WELCOME TO DIABETIC ENJOYING FOOD

I have chosen this name for this blog because it truly states my story. I am a type II diabetic who most certainly enjoys food. When I was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago, my blood sugar level was over 400. With some oral medications, a lot of research and some trial and error, I have found that unlike my ancestors I truly can continue to enjoy food. I hope this blog will help you to also enjoy food and be healthy. Some recipes are my originals and some I have collected.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

TANGY MARINATED FRESH BROCCOLI

3 bunches fresh broccoli
1 tbsp Splenda Granulated
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp dried dill
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 tsp garlic powder
lemon slices for garnish

Remove the stalks from the broccoli (can be saved and used later in soup, etc).  Separate the broccoli heads into smaller flowerettes and place in a shallow container; set aside.

In a small bowl, using a wire whisk, combine the Splenda, salt, pepper, vinegar, dill, canola oil, and garlic powder until well blended.  Pour the dressing over the broccoli tossing gently to coat all the broccoli.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring several times during that time.

To serve, garnish with the lemon slices.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

BLACKENED SHRIMP WITH TOMATOES

1/2 lb (approximately 24) small raw shimp with tails, peeled
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive or canola oil
1/2 cup sliced and separated small red onion
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
Lemon wedges, optional

In a small bowl combine the paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and black pepper.  Place the mixture into a zip-lock type food bag and add the shrimp.  Seal bag and shake bag well to coat the shrimp.

Coat a large (preferably cast iron) skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add the oil to the hot skillet then add the shrimp.  Cook shrimp, turning occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque. 

Add the red onion and the tomatoes to the shrimp and cook, gently stirring often, for a minute or so until the tomatoes are hot and the onion is wilted.

Serve with the lemon wedges, if desired.

Note: This recipe makes 4 servings each having 13 g protein to 5 g carbohydrates making it ideal for diabetics.  Each serving is around 112 calories and less than 1 gram saturated fat.

Friday, October 28, 2011

CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE AND LEMON

1 can (20-oz) sliced pineapple in its juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
3 whole chicken breasts, split
1 tsp salt
1 small lemon, thinly sliced

Preheat broiler.

Drain the pineapple; reserve the juice.  Combine the juice with the garlic, cornstarch, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and rosemary. 

Arrange the chicken, skin side up in a shallow baking dish; sprinkle with the salt.  Broil until browned.

Stir the prepared sauce and pour over the chicken.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Arrange the pineapple and lemon around the chicken and spoon sauce over all.  Bake an additional 5 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

This dish has the natural sugar of the pineapple and juice.  However, the protein of the chicken gives you a good carb to protein ratio.

TOMATO CHILI CON CARNE

1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 can (28-oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp paprika
1 can (16-oz) chili beans, drained

In a large skillet brown the ground beef, stirring to crumble, along with the chopped onion and bell pepper.  Drain off the excess fat.  Stir in the diced tomatoes including the juice, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, cayenne, and paprika.  Heat to boiling; reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Stir in the chili beans and cook another 30 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, October 27, 2011

PORK CHOPS WITH APRICOT GLAZE

4 boneless pork chops (about 1 1/4 lbs)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup apricot nectar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup sugar-free apricot preserves
2 cups hot cooked brown rice, optional

Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the pork chops.  Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides, turning once.  This should take about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the apricot nectar, water, soy sauce, garlic, and preserves; mix together well.

Pour the apricot mixture over the pork in the skillet and reduce the heat to low.  Cover skillet and simmer until the pork is cooked through, about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops.

Serve over the hot brown rice, if desired.  Add some steamed broccoli and you have a tasty, healthy meal.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

PRIMAVERA CHICKEN PIZZA

When you just have to have a pizza, make this healthy pizza rather than picking up the phone!
1 tube refrigerated pizza crust
olive oil nonstick cooking spray
2 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp lite Ranch salad dressing
1 pkg (6-oz) refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup thinly sliced and diced red onion
1/2 cup torn baby spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian-blend cheese
1 tsp pizza seasoning
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease a 12-inch pizza pan or use a pizza stone.
Unroll on the pizza dough onto the pan. Starting in the center, press out the dough to the edge of the pan. Lightly spray the crust with an olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and the garlic over the dough.
Bake the dough 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and spread the Ranch dressing over the top. Top the dressing with the chicken, bell pepper, onion, and spinach. Sprinkle the Italian-blend cheese and the pizza seasonings over the top.
Return to oven and bake 9 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the pizza is hot.
Yield: 4 servings

