Creamy Yam Soup

Minoo resumed the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen in 2011 with 3 recipes; Chicken Paprika, Creamy Yam Soup and Israeli Couscous with Shallot and Parsley.


I had blogged about the Chicken Paprika recipe here. The emphasis of this week’s recipes is to introduce high fiber food.  Minoo shared with us the benefits of a high fiber diet which includes elimination of constipation, reduce the risk of colon cancer, reduce bad cholesterol and balance blood sugar level as follows:

Constipation – By promoting more efficient elimination, whole-grain fiber almost inevitably halts common constipation when taken with adequate amounts of fluid. The fiber and the water it retains produce a larger, softer stool that the digestive system can pass quickly and easily.

Cancer – Colon cancer is rare among people with a diet low in meat and rich in high-fiber foods. No one knows exactly how fiber may protect against this cancer, but there are several likely mechanisms. It may move intestinal contents faster through the bowel, thus decreasing the length of time the bowel wall is exposed to potential carcinogens. And fiber may dilute carcinogens as well or possibly bind or inactivate them in some way.

Heart Disease – An elevated cholesterol level is know to one of the chief risk factors in heart disease, and a number of studies have linked high-fiber intake with low levels of cholesterol. It is proposed that fiber may alter fat or cholesterol absorption in the large bowel. Some studies suggest that soluble fiber produces a reduction in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels without decreasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.

Diabetes – Elevated blood sugar levels are a major problem in diabetes. Researches have shown that fiber may have a potent effect on blood sugar levels. Other studies have also shown that a high-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet improves glucose tolerance. One theory is that the gums in soluble fiber may delay the emptying of the stomach or even the absorption of glucose.


The first recipe is a Creamy Yam Soup.  A thick sweet soup perfect for those cold days. Garnish it with a dollop of low fat sour cream and chopped chives. Serve it with warm crusty whole wheat rolls or crackers.

From wikipedia:

Yam provides arround 110 calories per 100 grams of product. They are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese; while being low in saturated fat and sodium. Vitamin C, dietary fiber and vitamin B6 may all promote good health. A product that is high in potassium and low in sodium is likely to produce a good potassium-sodium balance in the human body, and so protect against osteoporosis and heart disease.

Yam products generally have a lower glycemic index than potato products, which means that they will provide a more sustained form of energy, and give better protection against obesity and diabetes. It is also known to replenish fast-twitch fibers and West Indians use it as a way of recovering after sprinting.


  • 1 ½  cups onion
  • 2-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil
  • 6-7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 yams, peel and dice
  • 1 tsp dried sweet basil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • chives and sour cream for garnishing


Source: unknown via Minoo

Makes 10 cups


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Smokey Sweet Yam Quesadillas

The second recipe demonstrated by Charlene in the South Arm Community Kitchen is Smoky Sweet Yam Quesadillas. This is a wonderful after school snacks or as a side dish to a soup or salad.


The chipotle peppers add a smoky flavour and a hint of spiciness to the sweet mashed yam or sweet potatoes. The filing is creamy and the goey cheese compliments the sweet yam really well.


  • 1 large yam
  • 1 teaspoon minced chipotles
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded cheese such as mozzarella or Monterrey jack
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bottled salsa (optional)


Click on Read More for the instructions.


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Pearl Yam Ball

Last week’s cooking class was led by Juile Han. She is another experienced cook and she always shares her Taiwanese recipes in the South Arm Community cooking class.

Juile showed us two dishes, A noodle dish and a snack dish. Here is the snack dish which is called Pearl Yam Balls. I remembered a similar roadside snack which we had in Malaysia that is made from yam and deep fried. I love it and I missed it since I came to Vancouver. Those we found in Malaysia is larger and had more yam in it. Nevertheless, Juile’s version is as good and I’m glad she showed us how to make it.


Since Ben is having the camera with him while he was in Atlanta last week, I had to borrow another digital camera from my good friend, Rachel. Some of the shots did not turn out right because I’m not familiar with the new camera. Anyway, I’ll try my best to illustrate the process with the photos I had.


  • 1 1b yam
  • 1 packet of glutinous rice flour (about 1 lb)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (depending how sweet you want it)
  • sesame seeds, peanuts and honey for topping.

Click on the following link for the instructions.


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