Low-Carb Clam Chowder

 

low-carb-clam-chowder

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
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Drain the clam juice from the minced clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.
  2. 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.
  3. Cook the bacon over medium heat in the Dutch oven until lightly crisp.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and simmer about 15 minutes.
  7. Add the clams, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and sherry. If too thick add additional clam juice. Simmer until warmed through.
  8. Serve warm.

 

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Pulled Pork Chili

Pulled Pork Chili

 

Here’s another fabulous recipe for your Super Bowl party. Serve alongside a fun little toppings bar with toppings such as sour cream, shredded cheese, freshly chopped cilantro, jalapeños, lime slices, chopped white onions, green onions, chopped tomatoes, black olives, and hot sauce. Cornbread would be delicious with this chili.

I have been working on this chili recipe for a while. It is a Not Just Sunday Dinner original! I’ve probably made it a half dozen times, changing the ingredients slightly each time. I think it’s finally perfect because I LOVE this version! I feel terrible about something! I took the idea of stacking the pork vertically in the slow cooker from another blog. The thing is, I do not remember which blog it was!! Being a blogger myself, this makes me feel extremely guilty. Believe you me, I will be searching and searching until I identify the blog so that I can give credit where credit it due!

 

 

Pulled Pork Chili 002

I started with a 3.84 lb. pork loin. I then trimmed the fat from the outside of the loin. Cut into pork chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick, and then trimmed off more fat from the fatty end, where I cut inside the pork chop to get the fat out. I ended up with 2.9 lbs. of trimmed pork when all of the trimming was complete.

I did not thicken my chili, but if you prefer a thicker chili just use the cornstarch and water to thicken in up a bit.

 

Pulled Pork Chili
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2½ to 3 lb. pork loin
  • 2 (15.5-oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (16-oz.) jars tomatilla salsa
  • 1 (7-oz.) can green chiles
  • 1 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with ⅓ c. cold water, optional
  • Serve with: sour cream, shredded cheese, fresh chopped cilantro, and lime slices
Instructions
  1. Trim fat from pork loin. Cut into 1" to 2" slices. Heat oil in a large skillet and add onion and jalapeño pepper and saute until soft. Add minced garlic and saute an additional 1 minute. Remove from pan and add mixture to crock pot. Lightly brown the pork chops on each side, remove from skillet to paper-towel lines dish and set aside.
  2. To the crock pot, add the beans, hominy, salsa, green chiles, chicken broth, salt, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, and bouillon cubes, still to combine.
  3. Place the pork chops into the mixture, standing them vertically in the mixture. Cover slow cooker and cook for 6 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Remove the pork chops from the crock pot to a plate or small baking pan. Using two forks, pull the pork shredding it. Return to the crock pot and stir to combine.
  5. If you prefer a thicker chili, mix 3 to 4 tbsp. cornstarch with ⅓ c. cold water. Stir into the chili. Simmer about 20 more minutes.
  6. To serve, ladle into bowls, top with desired toppings.

 

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Turkey Taco Soup

Turkey Taco Soup 4

 

 

Just as animals in the wild want their babies to grow and leave the nest, we also have a desire for our children to leave the nest and become productive citizens. I can sense that my kids are approaching this point in their lives. My reaction to this reality is not as I had anticipated. I was extremely sad when both of my children graduated high school and started college. I remember the desperate feelings well because it wasn’t that long ago. This time, it doesn’t even compare.  I feel the change. Maybe it’s because I have witnessed the changes in them. They have matured, and they are excited about what life will bring and what God has in store for them.

Wes will graduate from college soon. He’s already looking for a job and talking about the things that he’ll need to begin living on his own. A camouflaged recliner is high on his list. 😂 He’s reasonably proficient on the grill, so I know that he will not starve, even if all of his food is grilled. I can feel that he’s ready to move on.

Savannah is a sophomore in college. She lived in a dorm last year, but hated it, and decided to move home after her freshman spring semester. After seven months of living with us, Savannah has made the decision to move out again. Since moving back home, she has become quite an exquisite cook. She has never been fond of the dining hall food at school, so when she started commuting, she began packing a lunch. She finds recipes (mostly via Pinterest) and makes her shopping list. She then buys her groceries and cooks on the weekends, then she’s ready to go come Monday.  Savannah will still need us for a while, but I think moving out will be good for her too.

Savannah recently prepared this turkey taco soup that I went nuts over. The ingredient list is fairly short, and it was very easy to pull together. It’s entirely different from any taco soup I’ve had in the past. The addition of cream cheese is an absolute genius! Topped with shredded cheese and a few jalapeños this is an excellent meal!

For now, I’m trying to remind myself daily to enjoy the little things.  Hold them close while I still can.  Enjoy being needed just a little bit longer.  For now, I’m doing okay.  Grief may hit me when I least expect it, but for now, I’m watching them in amazement, so very proud of the adults they have become and are becoming.

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Turkey Taco Soup
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. gound turkey
  • ½ c. chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 8-oz. cream cheese
  • 1 (10-oz.) cans Rotel with green chiles
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) cans beef broth
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Over medium-high heat brown turkey and onion, drain. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cumin and chili powder. Add cream cheese and still until melted. Stir in Rotel, broth, cream, and salt. Lower temperature to medium and cook until heated through.

 

 

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Sweet Potato Chili

sweet potato chili 4

 

Our lives are back to normal at the Melton household. I finally packed up all of the Christmas decorations last week, and they are back in the attic. Wes and Savannah started a new semester at school this week, and I have started plans to the many projects that I want to do. It seems that I always tend to start the new year optimistic with many great plans to eat right and lose weight or paint the kitchen and finally have that new bathtub installed. Somewhere along the way, I tend to get into a rut, and it seems that my resolutions never end the way I intend for them to. For years, my cousin, Melissa and I, have made the comment to each other that “this is going to be our year”. It has become a joke among us, but I think we both secretly are still hoping for a miracle!

This recipe fits into my 2016 plan for healthier eating. It’s a fabulous sweet potato chili recipe that was shared with me by my friend, Teresa. There are so many recipes to add sweet potatoes to your diet! They are great for your vision since they are loaded with Vitamin A. They are powerful antioxidants, a good source of fiber that promotes healthy digestion, they help stabilize blood sugar levels, a great energy source, and anti-inflammatory nutrients, making them a good choice for those with arthritis and asthma.

Teresa often adds ground, cooked chicken to this recipe but I kept it strictly vegetarian. With or without the addition of meat, it is a warm, hearty meal, sure to please the entire family.

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Sweet Potato Chili
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 1½ c. peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8.25-oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until golden brown. Add garlic, chili powder, cayenne, and cumin. Stir and cook for 1 minutes.
  2. Add broth and potatoes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until potatoes are almost tender (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add tomatoes with juices, beans, and corn. Simmer, uncovered until the chili has thickened and the potatoes are very tender (about 10 minutes).
  4. Mix in the Italian seasoning, then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

 

 

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My Top Fifteen Recipe Picks of 2015

My “top ten” favorite posts from 2015 started as a very long list this year. I am particularly fond of the recipes that I shared with you during 2015, and it was not easy to limit my favorites to ten. I finally cut my list until I had a “top seventeen” but who has ever heard of a “top seventeen” list??? After much deliberation, I finally settled on my top FIFTEEN recipes for 2015. These are recipes that I have made over and over. Many of these recipes have found their place in the regular rotation of foods I often cook, including Mexican Milanese Style Sandwiches and Buffalo Turkey Burgers.
Thanks for visiting NJSD in 2015! I look forward to bringing you many delicious recipes in 2016. As always, I enjoy hearing from you via Facebook, email, or simply by leaving a comment on my posts. Happy New Year to everyone!

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