The essence of this dish is the sweet flavor of fresh fish. Select whatever fish looks best that day. Try to choose a fairly firm fish such as tilapia. There is no flour in this chowder making it very light and allowing the fresh ingredients to stand out.

SHOPPING LIST: To buy: 3/4 pound tilapia or mahi mahi, 2 ounces smoked, low-fat ham (see note), 1 carton half and half, 1 can whole potatoes, 1 8-ounce can low-salt V-8 juice (see note), 1 bottle dried thyme, 1 bottle dried tarragon, 1 container fresh diced onion (2 cups needed), 1 container bought diced celery, 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat salad. Staples: olive oil spray, olive oil, reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing (see note) salt, black pepper.

Fish Chowder

  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 ounces smoked, lean ham, cut into strips (about 1/2 cup) (see note)
  • 2 cups fresh diced onion
  • 1 cup fresh diced celery
  • 1 pound rinsed and drained canned potatoes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup low-sodium V-8 juice (see note)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 pound tilapia or mahi-mahi
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Note: Look for low-fat ham containing per ounce: 30 calories, .7 g fat, .2 g saturated fat, 301 mg sodium. Look for low-salt V-8 juice containing per cup (8 ounces): 51 calories, 10.0 g carbohydrate, 141 mg sodium. Low-salt tomato juice can be used in place of the V-8.

Heat a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray. Add ham, onion and celery. Sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cut potatoes in half and add to sauce pan with V-8 juice and water. Cover with a lid and simmer 3 minutes.

While potatoes cook, rinse fish, pat dry and cut into 2-inch pieces. Reduce heat to medium and add fish, thyme and tarragon. Simmer,(do not boil) covered, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add half and half, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 486 calories, 95 calories from fat, 10.6 total fat, 3.4 g saturated fat, 5.1 g monounsaturated fat, 103 mg cholesterol, 470 mg sodium, 53.8 g carbohydrate, 9.7 g dietary fiber, 13.3. g sugars, 46.3 g protein. Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 vegetable, 5 lean meat, 1/2 fat

Green Salad

  • 4 cups washed, ready-to-eat salad
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing (see note)

Note: Look for reduced-fat vinaigrette or oil and vinegar dressing containing per tablespoon: 11 calories, 1.0 g fat, 4 mg sodium.

Add salad to a bowl and toss with salad dressing.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 27 calories, 11 calories from fat, 1.2 g total fat, 0.1 g saturated fat, 0.3 g monounsaturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 12 mg sodium, 3.8 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 1.8 g sugars, 1.2 g protein. Exchanges: 1 vegetable

Recipe from: “Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table,” by Linda Gassenheimer, published by the American Diabetes Association; reprinted with permission.

Diabetes Quick Fix is a Tribune News Service column from Linda Gassenheimer. She is the author of “Mix ‘n’ Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes.” Her website is Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer. Email:

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