Cooking at Home with Diabetes

Cooking with Pan

This guest post was written by type 2 diabetic and chef Ward Alper. It originally appeared on his website, The Decadent Diabetic, and was republished on Information About Diabetes with permission.

Getting back home from a long trip where having Diabetes constantly reminds you that eating needs some restrictions, made me really appreciate the amazing variety of meals I can prepare at home that help me to manage my Diabetes and eat like a king.

Not surprisingly, our plane landed a little late. It took a while to get a taxi and get home. After stowing our bags in a corner in the hallway, I opened my refrigerator and was delighted to find a couple of containers of low carbohydrate peach yogurt. I know, I know, it was just yogurt.

Welcome Home

After luxuriating in the “normalcy” of everyday life, I stuck my head into the freezer and found a host of wonderful meals just waiting to be defrosted and devoured. The freezer is your friend. All that work way back (pork chops were on sale one week), paid off big time. I was rewarded with a delicious meal for the next night of chops with Greek seasoning.

My refrigerator would do all the work for me until dinnertime. Even then, I only had to pan fry the chops for a few minutes on each side and finish them in a hot oven. It made this chef happy for all the work done in advance. After all I need to devote much of the next day to loads of laundry, answering mail, a quick trip to the market for fresh vegetables and dairy, and writing a new article for you to read.

The next morning…MY coffee. Need I say more?
While I enjoy the efforts of other chefs and eating in other restaurants, it is different now that I have Diabetes. Being a chef is equal parts hard work and creativity. I know that I am, and most chefs are, happy to accommodate the needs of paying guests, but I feel somewhat guilty in cramping the style and balance of the creation of a fellow chef.

The Balance of A Meal

As accommodating as they are, I still need to work within their frame work. A restaurant meal should be prepared with a balance of flavors and textures on the plate. Asking for changes sometimes throws off the balance and takes away from the concept of the dish.

Back at home, I have free range of the kitchen and total control of my eating. Everything I desire is right there at my fingertips. What I try to do is to give you, my readers, the same tools (toys?) to play with in your kitchen. The rest of the week I found that my Diabetes-Compatible food never tasted so good. I guess that absence does make the palate grow fonder. There was a simple joy in eating the vegetables I love and not being stuck with what works well under mass production. The mashed cauliflower I like so much took on a new meaning because I could not find it on the road.

The biggest thing was making my Friday dessert. My biggest gripe with restaurants is there is seldom a low carbohydrate choice for dessert. Don’t, please don’t, get me wrong, I do not expect that restaurants will put low carbohydrate desserts on their menus, but it would be really nice to have some berries or other fruit available for me to enjoy while others are enjoying their double caramel and fudge goo-ity.

Being back in my kitchen, I decided to do a relatively new dessert for the weekend. It is a cinnamon crunch cake. Living in New York City, cinnamon crumb cakes were everywhere. This Diabetes-Compatible version rivals the best of them (at least in my opinion).
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w!

Click here for Ward's Cinnamon Walnut Crunch Cake recipe!

Get more cooking tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.

Photo credit: David Singleton on Flickr