Eating with Diabete:, Let’s make a deal

04/26/2017

Article #240

 

Eating with Diabetes: Let’s make a deal

In the article I wrote last week, I used the phrase “let’s make a deal”. I used it in reference to balancing what you want to eat to help manage your Diabetes and what the rest of the family wants.

I realized, even if you are just cooking or eating for yourself, making changes in your meals is also a case of: “Let’s make a Deal”. But the “deal” is with yourself.

Pizza made using JOSEPH’S low carb pita

It is as simple as wanting to eat pizza. Even with Diabetes this is still very possible. The “deal” is you have to agree to use some lower carbohydrate format for the crust. It can be zucchini, cauliflower, or as in my case a lower carbohydrate pita bread. I have made absolutely delicious pizzas for years now. I still make them with sausage, or mushrooms, or peppers, or any other topping I want. I still get the molten gooey, cheesy, tomato-y flavor that I crave, just not all the carbohydrates. Not a bad deal.

My favorite summer salad is Caprese. I grow tomatoes and basil in pots in the garden. To make the salad you add mozzarella cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper. It is simple, elegant, and full of the flavors of summer. Usually one sops up the flavored oil with a good crusty bread.

Caprese Salad

Most folks with Diabetes watch their carbohydrates like a hawk so that nice crusty bread can present a problem. The “deal” is either to have a small amount of the bread or to find bread that is lower in carbohydrates. I do both. Sometimes it is the smaller amount of bread, sometimes I use the same Joseph’s pita bread that I use for my pizza crust, and sometimes a little of each. It depends on what the carbohydrates are for meals planned for the rest of the day. In all cases I win by getting that wonderful salad. Not a bad deal.

I have actually run into (on line) a person that does not like mashed potatoes. I suggested using mashed cauliflower or pureed roasted turnip and apple in the place of the smashed spud. I mentioned this because many people kvetch about using mashed cauliflower to substitute for the potatoes. It turned out that the suggestion I made to this person worked better for her husband, and she liked it equally as well. Making both sides in the marriage happy, not a bad deal.

Not to brag but until you try some of the desserts I have created for us, you may not realize that eating dessert is not only a possibility for people with Diabetes, but also a pleasure.

YOU and ONLY YOU get to choose what is right for you!

The dessert “deal” is that because you use a sugar replacement, the cakes don’t rise as well as if you used sugar. There is simply less volume. The other part of the “deal” is that you have to use a substitute for the sugar. EVERYBODY has an opinion of the taste and safety of the replacements. I refuse to be part of the fray. YOU GET TO CHOSE FOR YOURSELF. All I ever ask is that when making choices, let real science be your guide, not hysteria (“Well I heard/read that…;” “Somebody said that…”). Deal? ….Deal!

Many people think that there are not enough choices for people with Diabetes. Piffle, I say. Here is the “deal.” YOU have to be willing to try cooking foods in a different way, use different spices and combinations of flavors. If you are bored with same old, same old, the “deal” is try something new. This opens you up to a world of variety. Not a bad deal.

One of my favorite stuffings uses artichokes and blue cheese. My friend Linda all but gagged at the thought. She likes artichokes and she likes blue cheese. The thought of the two in combination make her feel faint. Not every combination works for everybody, not every combination works period. But you might be very surprised at things that do work in combination. No, not Snickers bars and tomato sauce, but it is amazing how well coffee works with meats. When I first saw that on a menu I thought it strange, then I thought it over the top, then I tasted it. It was delicious and surprising.

A little cheese please
Turns a simple salad into a simple joy

Dining out with family and friends may put extra stress on you. Don’t allow that. Make the deal that you will settle for a protein and vegetable and salad for the pure enjoyment of being with the group.

So, here IS the deal. Choose to be open to the possibilities. Figure out what works for your taste buds, your soul, and the management of your Diabetes. Do the best you can and be willing to make changes. Deal? ….DEAL!

 

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

Chicken Oreganata

serving size 1 breast or leg quarter

net carbohydrates     6g.

Chef’s Notes: Some recipes can do double duty and in the most unexpected way. One of my favorite appetizers is Clams Oreganata. I took my cue for this crunchy chicken dish from that old recipe. While fresh herbs are usually the best, Oregano is the one exception.

Ingredients:

2 –boneless chicken breasts or thighs

juice of ½ of the lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)

salt and pepper to taste

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

1 – small shallot., minced (or ½ tsp. powdered)

OR

2 scallions, minced

1 TBSO. Olive oil

2 – tsp. DRY oregano

grated zest of one lemon

2 TBSP. grated parmesan cheese

2 TBSP, panko crumbs

2 – Tbsp. olive oil

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Combine Chicken garlic, shallots, salt and pepper, lemon juice and 1 TBSP. olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for about 45 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to:

Combine the oregano, lemon zest, parmesan cheese and panko. Drizzle the olive oil over this mixture and work LIGHTLY with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Press the crumb mixture into the chicken pieces. Bake at 350° F. for 40-45 minutes

Diabetes: Cooking for YOU and your family

04/19/2017

Article # 239

Diabetes: Cooking for YOU and your family

If your concern is managing your Diabetes, one of the things you have to consider is changing the way you eat some foods. Hard as that is for us, many of us also have to deal with the likes and dislikes of some pesky people, our families and friends. Some of us have it easier than others. One of my readers commented:

My hubby is set in his ways, (not willing to try new foods, recipes). He also likes to eat out. I would love to be able to prepare more of our meals so I can manage my numbers better. What do you suggest?

I am very lucky. I realized a long time ago, in a restaurant you have to try and please everybody, at home you (I) put it on the table and either it gets eaten, stored, or thrown away. It sounds easy doesn’t it? One of my nieces was the “picky” eater. Her parents used to make her sit at the table for hours, or until she ate some percentage of what was on her plate. I want to tell you that her father is an excellent cook. He and I only disagree on how well done a hamburger REALLY has to be. Whatever the issue was, it was not that she did not like the taste of the food….except mushrooms.

When she came to visit us from her home in Wisconsin, I handed her a box of her favorite cereal and a tin of tuna. I told her she could always have these items if she didn’t like the taste of my cooking. The TASTE of my cooking. This meant she had to at least try the dish. You already have guessed that by the end of her visit she ate everything in sight.

She got so good at it that when we took her and her brother to one of my favorite restaurants back east, Ming Tsai’s BLUE GINGER, she was the most adventurous person at the table.

Lots of people have an inbred (sometime irrational) resistance to what foods we like and dislike. That includes me.

As for my friend with the “set in his ways” husband, what she has to remember that eating to manage your Diabetes does not mean anything has to be strange or unfamiliar. Steak is still steak, fish is still fish, chicken is still chicken. She has the choice to make two dinners or to make things that work for both of them. You can still make all of the proteins you have always made. You can still make most of the vegetables and salads as you always have. You can even make the higher carbohydrate dishes you have always made if you choose to limit YOUR portion size or not eat it at all. It takes a little adjusting, but aren’t you worth it?

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

I personally don’t believe in “sneaking” foods on to the table. If you want to make mashed cauliflower to replace your mashed potatoes great! Prepare a batch of it for you. It freezes like a dream. Make the cauliflower for yourself and make mashed potatoes for the rest of the family. It is more work but not as bad as making Beef Wellington for them and a chicken Florentine for you. Offer the rest of the group at the table a taste. My bet is that if you treat the cauliflower EXACTLY the way you do the potatoes, the rest of the family will enjoy them as much as you  Bonus point: you get something delicious and with fewer carbohydrates.

The other choice is to make what is good for you and if the family is not willing to try it, don’t try to push them to eat it. Enjoy it for yourself. Remember not everybody likes or is willing to try strawberry ice cream.

It is not as though you are depriving them of essential foods. They can always go out to dinner and eat all the mashed potatoes they want. My grandmother cooked in the manner of her grandmother. That is what she knew. Her line was: “You want to eat American, go to a restaurant.” They did and she did. Everybody enjoyed the treat.

If you think this is unfair, think about what you have to do when you and the family go out to dinner. They have the full choice of the menu while you have to request extra vegetables or salad in place of the potatoes or rice.

It is perfect to try and manage your disease. It is also perfect that you think of others. Both are possible. It is a case of “let’s make a deal”. You do what works.

I will also bet that this reader’s husband would rather have her healthier, happier, and not in need of extreme medical measures and expenses.

In EVERY way living with others is a balancing act. You have to do what you can for yourself and keep in mind the needs and wants of other. You can either enter a partnership with the family or move to cave in the desert. My guess is the family would rather have you around to annoy.

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

 

Broccoli Cucumber and Feta Salad

BROCCOLI, CUCUMBER, FETA AND OLIVE SALAD

3-4 servings

Net carbohydrates   8 grams per serving

Chef’s note: Easily available and inexpensive items tossed together in a new and refreshing way. It is a “snap” to make for a great side salad. A great change from the usual picnic fare. If you don’t think you like feta cheese, use blue cheese. Don’t like blue, use Swiss cheese. What (?) you don’t like Swiss cheese either…ok…use Cheddar cheese.

Ingredients:

1 Small head of broccoli crowns

1 large cucumber

¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives

4 ounces feta cheese

¼ red or orange pepper, diced

6 Tbsp. low carbohydrate ranch dressing (most brands are for this flavor)

2 TBSP. Parmesan cheese, grated

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Cut the broccoli into bite sized florets and blanch in salted water for 2-3 minutes depending on how crunchy you like broccoli. Drain and shock in iced water. Drain from the iced water and place in a bowl.

Peel the cucumber and cut in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a small spoon or a small melon baler, remove the seeds. Cut the cucumber into bite sized pieces and place in the bowl with the broccoli.

Check each olive to make certain that the seed is gone or slice the olive in half. Add to the bowl. Add the diced peppers.

Add the ranch dressing and parmesan cheese and stir.

Cut Feta cheese into small dice and add to the bowl. Stir gently so as not to break the cheese.

Serve at once or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Diabetes: Surviving the diagnosis

04/12/82017

Article #238

Diabetes: Surviving the Diagnosis

For many people, surviving their diagnosis of Diabetes is really easy. They head off to the pharmacy, fill the prescriptions, buy a meter and strips, read whatever materials they got from the doctor, and move on with life. They have the kind of personalities that allow them to keep going despite the inconveniences and discomforts. For others, including myself…. Not so easy BUT doable.

So many people that have been diagnosed with Diabetes flounder trying to figure out what they should or can do about their Diabetes. Some feel lost and do not know where to turn. I see this all too often. It is easy to let any disease overwhelm you.

At least for now, there is no cure for Diabetes. No food or combination of foods, no juices, no special spices, no “magic” pills, oils, newt’s sweat, or magic way of eating will change the fact that you have Diabetes.

What you can do is figure out what will work best FOR YOU to manage the disease and live as good a life as you can. You need to remember that all of us are different AND wonderfully unique. We can take pride in our uniqueness, even if it makes it harder to manage our disease.

Some things are easy to manage. If you have a fever, take aspirin unless…got it. There are exceptions to every rule.

With a little thought
it ALL can be yours

My means of survival is through food. Challenging myself to create foods not only with lower values of carbohydrates; but foods that taste as good as what I have always eaten. I have Diabetes. I may as well make it as pleasant and delicious as I can.

I have a great relationship with my doctor.

When he shared the results of the tests that confirmed I have Diabetes with me, he handed me the only information he had and told me he was NOT the expert on this field. Yes, I have a doctor that does not pretend to know everything. In getting me the best care possible, he sent me to area (Portland, Maine) experts in Diabetes.

The first people I spoke with were of no assistance. Attitudinally, it seemed as they blamed me for my Diabetes and treated me as though all the questions I was asking were for ways to cheat on their eating suggestions. That didn’t play well for me and should not play well for anybody.

You can not imagine how lost and discouraged I felt after the meeting. It took finding another person to guide me on a positive path to managing my Diabetes. It was a nutritionist that happened to work for my local “stupidmarket”. With her kind and expert help I found the keys to my personal Diabetes survival. The rest is was up to me to work it out.

