I enjoy chowders during the cold months. The only problem is that most chowders have flour and potatoes which are not allowed on a low-carb diet. If you have not tried it, you may not believe that cauliflower is an excellent substitution for the potatoes in this chowder.
I use cauliflower quite a lot these days. I never had it until I was an adult. Even then, it was always raw and on vegetable (or curdité) platters. It wasn’t until several years ago that I discovered what a versatile vegetable it actually is. It’s a great rice substitute, potato substitute, and I even have a recipe for paleo grits made with cauliflower on my blog.
For this recipe, I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes. I needed some extra thickness to the chowder so once I cooked the cauliflower I used my immersion blender to puree it, leaving a few bite-size chunks. It was incredible and my family never even noticed that it was cauliflower!
If you are not interested in a low-carb New-England Clam Chowder, visit www.notjustsundaydinner.com for a full carb version.
Low-Carb Clam Chowder
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 4 (6.5-oz.) cans minced clams, juices reserved
- 2 to 3 c. bottled clam juice
- 2 thick-cut bacon slices, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 celery rib, diced fine
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 c. heavy cream
- 8-oz. cream cheese
- 6 tbsp. dry sherry
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- hot sauce, optional, to taste
- ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Drain the clam juice from the minced clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.
- Clean cauliflower and core. Place in a Dutch oven with a small amount of water. Cover and cook until tender. Remove from heat and drain well, and blend with an immersion blender, leaving a few bite-size pieces.
- Cook the bacon over medium heat in the Dutch oven until lightly crisp.
- Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, and stirring cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk in 2 cups clam juice, 2 c. of heavy cream, the prepared cauliflower, and cream cheese. Bring to a simmer, whisking until the cream cheese is completely melted.
- Add the bay leaf, thyme, and simmer about 15 minutes.
- Add the clams, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and sherry. If too thick add additional clam juice. Simmer until warmed through.
- Serve warm.
If you love olives the way I love olives then you must try this bruschetta! It is hands down the best bruschetta I have ever had!!! I love that with a little chopping and slicing this appetizer comes together in very little time too! Try this recipe with flavored olive oils, such as the oils at The Bodacious Olive in Pensacola, Florida. This appetizer is perfect for any holiday party! You can serve this warm or at room temperature.
- 24 slices French bread, cut ¼-inch thick
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 c. chopped pitted ripe olives
- ½ c. chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 tbsp. Italian salad dressing (I use Olive Garden brand)
- ¾ c. cream cheese, room temperature
- Cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters, optional
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Place bread slices on baking sheet. Lightly brush tops of bread slices with olive oil. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove bread from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix olives, garlic, and dressing.
- Spread cream cheese evenly over toast slices. Top with a tablespoon olive mixture. Garnish with a cherry tomato, if desired.
*You may use all pitted ripe olives or all pimento-stuffed green if desired.
*If you prefer to serve these appetizers warm, After you top the cream cheese with the olive mixture return to the oven for about 6 minutes, or until warm. Remove from oven, add tomato half, and serve.
One of my favorite parts of Christmas was always helping the kids get ready for Santa’s visit. We baked cookies and sat up a special table near the tree. They would write him notes and leave a snack for Rudolph too. I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids or me.
How about a special treat for Santa this year? Instead of just leaving him a boring glass of milk, leave him this belly warming Frothy Vanilla Milk. So delicious that you will be making it for yourself too! A delicious change from regular old chocolate milk.
Frothy Vanilla Milk
- 4 c. whole milk
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1½ whole vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
- Whipped Cream, for garnish, optional
- Ground nutmeg, for dusting, optional
- In a large saucepan, combine the milk and both sugars. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the middle of the beans into the saucepan and also add the split beans. Bring the milk to a simmer; cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes to allow the vanilla to flavor the milk.
- Discard the vanilla beans and rewarm the milk over moderate heat, whisking vigorously, until frothy and warm. Serve in mugs with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.