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!
A short break
For some the big holiday is Christmas. For some it is New Year’s Eve. For me it is Valentine’s Day. I created so many posts, so many recipes, so many Valentine’s Day related bits and pieces…I am pooped. So no new article this week. I am gonna take time to pack up all those red and pink decorations, put the chocolate back in the pantry and think of what I can share with you in the year post Valentine’s Day.
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, BE DECADENT and love yourself –w!
Diabetes Cooking and you: Have you lost that loving feeling?
You have Diabetes and it has become clear to you that you that there are changes in the way you eat and live that might help you manage your Diabetes. But you miss a lot of things you loved eating. You are tired of testing your blood sugar. You can’t calm down waiting for the results of your latest a1c. Diabetes is a lot of work and you question whether you are up for the challenge. Do you wonder if YOU are worth all the effort? Do you still love yourself enough to make a difference in your life or to quote the Righteous Brothers: “You’ve lost that loving feeling.”
Many of us know the feeling. We would “kill” for a sandwich but bread has soooo many grams of carbohydrates. We walk down the bread aisle and look at every offering on the shelves. We are checking for the number of grams of carbohydrates in a slice and the number of grams of fiber in the slice. Even when we find a brand that works, do we wonder how it will taste and if a slice or two will be satisfying enough to “splurge” on the net carbohydrates?
I am going to mention Joseph’s lavash and pita breads (you probably will have to order online) Sara Lee Delightful, Thomas’ light English muffins, and Sandwich thins or rounds. Check the carbohydrate counts and fiber counts on these products and see if they fit into your budget. I will tell you that I love the way these products have gotten me through a lot of lunches and dinners.
There are a good number of breads out there that, depending on YOUR carbohydrate budget might work for you. Some taste pretty good. Some taste like cardboard. The question is how much do you want the sandwich and are YOU worth the carbohydrates?
Mashed cauliflower and riced cauliflower are much lower in carbohydrates than mashed potatoes or rice. BUT they take more time and work to prepare them than potatoes or rice. Aren’t YOU worth the work?
“Does it taste like cauliflower?”
Another reader said:
“I never liked risotto; but I love cauliflower. I am going to try this”
I am only guessing that the first reader does not like the taste or smell of cauliflower. My answer to her is that properly seasoned it may taste slightly vegetable-y but it does taste more like rice than cauliflower.
It takes work and thought to make it taste good. Aren’t YOU worth thinking about?
On an episode of THE CHEW, Chef Carla was beside herself at the smell of a dish made with cauliflower and parmesan cheese. Food is funny. We all react in different ways to foods.
What crazy Mainer pulled a lobster out of the ocean and thought that this weird bug looking thing would be delicious? But most of us think it is delicious. Now have you ever cooked one of these lobsters? It can be a daunting task. For those of you that remember Annie Hall and those of you that have never seen it, I want to share this clip with you:
I leave you to judge if cooking a lobster is worth the effort.
Making cakes using nuts to replace some of the high carbohydrate in flour takes a bit more work. The end result is as good, no I take that back, better than the original recipes. It takes more effort. Do you love yourself to take that effort?
The ultimate trick in managing to control your Diabetes is to remember to love yourself. It is Valentine’s Day! It is ok to start now.
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, BE DECADENT and love yourself –w!
The King of the Night cake
(Based on the Queen of Sheba cake)
Net Carbohydrates 11grams per slice.
This cake is only about 11/2 inches high but very chocolaty and rich
It is only a little bit more difficult than the most of my cake recipes but it is really, I mean REALLY worth it. I thought to make it easier to follow I would group the ingredients by step.
My 98 year old aunt Sylvia wanted to know why I named the cake king of the Night and not Queen of the night. I told her: ”It has nuts”
1-1/3- cup toasted almonds, cooled
2– 1/2 cup flour divided evenly
3– 1 Tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa
4– 3.5 ounce bar of PERGINA bittersweet chocolate or equivalent
5- 2 Tbsp. Strong cold coffee
6– 2 Tbsp. Bourbon (may substitute more coffee or Trop 50 Orange juice)
7– ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
8- ½ cup granulated sugar replacement of choice
9- 4 egg yolks
10- t ¼ tsp. Almond extract
11– 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla extract
12– 1- Tbsp. Sour cream
13– 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
14– ½ tsp. baking soda
15 – 4 egg whites
16– ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
17 a pinch of salt
18– 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar replacement of choice
Butter or cooking spray for the springform pan
HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
STEP 1 -Butter or spray an 8-9 inch springform pan with Pam. Cut a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper to just fit into the bottom of the pan.
STEP 2 –In a food processor, pulverize the almonds with ¼ cup of the flour and the cocoa. ( ingredients 1-2-3)STEP 3 –Over, not in, BARELY SIMMERING water, allow chocolate to melt into the coffee and Bourbon (ingredients 4-5-6)
STEP 4 –Beat butter until fluffy and add the granulated sugar replacement of choice and beat one minute more, then beat in the egg yolks. Add the almond and vanilla extracts and beat 30 seconds more. (ingredients 7-8-9-10-11)
STEP 5 –Combine the sour cream, vinegar and baking soda and add to the egg mixture. Beat one minute more. (Ingredients 12-13-14)
STEP 6 –Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture.
(Note: Should the chocolate mixture break, add a few drops more coffee and whisk until smooth again)
STEP 7 –STIR the nut mixture into the egg/ butter/chocolate mixture.
STEP 8 –Beat egg whites until they form a froth. Add the cream of tartar, the salt and 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar replacement of choice (ingredients 15-16-17-18) Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
STEP 9 –Spoon ¼ of the egg whites into the chocolate batter to lighten. Add the remaining egg whites and fold into the batter ALTERNATELY with the remaining ¼ cup of flour.
STEP 10 –Pour into an 8 inch springform pan that has been sprayed with a cooking spray.
STEP 11 –Bake at 350 for 20-20 minutes CHECKING after 20 minutes. For this cake the center should move slightly when the pan is gently shaken.
Let cool for 15 minutes on a rack before removing the spring form.
This cake is so rich and delicious that I do not frost it just dust it with a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder and garnish it with a dollop of SWEETENED(WHIPPED OR SOUR) CREAM and a few berries.
Diabetes and food: Will you still love me tomorrow?
February is when this old man’s fancy turns to fancy food.
For many the holiday that screams food at them is Thanksgiving. You know; turkey and all the trimmings. For others it is Christmas treats that get the juices flowing. For me it is Valentine’s Day.
Starting with the first wisps of February, I think about what wonderful concoction to create for the ones I love. Maybe it is my heritage where food is love. My grandmother saying: “You didn’t finish your supper. You don’t love me anymore?” She didn’t say it in words, but her look made the meaning clear. In my dotage, I have turned into my grandmother right in front of my dinner plate.
Since my diagnosis over nine years ago, I have been creating food for me and those I love that meet my needs in controlling my Diabetes and my need to cook one meal for the table. I have created or recreated hundreds of dishes. With very few exceptions we have loved them. I have loved sharing them with you.
This year I have also gotten a bit musically nostalgic.
But when does the most creative meal become ho-hum, or to quote the Shirelles: “Will you still love me tomorrow?”
Even the most creative dish can get over used and start to feel like…medicine?
How do you keep it new and fresh?
1-As you know what I do in baking is to reduce the amount of flour in a recipe by ¼ to 1/3 and substitute it with toasted ground nuts. I find that almonds and pistachios work best for a dryer texture and that walnuts and pecans work better for wetter texture. Each nut adds its own flavor. Changing up the nut changes up both the flavor and texture, while helping to keep those pesky carbohydrates down.
Toasting nuts is super easy. You can either toast them in a dry pan or in the oven, or as I do at home, in my toaster oven. The one caveat is to watch them like a hawk. Because of the oil content, nuts can go from toasted to charred in the blink of an eye. This is no time for multi- tasking!
2-To replace things like maple syrup in a breakfast recipe, I will use butter and fruits. Strawberries and raspberries work really as does an apple. Again, each one changes the flavor enough to keep you interested.
3-In the “old” days, I used a lot of chicken bouillon in my cooking. Even I had to stop and consider the sodium content. What I do now is make “stock” ice cubes. I do this by adding a clove of garlic and 4-5 pepper corns to a pot of “low” sodium chicken or beef stock and reduce that down by at least half. After cooling, I pour that liquid into ice cube trays and freeze them. I keep them in an air tight container in the freezer for whenever I need a flavor boost in a recipe. I do the same thing with the liquid that remains after I reconstitute dry mushrooms. Added to the juices from a steak or chop turns it from ordinary to DECADENT with very little effort on my (or your) part.
4-Simple sauces that can be used in a gazillion ways is another to give and old dish new flavor. I use reumoulade sauce in dishes from simple sandwiches to chicken and pork. Royal caper sauce is another one of those recipes. Another very simple trick is to combine fresh lemon juice and low sodium soy sauce with ONE herb, brush your protein with that liquid for more variations than you can ever imagine. Use the herbs you like and you will always love the DECADENT dish you have created.
5-Compound butters are another nice little trick. Combining butter with herbs and spices or shallots and garlic, and adding them at the very last minute makes a huge flavor difference.
6-Re-inventing “old” recipes give me a sense of comfort, while still keeping the flames of loving my food alive.
No question that you can have chicken and fish. I know two things about those foods.
A- Chicken day after day after day after day, can be BOORING! It is up to you to make it different and exciting. It does not have to be a big production. A new spice, a squeeze of lemon or lime will make same old same old become new again. A little more in the way of spices (salt and pepper is fine but….) will give you a brand new dish. The great thing is you don’t HAVE to stress over it.
The “stupidmarkets” carry a host of spice combinations for every possible type of cuisine. Rubs, Italian seasoning, Herbs de Provence, Chinese five spice, curries, Adobo, and on and on and on, change the flavors enough for you to have a new taste every night. Don’t limit these to just chicken. Try them on lamb and beef and pork. Just sprinkle a little (or a lot) on that boring protein and you have set sail on an eating adventure.
B-Then there is,,, ”yuck” fish. What is it about fish and mushrooms that people screw up their faces and go eweee? I suppose it can smell up the kitchen. I suppose it has a different (funny) texture. It is interesting that when I post a fish recipe, I get far less of a response from my readers. That does NOT count the eweee. Well I think that fish well prepared, can be more than a good healthy meal, but a great one. So from time to time, I will try and wear you down and post another fish recipe. One day, you will break down and try it. You know what? If you don’t like it, it is ok with me and all of us that do like fish. More for us that do like fish.
Food is like you love life. Sometimes it takes a spicy little nudge to get back on track.
Recipe makes 2 1/2 servings
Serving size 1 Cup
Net Carbohydrates 5 grams.
Chef’s Note: Will the wonders of what you can do with cauliflower never end? Risottos are great as a neutral side dish. They lend themselves to all kinds of additions.You can do this with a box grater but it works best and most quickly with a food processor.
3 cups cauliflower florets (about 1” each)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. herb of your choice (optional)
1 shallot finely sliced
2 scallions finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, grated or minced very fine.
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
Salt & pepper to taste and your doctors suggestion
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
Or 2 TBSP. fresh lemon juice
¼ cup grated parmesan
¼ cup milk or cream or combination of both
Dash of nutmeg
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles kernels of rice (this can also be done on the large side of a box grater).
Melt butter in a large (12”) frying pan. Add the shallot or scallions and cook until just wilted. DO NOT BROWN. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the cauliflower and continue to cook over medium high heat for 3- 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth, wine or lemon juice, herb of choice, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until most of the both has evaporated. Combine the milk and/ or cream with the cheese. Add the nutmeg and stir into the mixture in the pan. Cook, stirring constantly until fully heated.