Wednesday, October 25, 2006


We’re beginning to get ready for winter around here. I think I will see about getting ½ a cord of firewood just to be certain that we have enough. And I have been trying out some soup recipes lately. The usual winter diet is all about “comfort” foods and we need to change a few things about that. Soups can be just as comforting as macaroni and cheese on a cold winter evening, but they can contain about a 1/3 of the calories and fat. We both want to stay as slim as we can this year and not have to fight to remove the weight in the spring.

A 1,100 daily calorie diet is not that hard to follow if you use soup as the entrée of one of the main meals. And soup can contain all of the necessary elements of a healthy meal. Case in point; I made a chicken chowder last night, all from scratch and it probably contained about 350 calories or less.

I started with a basic recipe and then modified it as I prowled through the refrigerator and cupboards. Here’s how it came together… first I sautéed ½ cup of chopped sweet onions along with some thyme and a few bay leaves. When the onions were translucent I poured in 1 can of non-fat (99%) low sodium chicken broth and brought it up to a simmer before adding about 4 red potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces. About ten minutes later, when the potatoes were starting to become tender, I added 2 cups of non-fat milk, a cup of chicken pieces, (I used thighs, cut up into bite size) a cup of frozen mixed vegetables, a ½ cup of mushroom slices and ½ of a red Bell pepper, seeded and chopped.

After simmering for another 15 minutes, the chicken was done and the potatoes were tender while the mixed vegetables were still crisp enough to be flavorful. It was great. If I make it again, I will probably add a spicy element; maybe a few sprinkles of hot sauce. I was expecting a bit more flavor from the chicken thighs but it didn’t happen. (The original recipe called for celery and not mixed vegetables. Low fat milk, not non-fat. And it called for chicken breasts, not thighs.)

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