CHERRY BERRY PIE with SPLENDA

Pastry for a 2-crust pie
1 can (14.5-oz) pitted red tart cherries, undrained
1 pkg (12-oz) frozen raspberries, thawed
1 cup fresh blueberries, or frozen blueberries, thawed
1 cup Splenda Granulated
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with pastry; set aside.
Drain the cherries, raspberries, and blueberries (if frozen); reserve 1 cup of the juices. Set the berries and the juices aside.
In a medium saucepan combine the Splenda and the cornstarch; gradually stir in the cup of juices. Cook mixture over medium heat while stirring constantly. When mixture begins to boil, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the butter, cherries, and berries. Allow to cool slightly and pour into the pie shell.
Top filling with the second pastry and place over the filling. Trim the crusts to even out if necessary. Fold the pastry under and crimp edges to seal. Cut some slits in the crust for steam to escape.
Bake pie 40 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. To prevent the edge from excess browning, cover with foil strips or a pie crust shield.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 8 wedges for serving.
Top with whipped cream or sugar-free vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Monday, October 24, 2011

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE WITH SPLENDA

4 medium sweet potatoes
3/4 cup Splenda Granulated
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
2 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp sugar-free maple-favored syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until done.  Cool to the touch; peel and mash.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease or spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; set aside.

Combine the mashed sweet potatoes, Splenda, evaporated milk, orange rind and juice, vanilla extract, egg, flour, and 3 tablespoons of melted butter together.  Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the panko crumbs, pecans, 2 talespoons melted butter and the maple-flavored syrup together.  Sprinkle this mixture over the sweet potato mixture.  Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Yield: 14 servings.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

SHORTCAKES WITH WARM APPLE-CINNAMON TOPPING

1 cup reduced-fat biscuit baking mix
2 teaspoons Splenda granulated
1 tsp grated orange peel
3 to 4 tbsp fat-free half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon Sugar*
Warm Apple Cinnamon Topping (Recipe follows)
3 tbsp sugar-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the biscuit mix, Splenda, and orange peel.

Stir in the cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a soft dough comes together.  On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 10 times.  Turn dough out on work surface and using a biscuit cutter or a 2-inch wide glass, cut the dough into cakes.  Rework dough to make a total of 6 shortcakes.  Place the shortcakes on the prepared baking sheet; sprinkle the tops with the sugar.

Bake cakes at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until a light golden brown.

While the shortcakes are baking, prepare the following Warm Apple Cinnamon Topping:
1 1/2 tsp butter
3 cups thinly sliced apples
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup non-sweetened apple juice**
1 tsp Splenda granulated

Melt the butter in a large heavy-duty skillet.  Add the sliced apples and cinnamon; cook over medium heat up to 5 minutes until the apples are tender.  Add the apple juice and Splenda.  Increase the heat and cook 30 seconds or until the juice is reduced by about half and the mixture is syrupy.

To assemble: Split each shortcake in half crosswise.  Evenly divide the topping and place over the bottom halves of the shortcakes.  Place tops of cakes over the apple topping.  Spoon a half tablespoon of the thawed whipped topping over each of the shortcakes.  Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon, if desired.

*Use Splenda Granulated if your blood sugar requires you to stay totally off sugar.
**If you need to lower your sugar intake, use 1/4 cup apple juice with 1/4 cup water.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB

Note:  Ask your butcher to 'French' the racks for you.

2 (8 rib) lamb roasts, butcher frenched
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Fresh rosemary for garnish, if desired

Pat the lamb dry using paper towels and season with the first listed salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet oer high heat.  Cook the lamb rack in the hot oil for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides.  Place the lamb on a rack in a broiler pan.

In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs with the flat-leaf parsely, rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Combine the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard in a different small bowl.  Brush mixture over the meaty top side of the racks; pat the herb mixture onto the mayonnaise mixture to hold in place.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the rack registers 145 degrees for medium rare.  Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes.  Garnish the platter with the fresh rosemary, if desired.

To serve, cut each rack into 4 double chops.

Yield: 8 servings

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

PORK AND PEPPER STEW

3 tbsp flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 lbs boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into cubes of approx. 1-inch
2 tsp olive or canola oil
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat broiler.
Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, garlic, marjoram, sage, salt, and black pepper; add the cubed pork and toss to coat. Shake pork cubes to remove excess flour and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Reserve the flour. Drizzle the oil over the pork and broil 5-inches from the heat, turning frequently, until light brown (about 10 minutes).

Place the browned pork along with any juices to the slow cooker or crockpot. Stir in the bell peppers, tomatoes, chicken broth, and the reserved flour mixture until smooth. Place lid on the cooker and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low, until the meat is tender.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PUFF PASTRY CHICKEN POT PIE

2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, minced
1 pkg (8-oz) fresh sliced mushroom
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
3 cups chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken
1 can reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup low-fat milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion to the butter and cook, stirring occasionally, a few minutes until tender.  Add the mushrooms and salt to the onions.  Cook until the liquid evaporates and mushrooms are lightly browned.  Add the vegetables, chicken, soup, milk, and lemon juice; stir to blend well.

Pour the mixture into a 10-inch deep dish pie plate that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Place the sheet of puff pastry and trim off excess pastry.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is browned.

Yield: 6 servings

Note: The puff pastry makes this pot pie much better for a diabetic than a regular flour crust.  The chicken and mushrooms give this dish a good amount of protein versus carbs.

BAKED THREE-CHEESE BEEFY ZITI

1 pkg (12-oz) uncooked whole-grain ziti pasta
1 lb lean ground beef
3 cups sugar-free or low-sugar marinara or pasta sauce
1 pkg (8-oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tbsp pesto sauce
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to pkg directions; drain.

While pasta cooks, brown the ground beef in a nonstick skillet and drain well. 

In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked pasta with the browned beef.  Add the 2 cups of the marinara sauce, half the mozzarella cheese, half the Parmesan cheese, the ricotta cheese, pesto sauce and red pepper.  Stir until well blended.

Spray a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Spoon the ziti-beef mixture into the baking dish.  Spoon the last cup of marinara sauce over the casserole.  Sprinkle with the remaining halves of the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake the casserole at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheeses are melted and the casserole is bubbly.  Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

TASTY PINEAPPLE CAKE

1/2 cup salt-free butter
2 1/4 cups Equal Sugar-Lite, divided*
2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup fat-free milk
4 slices unsweetened canned pineapple, drained on a paper towel
non-stick vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 6-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and 2 tablespoons Equal until light and fluffy. Add remaining Equal, except for 1 tablespoon. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed after each addition. Cut pineapple into 1/2-inch pieces and gently fold into the batter. Spoon batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Tap down to remove air bubbles. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
While cake is baking, combine pineapple juice and the reserved 1 tablespoon Equal. Stir well to be sure Equal is dissolved. When cake is removed from the oven, immediately pour mixture over the cake. Let cake stand in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

12 servings. Each serving equals about 130 calories, 17 g carbs and 3 g protein

*Splenda Baking Blend may be used instead of Equal.


Monday, October 17, 2011

YOGURT: GREEK VS REGULAR

I have had several ask me if they should eat regular yogurt or Greek yogurt. As with all things, there are pluses and minuses on each side. It all depends on your nutritional needs. For us diabetics, Greek is probably better but only if you go for the low-fat or fat-free versions. Greek yogurt goes through an extensive straining process that removes much of the liqud whey, lactose, and sugar. This is the process that gives it its thick consistency. In basically the same number of calories, Greek yogurt can cut the sugar content to half that of regular yogurt. This straining process also makes Greek yogurt better for the lactose-intolerent.

This chart offers you a general nutritional value of the two types:
Greek - (5.3 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Sodium: 50 milligrams
Sugar: 6 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Calcium: 15 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet
Regular (6 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol 5 milligrams
Sodium: 120 milligrams
Sugar: 12 grams
Protein: 9 grams
Calcium: 30 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

WATCH OUT FOR THOSE HIDDEN SUGARS

I know I repeat myself sometimes, but this is important.  As a diabetic, you cannot just purchase and eat an item because it is labeded "healthy."  Many foods, including those labeled "healthy" and many times especially those labeled "healthy," have way too much sugar!  For example; a popular Yogurt Parfait with Fruit has 38 grams of sugar per parfait!  An average Bran Muffin has 16 grams of sugar, and granola cereal - how often are you told to eat healthy granola? - averages around 13 grams of sugar per serving.  I am not belittling these foods, just reminding you that the word "healthy" does not mean low in sugar.  Beware!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WHAT WE EAT AFFECTS BODY CHEMISTRY

‎"Everything you eat and drink changes the chemistry of your blood. Our cell membranes are lined with fats that are comprised primarily of those we've eaten in the last 90 days." Keith I Block, MD, Medical Director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment and Director of Integrative Medical Education at University of Illinois College of Medicine. Did you note he says "in the last 90 days"? You cannot change your body overnight. You do it steadily over time!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

REDUCED-SUGAR BROWNIES WITH ALMONDS

4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup Splenda Sugar Blend
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour*
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped toasted almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 325 degrees for a dark baking pan.
Spray a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large microwave-safe bowl melt the baking chocolate and the butter together, cooking about 1 1/2 minutes; stir until smooth.  Add the Splenda to the chocolate mixture and stir to blend well.  Add the eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract, blending well.

Combine the two flours with the salt and baking powder; stir into the chocolate mixture along with the almonds.  Stir to blend well.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center almost comes out clean.  Do not overbake.

*All purpose may be used but garbanzo is better for diabetics.

This is a file photo that is not this exact recipe.


Monday, October 10, 2011

PARMESAN PORK TENDERLOIN SLICES

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 8 slices crosswise
3 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced

Place each tenderloin slice on a flat surface and using the heel of your hand, flatten to approximately 1/2-inch.

In a pie place or shallow bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Dredge the tenderloin slices through the mixture to coat. 

Heat the canola oil in a large frying pan and cook the tenderloin with the onion and garlic 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. 

Note: File Photo

OLD-FASHIONED-STYLE SUGAR-FREE LEMONADE

2/3 cup water
1/2 cup Splenda granular
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 6-8 lemons)
4 to 6 cups cold water to taste
In a large glass measuring cup, combine 2/3 cup water and the Splenda. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. Using caution, remove from microwave and stir the mixture to see if Splenda is completely dissolved. If not, return to microwave and heat an additional 45-60 seconds. Fill a pretty, large pitcher with ice. Pour lemon juice over the ice. Add the Splenda mixture and stir well. Add 4 cups (1-qt) of cold water. Stir well to blend. Taste and add additional water to suit your taste.




ITALIAN LENTIL SOUP

1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp olive oil
5 cups water
1/2 (4 cups) small head of cabbage, chopped
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup tomato puree
1 1/2 tsp Splenda Granulated
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large saucepan cook the carrots, celery, and onion in hot olive oil for about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Stir in the water, cabbage, lentils, tomato puree, Splenda, salt, oregano, and pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are very soft.  Ladle into bowls. 

Yield: 5 main-dish servings
Per serving: 210 calories, 3 g (0 sat) fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 938 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrates, 15 g fiber, 13 g protein. 
This is a file photo.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

TANGY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

2 lb fresh green beans, ends removed and broke into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp Panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter, melted
Cook the beans in a small amount of water until crisp tender; drain. Add the onion, olive oil, vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper; toss to coat the beans. Place the beans in an ungreased 1-quart baking dish. Toss the Panko crumbs with the cheese and butter; sprinkle over top of the beans. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Note: This is a file photo

Thursday, October 6, 2011

MASHED CAULIFLOWER

1 1/2 lbs cauliflower cut into large florets
3 cloves garlic
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1/8 tsp salt
dash fresh-ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped chives

In a large saucepan, combine cauliflower, garlic and broth. Be sure cauliflower is completely covered by liquid, adding water if necessary. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 12-14 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid and drain remaining liquid off cauliflower. Transfer cauliflower and garlic to a food processor and process until smooth, gradually pulsating in the reserved liquid as needed to moisten the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Top with chives. Serve warm.

A 1/2 cup serving of this recipe has 6 grams carbs and 4 grams protein making it a good diabetic choice.


Note: File Photo

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIABETIC PRESCRIPTION: EXERCISE


I know! Most of us hate the word exercise, let alone the actual activity involved. Well, get over it! Once we've allowed ourselves to become diabetic, we no longer have a choice. We must exercise!

Yes, you read that right. I really did say, "Once we've allowed ourselves to become diabetic." I'm talking to us Type 2 diabetics on that one, you Type 1s don't have to accept that remark. Now before you get all mad, have steam coming out your ears and start sputtering, "Who does she think she is, telling me I'm responsible for the fact I became diabetic," hear me out. Did you know you had diabetes in your family history? Did a doctor ever tell you to lose weight? Did a doctor ever tell you to change your diet or lifestyle? Did a doctor ever tell you to get more exercise (there's that dirty word again)? Did you gorge on sweets and/or carbs? You get the point. But there is a diabetic prescription: EXERCISE!

We helped to create this problem in our bodies, now we have to take our medicines. And that doesn't stop with pills and shots. Just consider exercise another of the medicines we have to take. I read somewhere that exercise is the diabetes treatment almost everyone can benefit from. I backed up, read that again and the light bulb came on. I got it! Exercise is another of our treatments and we need to think of it as such. It's not something we know we should do, something we might get around to someday, but something we have to do just as we have to take our other prescriptions the doctor gives us.

We don't, however, have to go out and join a gym or buy expensive equipment. Of course you can if you want to and it is a good thing to do, but it isn't necessary. We can work exercise into our everyday lives! We Americans have become very lazy as a whole. This is often caused by some terrific technological advances and inventions. But we can't use that as an excuse. Following are some easy ways to get started adding more exercise into your everyday routine. Give them a try. After all it is YOUR life that matters.

1. Hide the remote controls; they make it too easy to be lazy. This includes the garage door remote. Getting in and out of the car to open the garage door is good exercise.

2. Carry your groceries from the car to the kitchen one bag at a time. More steps and lifting; more exercise.

3. Instead of stacking things by the stairs to avoid extra trips up and down, make the trips. Stairs are a great way to get exercise.

4. Push the kids or grandkids on the swings. Play frisbee with them, etc. Quality time with the children is an added benefit.

5. Go for a walk. Start with a short walk and work your way up to several blocks or 30-40 minutes. If the weather is bad, go to the local mall and walk.

6. Walk around while talking on the phone instead of plopping down in a comfy chair.

7. Stop driving around the parking lot for ten minutes trying to get a parking spot next to the entrance. Park farther away and enjoy the walk.

8. Put items you use often on higher shelves so you do more stretching and reaching to get them.

9. Housework is an excellent exercise. Vacuum an extra time per week, etc.

10. Gardening is another wonderful exercise.

I'm sure you can think of other ways to add exercise to your daily routine. Take that prescription seriously. Do whatever works for you but do something! Take that most-hated prescription: EXERCISE!

CREAMY GARLIC SALAD DRESSING

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/3 cup skim milk
2 tsp SPLENDA
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk and SPLENDA. Stir in the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

For a change of flavor, try roasting the garlic before adding to the mixture. Yum!

If the garlic flavor is a little too much for you, use 1 garlic clove instead of two.

You can take this basic recipe and come up with a delicious dressing to suit your taste. Try replacing the salt with paprika or chili powder for a spicier dressing. Let your imagination run wild!

Note: This is a file photo

NEUROPATHY AND THE DIABETIC

Neuropathy is a functional change or pathological disturbance in the peripheral nerves. Know anymore than you did? Probably not. Let's see if we can get a better understanding of what all that mumbo-jumbo means!

The human body's nervous system has two main parts with the Central Nervous System being the one we hear the most about. This is the part of the nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord. The one we hear less about is also a very important one. The Peripheral Nervous System is made up of the nerves that connect the Central Nervous System to the other organs and muscles in the body. As you can imagine, the peripheral nerves affect a lot of areas of the body. Now back to our original definition of neuropathy, a functional change or pathological disturbance in the peripheral nerves, one can see how neuropathy can become a big problem.

The peripheral nervous system is made up of three different types of nerves. They are motor nerves, which are responsible for voluntary movements such as waving goodbye, walking, etc. Another is sensory nerves which allow us to feel pain, hot and cold, etc. The third type is the autonomic nerves. As the name implies, these nerves control our involuntary movements such as breathing, heart beats, etc. Obviously, the nervous system is very complex and one of more nerves may be involved in neuropathy.

