THIS WEEK- Diabetes-Compatible eating: Spinning straw into gold

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

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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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09/21/2016

Article #210

Diabetes-Compatible eating: Spinning straw into gold

Allow me to repeat myself, yet again. Diabetes-Compatible eating does NOT have to be about eating terrible tasting food. I promise you it CAN be and SHOULD be about really enjoying what you eat while you manage your Diabetes.

Better than JUST a substitute A Deliciously Decadent Side Dish

Better than JUST a substitute
A Deliciously Decadent Side Dish

I just finished mixing up a batch of my oven baked zucchini pancakes. It seems I get the request to make them at least once a week. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me. These pancakes are a variation of an old potato pancake recipe that I found years ago. It called for baking rather than frying. Back then, I was surprised at how good they tasted and how crisp they are. Changing out the potato for lower carbohydrate zucchini didn’t change the overall sense of the dish. They are, forgive my boasting, scrumptious. The “new” truth is that even if I were not cooking to help manage my Diabetes, I would still make these pancakes. Why, because I get a lot of requests (demands) for them…and I like them a lot.

I know that not all of you are as adventurous an eater or cook as I am. But it has been fun to have a good reason to experiment with new foods and foods cooked in new ways. My inspiration for this is my Diabetes health and your Diabetes health. The bonus is that I have found some things to eat that are unexpected and unexpectedly delicious.

Among the “new” foods (for me) was spaghetti squash….and before you go yuck or eweee, if you haven’t tried it, you may not know what you have been missing. Like my zucchini pancakes, the variations on this food are often request at my table. I will remind you that at first, I too, was not fond of spaghetti squash as a direct substitute for pasta.

Using a hammer and Chinese Cleaver to split open the Squash

Using a hammer and Chinese Cleaver to split open the Squash

I did not like the “vegetable-y” taste with spaghetti sauce. It sorta felt like I was sneaking vegetables on to the plate. I enjoy veggies but even they have their place, and that usually is not with my meatballs. But I do like squash in general so I figured it was worth my while to keep trying. The first thing that worked was simply leaving off the red sauce and eating the squash with oil or butter and parmesan cheese. It made perfect sense that I would like it. I have been eating zucchini and yellow squash that way for decades. The rest is cooking history. I have countless ways that I use the squash. It is so neutral a flavor that it takes on the other flavors of the dish. Squash is squash…except when it isn’t.

A couple of other things that I like (They harken back to my childhood) is pot roast and beef stew). The only changes I have made in those recipes is cutting back on the amount of carrot in the recipes (I think you need some carrot for natural sweetness) and not using garden peas or in the case of the stew, potatoes. I could substitute cauliflower in the stew for the potato; It does work but

Call it Gallic Pot Roast, Bouef ala Mode It the perfect comfort food you always ate...now even better!

Call it Gallic Pot Roast, Bouef ala Mode
It the perfect comfort food you always ate…now even better!

I much prefer to serve it over a bed of deliciously mashed cauliflower or even a spaghetti squash stroganoff.  By cutting out a few of the higher carbohydrate vegetable items in the recipes, I get a meatier flavor. I also add brown mushrooms just to give the tongue more variety. Yes, I know, “yuck” mushrooms. I have long since given up on converting mushroom haters. My thought is if you don’t like them, good, all the more for me. Those of you who want can have all my lima beans!

One of my favorite salads is Caprese salad. It is composed of: fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, cheese, olive oil, and fresh basil. The downside is that it I like sopping up the oil with crusty bread. I have found two solutions for this dilemma. 1- using Joseph’s low carbohydrate pita bread, and 2- turning the ingredients into an unbelievable crustless quiche. I did it as a lark one day and now have to make it often. It has the same cheesy/ tomato taste as the salad or even of a crustless pizza. It really is an interesting variation of the Swiss cheese or cheddar cheese usually found in a quiche.

Turning straw into Diabetes-Compatible cooking gold is as simple as taking the foods you like, and that help you to manage your Diabetes and turning (spinning?) them into new dishes that are so good you wonder why you never ate them before?

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Crust-less "Caprese" Quiche Like a salad and a pizza all in one

Crust-less “Caprese” Quiche
Like a salad and a pizza all in one

 

Caprese Quiche (crustless)

4 servings

Net Carbohydrates 6g.

Chef’s Notes: I created this recipe when the basil in my garden had to be used. I had the tomatoes and cheese on hand but not enough to make a salad so I thought why not. Turned out so good I can’t wait to make it again. It tastes like a cross between Caprese salad and pizza.

Quiche is notorious for having a soggy crust. Not using a crust eliminates the problem!

1 shallot or 3 scallions chopped

1 Tbsp. butter

3 eggs lightly beaten

Enough milk, half and half or cream to make 1 ½ cups when added to the eggs

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch (1/16 tsp.) fresh nutmeg

1 medium (3 ½ -4 ounces) Roma (plum) tomato sliced 1/8 “ thick

3 TBSP. fresh basil chopped

Non- stick spray or butter for the pie pan

How to prepare the recipe:

Pre heat the oven to 375°

Butter or spray a 9 inch pie pan with a non- stick spray

Sautee the shallot or scallions in butter. Allow to cool.

Beat the eggs lightly and add the salt pepper, and nutmeg. Add the milk or cream until you have 1 ½ cups of liquid in total. Add cooled shallots.

Evenly spread the shredded cheese on the bottom of the pan. Distribute the chopped basil over the cheese. Arrange the tomato slices over the basil. Gently pour the egg mixture over the cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the quiche is lightly browned and puffy.

Allow to cool a little before serving.

 

09/14/2016

Article 209

Diabetes eater’s choice… creatures of habit?

Steak with pan sauce From BLAH to AHHH !!! in 5 minutes

Steak with caper sauce

I have been involved with the restaurant business for almost as long as I can remember. There is no job that I have not done from sweeping the floors and peeling potatoes (for me the potato peeler is a modern invention) to creating menus and managing the business. Every phase has led me to the relationship I have with food. One job in particular may have had the most influence on me. From too early an age, I used to wait tables.

“Oh, can I have the steak with the caper sauce, but without the caper sauce?”

For those of us with Diabetes, the request to substitute vegetables for the carbs is a really acceptable choice. Interestingly, you don’t need to explain that you have Diabetes. Lots of people watch the carbs for other reasons.

For some, it is a great job. All those countless actors and singers that wanted to pursue a career in the arts were able to at least subsist on tips from waiting tables. Let me tell you it is very hard work. I want to remind you to tip your server generously. For me, it was the greatest clue as to how to plan and cook food for other people.

Shrimp & Bacon Stuffed Haddock

Shrimp & Bacon Stuffed Haddock

Usually when you sit down in a restaurant, your server will recite a litany of “today’s specials”. The specials are an interesting thing. The great percentage of customers are there to enjoy a meal that 1- they did not cook at home, 2- they know is going to be what they are used to eating at a particular restaurant (my phrase for business is 100 days out of 100 days), 3- they are not adventurous and not up for the surprise of a new dish.

Let me relate these items to .people with Diabetes. Sometimes we just need a break from it all. Many of us spend a lot of time and effort figuring out what to cook and how to cook it. Going somewhere and have it all done for us is a great treat. Most of us are smart enough to know that one meal’s deviation from the usual will not harm us. We are also smart enough to not to waste our carbohydrates on a dish without that dish being so good it is worth the ordering. Just after I learned about eating with Diabetes, my sister (yes, she also had Diabetes) and I went to dinner. She ordered a fish dish with a potato crust. After dinner she asked me if that was an ok choice for a person with Diabetes. The answer is yes….and no. My answer was that I thought it was a shame to waste the carbohydrates on a potato crust that added very little flavor to the fish. I was wrong. She enjoyed it so much, it was a chance to have a little potato, and it was such a treat for her that it was the right choice to make….for her. It was far better a choice than a side of pasta.

Getting back to the “specials”; 75% of the customers in any given restaurant have no interest. 98% (I am guessing here) of the chefs enjoy creating them. Most restaurant goers return to the same few restaurants time after time. Hey honey, I don’t want to cook tonight, let’s go to Jove and Eddy’s and have some_____. There may be three dozen items on Jove and Eddy’s menu and people will order the same thing time after time.

