Chicken and pumpkin soup



  • Pressure cooker (Cook, McDaniel et al. 2021)
  • Stick blender


  • Pumpkin (Men, Choi et al. 2021)
  • Shallot
  • Bird’s eye chillies (Shi, Riley et al. 2018)
  • Vegetable stock
  • Chicken thigh
  • Sesame oil (Wan, Li et al. 2015, Jayaraj, Narasimhulu et al. 2020)
  • Spring onion
  • Sourdough roll


  1. Place a quarter of a Kent pumpkin (with the skin attached) into the pressure cooker chamber and 500 mL of stock.
  2. Peel shallot and cut it into quarters. Add it to the pressure cooker.
  3. Cut two birds’ eye chillies longitudinally and add them into the pressure cooker.
  4. Place the chicken thigh on the pumpkin and pour some sesame oil over the skin.
  5. Seal the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 45 minutes.
  6. Open the lid and carefully remove the chicken thigh.
  7. Pull the meat from the chicken and set it aside.
  8. Process the contents of the pressure cooker with a stick blender until smooth.
  9. Place the chicken pieces into the middle of a shallow bowl.
  10. Ladle soup around the chicken.
  11. Garnish the soup with spring onion.
  12. Toast the bread and enjoy soaking up some of the spicy soup.
  13. Give thanks to the Lord.
  14. Enjoy the soup with a spoon.



Cook, R. K., et al. (2021). “Use of a Pressure Cooker to Achieve Sterilization for an Expeditionary Environment.” J Spec Oper Med 21(1): 37-39.

BACKGROUND: Sterilization of healthcare instruments in an expeditionary environment presents a myriad of challenges including portability, cost, and sufficient electrical power. Using pressure cookers to sterilize instruments presents a low-cost option for sterilization in prehospital settings. This project’s objective was to determine if sterility can be achieved using a commercially available pressure cooker. METHODS: Presto(R) 4-quart stainless steel pressure cookers were heated using Cuisinart(R) CB-30 cast-iron single burners. One 3M Attest 1292 Rapid Readout Biological Indicator and one 3M Comply SteriGage integrator strip were sealed in a Henry Schein(R) Sterilization Pouch and placed in a pressure cooker and brought to a pressure of 103.4kPa. Sterility was verified after 20 minutes at pressure. The Attest vials were incubated in a 3M Attest 290 Auto-Reader for 3 hours with a control vial. RESULTS: Sterility using the pressure cooker was achieved in all tested bags, integrator strips, and Attest vials (n = 128). The mean time to achieve the necessary 103.4kPa was 379 seconds (standard deviation (SD) = 77). Neither the ambient temperature nor humidity were found to affect the pressure cooker’s time to achieve adequate pressure, nor the achieved depth on the integrator strip (all p > .05). CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that sterilization is possible with offthe- shelf pressure cookers. Though lacking US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, the use of this commercially available pressure cooker may provide a method of sterilization requiring minimal resources from providers working in expeditionary environments.

Jayaraj, P., et al. (2020). “Sesamol: a powerful functional food ingredient from sesame oil for cardioprotection.” Food Funct 11(2): 1198-1210.

Phytophenols are important bioactive food based chemical entities, largely present in several natural sources. Among them, sesamol is one of the key natural phenols found in sesame seeds, Piper cubeba etc. Several studies have reported that sesame oil is a potent cardioprotective functional food. Papers on the utility of sesamol in sesame oil (the chemical name of sesamol is methylenedioxyphenol, MDP) have appeared in the literature, though there is no single concise review on the usefulness of sesamol in sesame oil in CVD in the literature. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most challenging health problem encountered by the global population. There has been increasing interest in the growth of effective cardiovascular therapeutics, specifically of natural origin. Among various natural sources of chemicals, phytochemicals are micronutrients and bio-compatible scaffolds having an extraordinary efficacy at multiple disease targets with minimal or no adverse effect. This review offers a perspective on the existing literature on functional ingredients in sesame oil with particular focus on sesamol and its derivatives having nutritional and cardioprotective properties. This is demonstrated to have shown a specifically modulating oxidative enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) and other proteins which are detrimental to human well-being. The molecular mechanism of cardioprotection by this food ingredient is primarily attributed to the methylenedioxy group present in the sesamol component.

Men, X., et al. (2021). “Physicochemical, nutritional and functional properties of Cucurbita moschata.” Food Sci Biotechnol 30(2): 171-183.

Cucurbita moschata is widely planted in most parts of the world, and is rich in carotenoids, vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals, and phenolic compounds. It also has important medicinal value. Some related research has proven that Cucurbita moschata has the potential ability to induce anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, and anticancer effects. At the same time, it has attracted more attention in the medical field. These nutrients and bioactive compounds in Cucurbita moschata have important effects on human health. In order to make better use of this crop, it still needs further study. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to summarize the physicochemical properties and nutritional components of Cucurbita moschata, and to provide a reference for further research on the benefits of on human health.

Shi, Z., et al. (2018). “Chilli intake is inversely associated with hypertension among adults.” Clin Nutr ESPEN23: 67-72.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: This study aimed to examine the association between chilli intake and the incidence of hypertension in a Chinese adult population. METHODS: Adults aged 20-75 years in the China Health and Nutrition Survey were followed from 1991 to 2011. Dietary data were collected during home visits using a 3-day food record in 1991, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011. Cox regression was used in the analysis. Blood pressure was measured at each data collection point. RESULTS: 13,670 adults were followed for a median of 9.0 years. During 132,089 person years of follow-up 4040 subjects developed hypertension. Chilli consumption was inversely associated with the incidence of hypertension. The incidence rate of hypertension was 30.5, 33.4, 31.9, and 24.0 per 1000 person years among those who consumed no chilli or 1-20, 20.1-50, ≥50.1 g/day respectively. Adjusting for age, gender, energy intake, sodium and fat intake, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity, those with increasing cumulative average chilli intake were less likely to develop hypertension: 0, 1-20, 20.1-50 and ≥50.1 g/day had a hazard ratio (HR) for hypertension of 1.00, 0.80 (95%CI 0.73-0.88), 0.81 (0.73-0.89) and 0.65 (0.57-0.75) (p for trend <0.001) respectively. The association was independent of overall dietary patterns and BMI. There was no significant interaction between chilli intake and gender, income, education and residence (urban/rural) in relation to the risk of hypertension. CONCLUSIONS: Chilli intake is inversely associated with the risk of developing hypertension in Chinese adults.

Wan, Y., et al. (2015). “The relationship of antioxidant components and antioxidant activity of sesame seed oil.” J Sci Food Agric 95(13): 2571-2578.

Although sesame seed oil contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids and even a small amount of free fatty acids in its unrefined flavored form, it shows markedly greater stability than other dietary vegetable oils. The good stability of sesame seed oil against autoxidation has been ascribed not only to its inherent lignans and tocopherols but also to browning reaction products generated when sesame seeds are roasted. Also, there is a strong synergistic effect among these components. The lignans in sesame seed oil can be categorized into two types, i.e. inherent lignans (sesamin, sesamolin) and lignans mainly formed during the oil production process (sesamol, sesamolinol, etc.). The most abundant tocopherol in sesame seed oil is γ-tocopherol. This article reviews the antioxidant activities of lignans and tocopherols as well as the browning reaction and its products in sesame seed and/or its oil. It is concluded that the composition and structure of browning reaction products and their impacts on sesame ingredients need to be further studied to better explain the remaining mysteries of sesame oil.






Please leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: