THIS WEEK – Taking the “YUCK” out of your Diabetes -Compatible choices

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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06/29/2016

Article # 199

Taking the “Yuck” out of Diabetic Eating

Creamy Broccoli Soup that is a Meal

Creamy Broccoli Soup that is a Meal

A few years or so ago (on another site that I contribute to), I posted a recipe of mine for Creamy Broccoli Soup. While many people thought it would be “yum” there was one comment of “Yuck”. Hey, I get it. Some people just don’t like broccoli. Didn’t we have a president that felt that way? Now I could have suggested using cauliflower or zucchini or asparagus or mushroom in place of the broccoli, but there are as many or maybe more people that just don’t like any of those choices either. My late sister was one of those people. She did later in life like mushrooms well enough.  In fact, Chicken Masala was one of her favorite dishes. She must have forgotten those little cans of rubbery mushrooms we grew up using. But Broccoli and cauliflower, no way. For her they rated a “yuck” until the day she died.

There was also my aunt Kate. She and I sat in a café in Paris as she proclaimed (all too loudly) that the reason the French cook with all that terrible wine, is because the meat was (yuck) rancid. Later that day she posed in front of the Mona Lisa, arms crossed and using her version of an enigmatic smile.

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!

Just so you are all clear, THE MEAT IN FRANCE IS NOT RANCID!  Poor  dear Kate. She must be rolling in her grave at the very mention of MY Gallic Pot Roast. The recipe clearly states: “don’t let water touch the meat.” In place of water, I use red wine and brandy. I am certain that Kate would never understand why I would do such a thing.

I use a lot of wine in my cooking. To be clear, I often use wine in cooking. Not a lot, just enough to add a depth of flavor to a dish. What can be simpler than splashing some wine in the pan that has just cooked your steak or chicken? That last minute step adds so much flavor to a dish. It allows you to get up the “kitchen treasure” that was stuck to the bottom of the pan while adding a subtle flavor of a decent wine. The heat of the pan burns off most of the alcohol leaving nothing but pure flavor.

Simpler still, adding a splash (1-2 tablespoons) to a soup, raises the level of that basic staple to decadence.

In case you are wondering, Kate also thought that the reason restaurants served lemon with the fish (yuck?) was…you guessed it, the fish was old. According to Kate, the restaurant world seemed always to be playing tricks on the unsuspecting eater. The concept that lemon added flavor to fish (and chicken) was not part of her thought process. For Kate it was FOOD FRAUD.

Is this how YOU see a chicken Dinner? Image by cnbc.com

Is this how YOU see a chicken Dinner?
Image by cnbc.com

Ok, fair is fair. I have to admit that for many years after I left my grandmother’s home, I all but refused to eat chicken. Who could blame me? Bless her soul, she would get a chicken, plop it in water, boil the life out of it (for amazing soup) and serve the drastically over cooked chicken to the family. The look of the skin alone was enough to make you (me) go…yuck. Oh no, it got worse. What was not eaten the first night was then seasoned with paprika (her most adventurous spice) and baked in the oven. If there was still any leftover, she would chop it up and add egg and crumbs to eat and fry it up. That poor bird died a thousand deaths. And I rebelled against chicken.

Everybody doesn’t like something. I don’t think I have a recipe that someone will not say yuck to. I can ONLY hope that you will like the recipes more often than go eweee/yuck.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT!

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

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

Steak with a caper sauce

Serves 2

Carbohydrates    4g. per serving

Chef’s Notes: This recipe uses an old restaurant trick that gives the steak a slight crust and keeps it juicy inside.

If you have never used capers they are worth a try, but if you are not adventurous, use “yuck” mushrooms in their place. If you hate mushrooms, just use the shallots.

I use wine in this recipe. You can just as easily use beef broth and a ½ teaspoon of tomato paste.

For my appetite, I like a 6-8 ounce steak. Adjust the serving size to your personal needs.

2- 6 ounce portions of steak (the best cut you can afford) 1 ½ inches thick

Salt & pepper to taste

1 shallot or 4 scallions (white and light green parts only)

1 clove of garlic, grated or very finely minced

½ tsp. dried tarragon

2 TBSP. Olive oil

1 TBSP. butter

½  cup dry red wine

1 TBSP. capers rinsed and drained.

 

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Mince half of the shallot or two of the scallions, Combine with salt, pepper, garlic, tarragon and ½ tsp. of the olive oil. Rub on the steak. Refrigerate for 45 minutes up to 24 hours.

Pre heat oven to 425° F.

Heat a skillet to medium high. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Add the steaks and cook for 4 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and put into an oven proof baking pan and place into the hot oven for 10-15 minutes (depending on desired doneness.

Thinly slice the remaining shallots or scallion.

After cooking the steaks to the desired doneness, remove from the oven and cover with foil to rest.

Reheat the skillet you cooked the steak in. When it is hot, add the butter and shallot or scallions. Cook until golden, add the wine and cook for 3-4 minutes to reduce by half. Add the capers. Pour any juices that have gathered in the pan holding the steak to the skillet and combine. Plate the steak and spoon the pan sauce over the meat.

 

06/22/2016

Article # 198

You “gotta” be a star baby to be on MY Diabetes-Compatible plate

I know a lot of you out there are unhappy about the restrictions on what you can eat and how much of what you loved and remembered will be ok to eat. Certainly this is the way I felt back eight (8) years ago. Can it really be that long?

It took a long time for my sense of loss to be turned into something positive. When I realized that if I chose to be a healthy person with Diabetes, I had to find all kinds of ways of making it happen.

