THIS WEEK- Diabetes-Compatible…2nd best ain’t good enough

The GOAL of this site is to help people with Diabetes transform what we can or should eat, into what we WANT to eat!

A diagnosis of DIABETES is NOT the end of GREAT EATING

Site pix

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 !

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

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!

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11/30/2016

Article #219

Diabetes-Compatible…2nd best ain’t good enough

What I mean by this is perfectly illustrated in the old Olympia Dinner sketch from SNL where the obnoxious order-taker (John Belushi) would scream out to the customers:

“No Coke, Pepsi !”

Sadly after four years writing about eating with Diabetes, I still see to many people commenting:

There is nothing to eat

There is nothing I want to eat

I am wondering what I can eat

Eating great tasting food is a learning curve. No one wakes up the day after their diagnosis and just KNOWS how to change their eating to suit their new circumstances.

Crust-less "Caprese" Quiche Like a salad and a pizza all in one

Crust-less “Caprese” Quiche
Like a salad and a pizza all in one

OK, we have Diabetes. For me, for you, second best simply won’t do. Let me go a step further. Just OK won’t do either. If what you intend to do is continue eating to assist you in managing your Diabetes, food has to taste and feel so good that it is not any kind of chore to stick with it.

Let me remind you….again that there are more things that you can eat with Diabetes, than things you might choose not to eat, or want to limit the portions size of those foods.

Many people, including me, have managed to keep their Diabetes in check. For me it means getting more and more creative with what and how much I eat.

This comment just showed up today on of the Diabetes specific sites.

I have been a big guy my whole life and I come from a big family that eats big meals.

I too, am a full plate kind of guy. It might be healthier to have a lot of empty spaces on a plate, but when I see that, I just feel empty. There are so many vegetables that are so low in carbohydrates, high in nutrients, that you can eat a mass of them. The trick is to make that “mass” really taste good.

If you REALLY don't like cauliflower make a smaller portion of smashed spuds taste so good it will satisfy you

If you REALLY don’t like cauliflower
make a smaller portion of smashed spuds taste
so good it will satisfy you

I do a lot of cauliflower. When I started, I made some mashed cauliflower. I prepared it with salt and pepper, some butter and a little milk. It was like the baby food version of cauliflower. Sure, I could have a lot of it but I really didn’t want to eat a lot of it. It was as boring as boiled chicken.

It made no sense to prepare it that way. I haven’t prepared mashed potatoes that way since I was in college. I don’t know what possessed me to do that. Now I prepare it EXACTLY the way I would mashed potatoes. I use dill, garlic, parmesan cheese, sauteed onion, and sour cream. It is absolutely delicious. It is NOT a 2nd class replacement for mashed potatoes. It is a 1st class preparation for cauliflower.

I know a lot of you out there use a spiral cutter to make strands of zucchini and use that in place of pasta. Enjoy, but not for me. I don’t get pasta from the spiral zucchini. It is too slimy and watery. It has no bite (tooth as in al dente). Now to be clear, that same spiral zucchini with a vinaigrette and some cheese and other vegetables is a great replacement for a cold pasta dish. It is the hot zucchini dressed up as spaghetti I don’t care for. On the other hand, spaghetti squash works very well as a replacement.

About portion control or “eating in moderation”

This is a great thing to do if you can and can stick with it. Some people can not or will not. The gentleman that is a big guy eater got a lot of disparaging comments from other readers on that forum. I must protest. It had to take a good deal of courage for him to put himself out there.  The other readers should be supportive of him and his difficulties and not beat him up for where they disagree.

What we/he might want to think about is eating a lot of what we can, for example:

Skinny Slaw This entire plate is 15g. carbohydrates Who could ever eat the whole amount?

Skinny Slaw
This entire plate is 15g. carbohydrates
Who could ever eat the whole amount?

salads, some soups, proteins, and vegetables and limiting other things. A big portion of any of my cauliflower salads or skinny slaw will go a long way to filling your plate and your stomach without busting your carbohydrate budget. I also believe we can control the portion size of “less good” food choices. The way that works is to make the foods you choose to limit so good that a smaller amount satisfies you.

Find what works for you. We are all different and react differently. Choose to do the work to make everything you can eat, so good, so 1st class, you WANT TO EAT IT.

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

Perfect portion control 4 ounces of scrumptious stuffing Made in a muffin tin

Perfect portion control
4 ounces of scrumptious stuffing
Made in a muffin tin

 

Stuffing for poultry or pork

Makes 12 – 4 ounce portions

Net carbohydrates     4 grams per portion

Chef’s Note: This is a version of my grandmother’s holiday stuffing. By making it in a cupcake tin gives you twelve perfect portions. You get the stuffing you want already portioned controlled for you. My personal preference is to prepare a day or two ahead and bake the day of serving. If you are into a little more work, try roasted chestnuts instead of walnuts or pecans.

3- Joseph’s Oat Flax and whole wheat pita bread

Or

2- slices Sara Lee Delightful Whole wheat or multi grain bread

AND

1 – THOMAS’S LIGHT English muffins

2 – sweet sausage (pork, turkey or chicken)

1 – medium onion, diced

2 – stalks celery, chopped coarsely

2 – Tbsp. olive oil

1 – large Portobello mushroom or 4 ounces Baby Bella or Crimini mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

2 – cloves garlic, grated

2 – eggs, slightly beaten

½ – cup low sodium chicken broth

2 – tsp. Dijon mustard

1 – tsp. Herbs de Provence or poultry seasoning

1/3 – cup toasted pecans or walnuts

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Tear breads into small pieces and pulse in a blender or food processor until it resembles large bread crumbs.

Remove the sausage from the casings and cook until there is NO PINK coloring. Allow to cool

Clean the mushrooms and slice them.

Sauté the onion in the olive oil until it is just soft. Add the chopped celery and sliced mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms start to release their juices. Add the grated garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Slightly beat eggs. Add the mustard and Herbs de Provence or poultry seasoning and chicken broth. Stir to combine.

Add to the eggs to the bread

Chop the nuts coarsely and add to the egg mixture. Add the sausage onion mixture and the rest of the ingredients.

Mix everything together, pressing the wet through the dry ingredients.

Line a cupcake tin with paper or foil baking cups. Fill each cup to the top.

Bake at 375° F.

 

11/23/2016

Article #218

Fresh makes Diabetes-Compatible, delicious but what if…

My entire approach to cooking for myself and others with Diabetes is to make foods taste so great that there is no sense of loss when eating Diabetes-Compatible meals.

Asparagus, FIDDLEHEADS, Scallions....

Asparagus, FIDDLEHEADS, Scallions….

Any chef worth his or her sauce will tell you that fresh is better. I include myself in that group

What can you do if fresh is not readily available?

I never thought I would be asking that question. I admit to being a spoiled brat. I grew up in New York City. Pretty much if you could not get it there, it was not to be had.

Eatraveling (eating and traveling) in Europe, I discovered foods that were not easily available fresh, even in the Big apple.

Moving to New Mexico made me adjust the way I shop for and prepare food.

For those of us that do not live in the parts of the world that are not convenient to a major transportation hub, getting really fresh foods is a trial. Even when the sign in the case says “fresh caught” or “local product” the length of time between the water or the pasture and the store is pretty long. For the most part we shop in chain groceries where the foods are centrally shipped to a warehouse, and then divided up for each individual branch store. Fresh caught can also be “previously frozen.” “I do not like that an item has been defrosted in a warehouse and then shipped off to the store. How long did it sit defrosting?

Benjamin Franklin famously said that guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.

“Local product” too often only means a geographical region like the south or mid- west.

