Mexican Butternut Squash Soup

You all know I’m nuts about mexican flavors, and I really wanted some kind of soup that was lighter in calories but still filling and heavy on the flavor.  Using the last giant butternut squash I had n the fridge, I decided to make a soup.  It’s thick and hearty and wonderful.  And at 144 calories and 5 grams of fat per 1 cup serving, this soup absolutely fits the bill.


  • 3 lbs butternut squash peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Ancho powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2  tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp  cayenne pepper
  • 2  tsp kosher salt


1. Peel and deseed the squash.

2. Cut into 1 inch cubes.

3. Toss with olive oil.

4. Sprinkle with salt.

5. Roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until caramelized.

6. Add to large stock pot.

7. Add stock.

8. Add spices.

9. Simmer for 20 minutes.

10. Using a potato masher or an immersion blender, mash up or puree the soup.  CAREFUL!  It’ll be really hot!

11. Serve with a dollup of sour cream.


Servings: 7

Yield: cups


Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/7 of a recipe (10.8 ounces).

Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.


Amount Per Serving

Calories 144.12

Calories From Fat (30%) 43.11

% Daily Value

Total Fat 4.85g 7%

Saturated Fat 0.78g 4%

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 880.75mg 37%

Potassium 808.22mg 23%

Total Carbohydrates 24.29g 8%

Fiber 4.44g 18%

Sugar 4.7g

Protein 4.3g 9%

Printable version.

Spicy Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup

One of my favorite foods is sweet potato fries, something I discovered only last year.   I just really dig the play of the faintly sweet of the potatoes against the chili powder.   That flavor combo just really works for me.  So I set out to try to duplicate that combination in a soup since I had a lone sweet potato and a butternut squash hanging out needing to be used.  The end results were delicious, with just enough heat to make me happy.  Makes 5, 1 cup servings at 205 calories and 6.8 grams of fat.


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 medium onion
  • chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeds removed
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel and rough chop the sweet potato, squash, and onion.
  3. Toss them lightly in olive oil and place in a 9×13 baking dish.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes.
  5. In a large dutch oven, add the chipotle pepper (no need to dice, you’re going to be pureeing this in the end), garlic, roasted veggies, and enough chicken stock to just cover the veggies in the pot.
  6. Add the salt and chili powder.
  7. Simmer on medium low for 1 hour.
  8. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.

Printable version.

Lentil and Mushroom Tacos

I saw this recipe for Lentil Tacos quite a while ago and am only just getting around to trying it.  Vegetarian recipes are always an iffy bet around my classic meat and potatoes husband.  But a friend had tried them and swore her son and husband loved them so I thought I’d give it a try.   Of course I had to adapt the original recipe because it called for a whole cup of onions.  This Shall Not Pass in our house (more’s the pity, I bet I’d love it).  Since I removed a lot of the bulk by using some dried onion instead, I decided to add in some mushrooms, which are always great for taking on the flavor of whatever they’re cooked in. I made a few other adjustments based on what I had in the house (seriously, WHY aren’t chipotle peppers in adobo sold in resealable JARS?  I never use more than 1 or 2 at a time).  And as it turned out these did NOT fly with Mr. Meat and Potatoes.  I liked them though.  I conclude that there is no good way to take picture of stuff in tortillas.



  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 packet Sazon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • soft tortillas, your choice corn or flour
  • 2 % cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (half for less heat)


  1. Warm the oil over medium low heat in a skillet.
  2. Add the garlic and onion and saute for a minute.
  3. Add the lentils, mushrooms, taco seasoning and Sazon and mix well, cooking until lentils are dry (about a minute).
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes until lentils soften.
  6. Uncover mixture and cook another 6-8 minutes until mixture thickens.
  7. Mash with a rubber spatula.
  8. Meanwhile, mix the sour cream and chipotle chili powder.
  9. When ready, spoon a quarter cup of the lentil mixture into a tortilla, add your cheese and sour cream (and lettuce  and tomato if you’re into that).
  10. Fold and enjoy!

Printable version.

Mexican Corn Chowder

This is a slight variation on my usual Spicy Corn Chowder, made “Mexican” only by the addition of a packet of Sazon.  It was a tasty if subtle difference from the original.  This could totally benefit from some poblano peppers or possibly a chipotle pepper (in which case I’d leave out the Rotel).


  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 10.5 oz. can chicken stock
  • 1 can rotel
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 packet Sazon
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • fresh ground pepper


  1. Add the chicken stock, onions, and corn kernels to a medium sized pot.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add the spices, creamed corn, and rotel.  Stir well
  4. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, add the yogurt and cream cheese.
  6. Stir until melted in.
  7. Serve with a nice crusty bread.

Greek Yogurt Corn Casserole

I’ve been on a kick lately of substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream.  One of my favorite sides, that I usually only make for holidays, is corn casserole.  It’s not what you’d call light, but it’s OMG so good.  The Greek yogurt was a fantastic addition and we demolished this between the two of us in 2 days.  This probably technically makes 6 servings, but we considered it 4 at 483 calories and 20 grams of fat.


  • 2 cups whole kernel corn
  • 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8-ounce) package corn muffin mix (recommended: Jiffy)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted (I used light margarine
  • 1/2 cups 2% shredded Cheddar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the corn, cream corn, corn muffin mix, yogurt, and melted butter.
  3. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and top with Cheddar.
  6. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  7. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

Printable version.

Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil Tart

As one of my fridge clean out “Must Use” ingredients, I had a ball of fresh mozzarella pearls.  I wasn’t really in the mood for caprese salad, which was actually what I’d bought it for before it got lost in the bowels of the cheese and meat drawer, and I had some puff pastry just waiting to be put to use, so the natural conclusion was a rustic tart.  The end result was tasty and delicious, if a little juicy.  It’s the perfect use for some of those tomatoes from your garden.  Makes 4 servings.


  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • approximately 1 cup of sliced/chopped tomatoes
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • cooking spray
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped


  1. Roll out the puff pastry and layer it in a large pie dish.  Roll any excess pastry up at the edges.
  2. Be sure to prick the bottom with a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much and dislodging your filling.
  3. Cover the bottom with the cheese.
  4. Add the tomatoes and basil.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until pastry edge is golden brown.

Printable version.

Summer Veggies and Sun Dried Tomatoes over Egg Noodles

I made stroganoff the other day and there were leftovers, but not quite enough for two.  So my response was to make enough egg noodles for both of us, and whip of a saute of summer veggies to throw over mine.  It was a quick, tasty use of assorted odds and ends in the veggie drawer.  Serves 1.  So here’s my humble offering to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Siri at Siri’s Corner.


  • 3 oz. No Yolk dumplings
  • 3/4 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup fire roasted red peppers
  • 2 tsp sun dried tomatoes (not in oil), minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped asparagus
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  1. Cook noodles according to package directions
  2. Heat oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add the zucchini and onions and saute for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add the peppers and onions.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds.
  6. Add the sun dried tomatoes to the chicken stock to rehydrate.
  7. Once the veggies are cooked to taste, add the chicken stock and sun dried tomatoes.
  8. Simmer until liquid is reduced.
  9. Reduce heat to low and add goat cheese.
  10. Add noodles.
  11. Toss everything until goat cheese is melted and well coated.  Enjoy!

Printable version.

Mini Stuffed Sweet Peppers

I have no idea why I’m so into the mini versions of stuff this week  I was really enamored after buying the new mini muffin pan, I guess.  In any event, I had a package of sweet peppers in the fridge, plus a few from the garden that were close to the same size that I decided to stuff.  But with what?  I had leftover rice from another night, and wanted to do something cheesy and kind of Mexi-themed.  Add in some cream cheese, sazon, and a few other things, and we have a tasty, bite sized snack at only 33.5 calories and .8 grams of fat per pepper.  Makes 20 peppers.


  • 20 mini sweet peppers
  • 1 cup pre-cooked rice
  • 2 oz. neufchatel cheese
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 packet sazon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the stock over medium low.
  2. Add in the neufchatel cheese in cubes and stir occasionally until melted.
  3. Meanwhile, using a small knife, cut the tops out of all the peppers so as to remove the seeds and such.
  4. Add in the tomato paste, sazon, salt, and cilantro.
  5. Add in the rice and stir until well coated.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Using a small spoon, stuff the peppers with the rice.  I found it helpful to use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke the filling into the bottom of the pepper so that it was properly full.
  8. If you can find a small dish to arrange them all filling side to the top, that’s great, but it’s so thick you probably wouldn’t lose any if you had to bake them on their sides.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes.

Printable version.

Mango Salsa

After the peach and red pepper salsa I made last week, my daily grilled cheese at lunch seemed positively naked with nothing else on it.  So this week I went a bit more tropical and made up a version with mango.  I have always adored mango salsa, especially with blue corn tortilla chips.  It’s just a really great, all around topping.  The stuff at the grocery store is made with tomatoes–as in they think that it’s acceptable to just mix in mango with regular salsa.  Bleh!  This is so much better!  The flavors are bright and fresh.  My only gripe with this is that I should have added one more mango (I only had 2 on hand).


  • 2 1/2  cups  coarsely chopped peeled mango
  • 1 1/3  cups  chopped roasted red bell pepper
  • 1/2  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2  teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
  • 1  teaspoon minced garlic

Directions: Prep ingredients, mix and serve.  Can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Printable version.

Cheesy Summer Veggie Saute

Feeling repentant for weekend excesses?  I know I am.  (We aren’t going to talk about the love affair I had with the guacamole dip and chips at a party we went to the other night)  Getting back on the bandwagon is hard when you’re making a lifestyle change.  One of the biggest challenges is that your body reacts to decreasing your calorie intake by making you hungrier (so not fair).  This quick and easy dish is light, healthy, and filling, packing in a whopping FOUR SERVINGS of vegetables.  It also makes really kickass filling for vegetarian quesedillas (using the 96% fat free tortillas).  As prepared, this is one serving at 232 calories and 11 grams of fat.  Additional variations include adding in a serving of black beans, a cup of fresh spinach, or adding some lean chicken as a protein.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 mini peppers (I like one each of yellow, orange, and red for a pop of color)
  • pinch of salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat fiesta blend shredded cheese


  1. Heat oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add onions, zucchini, and peppers.  Stir to coat with oil and saute for about three minutes.
  3. Add in the mushrooms.  Toss.
  4. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika.
  5. Continue to saute until zucchini is tender.
  6. Remove to bowl and add cheese, tossing to evenly distribute and melt.

Printable version.