Corn Chowder Soup Recipe – Lightened Up (Lower Calorie, Lower Fat)

Happy Monday eve! I started writing this post nearly two weeks ago and finally wanted to finish so I could share this awesome recipe with you all.

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These past two weeks have been a doozy for me – this is my first few weeks off from work and I still feel like I am going nonstop between errands, watching Kurt, and learning how to exist without going into an office every day.

(Recap: I’m taking an indefinite work leave as of December 1st; we’ll be moving out to a more suburban area in February; Kurt is on a decreased preschool schedule.)

I should really be doing a Thanksgiving recap because I made the amazing Vegducken that was making the rounds this year BUT it’s now almost a month past Thanksgiving and I made this light version of a cream of corn soup and I simply cannot deny you the recipe; it’s just that good.

I was at Whole Foods and saw this SOUPS & stews special magazine by BH&G; one of my goals for December is to make more soup so I picked it up.

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They had a version of corn chowder but it called for two cups of half and half and Bobby can’t eat something like that (creamy soups upset his stomach). So I made a few changes. Here’s my take on this – it’s a whole lot lighter than the original, but really really tasty. I found it super creamy and rich even with my changes.

Lightened Up Corn Chowder

Ingredients

  • 4 slices reduced sodium bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 14-oz can of whole kernel corn
  • 14.5 oz chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2.5 cups plain unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet or soup pan; pat excess oil off the bacon with paper towels. Keep the drippings in the pan. Crumble the bacon (it will be sprinkled on top of the soup when serving).
  2. Heat the bacon drippings to medium. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft, stirring frequently. Add the butter; stir until melted. Add the flour, stir, and cook another minute.
  3. Add the corn, broth, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the half and half and almond milk. Bring to a boil once more, then remove from heat. Top with the crumbled bacon. Serves 4.

I hope you get a chance to try this… I will definitely be making it again!

Hopefully will be back later this week with more updates and maybe another recipe or two 🙂

Can’t believe it’s less than two weeks to Christmas. I am so not done with my shopping!

Experiment: My IBS Management Plan

This title sounds like the title to some kind of report I might write for work. Or school. I hope it goes as well as some of my papers did for school 😉 I used to do fairly decently in my classes.

The problem: I’ve been eating well recently (meaning not much late-night eating, minimal overeating, not too many salads, etc…), but my stomach is really bothering me. It’s been worse than usual ever since I moved to New York back in November. I was diagnosed with IBS ages ago, but never took it seriously – so I’m doing some research.

The solution: use diet to treat and manage my IBS. I’m reading Heather Van Vorous’s book, The First Year: Irritable Bowel Syndrome . While it’s not my first year, it’s the first time I’m actually going to try to treat it. The book has rave reviews on Amazon and I picked it up at Borders this weekend with my 33% off coupon.

Overview:

People with IBS have very sensitive digestive systems. The slightest things can set us off. Here are the basic things that I *must* follow if I want relief.

  • Don’t let myself get too hungry
  • Never eat anything but soluble fiber on an empty stomach (more on this below)
  • Follow a low-fat diet, high in soluble fiber, being careful with insoluble fiber, and avoiding my IBS triggers (like whipped cream and frozen yogurt)
  • Keep stress levels low (includes doing yoga and getting enough sleep)
  • Drink herbal tea (peppermint, ginger, chamomile)
  • Soluble fiber supplements

Let’s talk about soluble fiber. Soluble fiber foods are things like white bread (not wonder bread!), sourdough, white rice, pasta, oatmeal, potatoes (white and sweet), squash (yay! kabocha squash), turnips, carrots, beets, applesauce (or peeled apples), papayas, and avocados. These are supposed to be the basis of an IBS-er’s diet. Eat these before anything else and your stomach will thank you. They should make up more than half of each meal.

As for insoluble fiber, you should only eat this after eating the soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber would be things like whole wheat breads, bran, popcorn, berries, oranges, greens, peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower… you get the idea – non-starchy veggies, basically. And these should preferably be cooked before eating for easier digestion.

Fats – be careful. Avoid them in large quantities. Stay away from fried things, dairy, red meat. I already stay away from most of these things; the fats I eat a lot of are butter and nut butters (and whipped cream, which really really makes my stomach hurt).

Let’s look at today’s lunch as a good example of an IBS-friendly meal. I went to Burger Heaven with Bobby and I got a baked potato with sauteed veggies (broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and cauliflower). I started off with the potato. It looked pretty much like this, but more humongous:

I had some plain, then added a little butter, ketchup, and pepper. After I let that settle into my stomach, I ate the veggies, which were delicious. I didn’t stuff myself (I took part of the potato home, but ate it almost as soon as we got back). I had the soluble fiber first, then the insoluble broccoli et al. I am pretty sure broccoli is another trigger for my stomach acting up.

I will *definitely* keep y’all updated on this.

I’m feeling hopeful. I want my stomach to feel great while we’re in Miami visiting the family 🙂 I am so tired of missing things because of my tum!!

What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend? (We have a wedding to go to – my coworker’s.)