HE IS WORKING HARD FOR HIS HEALTH
Ward Alper, THE Decadent Diabetic
I eat very well and maintain my control over my type 2 Diabetes. But it takes a lot more work than the “old” days. Gone now are the days when I could come home from work and put a pot of water on the stove and throw in some pasta, toss with cheese and sauce, cut a hunk of bread, and dinner was done. The closest I now come to a fast food dinner is to pick up a rotisserie chicken. I don’t do that very often because it tends to be a little too high in sodium. I only do that in a pinch or if it is on sale at the supermarket. Some days you just need to be lazy.
Lunches became very easy when I discovered JOSEPH’S LAVASH and TORTILLA FACTORY breads and ARNOLD SANDWICH THINS. I just prepare a sandwich with a protein and some lettuce and have a fruit or a HEALTHY CHOICE FUDGE
There is much more thought going into what I am going to prepare for dinner now that I am a Diabetic. Dinner is where the planning comes in. I try to make things do double and triple duty. For example the Asian dressing (below) is intended for a salad but serves really well as a marinade. The remoulade sauce from my last post works to spark up a plain broiled or baked dish but it is also a wonderful spread on a sandwich.
To turn dinner into dinning takes pre-planning on my part. I need to make sure there are all the parts of a recipe in the house. I keep my refrigerator stocked with fresh vegetables (and thank heavens for frozen spinach) and my pantry stocked with all the ingredients for marinades and sauces that take the ordinary and bring it to decadence. My freezer is stocked with meals I prepare in bulk like eggplant parmesan and chicken pot pies (I will share those recipes during the cold winter months). I found that it made my life easier if I devoted a few hours every couple of weeks in the fall and winter to making one of these hearty, comforting dishes, generously portioning them out and freezing them for future use. I just have to remember to defrost them in advance. I keep an up to date list on the side of the freezer to remind me what is in stock (Am I a little too organized?).
For the most part I start the preparation for dinner the night before by seasoning the meat, chicken, or pork or make a sauce for the dish to accent its flavors. Not only does this make it easier to prepare but really enhances the flavors. By using different sauces and seasoning preparations, you make each dish fresh and new again. I think that part of the problem in a diabetic’s diet is that after you have been told NO! You can’t have this, or you MUST limit that, you start to think that your diet is becoming stale and boring. This way, I keep it interesting. To quote Stephen Sondheim: “after you try it, you vary the diet.”
Then there is the menu planning. What to serve with what? Tonight for example I am making Turkey burgers. To make them stand out I have added a little chicken sausage for flavor and moistness. I will top them with a strong cheese like Provolone, and serve it on an ARNOLD SANDWICH
There are ALWAYS walnuts, pecans, almonds and pistachio nuts in my pantry for those times when the body tells me it is time for a snack. A small portion of those nuts goes a long way when you are really hungry or just bored or feeling a little blue. Pistachios in the shell are great for this kind of thing. My guess is that overdosing on pistachios would take so long you would give up. By the time you get what you think is enough out of the shells, the reason you wanted the snack is gone. But the end result is wonderful! The almonds, walnuts, and pecans are also used to replace part of the flour in my baking.
The other thing I have noticed is how much higher my grocery bills have become. Pasta, rice, and potatoes are less expensive than the fresh vegetables I have replaced them with. The exceptions are cabbage and carrots. Good thing I love coleslaw and braised red cabbage not to mention carrot salad and orange glazed carrots. The Arnold Double fiber bread I use at breakfast is 3-4 times more expensive than the store brand white breads. Don’t misunderstand, these added expenses are worth it to keep the carbs down. It is just something to keep in mind.
Talking about the added effort and extra money, I am sharing the following recipe with you. It can be used hot or cold, great the next day, freezes well, and makes a wonderful chicken salad. I usually buy the chicken when it is on sale and make a big batch of it. Also, it is summer and I need to keep up with my basil patch.
I did not have to adapt this recipe to suit a diabetic diet. It is naturally low in carbohydrates. It is the intensity of the flavors that keep me from feeling deprived and allow some decadence on to my table.
Note: Tasty salad dressing but also good as cooking sauce for salmon chicken and pork. Also can be used to dress the SHRIMP AVACADO SALAD.
Juice and grated zest of ½ lemon
Enough vinegar (rice wine, cider, or champagne) to make ¼ cup
½ - cup olive oil (or a neutral oil)
2 –Tbsp. Soy sauce
½ tsp. ground ginger (fresh is better if possible)
1 –tsp. Dijon mustard
Pepper to taste
1 –tsp. sweetener
2 –Tbsp Dry sherry(optional)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together OR put into a jar, cover and shake to combine.
If using on salmon, chicken or pork, you might want to sprinkle a tablespoon or so of toasted Sesame seeds over the top.