The Contrary Cook: Beating Diabetes One Bite at a Time

Vegetarian Chipotle Enchilada Sauce


Vegetarian Chipotle Enchilada Sauce |

Vegetarian Chipotle Enchilada Sauce |

I’ve been on an enchilada bender lately since they are so healthy, delicious and so easy to make. I wasn’t a huge fan of any of the pre-processed store-bought brands, and it turns out that most of them are made with sugar or high fructose corn syrup and fatty oils, all of which I am trying to avoid. After trying a few recipes found online, I ended up developing my own sugar-free, veggie-friendly recipe.

This sauce is also great on eggs or just use as a dip with your favorite tortilla chips. Once you try this recipe, I guarantee you will never buy the canned stuff again. It’s cheaper to make yourself, it tastes better, and best of all, all you need is an onion and some garlic, the rest of the ingredients are staple pantry items.

Chipotle Enchilada Sauce Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onions, Diced
  • 5 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 4 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (I use La Costena brand)
  • 6 Ounces (1 small can) Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin (Simply Organic is a quality brand)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 3 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Koser Salt

And here’s how you make it:

  1. In a medium saucepan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté garlic and onion and until the onions are soft. Set this mixture aside in a separate bowl.
  2. In the same saucepan (no need to clean it) heat the other 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour a little at a time, constantly stirring with a wire whisk until slightly brown, about 4 minutes. We’re making a quick roux here and the bottom might look a little brown and crispy, but no worries, we’ll scrape away all that tasty good stuff later.
  4. Add chili powder and stir for another for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the vegetable stock, chipotle peppers, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, vinegar, and the onions and garlic. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Use a fork to stir and loosen the brown bits on the bottom. The chipotle peppers in sauce are very spicy, so if you’re afraid of heat, you may want to cut that measurement (3 peppers and some sauce.) Store the remaining peppers and sauce in a ziplock baggie and store in the freezer for the next batch.
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered. The sauce will thicken.
  7. Let cool and then add sauce to your blender or food processor to smooth the ingredients. Uou may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender.
  8. Enjoy in your favorite enchilada recipe!

Store the enchilada sauce in pint-sized mason jars in the fridge (the perfect amount for a pan of enchiladas) for up to two weeks. It will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months. This recipe makes 2 pints…one for now, one for later.

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Hearty Vegan Lentil Soup


Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Here’s a nice and simple lentil soup recipe.

Lentil Soup Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Dried Lentils (I buy Bob’s Red Mill in bulk)
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1 Large Carrot, Diced
  • 4 Vine Ripe Tomatoes (Purée in blender)
  • 1 – 28 oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Finely Diced
  • 1 Teaspoon of Thyme (Simply Organic is my brand of choice)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Tarragon
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 or 2 Pinches of Kosher Salt to Taste (I use David’s Kosher)
  • A Few Cranks of Freshly Ground Pepper From the Mill

And here’s how you make it:

  1. Soak the lentils in cold water for 2 hours beforehand. Drain in a colander and rinse well.
  2. Over medium heat, in a large soup pot, sauté the carrots with a teaspoon of olive oil for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and sauté for another 10 minutes, till the onion is soft.
  4. Add the garlic, thyme, paprika, and tarragon, and saute for a couple of minutes more.
  5. Add the fresh Puréed tomatoes, give it a stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes until it starts to bubble.
  6. Add the vegetable stock, can of diced tomatoes, lentils (rinse them first), bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes covered.
  8. Uncover and simmer for 15 more minutes.
  9. Remove the bay leaf.
  10. Put 1/3 of soup in a blender and Purée, then add back to pot and combine….this makes it creamier, without the cream!
  11. Enjoy!
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Spicy Sweet Sesame Soba Noodles


Spicy Sweet Sesame Soba Noodles

Soba is a Japanese noodle roughly the size of spaghetti and is generally served cold (but it’s great in hot soups, too.). Since these noodles are made of buckwheat flour instead of wheat flour or semolina, they end up having a higher protein content and half the calories of traditional pastas! I read on a diabetes blog that soba noodles can help regulate blood glucose levels so I thought I’d give it a shot, and it worked…my levels didn’t spike as high an hour later as they would have with normal pasta.

Sesame Soba Noodles Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Sesame Seeds, Toasted
  • 8 ounce Package of Soba Noodles (I buy Hakubaku Organic Soba in bulk)
  • 2 Teaspoons Rice Vinegar
  • 5 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons Honey
  • 2 Teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions, Chopped Fine
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (I prefer Simply Organic brand)

And here’s how you make it:

  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan (no oil, dry pan) over a high heat until just brown.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add soba noodles, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 6 minutes.
  3. Drain noodles and plunge them in to a bowl of ice water to quickly cool them off.
  4. In a glass bowl, mix rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, pepper flakes, and sesame oil and whisk.
  5. Toss all ingredients well (including the cold drained noodles), and add the sesame seeds and green onions last.
  6. Pop in the fridge for an hour to let the flavors meld.
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