I really wasn't sure if I should label this a "recipe", because it was more like happy accident than anything. I was in a hurry and wanted to throw something in the crock pot before heading out the door. I had just recently bought 2 large cans of baby clams, so chowder popped to mind. Of course, a good clam chowder required some bacon, which I was out of, and cream, which was ALSO gone. At that point I could have just tried something else, but I hadn't done the week's shopping yet and pickings were slim. Besides, it was cold and crappy out and there was a fresh covering of snow on the ground. I wanted chowder dammit!
I rummaged through the cabinets and freezer and was pleasantly surprised at the results. This chowder version does call for coconut milk instead of cream, but the coconut flavor is subtle once all the flavors blend and it really compliments the shrimp and clams. And while I did not use bacon for flavoring, I see no reason why you should pass up the opportunity to use it if you were (unlike me) smart enough to stock up ahead of time.
Low Carb Tropical Seafood Chowder
2 large cans of baby clams (including liquid)
2 cans of coconut milk
2 cups of frozen cooked tail-off shrimp
1 lb of frozen mixed vegetables (like a broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix)
2 whole cloves
1 Tbsp of minced garlic (I use the stuff in a jar)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp dried minced onions
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp thyme (lemon thyme if you can get it)
salt and pepper to taste
Throw everything in a crock pot and let it cook on low while you are at work. Running around like and idiot while you try to find ingredients is completely optional. Try not to look too surprised when it actually tastes good.
The measurements given are an APPROXIMATION! I honestly didn't even pick up a spoon or any other kind of measuring device when I made this. Don't be afraid to make your own adaptations or adjustments. Cooking is more art than science, so don't be afraid to be creative!