THIS WEEK – Diabetic-Compatible Dinner from a jar?

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

——————————————————————————————————————–

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.

 

 

10/15/2014

Article # 116

The Diabetic-Compatible un-potato

Last week one of my favorite personalities from the entertainment world passed away. No, not from Diabetes. Geoffrey Holder was a dancer, actor, stage director, choreographer, painter, and for me and millions of others of an age, The Un-Cola Man. He was the spokesman for a popular soft drink that was not made from cola nuts. Bigger than life, he sat in a straw fan chair and spoke about the delights of this soft drink.  He spoke about it not as a substitute or replacement for something better, but as something “maaahvalous” and that was followed by his Caribbean baritone laugh. The “un-cola” was not a poor substitute for something else, but something wonderful on its own merits.

In the spirit of Geoffrey Holder, I want to once again “hawk” the wonders of cauliflower. Not as a substitute for potatoes or rice, but as something “maaahvalous” on its own merit.

Smashed "Spuds" 2 6 ounce servings

Smashed “Spuds” made from 3 Potatoes each about the size of an egg

It is not that we can’t have potatoes. A small portion of well- seasoned potatoes is possible for most of us with Diabetes. It can be a very satisfying (if small) side dish.  A four to six ounce portion of my oven “smashed spuds is enough to satisfy most appetites, especially if there are other things on the plate in larger quantities. However, if you use the same recipe for cauliflower that I do for the potatoes, you can have at least twice as much. Does it taste the same? No! It tastes different.

Lip Smacking, Plate Scraping, "like Crazy Delicious Mashed Cauliflower

Lip Smacking, Plate Scraping, “like Crazy Delicious Mashed Cauliflower

It might be what I would call the un- smashed spuds. It has a rich flavor all its own.

Recently I took an old recipe for potato and ham casserole and again used cauliflower instead of white potatoes. The result was not only different from the original recipe, it was much better. Forgetting that there are less carbohydrates and more vitamins, minerals, and FIBER, this dish stands on its own flavor value. It does not need to cook as long to soften the cauliflower as it does to soften the potato so it tastes somehow fresher. You adjust the “crunchiness” to your own preferences (and those of the kids).

Alsatian Style (French /German) Cauliflower Salad

Alsatian Style (French /German) Cauliflower Salad

Making cauliflower salad is another way to make use of the un-potato. I had a teenager taste one of my salads and he declared it better than potato salad. He said it is more interesting. It was my same old recipe from years ago with the one change to cauliflower, AND I had a pile of it on my plate for less carbohydrates than the NON un potato.

I am this wild fan of bacon and of blue cheese. I use those two items anytime I can find a way to work them into a recipe. For the fun of it, I added bacon, blue cheese, and sour cream (another favorite) to cauliflower and baked it in the oven as a side dish for a simple baked fish recipe. My whole plate just sang. Ok, don’t beat me up for using the fatty and processed bacon, it is a personal choice. Hate blue cheese? Use Swiss cheese instead, or even muenster cheese. I wanted something soft as the side dish so I covered the baking dish. When I want something crunchier, I will leave it uncovered.

Cauliflower does it AGAIN!

    Cauliflower does it AGAIN!

I can’t walk away from this subject without mentioning “riced” cauliflower. I am a huge fan of rice. For some dishes (especially Asian and Latin flavors) it had to be rice. Grating up the cauliflower and sautéing it with a little onion and chicken broth gives you a similar texture to rice. It is still a neutral flavor to balance the sharp flavors in the protein, and again more on your plate with all the benefits of…. Dare I say it, a vegetable. Mix in some peppers, garlic or herbs you like, sun dried tomatoes, or even nuts and make it….“maaahvalous.”

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

 

Cauliflower, Bacon and Blue Putting favorite things together to make something YOU will love to eat

Cauliflower, Bacon and Blue
Putting favorite things together to make something YOU will love to eat

Cauliflower, Bacon & Blue

Makes aprox. 4 – 1 cup servings

Net carbs                   8 grams

 Chef’s Notes: Putting some of my favorite things together to make a totally new dish is so exciting. Sometimes it does not work. Other times, like here, the finished product is greater than the sum of its parts.

This is a great side dish for a bland protein as it adds a great “pop” to the plate.

 

1 head of cauliflower ( about 3-3 ½ cups)

1 medium onion, sliced  thinly

2 Tbsp. butter

2 cloves garlic,  grated or minced very finely

3 Tbsp. sour cream

2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

6 slices of crisp bacon, crumbled

½ cup whole milk

 

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven

Cut cauliflower into 1 inch florets

Sautee the onion in the butter until lightly golden brown.  Turn off the heat and add the garlic. Allow to cool slightly. Add the bacon, blue cheese (I like to reserve a little of both to sprinkle on top just before serving), pepper, and sour cream. Combine with the cauliflower and pour into an oven proof dish. Add the milk. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes until lightly brown. NOTE:  if you like your vegetables softer cook for another 5-10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply