Squash Bisque

squash bisque is a rich, tasty soup with loads of beta carotene

Silky mouthfeel, lots of anti-oxidants and even better when topped with crunchy garnishes. This is a great soup to make in a batch on a weekend morning…enjoy the rich and sweet textures all week long! (It’s also a very economical base for weekday lunches that has nutritional punch!)

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes


  • 3-4 cups cooked squash; you can use acorn, butternut, or other firm-bodied squash
  • 4-6 oz creme fraiche, or plain yogurt (creme fraiche adds more richness, but yogurt is lower calorie option)
  • 1-2 tbs maple syrup
  • 2-3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup chicken stock (can be omitted if desired)
  • 1-2 sauteed shallots
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecans or pepitas (for garnish)

Cooking Instructions:

  • Cut squash in half, place on foil-lined baking sheet
  • Brush squash with syrup and oil; sprinkle salt/pepper over flesh
  • Bake in preheated 350 degree over for ~45 minutes until fork-tender
  • Saute spices and shallot until the vegetable is translucent
  • Once the squash is cooked and cooled (so it is easily handled), scoop out flesh, place in blender and add creme fraiche (reserve some for garnishing bowls), shallots and stock. Blend until smooth in texture; if you prefer a more textured soup, try pulsing blender to mix, but not puree.
  • Toast pecan pieces in 300 degree over for about 5 minutes (test — you may want a softer, or a crispier texture and the nuts can burn easily, so you’ll need to stay close to your oven!)
  • Add bisque to bowls and garnish with a swirl of creme fraiche and the toasted pecans, or pepitas

Vegetarian Chili

vegetarian chili is an inexpensive and tasty meal with great depth of flavor

Want to incorporate more vegetarian options in your diet? Looking to get more fiber, more veggies and greater economy into your cooking? Veggie chili is a great way to provide cost-effective, healthy and tasty lunches and dinners. This can be modified to many different taste profiles–experiment and see what you like!

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Note: For the sake of convenience, you can use canned beans; if you want better texture and taste, I suggest using dry beans: these need to be cleaned (to remove any small stones, or broken pieces) and soaked.

Cooking Instructions:

“Bean Base” — I suggest using a “mix n’match” approach to veggie chili — a variety of beans can make for better taste, better texture and a more visually appealing dish.

What goes into a good “Bean Base”? It’s a matter of preference, but these varieties, in a mix, provide a balance of taste, texture and color.

  • Canned, or dried beans:
    • Red kidney
    • Pinto beans
    • Black beans
    • White kidney beans
    • Garbanzo beans
    • Navy beans
  • Veggies:
    • 1 large yellow onion, diced
    • 2 bags coined baby carrots
    • 4 stalks 1/2″ celery– 1/2″ dice
    • 1 large sweet potato — 1/2″ dice
    • 2-3 diced bell peppers, to taste
  • Stock/spices
    • 3-4 cups vegetable stock, as needed
    • 4 bay leaves
    • 2 TBSP thyme
    • 2TBSP ancho chili powder
    • 2TBSP smoked paprika
    • 2TBSP salt
    • 2-3TSP pepper, to taste
    • 3-4 crushed garlic cloves
    • 1TBSP Sriracha
    • 1TBSP Cumin
    • 1TBSP ground mustard
    • 2-3TBSP olive oil

If you are using canned beans, heat up oil in stock pot. Add spices and mix for 2-3 minutes to activate. Add in veggies and stir until celery is translucent (approx. 5 minutes).

Once veggies and spices are melded, add beans and stock. Simmer for 40 minutes, testing seasoning periodically.

To produce a flavorful dish, simmer for about 90 minutes. This dish reheats well and is great for weekday lunches!