A diagnosis of DIABETES is NOT the end of GREAT EATING
The GOAL of this site is to help people with Diabetes transform what we can or should eat, into what we WANT to eat!
My name is Ward Alper. I am a chef and food lover that now has diabetes. Good tasting food is important to me so I won’t suggest you substitute one item for another just because it is lower in carbohydrates.IT HAS TO TASTE DELICIOUS OR WHY BOTHER TO PREPARE IT?
AS I SEE IT, THERE IS NO REASON FOR A person with DIABETES TO EAT LIKE A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN!
The purpose of my website and the cookbook that is in the works is to celebrate our limitations, reinvent our diets, and applaud every positive step we make, every ounce we lose, every point our numbers go down and to let you know that:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE – IT WILL GET EASIER – LIFE WILL BE DELICIOUS AGAIN!
I hope to share with you that a DIABETIC COMPATIBLE RECIPE does not have to be a stand in for the “good stuff” but can stand alone as something wonderful.
Enjoy, be Healthy, BE Happy, Be Creative, Be DECADENT !
I do all of those things…and you can too!
TO ACCESS MY RECIPES AND PAST ARTICLES, LOOK ON THE BLACK BAND UNDER THE PICTURE OF MY KITCHEN COUNTER AND CLICK ON EITHER POSTED RECIPES OR PAST ARTICLES
If you want a reminder about my latest articles and recipes, go to Facebook and “like” Ward Alper, THE Decadent Diabetic The notice of a new post will show up in your “newsfeed”.
Disclaimer: I do mention some brand name brand products in some articles. I am not paid by the companies that make or distribute these products, nor do I own any stock in any of the companies. I mention them because…THE PRODUCTS WORK FOR ME!
Web Consultant: Benjamin Knopf
How far have we come in managing our Diabetes?
As a kid the only person I knew with Diabetes was my aunt Sophie’s husband, Joe. My grandmother was always trying to be careful about what she served him. She kept this tiny bottle of saccharine in the cupboard for his coffee and tea. She even tried to bake for him using ground up saccharine tablets. It did not work very well. I used to get a kick out of watching the tablet fizzle and dissolve in hot liquid.
In those days there were a few oral medications (for type 2 Diabetes?) and the syringes used for insulin were about the size of fire hoses. People had to sterilize them between uses.
In those days, we knew absolutely NOTHING about carbohydrates. Worse, neither did Joe or our cousin, his doctor. Noodles and potatoes were good, cheap and tasty food. Apple pie was bad!
Twenty years later, another aunt found out that her husband had Diabetes. He also had high cholesterol and an assortment of other medical issues. In my ignorance, I gave her a recipe for a low fat potato leek soup. It was one of his favorites, but as it turns out, not the best choice for him. Again the emphasis was keeping sugar, and sugar alone out of his diet.
Fast forward to 2000 and my brother came to visit. He lived very far from me and we hadn’t seen each other in years. He mentioned to me that he had Diabetes. He asked me if I could prepare food not using sugar. I was so stupid, I asked if I could use honey (obviously another poor choice). He said nothing to me about carbohydrate consumption. So I made a great meal of fresh salmon, asparagus, and ….rice. He ate, and relished it all. In my defense and at his urging, I did a super dessert using plain yogurt and raspberry vinegar for a cream over fresh strawberries and MAINE blueberries. Robert worked hard at his health but had little clue about what he really should be doing to manage his Diabetes, despite being a medical researcher.
Years later, my sister came to visit. At that time I had been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. I was unbelievably gung ho about managing my meals and my Diabetes. I carried on something fierce about what I had learned about carbohydrates and how they affected blood sugar. Although she had been diagnosed years before, she looked at me as though I was speaking another language.
Six years ago, when I was diagnosed, I was handed a set of booklets suggesting above all “to cut down my intake of carbohydrates”. I have done this and it works. For the last five plus years I have maintained an A1C of between 5.2 and 5.4.
So here I am today, looking at recipes that claim to be “Diabetic-friendly”. I am just amazed how high so many of them are in carbohydrates.
With 9.1 % of the population dealing with the struggle of Diabetes, why isn’t the word out there in a clear way?
Here we are in 2015. There are dozens of choices for sugar substitutes on the market in yellow, pink, blue, and green. There is a hate club for each of those choices. There are dozens of oral medications (each with a list of side effects that give me nightmares) and the syringes for the delivery of insulin are smaller and sharper. There is even a pump system that so many of the younger people are using. Still there is a lot of muddy information available about eating for those of us with Diabetes. Eating is so basic it kinda makes you wonder……
We have come a long way and it is better!!!
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!
Lemon Ginger Tart
Net carbohydrates 12g.
