THIS WEEK – The Merchants of medicine…Shopping for YOUR medical team

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

Site pix

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:


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 !


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!



Article 195

The Merchants of Medicine-Shopping for your medical team

It is clear that Diabetes is not only a serious disease, but also a big business. If you don’t believe me, just watch the evening news and count the number of commercials for Diabetes medications. There is almost always the tag:

“when used in conjunction with maintaining a healthy diet and proper weight control.”

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

I had the honor/joy the other day of “speaking” (online) with one of the readers of on my website. The reader had some questions on bread choices. After sharing the bread products I have found that work for my diet, the conversation took an unexpected turn. Just to be clear, my website is about working with what foods you can eat and creating a diet that is more fun and interesting for you. The purpose is to assist you in making living with diabetes a little easier.

I do not ever give out medical advice. I am not qualified to do that.

My reader expressed distress and anger with the endocrinologist that he was sent to see and how this Doctor continually harangued him about his weight, and how if he just lost x number of pounds his diabetes would be under control. doctorBut the doctor offered no assistance or advice in how to shed the pounds while maintaining a healthy and Diabetes- Compatible eating plan. He would go to the office, sit in the little room, and wait for the white-coated doctor to make an appearance. The white-coat would flip through his folder and give him the results of his tests. Sometimes he would make an adjustment to his medicines, set up new tests and another appointment for three months. This would be followed by the lecture on taking off the pounds.

My reader exercises regularly, watches his diet, has gotten his A1C and fasting numbers in to very good shape. It is clear that he is really working at controlling his diabetes. And yet each visit is ended with the harangue and my reader leaving the office dejected.

One’s medical care, in my (not so humble) opinion, should be a total partnership between the patient and the doctor. The doctor has to be there not only to advise you, medicate you (if needed) but just as importantly to support you. Isn’t it just as important that your doctor acknowledges that you are making progress and encourages you to make more progress? How much does it help to be yelled at by the doctor? I know, I know, the doctor is busy. Haranguing may be the fastest way for the doctor to get the point across. Does it work?

I am lucky. My doctor looks at my lab results, smiles at me, and says:

”If your arms were longer, you could, and should reach over and pat yourself on the back”.

He follows this up by patting me on the back. I am 110% sure of four things. First: that his encouragement helps me to work harder and controlling my diabetes.  Second: that he is not the only doctor out there that is supportive of his patients. Third he does not blame me for my Diabetes.  And last of all, that he is not a pill pusher. He AND I discuss my progress and what the best course for my treatment might be. It is up to both of us to decide what I should do and what medications we could consider.

My only medical advice to my reader and any patient out there is to shop for the doctor that helps you to control your disease and supports you in your efforts.

If you need help expanding your menu so you can stick to a Diabetes-Compatible diet, I am your guy. Just don’t expect me to berate you for not liking to eat….

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

#1 fish fry

Oven “fried” Fish Fry

2 servings

Net carbohydrates 12 per serving

Chef’s Notes: Panko and dotted butter on the Panko are the keys to this dish being crisp (“fried-like”).Use any firm white fish you enjoy like Haddock or Cod. These fish contain a lot of moisture. Don’t be surprised at how much it shrinks.

This recipe somehow works out better with powdered garlic and onion that with fresh.

2 – ½ pound pieces of firm white fish

1 – Tbsp. olive oil

juice and zest of half a lemon

¼ tsp. powdered onion and garlic (or to to taste)

pepper to taste

1 –Tbsp. Chopped parsley

Sprinkling of paprika

¼ – cup Panko

Butter to dot over the Panko

Cooking spray to coat pan


Pre heat oven to 400°

Place fish on a baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Drizzle  the olive oil over each piece of fish.

Spoon lemon juice and zest over each piece.

Dust with onion powder, garlic powder and pepper

Lightly coat with Panko and dot with butter

Sprinkle with paprika

Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes until the Panko crust is golden brown. Distribute chopped parsley over the finished dish for color and freshness.

Serve with (see recipes)




Article #194

Juggling Diabetes with other food issues

Sometimes Diabetes is not the only food issue when you have Diabetes. Some of us need or choose to be gluten free. Some of us can’t handle dairy products, and some of us have food (especially nut allergies). It is not always so easy to keep our plates full.

Gluten free

Spaghetti Squash Pudding As scrumptious as Rice Pudding with minimal Carbs

Spaghetti Squash Pudding
As scrumptious as Rice Pudding with minimal Carbohydrates

Many of my recipes are gluten free. This is more by coincidence than choice. The exceptions are my cakes and those few protein dishes that I like to add a crust to. Some of my cake recipes can be made only with almond flour or toasted ground nuts. They can be rich and delicious but they tend to be very heavy.  I do have desserts that are naturally gluten free. Choices like a double chocolate or vanilla, or raspberry ricotta crèmes or my New/Old fashioned spaghetti squash pudding. And of course fresh berries either with yogurt or sweetened sour cream. I often suggest using nuts and cheese to add crunchy coatings to fish and chicken dishes. In all these recipes it is dairy that carries the weight of the dessert or crust. I know there are a lot of folks out there that don’t /or can’t do dairy products

Dairy allergies

The same thing applies here. I have all kinds of dishes that don’t use any dairy. Again, this not by intent but by coincidence. Often you can replace the butter in a recipe with an oil and it will work perfectly well.

Coffee with frothed hot milk - From Tyler Florence

   Coffee with frothed hot milk

Almond and soy milk will also work in many cases. A perfect example is replacing regular milk with Almond or soy milk to make an amazing Café Latte. As I try to find substitutes for higher carbohydrate dishes, I challenge those of you that need to find non- dairy dishes to find what works for you. You and I know that not everything will work in terms of flavor and texture. You won’t know until you try it for yourself.

Nut Allergies

I am floored by the number of people, especially children with nut allergies. I don’t remember this being widespread when I was growing up. It is a “puzzlement” how this has become such a serious issue. It is not only children of course; the parent of one of my friends was rushed to the hospital because he ate something that came into contact with peanuts.

One of my readers suggested using pumpkin seeds to replace nuts in a recipe. I thought it was brilliant.

I am so pleased to host a forum where the readers can share cooking thoughts with me and others. Using seeds has become my newest craze. One reader sharing her use of seeds instead of nuts with us led me to start creating a few new recipes for those allergic to nuts of any kind. My old response was to tell readers to try coconut flower instead of the nuts in my cake recipes, using seeds is a much easier and, I think, tastier and more nutritious solution. You must remember that I need to find the “new” dish as good as the “old” dish or I am not happy to share it with you or for that matter, make it again for me. I started to use both pumpkin and more frequently sunflower seeds to replace nuts in quite a few recipes with astonishingly good results. They do EXACTLY what I want them to do and that is to replace all or some of the flour or breading in a recipe.

No Nuts...No gluten...LOADS of flavor Sunflower Seed Crusted Chicken

No Nuts…No gluten…LOADS of flavor
Sunflower Seed Crusted Chicken

I shared a recipe for chicken with a seed crust with you a few weeks back. It is the one recipe I have developed….so far, that is gluten free, dairy free, and nut free. MOST important it is NOT a poor substitute for anything. It is a simply delicious. recipe. Not only did it come out better than I expected as a substitute for nuts in the recipe, but it turned out moist and flavorful as something special all by itself.

I keep working at trying to address some of the extra needs of my readers. I can’t do it all every time. The chef and mad scientist in me is thrilled to keep up the effort. Taste and texture has to please above all else.

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

Nut-free Sunflower cake

       Nut-free Sunflower cake

Sunflower Seed Cake

Serves 6 or makes 6 cupcakes

Net carbohydrates               12grams per serving


Chef’s note:  So many of you or your family members have nut allergies. I created this lower carbohydrate cake with you in mind. The wonderful surprise is that the cake ABSOLUTELY stands on its own. I like to use an 8-8 ½ inch springform pan (well -greased) or cupcake tin lined with paper cups.

Dry mixture

2/3 -cup flour (you can replace up to 1/4 the amount with whole wheat flour)

½ cup roasted UNSALTED sunflowers seeds

1-tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground cardamom (or ground ginger)

1 – tsp. baking powder

1 –tsp, baking soda (1/2 into dry mix, ½ into wet mix)

pinch of salt

Wet mixture

1/2 – stick (4 ounces) of butter at room temperature

¼ cup- neutral flavored oil (canola, safflower or try lemon infused olive oil)

1 – cup  or equivalent GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE

3 – large eggs at room temperature

2- tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 – tbsp. sour cream (Low fat is ok BUTNOT fat free)

½ – tsp.  lemon juice

zest of 1/2 lemon


Pre heat oven to 350°

Dry Mixture

In a food processor:

Combine sunflower seeds, salt, and 1/3 cup flour. Pulse until the seeds are totally pulverized. Add the remaining 1/3 cup flour, and spices. Pulse until combined. Add baking soda and baking powder and pulse until combined. (I often do this a day ahead),

Wet Mixture

Easiest if you have a stand mixer

Cream butter and GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE until light and fluffy add the oil and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl

Add vanilla extract.

Combine the sour cream and lemon juice. Add remaining ½ tsp. of baking soda to sour cream and stir. Allow to bubble up.

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the eggs and sour cream mixture. Start with the dry. MIX ONLY UNTIL JUST INCORPORATED otherwise you wind up with bread. Add lemon zest at the very end and stir it into the batter by hand.

Spoon the batter into baking pan and bake for 26-28 minutes (17-22 minutes for cupcakes) or until tester comes out dry from the center. Note: I often sprinkle a tablespoon of sunflower seeds over the batter just before baking. It adds visual interest and helps hide the cracks when the cake settles.




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