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

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Meatless Monday: Frijoles Rancheros

Frijoles Rancheros

I almost left the picture of this off. It just does not look as delicious as I promise you it tastes! I’m a big fan of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, but have definitely learned a little goes a lonnnnnng way!


1 T Olive Oil
3 cups cooked black beans or 2 15 oz cans
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped fine
1 t cumin
salt and pepper
2 ripe tomatoes
6 eggs
6 corn tortillas

1. Heat the oven to 350. Use an 11×7 pan and spray with cooking spray or wipe with oil.
2. In a bowl, mash together the beans, chipotle chili, cumin, and salt and pepper. Spread in the bottom of the pan.
3. Layer tomatoes on top of the beans.

Tomatoes layered over beans

4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Crack eggs over the tomatoes and return to the oven for an additional 25 minutes, or until eggs are to your desired degree of doneness.
6. Serve with warmed corn tortillas.

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Gardein: FREE Product Coupon Giveaway!

UPDATE: This Giveaway is now closed.

It’s Meatless Monday! So let’s say that you want to participate in a Meatless Monday but you need something that can be prepared really quick. I’m talking two minutes quick.

To your rescue: Gardein. It stands for Garden + Protein. And it comes in lots of flavors that mimic what you would typically eat for meat. The good folks at Gardein let me try some for myself. I picked out the BBQ Pulled Shreds.gardein bbq pulled shreds
I used the shreds just like a I would bbq pork. I served it as a pulled pork sandwich complete with slaw and pickle.

The serving size is for 2 – but I stretched it to 3.

gardein bbq pulled shreds sandwichGardein BBQ Pulled Shred Sandwich

1 pkg bbq pulled shreds

1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1/4 C red onion, thinly sliced

1 t salt

1 t celery seed

1/2 c sugar

1 c white vinegar

1. Prepare the slaw by combining the cabbage, red pepper and onion in a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, celery seed and salt. Pour over cabbage mixture and let sit all day.

3. Microwave the bbq pulled shreds according to package directions.

4. Serve shreds on buns topped with slaw and pickles (if you like).

Serves 3.

So how does it taste? Neither of my girls even knew they weren’t eating pork! I want to give THREE Greenbacks Gal readers the chance to try it!

Here’s how THREE of you can get a FREE Gardein product coupon:

  1. To enter, just leave me a comment and tell me if you eat meat substitutes.
  2. To get a second entry, “Like” the Greenbacks Gal Facebook page. Leave a second, separate comment to let me know you did.
  3.  To get a third entry, Follow the Greenbacks Gal on Twitter. Leave a separate comment to let me know you did.

**If you are reading this in email, please visit The Greenbacks Gal to be able to leave a comment**

This giveaway will close at 10 PM EST on Monday September 19. Entrants must be 18 years old and located in the US only. The winners will be chosen at random and announced here on the Greenbacks Gal and notified via email. If any of the winners does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be randomly chosen.

Disclaimer: This giveaway was sponsored by Gardein but Gardein is not a sponsor, administrator, or involved in any other way with this giveaway. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Gardein.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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

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Meatless Monday: Black Bean and Lime Salad

Black Bean Salad

Cinco De Mayo is this Thursday, so I thought a Mexican twist to this Meatless Monday would be fun!

Nikki from Coupon Cookin was kind enough to let me feature her Black Bean and Lime Salad. To get the recipe, hop on over to Coupon Cookin. She even has instructions on how to cook the black beans for her salad. As I’ve said before, I’ve never had dry beans turn out right. So, I’ll let her lend her expertise. Dry beans are so inexpensive, and if you can master cooking them, you’re sure to save lots of green!

Now, who has the perfect margarita recipe to go along with this?

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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.

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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


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