I love seafood! Cooked or raw, I love it all, so I was pissed when I developed an allergy to one of my favorites, scallops! Lobster, crab, & clams are my first choices if available, so, thankfully, that was the only shellfish that I’m affected by or it would definitely be #HoustonWeHaveAProblem!
Because I actually like to taste the clams, and don’t want to have to dig through a murky sea of potatoes in search of a few scattered slivers, there are few places, outside of Ivar’s in Seattle & Atlantic Fish Company in Boston, where I choose the cream based New England Clam Chowder that most people are familiar with. If given the choice, I much prefer the spicier, tomato, broth based, Manhattan Clam Chowder.
Because few places on the west coast offer a decent version of the chowder I prefer, I found a couple of recipes that I was able to pull parts from to create one that’s both satisfying and can be made with minimal effort.
Manhattan Inspired Clam Chowder
48 little neck clams
2 – 8 oz bottles clam juice
Quarter pound bacon, roughly chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
7 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch dried, crushed red pepper
2 celery stalks, quartered & chopped
2 carrots, quartered & chopped
2 large white potatoes, cut into half-inch cubes
28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 Cup dry white wine (Chardonnay is fine)
3 sprigs fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
2 TBLS chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
Wash the clams well under cold running water in colander.
Place clams in a large pot, and add enough water to cover clams by 2 inches.
Cover the pan and place over high heat.
When the water comes to a boil, give the pan a good shake.
Turn the heat to low, and cook clams another 30 seconds or so.
Remove from the heat, and take out all the clams that have opened, using a slotted spoon. If any clams remain closed, put back on the heat, with the lid on the pan, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
Remove remaining clams, reserve, discard any clams that have not opened.
Pour the clam juice through a fine strainer and measure. If you have more than 4 cups, simmer to reduce to 4 cups.
Put the bacon into a large, heavy saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the bacon begins to brown. Pour off excess fat, leaving behind the bacon and about 3 tablespoons of fat in the pan.
Add the onion, celery, garlic, and crushed red pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up all of the brown bits
Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute more.
Tie the parsley sprigs, fresh thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot.
Add the reserved clam cooking liquid, the bottled clam juice, the potatoes, and the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
While chowder is coming to a boil, remove clams from their shells and chop coarsely. Add to chowder and reduce heat to low.
Cook over low heat for another 5 minutes; check to make sure potatoes are soft and chowder is well seasoned.
Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Divide among warm soup bowls and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.
For a fancy touch you can leave a few clams in the shell and float a couple in the bowl. Serve with crusty sourdough bread and butter and a salad for a hearty meal. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
You have a few wine options with this chowder:
(White) Partially-Oaked Dry California Chardonnay pairs nicely with the crushed red pepper, potatoes, thyme and onion in this dish
(White) Unoaked Medium-dry German Riesling is a nice compliment to the tomatoes, onions, peppers and potatoes in this dish
(Red) Oaked Italian Barbaresco pairs beautifully with the peppers, potatoes, onions and celery in this dish
It seems like every appetizer served at parties, large or small, is forbidden to those who follow the low carb lifestyles touted by the Keto, Paleo and Atkins diets, but who has the time, or patience, to spend making some of the recipes for snacks that are allowed?
I went to a couple of my favorite “regular recipe” resources, Epicurious.com and Emeril’s on Planet Green, to see if there were any easy snack recipes that were low carb friendly and was pleasantly surprised! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Aguachile de Camarón
2 Quarts Water
2 TBLS Kosher Salt
1 Pound Fresh Jumbo Shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 English Cucumber, peeled
1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Cold Water
2 to 3 Fresh Serrano Chiles, sliced
1 TBLS Chopped Fresh Parsley
Combine 2 quarts water and 2 TBLS cup salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.
Butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tail intact.
Add shrimp and immediately turn off the heat.
Let the shrimp sit until just cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
Place shrimp in colander, run under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain.
In a blender, combine the lime juice, olive oil, chiles, and 1/4 cup of cold water. Process until smooth then season to taste with salt.
In a non-reactive bowl combine the shrimp with the dressing. Cover and put into the refrigerator for 1 hour. (Can be made up to 4 hours before serving)
Cut the cucumber into thin rectangular slices, about 3 inches long, and divide among 4 small plates.
