New England Clam Chowder
A classic bowl of New England clam chowder--in all of its starchy, creamy, comforting glory--can add up to over half a day's sodium allowance and almost half a day's saturated fat. To build all the great flavor with less sodium than store-bought clam juice, we make a quick homemade clam stock. It draws lots of clam flavor from the shells, while helping slash more than half the salt. Your brain will also benefit from every bit of the clams' vitamin B12 goodness (low levels are associated with increased risk for Alzheimer's and dementia), with one serving delivering 100 percent of your daily goal. Seek the freshest claims from your local fishmonger; their shells should be closed or just slightly open before cooking. Potatoes are both the thickening agent and creamy base here, boosting fiber and negating the need for heavy cream. Just 1/2 cup of half-and-half enhances the richness of this East Coast classic, leaving plenty of room for sprinkling oyster crackers on top.