Just the Cheeseburger Soup


1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour (I used rye to keep the carb count low in the soup, but higher carb flours like wheat also work-it is just for thickening the soup)

4 Cups Bone Stock (chicken, beef, or turkey)

1-2# ground beef (better with more, but easier on the budget with less)

1 onion (Chopped)

3 celery stalks (chopped)

3 Carrots (Chopped)

2 T. chopped parsley (fresh or dried)

2T. chopped basil (fresh or dried)

2 t. onion powder

2 t. garlic powder

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 c. nutritional yeast

2 t. black pepper

1 t. salt

16 oz. block cream cheese

16 oz. extra-sharp shredded cheddar

8 oz. shredded gouda

1) Make a roux but melting the butter in a pot, then whisking in the flour until a clumpy mixture forms.

2) Slowly add in bone broth, mixture will continue to clump before smoothing out into a thick creamy consistency, then will loosen into a nice liquid.

3) Add cheeses and parsley, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper

4) Stir soup until all cheeses and seasonings are completely melted together.

5) In a separate pan cook meat with onion, celery, and carrot until meat is cooked through and the veggies are semi-tender.

6) Dump the meat mixture in the cheese soup.

7) Optional-a hand blender can be taken to the soup to further chop up the veggies and meat (friendlier for those who have a hard time eating veggies), or the meat and veggies can be left in their current chopped form.

So this variation of cheeseburger soup is a bit less usual in that it does not have potatoes in it. It makes it lower in the carb and friendlier for those watching their blood-sugar and waistline.

Honestly, it is delicious and makes a rather large pot of hearty soup. A great dish to share with others on a budget, or freeze for a quick heat up meal.

Morning Tea Booster

I love a good cup of coffee, but in an attempt to gentle my nervous system, I have been switching out my morning cup of coffee for a less caffeinated and nutrient rich tea blend.

Due to it’s protein content, on more busy mornings, this tea will carry me through the morning until lunch. It is also a great way to get in vitamins and minerals that could otherwise be neglected as well.

12 oz. Water
1-2 bags Oolong Tea
1 T. Matcha tea powder
1 t. baobab powder
1/8 t. stevia
2 t. vitamin C crystals
4-5 drops liquid vitamin D
3-4 drops liquid vitamin B
powdered magnesium
3 T. Whey protein powder
3 T. Collagen Powder
1 T. MCT oil
1/2 t. extract (almond, vanilla, coconut, pineapple, mango, banana, strawberry, or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg…whatever sounds good)

  1. Brew a cup of Oolong tea in a tall measuring cup with about 12oz. water
  2. Remove tea bag or leaves and add the remaining ingredients
  3. Blend all ingredients together with a stick blender. (My favorite kitchen gadget!)

Note: Most vitamins can be found in powder or liquid form and are easy to take in tea. Natural extract flavorings are also found online and in many stores.

I understand a lot of these ingredients are not what most folks keep on hand, but I have reasons for using them and find they are a huge boost to my immune system and aid in my body’s health. Obviously this recipe can be tailored to fit any budget and healthy requirement.

Cook One Day for the Month Experiment

As a result of needful mental and physical therapy for one of my daughter’s the start of the year, my school days increased in time by a couple hours. As a result, January dinners consisted of late meals, rotisserie chickens, occasional food delivery and semi-toxic packaged foods. It was expensive, unhealthy, and untimely, and I knew something had to change in the progressing months ahead.

Years ago, my mother got into once-a-month-cooking. We bought all our groceries, except produce and milk, for the entire month and planned a rough menu for the month. I remember helping my mom cook and freeze all that food. The idea of having all the meals prepped for each day sounded lovely….just pop it in the oven and bake. So, I began planning for the first round in February.

Honestly, I am still undecided on whether once a month cooking is going to be a long term effort or not. I just cooked up our monthly meals for March and so as I am heading into our second month of prepped food, I jotted down some thoughts on the subject so far.

Health: Stepping away from quick, store-bought meals is certainly a step in the healthy direction. As I prep the monthly menu, I am also able to incorporate a better balance and plan meals that use whole, real foods and pair easily with any veggies I have on the side. I can also prep meals to freeze that do no contain sugar or unhealthy carbs. So, I do feel there is an aspect about freezer cooking that gets the healthy planning and prep done and ready to go.

Quality: A drawback of freezer cooking is the loss of fresh. I can still roast a side of broccoli to go with the lemon pepper chicken or toss a salad to go with the Alfredo, so it isn’t that we do not eat anything fresh. However all the main dishes which are protein based are frozen. And there is no getting around the fact that once anything has been frozen its quality, flavor and nutrients do go down. So, I am mindful that there is a loss in the quality of the food I cook from the freezer.

On the flip-side, I do a lot of meat marinating. It was so successful last month, I doubled the marinades. Meat that has been marinated for a day is incredible, and the marinade helps break down the toughness of the meat. I rarely think long enough ahead to thaw chicken, marinate it, and then cooking it up. But, marinating fresh chicken and freezing it gets all that work done and the meat is ready to grill, fry, or bake. We noticed the long term marination in the freezer turns out excellent meat once cooked up.

Time: An absolute time saver, but not without a transition in how the time is spent. After cooking all the food for a month, my weekly grocery trip is cut down to grabbing a few gallons of milk and some produce. So, my shop time is definably less than if I went out weekly.

What takes the most time is planning the menu, I look at store sales the first of the month, figure what recipes I will make, then add needed items to my grocery list. I print out a list of all the recipes and ingredients I have purchased for a quick daily reference. The grocery shopping trip is a good morning too as I hop from store to store to gather the ingredients needed.

The longest day is the cooking day. Last month it took me an entire day to make all the food, but I did include lasagna and sweet and sour chicken on that month’s list which is a huge money and time bomb. This month, I was able to get all the prep done by noon. So, the type of meal I choose seems to make a big difference in the prep and cook time.

Expense: Here is where I am loosing. Since I only purchase meats on sale, I would buy chicken breasts at .99lb instead of 1.39. When I cook one time for the month, I must use the sales that are going the week leading up to my cook day. After that, I must ignore all other sales for the month because I simply have no money left in our grocery budget. So, either I restrict my menu to whatever is on sale, or I buy items that are not on sale to make the recipes I want. In order to make this work for me, I have been doing a little of both. So, the toll on the grocery budget is showing.

Stress: I must say, the trying to figure out what to cook and then making dinner late in the evening after a long day is stressful. It doesn’t help that the children tend to hang around and groan of their hungry tummies in the process. However, menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking for a month is also a bit of a stress. The first weekend I attempted this monthly cooking experiment was very stress riddled, but I had a lot of unknowns going into it. The second time around was a huge improvement. So, I think long run, having a day set aside to cook is far easier on a busy momma than cramming dinner making into the end of a long day.

I did notice however, that our family did not eat all of the meals I prepped for last month, so some of those meals I am rolling over into this month. So, in a few more months, I may not notice the injury to the grocery budget as I continue to roll over meals.

Hospitality: I love having ready meals in the freezer! It makes me feel free to invite folks over without wondering what to make for them. We have plenty of options ready to go. I also can take a meal over to anyone in need at any time. It is set and ready for me to bake for them or for them to pop in their own oven. Having meals in the freezer is a huge asset to any home-maker, much more if there is a whole month of food in in the freezer.

Will I continue monthly cooking? For a while, yes. I am curious how our grocery budget will accommodate this new method of cooking, so if I find it unaffordable, I may alter my menu planning. But for now, it is a profitable experiment.