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Fit of guilt isn't so tasty

About every six months, I resolve to get healthy.

The idea usually strikes me when I'm drifting off to sleep, remembering the things I was supposed to do that day: Buy the snack for preschool; write a check for kindergarten field trips; organize the kids' closets; exercise.

With two kids and a job, I usually put exercise on the bottom of my to-do list. Until recently, the most physical activity I got was running frantically after my 3-year-old as she rode her new big-girl bike into the street.

Then, in a fit of guilt and self-improvement, I joined a gym.

Actually, we joined a gym. My husband vowed he would work out (he hasn't). I pledged I would take an exercise class (I went to Pilates once and I'm still recovering). The kids said they would swim every day (they'd like to, but we can find time to take them once a week at most).

Paying for a gym membership we hardly use makes my stomach hurt (no, not as much as Pilates). So last week I signed up for a fitness evaluation with a personal trainer. If I have an exercise program, I reasoned, I might actually exercise.

It wasn't long before panic set in. People with personal trainers are svelte. They don't eat Alfredo sauce. They can probably still shop in the juniors department.

That's how this week's recipe for corn and scallop chowder came about. It's from www.cookinglight.com, and has 352 calories and 7.8 grams of fat per serving. Yes, I know that's not exactly Weight Watchers, but it's not a Big Mac, either.

As usual, I didn't take the time to read the recipe carefully before I went shopping. I didn't realize it called for refrigerated diced potatoes instead of regular potatoes. A nice shortcut, but I had to go to two stores to find them.

Another quibble I had was with the corn. The gourmet in me says don't use frozen corn when fresh is available. The busy mom in me says frozen corn will save time. Busy mom won out.

Putting the dish together, it was apparent this wasn't the creamy chowder I envisioned. Even after I added the ½ cup of half-and-half, it was too brothy and fishy for my taste. I briefly considered running to the store for heavy cream.

My husband suggested using the immersion blender, so I did and it made the soup a bit more creamy. It also chopped up the scallops into tiny pieces.

The pluses of the recipe: It's relatively low in calories, has a lot of flavor and is quick and easy to make.

The minuses: It's not Alfredo sauce.

Bee staff writer Kerry McCray can be reached at kmccray@modbee.com or at 578-2358.

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