Sunday, May 1, 2011

Salmon Chowder and Happiness

I really love soup. I could eat soup everyday and never get sick of it. I could have an entire blog just about soup (which might happen if I keep this up). And what soup is better than creamy chowder? (crickets, crickets.)

It's officially May. The beginning of a new month is always a good reminder for me to evaluate my life, to cultivate the areas that I love and want to keep growing, and to weed out the areas that I don't love. I've made it a point to choose happiness over any other emotion. This is my life, and I intend to live it exactly how I want to. I can't think of anything else I'd rather be than happy.  As you may have read, it didn't always used to be this way. I didn't wake up one day and have abundant happiness, or even realize that I had the power to create it. To be honest, I still don't. But I do realize that my emotions are my own responsibility. As much as I'd like to, I can not blame my husband for the fact that my dog has eaten more than 5 pairs of shoes and countless other items (all of mine, none of his) in the past month. And I can barely blame my dog because.... well, he's a dog. Nope, I alone am in charge of my crazy, exciting, unpredictable life. And I love it. Chewed up shoes and all. (If you could see the love-bug that is my fur-child, you'd get over all the chewed up footwear too.... eventually)

I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health. ~ Voltaire

I like to think of thoughts as seeds. There they are, planted in the ground, but I get to decide which ones get sunlight, water, and nutrients. I get to decide which ones get to live and which ones must die (evil laugh). The ones that make me happy will be bestowed the privilege of life. The rest? They gotta go. Eventually, the weeds get pulled. Basically, the thoughts that we give energy to are the ones that get more power. So focus on the things that make you happy, and don't focus on the things that don't make you happy. Easier said than done? Yes. But the more I practice this, the easier it becomes. The less amount of time I spend flailed on my bed before I pull myself back together and get on with my happy life. When I'm happy, I cook. And happy cooking results in delicious chowder. 

This past weekend was my sister-in-law's graduation from nursing school (go you!). We went out to dinner to celebrate. My husband had a bowl of creamy whitefish chowder with his meal. This is the U.P. We are the whitefish mecca of the great lakes. Whitefish is what we DO. I had a bite, and it was g-o-o-d. Now, I wasn't about to eat a whole bowl of cream (dairy, wheat, and an assortment of other food that is generally not intended for consumption {sugar} result in major skin issues for me... more on that in a later post), but it left me feening for fish chowder. So I made up my own (thank you very much). The fact that I had salmon in my kitchen and wasn't up for a trip back to the Co-op resulted in salmon chowder. Feel free to substitute whitefish (especially if its fresh caught from Lake Superior). 

Creamy Salmon Chowder 
1 can wild salmon
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3-4 small red potatoes, chopped 
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced 
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 teaspoon dried dill 
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/3 teaspoon arrowroot
4 cups broth
salt and pepper

In large pot, saute shallots and garlic. Add potatoes, carrots, celery and saute for about 5 more minutes. Add 3 cups of the broth, salmon, dill, and salt/pepper. In your blender, combine arrowroot, 1 cup of broth, and cashews. Blend until smooth. Add to pot and stir to combine. Add the peas and continue cooking until veggies are soft. Eat!

**A word on salmon**
I really can't urge you enough to only eat wild salmon. Wild salmon is food. Farm raised salmon is not food. Farm raised salmon is toxic to both your body and the environment. I was about to go into a tirade about farmed versus wild until I found this article. Its basically everything that I think is important on this issue, so please take a look. 

What makes you happy? 

This recipe is included in Seasonal Sunday and Real Food Weekly


  1. never heard of salmon chowder. i'm so tired of all my soup recipes. bookmarked! thanks.

  2. Thanks Rebecca, this one is one of my favorites!

  3. thanks mercedes. makin it with the kiddos right now. i use rice milk when making with the cashews. makes it a bit more creamy...