Diabetes-Compatible Food: Using what you DO like

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Rather than getting caught up in what we can’t or shouldn’t eat or feeling deprived, how about thinking of some of the foods we like…well enough, and finding new ways to use them in our meal plans. For example: If you like cucumbers and olives …well enough, try stuffing thick chunks of cucumber with cream cheese and olives.

We were sitting at diner the other night and feasting on a very rich and delicious shrimp Alfredo. The dish was featured here at Diabetes Support a few weeks ago. First thing about this dish is that I REALLY like it, and the second thing is that it is constantly requested at our table. “How about that nice Italian shrimp dish tonight?”

But over a glass of wine I started to think that I never bothered much with shrimp. Shrimp cocktail was OK, or a cold shrimp remoulade but I always thought if I never bothered with shrimp that was just fine. If I did, that was just fine as well. What I really like about both those cold shrimp dishes is the sauce. I actually took to using both sauces as a dip for cucumbers or zucchini. It costs a heck of a lot less and so much less time to prepare.

I really like this shrimp dish as well as shrimp pesto, roasted garlic shrimp and a few others. I just thought I didn’t care one way or another. Part of my feeling about shrimp has to be my exposure to it. Growing up we only had shrimp cocktail. It was a rare (read: fancy) treat, but it was the only way I saw shrimp until I was exposed to another culture. My friends of Italian families used shrimp as a topping for pasta… and it was delicious. It was special to me but not uncommon on their tables.

Other cultures use shrimp in many other ways. The French and Greek used it as a stuffing for plain fish to give it some texture and flavor. Shrimp bisque is one of the great soups of the world. Shrimp wrapped in bacon, or in my case prosciutto, is an amazing hot appetizer. The big advertising campaign for Australia a few years back was shrimp in the “barbie.” But I am not really talking about shrimp. I am using it as an icon for all those things you thought were either “icky,” or just OK, or even really liked under the “right” circumstance.

Having an adventurous palate works really well for those of us with diabetes. Since we are limited or can’t have so many of the foods we “always” had, we get the chance to explore the multitude of ways of using foods we can have but just sorta forgot about.

I have always been a big fan of blue cheese crumbled on my salads. The adventure is to crumble it on top of a great piece of grilled steak, have a blue cheese burger, or (as I did the other night), add it to my mashed cauliflower. I tried it because I had a bit of the cheese in my fridge and it was not enough to do much with it. If I didn’t use it, it would dry up. We were thrilled with the result. We like it so much so that I may have to be making the cauliflower that way a lot more often. I have for years been making a cauliflower, bacon, and blue casserole… so how come I never thought of it in mashed cauliflower?

How about tuna fish from a tin? If you like tuna salad, tuna melts, why not add some drained tuna to your salad? Better yet, try using some fresh grilled tuna on the salad. Okay, okay, I know. I’m getting crazy now.

That is just my point. Forgetting my crazy rose colored glasses, Diabetes can be a great excuse to find new ways to cook old favorites, just “OK” foods and all those things we liked any way.

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT…be adventurous.

Source:Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic