Healthy Living in the North

Let’s get cooking: Man Cave Chowder and challenge #1

All of us involved in the September Healthy Living Challenge are very excited to share a cooking demonstration with you! Loraina Stephen, population health dietitian, and Fraser Bell, vice president of planning and quality, cook up a healthy batch of Man Cave Chowder in the video below. Cooking food with lots of healthy ingredients, including a wide variety of colourful vegetables and local fish, is not only delicious, but a great way to encourage good health at all stages of life.

Our challenge to you for the first week of the September Healthy Living Challenge is for YOU to try out your cooking skills by making a Man Cave Chowder! Take a photo of you making the chowder or of the final product (or both!) and visit our contest page for details on how to enter. We might post your picture on the blog and you’ll have a chance to win a great prize.

Watch the video below as Loraina and Fraser demonstrate how to cook this recipe and see the bottom of this post for the full Man Cave Chowder recipe.

As always, we encourage everyone to go to visit NH’s position statement site for guidelines for healthy living.

Good luck and have fun cooking!

Man Cave Chowder (serves 6)
(Adapted from Cook Great Food by Dietitians of Canada (Fish and Vegetable Chowder pg. 104))

What you need:

Man Cave Chowder

Man Cave Chowder

  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1 chopped potato (medium)
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 2½ tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (398 ml) 2% evaporated milk
  • 3 cups (500 g) fish, cut into chunks (Pollock, Sole, Trout, Ling Cod, Salmon, Cod, Shrimp etc.)
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

What you do:

  • Wash, peel and chop the onion, celery, red bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, potatoes and garlic.
  • Spread vegetables (except broccoli) onto 13×9 roasting pan or shallow baking dish and drizzle with 2 tbsp canola oil and toss to mix. Roast in preheated oven at 350°F (160°C) for 30-40 minutes, or until fork-tender, stirring occasionally.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, heat ½ tbsp canola oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add brown rice and sauté for about five minutes or until lightly toasted. Add chicken broth and let soup simmer on low for about 40 minutes.
  • When the roasted vegetables are soft, add them to the simmering rice and broth. When the rice is soft, add the fish, chopped tomato, seasoning, broccoli and evaporated milk; cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Enjoy!
Brandon Grant

About Brandon Grant

As the NH men’s health coordinator, Brandon Grant travels across the Northern Health region speaking with community members about the health issues men face and what we can do to improve men’s health. He has worked with a variety of community-based organizations, including the Nawican Friendship Centre and the Northern Family Health Society, and holds two master’s degrees, one in social work and one in public administration. To stay active, Brandon enjoys playing golf and tennis, and whenever possible, visits tropical destinations to go snorkeling. (Brandon no longer works with Northern Health, we wish him all the best.)



  1. Cheryl Ann Stahel says

    I think I can get my 16 year old son to want to make this Man Cave Chowder but I need to change two ingredients:
    1. a substitute for the fish due to his allergy to fish…I have no idea what type of meat if any could be substituted in!
    2. can the 2% be changed to low fat/fat free evaporated milk?
    Also, I think you are on to something here with the Man Cave recipe ideas – awesome!!

    • Hi Cheryl Ann – great questions! I checked with Loraina, and she offered some great protein substitutes. Try using pre-roasted chicken or even a variety of beans (chickpeas, black or kidney beans) instead of the fish. And you can definitely use a lower fat evaporated milk instead of the 2% if you prefer. Thanks for your note – and be sure to get your son to make the chowder and send in his picture for a chance to win a great prize! Deadline is next Tuesday!

  2. Cant use milk.. Leave it out?

    • Hi Bonita – I’ve tried it without milk before and it was still great! Also, see our Vickie’s comment below – she substituted the milk for coconut milk, so there’s another great options! Thanks for your question! I hope you’re planning on entering the contest! Deadline is Tuesday at noon.

  3. Vickie Kornelsen says

    Loved the soup! Made some changes with regards to spices and couldn’t find the potatoes so I added zucchini. I also have a dairy sensitivity so I used coconut milk.

  4. David Bowering says

    That chowder looks absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, like most men, I’m not much of a recipe guy. I would make it this way: Throw some fish, vegetables, and broth into a pot with a bit of oil, season to taste with whatever you can find including sauces like HP from the fridge and lots of pepper. Cook it for awhile and eat it for a week. mmm mmm. :-)

  5. Sandy Stephen says

    Sorry Loraina, you coud have had broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and onions from my garden, not just potatoes. The carrots that you planted on May 13> Mothers Day did very well as did everything. I’m glad to learn about roasting the vegis before adding them to the soup, a great tip!

  6. Sandy Stephen says

    Loraina, you could have had broccoli, cauliflower, onions and the carrots that you planted for me on Mother’s Day, along with those spuds all from my prolific garden. Please drop in and help yourself. Thanks for the tip re roasting those vegis before adding them to the soup, that is new to me. Nana


  1. […] Challenge and entered the first contest! The first challenge was, of course, to make the delicious Man Cave Chowder that Loraina and Fraser demonstrated in the video last week. We had some fantastic entries from […]