Diabetes Eating: Being in the moment

08/15/2017

Article # 256

Diabetes eating: Being in the moment

The mind plays tricks on us. It never occurred to me that sometimes I eat and enjoy food out of habit rather than desire.

I always ate a small apple as my afternoon snack.

4-5 oz. apple

I would stop what I was doing and go get an apple but lately the apples have gotten very expensive (for apples) and have no apple taste. They are sometimes sweet, juicy, and crunchy, but if you blindfolded me I bet I could NOT identify the food as an apple. So I stopped buying them. I missed them like crazy for the first few days and then I forgot about having not only the apple but the 4 PM snack. As it turns out I was eating the apple out of sheer habit even when they tasted eh. I don’t miss the apple snack at all. If I am peckish or want to keep myself even, I will now have some nuts or a piece of cheese. I realized that I really did not miss that formerly coveted apple at all. What is up with that?

I really like apples. Except in the heat of summer I always enjoyed them. In the summer I would switch to peaches or better yet, nectarines. Here in New Mexico those fruits don’t keep very well. They go from bricks to mush almost overnight. No matter how carefully I plan, I usually wind up tossing a few out. So I now don’t buy them often. Why eat something that is not as good as you expect? Why squander those carbohydrates just because “you always ate an apple/peach/nectarine?

All this made me think about how much all of us eat out of habit. Many years ago, some colleagues and I were sitting in this wonderful restaurant in Milan. We had been traveling in Europe for months and were on the verge of flying back home. In front of us was one of the most wonderful meals you can imagine. One of my colleagues stopped eating and wistfully said:

“Boy I can’t wait to get back home and have a burger and fries.”

For him, food was tied up with home and what he always ate. It had nothing at all to do with how wonderful the meal in front of him was, but with a yearning for what was familiar. Each of us in turn shared our desire for something from home. I am far too embarrassed to tell you what my food choice was. The apples and the Milanese meal made me think about what was going on with me since my diagnosis of Diabetes.

My menu is as delicious and varied as it was before Diabetes. It is just different. One thing has replaced another and with time has improved in flavor either by my skills or the sense on my palate. I enjoy eating and cooking as much as before. Perhaps I enjoy it more now because it is a challenge to me, to feed my Diabetes, my tastebuds, and my family.

And yet….sometimes I crave a food that I have all but eliminated from my table. Sometimes I see an advertisement on TV for some food that I know is really not very good, but because I “shouldn’t” have it, want it. Does that double chocolate rocky road shake with whipped cream and a cherry really taste any good?  YOU already know the answer.

No matter how much tastier my parmesan and nut coating for chicken or fish is, I still sometimes crave fast food fried fish and chicken. I may indulge myself. Try NOT to feel too guilty. What almost always happens is that the deep fried food doesn’t taste as good as I remembered or it doesn’t agree with me. Do you think they changed the recipe in the years I wasn’t looking? More likely it was me that changed.

Another piece to this puzzle is for some dishes I attempt to create something like the old dish, and that reminds me of what I did eat and stops me (us) from being in the moment.

Thinking of something else when presented with something much more delicious is a lost food moment. Heck, it is a lost moment in life. It is no different than thinking about your first love when you are with your new love. But let’s not go there.

When I go back to Milan, I will enjoy it more for being there in the moment.

As for the apples; fall is coming. Maybe this year’s crop will be as delicious as my memories are. Until then there are other snacks to explore.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT ! -w!

Pizza for breakfast?
Sure thing!
Use a low carbohydrate crust and the toppings you love

Diabetic Compatible Breakfast Pizza

Chef’s Note: I am NOT suggesting you try this recipe on a busy Monday morning. But if you have a day off, this is really a fun breakfast. This is such a fun recipe for children of all ages. You get to choose what you top it with and you can prepare the ingredients the night before.

Serving 1 Pita Pizza

Net carbohydrates               >10 grams.

As Pictured for EACH pizza:

2 ounces Ham cut in strips and fried (you substitute another meat or peppers or….)

2 Scallions fried with the ham in

1TBSP. Butter

1 Joseph’s Low carbohydrate pita or any low carbohydrate tortilla

2 large eggs scrambled with:

1 TBSP. milk

1 TBSP. Grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste (and your Doctors advice)

1 roasted tomato or

2 TBSP. drained diced tomatoes

2 slices Mozzarella, Swiss, provolone or Cheddar cheese

2 TBSP. Fresh basil (divided)

1 TBSP. butter

How to prepare the recipe

Heat oven to 425°F.

Poke holes in the pita with a tooth pick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or non -stick foil.

Bake until the edges just start to curl and brown. (3-5 minutes)

While you are baking the pita or tortilla, scramble the eggs with milk in 1 TBSP. of butter.

Carefully remove the pita or tortilla from the oven and spread with butter. Sprinkle with ½ of the basil. Spoon the eggs onto pizza. Top with the cheese followed by the remaining toppings. Place the pizza back in the oven until the cheese melts. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with remaining basil.

You can substitute bacon, sausage, or prosciutto for the ham.

Diabetes: Heroes all around us

08/09/2017

Article #255

Diabetes: Heroes all around us

One of my readers refers to me as her kitchen hero. I am nothing of the sort but there are heroes all around us.

One of my personal heroes is my friend Aurelia. I am never quite clear if she actually has Diabetes or is pre Diabetic. If so it is a small part of her life. What she certainly has is breast cancer. If you don’t know already, the treatments for cancer are very harsh on the body. Aurelia goes for her chemo, is laid up for a day or so and goes on living. She lives in NYC and is of a certain age. In addition to the ravages of her chemo, her knees are not what they used to be. Nothing stops her. There is not a free concert or free lecture (Making your own fetching turban from an old pillow case?) going on in town that she doesn’t go to (if the weather is good). She is out of her apartment early in the day and keeps chugging along. Sure she gets tired but never too tired to keep up with how her friends are doing. Despite all her difficulties Aurelia is living her life with cancer, painful knees, and probably Diabetes to the fullest. She calls friends to get them out of their house and partake in living. Her friends seldom take her up on her suggestions and despite being healthier than Aurelia stay stuck in their apartment. She is like the “unsinkable” Molly Brown…she “ain’t down yet”.

She is an inspiration to me and everybody that knows her. Just don’t tell her that. She will curl up her mouth and look at you in disgust.

