*By Libby Roach*
I’m a meat and potatoes kinda girl. Being raised in an Irish household meant more Shepherd’s Pie than you can shake a staff at, but for my Dad it often meant scraping the starches from the top of his pies…he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 25 years old. I learned a lot more about this as I got older. While type 2 diabetes can strike anyone at any time in their life, type 1 is a different beast- hereditary genes play a huge role in this disease.
I had my blood sugars checked on the regular since I was a kid and had largely accepted my pin cushion fate. One day, inevitably, I’d be packing needles like my Dad, and later like my cousin and brother too…
And it happened. Shortly after the birth of my second daughter, my blood sugars were out of control, seemingly out of nowhere. I was shooting high, even after fasting. I drew on what I knew – avoid carbs, alcohol, sugar (duh) and shake a leg. Being active makes such a difference in getting blood sugars under control, so I became a long distance runner who was scared of sandwiches and never ate bananas (way too much sugar!). It worked: three months later my blood sugars were leveled out, six months later I was even keel and one year later I stopped checking every day.
That was over 5 years ago, and although my love for spuds had never waned, my appetite for them had. Any good diabetic knows their way around hidden carbs and sugars, and potatoes cause blood sugar levels to spike up with their high glycemic index rating. So while I can’t say I abstained from spuds all together, I definitely did consume less. Far less. And it was heartbreaking. Potatoes were not just a staple — to me they’re part of my heritage and identity.
Enter Carisma, a potato that has about half the Glycemic Response as regular potatoes — a feat of science and a sign that it’s time to start eating spuds again!
Carisma potatoes prevent the rapid spike in blood sugar that normally comes with carb-rich foods. Farmed from traditional seed and without the use of biotechnology, the non-GMO potatoes are also lower in calories (only 70 calories vs. 120).
The texture and taste is similar to your standard spuds — creamy, smooth and melt-in-your mouth. Carisma potatoes also bake, steam and roast really well! In fact, they were so popular when they first became available to Canadians last September (they sold out in 6 weeks) that Ontario grocery retailers have decided to carry them for an extended season (April to November 2017). I chopped up my first bag and used the tender potatoes to make a showstopper of a meal that is a perfect grab and go lunch or vegetarian dinner. Read on for the recipe!
Carisma Potato Chickpea Power Bowl
Recipe from Chef Carla at Earth Fresh. Makes four power bowls.
- 2 cups EarthFresh Carisma potatoes
- 1 small red onion, sliced in wedges
- 1 bundle of orange cauliflower, chopped
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 1 can (540 mL) of chickpeas
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin
- 1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) oregano
- 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1 tsp (5 mL) pepper
- 1 bundle of kale, chopped
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) tahini
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350º F (170º C).
2. Wash the potatoes leaving their skins on. Cut potatoes into small even pieces and place potatoes into hot (not boiling) water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.
3. Once cooked, strain potatoes and place into a medium bowl, set aside.
4. Dice the onions and cauliflower and add to a large bowl with olive oil – toss to coat evenly. Transfer the vegetables onto a non-stick baking sheet and place into oven for 30 minutes.
5. While the vegetables are roasting, add the chickpeas, cumin, chili powder, oregano, turmeric, salt and pepper to a bowl. Gently mix and transfer the seasoned chickpeas to a pan over medium heat. Stir frequently until they are browned and fragrant – approximately twenty minutes.
6. Prepare the Tahini sauce by whisking together the tahini, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
7. To assemble your bowls, divide your kale amongst four small serving bowls. Add the potatoes, roasted onions, cauliflower and chickpeas. Drizzle desired amount of Tahini sauce over each bowl.
Carisma potatoes are now available to Ontario shoppers at Metro, Sobeys, Longo’s, Fortinos, Whole Foods Market and Farm Boy from April – November, 2017 at approx. $6.99/5 lb. bag.
This post was sponsored by EarthFresh Foods Inc (a Canadian produce company specializing in potatoes). As always, all reviews and opinions are our own.