This website is for ALL OF US DIABETICS AND THE FAMILIES OF DIABETICS That REALLY like to eat!
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 is now diabetic.
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 a Diabetic you need to alter your life, thinking, and eating in order to live and enjoy the life you have! It is worth the trip! I am here to cheer you on!
AS I SEE IT, THERE IS NO REASON FOR A DIABETIC 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 my fellow diabetics know:
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 DECADENT
I do all of those things…and you can too!
If you want a reminder about my latest articles, 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
Dr. Frankenstein meets THE Decadent Diabetic
Poor Victor, (that was Dr. Frankenstein’s first name). All he wanted to do was take the best parts of one thing and add to it the best parts of another in order to make something better than its parts.
As a Diabetic, and a chef, I sometimes feel just like old Doc Frankenstein. I am taking the best parts of a recipe, resurrecting an old recipe, and making them into something better for those of us with Diabetes. And frankly, I think I have the harder task. So many people won’t eat this, won’t try that, think that some foods are poison, or are allergic to this or the other thing. What is a mad chef to do? Old Doc F. only had the angry villagers to contend with. I have a world of people with different likes and hates.
Fortunately, most of my experiments don’t go too far astray. Did you know that Eeeuw really isn’t a word?
In the beginning desserts seem to defy my making something that I would be proud to serve in a restaurant to paying guests. I took my old recipes and replaced some of the flour with toasted and ground nuts. It lowered the carb count and added flavor. Success!
Breads made from scratch still don’t work for my budget of carbohydrates and my appetite. I can make the bread but the serving size is way too small to satisfy me. I don’t believe in eating a crumb and calling it a serving. Luckily I have found a few commercially available breads that do work like Arnold Double Fiber; Sandwich thins [or rounds], Joseph’s (Pita, Lavash, and Tortillas), and Thomas’ Light English muffins. They are all products that work for my tastebuds, texture sense, and carbohydrate budget. That being said, they are not a hunk of crusty French bread fresh out of the oven. And they are not a hunk of buttered cranberry/ orange bread or a corn muffin. But I am working on it. Who knows, I might be struck by a lightning bolt of an idea that works.
Breakfast too is a tough one for most people with Diabetes. Waffles and pancakes are no longer an issue for this Diabetic. Eggo (made by Kellogg’s) does a “lite” whole grain waffle with 14 grams of carbohydrate per waffle and now THE Decadent Diabetic has a pancake recipe to eat and live for.
But what about the PERFECT side dish that “makes” the plate. Fried fish and NO CHIPS, why bother?
But my oven fried fish with oven fried potato wedges are easy and delicious. Add my skinny slaw to it and Fish and Chips is at your table. Success!! Just don’t forget the tartar sauce made with a sugar free pickle relish.
On a trip out west, I had the most delicious side dish I have tasted in a long while. It stood up to a really rich short rib. It was pureed parsnip and pear. Sounds strange perhaps, but it was amazing with the very rich short rib. The only trouble with the side dish is that both parsnips and pears are carbohydrate loaded foods. What? Parsnips and pear? Eeeuw. You had to be there! My challenge was to create a “monster” side for some of my richer dishes like lamb, short ribs or pot roast. It needed to be something lower in carbohydrates, but with a supportive richness to balance the meat. It occurred to me to me experiment (please excuse the expression) with turnip and apple. I roasted the turnips to bring out their natural sweetness and roasted some apple right along with it. Roasted, then whipped turnips have the same body and texture of mashed potatoes. The addition of the apple to the mix enhanced the earthiness of the dish. Wait until you try this. And before you go Eeeuw, this too is a case of you gotta be there or at least try it(?). Just please don’t come after me with burning torches if you don’t like it.
Enjoy, be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!
Roasted Apple & Turnip Puree
Net Carbohydrates 6g.
Chef’s Note: I had a version of this recipe in Santa Fe made with parsnips and pear. Both are too high in carbohydrates. This combination works equally well and stands up to a rich meat dish.
1 ½ lbs. turnips
2- medium apples (granny smith, pink Lady, Golden delicious)*
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
4 TBSP. butter, divided
½ cup half & half or whole milk.
Preheat oven to 425
Peel the turnip and cut in half and then into 1 inch slices
Peel and core the apples and cut into quarters ( you will ONLY use 6 of the quarters)*
Melt 2 TBSP. of the butter. Add Salt, pepper and nut meg and toss to coat the turnips and apples.
Roast at 425 degrees for 25 minutes until the turnips and apples start to get slightly brown at their edges. Allow to cool.
Process 6 quarters of the apple and half the turnips in a food processor. Add half and half, remaining butter and process until smooth. Add the remaining turnip and process until smooth. Spoon into a baking dish and reheat just before serving.
Article # 111
Cheating on your Diabetic-Compatible Diet
Am I bad?