These “monster” chicken breasts were on sale this week at $1.77 lb.
Did they really come from a little egg?

Resources are out there, sometimes in the most unexpected places. Now if I can only get her to convince the meat manager to order smaller chicken breasts. Ahhh but that is another soap box.

I have seen so many comments on the Diabetes forums where people don’t know where to turn. So many of us feel so helpless, at first. Telling you that you have Diabetes and then leave you hanging in the wind is inexcusable. I think it is necessary for the medical professionals to assist you in finding answers that work for the individual, not for their set plan.  If they don’t have the expertise they should be helping you to find others that do.

If you feel that you haven’t been given enough guidance, there are places to go for more information. Most hospitals have Diabetes departments. Many offer group classes and one on one work with doctors, dieticians, and nutritionists. Where you live will affect those resources. One Google search will uncover dozens of places that offer information and classes. All one has to do is find the ones closest to you. Different resources are available everywhere.

Once you schedule a convenient appointment, don’t go in empty handed. Get those questions out. It may seem strange to you, but YOU are your greatest tool.

The two favorite phrases in my Diabetes repertory are:

Ask questions like crazy

Don’t let anybody intimidate you

There was a question posed about which sugar replacement I used. Before I got to respond, another person (Mike) replied:

You should use what doesn’t spike you, test!!! Eat to your meter, by testing each type you can see what your body can handle, all of us are different and how our body reacts to different sweeteners and all foods.

I really enjoy the give and take from the people joining in on the Diabetes forums. His answer was perfect. Each of us is different and wonderfully unique. The only thing I would add (and did) is use your meter but also your taste buds.

Today I was contacted by another reader with this question:

My hubby is set in his ways (not willing to try new foods, recipes). I would love to be able to prepare more of our meals so I can manage my numbers better. What do you suggest?

It is great to be reminded that many of us do not live and eat alone. We have those pesky loved ones to deal with. I will let you figure out how I replied to her. One hint, the phrase: “Don’t tell him what it is”.

Sharing recipes and thoughts with you is one of the ways I have survived my diagnosis. I chose to find a purpose for my disease. I am in charge.

Giving to others reminds us of our humanity. We are part of the world.

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

Ruby Red Cole Slaw

Ruby Red cabbage slaw

Serves 4

Carbohydrates          > 9 grams per 1 ½ cup serving

Chef’s Note: This is a simple and pretty change up from same ole, same ole Cole slaw. This recipe includes making your own Thousand Island dressing but you can use a store bought Thousand Island dressing if you are in a pinch for time.

Ingredients:

5-6 cups shredded red cabbage

3 medium carrots, shredded

½ cup mayonnaise

3 TBSP. tomato paste

1 TBSP. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. sweetener of choice, or to taste

salt and pepper to taste and your doctor’s recommendation

½ tsp. garlic powder

¾ tsp. onion powder

2 TSP. sweet pickle relish

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Combine the shredded cabbage and cabbage.

Mix the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the pickle relish until smooth. Add the relish and stir to combine.

Add 5 tablespoons of the dressing to the slaw. Stir to combine. Add more dressing if you want a wetter slaw.

Tightly cover the remaining dressing and use as a spread for sandwiches.

Diabetes: And now for something entirely different

04//05/2017

Article # 237

Diabetes: and now for something entirely different

The other day I had the most wonderful sandwich. It was a Reuben. You remember them? Made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing and grilled until crusty. I made it from leftovers of my St. Patrick’s Day feast and on a lower carbohydrate bread. That St Patrick’s Day supper was equally satisfying.

It is not that I love corned beef so much. It is more a case of it NOT being meat, pork, or chicken. These foods are great, but too much of a good thing becomes boring…except chocolate?

These “monster” chicken breasts were on sale this week at $1.77 lb.
Did they really come from a little egg?

Chicken is great but so much of the taste has been bred out of it in order to get the huge breasts. In the case of chicken, being tasteless is not that big a deal. Chicken is a flavor sponge. You can change up the spices and create a totally different meal. We eat a lot of chicken at our house so having something entirely different was a real treat.

I don’t see corned beef in the “stupidmarkets” very often. In fact if it is not March, I don’t see it at all. So a boiled corned beef dinner is great if only once a year. I intentionally purchased one that was too big for one meal. The reason?…that Reuben sandwich. As good as my St. Patrick’s Day feast was, the prospect of the sandwich was even better. Back in New York, I could always go to a good deli and purchase corned beef, but since leaving there I find the local deli’s offering chewy and pretty tasteless. Don’t misunderstand. If I made a Reuben three times a year it was lot. Good as it is, it takes more work than I like to prepare it for a regular lunch.  Because I didn’t have the Reuben (all that sodium) very often, it was, and remains special.

Creating a big variety in my menu goes a long way toward sticking to a Diabetes-Compatible meal plan.

How do we create a treat for most of our meals?

One very easy trick is to purchase food on sale and in season. That is right. Not only is food usually fresher, but if you wait for the sales you not only save money but keep yourself from having the same old tired food again and again.

Stuffed Turkey basted with Aunt Kate’s orange baste

Think about how often you buy a turkey. Once a year, twice, three times? Doesn’t that make the turkey seem more special?

Another trick is to try different cuts. Boneless pork chops are great, however, bone in has a slightly different taste because the bone adds flavor from its marrow. Try chicken thighs. They are a bit fattier but taste more like the chicken of bygone days.

It is difficult to convince some people that lamb and fish actually taste good. I grew up with both and it never seemed odd to me to eat those foods.

There is not a lot of variety in most markets. Specialty foods can get very expensive. It becomes up to you to make something special from the ordinary.

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

Spices and sauces make the same old, same old, taste new and different each time. Chicken parmesan is one of my favorites, but Picatta or Marsala is a great change. Stuffing chicken and pork makes the everyday something out of the ordinary.

I know, I know, it is more work and planning. Think of it as everyday being a holiday. Prepare some of the foods you just make once or twice a year more often. I promise it won’t make them any the less holiday – like or special. Try something you NEVER had before…perhaps short ribs. I know, you have seen them in the “stupidmarket” and wonder how to prepare them. Go on line. There is no shortage of recipes free for the cooking.

Ruby Red Cole Slaw

 

Prepare the boring old string bean or broccoli with almonds or pepper or garlic flavored oil. It is easy and different. Make your regular cole slaw recipe using red instead of green cabbage. If you put your mind to it, it isn’t SO hard.

Unless YOU do something entirely different, your life will be same old, same old.

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

      Chicken Marsala
Deliciously Simple to prepare

Chicken Marsala

Serves 2

Carbohydrates 5 grams per serving

Chef’s Note: My sister HATED mushrooms. Somehow, later in life this became her favorite dish. So much for hating a food.

Ingredients

2- skinless boneless chicken breasts

2-TBSP. flour (whole is great here)

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

4 -TBSP. Parmesan cheese

2- TBSP. neutral oil

1- TBSP. minced shallots or scallions

1- clove garlic, grated or minced

2-TBSP. butter

½ lb. sliced crimini or baby Bella mushrooms

¼ cup chicken stock

½ cup marsala wine

1- TBSP. tomato paste

¼ cup cream

HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Pound out the chicken breasts between two pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap, until they are about ½ inch thick.

Combine the flour, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper.

Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and set aside for about 10 minutes to dry. NOTE: You won’t use up all the dredging mixture.

Over medium high setting, heat the oil in a skillet large enough to hold both pieces of chicken.

Place the chicken into the pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook until browned. Turn the pieces over and cook until the other side has browned (about 5-7 minutes).

Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Heat the butter in the pan. Add the shallots or scallions. Cook until just wilted. Add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds more. Add the sliced mushrooms. Cook for two minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add the chicken back to the pan. Cook for one more minute on each side.

Place on a plate and spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Cooking with Diabetes, not EVERYTHING has to be from scratch

03/29/2017

Article # 236

Cooking with Diabetes, not EVERYTHING has to be from scratch

The restaurant business must be deep in my genes. When my grandmother and grandfather learned enough English to communicate easily, they opened up a grocery store/restaurant. That is actually how my father met my mother. After they were married, he worked alongside my grandparents. Eventually, he bought his own place and put me to work.

These restaurants were deli/home style affairs. The food was very New York City German /Jewish. Not everything was fully prepared on premises. Big batches of corned beef, pastrami and salamis were brought in from a purveyor specializing in curing those cuts of meat. Huge wet wooden barrels of the most delicious pickles were brought in every other day.

Pork Chops Provencal
Quick, easy, and outrageously delicious

What were prepared in the kitchens were the meatloaf, Casseroles, chicken dishes,turkeys, roast beefs, and the final cooking of the cured meats. And all the vegetables and side dishes were prepared in the enormous kitchen out back. No customer thought of us as cheating. We did what we did best and let experts do what they did best.

 

Do people with Diabetes HAVE to cook EVERYTHING from scratch?

The answer is a resounding NO. You don’t have to grind your own meat or cut up your own chicken, or bake your own breads. There are lots of food items that fit very well into a carbohydrate budget. All you have to do is read and understand labels like crazy.

My personal favorite prepared food is frozen spinach. Other than for a spinach salad or for a bed to place my Chicken Parmesan on, I almost exclusively use the frozen boxes of chopped spinach.

   Greek Spinach Soup
This one with Turkey meatballs

It works like a charm in my Greek chicken soup, omelets, stuffed mushrooms and quiches. Defrost, squeeze out some of the water and go. There isn’t much difference in flavor or nutritional value between the fresh and frozen for these dishes.

Want cole slaw and discover it is too late to start shredding it yourself? Buy a package of ready cut cole slaw mix (I’ve done it) and add the sauce yourself.

Many recipes call for chicken or beef stock? Homemade is great but it is not a big problem to use a can or carton of store bought broth in place of one that took hours to prepare. The best choice is a product with lower sodium content. That way you can adjust the sodium to best fit your needs.

I like to make my own salad dressings, but there is any number of really good tasting dressings on the market with low carbohydrate content. They are naturally lower in carbohydrates. They are not made specifically for those of us with Diabetes. Go grill a steak or some chicken and make a quick green salad (perhaps a few slices of radish or cucumber) and use one of pre-made dressings. Dinner can be a snap to prepare.

Desserts can be hard to come by already made AND low in carbohydrates. Greek style yogurts and some fresh fruit and nuts can be a great dessert, especially when served in a great glass. However, cakes and that are sugar free are not necessarily low in carbohydrates, nor do the taste particularly great. This is a category you might want to save to make from scratch.

For those of you that “think” you hate to cook but “have” to cook, you can make it so much easier by cooking some of the meal and buying some of the meal.

Tastes of Greece and Italy
Just put it together and say: Feta cheese

Best example of this is when you entertain. Make some/buy some. Prepare the main dish, sides, and perhaps the dessert and buy the hors d’oeuvres or appetizers. A great platter of cheeses and veggies is as simple as buying them and making them look great on the plate. You can even buy a fully done platter of veggies and dip or shrimp cocktail and add a few wedges of lemon or lime.

One of my favorite dishes is Gazpacho soup, cold in the summer or in the winter as Hot Bloody Mary soup. You can slice up your tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds and dice them up….but a big can of already diced San Marzanno tomatoes is not only faster and easier, but the flavor is better than most of the fresh tomatoes you find in the “stupidmarket”.

My suggestion to ALL cooks: Make the best of it, buy the rest of it. Dinner does not have to be a chore to be delicious AND Diabetes-Compatible.

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

Icy cold Gazpacho Soup
Thickened with chunky vegetables instead of bread

Gazpacho

Serves 3 for a full meal (12 oz.)

Net carbohydrates                10g. per serving

Chef’s Note: This is a wonderful hot weather soup. No stove and no oven. It originated in Andalusia, Spain more than a hundred years ago. It is a waste not want not style of soup. This recipe replaces the high carbohydrates of bread with chunky vegetables.

The easiest way to make this and keep it chunky is to chop each of the vegetables separately and add them to the tomato base at the end. I also recommend holding back a little of the chopped vegetables for garnish.

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber, peeled and seeds removed (English/ hot house cucumbers work very well)

½ medium (4-6 ounce) red or sweet onion

¾ cup chopped bell pepper (any color)

3 cups diced canned tomatoes (San Marzano if you can get them)

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

4 Tbsp. good olive oil

1-3 cloves garlic grated

Salt and pepper to taste (AND your doctor’s recommendation)

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley

2 Tbsp. fresh basil (or 1 Tbsp. dried basil)

HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:

Cut the peeled and seeded cucumbers into chunks and chop it into very small pieces. If using a blender or processor, don’t allow them to liquefy. Set aside in a small bowl.

Cut the onion into small dice and chop into very small pieces. Set aside in a small bowl.

Chop or process the bell pepper the same way as you did the cucumbers. Set aside in a small bowl.

In a blender or food processor, barely liquefy the tomatoes. Add the vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs and blend together.

Add ¾ of the chopped vegetables and stir to combine. Remember to reserve the remaining chopped vegetables for garnish and extra crunch.

Chill the soup for 2-3 hours or up to 2 days. Serve icy cold with a dollop of sour cream to smooth out the acid of the tomato. In the winter (perhaps for a brunch), heat to just below the boiling point and add a splash of vodka.

Diabetes: PATTING YOURSELF ON THE BACK

03/22/2017

Article #235

 

Diabetes PATTING YOURSELF ON THE BACK

Do you remember the last time you tested? Do you remember your last A1C results? I am also sure that you also remember the last time you felt that you cheated on your Diabetes.

QUESTION: When is the last time you patted yourself on the back for all the hard work and effort you put into managing your Diabetes?

My very tall doctor is the person that got me thinking about patting myself on the back. He and I had a great relationship built over many years. He would tease me that my arms were probably too short to reach, so he would pat me on the back for all the hard work and effort I put into managing my Diabetes. It wasn’t a physical thing. He would keep reminding me that what I am doing severely decreases the negative effects of Diabetes on my health. It wouldn’t cure my Diabetes, but it would drastically improve the quality of my life with Diabetes. Sharing my positive outlook and recipes with others, he thought, was good for me (my ego) and encouraging for others.

This sounds like something all of us should do. But we don’t. We seem to get bogged down in what we have not yet achieved or the minor setback, or that “cheat”.

Be clear that simply by reading here and looking at the recipes available, you are doing something positive. It doesn’t matter if you prepare any of the recipes. You are exploring the possibilities in managing your disease. This is terrific. At some point you will get to trying one or more of the recipes.

Checking in on Diabetes-specific sites is a huge step in the right direction. We all come to acting on those steps in our own way and in our own time. Pat yourself on the back for being willing to explore the possibilities.

For all the hard work you have done, even if YOU don’t think it is enough, you deserve a reward. This space is all about food. My suggestion is to reward yourself with something wonderful to eat.

Fast and Easy this recipe fills your plate with flavor, nor carbohydrates

Start slowly if you like, and try a new vegetable fixed in a new way. Use it to replace a higher carbohydrate food that used to be on your plate. Make it taste so good, you have no choice but to see it as a treat rather than a poor substitution for what you really “think” you want. Take “boring old chicken”, spice it up, and turn it into a treat (reward). Move on to cheesecake or chocolate cake if YOUR carbohydrate budget allows. Start smaller with a single cookie made from a lower carbohydrate recipe.  You really can eat just one…even if you can have more.

Triumph over your Diabetes. I am, and I think you will be, very pleased and surprised at how good eating and managing your Diabetes can be.

We don’t have to be perfect. We only have to strive to be better. We all need to recognize our efforts and not dwell in what we may not have achieved…..yet.

It is time to be proud of what and who you are. Go out and buy something in Diabetes blue. A coffee cup for example and make yourself a great cup of coffee or tea to start your day and remind you how far you have come. Perhaps a t-shirt or polo shirt. That shade of blue seems to look good on everybody. When people tell you how good you look in that color, tell them it is Diabetes blue. The money you spend will not only make you feel good but if you find a site that donates some of the proceeds to research, may have some benefits for others. Somebody seeing you in the shirt may feel a little less isolated and encouraged by your position on having Diabetes.

Get out there. Pat yourself on the back. If your arms are too short, get someone to do it for you. YOU are amazing. Try preparing a new recipe. You can do it!

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

Deep, Dark, Chocolate & Nut Cookies

CHOCOLATE NUT COOKIES

Makes 22-24 cookies

Net carbohydrates 3 grams. per cookie

Ingredients:

2/3 cup flour

½ cup toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)

2 TBSP. unsweetened ‘SPECIAL DARK” cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. instant espresso powder

1/3 c. GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE

1 pinch salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

4 tbsp. butter

1 TBSP. oil (ARISTON chocolate infused is THE best)

1 large egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

 

How to prepare the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In the bowl of a food processor pulse the dry ingredients to mix. Cut butter into 8 pieces to distribute in dry ingredients. Pulse until coarse pea sized bits are formed. Add egg, oil and vanilla and continue to pulse until the dough forms a ball that revolves on the blade Remove dough, pat out to a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 35-45 minutes. Roll out on flowered surface to about (do the best you can) 1/4 inch thick. Count on the dough cracking. Not to worry just piece it together and re-roll until you use up all the dough Using a lightly floured 2 -2 ½ inch round cookie cutter or juice glass, cut out cookies. GENTLY place on parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350° F. for 9-11 minutes. Cool on a rack When completely cool place in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

WORKING to manage your Diabetes

03/15/2017

Article #234

WORKING to manage your Diabetes

There is no question that life with Diabetes is a little harder and takes more work than life before Diabetes. WE ARE WORTH IT!

I posted a recipe for a “riced” cauliflower dish and was kinda sorta surprised at a question from a reader:

“Where do I buy the riced Cauliflower?”

I was even more surprised when I saw riced cauliflower for sale at my local produce market. IT DOES EXIST. It never occurred to me that a product like riced cauliflower existed in the marketplace. Part of that is for the longest time, I thought I invented it….WRONG! I should have expected it.

