Light Corn Chowder

Light Corn Chowder

I am always looking for good and healthy soup recipes and I found this delicious corn chowder soup on the Better Homes and Garden website. They prepared their soup in a slow cooker, but I prepared mine on the cooktop with my old Le Creuset pot. Other changes I made to the recipe were using nonfat milk, instead of whole milk; reducing the amount of milk from 2 cups to 1 cup; and eliminating the 2 tablespoons of a dry white wine. I used uncured bacon, so there were no additional nitrates other than what is naturally found in celery salt. As always, I tried to use organic ingredients when cost and availability allow. I have to say that I was very pleased my results, a very tasty and light corn chowder!

Light Corn ChowderIngredients:

  • 1 tablespoon organic canola oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped organic carrots (2 medium)
  • ½ cup finely chopped organic celery (1 stalk)
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped russet potatoes (2 large potatoes), approx. ½ to ¾-inch cubes
  • 3 cups organic chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • 4 cups frozen organic sweet corn
  • 1 cup organic nonfat milk
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme + extra sprigs of thyme for garnish (optional)
  • 4 slices uncured bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled

Directions:

  1. Using a medium-large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until tender. Stir in potatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, dried thyme and paprika. Lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk corn starch and ¼ cup milk, until blended. Set aside.
  3. Add corn and remaining milk. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add corn starch and milk mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in fresh thyme.
  6. Using a potato masher, carefully mash the potatoes, until soup slightly thickens.
  7. Finally, sprinkle with bacon crumbs and garnish with thyme (optional)

Light Corn Chowder

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Simple Corn Salsa

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One of my favorite snack foods to eat is chips and salsa. I have never made a corn salsa before, but I always have it added to my salads at Chipotle. After doing my research on the internet, I found an appetizing recipe on the Food Network Kitchen website. At Trader Joe’s, I was able to get all my ingredients, except for the poblano chile pepper. Since the dish already had a jalapeno pepper in it, I decided to wait to the until the end to see if the salsa needed a little more “heat.” That’s when I added a pinch of red pepper flakes. The only other changes I made to the recipe were using less olive oil and omitting the sugar—my frozen corn was nice and sweet! My only regret about preparing this dish was I didn’t make more!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen organic sweet corn, thawed
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Tortilla chips

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, add corn, jalapeno, cilantro and red onion.
  2. Stir in oil, lime juice, sugar (optional) and salt. Finally, add pinch of red pepper flakes.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Spicy Egg Drop Soup

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It’s been a long time since I had egg drop soup. I didn’t realize how simple it is to prepare and that the ingredients are already in my pantry—no need to go to the grocery store! Egg drop soup is a wonderful comfort food and you can easily add other ingredients to suit your tastes, like chopped carrots, peas, tofu, etc. I used sesame chili to give the soup some spiciness, but you can use sesame oil, instead, if you prefer.

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Ingredients:

  • 32 ounces organic chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sesame chili oil or sesame oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • ⅓ cup frozen organic corn, thawed

Directions:

  1. Pour chicken stock in medium saucepan over medium high heat, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons of stock to whisk with the cornstarch in a small bowl.
  2. Add cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame chile oil and corn, stirring well. Reserving some green onion for garnish, mix in the soup. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to a simmer.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Slowly pour (in a narrow stream) the beaten eggs into soup, while very gently whisking as you pour to create the egg ribbons. Let eggs cook for a few seconds.
  4. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately. 4 servings.

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Organic Sautéed Zucchini and Corn

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This is an easy and delicious side dish for meat, chicken or fish. It gets its wonderful flavors from the cilantro, lime juice and red pepper flakes! A colorful and healthy vegetable dish that can be made during the busy work week!

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 organic zucchini, diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup organic frozen corn
  • ½ cup organic red bell pepper, diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Juice of one small organic lime
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about one minute, then add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  2. Add zucchini, corn and red bell pepper. Cook vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Finally, add lime juice and cilantro. Serve immediately. 4 to 6 servings.

Sauteed Corn with Tomatoes and Basil

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My basil plant still looks great, so I thought I would try this recipe before summer ends, “Sautéed Corn with Cherry Tomatoes, Ricotta Salata, and Basil,” from Cook’s Illustrated, September/October 2014I modified it a bit, using frozen organic corn and feta cheese.

  • 2 tablespoon grapeseed oil*
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups frozen organic sweet corn, thawed
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ounces organic sugar plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oil in a nonstick 12-inch frying pan. Stirring frequently, lightly brown the garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove garlic from the pan and place in a large bowl. Leave remaining oil in the pan.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add corn and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook the corn without stirring, until corn is browned on the bottom and starts to “pop” for about 3 minutes. Stir once or twice, until corn has brown spots throughout for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add corn to the large bowl with the garlic.

Mix tomatoes, feta cheese, basil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper if needed. Serves 6.

*I used grapeseed oil, because it has a moderately high smoke point.

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/8050-sauteed-corn-with-cherry-tomatoes-ricotta-salata-and-basil

Sauteed Corn with Black Beans and Red Bell Pepper

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This delicious recipe I found in Cook’s Illustrated, September/October 2014. I changed the recipe slightly, using organic ingredients when possible and frozen sweet corn, instead of fresh. I am sure it is even more flavorful with fresh corn!

  • 2 tablespoon organic olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2  organic red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sea salt
  • 1 can organic black beans (15 ounce), rinsed
  • 1 package frozen organic sweet corn (16 ounce) or 3 cups, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice

In a 12 inch nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno, until the onion has softened for about 4 to 6 minutes. Then add garlic, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt for about 1 minute. Finally, add the beans and cook until beans are warm for about 1 minute. Transfer black bean mixture to large bowl. Carefully wipe frying pan with a paper towel.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add corn and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until corn is browned and begins to “pop” for about 3 minutes. Stir corn again and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is nicely brown. Add corn to the bean mixture. Finally, stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve and enjoy!

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/8051-sauteed-corn-with-black-beans-and-red-bell-pepper?incode=MCSCZ00L0