Emily Alvers



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Quick Crab & Veggie Chowder

I know what you are thinking....Chowder? How can that be healthy? As a general rule, I would agree that it's best to avoid heavier cream based soups. Generally they tend to contain less vegetables, and carry a much higher fat and calorie content than their healthier broth based counterparts.

However, I did live in Northern California at one time, so I can certainly appreciate the need to indulge in a little chowder every once in a while! Since I don't have the luxury of sitting on Pier 39 overlooking San Francisco Bay today, I figured I'd make my own version right at home...a MUCH HEALTHIER version you can all feel good about eating.

Ingredients:

1 small head cauliflower (about 4 cups once chopped)
1 medium onion
1/2 red pepper
2 stalks celery
12 oz. frozen sweet corn
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. Smart Balance light
3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 cups lower sodium chicken broth (MSG free)
2 cups fat free half & half
9 oz. Super Lump Crab meat
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
chopped green onions, optional for garnish


Directions:

1) Dice onion, red pepper, and celery coarsely. Chop cauliflower into small 1/2 inch bite size pieces. (Cauliflower is a great substitution for potatoes and will give the same meaty texture with very few calories!)

2) Heat a large pot over medium high heat on stove top. Add Smart Balance Light and turn to coat pan with butter. Add cauliflower, onion, pepper, and celery. Cook 2 minutes to soften just slightly.

3) Sprinkle with flour and cook 2 minutes more, stirring to coat evenly. Add Old Bay seasoning and a generous sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly to coat veggies with seasonings.

4) Add broth, bay leaves, and stir well. Add fat free half and half and stir well. Lastly, add frozen corn and lump crab and stir well. Bring to boil and boil uncovered 10 minutes. Chowder will thicken slightly. Remove bay leaves and serve garnished with chopped green onions and/or oyster crackers. Makes 6 large bowls (about 2 cups each).


Nutrition Facts (per serving):

185 calories
3 g fat
24 g carbs
15 g protein
4 g fiber

I was almost in disbelief when I calculated the calories on this recipe. It tastes outstanding and is the perfect anytime meal for colder temperatures. Enjoy!