Easy tips to make your Diabetes-Compatible Diet….WONDERFUL
Waking up your Diet
Easy tips to make your Diabetes-Compatible diet…WONDERFUL
When I was first diagnosed with Diabetes, I thought I would have to give up all that I have learned on my journey to wonderful eating. AND I even had to give up THE “BLUE BOX” from my college years (you know what product I mean), and some of the quantities of other high carbohydrate foods I luxuriated in. I just saw my eating healthfully as a person with diabetes as a new road yet to be traveled, a new art form to play with.
Here is a diabetes-friendly recipe for chicken breast: Take a chicken breast, brush with a little oil salt and pepper and bake or broil until done. Exciting ain’t it?
Keeping up with a low carb diet isn’t that hard, or is it? OK, how about taking that same chicken breast and brushing it with lemon, mustard and mayonnaise. Bake it, or broil it until done. Better? It takes the same time to do both recipes. How about we try another recipe for this poor chicken breast? Sautee the chicken 10-12 minutes per side, then top it with warmed and re-hydrated sundried tomatoes and chopped kalamata olives (black ripe olives). Better? All are diabetic friendly, easy and fast. The questions are which recipe will satisfy you more. Which recipe will you look forward to eating? A recipe does not have to be elaborate, difficult, or time consuming to be wonderful and interesting. The more you enjoy what you cook, the easier it is to stick to a diabetic friendly diet. The art (trick?) is to take the ordinary and make it very special.
A good simple steak can be made extraordinary by seasoning it with Herbs de Provence, more special by napping it with a simple sauce of sour cream and horse radish. Adding a touch of red wine or brandy or even just beef broth to the cooking juices makes the easiest and best pan sauce ever. It takes no time to do this but takes the steak from slab o’ meat to Bouef in a flash. Much of the art of French cooking is taking the common and making it uncommon. Many dishes we think of as elegant are hardly more than common folks fare. The original Patés were created so as not to waste that less desirable part of the fowl or pig. With time and experiment the paté went from by-product to elegance. But it is basically a meatloaf!
All of us have a batch of recipes that work and are low in carbohydrates. How quickly, even with my arsenal of recipes, did I get bored with protein and salad? I got stuck on not being able to have as much rice and pasta as I was used to all my adult life. Thinking back on it, I know that I did not have these items every meal. Because it became an issue, I missed them more than was probably reasonable. I was giving them up. It was a sacrifice for me. I was just miserable. It was in talking to other people with diabetes and sharing recipes with them that I realized how really easy it was to create interesting and decadent meals and still stick to my diet. It was also eye opening that so many people in this fast paced life (myself included) rely on very basic if not boring, meals just to get us through to a weekend or free day.
To make a simple dish wonderful just requires having the background painted in. So I couldn’t have a lot of pasta. Could the dark green of spinach, so rich in vitamins and antioxidants, take the place and the space of the noodle? Let us go back to that chicken breast (do you think I am obsessed with chicken breasts?). We have cooked it with a little sauce, or the sundried tomatoes and olives, now how about putting that on a bed of wilted spinach? Or if you don’t have the time, a bed of cooked frozen (defrosted and cooked) spinach, laced with a little garlic and olive oil. Let us now soften the food canvas with a dusting of Parmesan cheese. Is dinner served yet? I am hungry as hell.
The plate is your canvas or think of it as the blank wall in your living room. It just has to be coaxed into life. One small picture on a 10x 20 wall is a little dull. I know you don’t want to make holes in the wall, but how about decorating your plate.
My advice, get that beige china plate out of the cupboard and start painting a rich satisfying food picture.
In the coming weeks, I will be giving you some tips to take Diabetes-Compatible dishes from boring to brilliant with the ease of a professional chef!