A Vegan Chef’s Avocado Recipes for Diabetes

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This weekend, top doctors and chefs will gather at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to offer health and cooking advice for people with diabetes.

The expo, part of a series sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, presents a unique opportunity for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to learn more about managing their disease. The event will include cooking demonstrations, eye and foot screenings and fitness information

Among those taking part is Jason Wyrick, a 36-year-old Phoenix chef who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at age 28. Chef Wyrick, who specializes in vegan cooking, publishes the online magazine “The Vegan Culinary Experience.” At the time of his diagnosis, he was coping with failing eyesight and high blood sugar, but he says he was able to reverse his diabetes by following a low-fat, vegan diet.

DESCRIPTIONChilled Avocado Soup

During Saturday’s expo, Chef Wyrick’s cooking demonstrations will focus on vegan avocado dishes that are healthful options for people with diabetes — and everyone else as well. How these dishes fit into your overall diabetes management depends on the diet plan you follow, but all of them offer about 35 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from vegetable sources (although one recipe includes a multi-grain bun).

A 2006 study published in Diabetes Care compared a low-fat vegan diet to a standard diet following the traditional American Diabetes Association guidelines. Both diets improved glycemic and lipid control in patients with diabetes, but the low-fat vegan diet produced the best results.

“I’m showing people how to do recipes that are easy, you can do them at home, they’re going to taste good,” says Mr. Wyrick. “By teaching people simple recipes that are fun and taste good, they can enjoy eating healthy, and they can manage their diabetes or completely reverse it like I did.”

Here are some vegan avocado recipes. Chef Wyrick created the Roasted Red Pepper Avocado dip and the others are from the Avocados from Mexico recipe bank.

Chilled Avocado Soup

2 large ripe avocados
3 cups good-quality vegetable broth
1/4 cup dry sherry, preferably fino

1. Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, navigating around the pits. Twist to split, then remove the pits and discard. Using a medium-size spoon, scoop out the flesh in large pieces, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

2. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

3. Add the avocado pieces and simmer for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the sherry and cook 1 minute longer.

4. Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender. (You may need to do this in several batches.) Process until the soup is very smooth and creamy.

5. Add salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons sherry and chill until very cold before serving.

Yield: 6 servings.

avocado port burgerPortabella Burgers With Avocado Spread

Portabella Burgers With Avocado Spread

4 medium-sized portabella mushrooms (about 4 ounces each), stems removed
1 medium onion, cut in 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1 fully ripened avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons plain soy yogurt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
4 whole grain vegan buns, toasted
4 jarred roasted red peppers

1. Brush mushrooms and onion slices with oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.

2. Heat large skillet or grill pan over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms; cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Transfer mushrooms to plate, cavity side up; cover to keep warm.

3. In same skillet, cook onion slices until golden, about 8 minutes, turning occasionally.

4. While the onions are cooking, combine in small bowl 1/2 of the avocado, yogurt, garlic and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; mash until smooth.

5. Build the sandwich by spooning the onions and roasted peppers into mushroom cavities, divided equally. Next, spread smooth avocado mixture on bottom of each bun, and top each with stuffed mushrooms. Top with remaining sliced avocado. Cover with tops of buns.

Yield: 4 servings.

Roasted Red Pepper Avocado Dip

1 avocado
2 roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground salt
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves (optional)

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. Serve with sliced cucumber.

Mexican Tomatillo Stew

3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
5 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
2 cups diced tomatillos
2 fully ripened avocados, halved, pitted and diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Ground black pepper to taste

1. In large saucepan, heat oil. Add sweet potatoes, celery, onion, garlic and cumin; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add broth and tomatillos; bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Just before ready to serve, stir in 1 avocado and cilantro. Season with pepper, if desired.

3. Serve in bowls topped with remaining avocado, if desired.

Yield: about 10 cups.