Article # 249
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.