I write for a number of Diabetes-specific websites. I am warmed to my soul at those of you out there willing to encourage others and share your experiences in a positive manner.

Some of MY favorite lower Carbohydrate bread choices

Some will share food items they have discovered that have made an impact on their eating. Nothing spooky or suspicious, just things that are out there we (and that ABSOLUTELY includes me) didn’t know existed. I was introduced to Joseph’s Lavash and pita bread by my “stupidmarket” nutritionist. It was funny because I had used the lavash to make roll ups prior to my diagnosis but never considered it for a bread (sandwich) source that worked for my carbohydrate budget and my food soul. They simply made a great pinwheel rollup appetizer.

I am now eating pasta dishes again thanks to one of my readers suggesting I try shirataki noodles. I can’t begin to tell you what a difference it made to me. I used spaghetti squash because it was trendy. Who knew it was a good choice for my Diabetes eating? It is great. I still use it but less now that MY hero Mary told me about the noodles. She told me and I passed it along to you. I can only hope that many of you have given it a shot and are enjoying pasta dishes again.

Last week I did an article for one of the websites that use my work (https://www.facebook.com/diabetes.whattoknow/). It was about the faces people with Diabetes wear. The response was very encouraging. These two comments really stood out for me:

“I wish those a great day who are struggling with Diabetes. Make sure to take extra special care of their health.”

“Please every one educate your self on the disease, I have and it makes it a lot easier to deal with. Good luck all.”

These two commenters don’t personally know any of the people reading on the site. They don’t care who they are. They were brave enough and giving of themselves to put themselves out there to encourage total strangers in their living with Diabetes.

Last week I published a recipe for Lemon/Pistachio cake. One reader asked if it could be made into cup cakes and if she could use walnuts or pecans in place of the pistachios. Her interest led to other people thinking about a way of using my recipe in other ways than the original. This gives others who don’t like pistachios (or hate shelling them) other alternatives.

Positive questions, positive sharing is what we should be all about. There is no need for a cape and tights to be a super hero. At this point in life too many of us would look like the an orange in a banana skin. Reaching out to assist others is maybe the most heroic thing I can think of. Thanks folks-w!

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT ! -w!

 

Caprese Salad

Servings                    2

Net Carbohydrates              11 grams

Chef’s Note: This is one of my very favorite salads. It is too easy to make. It has amazing flavor and now that I have discovered a few lower carbohydrate breads, I enjoy it all year long, but when the basil and tomatoes start growing in my garden…I go nuts.

Ingredients:

4- 4 ounce RIPE tomatoes (roma, tomatoes on the vine, or out of your garden)

4 ounces mozzarella (fresh is best)

4 ounces FRESH basil

5 Tablespoons good olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste (and your Doctor’s advice)

Black olives (optional)

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Slice each tomato in half and then into ¼ inch slices. Slice the mozzarella cheese into ¼ inch slices. Place them in alternate layers on the plate. Chop the FRESH basil into a medium chop. Drizzle the oil over the tomato, cheese and basil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the salad. Allow to sit for 4-5 minutes and enjoy with a low carbohydrate pita bread (Joseph’s) to sop up the oil. I like to add ½ avocado or some stuffed grape leaves to the plate for a texture contrast…..Manga!!

Diabetes eating: When does the fun begin?

08/02/2017

Article #254

Diabetes eating: When does the fun begin?

Women sometimes have the best attitude about food. I am a huge fan of Ina Garten. Not only is she a great cook but she has a wonderful attitude about the food she cooks. She and I grew up in a culture where food = love. Clearly she loves her husband and finds many foods to please him. Ina may be the only person that has more chicken recipes than I do. Why, Because Jeffrey loves to eat chicken.

I have created now hundreds of Diabetes-Compatible dishes. Why, because I like being healthy and love sharing my recipes with others in the Diabetes boat.

I like the analogy to the boat. Before I started out with my Diabetes creations I thought I would sink (into a depression) with the lack of good foods to eat. Instead, I am swimming like an Olympian and taking you guys for the ride. The finish-line is great eating without busting your carbohydrate budget.

Part of the Decadent Pantry

 

Back to Ina. On a recent broadcast she was in her pantry showing off the flavored liquors she kept on the shelves. She looked at the camera and said: I think it is fun to have all these flavors to play with. It is really fun”.

I agree with her. Cooking and creating new food tastes is fun. I know, I know, some people still think it is too hard, too time consuming, too much trouble. The alternative is to eat the same old, same old day after day and be miserable about it and complain to yourself how miserable you are.

Cooking is an art.

“It is surely a matter for investigation whether cookery is not one of the subtlest and most severely intellectual of the arts.”

-Dorothy Sayers

Ms. Sayers was a mystery writer. My question is: What mystery is more worth solving that finding a way to keep yourself healthier, despite your Diabetes? If you can have some fun along the way, all the better. The secret clues are to research and experiment with foods that will work for you and keep experimenting with putting them together piece by piece, bit by bit, until you have created your own masterpiece(s). The mystery is deliciously solved.

You can approach it as a chore, a challenge, or even a hobby. The end results are the same.

I am NOT by either trade or inclination a pastry chef. Sure, I had to occasionally HAVE to pitch in when someone either quit, was sick or drunk, but it was not natural to me. In fact, I was sooo bad at it that I would screw up boxed cake mixes. They would be lop-sided or over baked or under baked. My break through was seeing a recipe for cheesecake in Bon Appetite Magazine.

Best of Maine Cooking Contest

It seemed simple enough and did not involve a water bath to bake the cake in. Why a water bath should intimidate me is a mystery. (I used a bain marie for custards and pate with no fear what so ever). I tried the recipe, it worked, I did it again, it worked. Then I started having fun with it. I added apricots and chocolate chunks to it. It was even better. Next step was chopped nuts. It was even better. The next stage was daring to enter it in a contest. To my shock and amazement, I won.

I went from fear of baking to the fun of baking with one recipe. I now have dozens of variations of this cake. After the diagnosis, the trick became making it lower in carbohydrates without losing ANY of the flavor. That worked as well. It worked so well that

My WEDDING CAKE
Diabetic “Happy” Amaretto Cheesecakes

My Amaretto cheesecakes were used for our wedding.

Once you have the courage to try cooking something, the world of food is at your fingertips. Rather than fear or feeling it is a chore, cooking to help manage your Diabetes can become a more and more interesting way to eat well, manage your Diabetes, and broaden your food horizons.

Like Ina Garten, your willingness to experiment with different things becomes fun rather than a hateful chore.

The fun begins today…if you want it to.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT…..have fun! -w!

Simple to make and more scrumptious than you can imagine

Lemon/ Pistachio Bundt Cake

Serves 8

Net Carbohydrates > 12 grams per serving

Chef’s Notes: My friend Nancy (who is a great pastry chef) knocked me over with a cake some years ago. It was dense and moist and packed with flavor. To my amazement it was made from a commercial cake mix and instant pudding. That recipe is no longer compatible with my Diabetes budget so I figured out a way to make it from scratch. Guess what?…It is still easy and delicious. More important, by changing up one or more of the ingredients you come up with a totally different and equally scrumptious cake. The recipe below is the latest in a long series of simple cakes.

Unlike ALL of my other cake recipes, this one benefits from a long (4 minute) beating time.

I LIKE TO USE SMALL (6-8 cup) BUNDT PAN WELL SPRAYED OR BUTTERED TO AVOID STICKING.

Ingredients

Dry mixture

3/4 cup toasted pistachio nuts cooled

2/3 -cup flour (you can replace up to 1/4 the amount with whole wheat flour)

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom (if you can find it) or use ground ginger

1 – tsp. baking powder

pinch of salt

2 TBSP. Instant vanilla pudding

Wet mixture:

4 ounces – unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 – cup granulated sugar replacement of choice

3 – large eggs at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ lemon and enough milk to make ¼ cup

2 – tbsp. sour cream (Low fat is ok BUT NOT fat free)

1/2 –tsp. baking soda

1 – tsp. cider vinegar

 

Drizzle:

Juice and zest of one lemon

2/3 cup granulated sugar replacement of choice

Stir to combine well.

HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Pre heat oven to 350° F.

Dry Mixture

In a food processor:

Combine ½ cup of the nuts, salt, and 1/3 cup flour. Pulse until the nuts are totally pulverized. Add 1/3 cup more flour, and cardamom. Pulse until combined. Add final ¼ cup of flour, instant pudding, baking soda and powder and pulse until combined. (I often do this a day ahead),

Wet Mixture

Easiest if you have a stand mixer with a whisk attachment

Cream butter and granulated sugar replacement of choice until light and fluffy slowly add the oil and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the eggs, starting with the dry. Add vanilla lemon juice and milk

Beat on high speed for 4 minutes

Combine sour cream and vinegar. Add baking soda to sour cream and stir into the batter. Stir in the lemon zest and allow to double in volume. Add to the batter.

Coarsely chop remaining nuts and stir into the batter.

Spoon into baking pan and bake for 26-28 minutes or until tester comes out dry from the center.

Allow cake to cool slightly and remove from the pan. Spoon lemon drizzle over the cake.

Diabetes Cooking: Is it ALL Diabetic?

07/26/2017

Article # 253

Diabetes Eating: Is everything Diabetic?

I recently received an inquiry from a reader asking:

“Is it ALL Diabetic?”

I am guessing (even hoping) she scrolled down on my Facebook page and saw hundreds of pictures of FOOD and articles on EATING with Diabetes. She may have been overwhelmed with the amount and variety of things to eat that can work for people with Diabetes.

Now I don’t mean to overwhelm anyone. I do mean to present as many options for food that: 1-tastes delicious, 2- can work for a majority of people dealing with Diabetes, and 3- are easy enough to prepare.

If she was amazed, I am delighted. Back in 2008 when I was diagnosed, I was ABSOLUTELY certain that I would never again be able to eat anything wonderful.  Happy to say I was wrong.

Some of it was my fault. Having decided that food was the enemy and carbohydrates

No Carbs but…..

were the means of my demise and agony, I went nuts (and not in a good way) I was living (?) on lettuce leaves, turkey slices, tins of tuna and coffee. Delicious huh? I do make a mean pot of coffee, but that was not enough for my food soul. Add to that the medication I was given that left my gastro intestinal tract in turmoil; I was one very unhappy guy.

 

Diabetes is like any other challenge. You stand there at the bottom of what seems to be Mount Everest and your heart sinks. How will I ever meet the challenge? The answer is simple: One step at a time.

I don’t mean to be flip. It is one step at a time but you have to learn how to do it and be prepared for the highs and the lows (pun fully intended). It is a poor idea to contemplate scaling Everest in your SPEEDO or bikini, even if you still look good in one or think it would be a great photo op at the summit. The better choice might be putting some research into the right type of clothing and equipment.

With anything new to you, research and questions are your two best friends. Read everything you can. Find the “experts” and ask questions like crazy. If YOU are not happy with one answer, check out another source, ask the same question, and see what they have to say. If the answer is different, verify the sources. Everyone has an opinion. Make sure that opinion is based on science not hysteria or hearsay.

Getting back to my reader’s inquiry; all of my recipes are lower in carbohydrates and can fit into an eating regime for many people with Diabetes. Many of the recipes are no different than the way I prepared them before my diagnosis. Others have some adjustment to accommodate my Diabetes. Everybody has (or should have) their own carbohydrate budget. What works for me may or may not work for you. It is up to each of us to find the right balance. For example: I have a great recipe for oven “fried” potatoes. They are as crisp and crunchy as a fried potato. A serving (about one small red potato) should be ok for many of you. But you have to be careful what you pair it with. If you pair it with a burger, even with a low carbohydrate sandwich thin or round in place of a “regular” bun, you might be pushing the limits of your carbohydrate budget for that meal. It is up to you as to whether or not it is worth it to exceed what you usually eat. If your soul craves a burger and fries, and picking up the burger with your hands in some kind of bun is a necessary part of that experience, go for it. It may work as a very occasional treat. You are not just feeding your face. Sometimes it is necessary to feed your emotions and food memories. Of course those same oven “fries” with a zero carbohydrate steak or chicken could be a better meal choice if not a soul choice.

I want you to know I am aware some people can not even walk past the bread aisle in the “stupidmarket” without getting a sugar spike. For some even a thin slice of potato will spike their glucose. That is true for some folks, not for all.

It is all trial and error until you figure out what works for you and settle in HAPPILY to routine. That is when the fun begins.

It is all Diabetic…once you figure out how to make it work….for YOU.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Chicken Picatta
You have seen it in Restaurants, now you can make it at home

Chicken Picatta

Chef’s Note: You have seen this recipe on dozens of restaurant menus over the years. It is so simple to prepare and the ingredients are readily available. Makes a great dinner for guests but it is simple enough for any Wednesday. You can make this with either the white or dark meat but it is MUCH harder to debone and flatten a thigh.

Serving size = 1 breast or  large thigh

Net Carbohydrates                          < 4 grams per serving

 

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

1 – small shallot., minced   OR 2 scallions, minced

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ cup low sodium chicken stock or broth

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

¼ – cup dry white wine (you can substitute more chicken stock)

2 – Tbsp. olive oil

2 – skinless boneless chicken breast

2 Tbsp. drained capers

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. olive oil for cooking for pan cooking

 

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Combine: garlic, shallot, pepper, salt, chicken stock, mustard, olive oil, and the zest only in a bowl.

Place chicken breasts (or boneless thighs) between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin or heavy frying pan, pound the breasts slightly to an EVEN ¼ inch thickness. Add to the liquid, cover and marinate for at least one hour up to overnight.

Pat down the breasts, reserving the marinade. Cook in the remaining olive oil over medium heat until light brown on each side and cooked through (about 6 minutes a side). Remove from pan and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the juice to the marinade add pour into the pan and over high heat reduce by half. Add the capers. Place the chicken back into the sauce and heat through. Plate the chicken and spoon the reduced sauce over the chicken.

Diabetes Cooking: Sometimes BRASSY is best

07/19/2017

Article #252

Diabetes Cooking: Sometimes BRASSY is best

 

Writing out the ingredients for a recipe the other day (that contained a little red pepper flakes), I was reminded of my friend Vicente. He would often chide me in his heavily accented and fractured Venezuelan English:

1953

“Oah you are so braahsey (brassy). You are just like Jane Russell in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ (1953). You must learn to be more like Marilyn Monroe, shy and demure.”

But when Vicente needed something done, he turned to this brassy guy, and it got done.

Learning to eat and cook well with Diabetes sometimes takes a little brass, or at the very least a bit of spice. I could have decided: oh well, I will just give up and eat boring foods. Not very likely for this brassy guy.

There is nothing wrong with taking a piece of meat, sprinkling it with some salt (taking heed of your doctor’s advice) and pepper, and cooking it up. It can be tasty….enough. Adding a little garlic or onion will make it even better. My question is: is tasty enough really enough? How soon will YOU get bored? Even if you don’t get bored why ignore a world of brassy flavors?

Brassy or spicy does not have to mean hot. Some people (me included) don’t like so much heat that you can’t taste the base food. I remember tasting tartar sauce at a restaurant here in New Mexico. It was laced with dried Hatch chili peppers. Not that it was terrible, just a surprise. No, IT WAS TERRIBLE.

I like to combine the Russell/Monroe factor in my cooking. I like spices and herbs, but

From 3 jars of spices mix…27 meals…and counting

tend to the European flavors more than the heat of New Mexico or India. Not that I don’t use the hot “stuff” in small amounts, but I like the more subtle flavors of the Mediterranean. That is not to say that those flavors are demure. Basil and oregano are sharp, while tarragon is mild and slightly anise in flavor. Alone or in combination, these flavors add a lot to that barely seasoned meat or chicken. The fun thing is that YOU can use them by themselves and get one kind of flavor from each of them. Use them together and get a more rounded flavor.

Lemons are “almost” magical in the way they add flavor to food

One of the simplest and most delicious recipes I have ever used was to combine lemon juice, soy, and ONE spice or herb. Each time you do this it is entirely different and entirely delicious. Just changing out the herb each time gives you dozens and dozens of recipes that are low in carbohydrates. Soy sauce is high in sodium, and if that is an issue for you, check with your medical team and get their advice on using a soy product. Even the “lower” sodium soy sauce may be too much for you. Take the bottle with you or copy down the nutritional information from the container. It is worth a shot.

Then there is the salad. We eat a lot of salads. Why not? They are generally low in carbohydrates and do a great job of filling your plate. I recently had one of my salad recipes posted. One of the readers responded:

“Hmmm salad for a change?!”

I get it. Salads may be filling. Salads may be low in carbohydrates. But salads can get “old” pretty fast if you are using them as the staple on your plate.

An incredibly simple and delicious side salad
So fast and easy, you will make it over and over again

A little brass here works wonders. Who dictated that a salad had to be a specific combination of foods x, y, and z? I have been preparing a salad of artichoke hearts (yes, from a can) black olives, and onion for decades. Sometimes I add a little chopped tomato and/or bits of parmesan cheese. After all these years, I have never been bored. What lies ahead is adding something else to the dish. Perhaps a little of those chili flakes will add the right amount of brass to this otherwise demure dish?

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

 

Fettuccini with Salsa Fresca

Serves 2

Net Carbohydrates              <6 grams per serving

Chef’s Notes: Using Shirataki noodles has made most of the pasta dishes I so enjoyed “back when” possible again. This “fresh” sauce is one of the easiest and most delicious.

Ingredients:

3- 8 oz. packages shirataki fettuccini noodles (YES I mean that)

 

4 plum tomatoes

2 TBSP. olive oil

2 small zucchini, cut into medium dice

1 large shallot or 5 scallions chopped finely

2-3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced

Salt and pepper to taste and your doctor’s recommendation

2 TBSP. fresh basil, chopped

2 TBSP. fresh parsley, chopped.

Pinch of red pepper or chili flakes (more if you like it hot)

2 TBSP. parmesan cheese

 

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Bring 2 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Rinse the shirataki noodles, add to the water, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain well.

Cut the tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out the seeds and jelly. Cut into large dice

Heat the oil in a large skillet. . Add the diced zucchini, salt & pepper and cook until lightly brown.

Add the shallot or scallion and cook until they are pale golden in color. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add diced tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are just wilted. Add the basil and parsley, cooked fettuccini, and red pepper flakes. Stir to heat through. Add the cheese and stir together. You may add more cheese if you like.

Diabetes Cooking: Let it be your way

07/12/2017

Article # 251

Cutting the onion toward the stem and then across the rings, makes “chopping” a breeze

I like cooking with onions. I can’t imagine not using them. If you think you HATE onions, let it be your way and leave them out of your recipes.