Cauliflower does it AGAIN!

I try to buy the biggest cauliflower I can find when I am planning to make any of the many forms of riced cauliflower that graces my plate. I usually freeze much of it for later use. So why should I be surprised to see that frozen riced cauliflower is actually available in the marketplace? I have to tell you that I have not heard any positive comments about the “stuff” you can find ready made. Mostly I have heard complaints about the size of the “rice” or it having an off texture. I think this is because the commercial packagers use more of the cauliflower stem and some of the stalk.

I find making it myself very little work whether I use a box grater or my trusty food processor. Why, I thought should anybody want or need to buy it pre made? The answers are of course, time and fear of the unknown. A reader actually wrote:

“This is totally new to me, I don’t want to mess it up.”

It takes more time to continually make Diabetes-Compatible dishes than it did to make higher carbohydrate sides. Some dishes that is. Chicken is still chicken and steak is still steak. They naturally fit into a smaller carbohydrate budget without any effort.

It usually does not take any more time or effort to make 4 portions than it does to make two. To save time and effort, try doubling or tripling a recipe and freezing the amount you don’t use the first day.

              Rich, dark and silky
            CHOCOLATE Silk Tart

I also am amazed that I see more than a fair share of comments about NOT being able to easily find good recipes for people with Diabetes. Forgetting that there are hundreds here for the “clicking”, there are thousands and thousands of good to great recipes out in cyberspace just waiting for you to look at and cook up. It really doesn’t take much work to find the recipes but it does take work on YOUR part to know if the recipe is really right for a person with Diabetes and right for you.

I cringe at the thought that 25 years ago or so, I created a recipe book for an uncle of mine that had all kinds of issues, including Diabetes. One of the recipes was for a potato soup. He loved it. In small amounts it probably wasn’t an issue for him. For most people with Diabetes, that soup is most likely not the best choice. The thing is that like most people at the time, I thought he ONLY had to control the SUGAR he ate. Good thing for me and for you, I know better now. There is work involved in looking at a recipe and making the determination (for you) whether it is right for you carbohydrate budget. It is up to you and your medical team to figure out what may work and what may not.

The real work is not in cooking a Diabetes-Compatible meal, but in figuring out what meals will work for your carbohydrate needs and your taste-buds. You won’t eat it if you don’t like it or it blows your numbers.

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

Meal planning can be a real exercise in high mathematics. If I make X dish, which is acceptable in terms of carbohydrates, and serve it with Y dish, will I go over my budget for the meal? For example: a small amount of oven fried potatoes works for me, but it may blow the budget if you serve them along with a burger even on a lower carbohydrate bun. Both work on their own but perhaps not in combination. Maybe use the potatoes with some fish or chicken and make a cauliflower salad or skinny slaw to serve with the burger.

Like I said, It takes some work and getting used to. You can do it. You are worth it….don’t you think?

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

Give that old standard, Chicken Salad a new twist
Flavor it with ingredients from one of your favorite cultures

Italian Chicken Salad

4 Servings

Net Carbohydrates                 4grams per serving.

 

Chef’s Note: You never have to eat boring chicken salad again, unless you want to. If pine nuts are not in your pantry, use pistachios or walnuts. It will surprise you what a difference it makes.

 

Ingredients:

3- Tbsp. Good mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s with olive oil)

1 -Tsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. dry oregano

1 tsp. fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1- Tsp. chopped parsley

1 large stalk of celery (chopped very finely)

2 -8 ounce Cooked chicken breasts (skinned and de boned)

¼ cup toasted pine (pignoli) nuts

 

HOW TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE:\Combine mayonnaise, mustard and herbs together. Add the chopped celery and combine.

Shred or dice the chicken breasts and add to the mixture. Add the toasted nuts and combine. Refrigerate at least one hour or even overnight.

For the people in your family that are NOT diabetic, you can add ½ cup of halved green grapes. Tell the kids they are eyeballs.

Diabetes…Moving off your position

03/08/2017

Article # 233

Diabetes…Moving off your position

“Sometimes I stand in the middle of the floor

Not moving left, not moving right.”

-Stephen Sondheim, “Losing My Mind” from “Follies”

I still remember the feeling of being overwhelmed by my diagnosis of Diabetes nine years ago. It really did not matter that I “almost” expected it given my ethnic and family background. Still it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I tell you this, so those of you that are still trying to come to terms with managing YOUR Diabetes will NOT give up hope.

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

I get that people feel hopeless after they get their diagnosis. It is a lot to swallow without a lot of comfort food to swallow along with it. Very few of us see instant results in this world of instant gratification. I am here to share with you that it is worth all of the effort.

My eating life today is as good as it was before…only different. It did not come about in a day or a week or a month. Slow, piece by piece, bit by bit, adding one recipe or process at a time, I have so many choices that I can actually make a different dish every day before having to repeat any of them. I do of course repeat all of my favorites over and over again. Those other dishes, they become a nice change from time to time.

What becomes very clear in reading reader’s comments here and on other Diabetes-specific sites, is some folks are paralyzed and don’t know what to do first. The trick is to do something. Start small. Find one new food or preparation that is lower in carbohydrates than what you had been eating….all of your old life. If you don’t like it, you never have to make it again. If you like it even a “little”, enhance it so you like it a lot. Once you have mastered not only the recipe but the idea that things can be used in a different way, keep going. For me it was finding a lower carbohydrate bread.

“Pizza” Bread
Made with Joseph’s Low carb (5g.) pita bread

Yeah, sandwiches! Then I baked the bread in the oven to make chips, and baked it in a different way for garlic bread. The truth is that there is nothing stopping you, just like nothing has stopped me. I am preparing a chicken dish today with the intention of the leftovers becoming a wonderfully (and work done) pre-seasoned and different meal for an older recipe: Chicken Tortilla pie.

I admit it, you do have enjoy cooking, at least a little. It is really hard to come up with Diabetes-Compatible meals from a box or in the freezer case. Make it easier on yourself. Remember the chicken, fish, and meat you always ate is still a good part of what you can still eat. Even the side dishes you love, say string beans are still available to you. Make them more interesting by adding some crunch to them with almonds or bell peppers.

