THIS WEEK- Diabetes Cooking: When YOU are not THE expert

A diagnosis of DIABETES is NOT the end of GREAT EATING

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:


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 !


My WEDDING CAKE Diabetic "Happy" Amaretto Cheesecakes

CHEESECAKE!!!! Need I say More?

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!



Article #244

Diabetes Cooking: When YOU are not THE expert

Having Diabetes does not restrict you from enjoying any cuisine from any place in the world; that is if YOU like that kind of food. You may have to make some changes to the recipes and be careful of the standard side dishes but the FLAVORS are there for you to enjoy. However, not everybody is an expert in every cuisine.

My friend Max (Mr. Divabetic ) asked me to assist him in setting up a menu for a Father’s day brunch. His request was:

“A Father’s brunch that would take the focus off the protein and put it on the veggies, etc. to encourage ‘meat loving’ men with diabetes to opt for different options.”

I went back over my vegetarian recipes. I was surprised to find that very few of those “old” recipes were what I consider to be good choices for people with Diabetes. With very few exceptions, they were very carbohydrate heavy. They relied on pastas, rices, grains, and potatoes to bulk up the dish.

“The ewee” factor

Certainly I have a few that work. They are, for the most part eggplant dishes. I love eggplant and I realize that eggplant (for too many) is an “ewee” food. I try not to publish recipes that get that response.

Replace wheat noodles with eggplant
for an even tastier Lasagna

Eggplant takes a number of steps to prepare. Many of my readers are not interested in a recipe with a lot of steps. I get it. There is more to some people’s lives than cooking.

The fun thing is that you always surprise me. I posted one of my favorite cold side dishes a few months ago. It was a celery, nut and cheese salad. I got two funny responses:



“There must be some mistake. That is what my food eats”

What surprised even more is that I don’t have a lot of vegetarian dishes. I see vegetarian cuisine like a number of cuisines as better left to chef’s with a real background in that style of cooking.

A cook can substitute things like spaghetti squash for the pastas, cauliflower for the rice or potatoes in a vegetarian recipe, but it is not as simple as say replacing oregano in a recipe with basil. Using spaghetti squash or cauliflower changes everything.  Not that it is a bad thing but using those foods as replacements in a vegetarian dish makes them well…more vegetable-y. The starches are a lot more neutral in flavor.

I bring this up because I do understand other peoples’ feeling about experimenting and trying new foods. Even though I have been cooking since fire was invented, there are some cuisines that intimidate me. My mind set is that they are too difficult to master. I do a number of Asian influenced foods but any person brought up in an Asian culture would look at the dish and find it somewhat difficult to relate too. The flavors might be reminiscent of their home land, the preparation may be similar, but the finished dish might cause them to look sideways at this more European chef.

Sticking to what I know

Eggplant Napoleon a great side a super lunch

I do make eggplant parmesan, rolled and stuffed eggplant, and eggplant Napoleons. They are pretty luscious to those of us that like eggplant.

For the rest of my vegetarian repertory, I stick to what I know, as in “have I got a side dish for you”. I have dozens, no, hundreds of vegetable side dishes. I leave the entree to those who know.

If any food is “not your cup of tea”, that is really ok. Don’t cook it. There are so many wonderful foods out there to try and make part of your repertory. Find recipes you like and make them you own. Take the best of them and make changes to the rest of them. Do YOU like more garlic in your foods, add more garlic. Hate onions, lower the amount or leave them out. I cringe at the thought, but whatever works for you.

I like lemon ginger tea. If that is too experimental for you, you have my permission to stick with the kind you grew up drinking.

Taste, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is great fun though to keep your eyes wide open.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Snap Peas & Prosciutto
A Diabetic-Compatible version of Rea’s most popular dish

Snow/snap peas and Prosciutto

(The original is the bestselling side dish at Rao’s in New York City)

2 Servings

net carbohydrates   9 grams.

Chef’s Note: There is a 12- 15 month wait for a table at Rao’s in New York. The original recipe is with garden peas which are so high in carbohydrates. I think this is more than a great substitute.


5 – cups of water

¼ -tsp. salt

1 – tsp. sugar replacement

½ – pounds snap or snow peas

2 – ounces Prosciutto (approximately 1/8 inch thick)*

1 – shallot, cut into thin slices

2 – Tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup chicken stock

* if your budget does not allow prosciutto, baked ham or even thick slices of bacon will work “almost” as well.


Bring water, salt and sugar replacement to a boil.

Boil the snap or snow peas for two minutes. Drain and shock in iced water. Dry on paper towels.

Dice the Prosciutto

Heat a frying pan to medium high. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the diced Prosciutto and cook for one minute more. Add the peas. Cook tossing so all the pods are heated through. Add the chicken stock. And cook until the stock has evaporated.



