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
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
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!
Article # 169
Social Hysteria and Diabetes-Compatible eating
(DON’T EAT THAT, EAT THIS. NO WAIT, DON’T EAT THIS, EAT THAT)
Very often the media will carry a piece on how some food or food group is good/ bad for you. It makes you stop and think that I need to cut down on this or eat more of that. It then takes on a life of its own. You hear people talking about it, arguing about it, getting militant about it. I call this SOCIAL HYSTERIA.
Just so you are clear, I am no different than most people. I hear some piece of information and too often, without checking the source and the science, take it as gospel. Is it because I hope it is true, or that I thought it was too good to be true?
When I was growing up people were told to eat liver. It was supposed to be a “miracle” food. To make it taste “better”, mothers smothered it in onions and bacon. MAJOR weight loss plans had a recipe using liver simmered in tomato sauce to both flavor and tenderize the liver. Well, folks, times have changed. A few years ago we were told that liver and other internal organs (what will the British do without kidney pie?) are very bad for you. They increase your bad cholesterol. OOOPS!
Far and away one of MY favorite foods is the egg. It seems a miracle to me that an egg can do so much and taste so different just by preparing it a different way. To me, fried eggs taste totally different than scrambled or hard boiled. I love them all. So what was I supposed to do when the medical establishment said: “Limit your egg consumption?” Egg white omelets do less than nothing for me. The products that came out using egg whites colored yellow looked better but tasted just as BORING, unless I added cheese (defeating the low fat purpose). But now that same medical establishment shyly admits that eggs may not be as bad for you as they once thought, and perhaps still one of the best sources of protein. Thought? They THOUGHT that eggs were bad and sent the world into a tailspin of not eating eggs! Were they wrong then or are they wrong now. Which science is RIGHT?
No one is suggesting that you sit down to a dozen eggs at a time. Much as I love eggs, even I could not do that…well maybe if they were deliciously deviled and JUST sitting there on a plate in front of me and nobody was looking…no, not even then.
Butter vs. margarine
AGAIN, several years ago the prevailing science was don’t eat or at least severely limit your intake of butter. A few more years have gone by and it is “don’t eat margarine.” So, what are you supposed to do if:
1- You are concerned about the animal fat in butter
2- You can’t afford to buy butter
3- You are worried about the chemical make- up of margarine but don’t want to eat butter
4- You know that trans-fats are a bigger problem than animal fat…maybe?
Out front I like to use butter rather than margarine because I am someone that wants a certain flavor, however, unless I leave the butter out on the counter overnight, it is a pain to try and spread it on my breakfast toast. I did find a product that I liked for a long time that claimed it would assist in lowering bad cholesterol. The product tasted ok, not quite butter, but ok. It has no trans-fats. What happened is the company decided that GMOs were also a problem and went GMO free. I applaud them for the social consciousness of their efforts, but the taste changed so much I can’t use it. When I have the time I have to look into why the non GMO product tastes different than the other. In the meantime I am back to butter.
White vs. whole Wheat
Is whole wheat flour better for you as a person with Diabetes? It only has a few less grams of NET carbohydrates but is still loaded. Neither one may be the best choice but for many dishes, you need some kind of flour. For me it is a matter of taste. For example: when I make my Diabetes-Compatible breakfast pancakes or my Baked Zucchini pancakes, I like to use a little whole wheat flour. No, it is not because I think that the wheat flour is better for me than the white, it is because the wheat lends a really delicious and subtle flavor to the dishes that the white flour does not. Most of what makes up the “flour” part of both recipes is either toasted (tastes better than untoasted) and ground nuts or in the case of the zucchini pancakes, parmesan cheese. A recipe started out as a take on a Jewish holiday dish, latkes, and turned out more Italian than Jewish in the final product. Hey, I grew up in NYC and the two communities were living side by side. You could get a Knish or a pizza in the same block.
Dare I say it…Sugar Substitutes?
A newspaper used one of my Diabetes-Compatible dessert recipes last week. The editor pressed me for what sugar substitute I used in the recipe. For those of you that read my recipes you might have noticed that I NEVER mention a brand name. three reasons:
1-I do not endorse any product unless it makes a unique difference to a recipe or a meal. Products like herb or spice combinations, certain vinegars, and bread products.
2-There are enough sugar substitutes out there, natural, semi natural, and artificial that are interchangeable enough to work in most recipes. I want to give each reader the ability to choose the one(s) that work best for them in terms of: ease, cost, flavor, and their sense of product safety.
3- I don’t want to get caught up in the controversy of which is better in terms of flavor or safety. Sugar substitutes are one of the biggest categories for social hysteria.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that you start eating this and stop eating that. But before you START eating liver or GIVE UP eggs, I just want you to find the truth in what you hear and be confident enough to do what works for you.
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, find the truth, and BE DECADENT! –w
Braised Short Ribs
Net carbohydrates 6 grams per serving
Chef’s notes: Tis sounds complicated but is as simple as making pot roast. It makes a great holiday meal or serve 1 rib per person as an appetizer. This recipe benefits from overnight refrigeration and it freezes like a dream.
12 2-2 ½ inch short ribs
kosher or sea salt to taste (and your doctor’s recommendation)
¼ Tsp. ground black pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2-3 cloves grated or minced garlic
2 TBSP. Olive oil
2TBSP. a/p flour
2 TBSP. tomato paste
1 750 milliliter bottle dry red wine. (Merlot, cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir)
2 TBSP. chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. herbs de Provence
3 Cups low sodium beef stock
How to prepare this recipe:
Preheat oven to 350°
Season the ribs with the salt & pepper. Heat the oil in a large “Dutch” oven over medium- high heat. Working in batches so not to crowd the ribs, brown all sides. This will tale about 10 minutes per batch. Remove to a bowl.
Add the onions and cook over medium heat until the onions are lightly browned. Add the carrots and cook until for 4-5 minutes longer.
Add the garlic and flour. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook until it has melted into the onion mixture. Very slowly (this will avoid lumps) add the wine to the pot. Stir until all of the wine is incorporated into the mixture. Add the beef sock and bring to a boil. Add the short ribs to the pot along with any juices that have come from the meat.
Bring to a boil. Add the parsley, bay leaf and herbs de Provence. Cover tightly and place in the oven.
Cook for 2- 2 ½ hours until the ribs are tender.
Remove the meat AND the bay leaf from the pot. Turn up the heat to high and reduce the sauce by half.
Allow the sauce to cool and using an immersion blender stick, food processor or blender. Process the sauce until smooth.
I recommend that you place the meat back into the sauce and refrigerate over- night. Then bring to a boil before serving.
Usually these ribs are served over mashed potatoes. To keep the carbohydrate value down try my recipe for mashed turnips and apple, mashed cauliflower, or riced cauliflower.
Life is easier with a Diabetes- Compatible Pantry
One of my regular readers commented to me the other day that she liked looking at my recipes but never had any of the “stuff” in the house to fix the recipe. Well to tell you the truth before my diagnosis I did not always have all of these things in my pantry. My old pantry was loaded with rice, pasta and potatoes. Very often my vegetable in a “pinch” was frozen corn or peas. Hey, I worked full time and fixing a new and different meal every night was more than I wanted to do. I would get home put up a pot of water, toss in some whole wheat pasta and some broccoli, toss it with butter and/or olive oil and top with cheese and call it a healthy dinner. Whole wheat and broccoli, what could be healthier? Soup was something out of a can (or from my freezer if I had time on the weekend) with the words HEALTHY or LIGHT highlighted in some neon color on the label. I would toss in a few extra veggies, slather some good bread with butter and dinner was served. All this was accomplished while the laundry tumbled in the dryer. Multi- tasking is KING! I still do soup but now it is always homemade (or mostly homemade) in big batches and frozen for another day.
Pasta I save for my birthday because I WANT A BIG BOWL! I have tried and enjoyed some lower carbohydrate pastas but they are just not the same thing. I also have trouble with the explanations the manufactures make about it gets to be a lower carbohydrate product. Even those I can’t have as much as I WANT. As they say: “close but no penne.”
For people like us with diabetes, meal planning is the new way of life. My pantry now has to have a lot more in it to make it all work for me. I do not know how I could live decadently without almonds, walnuts, and pecans. I used spaghetti squash, cauliflower, and spinach before. Now I do them in different ways to create the greatest variety on the plate.
I have increased the selection of oils and vinegars in the pantry. I even have a chocolate infused olive oil from Ariston that I use in my chocolate cake. Every item has always become a conscious selection. Now the criteria is: lower carbohydrates without loss of taste. It has taken time for me to do this and really why I want to share the experiences and products with you. I have had some criticism that:
“Diabetics should not expect everything written out for them.”
This came from a person who has Diabetes herself, and on the public forum. My response is:
“Just give me a break. Give me a break and any other diabetic out there a break”.
It was/is important for me and my personality to have done the work (just ask my doctor) but just as important for me to share what I have found with others. I had such a difficult time in the beginning that anything I can share with you to make your eating life easier makes it the right thing for me to do. I do not expect to be the single source for any diabetic to find products and recipes they will use. I hope only to be a source to lead them to some items and recipes and build on that. All the recipes I share with you are “mine” but at some point I had to learn them from another chef or from a book or cooking show. In my cook book each recipe is followed by lined spaces for each cook to make their own adaptation to my recipe. Hey I love artichokes but I know dozens of people who all but gag at the thought of either eating or cooking one.
My Italian Crème Gallette is a dream dessert and it takes time to make. My sister in – law hates the texture of ricotta cheese. Just between you and me she would never recognize the ricotta but the chances of her preparing the cake are slim to none.
You may never need or want everything in my pantry for the way you cook. (I am a chef and get bored easily with the same old thing, and want the variety). Since my diagnosis seven years ago, cooking has become my revenge against the boredom of eating a Diabetes-Compatible diet, and a challenge to see just how good it can be. For me it is a win-win situation. I hope it can be for you as well.
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w
Waffles fit for a diabetic king
(From store bought waffles? Are you kidding me?)
Serving size 1 waffle
Recipe makes 2 servings
net carbohydrates 15 grams
Chef’s Notes: The only waffles I can find with a fairly low carbohydrate content is EGGO LOW FAT Nutrigrain waffles. I think it all balances out with the fiber of the nuts and fruits.
I always keep a container of cinnamon/ granulated sugar substitute on hand.Try 8 Tablespoons of sugar substitute to 1 Tablespoon cinnamon. You should adjust the formula depending on how much cinnamon flavor you like.
I often do a final topping of about a tablespoon of lightly sweetened sour cream, but a DANNON LIGHT AND FIT vanilla yogurt will work as well.
2 – EGGO LOW FAT NUTRIGRAIN waffles.
4 – Tbsp. Butter
½ – cup walnuts or sliced almonds
pinch of salt
3 – Tbsp. Cinnamon/ granulated sugar mixture
1- cup fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, alone or in any combination)
½ medium apple
Vanilla or lightly sweetened sour cream for final topping (optional)
How to prepare the dish:
Toast the waffles until lightly crisped but not darkened.
In a skillet, melt the 4 Tbsp. of butter. Add the nuts and salt. Stir until the nuts are coated with butter. Add the cinnamon/ granulated sugar substitute. Stir to combine. Add the fruit and stir gently until warmed through and juices begin to release.
Place waffles on a plate and top with berry and nut mixture. It is perfect just as it is or you can top with DANNON LIGHT AND FIT vanilla yogurt or sweetened sour cream.