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
Doin’ Diabetic–Compatible…Your way
With the exception of in a restaurant kitchen where the guests expect a dish to taste exactly the same way 100 days out of 100 days, no recipe needs to be followed as though it was gospel. No, not even mine. They are meant to be a guide to follow and create what will satisfy you.
Good Morning Chef Alper…. “HELP” Please…. Have a good easy recipe for a diabetic friendly Bake Sale my team is doing??? Keep in mind I do not own a food processor, many of your recipes call for using one. Team: “Carb”Busters Doing a fundraiser for Step Out: Walk To Stop Diabetes in Milwaukee, With. Oct 18th to benefit American Diabetes Assoc
- Donna B
The answer was easy but it took me a while to rethink MY habits. I am so accustomed to toasting nuts before I turn them into flour that I completely forgot an obvious and easy change in the recipes. I told her that I use a food processor to grind my toasted nuts into a “flour.” I do it because I love the additional flavor the toasting brings to the nuts and also, perhaps just as important, grinding your own nuts is much less expensive than buying nut flour. I explained that most markets do sell almond flour and that she could certainly use that in most (not my carrot cake) of my cake recipes. Don’t we ALL get stuck in our process?
Another reader commented that her son was allergic to nuts of all kinds. She needed a dessert recipe without nuts. I had one published for her on the Diabetes Support website for my Poached Peaches with raspberry sauce.
A reader of that recipe commented:
My my my, that looks good. I just usually half my peaches, rub some Splenda Brown sugar on the fruit and grill them for a couple of minutes. I will definitely try the raspberry sauce!
How wonderful! She took a little from me and a little from what she usually does and made herself a great new recipe.
Two of my readers wanted to change up a couple of my recipes. Guess what? I am not offended. In fact I am thrilled that I gave these two readers a base from which to create a dish they could enjoy as much as people enjoyed the original. Isn’t eating well with Diabetes all about taking a recipe and adapting to your needs?
This is your White Ricotta Creme. I also toasted the almonds! Pulled out my food processor which needed to be dusted off and whipped that baby together in no time. I used half a fresh lemon and lemon zest for the flavor! My Husband’s Exact Words were…”Now that’s what I’ve been looking for! ”
I don’t know what made me happier. Was it that Veronica found a recipe of mine that she liked? Was it that she decided to make it her own? Was it that her husband really enjoyed the recipe? Or was it that she “Pulled out my food processor which needed to be dusted off?” All of the above! Veronica made my day.
Another reader, new to my website asked what she could do to replace the alcohol in my (now famous) Amaretto Cheesecake recipe:
About the cheese cake recipe Ward, what can I substitute for the 4 tbsp. of amaretto?
Lots of people, with and without Diabetes don’t like to cook with alcohol. Some because they don’t like the taste, some don’t trust how it will affect their blood sugars, some for religious reasons. Lots of people don’t have the storehouse of flavors on hand as I do. Trust me, I have to come up with substitutions all the time for things NOT in my pantry. As a chef, that is pretty easy for me. My suggestion (substitution) for Yvonne was easy. I went back to one of my first recipes for cheesecake, a very traditional (but scrumptious) recipe using just vanilla and lemon and the other option was a little more almond extract and 2 tablespoons of Trop 50 orange juice.
Please remember, it was hard for me too, at first. I had a terrible time finding things that I enjoyed making, eating, and satisfied me on a lot of levels. Hey nobody (except me sometimes) said this was going to be easy.
I know a lot of you don’t like to cook, but feel that it is “not so bad” if there is a recipe that you can follow. It is great if you do it “MY WAY” the first time and then adjust it to meet your tastebuds. If you don’t like what I use as a sweetener, go for something else. Don’t like tarragon, try thyme. It is these little adjustments that allow you to enlarge your cooking vocabulary.
All you have to do is ask. I am here to assist you in making your Diabetic-Compatible good enough for you to stick with it.
Below is a recipe where I have taken a high carbohydrate vegetable (garden peas) and used snap or snow peas in their place to make it diabetic-Compatible and mine!
Enjoy, be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!
Snow/Snap peas and Prosciutto
(The original is the bestselling side dish at Rao’s in New York City)
net carbohydrates 9g.
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 a great substitute.
½ lb. - pound snap or snow peas
2 – ounces Prosciutto (not sliced paper thin)*
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.
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Blanch the snap or snow peas in boiling water that has been seasoned with a sweetener and salt. Drain and shock in iced water. Dry on paper towels.
Roll the Prosciutto into a log and cut into slivers
Heat a frying pan to medium high. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the slivered 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.
Tales of the “Dreaded” Zucchini
I saw this item a few weeks ago and was really shocked at the concept.
Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night
Celebrate this fun holiday on August 8!
What is wrong with zucchini? I suppose if you have been served that vegetable medley at a restaurant, EVERYTHING…but…
Is it just that I am basically a city boy and the idea of ANY fresh vegetable is very appealing to me? Perhaps the fact that I cannot grow zucchini with any serious harvest in my garden here in Maine, makes me have zucchini envy? I grow flowers and some other vegetables and enjoy the harvest, but the zucchini is never successful for us.
I really like zucchini and I suppose I should not question the dislike that other people have for it. Julia Child did a show many years ago and prepared this wonderful dish using zucchini and cheeses. She claimed (and she as always was right) that even those people that claimed they didn’t like zucchini, would like this dish. She finished up that segment with the wonderful suggestion: “If they say they don’t like zucchini, just don’t tell them what is in the dish”.
I love zucchini. I even have a sub section in my book titled “The Dreaded Zucchini”. It is one of the perfect neutrals. It never upstages what is around it but supports the other flavors and evens them out. What I find really interesting about this little subtle wonder is that it takes on a different flavor depending how you slice it. The same zucchini sauteed in the same olive oil, actually has a different flavor if you slice it in rounds, than it does when you slice it in spears or chunks. It takes on an amazing smokiness when you cook it on the grill with your meat or fish.
While zucchini is seldom the star, I think it often deserves the best supporting award for a side dish.
I make Julia’s (now my) recipe all year long but especially in the winter. It is hot and bubbly and warms you down to your cold places.
It is amazing as a super fast side just cut into spears and sauteed in butter and/ or olive oil, shallots or onions, and either cooked with sun dried tomato or topped with tomato chunks. Finish it off with some grated parmesan cheese and you could fall in love with it. Zucchini is also a great addition to a vegetable soup. Roast the zucchini with oil and herbs and add it to your soup to thicken it. Even by itself, it makes a great cream soup that is as good cold as it is hot.
Now I want to say that I really only like small zucchini. The ones that are the size of a baseball bat are too woody for me. You can cut them in half and stuff them but I think it only so-so. It is definitely NOT decadent.
The other morning, I DID find a bag of zucchini hung on the knob on my back porch. My first thought was” these are too big for much of anything. WRONG!!!. I grated them up and made my baked zucchini pancakes as a side for my steak. We enjoyed it so much I made it again the next night as a side for some chicken.
The purpose of the recipe was to replace potato pancakes. I started baking those years ago to cut down on the fat. I promise you, these are even better and you can have a lot of them on your plate. The poor mistreated zucchini has only 3 grams of carbohydrates for a whole cup of them. Listen to Julia…and to me…”Don’t tell them what it is!”
Enjoy, be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!
Baked Zucchini Pancakes
3 generous servings
Chef’s note: This started out years ago as a recipe for baked potato Latkes (Chanukah pancakes). Since being diagnosed with Diabetes, I started making these zucchini pancakes in their place. I find them more delicious and much more versatile.
2 - medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
2 – TBSP. kosher salt
2 -3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots (or scallions)
2 – large eggs, beaten
pepper to taste
4-6 –Tbsp. Flour (1/2 whole wheat flour works great here)
1 – tsp. baking soda
2 – Tbsp. plain bread crumbs, panko, or Matzo Meal*
2 - Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
* In most cities Matzo Meal is hard to find except at Passover time. Although I much prefer the texture (childhood memories no doubt) of the Matzo Meal, bread crumbs or panko will work almost as well.
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Grate the zucchini in a food possessor using as coarse a blade as you have (can also be done on the largest side of a box grater). Place the grated zucchini in a sieve over a bowl with the kosher salt and allow to “weep” for 20 minutes. Remove the zucchini from the sieve and place in a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Discard the salty liquid.
Combine the beaten eggs, 4 Tbsp. of flour, pepper, shallots, the breadcrumbs or matzo meal, Parmesan cheese and baking powder. Let the mixture sit for 10- 15 minutes. Add the grated zucchini and mix to thoroughly combine.
You can stop now and cook later (up to 1 day)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease well. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture on to the sheet and flatten with your finger to about ¼ inch thick.
Bake for 12 minutes, turn over and bake for 5-6 minutes more until golden brown.
This recipe can also be fried in oil and butter for a crisper pancake. I find it easier to time out with the rest of dinner if I bake it.