Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat recipes,cooking with beer/hops, adventures

New England Clam Chowder October 28, 2012

Filed under: Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 2:56 pm
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Oh my, I was doing some research for my December article and discovered the month of October was almost over!  Holy crow I still have so many great soup recipes to share!  Well one that I really need to get up on my site is for New England Clam Chowder.  This soup was given to me a long time ago by a friend who was trying to do Weight Watchers before they started the point system.  I tweaked the recipe a bit and we make this almost every holiday season or when we ever we get some great clams.   Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions please email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com
New England Clam Chowder

1 Tlb. Blue Bonnet Lite

2 slices turkey bacon diced

1 small onion diced

3 Tlb. flour

1 cup no fat half & half

3 1/2 cup clam juice

2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped

10 op fresh or canned clams in their juice (don’t drain)

1 tsp. fresh thyme chopped

2 Tlb. fresh parsley chopped

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Heat the margarine in a stock pot over medium heat.  Saute’ bacon and onion until the onion is soft and clear.  Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minutes.  Very gradually whisk in the no fat half & half as well as the clam juice.  Bring to a simmer and add the potatoes.  Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender (this time will very on how big the potatoes are chopped).

Stir in the clams, their juice, thyme and parsley.  Bring to a simmer, not a boil.  Season with pepper ( there will be enough salt taste from the clams and juices).    Delish!!!


Cream Of Cauliflower Soup

Over 20 years ago I took a couple of cooking classes from a local woman.  I remember her as a real “down to earth” person.  She would always talk about the food co-op she was involved in (which was very foreign to most of us) and we used lots of items from her garden.  I find it extremely interesting that society is moving towards that direction again – which I’m glad for.

This recipe that I’m sharing with you is one I’m actually making today.  I had a great deal of extra cauliflower so I thought it would be a nice cold sunny day to enjoy some nostalgic soup.  I’m sure you are already guessing that I have re-worked the recipe and it is a great deal lower in fat than the original we were taught in class, but I have made this soup countless times since and it’s so delicious.

Christmas is fast approaching and if you do not have an immersion blender (also know as emulsifier), put one on your Christmas list.  They work so much better than putting hot soup into a blender!  Plus you can use it for lots of other things and they are not very expensive unless you get into the commercial grade design…….well that is still something that I covet 🙂  Enjoy!!!!!     For comments/questions please email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com 


Cream Of Cauliflower Soup

3 cups chicken stock

4 cup fresh cauliflower

3 T.b Blue Bonnet

3/4 cup minced celery

3/4 cup minced onion

3 Tlb. flour

2 cup no fat half & half

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Bring chicken stock to a boil  in a large pot, add cauliflower florets.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender.  Remove 2 cups of the cauliflower florets and set them aside.  Keep remaining cauliflower & stock just warm.

In a large pan, melt the BB. add the celery and onion.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until tender/clear but not browned.  Add flour stirring constantly.  Cook over moderate heat for about 1-2 minutes without browning.  Remove from heat, cover and set aside

Add the no fat half & half, salt and pepper to the warm cauliflower and stock.  heat just to the boiling point but do not boil.  Pour into flour mixture, stirring constantly, cook until thickened.  Remove from heat and use emulsifier to puree.   If you need to use a blender be sure to cool your soup a bit before you puree it and only fill the blender about half way to prevent over flowing.

Chop the reserved cauliflower in small pieces and add to the soup.  Warm a bit – do not boil!  Serve a delicious, warm, creamy cauliflower soup.  I have found that even people who do not like cauliflower like this soup.


Mexican Chili October 22, 2012

Filed under: Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 8:43 pm
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A couple of years ago I met a really awesome lady when her husband competed in a bbq competition we had at our cottage.  It was months later that I learned Barb was a cancer survivor.

When I decided  to correlate October Breast Cancer Awareness with my article  I contacted  Barb to see if she would be interested in talking with me about how she celebrated her birthday/anniversary of being in remission.  I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive about calling her because so far every woman I had contacted said they really didn’t want their picture taken or were a bit shy  talking with me about their “story”.  Although I had not gone through cancer personally, I totally understood their feelings.  I knew I was going to ask them questions about a personal battle they had fought and won but it was still asking questions about a pretty personal fight.

