Secret Ingredient Healthy Queso

Secret Ingredient Healthy Queso

Secret Ingredient Healthy Queso Recipe

This time of year, everything is pumpkin; pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pasta and yes, of course, the pumpkin spiced latte.

WARNING: This recipe is not just another pumpkin recipe, this recipe is queso with pumpkin.



The pumpkin lends the perfect color and texture to the queso so even the pickiest of eaters won’t know the secret ingredient.  You are getting all the nutrition of the pumpkin with none of the taste.


This recipe is so cheesy and delicious.

Notes:  For extra creaminess stir in a dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt.

For a heartier taste I recommend adding a can of black beans, ground beef, spicy sausage or even quinoa.


Secret Ingredient Healthy Queso
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  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle chili powder
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rote), drained and liquid reserved
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a medium pot whisk together, broth, pumpkin, flour, spices, and reserved tomato liquid, over medium high heat.
  2. Bring pot to a boil and stir until thickened.
  3. Stir in cheese and tomatoes.

This recipe has all the comfort of queso but all the benefit of pumpkin. That’s why we call it que-ZA!

Weeknight Dinner from the Pantry

Weeknight Dinner from the Pantry

Baked Salmon Meatballs


Have you ever pinned a mouthwatering recipe, added all the ingredients to your shopping list, and even gone as far buying them, only to have “life” happen and all those fresh delicious products you bought die a poor and expensive death.   Oh, right, me neither. I created this recipe on a desperate night digging through my pantry. This recipe is simple and all the ingredients can be kept on hand for a busy night.

These “meatballs” are amazing as the protein on a salad, or over zucchini noodles. But sticking with the all in the pantry theme you can toss some pasta with a little olive oil and these would be the icing on top of the cake.

Nutrition: Serving Size: 1 “meatball” (recipe makes 9)

Calories: 65  Fat: 3 grams, Carbohydrate: 1 gram, Protein: 9 grams 

Baked Salmon Meatballs
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Baked Salmon Meatballs
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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine oats and spices in a blender. Pulse until it resembles a breadcrumb texture.
  3. In a medium bowl scramble the egg.
  4. Add the oat mixture and salmon to the egg. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Form mixture into balls and place onto a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until slightly browned and cooked through.
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Kansas City Dietitian Decides to Take a Dip

Kansas City Dietitian Decides to Take a Dip… to the family reunion. 

A couple of weeks ago I introduced a new recipe for a great tasting dip I called Black Bean Hummus. Usually when I take this dip to gatherings the bowl is quickly licked clean.   

Apparently there are some food fraidy cats out there who do not want to risk eating something called Hummus.  They find the name less than tantalizing. 

So, I’ve decided to change the name of Hummus.  I hope the Middle Easterners out there are not offended by this power play.  Midwesterners just can’t handle Hummus.  So, from now on, all of my homemade Hummus recipes will be called Bean Dip.

We love bean dip.  Particularly nacho cheese bean dip.  (I am working on a recipe for nacho cheese hummus.) 

So, try my new recipe for Chili Black Bean Dip (formerly known as Prince.)

Kansas City Dietitian Learns to Hum

When I was in high school, I picked up my best friend every morning on the way to school. It never failed that Sue would come bouncing out of her house humming and smiling. I was tired and cranky. Sue just smiled and hummed.

I have decided it is time for this cranky dietitian to learn to smile and hum. I’m just not sure where to start. I guess I will just try by doing what I know best.  

Yes, today I will Hum with Hummus.  

What is hummus, you may ask? Basically, hummus is blended and spiced beans. This may sound weird but it is terrific! It tastes divine when served with fresh veggies. 

Here is my daughter’s basic recipe. Play with it. Make it your own.  

Bean Hummus

Note: I usually add half of the reserved bean liquid and half of olive oil to make it creamier. Or I have also topped it with a little olive oil.

1 clove garlic
1 (15 ounce) can beans-your choice of black, red, garbanzo, kidney; drain and reserve liquid
2 tablespoons lemon juice (Lime juice adds a little extra zing)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini  (toasted ground sesame seed paste)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt  (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add beans, 2 tablespoons reserved liquid, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, tahini, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper; process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add additional seasoning and liquid to taste. Garnish with paprika and Greek olives.

And now Wonder Dietitian has taught you how to Hum.  At this point you might want to review my blog on how to sing.  

Next I believe I will teach you how to jello wrestle.  Wonder Dietitian – the dietitian with talents that make you wonder….