Arrange the shrimp on top of the cucumber slices, season as needed, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.
**Non-Reactive Bowl:Stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor
Salami Crisps (Epicurious)
1/4 Pound (very thinly sliced) Genoa Salami, Soppressata, Pepperoni, Pancetta, Jamón Ibérico, Finocchiona, Coppa, or other charcuterie type dry cured meat
Cracked Black Pepper (if using an unspiced meat)
Parmesan Cheese (if desired)
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 325°F.
Arrange salami slices in 1 layer on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
If using Parmesan Cheese, sprinkle slices lightly.
Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are crisp and beginning to curl, 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer slices to a rack to cool. (They will crisp as they cool.)
Serving Suggestion: Small slices of cheese, olive oil marinated feta, or some herbs mixed into cream cheese are all Keto-friendly and would be good served with these crisps.
Very reluctantly, I’m back from my week of culinary indulgence. I gorged myself while sipping on every delectable wine I could in Napa and Paso Robles, so it’s back to the kitchen (& the gym) I go.
I adore veal saltimbocca, but have greatly cut back my intake of red meat, even the lighter pink/milky white young beef that is veal. With this recipe, I’ve kept the flavors, cut some of the fat by using a lean chicken breast, and even snuck in some vegetables.
Some saltimbocca ([saltimˈbokka]; Italian for jumps in the mouth) recipes are fried in olive oil and rely only on pan drippings for their sauce, which I find to be too dry, while others are covered in a heavy creamy – lemony sauce. I like to use a combination of the preparation methods and a make a lighter wine based sauce with just a kiss of lemon and cream to make the whole dish a little less guilt-inducing. #GirlsGoneWine
Chicken Saltimbocca with White Wine Sauce
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 oz each)
4-8 thin slices of Prosciutto ham
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach
16 whole leaves fresh sage
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 TBLS olive oil
1 TBLS all-purpose flour
5 ounces artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 ounce capers
1/2 cup dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 TBLS butter
2 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
freshly ground salt and pepper
Pound the chicken breasts to flatten so they are all roughly the same thickness (3/8 to 1/2 inch). Lightly salt and pepper.
Squeeze the thawed, frozen spinach to remove the excess water. In a small bowl, toss the spinach with salt & pepper and 1 tablespoon of oil to coat.
Sprinkle flour on one side of first chicken breast and place flat on your work surface.
On one half of the unfloured side of the chicken, spread 1/4 of the spinach in an even, thin layer. Sprinkle 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese over the spinach and fold the empty side of the chicken over the filled side.
Wrap the sliced Prosciutto around the floured side of the chicken, placing leaves of sage between the chicken and the ham as shown.
Follow same steps with remaining chicken breasts until all 4 are ready to cook.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
Add the butter. When it melts add the wine and lemon juice and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Add the cream, chicken broth, artichoke hearts and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Prepare your Angel Hair pasta while the chicken is simmering.
Remove the chicken & artichoke heart pieces from the pan and cover to keep warm.
Simmer the cooking liquid over high heat until it is reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve the chicken breasts on a bed of Angel Hair pasta topped with the reduced sauce and garnish with capers if desired.
Enjoy with a chilled glass of the wine you used to make the sauce. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
I hate the fuzz on fresh peaches but, on a whim, I grabbed a half dozen at the store this week because they smelled so damn good. Women’s Day Magazine had a recipe that satisfied my criteria for weeknight meals: simple ingredients and under 30 minutes to prepare! I’m not a fan of couscous, so I mad one minor change to the recipe and substituted quinoa.
Chicken with Peaches & Ginger
1 TBSPextra-virgin olive oil
4 (6-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
6 Medium Fresh (peeled & sliced) or 12 oz. frozen peaches (no need to defrost)
1 TBSP packed light brown sugar
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
3/4 cup dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup dry quinoa
Fresh chopped basil or parsley, for serving
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook on one side until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
Flip, cook for 1 minute, then scatter the peaches, sugar, thyme, and ginger over and around the chicken.
Add the white wine, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the peaches are warm and starting to break down at the edges, 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package directions. Serve the chicken, peaches and sauce over the quinoa and sprinkle with basil or parsley, if desired.
