THIS WEEK – What do you REALLY want from your Diabetes Diet?

This website is for ALL OF US DIABETICS AND THE FAMILIES OF DIABETICS That REALLY like to eat!

Italian Cream Gallette Gallette A Showstopper Birthday cake

Italian Cream Gallette Gallette
A Showstopper Birthday cake

 

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.

Chicken Parmesan served on a bed of Flavored Spinach

Chicken Parmesan served on a bed of Flavored Spinach

 

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!

 

Fresh Veggies and Cottage Cheese A different twist on an old dieter's favorite DON'T FORGET THE RADISH!

Fresh Veggies and Cottage Cheese
A different LOWER CARB twist on an old dieter’s favorite
DON’T FORGET THE RADISH!

 

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!

"Greek" Small Bite Spinach Stuffed mushrooms

“Greek” Small Bite
Spinach Stuffed mushrooms

 

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!

My WEDDING CAKE Diabetic "Happy" Amaretto Cheesecakes

CHEESECAKE!!!! Need I say More?

 

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

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10/29/2014

Article #118

 

What do you REALLY want from your Diabetes Diet?

 

All of us with Diabetes want to stay healthy and ward off the ill effects of Diabetes as long as we can. We all know that we have to eat better to manage the disease.

Will it be Enough? Image by menshealth.co.uk

Will it be Enough?
Image by menshealth.co.uk

When I speak with others with Diabetes, most tell me that the hardest part for them is the diet. They have gotten used to checking their sugars, dealt with the expense of the testing supplies, and even gotten to the point that calculating their carbohydrates is second nature.  Almost all tell me that the diet is the hardest part.  Many complain that they are always hungry. More feel deprived of what they “should” not eat, as in “I would kill for….” Some feel that they can not go out to dinner and feel like everybody else at the table. Some want to entertain others at home, but fear that their dietary limitations would not be suitable for guests. The biggest complaint is that they think food is boring.

In the six years since my diagnosis, I have discovered that there are ways to EASILY overcome most if not all of those feelings. It all depends on what you really want and what you are willing to do to get there.

I am always hungry

How many years have we been told that the best way to build our plates is filling the largest portion with grains? As people with Diabetes, we are told that for us, that is NOT the best choice.  How do we fill that void?

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Cole slaw, braised cabbage, wilted spinach, cauliflower and spaghetti squash go a long way in filling that empty space on the plate. Salad may be all air and water but it too takes up a lot of room on the plate, not to mention a lot of chewing.

I would kill for…

Every time I do a posting about desserts, I get a huge response from my readers. I am the first person to say that being able to have desserts is important. Why, the first chapter of my book is DESSERTS. Cakes, tarts, creams, even creamsicles can still be part of your diet. You just have to decide that YOU can make them yourself. With very few exceptions, the desserts I have posted here  (22 of them) are a snap even for the most “cooking challenged” reader. Most of them can be made, or at least started a day ahead.

PERUGINA BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE                         70% Cocoa

PERUGINA BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE
70% Cocoa

CHOCOLATE! Now that I have your attention, Chocolate does not have to be a no-no (we ARE NOT talking Goobers and Raisinettes here). Dark chocolates are much lower in carbohydrates than milk chocolates. I have always preferred the dark to the milk. The same is true for dark cocoa powder. It is very low in carbohydrates and it takes just a little to really chocolate up a recipe.

Eating out

I have always found this difficult. It is difficult to sit in a restaurant and mentally eliminate most of the items on a menu. Restaurant menus tend to be carb heavy because those foods are less expensive than proteins and vegetables. That being said, there is no reason not to go out to dinner once in a while. You can always ask for double vegetables instead of a high carbohydrate side. Salads work well if you are careful about the dressing. Listen, restaurants are getting better at catering to the likes AND needs of their customers. If you are going to a “burger joint”, bring your own lower carbohydrate bread like the sandwich rounds made by Arnold, Pepperidge Farm and even Walmart. I do it all the time and no one seems to care or even notice. Order what you think will be the most flavorful item on the menu and enjoy your evening.

Entertaining

Tastes of Greece and Italy Just put it together and say: Feta cheese

    Tastes of Greece and Italy
Just put it together and say: Feta cheese

I love to entertain.  If you don’t make it an issue that what you have prepared is “special Diabetic” food, your guests probably won’t notice. Those that are aware that you have Diabetes will find your dinner creations just that, very creative. Below is my recipe for Company is Coming Chicken. I can’t even remember what decade I started making this crowd pleaser. The only changes to the original recipe are portion size (when I first started making this dish, I used a whole breast per person, good grief!) and the type of bread I use for the stuffing. The end result is better than ever. So much for boring Diabetic-Compatible food!

Now that the big problem of what to eat is solved, go out and live your life … healthfully, of course.

Enjoy, be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!

Company is Coming Chicken Double stuffed chicken for double the flavor punch

    Company is Coming Chicken
Double stuffed chicken for double the flavor punch

 

Company is Coming chicken

(aka 3 Great ladies Chicken)

4 Servings

Net Carbohydrates  10g. per serving

 

Chef’s Notes: I love mushrooms. If you don’t, leave them out of the recipe. In my opinion, the dish will not be as good…but mushroom haters are everywhere.

-I call this Company is coming chicken because I think that it is too rich as an every day meal.

-I also call this 3 Great ladies chicken because the original recipe was inspired by one of Grandma Bella’s (Jewish), Nonna Celia (Italian) and Julia Child, The French chef. I found it fascinating that three such diverse ladies made such a similar dish.

-Las but not least, make sure you like the sausage you use in the dish. It is the major source of flavoring in the recipe.

 

2-large Chicken breast, split in half, leaving skin on and removing bones

3 Joseph’s Oat Flax and whole wheat pita bread

Or

2- Joseph’s Oat Flax and whole wheat pita bread

AND

 

1/2 – THOMAS’S LIGHT English muffins

Or

3 slices Sara lee “Delightful” wheat bread toasted

8-12 ounces sweet sausage (pork, turkey or chicken)

1 – medium onion, diced

1 – stalk celery, chopped coarsely

3 – Tbsp. olive oil

2 – medium Portobello mushroom or 4 ounces Baby Bella or Crimini mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

3 – cloves garlic, grated

2 – egg, slightly beaten

1/2 – cup low sodium chicken broth

1 – tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 – cup toasted pecans or walnuts

 

 

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Lightly toast the bread you are using, 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 dice them

Sauté the onion the olive oil until it is just soft. Add the chopped celery and  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. Add the cooked sausage.

Slightly beat the eggs. Add the mustard and chicken broth. Beat slightly to combine.

Crumble bread and add to the egg mixture.

Chop the nuts coarsely and add to the egg mixture. Add the sausage onion mixture and the rest of the ingredients

Preheat oven to 350

Take approximately 1/3 of the stuffing and dive it in four parts. Place it under the skin of the chicken. Take the remaining stuffing and divide it between the 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 skin is a rich brown color.

 

 

10/22/2014

Article #117

From 3 jars of spices mix...27 meals...and counting

From 3 jars of spices mix..27 meals..and counting

Boring to beautiful…it is a snap with spice

I just want to pick up with all of you that have very full lives and little time or interest in cooking.

Whether it is meat, fish, chicken, or a person, it  just takes a little seasoning to be made into a thing of beauty. For those of you with busy lives, that seasoning CAN  even come from a jar.

I have, and use, a lot of spices in my cooking. But, like any cook, I only stock the spices I use most often. What do you do if you don’t have the space, or need for every spice under the sun? There are companies out there that sell spice combinations for every conceivable dish. This year seems to be the year of the rub. You can purchase rub combination to suit your taste-buds from hot to mild. Most of them are delicious. Most of them have salt as the first ingredient. The other thing is you have no idea how long they have been on the shelf. Unless a combination is very popular, like curry, it could be sitting there since the store opened. My advice is always to dig to the back of the shelf for the freshest jar.  Better yet, if you have a place that sells spices in bulk, shop there. Not only will they be fresher, but you can buy smaller amounts and they won’t age in your cabinet. In the long run, they actually are cheaper because you throw away less.

You get to choose…but

If you don’t want to spend the money to buy prepackaged seasoning preparations, and you don’t have one of those cute little spice bottle draws or racks, or a home garden, you need to figure out what herbs and spices you are going to use most often.  A kitchen without salt and pepper is just a room, but you don’t need to own every spice known to man. The trick is to keep an open mind. Please don’t limit yourself to just one or two choices. If you like Italian flavorings, basil and oregano are key to that region. To expand on that you can add fennel to your stock pile. You will find that the fennel will also work for French flavorings.

