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  • The Low Fat Chick 7:22 am on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , rice noodles, soup, udon noodles, Vietnamese soup   

    Pho Masterpiece 

    Wholly elated I developed newfangled flavor combinations, which I believe will rouse fellow foodies; I developed a common case of over indulgence.  Over indulging on test recipes and tasting vast foods in a short period often cloud my mind.  A continual symptom of writing a book, I cure this cloudiness by painting a Pho masterpiece.

    Pho is a Vietnamese soup encompassing herbs, vegetables, meat, rice noodles and flavor pastes which can transform into whatever a foodie’s heart desires. In its infant stage, it is a blank canvas of broth.  The endless choices of fresh ingredients allow anyone to paint a vibrant picture of soup.  Making Pho can be an innovative and creative process, as I use different vegetables, meat, and noodles reflective of my state of mind each time. Yesterday’s constituents were pork tenderloin, udon noodles, napa cabbage, mung bean sprouts, and fresh basil.  As the ingredients increase, the blank canvas of broth morphs into various stages from light, spicy, hearty and even rich, as some add egg.  My favored stages are light and spicy, since I revel in food without a disclaimer to unbutton my jeans, and opt for releases of endorphins, naturally elevating my mood. Pho can be whatever a foodie’s heart desires so grab a canvas, queue up your brush, and start painting a masterpiece.

    Don’t want to paint your own masterpiece? Visit Pho Bac off of Buford Highway in the Atlanta area, which has a variety of fresh Pho.

    Check out our recipe.

    • Responsibility199 9:42 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t Pho without five-spice; well I can’t anyhow. And I have some very large soup bowls for when it is time to Pho, seems silly to work up a delicious pho and put it in a typical soup cup. Silly!

    • The Low Fat Chick 3:09 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I love five spice powder! I think I never put it in my pho cause I use star anise which is one of the 5 spices. But, I will definitely give it a try next time. Great suggestion! I love five spice when I roast a chicken. Saw it on the foodnetwork and now that is the only way I usually roast my chicken. Such flavorful spices.

  • The Low Fat Chick 8:12 am on October 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: chowder, clams, , soup   

    New England Clam Chowder 

    My first soup of the fall 2011 season was a tasty, freshly made New England Clam Chowder. Nothing beats making the chowder from fresh clam stock. I gobbled this up for 4 days straight as it makes a lot. Feel free to freeze half to eat on more chilly nights. Add a side of fresh Italian garlic bread, and you will have a very filling meal. I could not stop dipping my bread in the soup.


    48 little neck clams, scrubbed
    1 1/2 quarts water
    1/4 cup bacon, finely diced
    3 onions, minced
    1 small bay leaf (or half of a large leaf)
    3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
    2 cups 2% milk
    1 cup light cream
    salt to taste
    black pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons parsley, chopped


    Rinse the clams well in cold water and drain. Place them in a deep pan with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes until the shells open. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl to cool.

    When the clams have cooled slightly, remove them from their shells. Discard any clams that have not opened. Chop the clams coarsely. Strain the cooking liquid through a strainer lined with cheesecloth and reserve.

    In a large saucepan, fry the bacon until it renders its fat and begins to brown. Add the onions and cook over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes until soften.

    Stir in the bay leaf, potatoes, and clam cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 to 10 minutes.

    Stir in the chopped clams. Continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, stirring from time to time. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Stir in the warm milk and cream, and heat very slowly for 5 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaf and adjust the seasoning. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

    Servings: 8
    Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (13.4 ounces).
    Calories 297.11

    Do not use heavy cream, as it has too many calories and fat.
    If you cannot find light cream, use 1/2 cup regular cream.


    The recipe was a little high in fat so I replaced the milk with 2% milk, reduced the bay leaf to a very small one (or half of a large leaf), and noted parsley as a must to balance out the bay leaf flavor (not just a garnish). The type of clams and potatoes were not specified so little neck clams and russet potatoes were my choice.

    Original Author: Debra Mayhew
    Original Source: The Soup Bible

  • The Low Fat Chick 4:07 pm on June 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pork pho, soup   

    Pork Pho 

    When I lived in NYC, I would spend my whole lunch hour in line with the rest of Wall Street to eat soup at a Vietnamese restaurant. You ask, “Why stand in line for soup?”.  Well, it was for the best Pho I have ever had.  I ate countless bowls of this stuff with coworkers and then when I returned to Atlanta, I missed it so much.  Yes, there are restaurants in my area far and few between who make Pho, but venturing out to these other parts of town is a little time-consuming. I am almost in the heart of ATL and such restaurants are outside the perimeter. Anyway, I finally solved the problem by making my own Pho! I was soooo excited and it was ultra yummy. Pho can be made with beef, chicken, or pork.  Pork is my favorite so that is what I used, along with udon noodles. Pho typically has rice noodles, but I opted for a heartier noodle. This recipe is now on our list of favorites.


    1 pound sirloin pork (fat trimmed), cut into 1-2 inch strips
    2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
    1 tablespoon hoisen sauce
    1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
    2 green onions, chopped (white and green separated)
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    2 tablespoons minced ginger
    2 tablespoons soy sauce, reduced sodium
    1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    6 cups chicken stock, reduced sodium
    1 star anise
    4 cups bok choy (1 small head, about 1 pound), chopped
    1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
    5 oz udon noodles, dry


    • In a medium bowl, toss pork with teriyaki and hoisen sauces. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
    • In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, brown pork with marinade, frequently stirring for 5 to 7 minutes. Add chili sauce, whites of green onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Cook for 2 minutes.
    • Add chicken stock and star anise. Bring to a boil. Add bok choy and mushrooms. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
    • Stir in udon noodles and simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Ladle into large soup bowls. Garnish with green onions.

    Servings: 4

    Calories: about 440 per serving.

  • The Low Fat Chick 8:06 pm on October 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , soup,   

    Spicy French Onion Soup 

    With it starting to get chilly at night here in Atlanta, GA, I was ready to make soup to warm me up. Fall is here and so is snuggling up in your PJs and watching a good movie with your doggies. The original recipe was mild, but I decided to spice it up and just loved it.  Who could not love a spicy soup with french bread and cheese? Anything involving cheese and bread, and I am there!  This recipe makes a lot, so if you are a single person, like myself, you can freeze half for up to one month for more warm and snuggly nights.  I like to eat the soup with a side of toasted bread topped with Creamy Garlic and Thyme Spread. Very tasty!


    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    2 large sweet yellow onions, sliced
    2 cups chopped leeks, whites and light green parts only
    2 tablespoons chopped garlic
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
    1/4 cup dry sherry*
    1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
    32 ounces reduced-sodium beef broth
    1/4 cup minced fresh chives
    6 slices whole-wheat or white fresh sour dough bread
    1 cup shredded fontina cheese
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons hot sauce


    •  Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sweet onions and stir to coat. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add leeks, garlic and thyme. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, until starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
    • Stir in sherry and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chives, salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and hot sauce.
    • Meanwhile, toast bread and divide it among 6 bowls. Top with cheese. Ladle the soup over the bread and cheese and serve immediately.

    Servings: 6.
    Calories: About 380 per serving.

    *Buy real sherry from the liquor store. Do not use cooking sherry, which is laced with sodium.

    Based on a recipe from eatingwell.com
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