A simple salad dressed with Orange Balsamic Vinegar and shaved Parmesan Cheese

A simple salad dressed with Orange Balsamic Vinegar and shaved Parmesan Cheese

An early article I wrote was about salads. You know them. It was about the salad with steak, salad with chicken, salad with fish, and the salad all by itself. The gist of the piece was about making the salads in different ways each time. Making the salad take the starring role on your Diabetes-Compatible plate. I still think it can be a good idea. However, no matter how inventive I was in creating new salad combinations and dressings, it was still salad. I felt the loss of everything else, and was fast becoming bored with SALAD.

What I forgot is that steak, chicken, fish was the natural star of the plate and the salads

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

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

could be in a supporting but scrumptious role. Sometimes the supporting role can steal the show. Think Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey. She takes what she is given and runs away with it. But also think Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Jodie Foster and for those of you old enough, Bette Davis. These are actresses that take the “meat” of the role and rule with it, making each role unique and very special.

Seasoning, and the way it is cooked and presented takes your protein(s) and stands out on a plate missing some of the ”old” extras.

That being said, what I discovered is that most times the star, no matter how big the name, needs something to work with.

It is not a new idea. Any chef will tell you that the main part of a dish has to be outstanding. If you are going to plop a slab-o- meat, (chicken, fish pork) on a plate without a little assistance, your meal is going to be pretty dull. Surprise, this is as true for people with or without Diabetes. Some of us like my buddy Jim, and my aunt Kate like “plain” food. All the “fancy” stuff is lost on them. That is until they taste it. That is IF they are willing to taste it.

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!

As for fancy, you don’t have to start out with a beef (or any of the others) cooked in a complicated wine reduction (cooking the juices down to about half the original amount to concentrate the flavors). However, a touch of wine added to a marinade for a protein is an easy (toe in the water) way of expanding your taste buds.

I was as guilty as others. I thought I would not like a spice or an herb or a flavor added to x, y, z. Sometimes I was right. It was not the right flavor for my palate. I like thyme and rosemary well enough, but not on everything. Both are strong flavors and need some other flavors to stand up to them. Most times I was wrong. It is all about being open to it. Remember if you don’t like it, you NEVER have to eat it again. Better yet, alter it to suit your tastebuds.

Too many of us are like my late sister and aunt.  “I don’t like: sausage” or “I don’t like avocado” or this or that. It was almost always because they never tried it.

One of my favorites is that many people think that red bell peppers are hotter than green. If they tried the red they would KNOW it is just the opposite. In fact, bell peppers, regardless of color, are sweet rather than hot.  The point is that if you never try something, you won’t know how good or bad it tastes.

Before you sit down to your next dull meal; think about the possibilities of giving the dull

Loveable Loin Lamb Chops

Loveable Loin Lamb Chops in orange sauce

thing something to work with. All of your basic proteins like a lot of flavors to work with. Meats like very herby flavors like tarragon, rosemary, thyme, as does chicken. As a rule meats don’t benefit from citrus. Even that has exceptions like lamb and veal. Chicken loves citrus flavors as well.  Chicken is now so overbred it is dull (tasteless), it benefits from big flavors. Curry comes to mind. Before you decide that basil is JUST for tomato sauces, try some fresh basil on that boring old chicken. For the “ugh” fish lovers among you try citrusy flavors like lemon, dill, lemon thyme and, yes, basil.

Start out small. Give them (your foods) something to enhance their natural goodness. Each new thing you try gives you a totally new dish. Combine a few flavors in different ways and there are infinite ways to make the dull and ordinary star on you plate. In no time at all you will have helped a food “star” to be born.

When your NEW Diabetes-Compatible main dish gets raves from the folks at your table, don’t forget to thank the little flavors that helped it and you along the way.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT!

A Summer Star Lemon Basil Chicken

            A Summer Star
     Lemon Basil Chicken

Lemon Basil Chicken

(Happily FRESH basil is available all year long)

serving size  1 breast or leg quarter

net carbohydrates      6g.

Chef’s Notes: In summer when basil is abundant in the garden, this is a simple way to catch up with this fast growing crop. I prefer to use chicken with the skin on for both flavor and moistness. You can certainly remove the skin before eating.

When you use fresh garlic and shallot, it is best to scrape those bits off before cooking so they don’t burn. Burnt garlic and shallots bits will harm the recipe.

Makes 2 servings but I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe. Good as it is the first night it develops depth when reheated the next day or makes amazing chicken salad.

1 -2 –cloves of garlic, grated (or ½ tsp. powdered)

1 – small shallot., minced  (or ½ tsp. powdered)

OR

2 scallions, minced

1 – cup basil leaves (divided ½ cup ½ cup)

salt and pepper to taste

grated zest of one lemon

¼ – cup white wine or vermouth (my preference)

OR

¼ – cup TROP 50 ORANGE JUICE (if avoiding alcohol)

2 – Tbsp. olive oil

2 – skin- on boneless chicken breasts or leg quarters

2 Tbsp. olive oil for cooking for pan cooking

juice of ½ of the lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Combine garlic, shallots, salt and pepper, lemon zest, white wine or vermouth, or TROP 50 orange juice, and olive oil.

Chop ½ cup of the basil and add to the mixture,

Add chicken to the liquid, cover and marinate for at least one hour up to overnight.

Tear the remaining basil into small bits. (cutting the basil will turn it black.)

Pat down the chicken, reserving the marinade. Cook over medium heat until light brown on each side and cooked through (about 8-10 minutes a side). Remove from pan. Pour the marinade into the pan and over high heat reduce by half. Add the lemon juice and torn basil. Stir. Spoon the reduced sauce over the chicken breasts.

 

 

 

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