SPEAKING OF FOOD: Extra pounds need to go

Somewhere along the way, in the past six months or so, I’ve picked up about five pounds that I just can’t seem to get rid of.
I’d like to say I have no idea how this happened. I’d like to say my metabolism is kaput or the clothes dryer shrank my favorite jeans.
The truth is, I’ve not been very deliberate in sticking to a low-fat diet and eating smaller portions. And, while I’m still going to the gym five times a week, my hour-long workouts have been shortened to about 30 minutes each.
I know there are those of you thinking, “What’s she complaining about? Five pounds? How about the 50 pounds I need to lose?”
But here’s the deal. Five pounds here and five pounds there will end up totaling the 55 pounds I’ve worked so hard to lose – and keep off – since January 2007.
So what’s the answer?
More chicken, fish, salads and meatless meals. Smaller portions. No soft drinks. Less beef. Longer workouts at the gym.
But sometimes, when stress hits, it’s soooo easy to grab that hamburger and fries at the drive-through when the alternative is a homemade turkey sandwich on whole wheat with a side salad.
So, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve deliberately begun to prepare quick and easy lowfat dishes that I look forward to eating at supper as well as leftover at lunch.
This chowder fits the bill. The recipe made enough to feed the four of us last Tuesday night and I had enough leftovers to have a bowl at lunch three or four more times.

Quick Chicken-Corn Chowder
2 tablespoons butter
1 bag frozen Pictsweet seasoning blend*
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
14 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups 1 percent milk
3 cups canned chicken broth
Meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen corn kernels
1 (14-ounce) can cream-style corn
3 to 4 red potatoes, peeled and diced
12 teaspoon dried thyme
12 teaspoon ground red pepper
14 teaspoon salt
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add seasoning blend and cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook until thick and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. (Can reduce heat to simmer and cook much longer, if desired.)
Makes 12 servings.
* Pictsweet seasoning blend is a mixture of diced bell peppers, celery, onions and seasonings. It’s found with the frozen vegetables.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal