This website is for ALL OF US DIABETICS AND THE FAMILIES OF DIABETICS That REALLY like to eat!
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.
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
Making the ordinary.. Diabetic Extraordinary!
(The raw truth)
I am always pleased when one of my readers writes to me. They, along with my health, are my inspiration. Shannon wrote the note below:
“I just finished reading a bunch of articles of yours on the web!! Thank you!!! I have been a diabetic now for 10 years. I am VERY carb sensitive, so your approach is wonderful!!! I do want the recipe for your carrot pineapple slaw! I don’t eat enough vegies, because I just don’t like that many cooked ones. I love them raw. So again thank you!!”
Shannon, thank you. I am happy to share that recipe (below) with you and all of my other readers. More important, your comment made me think about some other recipes that fit your requirements. They all have one thing in common. They take a humble vegetable and with almost no effort, turn that vegetable to something surprisingly good, perhaps even extraordinary.
I always talk to you about getting more variety into what you eat. Adding a little of this or that to really “spark” the flavor of an ordinary meal. We all get bored eating the same thing day after day. I am aware that many people, with and without Diabetes, are busy, have no time to cook, or think that they can’t cook. Cooking is my joy. It is my habit, my skill, my hobby. Lots of you really don’t have the time or interest to cook. I get that. I also get that many people don’t want to try new things. They think that they don’t or won’t like it.
Four vegetables that most of us like are: carrots, celery, cucumbers, and radish.
-Carrot- If you choose not to cook, the best you might come up with for the carrot is carrot sticks. Just thinking of carrot sticks, I think: “diet food, bunny food, yuck?” Some people are adventurous and use some shredded carrot in a salad or a sandwich. Really, a sandwich? Some will at least consider using the carrot in a soup or stew. The more adventurous might consider cooking the carrots as I do in my recipe for Ginger Glazed Carrots with pecans. There is no need to do any of that. Below is my recipe for Carrot salad. In the “old” days it was carrot and raisin salad. But raisins have too many grams of carbohydrates for MY diet.
-Cucumber- Almost everybody likes this humble veggie (technically a fruit). We slice it up for a salad and call it good. I love the taste and the pure summer smell of cucumber. It makes a great soup. We liked it so much last year that I served it as a first course at our wedding. Cucumber soup is easy to make, but even easier is a recipe I have made for years, Hungarian Cucumbers. If you can’t make these in less than five minutes, you are not trying. They are a great light choice along with a burger and add some real zest to a fish dish. It is quick, easy and even has less sodium than a pickle.
-Radish- These are among the most underused vegetables. No one seems to know what to do with them other than put them on a relish plate or decorate with them. We eat them, we like them, but we don’t think about the humble radish. Poor guy. I almost always use them in a salad. They are great minced up in cream cheese for a zing to your veggie spread or dip. Radish slaw is even simpler to make. The radish and two other ingredients is all it takes. You wind up with a light side dish you can eat buckets of without ever exceeding your carbohydrate budget.
-Celery- Most cooks do very little with celery. Maybe it is used in a tuna or chicken salad or in a soup. Have a look at Ina Garten’s Celery and Parmesan Salad. It is very simple to make and again amazingly delicious. When I make it I leave out the anchovy paste. Not that I don’t like anchovy paste, but because I don’t use it often enough to keep it from drying out up in my fridge.
So, for you, Shannon, and all of you who like fresh but not cooked vegetables, I am sharing some fast, inexpensive, and easy recipes that can be made in a snap, but taste as though you worked for hours.
Enjoy, be happy, be healthy and BE DECADENT!
CARROT AND PINEAPPLE SALAD
3 huge servings
Net carbohydrates 10 carbs
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. SPLENDA
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. juice from the FRESH pineapple
pinch of salt
Mix together until smooth
2 cups shredded carrots (about 4 medium)
3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into small chunks
½ cup chopped walnuts
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Combine salad with sauce. Chill for 3-6 hours or over night
Hungarian Sweet and Sour Cucumbers
(This was served as a palate cleanser at a restaurant in New York, called HUNGARIAN RENDEVOUS)
2- medium cucumbers
4 – Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
5 – Tbsp. SPLENDA
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Mix the vinegar and SPLENDA together until dissolved. Taste for sharpness. Peel and very thinly slice the cucumbers. Add to the vinegar and toss. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least half an hour but up to 1 day is also fine. Just toss now and then to distribute flavors.
2 -1 cup servings
Total Carbohydrates 3g.
Note: This slaw is so incredibly easy and delicious you will find yourself find reasons to make it.
1 large bunch of radishes, cleaned
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. neutral oil
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Shred the radishes in a food processor or on the large side of a box grater. Sprinkle with salt and add the oil. Serve at once. No really, that is it!
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.
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.
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!
Diabetic MAN’S Crustless Quiche
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:
Any vegetable YOU enjoy
Shrimp or crab
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,
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
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
1- Joseph’s Oat Flax and whole wheat pita bread
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
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.
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:
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!
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.
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
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.
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