Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Food Glorious Food, Healthy Food Makeover, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Midweek Bonus Adaptable Recipes

Midweek Bonus Recipe- New England Clam Chowder & a vegan Clam-less Chowder

 

A Midweek meal to warm your soul

New York is the home of great cheesecake, bagels, and pizza. Baltimore’s seafood and crabcakes are worth writing home about. While Chicago is home to great steak, distinctive hotdogs, and deep-dish pizza. New England is known for lobster, lobster rolls, calamari, and chowder.

As a New Yorker, I do love Manhattan-style clam chowder with its tomato base, but I do enjoy a creamy bowl of chowdah. It’s just the right mix of brothiness from the clams, with a hint of smoke from the bacon, soft pillowy potatoes, and cream. It’s delicious.

This recipe comes from a small newspaper out of Maine. I’ve had it for some time now, and the newspaper’s title has faded. I wanted to share this recipe with a few substitutions to fit different dietary needs.

We’ve included the recipe for clam-less chowder, which is a vegan version that uses mushrooms in place of clams. The use of the liquid from soaking dried mushrooms gives the soup an umami punch. We tried to make sure there is something for everyone to enjoy, especially on a cold day with oyster crackers.

New England Clam Chowder

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon (low sodium bacon or hickory-smoked turkey bacon)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium-size white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for gluten-sensitivities use gluten-free all-purpose flour, white or brown rice flour)
  • 4 cups bottled clam juice, divided
  • 1 pound chopped fresh clam meat, with juices
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 cups light cream (2 1/2 cups 2% milk plus 1/2 cup half-and-half, or 1 3/4 cups fat-free milk plus 1 1/4 cups half-and-half) (non-dairy: light coconut, soy, or rice milk) **
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

Set a 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon, leaving the fat in the pot, and crumble into small pieces; set aside.

Add the butter, onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until onions are tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.

Return the bacon to the pot and stir. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the potatoes.

In a 2- to 3-quart pot on high heat, boil the diced potatoes in salted water until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Turning back to the onion/bacon mixture, increase the heat to medium-low.

Add the flour gradually, stirring continuously, until thick paste forms. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly add the bottled clam juice, 1 cup at a time, incorporating it into the mixture before adding more.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes and clam meat with its juices. Keep stirring for 5 minutes, until the clams are tender.

Add the cream slowly; then stir in the white pepper.

Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve hot.

** If you’re using non-dairy milk, use three additional tablespoons of flour

** If you are lactose intolerant, you can use lactose-free milk

New England Clam-less Chowder

  • 1 ½ tablespoon vegetable or Canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium-size white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 16 ounces of dried Porcini mushrooms, chopped (cover with hot water and let soak for 30 minutes, reserve the liquid)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for gluten sensitivity use gluten-free all-purpose flour, white or brown rice flour)
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¾ pounds of sliced mushrooms (shitake, oyster, or portobello mushrooms are great choices)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 cups light coconut, soy, or rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon liquid hickory smoke (optional)

Instructions

In a 2- to 3-quart pot on high heat, boil the diced potatoes in salted water until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Set a 4- to 6-quart pot over low heat. Add the vegetable oil and butter.
Add onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until onions are tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-low. Add the flour gradually, stirring continuously, until thick paste forms. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly add the reserved mushroom liquid,  followed by the vegetable broth 1 cup at a time, incorporating it into the mixture before adding more.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes, sliced mushrooms, and liquid smoke, if using. Keep stirring for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.

Add the coconut milk in slowly; then stir in the white pepper.

Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve hot.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Fall Comfort Recipes, Food Glorious Food

Weekend Comfort Meal- Fresh pasta in Bolognese Sauce

When it comes to comfort meals, pasta is right up there at the top of the list. Spaghetti, ziti, rotini, fusilli, linguine, cavatelli, and Fettucine are just a few in a vast number of shapes. They are served in a variety of delicious sauces or gravies, depending on who you ask, but the bottom line is, the sauce feels and tastes like love.

With a plethora of responsibilities at work and at home, taking the time to make pasta and a Bolognese sauce during the week isn’t something that aligns with most schedules. However, if you want to treat your family, friends, and yourself to something wonderful, this recipe for homemade pasta and Bolognese sauce is for you.

Homemade pasta is a snap. It can be made with an old-fashioned pasta machine. If you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, you can buy the pasta attachment. Both are reasonably priced and make for a good investment.

This recipe has been adapted for:

  • Vegans/Vegetarians
  • Gluten-Sensitivities or Celiac Disease

Fresh Whole Wheat Homemade Pasta by Love and Lemons adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus ½ cup white whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled (gluten-free all-purpose flour)

3 large eggs  (Just Eggs liquid vegan egg replacer or ¾ cup silken tofu pureed with ½ teaspoon baking soda)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

Place the flour on a clean work surface and make a nest. Add the eggs, olive oil, and salt to the center and use a fork to gently break up the eggs, keeping the flour walls intact as best as you can. Use your hands to gently bring the flour inward to incorporate. Continue working the dough with your hands to bring it together into a shaggy ball.

Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes. In the beginning, the dough should feel pretty dry, but stick with it! It might not feel like it’s going to come together, but after 8-10 minutes of kneading, it should become cohesive and smooth. If the dough still seems too dry, sprinkle your fingers with a tiny bit of water to incorporate. If it’s too sticky, dust more flour onto your work surface. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Dust 2 large baking sheets with flour and set aside.

Slice the dough into four pieces. Gently flatten one into an oval disk. Run the dough through the pasta machine three times on level 1 (the widest setting).

Set the dough piece onto a countertop or work surface. Fold both short ends in to meet in the center, then fold the dough in half to form a rectangle (see photo above).

Run the dough through the pasta roller three times on level 2, three times on level 3, and one time each on levels 4, 5, and 6.

Lay half of the pasta sheet onto the floured baking sheet and sprinkle with flour before folding the other half on top. Sprinkle more flour on top of the second half. Every side should be floured so that your final pasta noodles won’t stick together.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Run the pasta sheets through the pasta machine Repeat with the remaining dough. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes.

Bolognese Sauce

2 celery stalks, chopped fine

2 carrots, chopped fine

1 medium sweet or yellow onion, chopped finely

3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons, fresh basil, chiffonade-style

2 tablespoons, fresh parsley, chopped

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound ground beef (Vegan Ground Meat)

¼ cup tomato paste

1 can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed,

¼ cup red wine

1 ½ teaspoons Salt

1 teaspoon Pepper

Virgin Olive Oil

In a large pot, heat olive oil over a medium flame until hot. Add the celery, carrots, and onions. Turn the heat down, and sauté for six to eight minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook until it begins to darken and begins to caramelize. Add the ground beef and cook through.  Add the red wine, followed by the tomatoes, herbs, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally and taste to adjust seasoning.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Fall Comfort Recipes, Food Glorious Food

Makeover Meal Meal-Fall Comfort Edition

Summer is the season of hot weather, going to the beach, cool drinks, grilling, and long lazy days. Conversely, autumn is the season of cooler temps, leaves changing, sweaters, hot apple cider, comfort food, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. For so many of us, it’s time to put the oven on and head back into the kitchen.

 

Comfort meals are just the thing to help us hit the reset button in the midst of the stresses of work, school, and other obligations that can make us feel a bit off balance. During the week, we often don’t have the time or energy to deal with a long complicated meal. Even a slow cooker can be hard when you don’t have time to put the ingredients together, or some of us have even forgotten to put it on.  However, we came across a recipe in Southern Living that is easy, healthy and comes together in less than thirty minutes.

Chicken soup is one of the ultimate comfort foods and cure for all that ails you. The best thing about this soup is you can buy many of the ingredients pre-cooked and pre-chopped.  We’ve adapted the recipe for vegans and vegetarians ( no chicken, vegan noodles, and non-dairy milk) as a way to be sure that everyone can find comfort in a hot, creamy soup perfect for the cooler evenings ahead.

 

Enjoy and Happy Fall!

Creamy Chicken Soup recipe by Southern Living Magazine adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Total Time 25 minutes

¼ cup unsalted butter (unsalted vegan butter)

1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2 -inch rounds (about ¾ cup)

2 medium celery stalks, chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen peas

1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 bay leaf

¼ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

6 cups unsalted chicken stock (unsalted vegetable stock) (I like Kitchen Basics)

8 ounces Old-fashioned wide egg noodles (you can use pasta, such as orzo or even angel hair spaghetti to keep it vegan/vegetarian)

1 cooked or rotisserie chicken, torn into bite-size pieces (omit for vegan/vegetarian soup)

½ cup heavy cream (dairy: light cream or half and half) (non-dairy: rice, soy, or almond milk)

1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar

2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Melt butter in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened. Add flour, garlic, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is fragrant and the flour begins to turn brown.

Add stock to the mixture and increase the heat to bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally. Add the noodles, spinach, or peas and cook, stirring occasionally until the noodles are tender. Reduce the heat to low, add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is heated through, about one minute. Stir in the cream, sherry vinegar, and remaining salt. Before serving top with thyme leaves. Serves Four.

Notes

  • For a vegan or vegetarian version of this soup, double the vegetables for an extra-yummy creamy vegetable soup.

There isn’t a lot of knife work for this recipe, however, if you’re not comfortable, most grocery stores and supermarkets have pre-chopped vegetables in their produce section. It’s also a time saver.

 

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