It’s finally cool enough in California, at least once the sun goes down, to justify getting the stock pot out to make a hearty soup that can serve as dinner with a big salad & crusty bread that can then live on as a couple of workday lunches too! Great for the wallet AND the waistline! This soup is so rich, and has such depth of flavor, that it seems like a cheat meal, which is a plus during the non-stop holiday feast season.
Tart & Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
1 – 2 to 2+1/2 lb Butternut Squash (Peeled/Seeded/Chopped into about 1″ Cubes)
1 – Large Granny Smith Apple (Cut into about 1″ Pieces – seeds/core/stem removed)
3 – Large Ribs Celery Chopped
3 – Carrots (Peeled/Chopped into about 1″ Pieces)
1 – Medium Yellow Onion (Peeled/Chopped into about 1″ Pieces)
4 – TBLS Butter
1 – 32 oz Container Organic Chicken Stock
1+1/2 Cups Water
Freshly Grated Sea Salt (To Taste)
Freshly Cracked Pepper (To Taste)
Freshly Ground Nutmeg (1/4 tsp)
Cinnamon (1/2 to 1 tsp)
Cayenne Pepper (Pinch to 1/8th tsp)
Chopped Parsley (if desired)
Melt the butter in a medium stockpot and add the onions, carrot and celery. Sauté over low heat about 10 minutes. When onions just start to brown, add the squash, apple, salt, pepper, chicken stock and water. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring just to a boil. When bubbles appear at the edges of the pan, reduce heat to low. Cover pan tightly and simmer soup for 45 minutes until squash is completely softened.
Remove soup from heat and either process soup until smooth using your blender (I use my Vitamix) and returning to the pan after processed or an immersion blender as shown in the video.
Once soup is smooth, add the Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Cayenne. Adjust spices to taste.
I came across a video that uses the same technique I use to make my soup, with slightly different measurements, and it’s much prettier, so I’ll give the standard #ShoutOut and #HighFive to Simply Recipes for producing a great (and quick) video that I can also use to demonstrate how to assemble my soup!
I’ve already been remiss at keeping up with my blog, so not having to produce a video is a definite bonus! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Everyone who follows this blog regularly knows that #ThisGirlLovesToEat. Anything that lets me eat unregulated amounts of food that I like, except kale #IHateKale, without bursting out of my jeans is something that is going to catch my attention. Sounds unlikely? I know, I doubt it too, but I’m willing to be a guinea pig!
According to scientists, you can eat as much of these 14 foods and not gain any weight due to their high water and low-starch fiber content while containing very few calories.
These foods are not high in muscle building (and fat burning) protein, but they are filled with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.
Contains potassium, folate, fiber, and 30% of your daily requirement of vitamin K
Has about 6 calories per serving
Eat when fresh – celery loses most of it’s nutritional benefits after 5-7 days
One of the few foods that contains an Omega 3 Fatty Acid
1 Cup has about 33 calories
High in vitamins and folate
Champion in the Antioxidant world – has more than any other fruit
1 cup has about 85 calories
1 cup has 14% of the recommended daily requirement of fiber
16 calories per serving
Seeds and skin contain most of the Fiber and Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) which is good for your eyes
Contain lycopene, a carotenoid, which helps fight against chronic diseases
High in vitamins A, C, and B2, as well as folate, chromium, potassium, and fiber
1 medium-sized tomato has about 25 calories
High in fiber, which stabilizes blood sugar helps you feel fuller for longer
1/2 a grapefruit has about 50 calories
High in Vitamin C and folate
Grapefruit has been found to help in weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and improving digestion
Contains an anticarcinogen known as sulforaphane
Most nutritious when eaten raw or steamed
Contains vitamins A, C, E, and K
1 serving contains 20% of your daily fiber requirement
1 serving has about 31 calories
Contains beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that promotes healthy eyes
Contains more than 100% of your daily recommended value of vitamins A and C
1 serving has about 55 calories
Contains antioxidants and phytochemicals to help fight off chronic disease
An excellent source of folate, fiber, and vitamins C and K
Has about 25 calories per serving
Blackberries can help your brain to stay alert
Rich in vitamin C as well as antioxidants known as bioflavonoids
Can aid with digestion
Tightens tissue, leading to younger-looking skin
1 serving has about 62 calories
Whether Romaine, Green Leaf, Red Leaf, Romain, etc.: 96% Water
Folate, iron, and vitamins A and C
1 serving has 10 to 20 calories
High in Vitamin C which is crucial in collagen production: oranges help keep skin free of damage and looking good
Medium orange has about 80 calories
You need to eat the white stuff under an orange’s skin (pith) it contains a lot of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels
Fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free (healthy for the heart)
More vitamin C in one serving of strawberries than there is in one orange
Tons of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant
A good source of potassium and fiber
1 Cup of strawberries has about 50 calories
Only slightly more calories per serving than cantaloupe (64)
Contains over half of the recommended daily value of vitamin C
Contains over half of the recommended daily value of copper, which is crucial for healthy skin
If you are interested in more scientific details, you can read the original article on INSIDER.
