Seafood of the Week – Clams

October 29, 2013 at 8:29 AM | Posted in seafood, Seafood of the Week | Leave a comment
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Edible clams in the family Veneridae

Edible clams in the family Veneridae

A clam is a generic term for many kinds of bivalve molluscs, some of which are edible.
Clams, like most molluscs, also have open circulatory systems, which means that their organs are surrounded by watery blood that contains nutrients and oxygen. They feed on plankton by filter feeding. Clams filter feed by drawing in water containing food using an incurrent siphon. The food is then filtered out of the water by the gills and swept toward the mouth on a layer of mucus. The water is then expelled from the animal by an ex-current siphon.



In the United States, the word “clam” has several different meanings. First, it can generally cover all molluscs. It can also be used in a more limited sense as cave sediment bivalves, rather than those attached to the substrate (like oysters and mussels) or those that swim (like scallops). It can also refer to one or more kinds of commonly consumed marine bivalves, such as in the phrase clam chowder, which refers to shellfish soup. Many edible bivalves are roughly oval-shaped; however, the Pacific razor clam has an elongated, parallel-sided shell, the shape of the show, an old-fashioned straight razor.
In the United Kingdom, “clam” is one of the common names of various species of marine bivalve mollusc, but it is not used as a term covering either edible clams that burrow or bivalves in general.
Numerous edible marine bivalve species live buried in sand or mud and respire by means of siphons, which reach to the surface. In the United States, these clams are collected by “digging for clams” or clam digging.
In October 2007 an Arctica islandica clam, caught off the coast of Iceland, was found to be at least 405 years old and declared the world’s oldest living animal by researchers from Bangor University. It was later named Ming.
Some species of bivalves are too small to be useful for food, and not all species are considered palatable.
The word “clam” is used in the metaphor “to clam up,” meaning to refuse to talk or answer, based on the clam behavior of quickly closing the shell when threatened. A “clamshell” is the name given to a container or mobile phone consisting of two hinged halves that lock together. Clams have also inspired the phrase “happy as a clam,” short for “happy as a clam at high tide” (when it can’t easily be dug up and eaten).



Littleneck clams, small hard clams, species Mercenaria mercenaria

Littleneck clams, small hard clams, species Mercenaria mercenaria

A clam’s shell consists of two (usually equal) halves, which are connected by a hinge joint and a ligament which can be external or internal.
In clams, two adductor muscles contract to close the shells. The clam has no head or eyes, though scallops are an exception of this rule. Clams do have kidneys, a heart, a mouth, and an anus.
Clams begin as a shellfish the size of a grain of sand when born. It has a natural glue on it that causes it to connect to other shells or things at the bottom of the river. Once a clam is secure, it feeds on the plankton, as stated, and moves with the tide. It takes a clam 24-30 months to become harvestable.



In culinary use, within the eastern coast of the United States, the term “clam” most often refers to the hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria. It

Yummy bowl of steamed clams in broth

Yummy bowl of steamed clams in broth

may also refer to a few other common edible species, such as the soft-shell clam, Mya arenaria, and the ocean quahog, Arctica islandica. Another species which is commercially exploited on the Atlantic Coast of the United States is the surf clam Spisula solidissima.
Clams can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, baked or fried. They can also be made into clam chowder or they can be cooked using hot rocks and seaweed in a New England clam bake.



Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder w/ Grilled Cheese Sandwich

April 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM | Posted in Healthy Life Whole Grain Breads, Sargento's Cheese, soup | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder w/ Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Well my original plan was to have a new recipe with Chicken Tenders that had Honey in the recipe. I thought I had plenty of Honey onCampbells New England clam Chowder 006hand but as I was gathering my ingredients I found I just had a small amount and it had turned to Sugar. I’ll learn to check ahead! So with that put on hold I went with Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder and Hearty Potatoes w/ Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

The Clam Chowder was easy to prepare; just empty the can into a small sauce pan and stir and heat. It’s a very good tasting Chowder that’s nice and thick. I served it with a side of Skyline Oyster Crackers. To go with the Chowder I made a Grilled Cheese Sandwich using Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread and Sargento Reduced Fat Cheddar Jack Cheese. Everything simple but filling and delicious. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Double Chocolate Pudding.



Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder w/ Hearty Potatoes Soup

Tender Atlantic clams & heart potatoes
America’s #1 selling New England clam chowder
Good source of fiber**
Thick & creamy
**Contains 13 g of total fiber per serving

Made in USA


Nutrition Facts

Servings: 1
Calories 210 Sodium 870 mg
Total Fat 12 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 2 g Total Carbs 17 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 3 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 1 g
Trans 0 g Protein 6 g
Cholesterol 10 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 8%
Vitamin C 6% Iron 6%


Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM | Posted in cooking | 2 Comments
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Chefs always add clams to their chowder during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. If added too early, clams can become either tough or too soft.



New England clam chowder.

New England clam chowder.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Posted in seafood | Leave a comment
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Once clams are dug up, they must be cleaned of sand and debris. To accomplish this, the clams should be allowed to soak in the clamsrefrigerator in a solution of one part salt to 10 parts water for several hours overnight. If your pressed for time, rinse them in a bowl of fresh water, changing it frequently, until no sand remains.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 9, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Posted in cooking, seafood | Leave a comment
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The shells of healthy clams should be closed when you buy them. They will gradually open as the clams cook. (If you keep the clams on clamsice, they will also probably relax and open their shells.) Like mussels, if a clam shell doesn’t open by itself when the clam is cooked, it should be discarded.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 6, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Posted in seafood | Leave a comment
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Cooking shellfish at home can be a lot of fun, (not to mention, delicious), so don’t be intimidated by the task of opening the shells! First, wash the shells thoroughly. Hold the clam or oyster in your palm and slip the tip of an oyster or butter knife between the upper and lower shells. Run the knife around the edge of the shell and pry until you hear a pop at the hinge. Loosen the clam or oyster and remove any shell fragments.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 5, 2013 at 9:57 AM | Posted in cooking, seafood | Leave a comment
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The most effective way to get rid of sand and grit from clams is to soak them in water with a bit of cornmeal stirred in. It irritates the clamsclams, and they expel the sand while trying to eliminate the cornmeal.

New England Clam Chowder w/ Ham & Swiss Toasted Sandwich

October 28, 2012 at 5:23 PM | Posted in cheese, Healthy Life Whole Grain Breads, seafood | 2 Comments
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Today’s Menu: New England Clam Chowder w/ Ham & Swiss Toasted Sandwich



Simple and Hearty Dinner tonight, New England Clam Chowder w/ Ham & Swiss Toasted Sandwich. I wasn’t really feeling up to par today. I’m dealing with those painful Phantom Pains that amputees so commonly have to deal with. Sometimes they aren’t too bad but today’s has been extremely painful and it really just wears you out.

Anyway on to dinner! Dealing with the Phantom Pains I wanted something easy to prepare but I also wanted a hearty and hot meal. I used Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder. Easy to prepare and a nice, thick, and tasty Clam Chowder. Easy to prepare as in open the can, empty into a small pot, and heat! 210 calories and 23 carbs.

For my Toasted Sandwich I used Kroger Private Selection Old fashioned Honey Cured Sliced Ham, Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese, Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo w/ Olive Oil, and Toasted Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert one of my favorite things to make Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread. A slice of the Nut Bread topped with a scoop of Breyer’s Carb Smart Ice Cream.

Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder

Also available in a 10.75-oz. can
& a microwavable bowl

Nutrition Facts*
Amount Per Serving (serving size) = 1 cup (240 mL)
Calories 210
Fat Calories 90
Total Fat 10g
Sat. Fat 1.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 890mg
Total Carb. 23g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 1g
Protein 6g

% Daily Values**
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 2%
Iron 8%
* The nutrition information contained in this list of Nutrition Facts is based on our current data. However, because the data may change from time to time, this information may not always be identical to the nutritional label information of products on shelf.
** % Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread Mix

Pillsbury Quick Bread helps you serve home-baked goodness any time – for breakfast, lunch dinner or snacks. Make a delicious snack and bring the goodness of home-baking to your family any time of day! Serve home-baked goodness anytime.

Nutrition Facts

Serv Size 1/14 package (31g)
Servings Per Container 14
Amount Per Serving

Calories 120 Calories from Fat 25
% Daily Value*

Total Fat 3g 4%

Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 150mg 6%

Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%

Sugars 12g

Protein 2g

Calcium 2%

Iron 4%

New England Clam Chowder w/ Oyster Crackers and a Hot Hammy Cheese

July 2, 2012 at 5:42 PM | Posted in Healthy Life Whole Grain Breads, Oscar Mayer, Sargento's Cheese, seafood | 1 Comment
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Today’s Menu: New England Clam Chowder w/ Oyster Crackers and a Hot Hammy Cheese


A simple but flat out lip smacking good dinner tonight! New England Clam Chowder w/ Oyster Crackers and a Hot Hammy Cheese, Sounds good but tasted even better! My Clam Chowder wasn’t home made but was every bit as good. I used Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder with Hearty Potatoes. If you have a craving for Clam Chowder but don’t have the time or just want a simple way to prepare it give Campbells a try. Great taste, plenty of Clams and Potatoes, and in a nice thick stock. It has 210 calories and 23 carbs per serving. I topped with just a sprinkle of fresh grated Dutch Smoked Gouda and some Skyline brand Oyster Crackers, I could make a meal out of the Cheese and Crackers!


I also prepared a Hot Hammy and Cheese Sandwich. I used Oscar Mayer Carver Board Ham, Sargento Ultra Light Swiss Cheese, and Healthy Life Whole Grain English Muffin. In a small skillet I heated the slices of Ham and while that was heating I split the Muffin in half and toasted it in the toaster. To assemble just put the Ham on one of the Muffin halves and top the Ham with the Sargento Swiss and add the other half of the Muffin, the Swiss will start melting immediately. A simple but quite hearty dinner! For dessert later a fresh baked Pillsbury Apple Turnover, a nice way to end the day.

Lean-O Cioppino

January 27, 2012 at 7:08 PM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, low calorie, low carb, seafood, shrimp | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Lean-O Cioppino w/ Sourdough Bread

When I seen this being made on Hungry Girl the other day it looked and sounded too good not to try! I went earlier today to stock up on the inredients and also picked up a loaf of freshly Sour Dough Bread, from the Kroger Bakery. It looked delicious but I had never heard of Cioppino so I looked it up and here’s what I found:

Cioppino is a fish stew originating in San Francisco. It is considered an Italian-American dish, and is related to various regional fish soups and stews of Italian cuisine. Cioppino is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in the dish’s place of origin is typically a combination of dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and fish. The seafood is then combined with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce, and served with toasted bread, either sourdough or baguette. The dish is comparable to cacciucco and brodetto from Italy, as well as other fish dishes from the Mediterranean region such as bouillabaisse, burrida, and bourride of the French Provence, suquet de peix from Catalan speaking regions of coastal Spain.

This recipe from Hungrey Girl called for Clams and Shrimp. The recipe also called for Amy’s Organic Light In Sodium Chunky Tomato Bisque but they were out of stock of that so I went with a can of  Amy’s Organic Light In Sodium Cream of Tomato and when preparing it I added a half a can of Tomato Paste to it to thicken it up a bit. It’s very easy to make and every bit as delicious as it sounded! What a great combination to make a healthy and hearty Soup and it’s only 185 calories and 20 carbs. I topped it with some crumbled John Wm Macy’s Cheese Sticks and I had a side of Sour Dough Loaf Bread. This is a fantastic recipe, give it a try! I left the recipe along with the link to “Hungrey Girl” at the end of the post. For dessert later a 100 Calorie Breyer’s Ice Cream Bar.

Lean-O Cioppino

2011 Hungry Girl


Two 15-oz. cans reduced-sodium creamy tomato soup with 4g fat or less per serving (like the Light in Sodium version of Amy’s Chunky Tomato Bisque)

One 10-oz. can whole baby clams, drained
6 oz. (about 30) cooked ready-to-eat medium-small shrimp
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional garnish: fresh basil leaves


Place a nonstick pot on the stove, and set temperature to medium heat. Pour in the soup.

Add clams, shrimp, oregano, and basil. Stirring often, bring to desired heat, about 2 minutes.

If you like, season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with basil leaves. Enjoy!
PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, 1 generous cup): 185 calories, 3.5g fat, 885mg sodium, 20g carbs, 2g fiber, 13g sugars, 19g protein

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