Cioppino is a recipe that allows a cook to experience the flavors of another place without leaving the time zone or even making a trek to a specialty market for ingredients. This tomato-based seafood stew (pronounced chuh-PEEN-noh) originated in San Francisco.

The easy version of this stew can accommodate frozen fish or seafood, but thaw them before adding to the pot. Add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes along with the seasonings for a spicier stew.

Easy Cioppino

Makes 4 to 6 servings (about 61/4 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, no salt added, with liquid

1 medium zucchini,

not peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

8 ounces medium fresh or frozen, thawed shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 (6- to 8-ounce) cod fillet, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 cup fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in celery and carrot, and cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds.

2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, zucchini and seasonings. Heat until boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.

3. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in shrimp, cod and spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp, fish and spinach are cooked. Do not overcook.

Per serving, based on 4: 180 calories (27 percent from fat), 6 g total fat (1 g saturated), 103 mg cholesterol, 11 g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, 153 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber.