February 11, 2012

Clam Chowder with Greens {a lighter NE Clam Chowder option}


The thick and creamy goodness of New England style clam chowder, chock full of clams, cream, and tender potatoes ... it's one of my favorites.  But, I felt it necessary to find a lower-fat, lower-carb, healthier version to make at home that didn't induce the usual post-bowl guilt I felt after indulging in it's rich yumminess.

Still, it was difficult for me to let go of the traditional.  I did grow up in New England, after all.  When I came across a recipe packing in greens and boasting lower calories and carbs, I was skeptical, but tried to hold on to a chowder-open mind.  Replace the traditional potatoes with leafy greens??  Really???  Though skeptical, I was intrigued.

So, figuring the worst that could happen was a wasted pot of chowder, I took the plunge and cooked up a batch.  Well guess what?  This is now my go-to Clam Chowder.  No wasted pot of chowder here.  While it's not quite as thick as the traditional fare, it's got great flavor and a healthy kick from the greens.

Healthy greens like these turnip and mustard greens ...

... chopped up and cooked up with a whole mess of clams, half-and-half, and turkey bacon.

Serve up a bowl with some whole-grain bread, and you've got yourself a hearty meal with all the creamy goodness of New England Clam Chowder ... and minus the guilt.

Clam Chowder with Greens
Source:  Adapted from Prevention Healthy Cooking's Lose Weight the Smart Low-Carb Way
1/4 lb. (about 5 slices) turkey bacon
1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
6 T. flour
4 c. (about 12 oz.) chopped turnip or other greens
2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans chicken broth
3 (10 oz.) cans chopped clams, juice reserved
1 c. milk or half-and-half
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1.  Drain clams, reserving the juice.

2.  Chop bacon; cook in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until crisp.  Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

3.  Add olive oil to the same pan, and then add onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8-10 minutes.  Add flour and cook and stir about 1 minute, coating onions with the flour.  Add chopped greens and cook about 2 minutes. 

4.  Stir in chicken broth and reserved clam juice.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes.  

5.  Stir in milk or half-and-half and heat through.  Stir in black pepper, clams, and turkey bacon; cook for 1-2 minutes more.

Note:  I usually use a combination of turnip greens and mustard greens.



  1. This looks So Delicious!!!!! Thank you for sharing with us on six sister's stuff! We hope to see you next Saturday!
    -The Sisters

  2. WOW this looks and sounds so delicious! What a yummy recipe...its finally cold here so I may have to give this a try.


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