Diabetes-Compatible Eating: Spinning Straw into Gold

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Allow me to repeat myself, yet again. Diabetes-compatible eating does NOT have to be about eating terrible tasting food. I promise you it CAN be and SHOULD be about really enjoying what you eat while you manage your diabetes.

I just finished mixing up a batch of my oven baked zucchini pancakes. It seems I get the request to make them at least once a week. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me. These pancakes are a variation of an old potato pancake recipe that I found years ago. It called for baking rather than frying.

Back then, I was surprised at how good they tasted and how crisp they are. Changing out the potato for lower carbohydrate zucchini didn’t change the overall sense of the dish. They are, forgive my boasting, scrumptious. The “new” truth is that even if I were not cooking to help manage my diabetes, I would still make these pancakes. Why? Because I get a lot of requests (demands) for them…and I like them a lot.

I know that not all of you are as adventurous an eater or cook as I am. But it has been fun to have a good reason to experiment with new foods and foods cooked in new ways. My inspiration for this is my diabetes health and your diabetes health. The bonus is that I have found some things to eat that are unexpected and unexpectedly delicious.

Among the “new” foods (for me) was spaghetti squash….and before you go yuck or eweee, if you haven’t tried it, you may not know what you have been missing. Like my zucchini pancakes, the variations on this food are often request at my table. I will remind you that at first, I too, was not fond of spaghetti squash as a direct substitute for pasta. I did not like the “vegetable-y” taste with spaghetti sauce. It sorta felt like I was sneaking vegetables on to the plate. I enjoy veggies but even they have their place, and that usually is not with my meatballs. But I do like squash in general so I figured it was worth my while to keep trying.

The first thing that worked was simply leaving off the red sauce and eating the squash with oil or butter and parmesan cheese. It made perfect sense that I would like it. I have been eating zucchini and yellow squash that way for decades. The rest is cooking history. I have countless ways that I use the squash. It is so neutral a flavor that it takes on the other flavors of the dish. Squash is squash…except when it isn’t.

A couple of other things that I like (They harken back to my childhood) is pot roast and beef stew). The only changes I have made in those recipes is cutting back on the amount of carrot in the recipes (I think you need some carrot for natural sweetness) and not using garden peas or in the case of the stew, potatoes.

I could substitute cauliflower in the stew for the potato; It does work but I much prefer to serve it over a bed of deliciously mashed cauliflower or even a spaghetti squash stroganoff. By cutting out a few of the higher carbohydrate vegetable items in the recipes, I get a meatier flavor. I also add brown mushrooms just to give the tongue more variety. Yes, I know, “yuck” mushrooms. I have long since given up on converting mushroom haters. My thought is: if you don’t like them, good, all the more for me. Those of you who want can have all my lima beans!

One of my favorite salads is Caprese salad. It is composed of: fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, cheese, olive oil, and fresh basil. The downside is that it I like sopping up the oil with crusty bread. I have found two solutions for this dilemma. 1: using Joseph’s low carbohydrate pita bread, and 2: turning the ingredients into an unbelievable crustless quiche. I did it as a lark one day and now have to make it often. It has the same cheesy/ tomato taste as the salad or even of a crustless pizza. It really is an interesting variation of the Swiss cheese or cheddar cheese usually found in a quiche.

Turning straw into diabetes-compatible cooking gold is as simple as taking the foods you like, and that help you to manage your diabetes and turning (spinning?) them into new dishes that are so good you wonder why you never ate them before?

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic