THIS WEEK – No fooling around, Diabetes-Compatible eating at its BEST

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

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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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05/04/2016

Article #191

No fooling around. Diabetes-Compatible eating at its best

Nobody is trying to fool you, least of all me. When it comes to Diabetes-Compatible eating there are things that you may choose to limit or give up all together. There are things that can replace them on your plate, but only if you choose to give them a shot. Some of those things are more than better than what they replace. No fooling.

I talk about using cauliflower, spaghetti squash, and other vegetables to replace the starches on your plate. They do not taste the same as those starches, no fooling. They may taste just as good, dare I say better than the old stand- by foods. ONLY you can make that decision for yourself.

There is a lot of “push-back” on using some of these things.

“Cauliflower is pretty nasty stuff. I can’t imagine what you could do to make it taste ok”

My response is to ask the seventeen year old that thought my cauliflower salad has it hands down over old boring potato salad.

It does not have to be about Diabetes-specific dishes. How ‘bout we look at it this way?  Say; ham ‘n eggs vs. bacon ‘n eggs? I unconditionally LOVE to eat bacon and eggs. Given the opportunity, I have been known to eat far more than the recommended amount for a dozen full grown people. When it comes to ham and eggs, I am ok with it if…. I came late to ham. I thought it was too chewy and gelatinous. What has now become one of my favorite days off breakfasts is a frittata made with roasted tomatoes and chunks of ham sauteed with onions and topped with Swiss cheese. It is ten times more work to make this than the same omelet with bacon and cheese.  But in order to have something different, it is worth the work to me. Do they taste the same? No way! BUT both are actually terrific in their own way. Frying ham does not make it taste any more like bacon. It does, however, bring out a slightly different flavor and crispier texture than if I took the easy way out and just tossed the chopped ham into the eggs. It is a case of being open to look at something in a different way.

Turkey Burger with Sharp Cheddar Cheese and a big side of Cauliflower Salad

Turkey Burger with Sharp Cheddar Cheese
and a big side of Cauliflower Salad

A hamburger vs .a turkey burger is a fight where ONLY you can decide the winner. Back in the “old” days I started using ground turkey in place of ground beef to cut down on some of the beef fat. I actually like them. I also like turkey meatloaf and Untidy Toms (turkey version of Sloppy Joes). Some folks say they hate ground turkey. It is ok. I am not trying to fool you into thinking they are EXACTLY the same. They are not. Both, if you like them have their own merits. Some days ONLY a beef burger will do. I think it is the aroma of cooking meat that I like so much. Sometimes it is the cleanup. Ground turkey sticks to surfaces more than ground beef. I don’t know why. Sometimes I have a really good cheese (perhaps Havarti) around. It tastes much better with the turkey burger.

Many years ago my idol Julia Child took a recipe that called for veal and prepared it with turkey. It was a cost thing. Years ago I started doing Chicken Parmesan instead of Veal

Chicken Parmesan served on a bed of Flavored Spinach

Chicken Parmesan served on a bed of Flavored Spinach

Parmesan. It too was a cost thing. Over time I have forgotten how the veal tastes. What I do remember is that it was tougher to eat than the turkey or chicken. My point is that I made the change for a reason. The end product was still good. I am not fooled that the substitutions are the same as the originals. I am very happy to use the substitutions. They are wonderful on their own…no fooling.

Life and time brings its changes. Certainly Diabetes has brought enough changes all by itself. Some change is good, some not so much.

I never intend to fool you into thinking that something is better than the original. When it is, I like you to hear about it and I plan to shout it from the hilltops.

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w

La Fritatta This is a favorite, "fried " Ham, onion, cheese, and roasted tomato Let the weekend begin!

         La Fritatta
This is a favorite, “fried ” Ham, onion, cheese, and roasted tomato
Let the weekend begin!

La Frittata

Serves 2

Carbohydrates                      5 grams per serving

Chef’s note: A frittata is an Italian version of an omelet / quiche. It is easier to make than an omelet because it does not have to be folded. ONLY your imagination limits the kind of frittata you create. This is one of MY favorites: fried ham, roasted tomato, and cheese.. I do the filling in advance.

2 Tbsp. butter, divided

½ onion sliced

4 oz. roasted tomatoes (you can substitute drained diced tomatoes)

3 ounces ham, thickly cut and diced

4 eggs very well beaten

Salt and pepper to taste and your doctor’s recommendation

2-3 Tbsp. Liquid (milk, cream, sour cream, or yogurt).

2-3 Slices of your favorite cheese or 2 ounces shredded cheese.

Salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare the recipe:

Pre heat the oven to 425°

Heat 1 TBSP. of the butter in a skillet. Add the sliced onion and cook until lightly browned. Add the diced ham. (I do this the night before). Remove to a bowl.

Wipe out the skillet.

Combine Eggs, salt, pepper, and liquid of choice. Beat to form a frothy mixture.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet. When it starts to sizzle, add the eggs to the center of the pan and swirl around to coat the pan. Lower the heat and cook until the eggs set.

Add the cheese to the frittata then add the diced ham mixture and the tomatoes. Place into a very hot oven or under your broiler. Allow the cheese to melt and get lightly browned. The eggs will puff up in a hot  oven better than under the broiler.

Serve very hot.

Suggestions: You COULD replace the ham with:

Bacon, your favorite vegetable (spinach and broccoli work very well), or smoked salmon.

04/27/2016

Article # 190

What do you want from Diabetes-Compatible recipes?

Aside from cooking for guests, being a chef in a restaurant involves math. As a person with Diabetes, I use math in tracking my carbohydrate intake. A chef needs to keep track of what is selling and how much of this and that is on hand at any given time. Now as a chef/writer, I find myself keeping track of what recipes YOU like, and who likes what recipes.

As sure as it is today, fish recipes get the most criticism and the least positive response. I guess if you are forced to eat fish as a kid, you get to rebel as an adult. So I am now used to the: “ugh fish” comments. Will this stop me from sharing fish recipes with you….probably not BUT I find myself thinking twice before posting them. I did a “killer” salmon this week with soy, lemon, ginger, and topped with sunflower seeds. I thought it would be great to share with you but stopped short of taking pictures of it and eating a semi-warm dinner so you could see how the dish looks. We eat what we cook here.

Eggplant Napoleon a great side a super lunch

Eggplant Napoleon a great side a super lunch

The other food like fish in terms of negative responses is eggplant. I have quite a number of eggplant dishes but tend not to post those either. I love you, eggplant, and fish; but some foods are like politics, best left out of the conversation.

What really fascinates me is the response to chicken. As a group of recipes, my chicken recipes get the biggest response from you. It is interesting that 3-4 years ago I did an article in response to a reader that:

“Could not face another plate of baked chicken with a vegetable on the side.”

So I did a piece telling him and everybody else how versatile chicken is. How it has such a neutral taste that it “sponges up” the flavors around it. Maybe I am remembering wrong but I always remember chicken having a very distinct and delicious taste of its own. Perhaps the breeders have bred out the taste as they bred in the huge size of today’s birds. Am I soapboxing again about the big birds?  The chicken recipes remain the most popular as a group, followed by beef recipes. I can’t calculate how the pork recipes do since I have not featured one lately. I will have to remedy that soon.

The next group is the vegetables. If you are like me, the protein part of the meal is pretty easy to come up with night after night. With the limitations on rice, pasta, potatoes, the side dishes have taken on new importance.

Some nights it is a chore to come up with something new and easily doable for the side dish. I still thank the people that freeze spinach for rescuing me more often than not. What is strange is that I am finding less and less simple frozen spinach in the freezer cases. Lots of creamed stuff, and spinach with….

 Baked Spinach Casserole

Baked (frozen)Spinach Casserole

But the simple chopped spinach is starting to disappear from the shelves. Are we so caught up with “fresh” that frozen items seem a little less than perfect? Now that may be true for some vegetables, but frozen spinach is every bit as good and nutritious as fresh.

I am pleased that some of my vegetable dishes are working well for you and me.

---Oh Boy---- Little Lydia's Literally Lovely Lemon Cake

—Oh Boy—-
Little Lydia’s Literally Lovely Lemon Cake

The funny category is desserts. When I began writing in 2012, I usually got the best response from dessert recipes. That has now changed. Some do very well, others seem to be of little interest to you. What is fun is that I get more positive responses from men than women. I have to wonder why. Have women (like my late sister) been beaten over the head so much about their body image, they don’t react to dessert? It is true that more desserts are consumed by men in a restaurant than women. The second fork or spoon is still a common practice in many restaurants. Ladies…if a dessert with 12-15 grams of carbohydrates is within your daily carbohydrate budget, I hope you will have another look at some of my dessert recipes.

I have to guess that YOU as readers are looking for something either special for guests or special for your family that does not involve a lot of work.

My most popular, well received recipe of all that I have featured is my Sweet and Sour (Hungarian) Cucumbers. Not by just a few responses but by two or three times the response to ANY OTHER RECIPE.

HUNGARIAN CUCUMBERS So fast, so easy, so delicious, it is almost like magic

HUNGARIAN CUCUMBERS
So fast, so easy, so delicious, it is almost like magic

It amuses the devil out of me. It is such an easy, almost throw away recipe that I just do to add a “little something” to a plate when I don’t think there is enough quantity or variety. It is such a snap to make that I always have a cucumber in the fridge just in case.

It doesn’t matter which of the recipes is your favorite. What does matter to me is that what I can share with you is of some use in managing your Diabetes and taking back your table.

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w

Pork Chops Provencal Quick, easy, and outrageously delicious

     Pork Chops Provencal
Quick, easy, and outrageously delicious

Pork Chops Provencal

Serves 2

Carbohydrates          2 grams

 

Chef’s Note: They say that variety is the spice of life. I say Spice is what brings variety to your plate. The recipe can be made with boneless pork chops but tastes drastically better with chops on the bone.

2- ¾ inch thick  bone -in pork chops

Salt and pepper to taste or your Doctor’s advice

1 clove garlic minced

½ small shallot or scallion , minced

1 tsp. Herbs de Provence

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

1 TBSP. olive oil

2 TBSP. dry red wine

How to prepare this recipe:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Marinate for 45 minutes but better if it is overnight.

Preheat oven to 425°

In a fry pan cook pork chops for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove to baking dish and spoon remaining marinade over the chops. Bake for 8-10 minutes until done.

 

 

 

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