THIS WEEK – Battling the Diabetic Diet….and WINNING!!!

This website is for ALL OF US DIABETICS AND THE FAMILIES OF DIABETICS That REALLY like to eat!

Italian Cream Gallette Gallette A Showstopper Birthday cake

Italian Cream Gallette Gallette
A Showstopper Birthday cake

It is here to help YOU control your Diabetes and still eat Delicious Diabetic Compatible foods!

My name is Ward Alper.  I am a chef and food lover that is now  diabetic.

Chicken Parmesan served on a bed of Flavored Spinach

Chicken Parmesan served on a bed of Flavored Spinach

 

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!

 

Fresh Veggies and Cottage Cheese A different twist on an old dieter's favorite DON'T FORGET THE RADISH!

Fresh Veggies and Cottage Cheese
A different LOWER CARB twist on an old dieter’s favorite
DON’T FORGET THE RADISH!

 

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!

"Greek" Small Bite Spinach Stuffed mushrooms

“Greek” Small Bite
Spinach Stuffed mushrooms

 

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!

My WEDDING CAKE Diabetic "Happy" Amaretto Cheesecakes

CHEESECAKE!!!! Need I say More?

 

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

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04/16/2014

Article #91

Doing Battle with your Diabetic Diet

I am engaged in a war to convince you that eating what is Diabetic-Compatible can be delicious, easy, and fun.

 
Ham & Cheese on Rye

               Ham & Cheese on Rye

This article IS NOT about a ham and cheese sandwich on rye, but about how to look at the foods you loved to eat and make it work for you.

My favorite sandwich of all time is Ham & Cheese on rye with mustard and mayo. As a Diabetic, the rye bread may not be a great choice. It is a better choice than white bread. For my lunch it is over my carb budget. So what is a Diabetic to do?

Make the sandwich on Lavash bread and turn it into a roll up. Try Sara Lee “Delightful” wheat bread, or even a rye Arnold sandwich thins. No, it is NOT the same. It is good, and if you can let go of “oh poor me, I can’t have…,” it is just as satisfying. It is still Ham & Cheese, after all.

You can also put it on a low carb (Joseph’s) pita bread. It is still Ham & Cheese. But you can make it even better. Why not spread the top of the pita with your mustard (and /or mayo), layer the meat and cheese, and pop it into the oven (my 1st choice) or microwave until the cheese melts. Then either eat it like a pizza or fold it over and eat it like a sloppy grilled cheese sandwich. Get crazy. Top the sandwich with a slice of fresh tomato and a bit of lettuce. This is great.  You get the benefits of a grilled cheese but with the cool crisp crunch of lettuce and tomato.  It is not a fake ham & cheese sandwich, it is just another way of looking at the same thing.

If this is still too many carbs for your lunch budget, take the ham and cheese and make it into a crust-less quiche. You can do this the day ahead and eat it at room temperature, or reheat it. Have a little wedge salad on the side and you may have discovered the best lunch you ever had.  If real men do not eat quiche, real Diabetics should eat crustless quiche!  Who needs that soggy bottom anyway?

Pick a sandwich, pick anything thing you don’t think you can have and challenge yourself to make it over as good, scratch that, better than the original.

Years ago, when my concern was cholesterol, I took my old meatloaf recipe and replaced the beef with lean ground turkey. The result was different. The result was better than the original. As a bonus, this turkey loaf mixture makes great meatballs to add to a hearty soup. It is still lower in fat but not lower in taste and still is no more carbohydrates than the beef. I would say it is a win-win replacement.

Replace wheat noodles with eggplant for an even tastier Lasagna

Replace wheat noodles with eggplant
for an even tastier Lasagna

Do you crave lasagna? The noodles are the carbohydrate culprit here. Why not consider for a moment replacing the high carbohydrate noodles with lower carb eggplant. It works very well. You get a lot more flavor with the eggplant than you do with a neutral noodle. If you oil and lightly season the eggplant and roast it in a hot (425+) oven it intensifies the flavor even more.

How about taking on the challenge, yourself? Remake the things you love in a Diabetic-Compatible way. Don’t feel creative? Challenge me then. Let me know what foods you miss and I will work at making them work for your diet…and mine!

Enjoy, be happy, be healthy and BE DECADENT!

 
Use your imagination to create A REAL man's crustless Quiche

Use your imagination to create
     A REAL man’s crustless Quiche

Diabetic MAN’S Crustless Quiche

4 servings

Net Carbohydrates 6g.

Notes: They say that real men don’t eat quiche. I say real Diabetics should eat crustless Quiche.

Only your imagination limits the kinds of quiche you can create. This one gives me that Ham and Swiss on rye taste

Quiche is notorious for having a soggy crust. Not using a crust eliminates the problem!.

1 shallot or 3 scallions chopped

1 Tbsp. butter

2 ounces ham, thickly cut and diced

3 eggs lightly beaten

Enough milk, half and half or cream to make 1 ½ cups when added to the eggs

½ cup shredded Swiss cheese. (you can substitute another cheese if you like)

Salt and pepper to taste.

Non- stick spray for the pie pan

How to prepare the recipe:

Pre heat the oven to 375.

Spray a 9 inch pie pan with a non- stick spray

Sautee the shallot or scallions in butter. Add the diced ham and cook until the ham starts to brown. Allow to cool.

Beat the eggs lightly and add the salt and pepper. Add the milk or cream until you have 1 ½ cups of liquid in total.

Evenly spread the ham mixture on the bottom of the pan. Cover with shredded cheese. Gently pour the egg mixture over the ham and cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the quiche is browned and puffed.

Allow to cool a little before serving.

Suggestions: Replace the ham with:

Bacon

Any vegetable YOU enjoy

Chicken

Shrimp or crab

Cooked steak

04/09/2014

Article #90

For us Diabetics Change is good!

I wrote an article for Diabetes Daily last week. These are some comments I received from that article.

 -“it is hard to change and i thought i never could but i am adjusting to it and loving trying new recipes….”

 

-“Trying new thing is not one of my favorite things to do but now I have to.”

 

-“I’m just used to eating large “working man” lunches and dinners, mashed cauliflower, and bread so thin you see through it just isn’t getting it done. I’m trying…”

We all get it. Change is hard. We all also get that once we are diagnosed with Diabetes, change is necessary. As a “foodie” and a diabetic I want to tell you change is good,

Not on MY Turkey burger!

Not on MY Turkey burger!

unless you try to put ketchup on MY turkey burger!

From childhood, we are all resistant to change. That first step from milk or formula to cereal caused a lot of ugly faces when we were “forced” to change. It got worse with the strained foods. How many of us spit it out all over our bibs? The first chewable foods might not have been so bad. Maybe that was because we saw our parents eating them. Then there were the foods WE WILL NOT EAT! Where did we ever come up with that list?

Sure I get it. There are some foods that even I won’t eat. Usually it is because of the spicing numbs my tongue.  But sometimes it is just the thought of it. Pickled Parsnips, even with the promise of dessert afterward are not on MY menu.

My sister was a great one for the “I DON’TS”. She had no reason for them, she just got it into her head that they were “yucky”. My favorite of her don’ts was sausage. Never in a million years would she eat that. She had so many “I won’ts” that I forgot about sausage, and innocently made her my COMPANY IS COMING chicken. That is chicken breasts double stuffed (under both the skin and underneath) with onions mushrooms, nuts and….sausage. My sister was never one to be polite. If she did not like it, she would tell you so in no uncertain terms. She cleaned her plate. When she asked me what I used to stuff the chicken and I told her it was sausage, she looked very embarrassed and said: “guess I don’t hate sausage after all.”  But she did hold it against me for the rest of her life!

It is not my intention to force or trick you to eat anything that you don’t like. I would however, like you to think about why you don’t like it. Is it because you hate the texture? Does it look bad to you? Does it smell bad to you? Is it because somebody else didn’t like it, or is it because you never tried it before? “My mother NEVER made THIS!”

It seems very funny to me now that when I first saw pizza, I thought it was too ugly to eat. Times have certainly changed.  The same thing is true of broccoli. When I first saw it, I thought it looked alien. The first time I ate broccoli it was overcooked and mushy. Then in a pasta Primavera, I had the broccoli, crisp and crunchy in a wonderful cream sauce.  I have been a fan ever since.

After my diagnosis, my food world seemed very small. Once I started experimenting with new foods like spaghetti squash, and new ways to prepare old foods, my world got a whole lot bigger and more delicious.

A lot of it is “all in your mind”. Change can be good. As a person with Diabetes, change has made me healthier and most important, happier. Or is it the other way around? I have even tried using ketchup on my turkey burger, not bad. But, bottom line … keep the ketchup off MY turkey burger!

Enjoy, be happy, be healthy and BE DECADENT!

Company is Coming Chicken Double Stuffed Chicken Breast
Company is Coming Chicken Double Stuffed Chicken Breast

Company is Coming Chicken

2 Servings

Net Carbohydrates  10g. per serving

 

1-large Chicken breast, split in half, leaving skin on and removing bones

2 Joseph’s Oat Flax and whole wheat pita bread

Or

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

AND

1/2 – THOMAS’S LIGHT English muffins

1 – sweet sausage (pork, turkey or chicken)

1 – small onion, diced

1 – stalk celery, chopped coarsely

2 – Tbsp. olive oil

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

salt and pepper to taste

2 – cloves garlic, grated

1 – egg, slightly beaten

1/4 – cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 – tsp. Dijon mustard

1 – tsp. Herbs de Provence

1/4 – cup toasted pecans or walnuts

1 – Tbsp. Dry Sherry (optional)

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly toast the pita bread and the English muffin and allow to cool.

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 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 and chicken broth. Beat slightly to combine.

Crumble bread and add to the eggs.

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

Take approximately 1/3 of the stuffing and dive it in half. Place it under the skin of the chicken. Take the remaining stuffing and divide it between the two breasts, Slightly roll the breasts over the stuffing and place in an oiled pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes until the chicken is a rich brown color

 

 

04/02/2014

Article #89

For the Diabetic kid in all of us

You may have noticed that my articles and recipes don’t focus on desserts and sweets. I think that one does not live by dessert alone. Most of my recipes are for side dishes and main courses because that is what makes a big difference in my eating well and managing my Diabetes. Now don’t get me wrong, I am the kid that was told: “eat all your pickled parsnips and you can have dessert”. “Be a big boy and get the shot…and you can have ice cream”. I love dessert. As a restaurateur, I made sure that the desserts were placed up front where every patron could see them. Desserts are still the reward for doing what you should do anyway. I have dozens and dozens of dessert recipes. In fact when my book is published, DESSERTS will be the first chapter.

Speaking of kids, I know a few young people with Diabetes and I am flat out inspired by the grace they have in living with their Diabetes. This article and the Diabetic- Compatible, “kid” friendly recipes attached are for them and the kid in all of us.

One of my Diabetes buddies, Mr. Seven, is just that, seven years old. His mom tells me he has a sweet tooth. She contacted me online and asked if I had any recipes for cupcakes for her son. My recommendation was to use my carrot cake recipe and make that into cupcakes. Mr. Seven found them awesome. I later suggested my Sweet and Simple chocolate cake recipe .Now Mr. Seven has two little treats to enjoy.

Chocolate mini cupcakes with a dollop of cream cheese frosting ------------4 g. of carb per  mini cake-------

Chocolate mini cupcakes with a dollop of cream cheese frosting
4g. of carb per mini cake

Speaking with her (on-line) she mentioned that she made them half size because Mr. Seven had “tummy” issues with the artificial sweetener that I use.  I suggested she try mini cupcakes.

I have been making mini cakes for years for my New Year’s Day brunches. They look so good on a plate and the concept of having more than one appeals to the kid in all of us. Two things to keep in mind:

Use a scoop to making filling the mini cups easier

Use a scoop to making filling the mini cups easier

1-they cook faster than a cake or regular size cupcake (7-12 min.),

2-You really need to line the mini cupcakes with paper cups to avoid sticking

(A mini cupcake is equal to 1/3 of a serving of cake in my recipes. To figure out the NET carbs per mini cupcake, divide the number of net carbs in a serving of the cake recipe by 3)

Other than that they are a piece of cake, pun intended.

Another thing that no kid needs to be without is cookies. I have always used leftover pie crust to make “the chef” a cookie treat. I just sprinkled it with a little cinnamon sugar and baked them up. What makes a really terrific cookie is the dough that I use for my tarts and cheese cakes. The recipe is so flavorful that it simply makes a great, crisp little cookie. I especially enjoy it when I have extra dough left over from my chocolate crusts. Who is kidding who? I just make up the batch to have a low carb cookie around.

You can even go gluten free. Meringues [see recipe below] are simple to make.  Flatten them out into a disc (cookie).  It is a super little treat. You can flavor them with chocolate or vanilla, nuts, even mint if you like. They are easy to store in an air tight container. Make them a little bigger (6-7 inches in diameter) and you have the base for an adult Napoleon. Add a little whipped cream and a few berries and the big kid gets a treat too.

I always say: “all things are possible”.

Enjoy, be happy, be healthy and BE DECADENT!

cookies

Butter Nut Cookies

Makes 18-20 cookies

Net carbohydrates:                  3 per cookie

2/3 c. flour

1/2 cup toasted nuts (either Almonds, Walnuts, or Pecans

¼ c. GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE

1 pinch salt

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. baking powder

4 tbsp.  butter or margarine

1 large egg

1-2 tbsp. iced water  (possible)

How I prepare the recipe:

In the bowl of a food processor pulse the dry ingredients to mix.  Cut butter into 8 pieces to distribute in dry ingredients. Pulse until coarse pea sized bits. Add egg and continue to pulse until the dough forms a ball that revolves on the blade (possible you may sometimes have to add 1-2 tbsp iced water to make this work)

Remove dough, pat out to a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 35-45 minutes. Roll out on flowered surface to about a 10 X 14 inch rectangle or about 1/4 inch thick. Using a lightly floured 2-3 inch round cookie cutter cut out cookies. GENTLY place on parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. This dough is fragile and may break. Not to worry just piece it together and re-roll.

Variations-

1-Dust with a mixture of ½ cinnamon and ½ granulated sugar substitute.

2-Add 4 tsp. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder to the dry ingredients for chocolate cookies.

Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. Cool on a rack

 
Chocolate and Vanilla Meringues Less than 1 g. of carbs per cookie

Chocolate and Vanilla Meringues
Less than 1 g. of carbs per cookie

Almond Meringue Wafers

Makes about 18-20 wafers

Net carbohydrates               <1g per wafer

1 ½ – cups toasted sliced almonds

1 ½ – cups GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE

6 – egg whites at room temperature

¼ – tsp. cream of tartar

pinch of salt

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

3 Tbsp. – GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE

1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

 

HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Preheat oven to 250

In a food processor or spice mill, grind the almonds and GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE.

Beat egg white on low speed until they start to foam. Add the salt and cream of tartar. Increase speed of beater and continue beating until soft peaks are formed. Sprinkle in the GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE, and cinnamon. Continue beating and add the vanilla extract. Beat together until stiff peaks are formed. Fold in the ground nut mixture 1/3 at a time until incorporated.

Drop 1 heaping Tbsp. of meringue mixture for each cookie onto a cookie sheet (takes two sheets) lined with Parchment paper. Smooth out with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes reversing the trays after 15 minutes. Wafers are done when you can just nudge them out of place on the parchment. Cool completely. Can be frozen if VERY TIGHTLY WRAPPED.

VARIATIONS:

For chocolate wafers, add 2 Tsp. Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder to the nut mixture.

For mint wafers: ½ tsp. Vanilla AND ½ tsp. mint extract

 

03/26/2014

Article #88

Eating the good Life with Diabetic-Compatible Substitutions that WORK

(If it doesn’t taste good, we WON’T eat it!)

It does not matter if it is good for you or better for you or what you SHOULD do, if you don’t like it, you probably won’t eat it.

Bottom line is that there are some foods that have to be eaten in moderation or we have to find a substitute that gives you the same sense of the food that satisfies you on all levels: taste, texture, body, look and most important emotional. Finding a “pasta” form (Explore Asian Mung bean fettuccini) that I could use in my grandmother’s chicken soup was as much an emotional experience as it was an eating sense.

Spaghetti Squash

I have talked and sung the praises of spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta in casseroles, “Mac” and cheese, and even as a dessert in my recipe for “New/ Old fashioned rice pudding”.

A pudding made with Spaghetti Squash Maybe better than Rice pudding

A pudding made with Spaghetti Squash
       Maybe better than Rice pudding

I look forward to making these dishes for my family and friends. Spaghetti squash works really well for these dishes. Where it doesn’t work well (for me) is with spaghetti sauce and meatballs. As you may know, I have found a product that does (see last week’s article on pasta).

I saw a recipe today that used polenta (a corn meal substitute for pasta), but polenta has far too many carbs for my diet. This is the perfect place to substitute spaghetti squash for a high carbohydrate food. I often serve the spaghetti squash with butter and parmesan cheese and we really enjoy eating it. Polenta is basically corn meal cooked with water or milk, butter and parmesan cheese. It is a perfect swap. It has the same sense and texture in the original dish and the carbohydrate grams are less than half that of the polenta.

Going deliciously NUTS!!!!

Going deliciously NUTS!!!!

Nuts

Substituting some of the flour in my baking with toasted ground nuts not only works, but actually makes my desserts even better. Sure, I have to add a little sour cream and baking soda to my cake batters to help them rise, but that too adds moistness and flavor to my cakes. The ground nuts/ flour combination also work as a “breading” for chicken. Parmesan cheese too works very well in combination with a “little” flour for a breading. Both the nuts and the cheese add a little “extra” flavor and texture to a poor boneless chicken breast.

