The discovery of being diabetic is worrisome. I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic more than a year ago. There a weapon in the arsenal to fight high blood sugar and to lower both blood glucose and A1c levels. You wrote about it in one of previous emails. It's minestone for breakfast and walking for exercise.
I've been eating homemade minestrone for breakfast for over a year. It has lowered my blood glucose levels. I make a batch for about 10 breakfasts which is very thick with beans and grains. Beans and grains are 'resistant starches' which do NOT convert to glucose in the stomach or small intestine. The above ingredient list is with what I make the thick soup.
Art says he reserves and uses the liquor created by cooking the beans before making the minestrone, but doesn't give quantities, and I can understand him, because it's very difficult to be precise with something of this kind -- different beans have different flavors, the intensity of the flavor of the onions will vary with the season and the kind of onion, and so on. The one thing I would do is chop the vegetables, not too finely, and -- during the winter months -- use two kinds of cabbage, kale and Savoy.
In terms of cooking times, if you're using dried beans soak them over night, and cook them the next day until soft but not falling apart, about an hour (at the most).
While they're cooking boil the remaining vegetables in a second pot in enough water to obtain 5-6 quarts of soup when you add the beans and their liquor. When the beans are cooked stir them into the second pot, check seasoning, and divvy the soup into individual portions for freezing if you're going to be having it for breakfast. If you're instead serving it to the family for lunch or dinner this step is superfluous.
Returning to Art's note:
There are many scientific articles from juried journals that suggest resistant starches aid in fighting high blood glucose.
T'invio cordialissimi saluti, Art PS: I forgot to mention that after several months of eating my minestrone for breakfast my total cholesterol level dropped from over 300 to 111. My cardiologist, who has been following my hyperlipidemia for more than 20 years, had only 2 words to say about the drop in both the lipid level and the loss of 20 pounds by walking for exercise...
The interactivity of the Internet is a wonderful thing!
John Asks, This sounds like a great recipe, but there is no mention of how the barley is cooked. Does Art cook it separately from the beans and vegetables and then combine. I realize this is probably not relevant to the end result, but i am curious.
And Art Replies:
The barley happens to be 'pearl' barley, a processed rather than whole grain variety. Unfortunately, the former variety is not as nutritious as the latter one. I rinse the barley in a strainer to get rid of any dust that may be on it. The barley is then added to the stock pot after the partially cooked beans and the bean liquor has been added. The barley is not cooked separately. With the exception of the partially cooked beans, all the ingredients are cooked in one pot. The beans are finished cooking in the large stock pot with all the other ingredients.
I did not included measurements with the ingredient list because one can add amounts according to one's taste. Ingredients, of course, can vary. For example, one can use broccoli or cauliflower instead of cabbage. The minestrone which I make is essentially vegetarian altho one can include meat. Sometimes I add leftover gravy to the minestrone rather than discarding the gravy. Sometimes I added Asian sauces to the minestrone. I like to play with my food.