Productive Night!

January 31, 2008

Clam Chowder with Bacon


I got a ton done this afternoon: thank you notes, dietetics assignment, folded laundry, emptied trash cans, sorted mail, cooked dinner, ate dinner, cleaned up kitchen, swept AND swiffered the kitchen floors, caught up on blog questions and managed to watch an episode of Barefoot Contessa :)

Dinner was simple and therapeutic to make. I find chopping vegetables to be so calming (when you’re not starving and in a rush!) and when I cook alone I’m very organized. I get stuff in pinch bowls and pre-chop everything before I start. Have you all noticed how much I love organization yet?!

I added a little chambord to my tonic for a light cocktail to sip while cooking 8) I also nibbled on a few unphotographed carrots – my favorite!


I got this recipe for Simple Clam Chowder from Cooking Light and followed the directions with just some ingredient modifications. Don’t be afraid of canned clams!! They look SO GROSS but just close your eyes, do NOT look in the cans, and pour them into your recipes and voila – they look just like they do in a restaurant. Here’s what I used instead:

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 11 oz chopped russet potato
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cans of chopped clams AND their juice
  • 1/2 oz flour
  • 1.5 cups skim milk
  • S + P + Thyme + Hot sauce for flavoring

Otherwise, I pretty much followed the recipe instructions. After I added the flour I brought it to a boil like the directions said, but my flour started to burn and stick FAST so I had to reduce the heat. It was hard to tell if it flavored the soup, but it did thicken properly. So be aware that you have to keep stirring when they say keep stirring – and use medium high heat, not high.

My recipe made 2 servings, 380 kcal each.



I also had about 1 oz of toasted sourdough baguette with a dab of Smart Balance


Dinner kcal ~530 including the bit of chambord


Tomorrow is workout, 2 classes, 1 quiz, lunch at home, and we’re off to Beech Mountain, NC!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jenna January 31, 2008 at 8:55 pm

I actually pulled a clam chowder recipe out of last month’s cooking light to make sometime soon! Now I’m truly inspired because that looks SO good. haha, and I love canned clams! ever since I was little! :) Not too scary!


2 Annie January 31, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Hi Kath, I just had a random question about sweet potatos and calories/ounce. For lunch today I weighed a sweet potato before cooking, and it was a tiny one, I estimated it would probly be about 100 cals, but when I weight it, it was more like 200, about 8 ounces I think. I saw the other night you had sweet potatos with black beans, and yours looked like it was probly twice the size as mine, but your whole dinner was still pretty low, even with the size of the potato, black beans, and I think you used Fage but I cant remember.
So i guess my question is, Am I doing something wrong when weighing. Going by, an ounce of sweet potato = 26 cals. Is taht what you go by? Sorry for such a long confusing question. Thanks for doing such a great job!


3 Kath January 31, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Can’t wait to see your version!

You’re doing it all right! I went back to my food diary for that day – it was an 11 oz SP, ~264 kcal. Not sure why mine looked that much bigger? I had 1/2 cup black beans on top and about an ounce and a half of Fage. Hope that helps!



4 Aimee H. January 31, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Mmmmm! That looks so yummy!! my b/f would love it!


5 Marsha January 31, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Kath, I am guessing pre-weight loss you had a sweet tooth. My problem is that I am similar to you, eat healthy, however, I have a major sweet tooth. I feel like no meal is over until I have dessert. I noticed that some nights you will have a small dessert and other nights you won’t. No matter how full I am I always seem to need a dessert. How did you stop needing a dessert and when do you choose to have one?

Also, I noticed after lunch you don’t really eat fruit. Do you try to limit your fruits to two a day? Thanks and keep up the great work- your chowder soup looked great!


6 Cassie January 31, 2008 at 11:27 pm


How do you avoid getting stressed with all you have to do? I know exercise is a stress reliever, but sometimes I feel I have so much to do before I leave the door that exercising just makes me more stressed since it takes so much time. Problem is, I always have a lot to do, so exercise always seems to take the back seat. How do you balance it all, considering you have even more to do with the blog? Thanks!


7 Ruby Red Vegan February 1, 2008 at 12:07 am

I like to be organized before I begin cooking (or baking) too! Everything goes so much smoother that way. But I DO wish I was as organized as you are with my schoolwork. Please teach me! I need the enthusiasm that you have for homework to rub off on me.

Your soup looks nice and thick, and the sourdough looks especially appetizing – so cute how it’s arranged all neatly on its own separate plate!


8 Lily February 1, 2008 at 12:54 am

I love pomelo! I have a bit of trouble cutting it, however. Any tips? Thanks!


