MORE Easy tips to make Diabetes-Compatible eating Delicious & fun!
PREPARING A DIABETIC MENU DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BORING!!! Preparing any meal does not have to be boring! My focus is to nudge (noodge) you into realizing that a diagnosis of Diabetes is not the end of scrumptious eating…perhaps, it is just the beginning.
Let go of being upset by what you can’t or perhaps shouldn’t eat and explore with me some tips to make any meal easier and more delicious. These are tricks I use in my home kitchen and have used for years in restaurants.
I mentioned using the zest of lemons, limes and oranges in your cooking in my last set of tips. I thought it deserved a second mention. The zest of these fruits has more flavor than the juices. In the case of the orange, it adds a lot of flavor without the sugars associated with the juice. Last but not least, it looks great on the food when you add it at the last minute.
It is always great to have homemade stock. For many of us it is too much to do. What I do is to buy the best low sodium stock or broth I can find (and afford), pour it into a sauce pan with a clove of garlic and a few (5-7) pepper corns and let it reduce by half. This takes just a few minutes. I then allow it to cool, strain and pour the liquid into ice cube trays. Freeze them for future use.
I do the same thing with the liquid that remains when I reconstitute dried mushrooms. A cube or two added to a sauce or used to moisten a recipe adds a huge amount of flavor for very little effort. This helps bring back those flavors of days gone by when chicken tasted like chicken and beef tasted like beef. It seems that so many of today’s foods seem to have lost their base flavors. I use defrosted beef and mushroom cubes to add more flavor to a sloppy Joe mixture. The result is that the beef takes on much more flavor.
For the fastest pan gravy ever, just add a few cubes to the pan you have cooked your meat or chicken in. It will turn into a gravy in seconds AND help clean the pan. Two benefits for the price of one. The side benefit to this is that you start with a lower sodium product which is always a good thing as long as we make it taste good.
QUICK Mayonnaise and sour cream sauces
Just the way tartar sauce adds a lot of flavor and balance to a boring fish dish, mayonnaise and sour cream sauces add that extra bit of zip to almost any dish. Or it can be as simple as adding horseradish to sour cream for steak and fish, or adding chopped capers and shallot to create a Royal Caper sauce, or using a remoulade sauce (mayonnaise and mustards) on anything and everything from a cheese sandwich to meatloaf.
Too bland? Want something hotter? Add curry or chopped hot peppers to either mayonnaise or sour cream for spicy taste. Only your imagination and creativity is the limit. I have been using “store bought” mayonnaises that use olive oil in their recipe. It adds some more flavor and the benefits of olive oil. Again, two benefits for the price of one.
The debate rages on about dry versus fresh. Just how many years were those dry herbs in the jar on the shelf of the “stupidmarket”? If you are concerned about the age (staleness?), go to a store that sells bulk herbs. Chances are that they are fresher there than ones the “Stupidmarket” shelf. I can’t swear that it is true, but it’s better than just a guess. I grow a few herbs in the garden. I use them fresh all summer. But who is kidding who, summer is very short. I will cut the herbs down at the end of the season and hang them to dry in my cellar. With tarragon, I get such a good yield that what I don’t give away fresh, I dry. Let me tell you that the flavor is still great. The dry herb is softer than fresh. The same is true for oregano and thyme. Crush them in the palm of your hand to release the stored up oils. Fresh parsley, basil and dill are now available all year. Use them! They store pretty well in a glass of water in the refrigerator. Used at the last minute add a real freshness to your dish. And the green color ain’t bad to look at either. The thing is to USE them. I grew up in a household that used salt (far too much), pepper, garlic and onion. That was all! I never knew better until I started working in my father’s restaurant.
Soy has been used to enhance flavor in Asian cooking for centuries. A simple and versatile way to use soy is combining soy, lemon, and one herb (you get to choose, thyme, oregano, basil and rosemary are all good choices) together to make a marinade for chicken or a strong flavored fish like salmon or shrimp.
Now before you get the sodium police out after me, I am talking about ONE tablespoon of soy to one tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon of lemon (don’t forget the zest). That is more than enough to marinate four servings of the protein. It is the same amount of sodium that is in a glass of milk.
Next time even more tips to make a Diabetes-Compatible eating a thing of joy! …it is possible you know!
Enjoy, create, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT!