Using what you have

 Yesterday I wasn't quite sure what to do for dinner. There's not much in the house right now as it's about time to go grocery shopping and things are looking very scarce (I'm sure many of you know what I mean). Times like this call for creativity to use what you have on hand.

I opened the fridge and realized I had some veggies that needed to be used (zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms and tomato's). I had a few pieces of chicken left and realized that I had two packages of Potato Gnocchi in my cupboard. I knew that would make a yummy meal. I LOVE Gnocchi. I LOVE saying "Gnocchi"!

I decided that I would grill the chicken. I lightly seasoned it with garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. I don't usually use salt because there's so much salt in other things we eat that I don't add it if I don't need too. I also found a bottle of Tuscan Balsamic Viniagrette dressing and thought I'd pour some of that over the chicken while it grilled. 
I also absolutely LOVE grilled veggies. I cut up zucchini, onion, red pepper, mushrooms and tomato, tossed it with olive oil and seasoned it with onion powder, garlic powder, pepper a scootch of salt and Italian Seasoning. I popped it into my grill basket and out onto the grill. At the end, I tossed it with some fresh cut parsley from my porch container that has a few herbs in it.
Then came the gnocchi. Gnocchi are little potato pillows (dumplings), that are just absolutely yummy (Nan didn't care for them....they weren't enough like mashed potatos and a bit too "chewy" for her) problem...more for me!! Hubby liked them fine, but had just returned with Kat from the chiropractors, who informed them of how "not good for you" potato's are! Really? Seriously? Oh brother!!! Well, fine, more for me and Kat then because we LOVE gnocchi!
Anyways...back to the yummy gnocchi. My  mom's family is Italian and we grew up eating homemade gnocchi. I have yet to make them from scratch (maybe next time I'm with my grandma I'll do that..last year we made homemade ravioli). For now I find them at the store (Trader Joes) and I think they taste just fine.

They couldn't be easier to make. Using a large pan, bring water to a boil and lightly salt. Drop your gnocchi into the water. Once they rise to the surface set your kitchen timer and let them cook for an additional 2 minutes and then remove and drain. I let mine go another few minutes. I tossed them lightly with spaghetti sauce (you could use whatever sauce you want, they're also good in soup). Serving those with the yummy grilled chicken and veggies really hit the spot. Oh, and I served some Texas Toast along with it. 

A yummy meal using what I was able to find in the kitchen! What are your favorite meals that you've made with what you could find in a bare bones kitchen? Tonight I realized I had ingredients to make some bean, rice and turkey burritos.

With Joy UNquenchable,


  1. You reminded me I want to buy a grill veggie basket, so I just did!! I have always wanted you use yours a lot?

  2. I love it and use it alot!! I emailed you but thought I'd post it here too. I did burn my finger yesterday because I wasn't thinking and forgot I needed a pot holder.

  3. oh, I do find that some veggies and even potatos do better when you steam them for a bit, otherwise they're too hard.

  4. Oh yum.... grilled veggies are the best! We use our grill basket a lot for veggies when we are out on the grill. It's been so hot though, we haven't gotten to enjoy the grill so much this summer. Using what you have has been our motto over the last several weeks with this kitchen remodel. I decided that it was the perfect time to clean out cabinet and the freezer instead of packing in more groceries. It made me realize what a food pack rat I have become because I haven't bought groceries since just before the fourth!

    Hope all is well with you and your family,

  5. It looks and sounds delicious and healthy. Yum!


  6. Your grilled veggies look so delish. I like making stir fried rice with always tastes different, but good!


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