Pam Spray for the pan
(9-10 inch removable bottom fluted tart pan)
½ cup toasted nuts (either Almonds, Walnuts, or Pecans)
¼ c. GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE
1 pinch salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 Tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 large egg
1 pkg. reduced fat (not fat free) cream cheese at room temperature
2/3 cup GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE
juice AND zest of two lemons (about 7 tablespoons)
3 large eggs
½ Tsp. Ground Ginger
HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:
In a food processor with a steel blade pulse all of the dry ingredients until very well combined and the nuts disappear into the mixture. Add cold butter and pulse until butter is well distributed in the flour mixture. Add the egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball on the blade. Remove dough pat into a disc about 5-6’’. Wrap disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least ½ hour but overnight will also work.
Roll out the crust on flowered surface to about a 14 in circle. Using your fingers fit into tart pan. This dough is fragile and will break. Not to worry just piece it together with your fingers. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before filling.
Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer until smooth. Add GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE and ginger.Beat until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice BUT NOT zest of the lemons. Beat until well mixed. BY HAND stir in the lemon zest.
Pour into the crust and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Article # 135
Pushing my Diabetes buttons
I don’t know how many articles I have read about “212 things NOT to say to a person with Diabetes” or “1440 things a person with Diabetes hates to hear”. So this is not about that. This is about something more subtle, and perhaps more annoying. This is about the way people without Diabetes don’t get it.
My auntie Sylvia is 97 years old. She is just amazing. She lives in her own apartment in a “Retirement” community. She gets up every Tuesday morning strips her bed and straightens up her apartment before the cleaning crew arrives. She still goes out to dinner whenever the opportunity arises. And she still knows how to push my buttons.
Sylvia is aware that I have Diabetes. She is also aware that I manage it very well.
But it is incomprehensible to her that I have Diabetes and manage it. When we chat about it, Sylvia is always able to work “stuff” into the conversation. “I don’t understand how come you have Diabetes. No one in our side of the family has ever had that”. I am so tempted to tell her that I got it from a door knob, but I suppose that would be cruel. You figured out by now that the other side of the family (aka THEM!) is the culprit.
Sylvia, like too many others I know are baffled by what I choose not to eat. In her mind it is sugar and sugar alone that is the problem. The concept of carbohydrates is not part of her consciousness. The other big button pusher for me is: you have terrific will power”. Ok, Sylvia, give the kid (to her I will be a kid until I am 90 years old) a little credit. It is not will power, it the choice to make my life as healthy and comfortable as I can. I see my work as allowing me to keep all the parts of my body that I still like. I will do whatever I can to keep my vision. It is not will power, it is the desire to live a healthy life. I can do something about managing my Diabetes, and it is my choice to do it.
Don’t get me wrong, and I suppose don’t get me going, but it is not just auntie Sylvia. I am on the telephone the other day with a friend. Two of my favorite buttons got pushed. The first was: “well can’t you just have a little?” Sure I can. I know myself. A little usually does not satisfy me. One exception is smashed spuds. I make them taste so good and rich, that a little does go a long way. However, a bite or a quarter of acorn muffin or bagel… not so much. Button two: “but you can have brown rice or whole wheat pasta, right?” I CAN have any color rice I want. Rice and pasta, whatever color they are, are still a high carbohydrate food. Does it metabolize more slowly than white rice or white pasta, sure they do. Bottom line, they, in the quantity I want, burst my carbohydrate budget. The deal with the brown rice and whole wheat pasta is the fiber. We are so heart health orientated that many people forget that while a heart healthy diet is usually a good choice, not everything that is part of a heart healthy diet is the best choice in managing your Diabetes. Don’t even get me started on beans. They are a good source of protein. They are also a big source of carbohydrates. I make the choice to limit the carbohydrates in my eating. For me there are other sources of protein that have less or no carbohydrates than beans. Do I do beans? Every once in a while, sure, but not as a staple in my meal plan.
One last button. In comments on my articles and those of others, I see someone saying: “if you just stop eating sweet things, you will learn to never eat sweet things. I wonder if that includes corn on the cob? I chose to severely limit the number of times a summer that I chow down on an ear of corn. Do I still drool? I must be a bad person.
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT!…try to be tolerant of those button pushers –w!
50 Shades of Celery
(its been whipped)
4- 1 ½ cup servings
6 carbohydrate g.
Chef’s Notes: Many years ago there was a sale on celery. This is the way it was fixed. I remember one of the waiters answering a favorite customer’s question as to what it was. He replied: ”It is S & M celery…it’s been whipped”. The table convulsed with laughter. My guests are always surprised by this dish and like it so much they ask me for the recipe.
1 – small head of celery 10-14 stalks
3 – Tbsp. butter
1-2 Tbsp. fennel seed, crushed
black pepper to taste
6 –ounces dry white wine or dry vermouth
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Remove leaves from the celery. Wash and then chop into ½ -3/4 inch slices. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add crushed fennel and pepper. Cook until fennel is warm (30 seconds or so) add the celery pieces. Stir until coated with the butter. Add the wine or vermouth and cook over high heat until the liquid is evaporated, about 10 -15 minutes.
Allow to cool and process in a food processor or blender until semi- smooth. It should NOT look like baby food.