Dried vs. Fresh

Some cooks just go crazy at the very suggestion of using dried herbs. I think that they are a second choice, and if you don’t have a garden in the kitchen, you can still get much of the flavor with the dried. Keep in mind that if you can, fresh is usually the best choice. However, my personal choice is dried oregano and tarragon over fresh for foods that need cooking. I just think that they taste better, (what I call softer). I only use those two fresh for cold foods, and much less of the fresh than the dried. Any spice or dried herb that I don’t use often, I like to keep in the freezer. I take out what I need and back it goes. They won’t last forever but you can extend their freshness span.

Recipes with lots of spices

Some recipes call for a lot of different spices. Every region has a flavor sense.  The Mediterranean is full of lemony spices like oregano, thyme, and basil. The Asian flavors are represented by strong senses like cinnamon, anise, ginger and garlic. Nordic countries seem to favor lighter flavors like dill.

What is the Home cook to do?

Pork chop Grilled using Herbs de Provence

Pork chop Grilled using Herbs de Provence

Getting back to the spice combinations. Even with the space and usage a professional kitchen has, some flavors are just not used that often. If you are preparing a French style dish, you can mix together those herbs to get a mixture that reminds you of France…or you can just buy a bottle of Herbs de Provence. I am absolutely capable of creating that mixture myself, but a prepackaged Herbs de Provence is faster and easier. In the long run, it is cheaper than to keep all of the separate herbs on hand. This is also true of Chinese five spice. I don’t use enough of any of the components to keep them on hand individually. A jar of the combination sits in my freezer. And when the only thing on earth I want for dinner that night is a Chinese taste, it is there waiting for me. As a wedding gift I was given a jar of Greek seasoning. If it was not a gift from two of my “foodie” friends, I might have left it on the shelf until clean out the cabinet day. The combination is from a family owned restaurant in upstate New York called Symeon’s. Interestingly enough, I stock all of the spices in the mixture in my kitchen and could just use them. But this mixture has it down pat. So for a “lazy” but absolutely delicious night, I use this combination on steak, pork, chicken, and last night on fresh tuna. I can’t do it better. There are a lot of “family” restaurants that do their own seasoning mixture, If you like the restaurant, it is a good bet that you will like their mixture. If they are willing to share their “secret” with you,(like I am) take full advantage.

Stock the best of it, get rid of the rest of it

Decide what flavors you like and keep them on hand. Don’t worry about having everything for a recipe. If the recipe you are making requires something you don’t usually have, look for the smallest amount you can get and get cooking!

 

Enjoy, be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!

 

"Greek" Chicken using pre-packaged Symeons Spice mix

“Greek” Chicken using pre-packaged Symeons Spice mix

Dinner from a Jar?

Serves  2

Net Carbohydrates                          1-3 per serving

 

Chef’s note: When you have no time to cook or even think about cooking, the flavors for these quick easy, and most importantly delicious come from a jar of pre-mixed herbs and spices. All you have to do is add one or two additional ingredients and cook.

These are three of the combinations I use most often. Look in the spice aisle of your Stupidmarket” and find one or two you like. From these 3 combinations…27 different meals.

 

Asian Tuna using Chinese Five spice

Asian Tuna using Chinese Five spice

For Chinese flavored chicken, pork or fish:

2 portions of the protein 4-6 ounces each

1 tsp. Chinese five spice

½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground garlic

1 TBSP. soy sauce

1 TBSP. vegetable oil

For French flavored chicken, pork or fish:

2 portions of the protein 4-6 ounces each

2 tsp. Herbs de Provence

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

1TBSP. olive oil

"Greek" Chicken using pre-packaged Symeons Spice mix

“Greek” Chicken using pre-packaged Symeons Spice mix

For Greek flavored chicken, pork or fish:

2 portions of the protein 4-6 ounces each

1tsp. Symeons Seasoning

1 TBSP. olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

 

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPES:

Combine all of the ingredients and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but overnight is even better. Cook on the stove in a skillet or in the oven or on the grill.

Cooking instructions:

Stove top: For pork and chicken: 7-10 minutes per side on medium high heat. Firm fish like sword and tuna: 4-7 minutes per side

In the oven: For pork and chicken: 35-40 minutes at 350. For Fish: 10 minutes per inch of fish at 400.

On the Grill: For pork and Chicken 9-10 minutes per side on a low- medium heat. For firm fish 6-7 minutes per side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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