Spaghetti Squash Stroganoff Pictured as a meatless dish, but you can add beef or chicken for a GREAT casserole


Pictured as a meatless dish, but you can add beef, SHRIMP or chicken for a GREAT meal

No matter what Italian restaurant my auntie Sylvia went into she would order shrimp scampi. It is ok, she like shrimp scampi and would never make it at home. If the restaurant was renowned for scallops scampi, she would smile and order the shrimp. We are after all creatures of habit.

Those of us with Diabetes are no different. We like certain things and are timid about trying new things. They could be terrific but oh dear, are we willing to take the chance? I have discovered after 8 (almost 9 now) years that the chances (adventures) have been well worth the trying. My meals are as varied, maybe more varied than they were before. I have tried new, to me, foods and found them scrumptious. Cooking has become less of a chore. As I said, in a restaurant, you have to be consistent. You have to have the favorites available 100 days out of 100 days, and they need to taste exactly the same each time. If your customers (you and your family) are expecting scallops wrapped in bacon and you offer shrimp wrapped in prosciutto, you may be in for resistance even though the shrimp is really more interesting and tastes better.

I recommend each of you find the inner chef inside you and think about creating the “daily specials” that work for your diet and to keep your interest and on target. After all, aren’t YOU special?

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Lime Daiquiri Cake One more version of my DAS cake series Easy to make and packs a punch of FLAVOR

Lime Daiquiri Cake
One more version of my DAS cake series
Easy to make and packs a punch of FLAVOR

Daiquiri  Cake

Serves 8

Net Carbohydrates              10 grams

 

Chef’s Notes: I use one of my “master” cake recipes to create this scrumptious cake. By simply changing out one ingredient, I get to create a totally different flavor. For example: change the rum for tequila and you have a Margarita cake. Unlike MANY of my other cake recipes, this one benefits from a long (4 minute) beating time.

I LIKE TO USE AN 8 INCH SPRING FORM OR SMALL (6-8 cup) BUNDT PAN WELL SPRAYED OR BUTTERED TO AVOID STICKING.

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

½ cup toasted almonds, cooled

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom (if you can find it) or use ground ginger

1 – tsp. baking powder

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

pinch of salt

3 TBSP. Instant vanilla pudding

4 ounces – unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 – cup GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE

4 – large eggs at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

¼ cup White rum (you may substitute low carbohydrate orange juice)

2 – tbsp. sour cream 1 – tsp. cider vinegar.

2 TBSP. fresh lime juice

Zest of 1 lime.

HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Pre heat oven to 350°

Dry Mixture

In a food processor:

Combine nuts, salt, and 1/3 cup flour. Pulse until the nuts are totally pulverized. Add 1/3 cup more flour, and cardamom. Pulse until combined. Add final ¼ cup of flour, instant pudding, baking soda and powder and pulse until combined. (I often do this a day ahead),

Wet Mixture

Easiest if you have a stand mixer with a whisk attachment

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

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the eggs, starting with the dry. Add vanilla and rum.

Whisk on high speed for 4 minutes.

Add remaining ½ tsp. of baking soda to sour cream and the lime juice. Allow the sour cream to bubble up then stir into the batter. Stir in lime zest.

Spoon into baking pan and bake for 26-28 minutes or until tester comes out dry from the center.

Lime Cream frosting

Covers one 8 inch cake generously

Net carbohydrates     16 per cake or 2.5 per slice

 

Chef’s Notes: My most used frosting is this cream cheese recipe below. It is too easy to make. Like the cake above, it takes just a little change to create a whole new flavor. With butter cream I can usually “feel” the sweetener. The only downside is that the cake needs to be refrigerated. I usually take it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before serving.

8 ounces cream cheese

½ cup GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE.

1/2 Tsp. Vanilla extract

2 TBSP. Fresh lime juice

Zest of 1 lime

HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Beat all ingredients EXCEPT the lime zest until smooth. Stir in the zest and frost cake

To keep the serving plate clean, turn cake out on to two pieces of parchment or waxed paper each big enough to cover ½ of the cake. Frost and remove paper before chilling.

 

 

 

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