August 12, 2013
My Name is Ward Alper. I am a chef. I am a type 2 Diabetic. For the first few months after my diagnosis over four years ago) I struggled with being a Diabetic. I did EXACTLY (well almost) what I was told to do. I took my medications, I lost weight. I drastically cut down the amount of carbohydrates I took in every day. The results were that after the first three months:
- I dropped my A1C to 5.6.
-Lost about 20 pounds
-Was one very miserable person
I ate meat and salad, chicken and salad, fish and salad, and salad and salad. My lunch plate was a bit of turkey or tuna, some lettuce and tomato and maybe a cucumber. The words: bored to death didn’t even begin to cover it. I craved pasta, bread, and rice. All I wanted was some normalcy back into my life and that of my family.
The diabetes clinic I was sent to by my doctor was no help. They YELLED at me (I will tell you all about it another time) Despite my being a chef, it never clicked that I had all the tools in hand to change the way I ate and be happy and healthy. It took a nutritionist that worked at my local “stupidmarket” (Hannaford in Portland, Maine) to begin my journey to being what I am today, THE Decadent Diabetic.
Ann took me by the hand and walked me up and down the aisles and pointed out better choices for a Diabetic to eat. She showed me how to read labels and figure out net carbohydrates. Ann introduced me to a few products NOT in a sugar free aisle that were good choices for me. Most important, Ann introduced me to JOSEPH’S LAVASH bread.
Before I go any further, I need to tell you that I am gonna tell you about some products that I use that work for the way I now eat. I am not a spokesperson for any company. I do not take money from any company. I don’t accept advertising from any company on my website (www.thedecadentdiabetic.com) or my Facebook page (Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic); I won’t even accept coupons that are not available to everybody from any company. Hell I won’t even take a keychain. I do this so I am free to tell you about products so you know I like them and use them and share them with you to assist you in your journey.
Back to the Lavash. This product found in the deli section of the markets in my area, took that turkey lettuce and tomato that was on my lunch plate and turned it into the miracle of ….wait for it….A SANDWICH. Not a big deal? For me it was the key to everything else. Now that I could have a sandwich, what else could I do? My mental block was tossed out of the way. Great eating is mine again, at last.
I started creating Diabetic Compatible versions of most of my old recipes. Some were good, some were great, some, failed miserably. I started sharing them with other Diabetics that I ran across in the “stupidmarkets”. Eventually I got them on to my computer so through the magic of e-mail I could share them more easily. One recipe grew into five recipes which grew into twenty recipes and now I have over 300 recipes that I share with other diabetics.
I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. I am a chef. My approach to living well as a diabetic is through great food. As I see it the more variety in your menus, the easier I is to stick to the diet. Sticking to the diet has made me a healthier man. My A1C has stayed between 5.2 and 5.4 consistently for over four years. I have lost and kept off about 60 pounds, and I eat like a Diabetic king.
So what I am going to do is share recipes and stories with those of you that are interested. I hope that this will make it easier and more fun to live with your diabetes. Every Diabetic whose life I can make easier and tastier is a victory for all of us.
So let me start here. For me it was bread rice and pasta. For so many others it is dessert. For many of those it is chocolate. Below is a recipe for a Diabetic Compatible, Double Chocolate Ricotta crème. It is a cross between a pudding and a mousse. It takes less time to make the recipe than it does to clean up the food processor you make it in.
So enjoy, be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT!
Diabetic compatible Double Chocolate RICOTTA CRÈME
-STOP!!- MUST be made in a food processor or it will be grainy. It will still taste good but the texture will be off.
Note: It takes less time to make the dessert than to clean the machine you make it in.
This recipe is a Chocolate riff of one I saw Giada De Laurentis make with espresso.
12g. net carbohydrate
¾ cup GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1-30 oz. container of ricotta cheese
2 Tablespoons UNSWEETENED HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon Coffee Flavored liquor, Bourbon, or Brandy (you can substitute grated orange zest or a TBSP. of strong dark coffee)
2 Squares PERUGINA Bittersweet chocolate
Toasted, sliced almonds for topping (optional)
Lightly sweetened Raspberries or strawberries (3-5 per plating) (Optional)
HOW I PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Place GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE in the bowl of a food processor. Cut vanilla bean open and scrape seeds into the granulated sugar substitute. Run the processor to make vanilla sugar. (If using vanilla extract you can skip this Step). Add the cocoa powder. Process 30 seconds or so. Add the ricotta cheese and process for two minutes. Scrape down the sides and process for 1-2 minutes more. Add the liquor or coffee or zest and process until blended,
As an extra treat to the palate and the tongue, finely chop (almost pulverize) the squares of Chocolate and fold into the crème. Spoon the mixture into 1 cup white ramekins (for the kids) or Martini or wine glasses. cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours or more.
Top with very lightly sweetened raspberries or strawberries soaked in 1 tablespoon of Trop 50.