A deliciously, satisfying, healthy meal in a bowl, Potato Chowder with Sausage & Winter Squash . Grab a spoon and dig in.
As much as the thought of cooler weather, leaves changing color and all the fun festivities for the rest of the year make me happy, they also make me stressed out. Can you guess what I do when I am stressed? Yes, I am sure you guessed it – eating! Thank goodness for the gym or I would be gaining a lot of weight. I did remember one little trick I found last winter that helped immensely with my afternoon and stress cravings, a cup of tea. In the morning I am all about coffee, but I am finding having a cup of tea or chai in the afternoon is helping to cut those cravings and longing to stress eat. It does not always work, but it is helping more than not.
I am even finding it is relaxing me to know a cup of tea can help me with those out of control food thoughts. Stress eating actually causes me more stress, because I feel bad about it. You would think the fact that I know it will stress me out more, would stop me. It actually has the opposite effect. However, knowing that a cup of tea can put me in the control of those cravings lightens my stress. So about 3pm every day, I put on the kettle to boil some water for a cup of tea.
Sure my mind will occasionally say “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a cookie with that tea?”, but it doesn’t all the time. That is a pretty big win in my book. I have also found the tea has to be hot. Iced tea doesn’t work. There has got to be some strange psychological reason why. If only I could figure out my own brain! Even more strange, as much as I love coffee, coffee does not have that same calming effect in the afternoon.
What is it about tea? It does remind me of my childhood in England. I do love afternoon tea, but the kind where you have scones and clotted cream, too. That isn’t happening! Maybe it is as simple as reminding me of fun times. Perhaps it is because it is a hot beverage that I slowly need to sip. I don’t know. I am just so glad a cup of tea squelched those afternoon food cravings.
What in the world does that have to do with potato chowder? A little in a weird food way. A potato chowder tends to have a luxurious feel to it from the cream. The broth has density to it that broth soups don’t have. Don’t get me wrong, I love a broth based soup, but there is something special about a potato chowder. Again it is purely psychological. I try not to use cream so the issue became, what could I replace cream with to give this soup a luxurious feel?
Yogurt is usually my go to choice, but in this case I went with cottage cheese. You just have to be careful because cottage cheese can curdle. Cottage cheese gave the broth a nice texture and a little density. It fixed that weird part of my brain that thought the soup would have cream in it to be fully satisfying. Whatever works, right? What tips have you found to deal with stress eating? I would love to hear.
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Happy Healthy Eating,
Potato Chowder with Sausage and Winter Squash
- 1 lb. sweet Italian chicken sausage
- 2 cups 1/2 inch diced red potatoes
- 1 cup 1/2 inch diced celery root
- 1 cup 1/2 inch diced delicata squash
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp. sherry
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup minced chives
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat.
Add sausage and cook, stirring to break up into small pieces, until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
Stir in potatoes, celery root, onion, squash and green pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
Next stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Stir in the sherry and scrape off any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
Stir in chicken broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
Cover the pot and turn the heat to high, bringing soup to a boil.
Uncover and reduce to a simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Turn off the heat. Take out 2 tbsp. hot soup and let cool until just warm but not boiling hot.
In a blender, puree cottage cheese and drizzle in 2 tbsp. warm soup. Add 1/2 cup potatoes from the soup and puree.
Stir vigorously into the soup.
Serve with chives and lemon zest on top.
I calculated 5 Weight Watcher Smartpoints.
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