Monday, August 20, 2012

Gluten-Free Recipe: Smoky Roasted Hatch Chili, Broccoli, and White Bean Soup

Smoky Roasted Hatch Chili, Broccoli, and White Bean Soup

[by Kate — guest gluten-free blog author

Delicious Soup: Gluten-Free ~ Vegetarian ~ Vegan* ~ Low-Carb ~ Low-Fat

Texans like grilling.  A lot. But, for many of us who live in apartments in Houston, grilling isn’t always an easy option for meals. That’s why I’ve imported the smoky taste of the grill into this Hatch Chili, Broccoli, and White Bean Gluten-Free Soup. Made with oven-roasted Hatch Chilis, smoked sea salt, and a dash of smoked paprika, the soup offers a hint of the grill’s satisfying smokiness while catering to audiences who are typically excluded from traditional grilling — vegetarians and vegans — in addition to those following low-carb and gluten-free diets. This soup, amendable to fit just about anyone’s dietary needs, packs the sweet, subtle heat characteristic of the celebrated Hatch Chili.

Hatch Chili peppers are a seasonal gluten-free ingredient produced in Hatch, New Mexico, the self-proclaimed “Chili Capital of the World”. Hatch Chili peppers become available in late August and have a short growing season. The peppers can be used in everything from Chilles Rellenos to soups and they can even be infused into chocolate. Several local Texas grocery chains and other retailers carry the peppers (e.g., Fiesta, HEB, Central Market, Whole Foods) and HEB and Central Market both have dedicated Hatch Chili Festival events with featured Hatch Chili products for sale and even cooking contests.

With a texture much like that of comfort-food soups like potato soup and broccoli and cheddar soup, this Gluten-Free Hatch Chili, Broccoli, and White Bean Soup is great hot or cold and can be garnished with arugula and pepitas and shaved parmesan (omit for vegan).

Ingredients —

    2 Hatch chilies (roasted in 450∘ F. oven for 7-10minutes and peeled)
    1 large head broccoli (a little over 1lb or 7cups), cut into florets
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 yellow onion, diced
    7 garlic cloves, minced
    1 and ½ 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
    3 cups vegetable stock (low sodium preferred)
    Smoked sea salt, to taste
    Black pepper, to taste
    Smoked Paprika, a dash
    Hot pepper flakes, a pinch

    To Garnish—

    Roasted Pepitas, to taste
    Shaved parmesan cheese, to taste (exclude to make vegan)

Instructions —

  1. Roast Hatch Chilies under oven broiler for 7-10 minutes or until skins are browned. Remove from oven and place chilies in air tight container or zip-lock bag; this will help to loosen skins. Remove and discard skins. Note: it is recommended that you use kitchen gloves when handling the chilies to prevent pepper burn from any that might be particularly hot (spicy). 
  2. Steam broccoli for 5 minutes or until tender but still bright green and firm; avoid overcooking. Set broccoli aside. 
  3. In large pot add olive oil and set burner to medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until translucent, roughly 8-10 minutes. Add smoked sea salt, pepper, smoked paprika and hot pepper flakes. Add cannellini beans and vegetable stock. Bring to a very low boil and cook roughly 5 minutes. 
  4. Transfer broccoli and bean mixture in pot in small batches to blender. Liquefy and transfer to large bowl. Continue to process batches of soup components in your blender until finished. 
  5. Serve soup warm or cold garnished with arugula, pepitas (roasted, salted pumpkin seeds), and shaved Parmesan (*omit parmesan if vegan).
This is a great way to enjoy the seasonal Gluten-Free treat known as the Hatch Chili! Hopefully you can locate this wonderful, delicious, and versatile pepper in your area and put it to use in your own roasted hatch chili soup.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available

Friday, August 03, 2012

Stop Type-2 Diabetes Progression with Turmeric / Curcumin / Curry

Avoid Type-2 Diabetes with Turmeric / Curry

Spice helps with Type-2 Diabetes Control

The latest journal of Diabetes Care from the American Diabetes Association reported its findings regarding "Curcumin Extract for Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes". Curcumin is the primary curcuminoid of the spice turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family.

The following picture is courtesy of Spicely organic spices, which sells certified GF turmeric in large quantities (like this 1 POUND for $13.99, as of early 2018).

Turmeric (image: Spicely Organic)

While Curcumin / turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years (Ayurveda is a Hindu system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine), modern researchers are now assessing the efficacy of curcumin in delaying the development of type 2 diabetes in the prediabetes population. This latest study employed a randomized, double-blinded, placebo- controlled trial using 240 people that were considered pre-diabetic.

Observed Results look Promising

The following is a quote from the study results that in summary show very intriguing and positive preventive effects for the trial subjects that were in the curcumin-consuming group:
After 9 months of treatment, 16.4% of subjects in the placebo group were diagnosed with T2DM [Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus], whereas none were diagnosed with T2DM in the curcumin-treated group. In addition, the curcumin-treated group showed a better overall function of β-cells, with higher HOMA-β (61.58 vs. 48.72; P < 0.01) and lower C-peptide (1.7 vs. 2.17; P < 0.05). The curcumin-treated group showed a lower level of HOMA-IR (3.22 vs. 4.04; P < 0.001) and higher adiponectin (22.46 vs. 18.45; P < 0.05) when compared with the placebo group.
OK, that may be a bit technical, so let me get to their summary...

The study concluded the following:
A 9-month curcumin intervention of a prediabetes population significantly lowered the number of prediabetic individuals who eventually developed T2DM. In addition, the curcumin treatment appeared to improve overall function of β-cells, with very minor adverse effects. Therefore, this study demonstrated that the curcumin intervention in a prediabetes population may be beneficial.
This looks like a great reason to consider including more turmeric in your Gluten-Free diet! Anything to prevent the development of Type-2 diabetes is wonderful, and the observed improvement in pancreatic Beta-Cells is great news. So, bring on the turmeric, and let's keep that blood sugar under control!

Gluten-Free Diets can certainly include Turmeric

Turmeric is a flavorful, orange or yellow colored spice that is an essential ingredient in many curries (encountered in Indian, South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine). You can obtain capsules of turmeric powder if you do not like the taste of turmeric and would prefer to simply swallow a pill containing the spice, but, I definitely enjoy Curry and welcome such tasty gluten-free foods into my diet.

You can make your own curry spices following recipes available on the web, but I am going to be honest here and admit that I take the easy way out (most of the time) and purchase pre-made gluten-free curry-powders and/or curry-type sauces. I have made my own before, but getting the flavor-balance of the component spices to be just right can be a challenge, especially when a constituent spice varies considerably in intensity depending on the supplier.

Gluten-Free Favorite Indian Sauces

This is a quick "product review" embedded in an otherwise science-oriented blog posting, but it is relevant: many of these delicious pre-made gluten-free sauces by Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods contain turmeric.  I do not know how much turmeric they contain, but these are a great example of how wonderful turmeric-containing sauces can taste (check the ingredient-list for which ones contain turmeric -- most have some).

Maya Kaimal Indian Foods
(image courtesy of Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods web site)

My current favorite is the Vindaloo Indian Simmer Sauce! Fantastic! A wonderful mixture of curry spices with coconut and just a touch of heat from chilis. In addition to tasting wonderful, these sauces are so easy to use (i.e., they are ready-to-go... just heat and serve). And, you can probably learn how to make a great sauce of your own if you want to — just check out the ingredient list and contemplate the proportions that you may want to try in your own curry-spice mixtures.

For some nice low glycemic-index/load meals, consider pouring some of this sauce over some steamed cauliflower or cooked lentils (a couple favorites of mine). And, if you are new to turmeric in your cooking and/or new to curry, this should be a nice introduction to a flavor-filled experience that may ultimately lead you to including more curcumin in your diet (and hopefully reducing the likelihood of developing Type-2 diabetes).  As always, combine this latest blood-sugar-control news with a good dose of exercise and a well-balanced diet for maximum potential.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.