A diagnosis of DIABETES is NOT the end of GREAT EATING
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 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
Article # 122
Have we been wrong all along about what we like to eat?
I really hate to do this, but let’s talk about me.
I am in the “stupidmarket” the other day and sweet potatoes are on sale. I sorta groaned internally and thought to myself: “I should buy these because they are on sale”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like sweet potatoes…. well enough. I always use them for Thanksgiving, but that was the only time I ever bother to prepare them at home. I have for years lived thinking that I really didn’t care for them. I still cringe at the idea of sweet potato fries. As I looked at them that day, I still thought that I could live without them. But I bought them anyway, and prepared them by baking in their skins and using a butter flavored with cinnamon, ginger, salt and pepper.
They were sensational. The thing is that ever since my diagnosis six years ago, I have been preparing the sweet potatoes EXACTLY that way. In those six years, I have always actually loved them. So why do I have the reaction to seeing them on sale and feeling obligated to buy them?
I am a dyed in the wool coffee drinker. I think I started drinking coffee at age five (before you yell child abuse, it was 9 ½ parts warm milk and ½ part strong coffee). My spouse likes tea. When we are home together for lunch, I always grudgingly give into him and drink tea. I always think I don’t like it very much. But when I drink it, especially some of the fun flavored herbals teas, I really enjoy them. But why do I still think that I don’t like tea?
Let me answer the second question first. I think that I don’t like tea because for me, tea was something I was given when I was sick. “Try a little tea and toast. You have to eat something”. Decades later, I still think of tea as “sick food”. The mind, well, my mind, hasn’t let go of that negative association. Even though I now like the taste (I still prefer coffee), something in the back of my mind says: Ward, you don’t want this. You don’t have to have this. You are not sick!!!!
Getting back to sweet potatoes. I prepared tons of them in my family’s restaurant. We did them layered with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. They looked great and they tasted great. But when we got home for dinner, there was not a sweet potato in sight. The sweet potatoes were for the customers. In truth, after mashing pounds and pounds of them, I wasn’t all that excited about eating them. Somehow, this feeling about sweet potatoes has stayed with me since I was a kid. Even though what I prepare now is a deliciously far cry from the old days, that external cue is still there.
Ok, now enough about me. How about all of you? What are the cues that make you think things are ewueee yucky?
Was it those mussels cooked in seaweed (this is a real method for cooking mussels), that now makes you think you don’t like mussels? I know, they are a little strange looking but unless you have a shellfish allergy, be open to trying them. They are delicious. Do you just not like things touching on a plate that keeps you from eating stews? Do you think that meatloaf is a cheap food that keeps you from enjoying the amazing flavor combinations you can create with your meatloaf? Is it so set in your mind that salads and vegetables are bunny food that keeps you away?
I hate to say this, but maybe your diagnosis of Diabetes is a way to start looking at the why you think you don’t like some foods and give them another try. You might surprise yourself. Now for that cup of tea….
ENJOY!!! be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!
Roasted wild Mushroom soup
4 meal sized bowl servings
Net carbohydrates 12 per bowl
Chef’s Note: This soup is finished by processing either with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor. I see no reason to make soup for just one time. Soup freezes like a dream. I always make more than I need for one meal.
1 – pound Baby Bella, or Crimini mushrooms
2 large Portobello mushroom caps
1 –ounce dried Porcini mushrooms
1 – Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 – medium to large sweet onion Sliced (thick or thin, your choice)
2-3 – tablespoons olive oil
2-4 – cloves crushed and chopped garlic (depends on how much you love garlic)
1 – big stalk of celery, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. dry tarragon
2 TBSP. fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons flour
1 ½ – quarts Low sodium chicken broth
2 – teaspoons fresh dill (1 if you use dried)
3-4 – heaping tablespoons sour cream
½ – cup milk
HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Preheat oven to 400
Melt butter and combine with salt and pepper.
Clean the fresh mushrooms and remove the tough end of the stems. Toss the mushrooms with butter and turn out onto a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Rinse the dried Porcini mushrooms under running water. Place in a saucepan with enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a simmer and let rehydrate for 20 minutes. Using a strainer lined with paper towels, drain the mushrooms into a bowl. (you will use the liquid as part of the soup. Rinse the mushrooms again to rid them of any grit.
In a large soup pot sauté onion in olive oil or butter until soft but not brown. Add Celery ,salt and pepper about one minute into the process.
Add garlic and flour. Cook for one minute or so. Slowly add the chicken broth stirring so as not to have lumps.
Add ½ of the roasted mushrooms and all of the rehydrated mushrooms to the broth. Add the tarragon and parsley. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat, let cool, and then add Let cool, and then add the remaining mushrooms. Using an immersion blender, whip the soup until smooth.
Add the sour cream and milk and blend to combine.
When ready to use bring back to a simmer and
Knock their socks off with a Diabetes-Compatible dish
Are you afraid to bring a dish to a holiday gathering or to host one of your own? You think that because you have Diabetes NOBODY would want to eat what you have to eat? Think again!
Too many of us get caught up in thinking that our Diabetes-Compatible eating would not be of any interest to someone who didn’t have to eat this way. The problem is that either we think that what choices we have are so awful that we don’t even want to eat them or that we think everybody else just assumes that our eating choices are yucky.
This year, why not knock their socks off and raise a few eyebrows. Be daring….offer to bring dessert. You hostess (when she recovers) will sigh and be polite and will expect some flavorless, sugarless, cardboard cake, or just expect maybe a cheese and fruit platter (actually, not a bad idea). Wow them with a lemon tart (tart au citron), Lemon cake, Pineapple cake or even a Chocolate confection. The recipes for all of those are here in the posted recipes section.
If you don’t want to shock them too much, offer to bring appetizers. The Feta and pistachio balls are a snap to make and my guests scoff them down like candy. Another choice is to make little baskets using low carb Joseph’s lavash bread. Stuff them with cucumber and shrimp. If shrimp is not in your budget, use olives and chopped tomatoes or any combination that YOU like. These “baskets” go even faster than the pistachio- feta balls. Both these dishes are posted here under small bites.
Get them really crazy with a fresh turn on that very tired (but favorite) green bean casserole. My HOLIDAY BEANS (recipe below) is just the ticket. I use orange peppers for Thanksgiving, red peppers for Christmas, and yellow peppers for Easter. I might even use purple ones for Hanukah.
Now all you have to do is find something comfortable to wear. THE Decadent Diabetic suggests bunny slippers!
ENJOY!!! be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!
Net Carbohydrates 10g.
Chef’s Note: There is nothing like the taste of fresh green beans. This version is made on top of the stove so you have more room for the main dish. The crunch is supplied from colored bell peppers. You may never go back to green bean casserole again!
You can use the color of the bell pepper denotes the season. Orange for Thanksgiving, red for Christmas, purple for Hanukah, and yellow for Easter.
½ – pound fresh green beans
Salted and sweetened water**
1 shallot or 4 scallions, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 medium red bell pepper
1 clove of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
Parmesan cheese for snow (?)
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Trim and rinse beans
Blanch the beans for 2 minutes in enough **water for boil freely. Rinse in cold water and Immediately place beans in a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain on paper towels (you can do this part a day in advance)
Slice the bell pepper into strips ad thin as you can get them.
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet. Add the shallot or scallions, cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and red pepper and cook for two minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
Place on your plate and top with Parmesan cheese to represent snow.
** use a tablespoon of sugar substitute and a teaspoon of salt in the water you are blanching the vegetable in.