Clam Chowder

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This week the fish monger had the most beautiful clams, so it’s chowder time. To get the sand out soak them in heavily salted cold water and swirl every few minutes for about 1 hour.

Ingredients:
3 lbs of clams
4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
2 leeks, chopped in small dice
2 celery stalks, chopped small dice
1 TBSP flour
1 c white wine
2 small waxy potaotes, peeled and diced
1 to 2 cups of water
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 c whipping cream
2 TBSP celery leaves of parley, chopped

Steam the clams. Place the clams in a large pot and add about a half inch of water to the pot. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Let the clams steam until they all open up, 5 to 10 minutes. The steaming water may foam up a bit, so watch so it doesn’t overflow the pot. Use a slotted spoon to remove the clams from the pot to a bowl. Strain the remaining clam steaming liquid through a fine mesh sieve to catch any grit, and reserve. You should have 2 to 3 cups of clam liquid. Separate the clams from the clam shells. Discard the shells. Roughly chop the cooked clams.

In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp, add leeks and celery and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, slowly pour in wine, incorporating a 1/8 of a cup at a time.

Add potatoes, 2 cups of the steaming liquid to cover potatoes. Add bay leaf, thyme, pepper and old bay. Heat to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cook for 30 minutes.

Heat the cream in a small pan and slowly add to the chowder, stir in clams and remove from heat. Stir in celery or parley leaves.

Serves 4.

Guilt-Free Carrot Cake

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I love carrot cake and although carrot sounds healthy the cake past is not. This version swaps out the butter for yogurt and cuts back on the sugar for a moist and dense cake.

Ingredients:
10 oz grated carrots, minced in a food processor
1 1/4 c whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom, optional
2 large eggs
2/3 c coconut palm sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c low-fat vanilla yogurt
8 oz low fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP milk
Coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 325. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan.

Combine flour, spices, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat eggs, add sugar, oil and yogurt until light and frothy. Add flour mixture and combine. Stir in carrots.

Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla, if too think add the milk.

Spread over cooled cake and top with coconut flakes.

Serves 10.

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