9 goalie30 February 1, 2008 at 7:53 am

There’s nothing wrong with having a small serving of dessert each day if the other 80% of your diet is fairly healthy. I have a HUGE sweet tooth! I love healthy foods, and don’t really care for fried foods or salty snacks the majority of the time, so I am always eating healthy, fairly well rounded meals, so I don’t feel bad AT ALL when I have a serving of dessert after dinner most nights of the week. I just try to keep the portion controlled and sometimes I opt for healthier desserts such as a scoop of Edy’s Light Churned ice cream, Jello Light pudding cup, or a package of Fig Newton bite sized cookies. If you try to eat healthy all of the time and omit all of your favorite things from your diet, you will only crave them more! So plan on having one favorite snack or dessert in your diet each day to make you feel satisfied.

In terms of fruit, the typical serving of fruit for most women should be somewhere around 2-3 servings per day. Some days I have an apple and banana, some days I have a 3rd serving, it just depends on what kind of mood you’re in and what’s in the fridge! Some days you may fall short, only one serving or perhaps none at all, so maybe the next day you have 3 or 4 servings for example…as long as you balance out around 2-3 servings a day, you’re not right or wrong either way.


10 Kath February 1, 2008 at 8:33 am

Yes, I used to have quite a sweet tooth. I used to find myself hoarding calories just so I would have room for dessert, but now I’ve realized that if I just have a bigger dinner (= “spending” the calories on more nutritious foods rather than empty sugar calories), I don’t really need anything else. I say sometimes that “my palate was really happy after that meal” which means that I didn’t really want anything else to eat when I was done. But then other meals I just want to keep chewing even if my stomach is full. I’m not sure yet what factors affect my palate in this way, but I’m working to figure it out! I also find that a cup of tea will satisfy my need to “cleanse my mouth” after a spicy meal or the like. But then there are days when I just want dessert – and I have it! I think like everything else the need for dessert after a meal is a habit. While I agree you shouldn’t deny yourself the foods you want, if you work to cut back on the frequency you have something sweet after a meal, you will start to crave it less. That’s certainly what I have done and it’s worked.

I have fruit with almost every lunch – pomelo yesterday, pineapple and apple for snack the day before, and oranges the day before that, so I’m not sure why you think I don’t have fruit with lunch? Today I’m planning an apple!

Good question! I have no idea how I fit everything in some days – especially with the blog! Haha. Sometimes I do get stressed, but I try to think about what HAS to be done and what can wait. Putting things in this priority mindset helps me relax when I realize that the floors don’t have to be cleaned tonight but that I DO have to pack my lunch for the next day. I’m also pretty realistic about how long things will take me – I always plan 25% more time than I think they will to ensure I have time for interruptions and stuff. As for exercise, the best time to do it is first thing! It’s one of the most important and valued parts of my day and I like to ensure that I have time for it. 5-7 a.m. is a great time to do your more important tasks :)



11 Allison February 1, 2008 at 8:58 am

Annie, you might want to try

to get calorie counts for sweet potatoes. I often weigh my sweet potatoes both before and after cooking and with calorieking I get wildly different results, so I checked several other websites and their calorie counts seem more in line with each other.


12 Kath February 1, 2008 at 9:36 am

I wanted to add that I combat stress by staying super organized with to-do lists and calendars. I LOVE Google calendar and found a new tool calle ToDoist that I love. It’s a great to-do list tool with color coding. I “assign” tasks for days that are upcoming so I can forget about them until that day. It helps me to download things from my brain to a list so I don’t have to keep remembering them. I have this on my Google homepage (iGoogle) along with my calendar and favorite blogs – it’s a great way to see all you need to do at once!

Yes, I am a super nerd :)



13 linds February 1, 2008 at 10:02 am

Wow. Dinner looks amazing tonight :)


14 Anonymous February 1, 2008 at 10:32 am

a bit ocd perhaps


15 Kate February 1, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Kath – I made this for my boyfriend the other night and he loved it! I thought you might want to give it a try. I found this recipe in Real Simple for salt and pepper shrimp (just roasted shrimp in a tiny bit of evoo, salt, and pepper), and made some butternut squash risotto (amazing). I needed a veggie side dish, and I had asparagus, which I love and my bf hates. So to put a spin on it, I sauteed the asparagus in 1/2 tbsp pb and 1/2 tbsp honey. I called it nut n’ honey asparagus – he LOVED it! Gobbled every last bit. Looked so amazing on the plate too, the little bits of pb and honey slightly crusted on the asparagus. Yum! I love preparing wholesome, healthy meals for the two of us. Call me old fashioned, but it really feels great knowing I’m taking care of the people I love!


16 Cathy February 1, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Nothing ocd about it, I like to organize everything when I cook too. It makes things so much easier. This soup looks amazing! I am going to have to try making it very soon!


17 Anonymous February 1, 2008 at 1:07 pm

organized clam delight


18 Kath February 1, 2008 at 1:19 pm


Nut and honey asparagus – GREAT combo!! Way to be creative :)



19 TrishT February 1, 2008 at 3:40 pm


I tried the sweet potatoe, black bean, Fage dinner last night! I bought a pre-washed, ready to microwave sweet potatoe and it was ready in 8 minutes! This will become a regular last minute dinnner. YUM!


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