I have been on a diet of one kind or another since I was in High School. It started with just a simple switch from butter to cottage cheese on my morning toast. That grew into cottage cheese (did low fat exist in those days?) and Jell-O (?) for lunch. By the time I went to college my chubby adolescent body had slimmed down. In my mid- twenties, I had put that weight back again and decided I HAD to look good as an example of a person working in the fashion industry. Ok, who is kidding who? I just wanted to look “hot”, well hotter. I slimmed down to a racy 128 pounds dripping wet (I am only 5’6”). I loved the attention. I kept that weight down for years by eating some very strange diets. There was the yogurt and Diet soda suppers, the 100 calorie soup suppers, the lettuce suppers, and the walking for miles.
What did all those bizarre diets have in common? … I kept thinking of ways to CHEAT!!!.
In 2008, when I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes, I made the CHOICE to do whatever it took to be healthy. I won’t bore you with the sad history my family had with Diabetes. I have no intention of just letting that happen to me, not if I have anything to do with it!!!
I took the medication even though it made my system rebel. I cut down, way down on the number of grams of carbohydrates I ate. Even though I was sick to my stomach and bored beyond words with my diet, I stuck with it.
Old habits die hard. Even though I knew I was doing this to battle a serious disease and to keep my health, I kept thinking about cheating. Didn’t I deserve it? I lost weight, my blood work was better than terrific. I hated eating. My diet was boring. My doctor even suggested that I do a little cheat every once in a while.
The funny thing this time is I could not cheat. I tried. I made a pasta dish for my birthday but chickened out. No, I really mean chickened out. I put so much chicken and mushrooms in the dish so I didn’t need much pasta, that I made one of the worst dinners in my life. Then I thought to myself, “well if I just have something ‘cheaty’ right after the HbA1c blood work was done, who would know the difference?” Or maybe right after I left my doctor’s office and he told me how proud he is of me and asked for more of my business cards to give to his other Diabetic patients. I can’t do it. No, not because I WANT to be a role model for others. No, not JUST because I want to stay healthy. I relearned to how to cook. My recipes are good enough to satisfy me and my spouse that I simply don’t feel deprived. Nobody else that eats my food feels “oh this is ok for a “diabetic dish”. They love it for how good it tastes. Some people are shocked to see how rich a Diabetic-Compatible recipe can be
I have dozens of really delicious desserts. For example for Christmas last year I made a Diabetic-Compatible Trifle. Ice cream – I make Low carb creamsicles and coffee pops, freeze Light and Fit Yogurt, and found Healthy Choice fudge bars. It is mostly what I prepare but there are some great commercial choices out there. I found several types of breads that work for me. Almost all of my old meat, chicken and fish meals just happened to be Diabetic–Compatible. Who knew?
For things I really missed, I created substitute recipes that were as good, or better than the thing they substituted for, like cauliflower for potatoes.
I keep working at it and sharing it with you.
My latest success is a pancake recipe. What? Am I kidding you? YOU try this recipe for whole wheat and nut pancakes with only 3.5 grams of carbohydrates per 4 inch pancake, and then let me know if I still need to cheat. … Although next week is my HbA1c …… and there IS a new restaurant nearby that’s said to have killer onion rings. Hmmmm.
Enjoy, be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!
Whole Wheat Pancakes
Makes 18 4 inch pancakes
Net Carbohydrates 3.5 per pancake
*YOU get to choose how many pancakes work for you
Chef’s Note: Like most restaurants, I make the batter for these full flavored lighter than air pancakes the night before. This allows the solids to fully absorb the liquids and that way I wake up and am ready to go. My choice is to make them in a 4 inch size, not too big not too small, but just right.
1/3 cup toasted walnuts or almonds OR ¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sugar substitute
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 TBSP. Sour cream
2/3 cup milk
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 TBSP. butter (melted and cooled)
How to prepare the recipe:
Combine the toasted nuts and whole wheat flour in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are pulverized and incorporated into the flour. Add remaining DRY ingredients and pulse to combine.
Combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and beat with a whisk to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to set up for 15-20 minutes (best overnight in the refrigerator)
Note: If you do use the refrigerator method you may have to add a few table spoons more milk to loosen the batter.
Heat griddle or frying pan to medium high. Spoon a tablespoon of batter for each pancake into the pan or on the griddle. Allow small bubbles to form before turning (about 1 minute) and flip and cook one minute more, Serve with fresh berry sauce below.
Fresh Berry Sauce
Makes two ½ cup servings
Net Carbohydrates 8 grams per serving
4 – Tbsp. Butter
½ – cup walnuts or sliced almonds (optional)
pinch of salt
3 – Tbsp. Cinnamon/ granulated sugar mixture
1- cup fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, alone or in any combination)
¼ cup Trop 50 Orange juice
How to prepare the recipe:
In a skillet, melt the 4 Tbsp. of butter (optional) Add the nuts and salt. Stir until the nuts are coated with butter. Add the cinnamon/ granulated sugar substitute. Stir to combine. Add the fruit and stir gently until warmed through and juices are released. Spoon over pancakes.