No Longer A Second Class Citizen, A Person With Diabetes Can Eat Like a King
As a chef, I ate like a king until I was diagnosed 5 years ago. After my diagnosis and reading about what I could and COULD NOT eat, I felt as though I was eating like a second class citizen. It took a while but I learned there was no need to eat a dull, boring diet. I took my years of cooking and focused in on what I could. Eat. The trick was to make that the star of my plate and worry about the rest later. Rather than finding substitutes for what I could not eat, I looked at foods that I could have, and have a lot of, AND that I loved any way.
Spinach is one of those foods. Usually a minor side dish. I started using it as a major support for my proteins. Lightly wilted in olive oil and sauteed onion and garlic, it became the filling base instead of potato, rice, or pasta. Not as a sub perfect substitute mind you, but as a delicious accent.
Wilted spinach: Wash the 8-12 ounces of fresh spinach well and dry as best as you can. In a large pot, sauté a shallot or 3-4 scallions or a half an onion and a grated clove of garlic in two tablespoons of good olive oil. Slowly add the spinach until it JUST starts to wilt. Keep adding the rest until you have used up all the spinach. Add 2-3 tablespoons of grated cheese. For a base for fish, add the juice and zest of ½ of a lemon. Place on your plate and put the protein (meat, chicken, pork, or fish over the spinach. Try this with this very simple, but elegant chicken recipe and you will be in Italy before you know it.
Note: You have seen this recipe on dozens of restaurant menus over the years. It is so simple to prepare and the ingredients are readily available. Makes a great dinner for guests but it is simple enough for any Wednesday.
1 -2 –cloves of garlic, grated (or ½ tsp. powdered)
1 – small shallot., minced (or ½ tsp. powdered)
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ cup low sodium chicken stock or broth
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ - cup dry white wine ( you can substitute more chicken stock)
2 – Tbsp. olive oil
2 – skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. drained capers
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. olive oil for cooking for pan cooking
HOW TO PREPARE THE RECIPE:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl Combine: garlic, shallot, pepper, salt, chicken stock, mustard, olive oil, and the zest only in a bowl.
Place chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin or heavy frying pan, pound the breasts slightly to an EVEN 1/2 inch thickness. Add to the liquid, cover and marinate for at least one hour up to overnight.
Pat down the breasts, reserving the marinade.
Cook the breasts in the remaining olive oil over medium heat until light brown on each side and cooked through (about 6 minutes a side). Remove from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
Pour the marinade, wine, and lemon juice into the pan and over high heat reduce by half. Add the capers. Spoon the reduced sauce over the chicken breasts.
Facebook: Ward Alper, THE Decadent Diabetic