Pumpkin Cheddar Soup

Pumpkin Cheddar Soup

Meatless Monday! It’s back!

I’ve been on a pumpkin kick this whole month. Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, now Pumpkin Cheddar soup.

The key to this soup is the onions. I found I didn’t make enough. I wanted more. So I adjusted the recipe, and am about to run to the store for more onions, so I can add them to the soup before serving it to my family for dinner.

This is what I added to the soup. It’s one onion cooked down until just caramelized:

Carmelized Onions

If you cook yours and find that you have about that amount – you need more! Twice that amount is what I put in the recipe. Trust me. Heavenly!


4 C cooked pumpkin
1 C vegetable broth
1 bottle beer – preferably a light ale
2 good sized onions, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 t salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T worcestershire sauce
freshly ground pepper
cayenne pepper
1 C grated cheddar cheese – sharp to extra sharp

1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, combine pumpkin, stock and beer. Bring just to a boil, then back it down to low and cover the pot. Allow to simmer while you cook the onions.

2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic and salt. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook just until the onions carmelize.

3. Add the onions and all remaining ingredients to the stockpot with the pumpkin mixture. Stir well and continue to cook an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

4. If you wish, top the soup with toasted walnuts before serving. Goes great with bread and apple slices.

Linked to MMMM
and My Meatless Monday and The Humbled Homemaker

Meatless Monday: Posole

tomatillos and radishesTomatillos and the first Radishes from my garden

This recipe definitely fits with my desire to eat a Meatless Main one day a week and to save money while doing it. However, it does get a big FAIL for trying to eat local. You see, all the ingredients I purchased at a local Hispanic grocery store, where most of the ingredients are imported from Mexico. I was lured in by the .39/lb tomatillos. I just haven’t seen that price anywhere else in town. Plus, if you are buying tomatillos – you are probably making something that requires other ethnic ingredients. And the best/cheapest place to buy ethnic ingredients? The ethnic grocers. I paid under $5 for all the ingredients for this meatless Posole!

The crazy part of ethnic grocers? You can find them practically anywhere you live. I found when we lived in Witchita Falls TX, there was a huge Vietnamese population and a great Asian grocers. Whodathunk? So if you’re trying to save on your grocery bills, try taking a look in your community for an ethnic grocers. I think you’ll find great prices.

PosolePosole with Garnishes



1 t Olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves

1 1/2 t cumin

1 t kosher salt

2 C hominy (about a 26 oz can if you don’t make your own)

1 lb tomatillos, chopped

1 head napa cabbage, chopped

4 C chicken broth

2 bay leaves

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the cumin and salt and cook another 30 seconds. Add the hominy, jalapeno and tomatillos and cook while stirring for another minute. Add the cabbage, stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook another 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Serve the soup in bowls and offer any/all of the following garnishes: thinly sliced radishes, thinly sliced green onions, chopped jalapeno, chopped cilantro, guacamole, and/or sour cream.

Linked to Tasty Tuesday

and SoupaPalooza

Meatless Monday: Hard Boiled Eggs Au Gratin

Meatless Monday

This is just a guess, but there may be some of you with a few hard boiled eggs hanging around the house this week? This is a quick and easy way to transform those eggs into a great Meatless Monday meal.

This is a recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, one of my favorite resources. I used individual Au Gratin dishes, but if you don’t have any, just use a 9 x 9 baking pan.


1 bag frozen organic spinach, cooked according to package directions and drained

2 T butter

2 T flour

1 1/4 C milk

8 hard boiled eggs, halved

grated swiss cheese

1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour.

2. Slowly add milk in small batches, whisking until the mixture gets thick before adding more. Once all the milk is added, cook until the mixture is about as thick as a cream soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Grease pan. Layer spinach in bottom of pan. Top with half the sauce. Layer the egg halves on top. Add the rest of the sauce and top with grated cheese.

4. Broil under low heat for 4 -5 minutes or until cheese is hot.

5. Serve with a great crusty bread!

Hard Boiled Eggs Au Gratin


Submitted to Tasty Tuesday.

Meatless Monday: Twice Baked Potatoes

Meatless MondayHave you ever heard of the term Flexitarian?

Flexitariannoun – A vegetarian who is flexible enough to occasionally eat meat and fish.

I would consider myself a Flexitarian, only I would change the definition to the following:

Flexitariannoun – A meat and fish eater who is flexible enough to eat vegetarian.

We eat a vegetarian main dish at least once a week. It is easy on the budget and with a recipe like twice baked potatoes, it is easy on my time. Win-win for us!

This recipe is for the basic twice-baked potato that can go right into the freezer. When I find organic potatoes on sale, I buy them and whip up a batch of these. As you pull these out of the freezer to bake for your family, you can fill it as you wish. A few suggestions that my family loves: Broccoli and Cheddar, Vegetarian Chili, Tomatoes and Feta, Black Beans, Salsa and Corn, Mushrooms sauteed in Garlic, Blue Cheese and Chives…you name it, it can top it!

