THIS WEEK – Awesome Alternatives…Diabetes-Compatible ones!

A diagnosis of DIABETES is NOT the end of GREAT EATING

This website is for ALL OF US DIABETICS AND THE FAMILIES OF DIABETICS That REALLY like to eat! 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.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?

Site pixAs 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!


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:


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 and recipes, 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



Article # 132

Awesome Alternatives, even Diabetes-Compatible ones


My article on the “un-potato” was featured on another site last week. One of the readers posted this simple comment:

Bekki H.. Awesome Alternatives...

The word alternatives struck a chord with me. Not substitutions, not replacements, but alternatives. What a perfectly positive word. I promised her I will use it more often, starting now!

Turkey Burger with Sharp Cheddar Cheese and a big side of Cauliflower Salad

Turkey Burger with Sharp Cheddar Cheese
and a big side of Cauliflower Salad

Some days are too busy to cook or shop. When time is a problem I rely on my Diabetes-Compatible versions of fast foods. The other night as I took a bite of a hamburger (stuffed with onion & cheese) I realized that it was a beef burger, not my usual turkey burger. The “old standby” that night was the alternative to what has become a staple of my kitchen. I started eating turkey burgers and making turkey meat-loaf back in the days when cholesterol was my biggest problem. I don’t know if I just got used to the alternative of ground turkey or if the taste was so good I all but forgot about ground beef. The truth is that both are delicious. One may, or may not be better for your overall health, but both are delicious.

What sometimes happens is that we force ourselves to make choices that help us manage our Diabetes. Sometimes we resent them so much that we decide that we hate the choice we felt forced to make.

But why?

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

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

The article was about using cauliflower. Sue H., another reader, dubbed me the cauliflower ambassador to the world. It is a title I happily accept. I always liked cauliflower…well enough…. but since my diagnosis six years ago I have found a lot of new ways to use it. What was once an occasional vegetable is now a mainstay on my table. That is also true of a lot of other things including spaghetti squash. It was tolerable, even ok, but needing an alternative for other higher carbohydrate foods, I found new ways to use it. What makes it an awesome alternative is the flavors used in each dish to bring out the best in an otherwise almost dull vegetable.

Let’s go back to my burger the other night. My market sells burgers that are mixed with onion and cheese. They present a few problems for me. 1- I have no idea of the fat content in the meat they use. 2-I have no clue how much cheese and onion they use. 3- Most important, the burgers stick to the pan or my grill. I really don’t need extra clean-up in my kitchens. What I did as an alternative is stuff the burger with the cheese and onion. I got to choose how much fat, cheese, and onion went into what I was making. I also got to season it the way I wanted to season it. One more thing is that I could make it with ground turkey…if I wanted to do that. The other alternative was the bun. I have said that a burger on a plate is just a meat (or turkey) patty. Not that a patty is a bad thing. It looks so lonely there no matter how well seasoned it is, no matter how much side dish there is. It almost looks up at you and begs for a bun. In the old days (pre-diagnosis) there was the bun. Puffy and white and to be absolutely honest, pretty tasteless. Now I have found a couple of alternatives for that bun. Arnold  or Pepperidge Farm or Wal-mart sandwich thins and Josephs Oat, flax, and wheat pita breads all work really well. Bonus is they all have some flavor and fiber,

The Diabetes-Compatible alternative is once again better than the old choice.

My life is much easier and tastier now that I look at the awesome alternatives not as something to suffer through, but as something that is different and often better. Remember: Lamb chops are an alternative to pork chops…unless you have convinced yourself that you need to hate lamb.

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!

One more thing: be open to it!


Loveable Loin Lamb Chops

Loveable Loin Lamb Chops

Loveable Lamb

Serves 2

Net Carbs 4 g. per serving


Chef’s Note: I am always surprised by how many people I speak with don’t like lamb. Some think it is too gamey, some think it is cruel to eat any young animal. I won’t speak to the latter, but with three simple ingredients Garlic, mustard, and orange, there is not a trace of gaminess in my lamb recipes. The marinade I use is perfect for lamb chops, legs, shanks, and racks. This may recipe may change your mind about lamb.

Zest of 1 orange

2 TBSP. orange juice

2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 shallot or 3 scallions minced very fine

1 TBSP. olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp. dried tarragon

6 loin or rib lamb chops



Combine all ingredients except the lamb in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the lamb and marinate for at least 45 minutes or even better over- night.

Pre heat the oven to 400° F.

Pat the lamb dry reserving the marinade. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until browned on each side (about 4 minutes a side). Remove from pan. Place lamb into a baking dish and roast in the oven for 10-14 minutes (depending on your choice of doneness. Pour the reserved marinade into the pan and over high heat reduce by half. Spoon the reduced sauce over the chops.

This recipe is perfectly accompanied by mashed potatoes or my mashed turnips with apple.

This recipe also works really well on your grill.



Article #131

Cauli chocDon’t let anyone doom YOU to failure

Having Diabetes is not a failure on our part.

One of the forums that I look at from time to time uses a commentator that has a string of letters behind their name. This person is a nurse, a Certified Diabetes Educator, a nutritionist and who knows what else. They have all the qualifications to help you manage your Diabetes. What they do not have is a human hand. Rather than reinforce the good you have accomplished, they are all too quick to point out the negative. There were a couple of recipes posted. Meaning well, and according to what they were taught,

Blueberry & Cream ...Dessert?

Blueberry & Cream …Dessert Serving ?

they commented on what the serving size for that dish should be. The problem is that nobody really eats that way. Perhaps we all should, but we don’t. We don’t really want to. I think that what made it worse was they were commenting on a part of a holiday meal. I am not saying that because it is a holiday we should gorge ourselves, just that we are smart enough to make it work for us without getting sick. We DON’T need to be scolded!

Three ounces of turkey or ham may be the recommended serving for you depending on ALL of your variables (height, weight, age, etc.) but is it enough to really satisfy your needs, both physical and emotional. Now that three ounce serving really makes a decent enough sandwich, but a holiday meal? We all know that moderation is key, but will we moderate ourselves out of eating happily?…and healthfully? More important, will it make us just throw in the towel?

I am a chef. I am all about the taste and textures of foods. Sure I do suggest a serving size in a recipe. That is to balance the flavors out, NOT a medical recommendation. I can make the serving size anything I /you like, just adjust the rest of the ingredients to make it work for YOU. If it is too much for your needs and health, cut it down. If you need more to satisfy your appetite make it larger. Just be aware of what you are doing and more importantly, why you are doing it.

Left to my own devices, I can, and have, eaten tons of bacon at one sitting. Am I so dumb that I did not know that was not a good choice. Of course not ! It is something I have done, know better than to do again (until I do) and I don’t need or want the police out there to scold me.

Having Diabetes is not a failure on our part. It is a disease that we need to manage. How we go about that is different for all of us. Each of us needs to make it work for ourselves. What we eat is not JUST about our blood sugars, but also about our allergies, traditions, and taste preferences. I can tell you that cauliflower is the greatest gift to the world since chocolate, but if you hate it, you hate it. Move on.

No Carbs but.....

         No Carbs but…..

In the beginning, I started by having a practically no carb meal for breakfast and lunch. My lunch, of a can of tuna and a lettuce leaf was not going to keep me eating happily for long. When I looked at the can (tin) of tuna, I saw that the 5 ounces in the can was supposed to be 2 servings. Oh great. It used to be the same two servings but the can was 7 ounces. Huh???I was very hungry after eating the whole can, what would I be after eating only half of the can. What does one do with that uneaten half? I promise you it does not get better in the fridge overnight. So my question is what to do? Do I eat the suggest serving and feel hungry and deprived? How long would I keep that up? Do I follow the old adage: “waste not, want not”?

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices


What I did was what works for me. Thanks to a friendly nutritionist, I discovered a bunch of breads that took that can of tuna, and with a little seasoning (I like dill, pepper, and parsley) a little mayonnaise (o grams of carbohydrates) a squeeze of lemon (o grams of carbohydrates) and had me a “samich.” Guess who did not over eat but left the table satisfied…me! It was a very big little thing. It helped put all of the rest of eating in better focus for me.

For me to make my eating life work in a way that helped me manage my Diabetes, I had to make every bit count. I get so many comments from my readers about the new joy they have found in eating a Diabetes-Compatible diet, I just grin from ear to ear. It is so rewarding to know that what I have learned is of use to even one more person. If I can’t have it all (who says?) then what I can have is going to be the best tasting (to me) I know how to make it. What are you going to do?

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!


Braised pork chops with tomato Served over red cabbage and apples

Braised pork chops with tomato
    Served over red cabbage and apples

Braised Pork Chops with Tomato

Serves 4

Net carbohydrates:  5 g

Chef’s Note: I like to do this recipe with chops still on the bone I think it adds more flavor to the dish. You need pork chops that are on the thick side (1 ¼-1½ inches) or the dish will be dry. Canned San Marzanno tomatoes are now readily available at most local “stupidmarkets” They too have more flavor BUT if you can’t find them use the best quality diced tomatoes you grocer carries. Better yet make you own oven roasted tomatoes.

4- Pork chops approx. 1 ¼- 1 ½ inches thick

2- Tbsp. olive oil (divided)

1- tsp. dried oregano (divided)

1- tsp. dried basil (divided)

2 cloves (or more) or garlic (grated or minced)

Salt and pepper to taste (and your doctor’s instructions)

1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

2 TBSP. Dry red wine (optional)

½ cup Diced San Marzanno tomatoes (drained of excess liquid)


Preheat your oven to 425 ° F

In a bowl, combine half the oil, oregano, basil, garlic salt and pepper. Rub into the meat.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining oregano, basil, garlic salt and pepper with the tomato.

Pre heat a sauté pan to medium high. Add the remaining oil and place the pork chops in the pan making sure they have room to brown. Lower the heat to medium low and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chops. Place in a baking dish. Add the chicken broth and scrape up browned bits. Add the sauce to the chops. Bake in the oven for 18-12 minutes. Spoon the tomato mixture over the chops. Return to the oven and heat for 2 more minutes until the tomatoes are warmed through.




































































































































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