Ever thought of including cooking with chiles in your daily routine? Or, ever thought of how much chiles help your heart health? Or, ever realized that chiles are now credited with curing cancer? They have long been recognized for their healthy benefits, even by the ancients. For example the ancient Chinese until Modern times in the 1940's, reserved chiles as a pharmaceutical in the heavily populated portions of China. Evidently they considered chiles too precious to waste on the well. Recent research released in Great Britain at the Cancer Research UK reflects that capsaicin, the unique substance found only in chiles has been found to kill cancer cells.
Capsaicin is the substance that also produces the spicy, hot tingly sensation on the tongue and pallette and is uniquely produced by chiles. There is more research and testing to be done, however it is good enough for me just to know that chiles have even more healthy properties than I already knew. Capsaicin works on cancer cells by binding to the protein within the cancer cell mitochondria and triggering aptosis or death of the cancerous cells. The major message is to include chiles of some sort in your regular diet. Researchers in Asia have found that eating chiles a majority of the time increases one's healthy life span and vigor. One of the easiest ways to eat chiles is to sprinkle them on food instead of salt.
When coupled with fresh squeezed lime instead of black pepper, the flavors of foods are really enhanced. Additionally, adding chiles to the foods you are preparing from appetizers to desserts increases their health benefits. This includes all the food groups—vegetables, meats, fruits and baked goods. Just think how much fun you can have, adding chiles to your food? To give you a start for busy days, I am including a favorite really quick maindish soup, Chicken Tortilla Chowder from my latest book, "Real Women Eat Chiles". Chicken Tortilla Chowder The hearty, full flavor and creamy consistency of this chicken soup tastes like work, but this dish is actually fast and easy to make. Cutting the chicken breast is the most time-consuming part of the recipe.
This is a versatile dish that you can vary in many ways. Instead of chicken breasts, you could use leftover roast chicken or turkey, firm-fleshed fish or shellfish with fish stock, roast beef, or ground chuck with beef stock. Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes Yield: 2 servings 1, 14 ½ oz. can chicken broth, preferably low sodium, with water added to make 2 cups 2 white or yellow corn tortillas, broken up 1 pound chicken breast, trimmed,cut into 1-inch cubes 3 scallions, thinly sliced (some reserved for garnish) 1 ½ tablespoons minced pickled jalapenos with juice Optional Garnishes: Cilantro leaves Crushed red caribe chiles Lime wedges 1.
Place the chicken broth and water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the tortillas and chicken. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes. 2. Add the scallions and jalapenos with juice. Stir to combine well.
Simmer for approximately another 5 minutes. Serve garnished with the reserved scallion and, if desired, the cilantro, chiles, and lime to squeeze on the chowder. Per Serving: Calories 326, Protein 50g, Carbohydrates 14g, Fiber 2g, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 130mg, Sodium 338mg.
Jane Butel, the first to write about Southwestern cooking, has published 18 cookbooks, several being best sellers. She operates a full-participation weekend and week long vacation cooking school, an on-line school, a cooking club, a monthly ezine, a mail-order spice, cookbook, Southwestern product business and conducts culinary tours and team-building classes. http://www.janebutel.com , 1-800-473-8226