I was raised by my maternal grandmother. For as far back as I can remember she was a fun and feisty lady. Other than some simple basic American style dishes, what she cooked was the foods of her homeland. Many were specific to her little village in what was Austria Hungary. Other than family members, no one I know has every even heard of them. All were prepared with what was available in her home country. Despite the unavailability of fresh produce, she created hundreds of hundreds of interesting dishes. I say interesting because there were a few that I never learned to like.

Ask her for a recipe and she would shrug: “recipe, what recipe, a little this, a little that, so it should be good in taste”. It was good in taste and who could argue with that?

My grandmother, like so many grandmothers of friends, had her food prejudices. Asian, German, Italian, Jewish, Polish, Russian, these fabulous ladies (and sometimes their husbands) knew “the right way” to cook things. Others, especially other family members “always made it a little wrong”.

I loved this generation. There was no way to win an argument with them. Even after careful consideration of what you had to say, they might look at you and say: “fine, let it be your way”. You lost. No two ways about it.

I like to think about cooking that way. No two cooks, even in the same family will go about making a dish EXACTLY the same way. The great thing about this is that each cook is ABSOLUTELY right. The way it should be prepared and should taste is from memory and emotion.

Unless you are making say Chicken Marsala, which by its very nature uses mushrooms for flavor and texture, it is ok to leave the mushrooms out of a dish.

Chicken Marsala
Deliciously Simple to prepare

I just wrote this sentence and realize that even Chicken Marsala can be delicious without the mushrooms. It can be more delicious to you if you hate to pick mushrooms out of a dish. Just don’t leave out the Marsala. If you do, you may have something delicious, but it WON’T be Chicken Marsala.

Many of the recipes I share with you have variable ingredients. I will sometimes suggest 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated; or shallot or scallion. The dish will work the same way with the variable. I like the taste of garlic and will usually go for the larger amount. I also prefer the ease of grating the garlic rather than mincing it. It works either way. I use a lot of shallot. I like the mid-way flavor between an onion and a scallion. It is gentler than the onion, sharper than the scallion. The choice is yours. If you only have an onion on hand, use an onion. The dish and the world will not fail.

I do use wine in many recipes. For various reasons many people don’t use wine. With very few exceptions, the red wine can be replaced with orange zest and tomato paste; the white wine with lemon and chicken stock. The combination doesn’t taste like wine but it has a similar acid/sweet essence to bring out the flavor intended by MY recipe.

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

Since Diabetes, I use a lot of cauliflower. I prepare my mashed and au gratin cauliflower EXACTLY the way I had previously prepared potatoes. If you “always” had mashed potatoes with butter and milk, have it your way, use butter and milk. It will taste more like what you remember. But keep an open mind and once in a while at least think about having it my way with garlic, parmesan cheese, dill and sour cream. It is really scrumptious unless you don’t like one or more of the ingredients.

Where I live, we have very hot summers. It also gets breezy at exactly the time I would go outside to grill. The breezes (I call it wind), are so strong it blows the flames and heat of the grill to one side. Half my grill chars things, half leaves them uncooked. It is too much work for me (too hot outside) to stand there and keep moving the food around the grill. I rely on a lot of foods prepared in the cooler hours of the day and eaten cold or reheated at night. In the old days I always like to make cold rice salad. In the new Diabetes days I make “riced” cauliflower salads. I toss in what I have on hand. There is no wrong way to make these salads. As my late beloved grandmother would say: “Let it be your way”.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Let it be your way…
YOU choose what you want to use to make this great summer salad

“Riced” Cauliflower Salad

Chef’s Notes: I love cold pasta salads. I also love cold rice salad. Using “leftovers” from my lemon scented “riced” cauliflower, I can still make a killer cold salad. What is great about this salad is that you can use (use up) what you have sitting around. You get to have it your way. I use about half of the recipe for Lemon scented “riced” cauliflower (recipe below). FAIR WARNING: this salad can easily “grow” to feed a small army. What you want to do is add small amounts of the things you have available.

Recipe makes 4 servings

Serving size              2 Cups

This version has: Net Carbohydrates       5 grams.


Prepare this part first

Lemon scented “Riced” cauliflower

Recipe makes 2 servings

Serving size              1 Cup

Net Carbohydrates              5 grams

You can do this with a box grater but it works best and most quickly with a food processor.

Ingredients:

4 cups cauliflower florets (about 1” each)

2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil

1 shallot minced

Or

2 scallions minced

1 clove of garlic, grated or minced very fine.

¼ cup low sodium chicken broth

Juice and zest of ½ lemon

1 tsp. fresh parsley chopped


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).

Heat butter or olive oil in a large (12”) frying pan. Add the shallot or scallions and cook until just wilted. 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, lemon juice and zest. Allow to come to a simmer. Cook at medium heat for 4-5 more minutes until all the liquid has disappeared.

When the cauliflower recipe is cooked, save about ½ of it for this salad. Chill overnight in the refrigerator. The rest freezes like a dream for use in another dish.

To assemble salad:

Ingredients:

½ of lemon scented “riced cauliflower recipe (above)

1 cucumber seeded and cut into chunks

5 radishes, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 cup of blanched broccoli florets

2 Roma or tomatoes on the vine, seeded and diced

6 ounces blanched snap peas or ( you can substitute cooked asparagus)

1 small shallot or 3 scallions sliced thinly

6 ounces cooked chicken

4 ounces cheese (Swiss, cheddar, feta, or provolone)

2 TBSP. fresh parsley

1 TBSP. (or more) fresh basil or tarragon)

2 TBSP. white wine or apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup good olive oil

¼ tsp. Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste and your doctor’s advice

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Combine the cold, cooked, cauliflower with the next 12 ingredients and toss to combine.

In a bowl or jar combine the vinegar (or lemon juice), oil, mustard and salt & pepper. Pour over the salad just before serving or it will turn your vegetables gray Mix thoroughly.

Diabetes cooking: After you try it…

07/05/2017

Article # 250

Simple additions to spark u your dish

Diabetes cooking: After you try it…

As a general thing Diabetes really isn’t much fun. I can not find anything “really” fun in stabbing my fingers or not eating as much of some foods as I might like. But the challenge of creating new recipes that will tickle my taste buds has become a fun and delicious game.

I am not a classically trained chef. I never learned to respect that the recipe for x dish HAD to be exactly so much this and so much that and you could not change proportions and ingredients to make it taste perfect for you. Classical techniques (cream whips best cold, eggs whip best at room temperature) are one thing, and have immeasurable value, but I learned from chefs (home and professional) that a dish could be made even better or transformed into a new dish if… Perhaps this is why changing recipes to suit my Diabetes management has not been such a big deal for me.

The NEW rules are: It STILL has to taste great, not just good. It has to work for my carbohydrate budget. Other than that, the sky is the limit.

Oven “Fried” Fish and Chips
Lower in Carbs (and fat) and Just as delicious

I need to admit that I have not been able to create a Diabetes-Compatible version of every dish. Things like deep fried fish haven’t happened for me as yet. That is not to say oven fried fish isn’t crispy and delicious but it ain’t fried fish and chips. What is so, it tastes almost better. Using ground or chopped nuts and grated parmesan cheese to coat the chicken has given me deeper and richer and more interesting flavors than the plain old fried chicken. The variety is incredible. Ground or chopped walnuts taste entirely different from say, almonds, pecans or pistachios.

Nut-free Sunflower cake

Creating a dishes using sunflower or pumpkin seeds for one of my readers(who has Diabetes) with a grandchild that that has nut allergies has rewarded me with yet another variation on a theme. I am pleased as punch to have been of assistance to her, and even more pleased for the “new” dish for me…and for you.

There are so many unbelievable dishes to cook, I never get bored. The only complaint I get at my table is: you know, we haven’t had ______ or ______ in a really long time. Hey, I have so many choices it takes time to get back to some of the first ones I created nine years ago. Add to that are the new dishes I am playing with now. Last night I made my broccoli cucumber salad as a side to a steak. I did it because it is hot as blazes and I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen. The response I got between crunches was: how come we haven’t had this in a long time. I had no good answer. This is one of my favorite side dishes.

Playing is the operative word. I love cooking. For most of my adult life it has been a pleasure for me. After my diagnosis, it has become a game. In many ways I feel it is more fun and far more creative than it has ever been.

So here is the challenge for the household where eating with Diabetes is an issue:

Find a Diabetes-Compatible recipe you might like (it doesn’t HAVE to be one of mine, there are thousands out there to choose from). Prepare as close to written as suits your taste-buds. If you don’t like an ingredient, leave it out and find something that you do like to substitute. For example: if hot peppers are too hot for you, try some sweet bell peppers. If bell peppers make you burp try something else. Then, after you have made the dish, change one herb or spice and make it again. Keep at it until you have made something so delicious the whole table will clamor for it. It really is that easy.

Every one of my recipes has gone through many stages of development. I have changed them over and over again as the little light bulb in my brain thinks of another way to prepare the dish and alter the flavors or textures enough to create a different and even more delicious dish. Sometimes I fail.

Basil for growing

My basil is as big as a weed in the garden so I am making my tomato basil chicken. It then occurred to me to make riced cauliflower, this time with the fresh basil and tomato. I bet it will be scrumptious. Then I thought what if……

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Roasted tomatoes

Net Carbohydrates >3 grams  per tomato

Chef’s Notes: I started roasting tomatoes a number of years ago because frankly, tomatoes didn’t quite taste like tomatoes anymore. Roasting really intensified the flavors. I often make large batches of these to have on hand to add to soups, salads, casseroles and sauces; OMELETS (!!!),for the best BLT I have had in years. Plum tomatoes and tomatoes on the vine work best.

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Remove stem end and cut core out of a plum tomato

Cut tomato in half horizontally.

Squeeze to remove excess jelly and seeds

Drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt pepper and:

dried basil or dried oregano or dried tarragon or all of them combined.

Place on baking sheet. Roast at 400°F. for 20 minutes, rotating the tray after 10 minutes

 

Diabetes Eating: When what you can have is what you DON’T want

06/28/2017

Article # 249

Diabetes Eating:

When what you can have is what you DON’T want

It has been very hot in the southwest the last few days. I don’t want to cook. Even with air conditioning, the idea of turning on the oven seems awful. It is so hot outside that standing anywhere near the grill seems like the entrance to the gates of hell. So what IS for dinner?

Icy cold Gazpacho Soup
Thickened with chunky vegetables instead of bread

Two of the nights I made cold soup. I served them with a low carbohydrate (Joseph’s) pita and a seasoned butter (butter with parsley and tarragon, one night, and butter with basil and parsley the other). Absolutely delicious, but I wanted something more to chew on. Salad seemed the logical choice. I love salads and have enough recipes to make a different salad every-day for weeks. Salads work really well for my carbohydrate budget. For some reason I simply could not face the idea of a salad. It made no sense. It was perfect for the weather, my carbohydrate budget, my tastebuds, and everything else going on in my life, and I had not prepared a salad in over a week. What was wrong with me? Why didn’t I want to prepare a salad?  I make a number of salad dressings that are so good you can eat them with a spoon. They are by nature all low in carbohydrates. I get a kick out of creating slightly different versions.

     Kitchen sink Vegetable Salad

The answer to my question was really simple: no matter how much I like salads and the dressings I create, THAT night, I did not want a salad. There was no reason, nothing I had to justify. I simply did not want what could, and should have worked. It could have been chicken. Sometimes you don’t want what you can have.

This got me thinking about all the people that comment that they “hate” what they can eat with Diabetes. It always strikes me as an odd statement.

I keep saying: Eating while managing your Diabetes does not require that you eat anything in particular. It is not a case of eating things you don’t like, but it also is not the case where you HAVE to eat something you do like if you are not in the food mood for that dish at that time.

Call it Gallic Pot Roast, Bouef ala Mode
It the perfect comfort food you always ate…now even better!

I am an enormous fan of pot roast and stews. In the “old days” I would almost always make them with potatoes. Now I prepare mashed cauliflower (EXACTLY the same way I prepared the potatoes). I find them delicious. I do know a lot of people think mashed cauliflower is downright hateful. It is perfectly ok NOT to eat mashed cauliflower. Find something else.  You can make spaghetti squash or my new favorite shiritaki noodles. I know, I know, it is not the same thing as mashed potatoes. It is different. It is also a great replacement on your plate. Instead of getting caught up in how it must not be good because it is different, think about it as if you were replacing blueberries in a recipe with raspberries. Unless you hate raspberries, this substitution isn’t strange, or bad, it is different and a new variation to add to your repertory of things to enjoy.