 

Spinach

 Baked Spinach Casserole

Baked Spinach Casserole

 

Spinach has always been a favorite vegetable of mine. It makes a great base for chicken Parmesan or any recipe using a chicken breast. It is a great stuffing for chicken mixed with some toasted nuts and parmesan cheese. Or if meat is not your thing, spinach makes a great filling for mushrooms (either as an appetizer or whole meal (stuffed into a Portobello mushroom cap). And it is just wonderful by itself as a side dish or a salad.

Cauliflower

I love cauliflower as a substitution for potato so much that I don’t even think about not using mashed cauliflower to catch the gravy and make lakes, rivers and damns on my plate of Gallic Pot Roast.  Cauliflower au gratin is as good as potato au gratin and just as easy to make. It actually cooks in less time.

For those of you, like me that really miss rice, cauliflower makes a great substitution for that as well (recipe below). It is not the same taste, but for texture and low carb bulk on your plate, it works very well.

It is possible to eat the good life even if you have Diabetes. I have found all of these substitutions easier and more delicious than when I was told (100 years ago) to cut back on salt and tried using salt substitutes or just cutting way back or leaving the salt out of a recipe

Enjoy, be happy, be healthy and BE DECADENT!

Cauliflower does it AGAIN!

Cauliflower does it AGAIN!

“Riced” Cauliflower

Recipe makes 2 servings

Serving size              1 Cup

Net Carbohydrates              5 g.

Note: Will the wonders of what you can do with cauliflower never end? This very simple preparation takes the place of rice on your plate for amazingly few carbohydrates for a very large serving. It has a similar texture to rice but a different flavor that substitutes perfectly!

You can do this with a box grater but it works best and most quickly with a food processor.

I like to add a tsp. of one herb (tarragon, basil, dill, thyme) to the butter to give the “rice” a light flavor.

3 cups cauliflower florets (about 1” each)

2 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. herb of your choice (optional)

1 shallot minced

Or

2 scallions minced

1 clove of garlic, grated or minced very fine.

¼ cup low sodium chicken broth

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles kernels of rice(this can also be done on the large side of a box grater).

Melt butter in a large (12”) frying pan. Add the shallot or scallions and cook until just wilted. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the cauliflower and continue to cook over medium high heat for 3- 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Allow to come to a simmer. Cover and cook at LOW heat for 4-5 more minutes.

03/19/2014

Article #87

SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS

PASTA !! Is the Diabetic’s search OVER?

This is a product review for:

 EXLORE ASIAN spaghetti (s) and fettuccini)

Products from Explore Asian

Products from Explore Asian

 

**Let me start out by telling you that I have not been paid (in any way) to endorse these products nor do I have any financial or personal interest in Explore Asian. Product was supplied to me by the vendor.

 

 

Pictured above is exactly what you think it is… Your eyes are not deceiving you.  It is a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. That is right, swirl it on your fork spaghetti. WHAT you ask? How can we Diabetics eat spaghetti?

Five or six weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try out some pasta products from EXPLORE ASIAN. Like Joseph’s breads and Trop 50 orange juice, these are products that meet my criteria for eating well (could that be DECADENTLY?) with Diabetes. They have made a big enough and a delicious enough change to my eating life that I want to share information and my experience with the products with my fellow Diabetics.

 

ea - nutrition infoAbout the products- They are a bean-based pasta that is:

-Low NET carbohydrate – Gluten Free – Organic – Kosher- Made in China-

This product, despite being made from beans is not high in net carbs. I asked the importer how the product is made and this is their reply:

The production process of our pastas is as follows:

“We grind the dry beans into a flour and add water to make the mixture soft enough to be able to pass thru our extrusion machine at low temperature.

It comes out as a long thread which we hang on stainless steel rods and then undergoes 3-4 hours of air drying process; at the end of which, the pasta is dry and gets cut into the shape required and packed”.  

A friend, and fellow writer (who has Celiac disease as well as Diabetes) suggested I give the product a try. She liked it and was curious what a chef would make of it.

This chef makes a lot of it. I have a favorite, but I will get to that in a minute.

These products made in China. Well it is claimed that Marco Polo brought the Italians pasta from China. I thought it was worth a try. Let me also tell you that beans are not in the top ten of foods I like to eat (generally, despite the fiber and protein, I find beans a little too high in carbs for MY diet) so the fact that I really like these products surprises me more than I can say.