Barb has been cancer free for almost 5 years (February 4, 2008).  She celebrates her birthday/anniversary in a couple different ways.  During the summer her wonderful friend (Linda) helps her host fish fries and then at the end of September they host the Barbara Hemmeke Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser (prime rib dinner, raffle and silent auction items) where all the proceeds are donated for cancer research!  These events are a great deal of work for these ladies and all who help but each year since Barb was diagnosed the events are held.  Kudos to Barb, Linda and everyone else who donate hours and hours of time for such an fantastic event for such a worthwhile cause.

I’m giving you this recipe for Mexican Chili in honor of Barb.  Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions please email me ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

1 lb. pork tenderloin cut into bite size chunks

1 Tlb. olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 medium poblano pepper, finely chipped

1 red sweet pepper chopped

2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

14 oz.  can  chicken broth

15 oz pumpkin (not pie filling)

1/4 cup no fat half & half

1/2 cup water/light beer (not an IPA)

1 can black beans drained and rinsed well

Fresh cilantro

In a large pot that has been sprayed with Pam and 1 Tlb. of olive oil, place tenderloin chunks.  Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until browned.  Stir in the onion, poblano and the red pepper.  cook and stir frequently for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cocoa powder, cumin, garlic powder and cinnamon.  Add the broth and 1/2 cup of water/beer. f Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes.

Stir in the pumpkin, beans and the cream.  Simmer for about 5 minutes – do not boil.  Top with chopped fresh cilantro. – Delish!!

NOTE:  You can add corn or rice if you choose. This chili is quite good no matter what you decide to mix in 🙂



Barb Hemmeke



Bacon Popcorn October 18, 2012

Yesterday while at a meeting with the gentlemen from Plumb’s Market (my sponsor), we started talking about some of the latest news on foods being removed from a school.  The food that I”m talking about is Flamin’ Cheetos.  Finally someone looked at the back of the package and noticed there were about 24 grams of fat in one small bag!  Hello….

The news reporter claimed it was not just the fat content that had the school pulling the product off the shelves but also the sodium.  There were also claims the Flamin’ Cheetos were addicting.  Another funny piece to the news report was that the school was not removing the “regular Cheetos” from the school lunch program!  Not sure I understand that rational at all.

When I got back to the Test Kitchen, I started thinking about something I could come up with that would not be too loaded with fat, be a snack and you could consume/bring it to the big parties this weekend for the Michigan/Michigan State rivalry game.  I knew that I had some turkey bacon in the frig (let’s fact it men like bacon) and I had a bit of popcorn kernels left in the pantry.  Hummmm, the creative thoughts were developing.

Last December I purchased a popcorn popper that I used to make lots of the treats for the holidays.  I believe it’s by Orville and is electric.  The base is t-fal  coating, with a stirring mechanism in the bottom.  It took a couple of tries but eventually I made it work and even though I am not a bacon fan this was pretty darn good….addicting?  Probably not but who knows 🙂     Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!     For comments/questions email  ramona@lowfatdivablog.com 

Cut up at least 3 pieces of turkey bacon in small pieces (chopped almost).  Plug in your popcorn popper.  Remove the top piece and once the bottom feels warm to the touch add the bacon pieces.  As the popper heats up, your bacon should start cooking.  About half way through, add about 1 -2 tsp. of olive oil and the amount of corn the popper calls for (1/4 cup – 1/3 cup), quickly place cover over the top.   Gently shake the popper to make sure everything is even on the bottom.  You may have to shake it a couple of times during the popping cycle.

When the  corn appears to be done popping, quickly up plug the popper and invert the popped corn into the top of the popper.  Shake the corn/bacon mixture.  I added Cajun seasoning to the mixture and it was awesome!!!!!  Just keep shaking so you get the seasoning mixed in well.  Delish!  Even for someone who does not like bacon.
NOTE:  You can top off any of the soups/bisque that I have given you recipes for lately with the bacon popcorn!


Pumpkin Bisque October 17, 2012

My friend’s sister in law had a really rough time with smells while she was going through breast cancer treatment.  Her husband was such a sweety, he would smell things  before he gave her anything (food, flowers, etc) or even let people visit (perfume) to make sure there wasn’t an issue with the smells.
It has been over a year since she has been in remission, her hair is growing back, most smells don’t bother her anymore and she likes pumpkin.  Although this bisque to us may not “smell” too much, pumpkin does have its own aroma.  Then if you consider the  addition of cinnamon and nutmeg, well that puts a new spin on the word aroma.  I have also used this same recipe but used cooked butternut squash in place of the pumpkin.  Try both versions and let me know which you like better 🙂   Enjoy!!!!!!!          This recipe is for you MaryEllen.  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com
Pumpkin Bisque
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons Blue Bonnet Lite
4 cups chicken broth
1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling) or 2 cups of cooked butternut squash that has been pureed
1  cup cooked wild rice (optional)
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup no fat half & half
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Sauté the onion in the oleo in a large saucepan for 5 minutes; stir in the broth and pumpkin, heat, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Stir in the wild rice, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper; continue to heat for another 10 minutes.

Stir in the cream and heat through; do not boil.

NOTE:  Some people are used to having their pumpkin taste a bit sweet and may find adding 1 tsp. of brown sugar in the beginning of the soup process taste better to them.



Corn & Crab Chowder October 15, 2012

Filed under: Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 8:19 pm
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This chowder has a bit of snappiness to it from the poblano chile and the ground red pepper,which sets it apart from any chowder I have ever made!  It’s hearty like most chowder,with plenty of potatoes and meat.  I have tried substituting other meats for the crab and you can add shrimp but the corn and the crab just taste so much better together.   Enjoy!!!!  I’m dedicating this chowder to my friend Rachael – she has an awesome outlook on life as she deals with the beginning stages on her long road of  treatments.     For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com
Corn & Crab Chowder

1 medium poblano chile

1 Tlb. Blue Bonnet Lite

1 cup finely chipped onion

1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

16 oz. thawed frozen corn kernels

1-2 baking potatoes roughly chopped (amount of potato depends on size 8-10 oz)

2 cups water

2 Tlb. flour

2 cup no fat half & half

80z.  crab claw meat (shell pieces removed before weighing)

Place the poblano chile on a foil lined baking sheet and place under the broiler for about 7 minutes on each side or until the chile is blackened.  Put the pepper in a zip lock bag, seal and let stand for about 7-10 minutes.  Remove from bag, peel and chop.

Melt the Blue Bonnet in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute for about 4 minutes stirring constantly. Add the corn and saute for another 2 minutes.  Remove 3/4 cup of corn mixture from the pot and set aside.  In a blender or food processor, add the corn and 1/2 cup of the no fat half & half.  Process until smooth.  Add the potato to the pan and saute for 1 minutes.  Stir in the 2 cups of water, bring to a boil.  cook for about 4-5 minutes longer or until potato is almost tender.  Reduce the heat to medium.  Combine 1/4 cup of  no fat half & half and flour in a small bowl, whisking until smooth.  Add the flour mixture to the pan and cook for about 1 minutes stirring constantly.  Return the corn puree to the pan, stir in the poblano, then rest of the no fat half & half.  Add the crab meat and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about 3 more minutes and stir frequently.

I make a batch of corn muffins to go with this chowder or you can make a corn bread too.    Ummmmm.


Chicken With Tortellini Soup October 14, 2012

I know that we need moisture for the ground but good grief do we need to get it day after day??  I’m not sure what it’s like where you live but here in the mitten we have had rain and  wind for days with little or no sun.  The temperatures are quite cool also, which makes it perfect soup weather!

As I dedicated my recent article to women I knew either suffering from breast cancer or were currently living in remission, I’m going to dedicate each recipe I give you for soup/stew to everyone of them.   The recipe I’m sharing with you today is dedicated to Holly.

The chicken with tortellini soup is for the most part very low in fat but things change when you add the tortellini.  It really makes the soup so instead of using the frozen or dairy section tortellinis I try and find the dried ones.  The red pepper flakes give this soup just enough of a punch to make your taste buds go ummmm.   Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Chicken With Tortellini Soup

4 cups low fat/sodium chicken broth

4 cups reduced fat/sodium beef broth

6 boneless skinless check breasts or breast tenders

4 medium carrots sliced

2 celery stalks sliced

1 onion chopped

1 envelope onion soup mix

1 1/2 tsp. fresh parsley chopped finely or from squeeze tube

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning

1/2 tsp. ground black/white pepper

In a dutch oven, bring chicken broth and beef broth to a boil.  Reduce the heat and add chicken to “poach” it, leaving the pan uncovered for about 23-25 minutes, depending on how big your chicken breasts are.  Remove the chicken when cooked and cool.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, soup mix, parsley and seasonings to broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, add the dried tortellini’s if you have them and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until tortellini is tender.  Roughly chop your chicken breasts in to pieces and add to the soup.  The chicken only needs to be in broth for a few minutes so you don’t over cook  everything.

Serve with a rustic bread. – Delish!


Lose Weight By Eating

with Audrey Johns

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