This was Monday night’s rainy day dinner. My family loves corn chowder so I make it whenever we are in the mood for a comforting and hearty bowl of soup. My traditional recipe starts with frying up some bacon in a little butter to render the fat so I can saute the veggies in it. It also has heavy cream and is rich and delicious. I changed the recipe a bit to lighten it up so that we can eat it more often and feel a little less guilty. This version still has the bacon (you really can’t have corn chowder without it) but I cook it separately and use it as a garnish. I use a little half and half for richness and my secret ingredient…a can of pureed cannellini beans…to make it thick and hearty. You really can’t tell they are there but it adds a nice texture and some much needed protein and fiber to the dish. Don’t get me wrong…I’m all for corn and potatoes, I just feel a little guilty when I make dinner and there is no protein to speak of. This is coming from a total carboholic!
I always use fresh corn if it’s in season but if not frozen is a better choice.
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken stock (see notes below)
- 1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
- 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 15 oz can of cannellini beans
- 4 ears of corn 0r 3 cups of frozen corn
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- a few slices of cooked bacon for garnishing
- some shredded cheese to garnish (I used Parmesan but sharp cheddar would be great too)
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and peppers and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a couple minutes more. Dust the vegetables with the flour and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the chicken stock and half and half and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
While the potatoes are cooking rinse and drain the can of cannellini beans and puree them in a blender or food processor with a little chicken stock for moisture until the mixture is smooth. Add it to the soup and mix well.
If you are using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and add to the soup. If you use frozen, you can add the corn without thawing. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the parsley. Taste for seasoning…make sure you added enough salt and pepper. Serve topped with bacon and cheese. A little crusty bread is absolutely a MUST with this soup.
The brand of chicken stock you use in your recipes is really important. Of course home made is best, but I usually use a boxed one. I have tried many and my favorite right now is Wolfgang Puck’s Organic Chicken Stock.
It has a really good, rich flavor. I used to use Swanson’s organic and I like that too. For some reason the organic has not been available where I shop so I tried this one and I like it better. It is a little saltier than Swanson’s, so you just add a little less salt when you cook with it. Whenever you use a store bought stock, taste before you salt and be careful not to add to much. I have also tried Trader Joe’s and I really don’t like that one…funny after tastes.
Let me start out by saying that I LOVE MY VITAMIX!! I’m not quite sure how I ever lived without it. It is definitely my favorite kitchen appliance! I have been making all kinds of delicious smoothies and juices with it for myself and my family. One of my favorite lunch shakes is this Kale Cashew Shake. You could make this in a regular blender but I don’t think it would blend the cashews and kale quite as smooth as the Vitamix. You could try it with cashew butter or almond butter instead of the whole cashews.
It is delicious, healthy, and filling. You can work with the ingredients to suit your taste. Sometimes I add a little honey or a couple of pitted dates to sweeten it up, or if I need it to carry me through to dinner I will put in some protein powder. I use a vanilla flavored whey based protein sweetened with Stevia so it is low in sugar. The protein powder also makes it a little sweeter.
Kale Cashew Shake:
- a couple of big handfuls of kale (about 3 or 4 leaves with ribs/stems removed)
- 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed or flax meal
- one half of a banana
- 1/3 cup of raw cashews
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk (or any other milk/non-dairy drink)
- a handful of ice cubes
Blend all ingredients thoroughly
Add a scoop of protein powder or a teaspoon of honey before blending. You can also add a couple of pitted dates to add sweetness instead of the honey.
I’m so happy with the way these meatballs turned out! I have made many a meatball and sometimes they turn out great while other times they are missing a little something. When I do an Italian meatball, it’s always smothered in a delicious tomato sauce so regardless of whether or not it is a perfect meatball, it always tastes good. With a meatball that is served without sauce, you really have to nail the flavor AND texture for it to turn out great. I really nailed it on these! I am actually thankful that I am blogging about it because if I didn’t, I would never remember exactly how I made them!
Once I mixed all of the ingredients it seemed really wet and it was a little difficult to form the meatballs. Don’t worry about this because they cook up perfectly. I find that ground chicken has a more “wet” consistency than beef and pork and because it is so low fat you want all of that moisture so they don’t come out too dry. A little water on your hands will help keep the chicken from sticking to your fingers.
For the glaze I used a store bought one made by “San J”.
Once they had cooked for about 25 min, I took them out and put them in a nicer baking dish and then glazed them with the sauce before putting them under the broiler. You don’t have to transfer them but I have always gotten a little grossed out by the “stuff” left behind on the pan after you cook meatballs. Plus it’s prettier for serving!
I served these with Jasmine rice that I fried up with shitakes, green onions, chopped water chesnuts and soy sauce and topped it with a some toasted sesame seeds. Also made some steamed snow peas.
Asian Chicken Meatballs
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 lbs ground chicken
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger
- 1 small finely chopped shallot
- 4 chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- zest of half a lime
- Sweet and Sour sauce or orange sauce to glaze
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Pour milk over bread crumbs in a large bowl and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add ground chicken, egg, salt, chopped cilantro, shallots, green onions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and lime zest. Mix until well combined. Shape 3 tablespoons meat mixture into a ball and bake on a foil lined baking sheet coated with non-stick spray for about 25 minutes After 25 minutes cut one of the meatballs in half to see if it has cooked through (mine were perfect in 25 min). Brush the meatballs with Sweet and Sour sauce and move the oven rack up closer to the broiler. Broil for a few min (Don’t walk away!!) until they brown on top. Serve with a garnish of cilantro and more sweet and sour sauce.
Makes about 20 meatballs
This was a good find! A dinner that everyone in my family loved…with vegetables!
It was pretty easy and it was a hit with the husband and kiddos.
You make a yummy cheesy sauce with a little sauteed onion and garlic, milk, and a whole head of chopped cauliflower.
Once the cauliflower is tender you blend the sauce until
it is smooth (or put it in your blender).
Add some cheese (a mixture of Gruyere and Parmesan turned
Add some cubed ham…
and Broccoli florets (raw) to the pot with the sauce.
Meanwhile…cook a pound of pasta (these shells worked
well) in some well salted water. You really want to under cook
it because it will finish cooking in the oven. This pasta said
cook for 13 minutes so I did it for 6 minutes.
Toss it all together, top with some extra Parmesan and bake!
After the pasta is just about done and the broccoli is tender,
sprinkle some Panko bread crumbs (mixed with some melted
butter) over the top and finish cooking uncovered. You can broil
a few minutes to brown the top at the very end)
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small head cauliflower, cored and chopped (3 cups)
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 5 cups milk (I used 4 1/2 cups 1% and 1/2 cup of half and half)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound pasta shells
- 1/2 pound diced smoked ham
- A handful of fresh chopped parsley
- 1 medium bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets (5 cups) or you can use a bag of florets
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) mixed with 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Heat oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened but not brown, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add Cauliflower and sprinkle with flour; stir to coat well.
- Gradually stir in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently simmer until cauliflower is very soft, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I used about a teaspoon and a half of kosher salt). Blend the cauliflower mixture until smooth (either with an immersion blender or in a regular blender). Add one cup of the parmesan and all of the gruyere and stir to melt. Add the broccoli florets, ham and chopped parsley and mix will.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until slightly tender but not fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Drain well; return to pot. Add ham, broccoli, and cauliflower sauce; toss to combine. Transfer to a ovenproof 3 1/2-quart baking dish sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese, cover with foil and bake until bubbling in center, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 – 10 min. Sprinkle the Panko bread crumbs mixed with melted butter over the top and cook under the broiler until golden brown on top, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve!