Spring Showers & Shrimp Chowder

I can think of nothing more that I enjoy than puttering around the kitchen on a rainy spring day.  We have had several days of spring showers, which has given me plenty of occasions for dicing, chopping, sautéing, and setting the table; taking the time to make my little family feel special instead of rushed through the supper hour.

Last weekend as the weather was not only rainy, but extremely cool, I decided a chowder was the perfect fix for our family supper.  It was also the perfect solution of something fabulous to make with some fresh coastal Carolina shrimp I had acquired at the market.

As you know, chowders are heavy and fattening and absolutely delicious, but would you believe that this Shrimp Chowder of mine was light, healthy, filing, and still oh-so-delicious?!


I couldn’t wait for the leftovers it was so good.

The recipe is actually one that I slightly altered from “Strong” magazine; a magazine dedicated to living a fit life.  It’s one of my favorite reads as it focuses on strength training and working out from a variety of trainers and role models from Figure models to Olympic Ice Skaters.  It’s not filled with make-up, fashion, or sex articles like a variety of other “health” mags, but articles that will educated you and help you lead a continuous fit lifestyle!

If you are keeping up with your protein, and focusing on a lower sodium & fat diet, this is perfect as it has 28 grams of protein per serving and under 300 mg of sodium.  The entire chowder came together in under 45 minutes which makes it a good option for a week night meal as well!



1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 cup celery, diced

1 Large Vidalia onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

12 smallish red potatoes, diced into small bites

6 cups fat-free evaporated milk

2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp (just pay the extra to have the grocer do it for you)

1 Tablespoon black pepper

couple of twists of a pink Himalayan salt shaker

fresh dill for garnish


1.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan

2. Saute the celery, onion, and garlic until softened on medium-high heat, about 5 or 6 minutes.  While the celery mixture is sautéing, dice the red potatoes into bite-sized pieces, leaving the skin on.



3. Add the potaoes and milk to the celery mixture. Cover and simmer on low, stirring often, until the potatoes are tender; about 20 minutes.



4. Stir in the shrimp, pepper and twist of salt. Simmer until the shrimp is pink; about five minutes or so.


And serve up your scrumptious chowder in pretty bowls, garnished with dill.


It’s easy, perfect, and without a doubt so delicious.  It’s simple enough for a weeknight family supper or perfect for entertaining guests.


It does make a pretty dish.

Your company will think you’ve spent hours on it as they enjoy it at your table, and your family will feel like they are in a fancy restaurant.

You can’t beat that kind of satisfaction!


Southwest Chicken & Lime Soup

Winter colds have made their way into our home.  Even though my teenagers and hubby are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves for the most part, I still feel so sorry for them and want to baby everyone as much as possible.  One of my favorite “treatments” for a nasty cold is homemade chicken soup.  Although I don’t think it’s been proven, I truly believe there are medicinal properties to be found in a hot bowl of soup.

If nothing else, a bowl of piping hot soup is so comforting.

Since our taste buds seem to lose their power when colds take over I opted out of traditional chicken noodle soup (which is one of our favorites), and decided to get a little creative with a spicy southwestern flavored chicken soup for our supper last night.

It was warm, comforting, and spicy; everything I had hoped for.

And a real hit with the fam.

Southwest Chicken & Lime Soup


6 chicken breast, stewed and diced

1 medium red onion, diced

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

1 large tomato, diced

2 avocado


2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon sea salt


jalapeños (optional)

2 cartons unsalted chicken stock

Don't you just love lots of color mixed in your meals?

Don’t you just love lots of color mixed in your meals?


**Heat the chicken stock in a large stockpot on medium-high heat on the stove top.  Add onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, & dried spices followed by the diced chicken.  Simmer about 20 minutes.

**Dice the avocado and add to the simmering soup, followed the by the juice of one lime (cut into quarters and squeeze) then toss in the juiced pieces.

avocado and lime_edited-1

**Simmer another 10 minutes, then ladle into bowls.  Garnish with a lime slice, cilantro and jalapeño (if you want it even more spicy).

Comfort Food


Cozy comfort food to soothe a winter cold

Cozy comfort food to soothe a winter cold

I love this recipe for so many reasons; easy, fast (especially if you menu plan & cook your chicken ahead of time), healthy and clean.  Nothing processed in this bowl!

Do you have a favorite soup when colds hit your homes?

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Fit Friday: Taco Soup

There are no words to describe how busy it’s been since the new year rolled over.  I have been working five days a week at the gym with varying hours throughout the day and evening, plus a couple of Saturday mornings.  My client schedule is finally growing as people are making the decision to change their lives for a bit healthier style.
It’s crazy, but I’m having fun!
Despite being so busy, I am still finding time to get into the kitchen and cook for the family.  It may be as simple as grilled chicken and a salad (doesn’t everyone use their grill in 30 degree weather?), but it is made with love and the anticipation of a family supper each night.
It has been a little chilly downright cold around here, so last week I put together a hearty pot of Taco Soup for our supper.  There are a lot of great recipes out there for taco soup, but I created my own lightened up and heart healthy version.
And it was soooo good!!
And it was even easier to make!


64 ounces unsalted beef broth + any extra water for coverage
3 pounds ground turkey breast or extra lean (97/3) beef
2 cups frozen corn
2 cans no-salt added pinto beans, drained & rinsed
2 cans no-salt added black beans, drained & rinsed
2 cans no-salt added basil, garlic & oregano diced tomatoes
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
3 large jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 packages Mrs Dash Taco seasoning
fresh chopped garlic, & chili powder for cooking the ground meat
Fresh chopped cilantro for a garnish
In a large skillet add your ground meat to brown.  Sprinkle with chili powder and add the chopped garlic to cook with it as well.
While the meat cooks, in a large stock pot (or crock pot) add the beef stock, corn, beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeños, onion and the contents of the Mrs Dash seasoning packets.  Mix together and heat on medium.
When the meat is ready, drain well and add to the stock pot.
Allow to simmer on medium 30-45 minutes to give the flavors time to mesh and the veggies to cook through.
See, I told you it was easy to make!
I served the family’s soup with a dollop of non-fat Greek yogurt and thin & crispy no-salt Xochitl corn chips.
I promise, this is so good that you won’t miss the salt.
Or the fat.
In fact you’ll want another bowl for lunch the next day!

I hope your New Year is off to a great start!  Now that things are settling down a bit, I hope to be posting more and I definitely plan on catching up with all of you!


White Chicken Chili

I don’t know what the weather has been like where you are, but here in South Carolina it just can’t seem to make up its mind!  We may be bundled as tight as we can, freezing, one day and wearing short-sleeves the next!  But regardless of the temperatures we have had a fair amount of rain.
Nothing can make a person more miserable than those cold, dreary, rainy winter days.
So, I set out to warm us all up last week with a delicious (and healthy) white chicken chili.
It was a spicy hit that warmed us all up and added a great deal of flavor to what has been a boring meal month in our house.
Now I will say, this recipe makes a lot.  And I meant for it to make a lot because it gave Audley & I a healthy prepped food option throughout the next couple of days.  Food prep is the number one key to following a heath and fitness plan, so it is something I am most serious about!
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 cans no-salt added navy beans
2 cans of no-salt added diced tomatoes
64 ounces unsalted chicken broth (I usually make my own, but for convenience you can always purchase this)
6 fresh jalapeños, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
6 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16-ounce bag of corn (I use Cascadian Farms, organics)
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste
I use organic products …. these brands can be found at Ingles and Publix & stock up on them when it’s buy one, get one free.
Cover your chicken with water and boil until it is done all the way through ( I add a little garlic to mine).  Remove from the water and shred, using two forks.  Save the water in which you cooked the chicken.
Add your chicken to a large soup pot.
Combine the beans, broth, bell pepper, red onion, spices, garlic & tomatoes in the soup pan.  Simmer on medium about an hour.  If the liquid seems to be cooking down, add some of the broth that was made when you cooked your chicken earlier.
The beauty of this recipe is you can adjust the seasonings quite easily to suit your taste.  I love spicy (which really eliminates the need for salt), but you can add about a teaspoon of sea salt if you desire.
After your chili has had a little time to simmer and the flavors mesh, serve up this hearty dish for a comforting and filling supper.
I usually have a little Chobani non-fat Greek yogurt, shredded Cabot Vermont sharp cheese and thin, crispy Xochitl no-salt tortilla chips available for the kiddos to top their chili.
The soup tureen is from Williams-Sonoma
And for the record, 2 cups is one serving size.
The beauty of preparing a soup for supper is that while it simmers you have time to have the kitchen mostly clean, a couple loads of laundry taken care of and time to set a simple, pretty table.


It’ll make everyone happy when you sit down for supper.
Who would’ve ever thought healthy eating could be so delicious?!