If you’re interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to like: health articles, my favorite recipes, fun drinks, food facts, nutritional information, restaurant reviews, gadget reviews, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a community page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood
I wanted to make something healthy for an impromptu, no occasion, mid-week family gathering but didn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen prepping. I thought about a simple ground sirloin meatloaf and a salad, but meatloaf, even with ground sirloin, screams, “Boring!”.
Having just gone to the grocery store yesterday, I was SO not in the mood to go again today. Thankfully a dive into the freezer led to a discovery of 2 pounds of frozen ground chicken breast and 3 pounds of handmade gourmet chicken sausage I’d had to freeze due to family drama derailing a dinner a couple of weeks ago! A quick check of the pantry confirmed that I still had a jar of the amazing Gia Russa Hot Sicilian Marinara I’d come across at World Market, I always have pasta, Parmesan & mozzarella and the makings for a green salad, so dinner is handled! Whew…
Spicy Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf
1 TBLS Olive Oil or butter
2 pounds ground chicken breast
3 chicken “Italian” sausages
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 – 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, drained (these are a bit spicy, you can use diced tomatoes instead)
3/4 cup seasoned Panko crumbs
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1+1/2 cups marinara sauce (I use a spicy sauce)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
First Prepare the Sausages:
Preheat oven to 400°F
Place the sausages into a rimmed baking pan.
Cook for 30-45 minutes (depending on how big the sausages are) until casings begin to brown.
Remove sausages from the oven and set aside to cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F
In the bowl of your stand mixer, with the paddle or dough hook attachment, combine the ground chicken, eggs, Panko, tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 Cup of the marinara sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
Using a sharp / serrated knife, slice the sausage links into rounds.
There isn’t much fat in the ground chicken breast, so, using about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter, grease the bottom and sides of your chosen baking dish. NOTE:I use a Le Cruset® square 3 QT Covered Baking Dish so I can keep it warm out of the oven and at the table.
Take approximately 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce and spread it along the bottom of the pan then layer 1/2 of your sausage slices on top of the sauce.
Mound 1/2 of your ground chicken mixture into the pan then layer the rest of your slices on top of that. (This is why I use the larger, square shaped pan.
Mound the rest of the ground chicken mixture on top of the second layer of sausage slices then, using your hands (or a pair of rubber spatulas) shape the meat in from the sides to form a loaf mounding up towards the middle.
Top the meatloaf with the rest of the marinara sauce allowing it to spill down the sides. NOTE:You can prepare up to this point, cover and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. If you are going to do that, allow to sit on the counter while you are waiting for the oven to preheat.
Bake for 60-65 minutes or until chicken is cooked (insert instant read thermometer into the center of loaf should read 165°F).
When done remove and add the mozzarella cheese on top.
If you have extra marinara sauce, put into a small saucepan and warm to serve alongside slices if desired.
Return the meatloaf to the oven until the cheese is melted.
Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Prepare some wide egg noodles, fettuccini, angel hair, spaghetti, or spaghettini.
Toss warm pasta with some butter or olive oil and grated parmesan cheese.
Pile some pasta in the center of the plate, then lay a thick slice of the meatloaf atop the pasta.
If you have warmed some of the extra sauce, ladle a bit of it on top of the meat and grate a bit more fresh Parmesan (or shake some out of the green can) cheese on top.
Toss a crisp green salad and dinner is served. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
The meatloaf came out moist and didn’t end up needing the extra sauce. When I reheated the extra slices in the microwave the next day I added the sauce.
If you are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to like: health articles, my favorite recipes, fun drinks, food facts, nutritional information, restaurant reviews, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a community page on Facebook you can visit: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood