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!

July Shenanigans & Recipes…

This summer has been one of the best.

Bobby and I have been cooking up a storm…

moscow-mule

^^A moscow mule (a drink my dad introduced me to).^^

This was mine, but I gave it to Bobby – after one sip I didn’t want anymore! It’s delicious but I wasn’t in a drinking mood. {HERE} is the recipe I posted 5 years ago when my dad first told me about it. It’s a mix of ginger beer, vodka, lime, and mint. Sometimes we do half seltzer / half ginger beer. Gingerale also works.

tempeh-onion-goop

^^Sweet and Savory Tempeh with Onions^^

I started off following Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for Tempe Manis (Sweet Tempeh) but changed it… a lot. As you guys know, I’m not really into sweets that much, so I cut out just about all the sugar, and instead caramelized some onions to give it sweetness. I will hopefully remember what I did so I can post my version of the recipe later. So delicious.

kale-mustard-green-salad-seaweed-avocado-goop

^^Kale & Seaweed Salad with Avocado – Except with Mustard Greens because I mistakenly grabbed the wrong bunch of greens!^^

Another Gwyneth Paltrow recipe. Which she actually got from Cafe Gratitude (in LA I think?). {HERE} is her recipe. I changed it a bit – I only used one avocado, I didn’t add the cucumbers (all of a sudden I am hating cucumbers, weird!), and I accidentally bought mustard greens instead of kale. I’ve remade it with kale and I actually prefer it with mustard greens. They don’t come out bitter.

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^^Random plate^^

This plate has a veggie stir-fry that was *amazing* – it has fake chicken from Trader Joe’s, but aside from that I don’t know what’s in it because Bobby (a budding cook, apparently) made it. I’ve also been *loving* white rice. Having it almost daily, in large amounts. My appetite has been interesting the last month or so. In this pic there is also kabocha (simply steamed, though I have another kabocha recipe I’ve been meaning to share), Rachel Ray’s sesame green beans, a cucumber salad (before I started hating cucumbers), and roasted mushrooms – I think these were oyster mushrooms.

Lastly…

natto

^^Natto^^

This is a fermented soybean product that is eaten a lot in Japan. It has an interesting (funky) smell and it’s slimy/stringy like okra (only more so). It’s definitely an acquired taste, but I have learned to love it. In fact, Bobby made a batch of homemade natto this week, which is aging in the fridge right now. It should be ready this weekend.

Aside from lots of good eats, other wonderful things have happened recently.

I got to meet my close friend’s baby:

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She is so sweet. So cuddly and adorable.

And Bo the cat is a weirdo 😉

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I can’t believe I caught that picture! I was reorganizing the area next to my washer/dryer and was taking these shelves downstairs, but Bo decided to hang out in the shelf and I got him mid-yawn.

What have you been up to the past couple of weeks?

Week-End Link Love… [July 18 2013]

I was going through my draft posts and came across a link love that I never put up. Thought I would share now, because though these articles may be a year old, they are still interesting and relevant. Since we are at the end of the week it’s kind of still “week end” link love.

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The Case Against Kids. About a year ago (when I compiled these links) was around the time when I fully changed my mind about having kids (to YES, definitely). If you’d asked me a few years before, I was very much anti-kid (at least for me). Now – I hope to have one or two soon. Still a good read.

Why do zoo apes get heart disease? It could be diet, lifestyle, or stress. Interesting read.

Is Sugar Toxic? Probably, yes! Did you know the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar per year? This is an interview between Sanjay Gupta (a doctor who is a public health advocate) and Robert Lustig (an anti-sugar doctor who is famous with the paleo/primal/low-carb crowd).

Ova Ova. A really innovative (woman-founded) start-up that helps you (women) track your ovulation and fertility naturally (temperature, etc) via something called the Fertility Awareness Method. FAM can be used to get pregnant or to not get pregnant, ha.

Learning to Walk: How America Can Start Walking Again. Re: the lack of walking / public transportation here in the states.

Recipe: Paleo Singapore Street Noodles. Looks delish!

Homemade Deodorant. A simple recipe: baking soda, cornstarch or arrowroot, coconut oil, Tea Tree Oil (optional). I currently use Soapwalla’s deodorant (which recently raised in price from $12 to $14! and I thought it was expensive before). Love Soapwalla, but it’s very pricey. I may try this next time I run out (very soon).

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That’s all I have! Have you read anything good online lately?

Summer Solstice Surf & Turf

Last night Bobby and I celebrated the end of this week + the summer solstice with a delicious home-cooked surf & turf dinner. And I even made it to yoga beforehand (Friday Night Flow @ Pure Yoga).

