Fall Favorite Foods : Pumpkin Pie and Minestrone Soup

Today some major plans fell through, and I very unexpectedly have the whole day free to tackle my kitchen and food preparation. With the fall chill in the air and mums on the front step, I am in the mood to make some of my favorite “fall” foods.

For your sweet tooth, consider pumpkin pie.  In my family, we eat pumpkin pie all year-not just during the holidays.  This is a slimmed down version, with literally half the calories of traditional pie.  The trick is to get rid of the crust calories, but still have the pie hold its shape.  Using Bisquick mix (and you can use the reduced fat version), you will decrease the calories by 50%.  This is a healthy dessert, full of anti-oxidants.  You might even want to consider eating this for breakfast!

Slimmed Down Pumpkin Pie Recipe (1/8 pie has about 100 calories)

  • 15 oz. Can pumpkin pie
  • 1 can evaporated skim milk
  • ¾ cup Splenda or 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup Bisquick mix

Mix all the ingredients in bowl.  Use baking spray and coat a glass pie pan. Add the mixture and bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, then turn down the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking approximately 45 additional minutes.

Soups are another fall favorite recipe.   Soups are wonderful in that most can be frozen very well and then pulled out of the freezer for a very quick dinner when time is tight.  A favorite soup in our family is quick minestrone.  It takes virtually no time to assemble my version of this recipe.  This is a true family favorite, and all of my adult children and daughter-in-law really enjoy this recipe.  I hope you do as well.

 Very Quick Minestrone Soup (1.5 cup serving has about 200 calories)

  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • one large can (28 ounces) of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can light kidney beans (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 cans of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup medium pasta shells, uncooked
  • 1 cup frozen peas or Italian-style beans
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese to top soup (optional)


Toss all ingredients into a stockpot. Bring to a boil and simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle each serving with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve with whole grain bread and a light salad.  This is a meal rich in anti-oxidants and fiber.

Bon Appetit!

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