Symptoms of neuropathy can come on suddenly or gradually over time, depending on the types of nerves involved. Unfortunately, diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy so we diabetics need to be aware of the symptoms because early intervention is important in treatment and recovery. In most cases, the early symptoms are weakness, pain, or numbness. Symptoms such as difficulty walking, stumbling or tiring easily, muscle cramps, trouble holding onto objects, an unsteady gait, dizziness when standing up may be symptoms. Some people complain of their hands and feet feeling as though they are wearing gloves or slippers when they are not. Because the peripheral nerves involve so many areas, there are many different types of symptoms. This can lead to problems getting a diagnosis since so many of these symptoms also relate to other illnesses. If you notice one or more of these symptoms for an extended time, check with your doctor. He or she may refer you to a neurologist, a doctor whose specialty is the brain and nerve disorders. A complete history of the symptoms should be presented and such tests as an EMG (electromyography), blood tests and urine tests will probably be done.

The key to recovery is to seek help as soon as you suspect problems. Recovery time depends on how much damage has been done and if nerve damage is left untreated for a long period of time, the symptoms could become irreversible. Don't ignore the symptoms! This is your life, your future and your comfort we are talking about here. Most of us human beings have a tendency to think it's our imagination, it will get better on its own, the doctor will think I'm just a complainer, I'll mention it when I see the doctor in six months, etc. Wrong! At the risk of repeating myself, I feel that I must stress early diagnosis and treatment is important for this one. Don't let yourself have permanent nerve damage because you waited too long to admit you had a problem.

VANILLA BEAN PANCAKE GIFT SET

Combine the following items and put in a special jar or zip-lock type bag:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Splenda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

If using a jar, cut a round piece of parchment paper or a round piece of pretty fabric and put over the jar seal before adding ring. Tie a pretty ribbon around the ring. Attach a vanilla bean to the bow. If using a zip bag, place vanilla bean inside the top of the bag before zipping.

Attach the following recipe on a cute recipe card or note card:

To make pancakes, place the dry ingredients from the jar (or bag) into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the ingredients. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into a small mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 cups milk, 2 tablespoons canola, olive or coconut oil and 1 large egg, lightly beaten, just until blended.

Lightly grease a griddle and heat. When griddle is hot, pour batter onto griddle using 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until tops are bubbly. Turn pancakes and cook until done.

Yield: 12 pancakes

To make your gift even more special, add a small bottle of sugar-free syrup and/or a pancake mold.


FRESH FRUIT VS CANNED FRUIT ESPECIALLY FOR DIABETICS

Diabetics should be aware of canned fruits. That is not to say all canned fruits should be avoided. Just be sure to read the nutritional label and be especially aware of the sugar and carbohydrate counts. Here is an example using my favorite fruit, peaches. One-half cup canned peaches in heavy syrup has 22 grams of carbs. A medium-sized fresh peach has only 14 grams of carbs. Now there are options in between including peaches in light syrup or peaches sweetened with Splenda. You know your situation better than anyone so the decision is yours. But diabetics should never choose the canned fruit in heavy syrup, and fresh fruit is always preferable.






APPLE & TURKEY POTPIE

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tbsp butter
1 can (10 3/4-oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (10 3/4-oz) condensed cream of celery soup
3 cups cubed cooked turkey*
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled & cubed
1/3 cup raisins, optional
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Pastry for a single-crust pie

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add the onion and saute until tender. Add the soups, turkey, apple, raisins - if using, lemon juice, and nutmeg; mix together well. Spoon the mixture into an 11 x 7 x 2-inch baking dish.

On a floured surface, roll out the pastry dough to fit the baking dish. Cut slits or a design in the pastry. Place the pastry over the turkey mixture and flute the edges using the tines of a fork.

Bake the potpie at 425 degrees for about half an hour or until the crust is a golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Yield: 6 servings

*May substitute turkey.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

PECAN TOPPED PUMPKIN PIE

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell (sugar-free)
1 can (16-oz) pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Splenda Granulated
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups fat-free evaporated milk
Pecan Topping, recipe below
3 tbsp sugar-free maple-flavored syrup

Combine the pumpkin, eggs, Splenda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and milk together in a large bowl. Beat to blend thoroughly. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the unbaked pie shell; add the topping. Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until set. A knife inserted in the center will come out clean when the pie is done.

Pecan Topping:
1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup butter

Combine all the ingredients together, tossing with a fork until completely mixed. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the pie. Drizzle the maple-flavored syrup over the topping.

Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting to serve.

Note: File Photo