Article # 243

Diabetes: Food is not medicine, it is food

Sweet potatoes with a cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg

A few weeks ago my recipe for cauliflower tots was posted on one of the sites that use my articles and recipes. A reader commented:

“No matter what I do, I can’t get cauliflower to work.”

I responded to her:

The trick is keeping the cooked cauliflower dry. Boy was I surprised that she responded:

“I keep it dry, I just don’t like the taste”.

I am always saying that if it doesn’t taste good you are not going to eat it. It did not occur to me that taste was the issue. Since my Diagnosis, cauliflower has become one of my BFFs. That and spaghetti squash have filled in the empty place on my plate formally filled by pastas, rice, and potatoes.

Ham Tomato & Cheese Casserole
It is like the best sandwich in a dish

What is interesting to me is that before my diagnosis, cauliflower was a once in a while thing, smothered in a cheesy sauce, or blanched for a vegetable tray. I liked it well enough. My sister on the other hand had never tried it and hated it…just because.  You have to remember we grew up with very little in the way of vegetables for most of the year. Even I thought that broccoli was a centerpiece on a friend’s table.

Another reader commented on a cucumber recipe:

“I eat cucumbers and I still got Diabetes”.

It won’t cure or prevent disease, but it will give you another menu option to help keep the carbs down.

There is no food yet (who knows what another day will bring) proven to cure or prevent Diabetes. Eat it for the taste and the lower carbohydrate (and sodium) value. There is a good chance that replacing some higher carbohydrate foods with those with less carbohydrates will help you to manage your Diabetes, if you have type 2 Diabetes.

Cinnamon comes up in too many conversations as a possible cure for Diabetes or a way to control blood sugar. EVERYTHING I have found online or in reliable medical journals, suggest that there IS NO CONCLUSIVE evidence of cinnamon curing Diabetes.

The man that owns the purified water store I use (water in New Mexico tastes awful) told me that he has a customer that is certain that he can cure MY Diabetes IF I used cinnamon. Smiling and nodding is becoming a way of life.

Truth be told, I do use cinnamon. Not as a curative but because I like the taste. If it turns out cinnamon DOES has health benefits…great. If not, I still like the taste of it. I did hear a diner at a restaurant say to their companion (with Diabetes):

“Oh, rice pudding is ok. If you put cinnamon on it, it won’t hurt your Diabetes”.

My companion had to practically nail me down to the table to keep me from screaming at the woman.

Eating better and exercise is going to aid your overall health. However, each of us is very different. My eating works for me and my family. The amount of exercise I do works for me…for now. I won’t suggest to you that you should eat EXACTLY the way that I do. I will tell you that there are hundreds of recipes that work well for a person with Diabetes. They won’t cure your Diabetes, but they will expand your possibilities and perhaps allow you to stick to your eating plan. Most important, those recipes taste wonderful…to me and many others. The reader that simply can’t make cauliflower work for her won’t agree with me. My late uncle, who would go into sneezing fits when cinnamon was in the air, will not agree with my views on the taste of cinnamon.

This is all perfect. It is wonderful people like some foods and hate other foods. If I had not been exposed to people with different cuisines, there would be too many foods that I would not have tried and that would be a loss to my taste buds. Unlike my crazy sister, I have always been adventurous in my trying new foods. There is a reason for that. I tried more foods that I really like than foods that I don’t. And yes, I draw the line at trying some things. Unless I change very much in the next few years, a caramelized cockroach is not on MY list of things to try, nor is chocolate dipped lima beans. Hey, we all got our stick.

As for curing Diabetes, I heard a rumor that if you_______________.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Shrimp Alfredo served over spaghetti squash
Simple to make but luxurious to eat

Shrimp Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash

(Trust me on this, it will just delight you)

2 Servings

net carbohydrates 12 grams per serving

Chef’s Notes: Quick and simple to make but it tastes like you worked for hours. I added the mushrooms to this dish to give it a bit more volume.


3 cups spaghetti squash, cooked, cooled, and shredded

Salt and pepper to taste

1 TBSP. butter, melted

3 – Tbsp. butter

1 Shallot sliced thinly

1 clove garlic grated or minced very finely

14 – raw shrimp (16-21 size) shelled but tails left on.

8 – ounces Baby Bella or crimini mushrooms

¼ – cup cream

salt and pepper to taste

½ – cup grated Parmesan cheese to taste

1 tsp. – fresh parsley chopped


Combine cooked squash, salt pepper and butter. Stir to combine. Place in a greased ovenproof dish.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Place squash in the oven for 30 minutes.

Clean the mushrooms and cut into quarters or sixths (depending on the size of the mushroom)

Sautee the shallot in the butter for 1 minute. Add the garlic and mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until the liquid just starts to come out from the mushrooms. Turn off the heat and add the cream. Stir to combine. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Add parmesan cheese.

Remove the squash from the oven and dive equally onto 2 plates. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the squash. Sprinkle with parsley.



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