Chowdah!

Posted: February 13, 2013 in Bariatric surgery, cold weather, Cooking, Exercise, recipes, Weather

I was a bad boy this morning.

I woke up around 4:20, realized how wiped out I was feeling and promptly reset the alarm for 6:30. Loosely translated, that means no visit to the gym at the crack of dawn for me. The extra two hours of sleep didn’t help much, though. I’m yawning and just feeling generally run down. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the cold that has been residing in my head and chest these last few days.

So, last night I had a choice. I could either watch a bunch of self-serving politicians tell lies and get applauded for it, or I could make a batch of New England clam chowder (or as my friends from New England would say, “chowdah!”)

I opted to go the chowdah route. It’s been cold enough for thick soup and with Lent and all that upon us, it comes in handy. I start with a base recipe that I have modified to contain less fat and hopefully all of the taste. I’ll include it here:

New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients:

1/2 lb onion, diced
1/2 lb celery, diced
12 oz red potatoes, large diced
4 cans chopped clams and juice
32 oz fat-free half & half
32 oz clam juice
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
2 tbsp olive oil
Bacon salt to taste
4 splashes of Tabasco Chipotle
1 can corn (drained) (optional)
1/2 lb roux

Roux:
1/4 lb butter
1/4 lb flour

Melt butter, blend in flour to make roux.

Directions:

1. In a 2 gallon stockpot, cook onion and celery in olive oil and bacon salt until translucent.
2. Pour in chopped clams in juice, clam juice, diced potato and seasonings; blend well.
3. Bring to simmer over medium heat, for 5 – 10 minutes.
4. Add half & half, increase heat until it comes to a slow boil.
5. Add roux slowly, mixing well. Keep mixing until well incorporated.
6. Reduce heat – simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

It comes out with a nice smoky flavor from the chipotle Tabasco and also the bacon salt. Also, adding the corn can make for an interesting texture and adds a hint of sweetness to the taste. By using the fat- free half & half, you also cut out a lot of extraneous fat and it still thickens nicely.

So, as for the Lenten resolutions, I’m giving up soda. I know… kind of harsh. Fact is, I have to do it post surgery, so I might as well get used to it. I will miss it, no doubt about that. Not so much the taste, but the carbonation. Granted, with such greatly reduced stomach capacity, there will be no room for the bubbles at the inn. I know there’s a lot I will have to give up, at least for some time. It’s a small price to pay when it comes down to it. My reward will be a healthier me. I think it will be worth it.

Hope that you have a great day!

Comments
  1. ModernIdeals says:

    Your recipe sounds so good I may actually take a stab at cooking! I recently gave up soda accidentally. I started trying to drink more water or tea and incidentally completely stopped drinking my daily Diet Pepsi. I was surprised recently when I realized I hadn’t had, nor wanted one, in over three weeks. Good luck – it’s easier than you realize!

  2. Mickey says:

    Proud of you!! Keep it up and the chowdah sounds yummm!

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