Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hungry Girl's Sassy Salsa Pumpkin Soup

Have you heard about Hungry Girl?  If you haven't I have to say this is a girl after my own heart. She likes food, she wants to eat it and yet doesn't want to gain weight, so she had to start looking at food in a different way. On her website she describes herself  as "... not a nutritionist.  She's just hungry." The site goes on to list "Lisa Lillien (aka Hungry Girl) [as] a New York Times bestselling author and the creator of the Hungry Girl brand. She is the founder of, the free daily email service that entertains and informs hungry people everywhere.  Lisa is a typical woman battling the same food issues most females struggle with every day. Lisa considers herself a “foodologist,” not because she has some kind of fancy degree, but because she is obsessed with food –– how wonderful it is, and how much of it she can eat and still fit into her pants.  Lisa has over 1,000,000 fans that receive her emailed tips and tricks for reducing calories in the everyday foods we eat. 

The Indianapolis Star published one of her recipes in their November 18, 2009 issue. I recently made it and it is delicious.


Serves 4 - one generous cup
  • 4 cups fat-free broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned sweet corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
      Optional Toppings: shredded low or fat-free cheese, fat-free sour cream, chopped     scallions


1)  Spray a medium pot with non-stick spray and bring to medium heat on the stove. Place garlic in the pot. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and spices and bring to a simmer.

2)  Add pumpkin and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3)  If you like, top each cup with any of the optional ingredients before serving

177 calories; 1 g. of fat; 991 mg. of sodium; 35 g. carbs; 8.5 mg. of fiber; 9 g. protein

 Use reduced sodium broth to reduce the sodium level in the soup.

This soup is great served with a salad or a piece of crusty bread, and you don't have to be a girl to like it. Life is good - enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vegetarian Tofu Chili

I know the title of the post is probably off-putting to most of my omnivore friends. Tofu - YUK! I hope that this chili will change the way you feel about it. I now prefer it to the chili dishes  I make with ground beef or beef chuck.

Last year Mike and I began eating at least one meatless day per week.  We now eat about 50% of our meals without using meat.  I found this recipe at This web site is described by google as "a valuable resource for content that helps people to solve the large and small needs of everyday life." We have several vegetarian and vegan friends and wanted to be able to serve them the same dish, sans meat, that our meat eating friends were having.  This was perfect.



  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 14 oz package of firm or extra firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 28 oz can whole or diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 28 oz can kidney beans, drained
  • 3 tbsp sugar


In a large pot, sautee the tofu in the vegetable oil over medium high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the onions, green pepper, garlic, mushroms, chili powder, salt and pepper, cayenne and cumin. Cook until veggies are just barely tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, whole or diced tomatoes, beans and sugar. Bring to a slow simmer. Cover and allow to cook for at least 45 minutes.
I hardly ever use kidney beans.  I think they are hard even after cooking for 45 minutes.  I like to mix it up choosing a mix of either black, pinto, chili or cannellini beans. This makes eight entree servings and freezes really well.
Today in Columbus, IN we are enjoying a wonderful snow storm.  It is a great day for a hot steaming bowl of chili.  Life is good - enjoy!