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.