Method- Each of the varieties was initially prepared the same way with just a little olive oil, butter, fresh tomato, garlic and cheese. This “Frescata” sauce is light enough to allow the properties of the noodle come through.

Results-I started out with the black bean spaghetti. After cooking according to the package directions, I rinsed it (the package says to rinse under cold water) and added it into the sauce to heat through. It has the properties of regular pasta. It is a perfect neutral for your sauce. It looked grey after cooking and rinsing but it tasted and felt like pasta. It cooked to a perfect al dente consistency. It swirled around my fork and took the sauce very well. My ONLY concern is the color. Remember: “First you eat with your eyes”. I think this Black bean pasta should be served with very brightly colored veggies (broccoli, yellow peppers, and tomatoes), or with some pink shrimp to strongly contrast the grey color.

The second pasta is made from soybeans and looks like whole wheat spaghetti. Again it tastes great and looks great (pictured with meatballs above). No surprise here. It really is terrific.

The third pasta is made from a bean called Adsuki. It is a slightly redder/ brown color than the soy bean and does have a few more carb grams per serving. It tasted the same as the other two pastas. Since I watch my carb intake, I do not find this as valuable a product as the others.

I have saved the best for last: the mung bean fettuccini.  Cooked, it has a pale green color similar to spinach pasta. My second preparation was in an Alfredo mushroom sauce. Knocked my socks off! It looked like, tasted like, felt like, ate like fettuccini. I was “over the pasta moon”

Chicken NOODLE soup Just like Grandmas!

Chicken NOODLE soup
               Just like Grandmas!

 

Those of you that follow my writings know that I had a Jewish grandmother. Chicken noodle soup was part of every Friday night’s dinner. I could make chicken soup in many forms but the noodle part eluded me. NOT ANY MORE!

I took the fettuccini noodles and broke them up before cooking. Added the cooked noodles to my soup and memories of the past flooded my senses. I may have even misted up a bit.

Serving size- Now, let me talk about the 2 ounce serving size. This is about the serving size (dry) that is recommended serving for most pasta and also for these products. For regular pastas, this seems skimpy to me. I don’t know whether it is the protein from the beans, the fiber from the beans, but this, as delicious as it is, is actually enough to satisfy me. I started out making more for a serving and discovered for the first time in my life, I could not finish a big bowl of “skettis”.

Cost and availability-The two biggest hurdles for these products are price and availability. They are about $3.50 for a 7.5 ounce package (serves 4) Compared to wheat pasta this is expensive. But if what you want is spaghetti that works for your low carb, high fiber, (gluten free) diet, it is well worth the price. The second thing is that it is NOT in many markets. I researched the availability of the products for you. They are available online from: Amazon, Navan Foods, Netrition, Vitacost and several other sources.

Chef’s recommendations- The Soybean spaghetti and mung bean fettuccini are both terrific. I don’t get the Adsuki spaghetti and would rather spend my carb budget elsewhere. As for the black bean spaghetti, I think it is great and if you want to present an exotic, show stopper plate for your guests this is a great choice. I know many of you will be put off by the color but I think you can make it work to your advantage.

Clearly I liked these products and I think you will too. I think these products are really worth a try – w!

Enjoy, be happy, be healthy and BE DECADENT!

 

 

Mung Bean Fettuccini

Mung Bean Fettuccini

Mung Bean Fettuccini with Mushrooms in Alfredo Sauce

Servings                                2

Net Carbohydrates              13

Notes: The Mung Bean Fettuccini is more filling than regular pasta so a smaller amount goes a long, but satisfying way.

The fettuccine should be rinsed after cooking and then added to the sauce to heat through.

½ package Mung Bean Fettuccini (approx. 3.5 ounces)

2 tsp. salt for cooking water

4 Tablespoons butter

6 ounces fresh (mushrooms (crimini, or Baby Bella, or Portobello)

Salt & pepper to taste

2 cloves grated (or minced) garlic

Dash grated nutmeg

¾ cup Milk or cream

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. grated Romano or Asiago cheese

HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Cook the mung bean fettuccine for 8 minutes in lightly salted water. Drain and rinse under cold water and allow pasta to drain.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, salt, pepper, and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add the garlic and nutmeg and stir to combine. Add the milk or cream and cook for 2 minutes until it starts to bubble slightly. Add the cheeses and stir to combine. Add the drained fettuccine and cook until heated through (about 2 minutes). Serve with extra cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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