Twice Baked PotatoesReady for the Freezer!

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 Large Russet Potatoes, scrubbed clean with a vegetable brush and eyes cut out

Olive Oil

3/4 Cup Cream

2 Tbsp Butter, melted

Salt to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Rub the potatoes with olive oil, prick a few times with a fork, place directly on center rack of the oven, bake for 1 hour.

2. Allow the potatoes to cool. Slice potatoes in half. Using a spoon, scoop out potato pulp, leaving about 1/2 inch on all sides.

3. To the potato pulp, add the cream, melted butter, and salt to taste.

4. Spoon the potato pulp back into the shells. Place on baking sheet and put in freezer. Allow to freeze about 1 hour. The potatoes should then be frozen enough to put in freezer safe bags.

5. To reheat, simply pull out the number of potatoes you want to cook. Place on baking sheet and bake from frozen at 400 for 45 minutes. Top the potatoes with whatever filling you choose, bake an additional 15 minutes.

Now it’s your turn! Have a Meatless Monday meal? Link it up! All I ask is that you link your post back to here and that you link directly to your post!

Linked to Tasty Tuesday


Meatless Monday: Weeks Worth of Vegetarian Menus!

Meatless Monday

I spent the entire weekend working on the garden, so I am behind, behind, behind. I have a wonderful pasta recipe I really want to share with you, but it never got made. I also made a grocery run to King Soopers without my coupon binder. *the horror!* My binder was in my car that my husband used to run to Denver. I’ll post the results later this week, but I’ll just clue you in, it wasn’t pretty. Somehow with a week of 2 family dinners and a book club, and lots of new recipes I want to try, everything I bought seemed “worth” it.

So in the mess that is currently my life, I was incredibly delighted to find the Tiffany at Eat at Home is hosting Vegetarian Week! In case you don’t know my friend Tiffany, she puts together a menu plan, all the recipes, and a shopping list for you each and every week. How much easier can menu planning get? So if you are looking for some inspiration for your Meatless Monday meal, pop on over and see what yummy goodness she has in store for the week!

Did you have a good weekend? Shopping success? Shopping Fail? Anything wonderful for Meatless Monday planned you’d like to share?

Meatless Monday: Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

This week’s Meatless Monday recipe is another soup! Just when I think Spring and the beautiful weather is here to stay….we get snow. So here’s another hearty solution to a meatless meal that is filling and provides some warmth.

Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

2 t Canola Oil

1 lb Sliced Button Mushrooms

1 Onion, chopped

1/4 t salt

2 T flour

32 oz Chicken Broth

1/2 C Wild Rice (quick cook kind)

1/4 C Half-and-half

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and salt. Cook until the mushrooms for about 15 minutes, or until soft.

2. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and wild rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is cooked. (If using quick cook, it should take about 15 minutes. For regular wild rice, it will be closer to 45 minutes)

3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the half-and-half. Serves 6

Now it’s your turn!

Meatless MondayAdd the link to your Meatless Monday recipe. All I ask is that you link directly to your post and that you add a link to your post back here! I look forward to seeing what’s cooking in your home!


Meatless Monday: Potato Frittata

Potato Frittata

This recipe has only three main ingredients that can all be found on my staples list – making it a snap to whip up any night of the week or for a delicious Sunday brunch! Served with a salad, it makes a surprisingly complete meal where your family may never miss the meat.

Of course, this recipe could be made quite deliciously with some cooked bacon. However, then it wouldn’t be much of a meatless meal, would it? So I’ve got a secret ingredient I use that gives this dish all the smoky flavor of bacon – Smoked Paprika.

Smoked PaprikaYou can find smoked paprika on Amazon for $4.25 a canister – which is about the same amount that you would pay for a pound of nitrate free bacon. But since you only need a tablespoon for this recipe – you will be left with almost a full canister to add to other recipes!

On to the recipe…

Potato Fritatta serves 6

4 small potatoes, diced

2 T olive oil

1 onion, diced

8 eggs

1 T smoked paprika

1 t salt

1. Boil diced potato until a fork can easily pierce through a cooked piece. Drain.

2. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet. Add the onions and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the potatoes, paprika and salt and cook for an additional two minutes.

3. Beat the eggs in a medium sized bowl. Pour the eggs over the cooked onions and potatoes. Cover the skillet and continue to cook over medium low just until the eggs start to set.

4. When the eggs are almost set, remove the lid. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil under low heat just until the top starts to brown. Cut frittata into 6 wedges and serve immediately.

Now it’s your turn! Link up any recipes you have that we can all try for our next Meatless Monday! Don’t have a website? Leave a recipe in the comments! Make sure you link directly to your recipe and link back here! In fact, you can even grab my new Meatless Monday button!

Meatless Monday