THIS WEEK – I’m Back… with Old Friends and NEW Diabetes-Compatible Treats

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:

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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08/26/2015

Article # 156 (I’m back)

Old Friends and new Diabetes treats

As many of you know, I have been traveling across the United States to our new home in New Mexico. Just like you, I have a heck of a time eating on the road. It was sad leaving friends and neighbors back in Portland. Also sad was knowing that some of the products (my food friends) I have been using in Maine were not going to be as available in New Mexico.  But like my friends and neighbors back in Maine, I can still contact them (via on-line ordering) and keep them in my pack. Some of my friends just changed their name. Arnold products are called Oroweat here.

Our choice was to book hotels that served a full breakfast. All I had to do is bring MY bread down to toast and enjoy the eggs that the hotels offered. The hotels may have cost a bit more but the savings over going to even a fast food chain and replacing their bread with mine, was really worth it.

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

 

For me the bread is the thing for both breakfast and lunches. I mean really, how many salads do I WANT to eat? Dinners were easier, a protein and some over cooked vegetables and a limp (?) salad. Traveling, I have learned to treat eating as a re-fueling stop. Delicious, perhaps not, but workable enough.

 

 

We stopped in Columbus Ohio. As we were getting to our hotel we passed a Graeter’s

Grater's "Low Glycemic" ice cream

Grater’s “Low Glycemic” ice cream

ice cream place. My friend Jennie introduced me to Graeter’s some years ago as a Christmas present. I have to tell you that that company produces some of the best American ice cream I have ever tasted. I decided that the “stress” of driving across the country was worth a “little” cheat. We went for it. To my surprise and delight, I discovered that Graeter’s was producing a “low glycemic” version of some of their flavors. While the carbohydrate count (differs from flavor to flavor) was lower than the regular flavors (but not very low), the taste was just amazing. Graeter’s is using a monk fruit sweetener to replace the sugar in these ice creams. Needless to say I was in heaven with my selection of butter pecan ice cream. As fabulous as I remembered.  I looked up reviews on line for the product and all were very positive. I am going to do some research for you and see what, if anything, I can share with you about this monk fruit sweetener.

I have continually complained about restaurants not offering a Diabetes-compatible alternative for desserts. There are so many millions of us that would, and could benefit from even a simple offering of fresh berries to eat and enjoy as the others at our table scoff down that chocolate mousse.

Here in Albuquerque at a restaurant called Mykonos, for the very first time ever, the server offered to find me “something” in the kitchen. She would look and see if some of the fruits they decorated the dessert plates with could be put together for me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that meant to me. The berries were delicious and the thought and caring were even more delicious. What are the chances that we will go back to that restaurant? As often as I can. The thoughtfulness was as amazing as the food we were served. I should add that I told the owners that I write for people with Diabetes. Guess what? One of the owners has a parent that has Diabetes. Not such an unusual thing.

For cold summer treats I have mentioned to you Healthy choice fudge bars and Dairy Queen’s orange creamsicles. Both are as delicious as the pops I enjoyed as a kid, and both are very Diabetes Compatible. Although I usually make my own, these commercially available products are nice to have when I want what I want and time does not allow me to make my own.

Artic Zero frozen treats

Artic Zero frozen treats

Let me add another product to the list. Artic Zero ice creams. I found it at a market in this area called Sprouts. (Sprouts is this amazing and relatively inexpensive market with produce to die for and a customer service attitude that I have not seen since I was a kid). I am also told this product can be purchased at a Whole Foods. First of all it is expensive for a non- premium product (about $4-$5 per pint). It is not as rich as the Graeter’s low glycemic product, but it is pretty good. I have read dozens of reviews about it online. Half HATE it, half like it. If what you want is an ice cream like product that is low in carbohydrates, calories, gluten free, GMO free and lactose free, this product is worth a try. Again, I liked the butter pecan flavor. I did try the chocolate pops (who could resist?) and did not enjoy them very much. If any of you try it, I would love your feed-back.

I occasionally like a tonic drink (Vodka, Tequila etc.) I could not find the brand I was used to but found a new brand here called Zevia (also at sprouts). It uses stevia for the sweetening agent. I thought it might have that metallic taste I get from stevia products (my PERSONAL REACTION) but it was absolutely delicious. So I am in New Mexico in an interim apartment, waiting for our house to be finished. I miss my old friends both human and food but my  to quote Casablanca…”It looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship”. I will try and keep up with my weekly scheduled postings and be of some assistance to you. I will get some new recipes out to you as …well soon as I master high altitude cooking and find a place in the tiny apartment to photograph the dish. As always…

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

 

Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan with Turkey

Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan with Turkey

Turkey stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

Serves 4

Net Carbohydrates                          10 grams

 

Chef’s Note: One of the restaurants I worked for was an international food court. One day my “Italian” Chef walked out leaving me to create the Italian portion of the menu. A popular item on the menu was stuffed eggplant. This version uses ground turkey in place of the ground beef. It is a little lighter but just as satisfying.

2 small eggplants

1 pound lean ground turkey

2 ounces lean turkey or chicken  sausage

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. dried oregano

3 TBSP. diced tomatoes

Or

4  pieces chopped sundried tomatoes

Salt & pepper to taste (and your Doctor’s advice)

4 slices mozzarella cheese

2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

 

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoop out about ¼ of the flesh. Salt and turn upside down to drain. Combine all the remaining ingredients except the mozzarella cheese and shape into 4 equal sized portions.

Rinse and dry the eggplants and then stuff with the turkey mixture. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake five minutes more.

Don’t forget the cheese and don’t be limited to the old stand- by varieties. Swiss, Munster, blue, jack, Havarti all make GREAT choices.

 

 

07/15/2015

Article # 155

Challenges and adventures in eating with Diabetes

REJOICE !It has been almost three years since I started writing and sharing recipes for and with people with Diabetes. With only one exception, (sorry Patricia) I have given you a post and new recipe every week. Now, I start a new adventure. More about that in a moment.

In December 2008 I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. It was for me, as it must have been for you, a big slap in the face and a wake up call. Even though my father, brother , and sister all had type 2 Diabetes, I was still shocked that “it could happen to me.”

For the first few months I was:

– Sick from my medication

-Depressed about facing a life with Diabetes

-Frightened by what I heard about the negative side effects of the disease.

-Angry with the people at the Diabetes clinic (they yelled at me)

-Angry as hell at what I could not eat

Then a dietician at my local “stupidmarket” Anne, took me by the hand and walked me through the store and introduced me to a host of better choices AND a bread that I could eat.

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

I have sung the praises of the low (net) carbohydrate breads Joseph’s Bakery sells. It took the scraps on my plate and turned them into a sandwich. It changed the way I thought about eating with Diabetes. It also made me look closer for more items that fit into my carbohydrate budget.

I started creating Diabetes “friendly” recipes (I hate that term and now USE Diabetes-Compatible) and sharing them with other people I knew or met that also shared the disease with me or had a family member with Diabetes.

The next adventure for this avowed techno-idiot was to create a website (August 2012) and share what I learned and was learning with others in my Diabetic boat. I started reaching more and more people. Many of you have been kind enough to tell me that what I do has made a positive difference in their lives.

My friend Cassie, an editor, encouraged me to go on to a Facebook page. Boy did that ever challenge my tech abilities. But with her encouragement, I reached (and hopefully helped) more and more people.  I have since been asked to write for several Diabetes related sites and today, my work and recipes reach more than a million people every week.

Via my writing and recipes I have made some fabulous friends in the online Diabetes community. You folks encourage me as much, maybe more, that I can encourage you.

Blueberry & Cream ...Dessert?

Blueberry & Cream …Dessert?

What started out as: sickness, depression, and anger, has turned out to be a great new and positive adventure for me. From the negatives, you have contributed in making my life a great positive adventure. You have shown me the way for me to “pay it forward”.

Sure, at some point I hope to have an outrageous cookbook published for you. With my recipes photographed to look as good as they taste. My photography skills (and new camera) have made my pictures better, but not good enough for you.

Rich, dark and silky  CHOCOLATE Silk Tart

Rich, dark and silky
CHOCOLATE Silk Tart

You, me, and all of us with Diabetes deserve an elegant presentation of excellent foods that will help us manage our disease and eat like royalty. As with my recipes I won’t allow something second best. Someday soon perhaps.

My next adventure is moving across the United States to New Mexico. So for a month I will not be doing any more writing. Once I am set up with the internet (sometime in late August) I will be back sharing with you.

With my Joseph’s and my low carb sandwich thins in hand, we start our trek. Lay back New Mexico!  I know I will be able to manage my eating on the road. I will tell you all about it as soon as I can.

My work will still show up on some of the sites I write for, just so you don’t forget me, THE Decadent Diabetic. Wish us luck!

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

 

 

Caprese Salad

            Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

Servings                    2

Net Carbohydrates              11 grams

 

Chef’s Note: This is one of my very favorite salads. It is too easy to make. It has amazing flavor and now that I have discovered a few lower carbohydrate breads, I enjoy it all year long, but when the basil and tomatoes start growing in my garden…I go nuts.

2- 4 ounce tomatoes

4 ounces mozzarella (fresh is best)

4 ounces FRESH basil

2 -4 Tablespoons good olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste (and your medical advice)

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Slice each tomato in half and then into ¼ inch slices. Slice the mozzarella cheese into ¼ slices. Place them in alternate layers on the plate. Chop the FRESH basil into a medium chop. Drizzle the oil over the tomato, cheese and basil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the salad. Allow to sit for 4-5 minutes and enjoy with a low carb pita bread (Joseph’s) to sop up the oil. Manga!!

07/08/2015

Article #153

 

Homemade food, MADE by a person with Diabetes

Cauliflower does it AGAIN!

Cauliflower does it AGAIN!

My recipe for “riced” cauliflower (or cauliflower rice if you prefer) was featured on a Diabetes website recently. It was very well received and best of all caused a great deal of comment…and ONLY 1 “yuk”.  I think that the “yuck” is as good as the “Yum”. Both tell others that they are not ALONE in liking or hating a food. I wish they could come up with a nicer term.  How about “Phooey?” I love the comments folks make about my articles and recipes. Good, bad or indifferent, it is great to get people talking, and I hope, thinking.

What really fascinated, and troubled me, was that there were a few comments asking where to buy the product. Certainly, after three years of writing and sharing recipes with the people in the world affected with Diabetes (AND those that love them) I am used to people not actually reading the recipes. Hey, it is a visual world. With the television and internet, we are set for quick bites of information. I get that, and I am actually am fine with it. The only problem is that I am a so-so photographer in this visual world.

Getting back to the comments about where to purchase the “riced” cauliflower, I realized, again, that we are a world of people that say that they won’t, don’t, can’t (?) cook, or so they think. These commentators are expecting to find the dish on the supermarket shelf, ready to toss in the nuke or a pot of boiling water and go. We all have busy and complicated lives. Sure convenience foods have their place, but so has the JOY and satisfaction of cooking. Having Diabetes makes home cooking a better choice than ever before.

Think of it this way, your diagnosis of Diabetes took away some of your choices. GET EVEN! Make the choice to cook wondrous meals for yourself that incidentally help you manage your Diabetes.

Pork chop Grilled using Herbs de Provence

Pork chop Grilled using Herbs de Provence

Pre-packaged foods may be easy. They may be quick. They may not take any serious cooking skills. Are they the best choices for you…or anybody else? You know I am big on full disclosure, I love some pre-packaged foods. No way, no how, am I EVER planning on making my own hot dogs. I know, hot dogs are not the best choice. What is the 4th of July or any outdoor cooking occasion without a hot dog around? Hot dogs are best left to the factory to make. YES we all know they have too much…salt, fat, this, that. Once in a while it is good for our soul to indulge ourselves…or not. Ahhh, you say, have a hamburger or veggie, or turkey burger instead. I certainly do all of those as well. With the exception of the veggie burger, I make the others myself. I PROMISE it is not difficult. My “stupidmarket” meat department has pre-made burgers, Really? Is it that difficult to make a hamburger patty? Sure it is quicker. Who got to choose the fat content in the meat?? Jus’ saying folks, no lecture intended. Choosing to eat what works for me in managing my Diabetes is my way of kicking this disease in the teeth and saying : “You ain’t gonna beat me!” The fact that we can make this choice delicious is like getting in that extra punch in the face of the disease.

Fried "RICED" Cauliflower with Shrimp

Fried “RICED” Cauliflower with Shrimp

For those people that wanted to know where to buy the “Riced” cauliflower dish, my apologies. You are just going to have to make it for yourself. For those that commented that they have tried it and liked it, GREAT! For those that went to the next step and made my “fried” riced cauliflower…good going guys. And for EVERYBODY that commented and replied back and forth with one another…THANK YOU for taking the time to make another person’s life a little better and easier.

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

 

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

Turkey Burgers

 

Makes 2 patties

Net Carbohydrates                          2 grams

 

Chef’s Note: I started making these years ago when cholesterol was my biggest concern. I discovered that I actually like them as much, maybe better than beef burgers. Please don’t think I am crazy to give you a recipe to make a burger. I am doing it to inspire you to use ALL of your creative juices to make something great. I like a 5-7 ounce burger. I know, I know…

 

8-10 ounces lean ground turkey

2 ounces lean turkey sausage

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. dried tarragon

Salt & pepper to taste (and your Doctor’s advice)

2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

 

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE

Combine all the ingredients and shape into 2 equal sized patties. Either grill the patties for 7-8 minutes a side or fry them in a sauté pan for the same amount of time.

For food safety reasons, I like my turkey burgers cooked medium well.

The trick to make this work is a low carb bun. Try Sandwich thins or rounds or better yet, Joseph’s pita bread in place of the bun. Don’t forget the cheese and don’t be limited to the old stand- by varieties. Swiss, Munster, blue, jack, Havarti all make GREAT choices.

07/01/2015

Article # 152

The possibility of GREAT Diabetes-Compatible eating

(or from eweee to ahh with a flick of your mind!!!

The other day I was enjoying a ham salad sandwich for lunch. It was only the third ham

Pick a flavor, any flavor at all It Will be delicious!

 

salad sandwich I had ever made. I love ham and cheese sandwiches. I love mustard and mayonnaise on my ham & cheese sandwiches. I love chomping into celery. So why did I never make ham salad before? I make tuna salad, chicken salad, and egg salad all the time. I make them simple (on low carbohydrate breads). I make them fancy (inside tomatoes or on slivers of toasted lavash). Why not ham salad? Over the years, I have seen ham salad in deli cases. For no good reason what so ever, I deemed it: not to be eaten or considered. As I thoroughly enjoyed this sandwich, I had to wonder why I or anybody would decide something was not good to eat without ever trying it. Even more, with restrictions in my diet, why would I decide to eliminate a dish that works for my carbohydrate budget and intentionally decide not to eat it?

All kinds of folks don’t like stuff. That is perfect.

I know hundreds of people that won’t eat:

Fish-mushrooms- eggplant-broccoli- eggs-….

Cool, if they don’t like the flavor, texture, concept (mushrooms are fungi) smell, as long as they don’t like it because they have tried it at least once and found it unacceptable.

Please remember I don’t like lima beans. It is not from lack of trying. My grandmother never made a fresh vegetable because in Austria-Hungary where she grew up, they were in short supply and very expensive. My ancestors were poor. But even if they had funds, they had never been exposed too much in the way of fresh foods. No local market at the end of their street. They relied on meat, chicken, dried beans and root vegetables for a good part of their protein and “vegetable’ budget. When Bella came to the United States, she brought her mother and her mom’s methods of cooking with her. My mother was raised with her mother’s recipes and personal preferences. It is what they knew. The end result was I got feed lima beans. While I don’t enjoy VERY spicy foods, the dullness and the texture of lima beans never sat well with me. So, I feel it is fair after years of trying, to eliminate them from my diet.

How to explain my thinking that the ham salad was not edible?

Let me use my friend Linda as an example. She loves blue cheeses, onions, artichokes, and parmesan cheese. When I told her that one of my favorite stuffings for pork and chicken was an artichoke and blue cheese mixture, she all but went green. Each item separate on a plate was wonderful to her, but combined, she could not get her mind or her tastebuds around it. I don’t force anybody to eat anything, so I have never made the dish for her. I have made it hundreds and hundreds of times and it is always met with a very positive response. No many of you will say: “I love chocolate and I love potatoes but not together”. Give me a break folks. Lots of people like chocolate dipped potato chips, I don’t.

Fast and Easy this recipe fills your plate with flavor, nor carbohydrates

Fast and Easy this recipe fills your plate with flavor, nor carbohydrates

A recipe of mine was featured on Diabetes Support. It was my zucchini and tomato sautee. Thousands of people like and shared the recipe on Facebook. There was one comment that made me chuckle:

Oh great, two food items that make me gag

I guess you can’t win. The point of that recipe, and all recipes is as much to give you an idea of a different approach to creating a new dish as it is a map to a new taste.

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, keep your eyes and mind open and BE DECADENT! –w!

 

Broccoli Walnut Salad Hate tomatoes...use red peppers Hate Walnuts...use almonds or pecans

   Broccoli Walnut Salad
Hate tomatoes…use red peppers
Hate Walnuts…use almonds or pecans

Broccoli  and walnut Salad

4 enormous servings

Net carbohydrates 8g.

 

2 – medium broccoli crowns

1-2 – cloves garlic crushed or grated

½  – cup walnuts, toasted

¼ cup pitted black olives (cut in half)

6 Sun dried tomatoes (diced)

½ cup Parmesan cheese

Dressing

3 Tbsp. white wine or apple cider vinegar

½ cup olive oil

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

½ shallot (minced)

Salt & pepper to taste (and your doctor’s advice)

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Cut broccoli into florets and blanch in a large pot of boiling salted and sweetened water for 45 -60 seconds. Shock in ice water. Drain very well on paper towels. Combine the broccoli, garlic, walnuts, olives and sun dried tomatoes. Using a sharp knife, break the parmesan cheese into shards and add to the other ingredients.

In a jar with a tight fitting top, combine the vinegar, oil, mustard, shallots, and salt and pepper. Shake to combine. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.

 

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