While it is ok not to like something, it is far better to find something you do like and use that instead. Anything that fits both your tastebuds and your carbohydrate budget is perfect… for you.

For those of you wondering what I did that night when I did not want to cook (inside or outside) and did not want a salad, I had a salad. It was great. I used some leftover BBQ chicken, some blue cheese crumbled on top and very quick Italian dressing. I was really not looking forward to it but this really weird thing happened….I dug my fork into it, brought it to my mouth, and totally enjoyed my cooool dinner and forgot that I really did not want a salad…at least not that night.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

“Hate to Cook” Mediterranean Spinach Salad

1 serving

Net Carbohydrates               3 grams

Chef’s notes: In Mediterranean countries they use a lot more tuna as an ingredient in their meals than we do in North America. It not only adds protein and texture to this salad; it acts as a flavoring.

All you have to cook for this salad is a boiled egg.

With a smaller amount of tuna and a handful of spinach this salad it works as a great side when you don’t know what vegetable to prepare tonight.

 Ingredients:

6- ounces  well washed spinach  ( I use baby spinach)

1- 5 ounce can of tuna, drained (either in oil or water)

1- ounce shaved (or chunked) Parmesan cheese

1- Hard-boiled egg

Toasted walnuts and radish are great additions to this salad

For the dressing:

2 -Tablespoons fresh LEMON JUICE (or cider vinegar)

1/3 – cup Extra Virgin olive oil

1/2 – tsp. Dijon mustard

Salt & pepper to taste

How to prepare this recipe:

Arrange spinach on the plate. Place drained tuna in the center. Cut boiled egg into wedges. Shave Parmesan cheese over the top.

Diabetes: The pain/pleasure paradigm

06/21/2017

Article # 248

Diabetes: The pain/pleasure paradigm

An ancient Greek philosopher suggested that pain is a major change from what we perceive as normal and that pleasure is a slight change from our perception of normal.

Many of us feel pain (and anger) because of having Diabetes. It is more than pricking our fingers to measure our blood sugars; it is also the pain of losing normalcy. Separation anxiety from the eating life we have always known?

Foods we were accustomed to eating are now either on the limited or no-no list. If we are being vigilant we can’t just buy a packaged food without reading the nutritional label on the side to see how that food fits into our carbohydrate budget. We see what we want on the shelf, hope that it will work but too often wind up putting it back. The apple a day that used to keep the doctor away is now a carbohydrate calculation. How many ounces (and carbohydrates is this?) What ever happened to the good old days when you saw it, bought it, ate it, and didn’t have to think about it? It is a big change from the “old” way of living and eating. Math, formerly reserved for your checkbook becomes a necessity for daily eating. Nothing feels simple anymore. Sure there are lots and lots of foods we can eat without figuring out how much it will cost us in carbohydrates. It may seem like the simple way out to focus just on those foods. But like one of my readers once said:

“If I have to face another piece of baked chicken and some vegetables again…I will_______”.

“Riced” Cauliflower Pilaf
This version topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and shallot

Some of us think that the foods do work for us are “icky”. Some of us think that without giving them a chance. Even as the “cauliflower ambassador” to the world, I will not tell you that cauliflower is for everyone. Lots of folks find it disgusting, smelly, and painful (?) to prepare and eat.

There is pleasure in eating foods that assist you in managing your Diabetes. Knowing that you are doing everything in your power to make your life healthier goes a long way to making us feel good about ourselves. The trick is NOT to allow the tiny mis-steps take away from that pleasure.

A slight change from the normal can be very pleasurable.

Going deliciously NUTS!!!!

Adding nuts or seeds to baked good to reduce total carbohydrates or using them as a crust for chicken or fish is great on the carbohydrates and on adding another layer of flavor to a dish. Using them for more texture and flavor in a salad can be downright scrumptious. It is a small change unless you think you HATE nuts and seeds.

Finding new ways to use old things is another small change. Does Diabetes now mean you are on cracker deprivation? If you like cucumbers and you like flavored cream cheese, consider making an hors d’oeuvre by stuffing the cucumbers with the cheese for your next cookout. Too much work? Ok, how about

Cucumber & Radish Small Bites

simply topping a cucumber slice with the cheese mixture and garnishing it with a bit of radish or fresh parsley. All the things that have been part of our lives combined simply into a new dish.

The small change from the normal doesn’t have to be complicated. Like eggs? Like tomatoes? Like cheese? Make yourself (and others) a super easy tomato and cheese omelet. It is really simple and quick and won’t break your carbohydrate budget. More important, the combination of those three basic things far exceeds the sum of the parts. Once you have fallen in love with this omelet, use mozzarella cheese and add a little FRESH basil to make a Caprese omelet. My bet is that you will want to write and thank me for the suggestion. We are talking eating pleasure here. Once you have made this omelet, perhaps you will stretch a little further away from your normalcy and create even more pleasurable eating patterns. Each increment becomes less frightening and more pleasurable.

When you think about making changes to what you eat in order to manage your Diabetes better, it is as much about the pleasure of new experiences and staving off or reducing the likelihood of more painful experiences down the Diabetes road.

On the hopeful side of the finger pricking, Apple and a number of other companies are working on a device that will read your blood sugar by just being placed on or above the skin. How much will it cost, how long it will take, and will insurance pay for it? This is still unknown. But we people with Diabetes are becoming a force to be dealt with. Perhaps not enough attention is being paid to us yet. Clearly one would hope insurance would see a one time expenditure for the device will far outweigh years and years of test strips. Well, one can hope.

We need to find pleasure where we can.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Cool as a cucumber soup
Elegant but oh so easy!

 

Cool as a Cucumber soup

4- 8 ounce servings

Net carbohydrates     6 per serving

Chef’s Note: Summer is the PERFECT time for soup. Cold soups that is. This is one of the easiest to make and yet most impressive to serve. No need to finely chop any of the vegetables in this recipe. They will all be blended smooth at the end.

Ingredients:

1- medium to large sweet onion Sliced (thick or thin, your choice)

2- TBSP. butter

2-4 cloves crushed and chopped garlic (depends on how much you love garlic)

Black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

2 Tablespoons flour

1 ½ quarts Low sodium chicken broth

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 TBSP. fresh dill (1 if you use dried)

4- large Cucumbers

3- heaping tablespoons sour cream

 

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Peel the cucumbers and using the tip of a teaspoon, remove all of the seeds from the cucumbers Chop roughly.

In a good sized soup pot sauté onion in butter until soft but not brown. Add salt and pepper about one minute into the process.

Add garlic and flour. Cook for one minute or so. Slowly add the chicken broth stirring so as not to have lumps. Add the juice and zest of the lemon.

Add ½ of the cucumbers to the broth. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat, let cool, and then add the remaining portions of the cucumbers, reserving some if you wish for garnish. Using an immersion blender, blender or food processor, whip the soup until smooth.

Add the sour cream. Blend to combine.

Note: Quickest if you have an immersion blender stick, but it works in a processor. Just do it in small batches.

Let cool in the refrigerator overnight

Diabetes Eating: no miracle foods


06/14/2017

Article # 247

Diabetes Eating: no miracle foods

“The food substitutes you have to eat are so awful I can’t even put them in my mouth. I hate Diabetes”

When I see a comment like this (and they are far too common), I want to pull what is left of my hair out of my head. I have been writing for almost five years now with the intention of leading people with Diabetes into a world of great tasting food that just happens to assist you in managing your Diabetes. THERE ARE NO FOODS YOU HAVE TO EAT! (!!!!).

Last week I did a product review for you on a food that has had a profound effect as to what is on my table. Pasta is back on my table with a vengeance and I hope some of you have chosen to look into the brands, yes brands, I have found. That is of course IF you like pasta. I would bet that ten to three, the person that wrote the comment above will not like the noodles. I bet that she won’t like them even before she tries them. It is pretty clear that she, like so many of us, has convinced themselves it is no good, because it is not a bad choice in terms of the carbohydrates. Adding to that is the fact it is made from vegetables “I NEVER ate before”.

One of the FIRST things I mentioned is that this product (Shirataki noodles) will NOT CURE your Diabetes. As far as we know, no food will do that.

So I go back to the comment above. If no food will cure your Diabetes, there seems to be no reason to eat any food you don’t like. There is some research on cinnamon being a good spice for people with Diabetes. But no real science says it will cure your Diabetes or even make it better. So…you know where I am going with this…don’t like cinnamon…don’t use it in your cooking or baking. Why suffer if you don’t have to suffer?

If you are not a fan of cauliflower as a substitute for rice or potatoes, don’t eat cauliflower. If cucumbers give you gas, don’t eat them. As far as your Diabetes is concerned, no harm, no foul.

Now you know me. I am always gonna tell you about what foods I have found that will help keep my Diabetes and carbohydrates in check. I share that information with you in case they work for you as well. I have written countless times, if you don’t like it, don’t eat it. It is fine with me. My feelings are not hurt. It has to be fine with you. There are countless foods that you can still enjoy and enjoy them without altering the recipe to suit your Diabetes.

Unless you ONLY enjoy chicken or fish or meat encrusted in potatoes or batter,

Chicken Parmesan served on a bed of Flavored Spinach

you can certainly eat fish and chicken and meat. They have to be prepared on one of the million ways that don’t spike your blood sugars. You don’t have to eat fish or chicken or meat (or any other food), but you can; and you can find a way of cooking those foods in a manner that is delicious to you. Food that works In NOT raising your blood sugars is just as delicious, or just as awful as any other food. It is up to you to choose to enjoy or choose to ewee.

Chicken Marsala
Deliciously Simple to prepare

I also know how difficult it is for some people to give a food that they have never tried, a try. To encourage you I want to remind you that as you get older, tastes change. What you loved as a kid, you may not love as much today. Conversely, what you did not love as a kid may actually taste mighty good to your more sophisticated (I mean older but was trying to be nice) palate. This is exactly what happened with my poor sister. She “hated” mushrooms. As an adult she loved chicken Marsala. In fairness to her, the only mushrooms we ever saw in our house were from a little can. They were tasteless and rubbery. By the time she tried the Marsala dish, fresh mushrooms were really available and the fresh mushrooms added flavors to the dish and did not chew like little brown erasers.

A lighter, lower carb change from the traditional “Green Bean Casserole”
All the flavor and even more crunch and color

Full disclosure; one of the few vegetables on my grandmother’s table were canned green beans. Not a big fan. I hated the way they squeaked in my teeth. What a delicious crisp revelation to finally eat a fresh green bean. I still need to cook them so they stay crisp and don’t squeak.

So, I answer the lady’s comment: If you “think” foods that help you manage your Diabetes are awful, and you know that they won’t cure your Diabetes, move on. Do the best you can…and much as it pains me to say, there is more to life than food. Did I really write that?

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Double Pecan Tart

Chef’s note: I have been trying for years to make a more than acceptable pecan pie. The problem is the corn syrup. After some fiddling, I found that adding a little strong coffee and butter to the custard and a little Coffee liquor (or caramel flavoring) gives me the same kind of flavor without the carbohydrates. Using pecans in both the crust and the filling add to the “Pecan-ness” of the dessert.

Serves 8

Net Carbohydrates   12 grams per serving

Ingredients:

Crust:

Spray for the pan

(9-10 inch removable bottom fluted tart pan)

2/3. flour

½ cup toasted Pecans

¼ c. GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE

1 pinch salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. baking powder

4 tbsp. butter

1 large egg

FILLING:

3 large eggs

2/3 cup GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE

2 TBSP. coffee ½ cup. Sour cream or heavy cream

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tsp. melted butter

2 TBSP. coffee liqueur or caramel flavoring

1 cup pecan halves

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

CRUST:

In a food processor with a steel blade pulse all of the dry ingredients until very well combined and the nuts disappear into the mixture. Add cold butter and pulse until butter is well distributed in the flour mixture. Add the egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball on the blade. Remove the dough pat into a disc about 5-6’’. Wrap disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least ½ hour but overnight will also work.

Roll out the crust on flowered surface to about a 14 in circle. Using your fingers fit sections of the crust into tart pan. This dough is fragile and will break. Not to worry just piece it together with your fingers. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before filling.

FILLING:

Beat the eggs until smooth. Add GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE and beat until incorporated. Add the coffee, vanilla, melted butter, and Sour cream. Beat until well mixed. Allow to sit for 20 minutes so some of the air from the beating is released (this will help keep the filling from cracking).

Arrange the pecans in concentric circles. Slowly (so not to disturb your pecan design), pour custard mixture into the crust.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. allow to come to room temperature before serving.

I like to serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or sour cream.