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
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.
Too carb or not too carb…is that THE question?
What I am talking about is not what you should do medically (I am a chef NOT a medical person) but what you might think about doing so you can stick with a Diabetes-Compatible diet.
I posted a recipe on one of the sites I write for. The recipe has 14 grams of carbohydrates per serving. This was the response from one of the readers:
“This is awful. 14 grams of carbs? That’s more than I eat in an entire day! “
The other side of this comes from someone commenting on my suggestions to someone on how to lower the carbohydrates counts on some of their favorite dishes:
Carbs are a big focus when you have diabetes as they have greatest affect on the blood sugar. Even though carbs bring up the blood sugar they re still important to eat as carbs are the bodies preferred energy source.
No numbers PLEASE
So what should you do about the amount of carbohydrates in your diet? When I was diagnosed the first thing I received from the doctor was a booklet talking about carbohydrates I could have each day. The suggestion in that book was:
45 grams for breakfast
60 grams for lunch
60 grams for dinner
2 “snacks” of 15 grams each
Total= 195 grams per day
It also suggested that the serving size for a banana is HALF the banana. What do I do with that other half?
What I discovered is that was too much, for me. Don’t misunderstand, it was not that I couldn’t eat that much before my diagnosis, but now it is too much to maintain MY healthy lifestyle and low A1c. But how much should I have?
Some people and Diabetes advice sites go just “wackazoid” at the thought of more than 1-5 grams per meal. Some were even more extreme. I saw a recipe posted that had a zero carbohydrate chicken dish, but in the picture there was a small portion of noodles. Some of the readers went bananas (so that is what you do with the other half). Too many carbs, too many carbs! Of course the recipe did not have a serving size suggestion for the noodles, just the picture. Totally ignored by the carbohydrate police was the lovely vegetable served in a large portion on the plate. No question, too many carbohydrates are not a good choice for those of us with Diabetes. But what is the answer to how many we can have?
I know you have heard this over and over again. The most common answer is eating to your meter. If you are going to increase your carbohydrate intake, check your meter and see how it affects you.
That certainly is a valid answer. Does it go far enough? My answer includes testing, but also figuring out what you can eat to maintain your health and what you want to eat so you can maintain your diet. It is a soul thing. Food is not only to nourish your body but to soothe your soul. If you deprive yourself of EVERYTHING you enjoy, sooner or later you are going to slip. A treat once in a while may be ok but if you feel too deprived you are more likely to find yourself over indulging.
What is going to work is to figure out how to balance what you can eat and what you want to eat. Then you have to make what you can eat into what you want to eat.
Get the YUCK out.
I wish I had a quarter (inflation) for every time I heard “I don’t like…” it is usually followed by “I NEVER ate that before,” and sometimes by “I will never try that”. My all time favorite is “eueewe!”
Let me tell you my story with spaghetti squash.
The dietician I worked with suggested spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta. No way, no how, is that a serious suggestion. Spaghetti squash does not look like pasta, does not taste like pasta, and in my opinion, hates red sauce. I took her suggestion and tried it… and hated it. Happily, I did not give up. As I said it did not like red sauce but it did like butter and parmesan cheese (0 carbohydrates). Fresh tomatoes and spaghetti squash were a match made in heaven. From hating it to now, I have dozens of dishes from side dishes to casseroles using my former hated vegetable. Lesson: don’t just give up and go…YUCK!
I promise you that if you just have a portion of protein on your plate with a side of lettuce, you will, sooner rather than later, quit that diet. Certainly you could do it for a while but both your health and your taste buds are going to suffer. Think about what you always liked to eat before and find foods to replace those that are not good choices with those that are good choices. Then make the good choices taste soooo good you forget they are good for you.
Who is right?
As for who is right about the number of carbohydrates you should eat, the answer is everyone and no one. Every person is different. What works for you might NOT work for anyone else. Keep trying until you become comfortable with your diet and in the meantime…..
Enjoy, be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!
Greek Chicken Casserole
Net Carbohydrates 12g.
Chef’s Note: The great thing about casseroles is that all the work is up front. You can make it in advance and then reheat it before serving.
Casseroles were mostly noodles, rice, and potatoes. For us with Diabetes we have to come up with another plan with all the comfort and taste but without all the carbohydrates. I use spaghetti squash as well as cauliflower as the base for my casseroles. Forgetting all the extra vitamins, minerals and fiber, these are as good, maybe better than with a high carbohydrate base. Again I use mushroom here for flavor, texture and volume. Leave it out if you must.
3 cups cooked spaghetti squash (about 1 medium- large squash)
1 medium eggplant (sliced and salted)
4 TBSP. olive oil
1 tsp. dry oregano
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 large sweet (Vidalia) onion sliced
2 cloves grated garlic
1 portabella mushroom or 4 ounces small mushrooms, sliced (optional?)
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pitted ripe olives
12 ounces shredded (or diced) cooked chicken
2 ripe tomatoes, seeds removed and cut into large dice
½ cup feta cheese
How to prepare this recipe:
Shred the squash into strands and turn into a large bowl.
Cut eggplant into 1 inch rounds. Salt both sides of the eggplant and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse off the salt, pat dry. Combine 2 TBSP. olive oil with the pepper and oregano. Brush the eggplant with the olive oil mixture. Either roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or fry until golden brown. Allow to cool. Cut the slices into big dice.
Sautee the onion in the remaining olive oil until it is just barely golden. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they just release their juices. Turn off the heat and stir in the grated garlic. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine.
Add the onion mixture to the spaghetti squash and stir to combine. Add all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the feta cheese.
Cut feta into chunks and carefully fold into mixture. You can stop at this point and refrigerate overnight or bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.
* Homemade is always best but a good quality canned or boxed does work really well.
** The longer this cooks, the saltier it gets. Hence the restaurant phrase “the onion soup needs the hose”
HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Slice the onions into ¼ inch slices. Over medium high heat melt the oil and butter in a large stock pot. Add the onions. Cook stirring regularly if not constantly, until the onions are very dark, but not burnt. Add the garlic and flour. Cook for one minute to get rid of the “raw” flour taste. Add the salt, pepper, tarragon, and mustard and stir to combine. Slowly add the chicken and beef stocks, stirring to avoid lumps. Add the red wine or sherry and mustard and reduce heat Simmer for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400
Place half of a muffin in the bottom of a heat proof baking dish. Sprinkle with a little of each cheese. Slowly ladle the soup into the dish. Top with a little more cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and bubbly