Rather than pining over the loss of double fudge rocky marshmallow peanut butter chunk smoothie, go online (posted recipes for a start) and look for Diabetes recipes for some of the foods you used to love to eat. I am surprised to see how many variations on A Diabetes-Compatible there are out in cyberspace.

Don’t be afraid to tweak them to suit your tastebuds. If you like hot and spicy foods, add some more spice to the recipe. Start small and add more each time until you have created a dish flavored perfectly for …you.

It was amazing to me, and I think it will be to you that just starting to look at food in a different way will make such a difference in your life.

Feeling paralyzed by Diabetes does not lower your A1C. When the time is right for you, move off the position of “woe is me I have Diabetes” and figure out what small thing you can do to make a difference in your Diabetes life. We all get to it in our own time.

I found, and you may find out, that you are healthier. Certainly it gives you the sense of being more in control of your Diabetes. And with your Diabetes you might realize that you are in control of much more of your life than you thought back when the doctor told you….you have Diabetes.

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

Pulled Pork sandwich on JOSEPH’S Pita bread (5 grams of carbohydrates per pita)
Served with a side of Skinny Slaw

Pulled Pork (beef brisket or chicken)

Serves 7-8

Net Carbohydrates <5 grams without the bread

Chef’s Note: It is your choice of bread that changes the amount of carbohydrates in this recipe. You can use a low carbohydrate tortilla, or pita bread or a sandwich thin. You get to choose what works for YOUR carbohydrate budget. While there is a long cooking time for this recipe, you don’t have to stand watch. This is a stove top version but it can also be made in a crock pot.

I personally like to make this with the bone in. I think it adds more flavor.

Ingredients:

3-3 ½ lb. pork butt or shoulder, bone in

2 TBSP. oil

1 large onion. cut into ¼ -1/2 in thick slices.

2 tsps. garlic, grated or minced.

15 oz. tomato sauce

1 Tsp. Dijon or brown mustard

2 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce

3 TBSP. Cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste and your Doctor’s recommendation

½ – 1 tsp. red pepper or chili flakes

1/3 cup (or equivalent) of sugar replacement.

3 TBSP. coffee

3 TBSP. bourbon or whiskey (optional)

HOW TO PREPARE THIS PART OF THE RECIPE:

In a heavy large pot (big enough to hold the entire piece of meat), heat the oil. Brown the pork on all sides (about 4-5 minutes per side). Remove from the pot. Brown the onion in the same pot (with the released fats) until a golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the remaining ingredients, except the pork. Stir to combine. Add the pork back to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 3 ½ hours.* Allow to cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.

Skim off all of the fat that has risen to the top. Using either two forks or better yet your fingers, shred the pork. Add the sauce back to the shredded pork until it is as juicy as you like. Reheat and serve over the bread choice that best fits your carbohydrate budget.

*NOTE: if using chicken cut cooking time to 1 ½ hours.

The Diabetes Food Police

03/01/2017

Article #232

Diabetes food police

I want to tell you that I resigned from the Food Police many years ago. It was right after I realized that what I was suggesting to my sister about what she was eating hurt her feelings far more than helping her manage her Diabetes.

Still it is sometimes difficult for me to keep my trap shut.

I was recently eavesdropping in a restaurant. The gentleman at the table told his companions that he has Diabetes and had to be careful of what he ate. He ordered a lovely fish dish that was served with a large side of rice. Clearly he relished his dinner. He was a full-fledged member of the clean plate club.

Fast and Easy this recipe fills your plate with flavor, nor carbohydrates

Of course, as you would expect from me,I ordered a dish and asked the server to replace the high carbohydrate rice with some fresh vegetables. I too relished my dinner. At home, I would have made “riced” cauliflower, in a restaurant that is asking too much of the kitchen. Leaving off a sauce is one thing, creating a totally new dish on the spot is something entirely different. Some chefs will do it if they can but it is a lot to ask unless you have been a long-time patron.

It got to coffee and desert time. The gentleman looked forlornly at the menu. One of his companions suggested he order rice pudding and ask for extra cinnamon.

“It has lots of cinnamon on it and I heard cinnamon helps with sugar control.”

I was ready to jump out of my chair, pull a stethoscope out of the air, pretend I was a doctor, and beat her about the head and ears with it.

There is antidotal evidence that cinnamon may help you control your blood sugar. But what is absolutely NOT true is that putting cinnamon on a sugar laden dish will counter act the effects of that sugar. It may be wishful thinking but probably also dangerous. That is not to say you can’t have the dish, with the extra cinnamon, but that you need to treat it for what it really is….sugar and carbohydrate laden. If it works for you to do that every now and then….go ahead and ENJOY…if you PROMISE not to beat yourself up afterward.

I was good. I stayed in my chair and stayed quiet. I am not his doctor or anybody’s doctor. It is up to him and to all of us to manage our Diabetes in a way that works for each of us.

Even I was surprised that spaghetti squash could make a desert, and a GREAT one at that.

Did I mention it was a Greek restaurant? Greek restaurants make simply the BEST rice puddings. I have no idea why Greek chefs have such a way with this dish. I empathized with him immediately. I love rice pudding. Fortunately I now make a similar dish using spaghetti squash so I no longer have to give up that flavor or texture.

The internet can be wonderful. Many of my friends do a lot of traveling. They love to take pictures of what they are eating and post them online. I have a few thoughts on that. 1- Thanks for sharing the interesting dish. 2- I am so jealous, especially if that dish is not something that is part of my management plan. 3- It really is so nice of you to let your food get cold or melt, just to share the experience with us. Since I have been writing and sharing recipes with you, I have eaten a lot of cold dinners in order for you to see what the finished recipe looks like.

One of my friends has been posting pictures from restaurant dinners he has had. The pictures included beautiful mouth watering high carbohydrate plates of pasta, desserts and my old favorite breakfast item, the chocolate croissant. Sure I was jealous to see these foods. What I did not know is that this friend is a type 2 Diabetic. I thought, as a friend, I should say something. Then I thought again as friend I should say nothing. He is doing well in managing his Diabetes. Who am I to pull out my food police badge and try to arrest his food eating? Perhaps I should just wag my wooden spoon in his face?