A lighter, lower carb change from the traditional "Green Bean Casserole" All the flavor and even more crunch and color

A lighter, lower carb change from the traditional “Green Bean Casserole”
All the flavor and even more crunch and color

It has been that way forever. Our immigrant ancestors had almost no access to what most of us take for granted. As I mentioned. I grew up in New York City and as a kid only saw tomatoes in little cellophane cartons of three tomatoes. Who knew they grew on a vine. Potatoes and root vegetables were all I knew. There was the exception of canned (gray) peas and string beans. What a delightful shock to my mouth when I first had a fresh string bean.

Transportation of foods is better than ever. If you don’t believe me, check out that semi that just passed you on the highway. Today so many products are packaged for shipping in ways to keep them as fresh as possible. I immediately think of asparagus packed so their little feet are in a bit of water. No it is not the same as if you picked it from your garden or went to a local farm, but it sure beats canned asparagus.

For the home cook, I have always suggested buying on sale. fruits & vegIt is the next best thing to shopping every day. Not only does it help the dollar budget but when the stores have something on sale they order more of it to be delivered more often. That means a lot less sitting in the fridge drying out and loosing flavor.

I know that many of us are in parts of the world where fresh food, especially meats and seafood are not so easy to come by. What is the cook to do? The two next best things are buying foods, like fish, frozen, or super chilled and defrosting it yourself, and specialty foods (like bison, duck, and lamb shanks) in cry-o-vac packaging. Air is the enemy of freshness.

I can’t leave the discussion of fresh without saying that frozen spinach is one of the few GREAT items that is available everywhere. It still, if you don’t overcook it, tastes fresh and it is far easier to use than fresh.

In the summer, if you have a garden, patio, or balcony, it is great to grow a couple or three pots of herbs. Added to any dish at the last minute, it makes everything taste so fresh.

Adding a little edible garnish of freshly grated radish or carrot to the side of dish somehow makes everything else on the plate seem fresh and more flavorful.

Using a few herbs and spices that are new to your palate will also set up a meal. A favorite of mine is dried oregano. Crush a small amount of the dry leaves in the palm of your hand and the oils are released and the dish jumps off the plate.

parsleyEven in the winter there are things you can do. Adding a “fresh” herb at the end of cooking will make everything you cook taste fresher. Not over cooking your vegetables makes a huge difference.

A squeeze of fresh lemon just before serving will do wonders for all kinds of dishes.

Take advantage of the season; like apples and cranberries in fall and winter, asparagus in the spring, fresh peaches and nectarines in summer.

Of course there is the unusual phenomenon of limes. In the United States, limes are often at their best in the winter months. Yet we tend to drink more lime flavored drinks in the summer. Go figure.

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

Basil Tomato Chicken A fresh treat for you to enjoy ALL year long

Basil Tomato Chicken
A fresh treat for you to enjoy ALL year long

Tomato Basil chicken

(Happily FRESH basil is available all year long)

serving size 1 breast or leg quarter

net carbohydrates     6 grams

Chef’s Notes: Tomato and basil is a combination made in food heaven. Think Caprese salad or pizza. Makes 2 servings but I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe. Good as it is the first night it develops depth when reheated the next day.

1 -2 –cloves of garlic, grated

1 – small shallot., minced     OR

2 scallions, minced

1/4 – cup basil leaves

4- Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

salt and pepper to taste

grated zest of one lemon

2 – Tbsp. olive oil

2 – skin- on boneless chicken breasts or leg quarters

juice of ½ of the lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Preheat oven to 350°

Combine garlic, shallots, salt and pepper, lemon zest, chopped tomato and olive oil.

Chop ½ of the basil and add to the mixture,

Add chicken to the liquid, cover and marinate for at least one hour up to overnight.

Add the lemon juice to the marinade and mix thoroughly. Place the chicken skin side up on a baking sheet and spoon all the remaining marinade over the chicken.

Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Tear the remaining basil into small bits.(cutting the basil will turn it black.), and sprinkle over the chicken

 

 

 

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