THIS WEEK – In the small world of Diabetes… the same only different

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

Site pix

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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08/24/2016

Article # 206

In the small world of Diabetes… the same only different

The world, including the world of Diabetes, has become smaller. I am still somewhat surprised that I get comments, questions and responses from every part of the globe. My viewpoint is that of an American chef. Without thinking I often listed a “stick of butter” as an ingredient. It got dozens of questions from around the world, as to what exactly, and how much, is a “stick of butter?” A stick of butter equals four ounces.  It is so easy to forget that not everybody measures or packages foods in exactly the same way.

CHANGE the vinegar and COMPLETELY change the dressing. From rich syrupy Balsamic to Raspberry There is a whole world of flavor out there for you

CHANGE the vinegar and COMPLETELY change the dressing. From rich syrupy Balsamic to Raspberry There is a whole world of flavor out there for you

Moving from the east coast to the desert, I have become acutely aware of so many items and brands I ALWAYS used that are no longer available to me and it is the SAME country. It is too easy to forget that what we take for granted is sometimes uncommon or unavailable elsewhere in the world. A recent recipe listed Half and Half as an ingredient. My friend Ruth from Australia wanted to know if she could substitute cream for the Half and Half…”whatever that is?” It never occurred to me that Half and Half was NOT available everywhere. Live and learn.

Recently I have been corresponding online with a friend from an Indian culture. I have no clue as to where my friend is located. It could be in India or in any other part of the world where people from India have settled. It is slightly embarrassing for me to ask after weeks of correspondence. The first question from my friend was:

“Do you cook Indian food at all? Any suggestions for rice, roti or naan? It’s a staple in the diet but very carb heavy. “

I suggested riced cauliflower and Joseph’s low carb pita and Lavash breads.

“Thank you, appreciate it. The pitas just don’t have that right texture but cauliflower might work.”

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

My having eaten both naan and pita, I know that they are somewhat different, but not as different as say a slice of whole wheat bread and a whole wheat bagel. The question I ask is: “Won’t the pita work well enough to help keep you healthier?” A big white flour fluffy bun on a burger is what we grew up eating here in the States. Since that is not the best choice for those of us with Diabetes, a sandwich thin or round can work “almost” as well, and allow us to eat what we really want…the burger? Sure it is different. It is thin. However, you can still pick up the burger and munch away.

Just a few of my DIABETES-COMPATIBLE CAKES

Just a few of my DIABETES-COMPATIBLE CAKES

“Indian desserts are impossible to do low carb, (I am) lost there too. Indian food is all about sugar and carbs. Food is our entire culture! How on earth can I cook anything when the whole culture revolves around it? Roti, naan, rice, desserts, mango lassi…have you eaten Indian food ever?”

The answer to the desserts is EASY. There is a world of deserts from all over the world. Open your mind and your kitchen and try something NEW…and delicious.

Yes, I have eaten Indian cuisine. I do it as a special treat just like all the other foods from different cultures. I do it in restaurants or in the homes of friends that have the skills with those cuisines that I lack. What I have always done is to pick and choose what will work for me. I have a very sensitive soft palate. Foods with certain spices (cumin in particular) inflame the palate so severely I can not eat for days.

Every culture has it's own special look and feeling

Every culture has it’s own special look and feeling

Food is a huge part of any culture. But it is NOT all of it. There are so many other components like the colors and the music and manners, and architecture. You don’t have to give up everything you know. The trick is to make what is new to you work within your cultural being.

VARIETY is the spice of life. I grew up with a tradition that cooked in a certain manner, used certain foods in certain ways, as did the many families in my neighborhood. But some people in the neighborhood were from other cultures and it was pure JOY to experiment with other foods and other holidays. Is Christmas more or less fun than Hanukah or lunar New Year?

I have to laugh thinking about the first time I ate broccoli. I had never even seen it before. My first thought was that it was the centerpiece for the table. As I said…live and learn.

“Thanks, this struggle really sucks. Good for you for seeing the positive.”

Positive is my only real choice. Ruth in Australia takes the prize, and my praise. She is willing to figure out a way to make a dish that she finds interesting even though one of the ingredients (Half and Half) is alien to her. Now it is up to the rest of us to give it a shot. Diabetes-Compatible foods can taste great and help enlarge this small world of eating with Diabetes.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT…be adventurous.

With the right bread, Even a person with Diabetes can enjoy a sandwich

With the right bread, Even a person with Diabetes can enjoy a sandwich

Egg & Avocado Tartine

2 servings

Net Carbohydrates 10-15 grams*

(depends on the bread you choose)

Chef’s note: This open faced sandwich (tartine) is no more difficult to make than any other sandwich. I love this “fancied up” version of egg salad on either Sarah Lee Delightful (13grams of carbohydrates for two slices) or Josephs low carb pita (5 grams per pocket)

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled

2 TBSP. mayonnaise

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. finely chopped shallot

4 ripe Kalamata olives chopped (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ tsp dry dill

½ Ripe avocado, thinly sliced

2 Low carb Pita bread or 4 slices Sara Lee Delightful multi-grain bread

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

With the EXCEPTION of the avocado and the bread, combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Lightly toast the bread. Spread egg mixture evenly over the bread (you can cut off the crusts if you must) top with a thin slice of avocado.

 

08/17/2016

Article #205

START playing with your Diabetes-Compatible food

So many of us with Diabetes get caught up in what we can’t/ shouldn’t eat. Rather than feeling deprived, how about thinking of some of the foods we like…well enough and finding new ways to play with those foods?

Cucumber & Radish Small Bites

For example: If you like cucumbers and olives …well enough, try stuffing thick chunks of cucumber with cream cheese and olives.

We were sitting at diner the other night and feasting on a very rich and delicious Shrimp Alfredo. The dish was my featured recipe a few weeks ago. First thing about this dish is that I REALLY like it, and the second thing is that it is much requested at our table.

Shrimp Alfredo Using lower carbohydrate spaghetti squash in place of pasta

               Shrimp Alfredo
Using lower carbohydrate spaghetti squash in place of pasta

But over a glass of wine I started to think that I never bothered much with shrimp. Shrimp cocktail was ok or a cold shrimp Remoulade but I always thought if I never bothered with shrimp that was just fine. If I did, that was just fine as well. What I really like about both those cold shrimp dishes is the sauce. I actually took to using both sauces as a dip for cucumbers or zucchini. It costs a heck of a lot less and so much less time to prepare.

I really like this shrimp dish as well as shrimp pesto, roasted garlic shrimp and a few others. I just thought I didn’t care one way or another. Part of my feeling about shrimp has to be my exposure to it. Growing up we only had shrimp cocktail. It was a rare (read fancy) treat, but it was the only way I saw shrimp until I was exposed to another culture. My friends of Italian families used shrimp as a topping for pasta….and it was delicious. It was special to me but not uncommon on their tables. Other cultures use shrimp in many other ways. The French and Greek used it as a stuffing for plain fish to give it some texture and flavor. Shrimp bisque is one of the great soups of the world. Shrimp wrapped in bacon, or in my case prosciutto, is an amazing hot appetizer. The big advertising campaign for Australia a few years back was shrimp in the “barbie”

But I am not really talking about shrimp. I am using it as an icon for all those things you thought were either “icky” or just ok or even really liked under the “right” circumstance. Having an adventurous palate works really well for those of us with Diabetes. Since we are limited or can’t have so many of the foods we “always” had, we get the chance to explore the multitude of ways of using foods we can have but just sorta forgot about.

I have always been a big fan of blue cheese crumbled on my salads. The adventure is

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

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

to crumble it on top of a great piece of grilled steak, have a blue cheese burger, or as I did the other night, add it to my mashed cauliflower. I tried it because I had a bit of the cheese in my fridge and it was not enough to do much with it. If I didn’t use it, it would dry up. We were thrilled with the result. We like it so much so that I may have to be making the cauliflower that way a lot more often. I have for years been making a cauliflower, bacon, and blue casserole….so how come I never thought of it in mashed cauliflower?

How about tuna fish from a tin? If you like tuna salad, tuna melts, why not add some drained tuna to your salad? Better yet, try using some fresh grilled tuna on the salad. Okay, okay, I know.  I’m getting crazy now.

roseThat is just my point. Forgetting my crazy rose colored glasses, Diabetes can be a great excuse to find new ways to cook old favorites, just “OK” foods and all those things we liked any way.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT…be adventurous.

 

Love cocktail sauce? Try it with cucumbers or zucchini spears

           Love cocktail sauce?
Try it with cucumbers or zucchini spears

Homemade Cocktail Sauce

Makes 1 ½ cups- serves 8

carbohydrates           2 grams per Tablespoon

 

Chef’s notes: Most cocktail sauces for seafood are made with ketchup or chili sauce. While delicious, they have 5 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. This Homemade recipe is far lower with ONLY 2 grams per tablespoon. Tomato is the carbohydrate culprit here.

What you are doing with this recipe is basically making your own homemade ketchup….if you leave out the horseradish.

6 oz. (approx. 2/3 cup) tomato paste

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons sweetener of choice, or to taste

salt and pepper to taste and your doctor’s recommendation

½ teaspoons garlic powder

¾ teaspoons onion powder

½ cup water

2- 4 tsp. prepared horse radish (depending on how “hot” you like it)

How to prepare the recipe:

Place all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to blend completely.

 

 

 

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