All of us have people in our lives that simply don’t understand our disease and how we have to live with it. People that will say things like have some more potato, I know you can’t have desert.

I want to admit to you that when I am in a restaurant and the server is working overtime to convince me that I should have a desert, I do pull the Diabetic card. I get a perverse pleasure in stopping them cold in their tracks and them looking away like they accidently mentioned the food I spilled down the front of my shirt. My bad but it is so much easier than trying to persuade them I don’t want what I don’t want.

We are all going to do what we are going to do from time to time. Do it. Enjoy it. Move on and figure out what works best in the long run for you.

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

Lemon Scented “Riced” Cauliflower

Lemon scented “Riced” cauliflower

Recipe makes 2 servings

Serving size              1 Cup

Net Carbohydrates              5 grams

 

Chef’s Note: I have been making “riced cauliflower for years now and love it. I stumbled on this preparation when I was not as delighted as I thought I should be with a shrimp dish. This solved the problem and I now use it regularly.

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. fresh parsley chopped

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

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. 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. Cover and cook at LOW heat for 4-5 more minutes.

Diabetes…A love / hate relationship

 

02/22/2017

Article # 231

Diabetes…a love / hate relationship

Is this how YOU see a chicken Dinner?
Image by cnbc.com

In the years since my diagnosis I have spoken to hundreds of people about their Diabetes. Universally, people hate that they have Diabetes…but, and it is a big but, many people also credit their diagnosis to a boost in their general health.

As many of you know I started working in my family’s restaurant as a tyke. It wasn’t a question of wanting to work there, it was understood that my brother (12 years older and also had Diabetes) were supposed to work there. To this day, I have no idea why my sisters (4 of them) were not required to work in the restaurant.

A simple pan sauce with onion, parsley and broth

Instead of little league, I learned the first tricks of cooking from Maurice the restaurant chef, and I suppose, my first cooking coach. My being the boss’s son, Maurice was very kind to me, and never threw a pan at my head. Some of the others in the kitchen were not so lucky.

I can’t say I loved working in the kitchen. I can’t say I hated it. Learning to cook, professionally, at a young age served me well. In college I used those skills to make enough money to live on, and can happily say I was never a starving college student. I ate from the “blue box” because I liked it, not because it was all I could afford to eat.

Right out of college, I left the world of restaurants and went to work at Bloomingdale’s in New York City. Cooking for me became just a fun hobby. It was my “schtick” to amuse and feed my friends. It became more of a pleasure than when I had to do it to earn a living, or please my parents.

What has this to do with Diabetes?

Because of my family history, you know those forms they make you fill out again and again at the doctor’s office, I stood a good chance that I would develop Diabetes. I dreaded it. I am crazy needle-phobic. I could practically pass out when I got a flu shot. Can you imagine how I felt know all the testing in store for me? Like most people with Diabetes, I hated it.

I was treated with an oral medication. I was determined to keep my Diabetes in check so that I would not have to inject insulin. As horrible the idea of injecting myself was, I hated the way I thought I had to cook and eat to keep me needle free.

For the first few months, eating and cooking was a drag. No more than that. All the joy and creativity in my life seemed to be gone. Add to that the delightful gastro- intestinal problems caused by the medication, I hated my life.

Something had to change. It did. My body adjusted to the medication and I was thrilled. My poor sister NEVER did adjust and had to keep trying new things. I lost weight and looked pretty good for an old codger. What is not to love?

But more than that, I found people out in the world that were willing to help me. From one very little thing (learning how to read labels, and figuring out what they really meant to me) my personal Diabetes world turned around.

I found a bread, then another bread, then other foods, and uses for foods I already used. Chocolate, in small amounts, was still possible. My eating world expanded. I got to understand that not all foods were off the table. Many are still a part of my meal plan. Sure there are changes and decisions I consciously make every single day, but they are not a chore but a challenge. I use my mind differently and my math skills more than I have since high school.

The big breakthrough for me was realizing that what worked for some people was either too strict or too lax for me. We are all uniquely different. The challenge is to find our own personal level of comfort in managing your Diabetes.

For any of you that have ever worked in a restaurant, you know that chefs sometimes have huge egos….and tempers. I am a chef and am no exception. I have learned to love what I cook. More than that, I brag about how well I eat and how well I have managed my Diabetes.

Do I love that for my eating/ cooking regime pasta and rice are only once in a while and even then eaten in small amounts? No, I don’t. What I do love is that I have been able to find other foods to replace those items. What I do love is that my cooking and eating life has gotten to taste great and works….for me.

If there is anything at all to love about Diabetes is how empowered I feel by knowing that I can manage my Diabetes.

We have Diabetes. We have to live with that fact. We don’t have to love it…but we can!

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

An ADULT version of the classic desert

Baked Egg custard for ADULTS ONLY

Chefs’ Notes: Every culture has a version of this desert. Call it Flan, Pot O Crème, Crème Caramel. This is a simple to make egg custard that many of us loved as a kid. BUT this is a grown up version. If you don’t use alcohol in your cooking, you can substitute grated orange zest.

Makes 6 Servings

Carbohydrates                      4 grams per serving

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups Whole milk

1 cup cream

4 eggs

½ cup sugar replacement

2 tsps. Pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 TBSP. brandy, bourbon, or dry sherry

Or

1 tsp. grated orange zest.

 

How to prepare this recipe:

Pre heat oven to 325°F.

Heat the milk in small saucepan until very hot. Milk should be steaming but not bubbling. Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl until blended but not foamy. Add the liquor or orange zest. Slowly stir in hot milk. Place six lightly buttered 6-oz. custard cups in baking pan large enough to hold cups without touching each other. Ladle egg mixture into cups, dividing evenly.Fill the pan to within 1/2 inch of top of cups. Bake until knife inserted near center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes; centers will still be soft. Remove cups from water bath at once. Cool on wire rack 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm or refrigerate. Really best close to room temperature.