After my recent post about almonds, I've been thinking a lot about oils and whether or not it's healthy to heat them. A lot of people are under the impression that roasting nuts and heating oils releases free radicals that are harmful to your body and potentially cause cancer. I've tried to do some research online, and I have not found any compelling cases for not heating oils.
What I do know, however, is that olive oil is the best oil you can eat. It has the best fats, lowers cholesterol, and prevents heart disease [[go here]]. I also know that it's a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which has always been praised for being extremely healthy.
With oils, you just need to be sure not to over heat it. Know the temperature ranges for your oils. Olive oil is low/no-heat cooking. Safflower oil is medium heat cooking. Grapeseed, vegetable, and canola oil are high heat cooking.
With that in mind, I have for you a no-oil dish. I always use oil so it's a little odd for me, but this is an amazing and extremely healthy tortilla soup [[you can make it even healthier and not use sour cream]]. Enjoy.
[[Spicy Tortilla Soup]]
Please note that this is a bit spicy. The sour cream helps cool it, but you may want to adjust some of the spices for those with a softer palate. Cutting the cayenne pepper out and the hot sauce will help.
*all organic ingredients
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus two tbs
2 ancho chilies, broken up into pieces [[they come in little plastic bags at Whole Foods]]
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups no-chicken broth [[you can find this at Kroger or Whole Foods]]
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbs cholula hot sauce [[or whichever Mexican hot sauce you like]]
2 bunches chopped green onions, diced
some Tofutti sour cream [[at Kroger and Whole Foods]]
-- Blend onion, bell pepper, and 1/2 cup cilantro in a blender or food processor until smooth-- just do it 'til they are combined, it doesn't need to be a completely smooth paste. Add 1 tbs water if it's sticking, and give it a shake.
-- Add to sauce pan and heat on medium stirring often with a wooden spoon. Add garlic, corn, and drained tomatoes. Once it has simmered a bit and the top layer seems to be separating, like a pool of oil, add the broth.
-- Stir and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add spices, the 2 tbs reserve of fresh cilantro, hot sauce and stir.
-- When ready, top with a dollop of sour cream and a handful of chopped green onions.