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I posted this on Instagram (@magpie707) last night. It’s a small piece of filet migon (right), scallops & shrimp, and a side of kale + shiitake mushrooms. The recipes were all super simple. They aren’t even recipes, really.

Filet Mignon:

  • olive oil
  • steak (this one was small – 3.5 ounces. it’s about 2cm thick.)
  • butter (optional)

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Drizzle your steak with olive oil on both sides, and also put a little in the pan. Cook the steak ~3-4 minutes on each side (3 on each side is medium; 4 on each side is done – I did about 3.5 on each side). Done! Serve with a pat of butter on top (optional).

Shrimp & Scallops:

  • big scallops (I did 5)
  • big, cleaned shrimp (6)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper and put some olive oil in the pan. Cook the shrimp & scallops about 2.5 minutes on each side. Done!

Kale & Shiitake Mushrooms Asian Style:

  • olive oil and a little bit of sesame oil
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 head of red kale
  • 1 box of shiitake mushrooms
  • balsamic vinegar (I used a cherry infused one)

Wash and dry the kale. Chop the mushrooms and kale. Heat a wok to high heat and add the olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) and sesame oil (2-3 teaspoons). Add the mushrooms and kale. Add garlic powder, salt and sesame seeds. Cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes, then turn it to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the kale is tender (stirring occasionally). Add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Stir it around and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add more salt, if it needs it.

All told, this meal cost about $31 from the grocery store. (Filet mignon = $7, scallops = $14, shrimp = $3.50, organic kale = $2.50, organic mushrooms = $4.) A little pricey for 2 people, but much cheaper than it would be at a restaurant! I’m not including the cost of the pantry items I already had (olive oil, salt, etc…).

Bobby had the steak (I had a bite) and we split the rest, but I got an extra scallop. He was a very happy husband 🙂

Do you like surf & turf? What’s the most expensive meal you cook at home?

Monday Link & List Love [01.21.2013]

I have found some interesting links lately that I wanted to share:

Monday Link Love

  • The Nitrate & Nitrite Myth: Another Reason not to Fear Bacon: This article “debunks” the idea that nitrates and nitrites can cause serious health problems (cancer, heart disease). Honestly – I want to believe it; I just don’t know if I can. Apparently nitrates and nitrites are found in much higher amounts in natural foods like celery and even in our own saliva than they are in hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats. Even if they are – aren’t they different? Wouldn’t our bodies treat “natural” (whatever that means) nitrates/nitrites differently than artificial ones? I have no idea. I’m not a food scientist but I would really like to know the truth behind processed meats. (Because I love bacon. Who doesn’t?)
  • Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Eating: Just some goods tips for leading a happy, healthy life. I especially like #5 – Unleash Your Creativity and Do Something You Love Every Single Day.
  • Homemade Lotion Recipe: I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like it really couldn’t be simpler.
  • Slow-Cooker Squash Stew: Butternut squash, chard, and parmesan? Count me in.
  • 7 Ways You Might Be Inadvertently Sabotaging a Good Night’s Sleep: I may not always agree with him, but Mark Sisson just about always has an intelligent, well-thought-out response to just about every question or problem anyone could possibly have. In this case I do agree with him. The article is from November but particularly applicable now that I’m trying to sleep earlier. He makes good points – 1) are you getting natural light during the day? 2) are you eating too late? 6) do you have a nighttime ritual? and 7) are you simply staying up too late? –> These 4 all right true for me.
  • Vow to Get More Sleep in 2013: Another sleep article. Tips include 3) turn the heat down, 4) unplug (what I should be doing now!), 5) meditate, 6) do yoga (OK!), and 7) stop puttering! (That means no chores after 9pm, yes I am talking to you my fellow type A’s.)

And I also just wanted to share some other random things…

Monday List Love

  • Wanted to share this pic of dinner the other night. I was out of the city all day Saturday and when I got home, Bobby had prepared this beautiful meal! It’s a salad with hard boiled egg, bacon, onion, and homemade dressing. I had no idea he could cook – he totally outdid himself. He also made butternut squash ravioli (from TJ’s) with sauteed veggies and he cooked up a cheesy mushroom flatbread (also courtesy of TJ’s). The salad is served in a really beautiful dish from my mom.
    bobby-dinner-salad-ravioli-wine
  • Bobby used this salad recipe for the dinner salad and dressing. It was supposed to be spinach but I prefer romaine as a salad base.

That’s all I have… I’m off to do some reading and relax before I go to sleep (early). Hope your week is off to a good start.