’t handle any spice, so you can leave it out completely)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cup frozen peas
  • 16 oz. (1 lb) pasta of choice (I used udon noodles from Winco)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced on a bias
  1. Put everything *except the spinach and green onion* into the Instant Pot, stir to combine, and seal the lid. Be sure the valve is closed.
  2. Turn your IP on, press manual, and then use the (+/-) button to press the time down to 2 minutes. The Instant Pot will turn “ON” and come to pressure before it counts down the 2 minutes.
  3. When the 2 minutes is done, turn the Instant Pot “OFF”, and set a timer for 4 minutes to let the pot naturally release some of the pressure and finish cooking the noodles through.
  4. After the 4 minutes, release the rest of the pressure, take the lid off, and stir in the fresh spinach and green onion to combine. There will be a little bit of liquid in the bottom that will continue to soak up into the noodles and the starch from the noodles will make it “saucy”. Serve topped with sliced green onion or chopped nuts.

Bio Kids and Foster Care

The scariest part of entering the realm of foster care as a parent is what the effect will be on your bio kids.  People often ask me how mine are doing.  They probably don’t believe me when I assure them the kids are thriving.  Let me share a story with you…

Tonight, as I was tucking my five year old into bed, he asked me to tell him a story.  I glanced around the room for inspiration, and quickly spotted two ducks and a goat. “Once upon a time…”, I began…”there was a duck.  He wanted to have more kids in his family, so he set out on an adventure.  As he walked along, he came across a strange-looking animal.  He said to the animal, ‘Hello!  Would you like to join my family?’ and the strange-looking animal replied, ‘How did you know I have been wanting a family of my very own?’  The duck responded, ‘I don’t know…I think God told me!’  So they walked home together and the duck asked, ‘What kind of animal are you, anyway?’ ‘I am a white goat!’, responded the goat.  And they lived happily ever after as a family.”e2f6b601cb191782200d2663eb13b59c

The very first thing out of my son’s mouth was, “He should find a foster family!” and my heart swelled!  When I say my kids are thriving, I honestly mean it.  They love their sister.  I check in regularly with them, and the conversation always is the same.  They wouldn’t have it any other way.  She is in and out of our home each week and they do great with that.  Our family is not the typical, conventional family, but it is our family!  We love it!

We talked some more.  I assured my buddy that the duck family was the goat’s foster family.   He asked questions like, “Why didn’t he get a goat foster family?” and “Did he stay there forever, since he didn’t have anyone else to be his family?” and “How many ducks were in the family before the goat came?” As he lined them all up on the pillow, he realized there was no room for him to lay.  He said, “Where do I sleep?” and I said, “Sometimes you just give up your bed so others can sleep there” and he said, “I have a better idea!”  As he scooped the two ducks, the white goat, and their puppy into his arms, flopped onto his pillow, and snuggled under the covers, he said, “I will snuggle them and we will all sleep together!”, my heart swelled again and I thanked God for all he has blessed us with.

Being a foster family is good.  When God says go, and we go, there is much to learn and blessings to experience, and always enough love to go around.

Christians Are The Answer

I adore Focus On The Family.  Today, I was listening to the most recent broadcast, and they are talking with Robert Glover, a man from England who was called to start a Foster Care system in China! How cool is that?  The thing that struck me most was a story he told about 20 Chinese families.  They were the first group to step forward and open their homes to kids without a family.  At that time, it was very dangerous to be a Christian in China.  As Robert went with a Chinese driver to meet with these 20 families, he warned Robert that the families would be mostly buddhist or some other religion.  Of course, Robert just wanted these kids to have a family, so he assured the driver that it was okay with him.  When they got there, this man told a joke.  Something to the effect that Robert was very large and also a Christian.  When no one laughed, he told the joke again, and one lady spoke up saying, “I don’t understand.  I’m a Christian too.”  Come to find out, ALL 20 families were people who had come forward out of the great love they knew from Jesus.

As they drove home, this man asked Robert how it was possible, and Robert told him, “This is the very foundation of the Gospel message!”

I am often overwhelmed by how huge the need is in our world – millions of orphans!  How can one family made a dent in that?

last piece of a Puzzle

But Robert said something else.  Sometimes we want to be the whole jigsaw puzzle, but we must understand that we really are only one piece.  But each piece is vital to solving the entire puzzle.