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Mexican Butternut Squash Soup

Mexican Butternut Squash Soup

I love to make soup with baked squash.  This one is pretty spicy (by my palate), but still flavorful and not too spicy.  (I’ve definitely overdone it in the past!)  If you want to ease it up, just back off on the cayenne, chipotle, and chili powder.  Remember- you can always add more heat, but you can’t take it away!

To make this recipe No Sugar No Grains (NSNG), omit the corn.  I had a bag in my freezer that I needed to get eating, so I decided to use the entire 12 oz package.  As you can see from the pictures, the soup is quite “corny” with that much in there.  Adjust the amount of corn to your taste.

To get started, you need to bake a butternut squash.  Wash the squash and prepare a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.  To safely divide the squash lengthwise, I find that it’s best to use the “Psycho Shower Scene” knife grip and stab technique…

Use your largest knife.  Carefully make multiple stabbing cuts (slow and precise…unlike the shower scene!) with the point of the knife until you can “connect” the cuts and ease the 2 halves apart.  Scoop out the seeds and place the cut sides face down on the parchment paper.  Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

Demonstrating the "Psycho Shower Scene" knife grip and stab technique. To learn about my 269 tattoo check out

Demonstrating the “Psycho Shower Scene” knife grip and stab technique.
(To learn about my 269 tattoo check out the link below this picture.)

Baked butternut squash. (One half flipped over to show what it looks like after baking.)

Baked butternut squash. (One half flipped over to show what it looks like after baking.)


1 butternut squash, baked
4 C water (or liquid vegetable broth)

Coconut oil (to coat the soup pot)

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped in discs
1 cauliflower, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped

Dash garlic powder
Dash cayenne
Dash celery salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/8 t ground chipotle (very spicy)
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t basil
2 t dried chives
2 t Vegebase vegan broth powder (if not using liquid broth)

1 C water, as needed

15 oz can black beans, rinsed (double the amount if you want)
Optional- frozen organic corn, to taste

Measure all your spices in a small bowl.

Measure all your spices in a small bowl.


1.  Blend the baked squash meat with 4 cups of water or liquid vegetable broth.  Set aside.

2.  Coat a large soup pot with coconut oil.  Saute the vegetables with the spices for several minutes on medium heat.

3.  Add the squash puree to the soup pot.  Add another cup of water as needed.  Simmer covered for about 45 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft.  In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the beans and corn.

Makes about 7 1/2 pints, depending on the size of your squash and the amount of corn used.

Have some soup for dinner and freeze the rest in wide mouth freezer jars.

Have some soup for dinner and freeze the rest in wide mouth freezer jars.


Welcome, Fall!

It’s that “Pumpkin Spice Latte” time of year, again.  Who doesn’t love a warm mug of autumn cheer?

Be warned, though-  The popular pumpkin spice flavor at Starbucks is not vegan.  Boo!  (Check out this recent article in the Los Angeles Times.)

Here are the ingredients for the pumpkin spice flavoring:  sugar, condensed nonfat milk, sweet condensed nonfat milk, annatto (a colorant), natural and artificial flavors, and caramel coloring.

Icky.  No, thanks!

I don’t want sugar.  I don’t want animal products.  I don’t want fake pumpkin.  I don’t want fake spices.

To be honest, I also don’t care for Starbucks’ sweetened Vanilla Soy Milk, which contains 13 grams of sugar per cup.  I desire unsweetened soy milk made from just filtered water and organic soybeans.

(No, I don’t go to Starbucks for a latte…pumpkin spice or otherwise.)

My palate craves real food.  Let’s make a real Pumpkin Spice Latte, made from real pumpkin and real spices.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (NSNG)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (NSNG)


2 shots espresso
2/3 C non dairy milk
3 T canned organic pumpkin

Generous dash cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash ground clove
1/4 t vanilla extract
Optional:  granulated or liquid maple syrup, to taste

Sprinkle the spices and put the vanilla extract into your espresso shot glass.  Brew the espresso over the flavors and stir.

Combine the non-dairy milk and canned pumpkin.  The pumpkin mixes quite easily into the milk without need for a blender.

Combine the spiced espresso with the pumpkin milk.  It’s good heated or iced.


Thanks to my friend Carrie Standish, who provided the inspiration for my version of the pumpkin spice latte.  Here is her original creation, made with brewed coffee instead of espresso…

Photo and Recipe Credit:  Carrie Standish

Photo and Recipe Credit: Carrie Standish


1 1/2 C brewed coffee
1/4 C full fat coconut milk
2 T pure pumpkin
1/4 t vanilla
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t pumpkin pie spice
Optional:  2 drops liquid stevia

Whirl everything in a blender on low speed for about 30 seconds. Enjoy!

Pre-measure the pumpkin and spices into individual containers to make the process even quicker and easier for busy fall mornings.

(#PPNSNG = Plant Powered No Sugar No Grains)


Now, here’s a similar recipe for Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding.  This is a terrific “on-the-go” breakfast.  It takes only a few minutes to make.  I recently discovered that chia pudding keeps me satiated for hours!

Here, I brought a jar of homemade pudding with me to eat in my car after lap swimming, before work.

Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding


1/2 C non dairy milk
3 T canned organic pumpkin
2 T chia seeds

Generous dash cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
1/4 t vanilla extract
Optional:  liquid maple syrup, to taste

Combine everything in a pint size wide mouth freezer jar.  Stir several times in several minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken.  Refrigerate for about an hour, or use an ice pack to keep it cold.


Chia It's Not Just For Pets - IMG_2973

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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