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Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 21, 2002 - Issue 70


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Soups for Diabetics


The thought of having to convert to eating a diabetic diet can be intimidating, especially to someone who is newly diagnosed with diabetes. After all, what makes a recipe appropriate for a person with diabetes? What's the best way to meet nutritional needs without compromising taste, convenience, and pleasure? Take heart! You can follow diabetic recipes, eat well, and still avoid the roller coaster pitfalls of low blood sugar and high blood sugar.

If you have questions or concerns about your diet, consult your certified diabetes educator, registered dietitian or physician for more info.

Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine
  • 2 cups (480 ml )99% fat free, no-salt-added canned chicken broth
  • 1/2 onion, about 6 ounces (150 g) , chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 3/4 pounds (840 g) butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/3 cup (133 g) nonfat plain yogurt + additional yogurt for garnish
  • 1/3 cup (160 ml) skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons (6 g) chopped fresh chives
  • Place the ginger and wine in a small pot. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and steep while you prepare the soup.
  • In a large pot, cook the onions, celery, and garlic in 1/2 cup of the stock until the onion is wilted.
  • Add the remaining stock and squash and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the squash is tender adding more stock or water as needed.
  • Using a food processor or blender, puree squash mixture until smooth. If using a food processor do this in batches so the machine does not overflow.
  • Whisk in the yogurt and milk. Drain the wine and discard the ginger. Add the wine to the soup. Reheat (do not allow to boil to avoid curdling) and serve with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of chives.

Makes six cups

Per 1-cup serving: 93 calories (0% calories from fat), 4 g protein, 0 total fat (0 saturated fat), 18 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 0 cholesterol, 43 mg sodium
Diabetic exchanges: 1 carbohydrate (bread/starch)

Early Fall Tomato Soup


  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, about 1 pound (480 g) total, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, 8 ounces (240 g), seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups fat-free, no-salt-added canned chicken broth
  • 3 pounds (1440 g) very ripe fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) gin or extra lemon juice
  • shredded fresh basil leaves for garnish
Happy Tomato
  • Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, shallots, and garlic. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, red bell pepper, lemon juice, sugar, and chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Strain out vegetables, returning broth to the pot. Puree vegetables in a food processor or blender; return to soup pot. Add tomatoes and gin. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often, until soup beings to chicken. Watch carefully at this point and don't allow the bottom to burn.
  • When ready to serve, ladle the soup into small soup bowls. Garnish each serving with some shredded basil.

Makes eight servings

Per serving: 101 calories (19% calories from fat), 3 g protein, 2 g total fat (0.2 g saturated fat), 19 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 0 cholesterol, 47 mg sodium
Diabetic exchanges: 1 carbohydrate (bread/starch), 1 vegetable

Spicy Tortilla Soup


  • 6 cups (1.4 l) 98% fat-free, no-salt-added canned chicken broth
  • canola oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup (160 g) chopped white onion
  • 2 jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups (600 g) chopped plum tomato
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 ml) crushed dried oregano
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 fresh corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup (140 g) shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup (84 g) shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 small ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut lengthwise into twelve wedges
  • 2 scallions, white part and 2 inches green, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons (12 g) chopped cilantro
  • 1 fresh lime, cut into six wedges
  • In a large soup pot, bring chicken broth to a boil; reduce heat to simmer.
  • Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add onion, chile peppers, and garlic. Sauté over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato, oregano, and pepper. Sauté, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to soup pot and stir into simmering broth. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450° (230°C), Gas Mark 8. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange tortilla strips in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes, tossing strips occasionally. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Stir cooked chicken into simmering soup.
  • To serve, place 2 tablespoons (14 g) shredded cheese in each of 6 shallow soup bowls.
  • Divide the soup equally between the bowls and top each serving with two avocado slices and some of the scallion and cilantro. Float tortilla strips on top and offer a wedge of lime to squeeze over each serving.

Makes six servings

Per serving: 215 calories (32% calories from fat), 17 g protein, 8 g total fat (2.7 g saturated fat), 21 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 30 mg cholesterol, 221 mg sodium
Diabetic exchanges: 2 very lean protein, 1 1/2 carbohydrate (1 bread/starch, 1 vegetable), 1 fat

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup


  • 1 3-pound (1.4 kg) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and quartered
  • 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) crushed dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) crushed dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 quart (1 l) canned no-salt, no-fat chicken broth
  • 1 quart (1 l boiling water
  • 6 ounces (180 g) medium-wide noodles
  • 4 ounces (120 g) button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 pound (240 g) fresh spinach, well washed and large stems removed
Roasted Chicken
  • Rinse and pat dry chicken. Place in a 5-quart (5 l) or larger crockery slow cooker. Place the onion, carrot, and parsley around chicken pieces. Sprinkle with thyme, marjoram, and pepper.
  • Add chicken broth, cover, and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  • When chicken is done, remove from broth and cool for about 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Discard the onion, carrot, and parsley. Remove and discard the chicken skin and bones. Shred chicken and set aside. Skim off and discard all surface fat from the broth.
  • If cooking on LOW, change setting to HIGH. Add the boiling water, noodles, and mushrooms. Cook until noodles are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and continue to cook until noodles and tender and spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Gently stir in shredded chicken and heat through.
Makes six servings

Per serving: 285 calories (22% calories from fat), 31 g protein, 7 g total fat (1.8 g saturated fat), 24 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 72 mg cholesterol, 615 mg potassium, 121 mg sodium
Diabetic exchanges: 4 lean protein, 1 1/2 carbohydrate (bread/starch)


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