Pizza on a Diabetes-Compatible Diet?
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.
Ok, you have been diagnosed with Diabetes. You are now ABSOLUTELY certain that every food you ever enjoyed is forbidden to you. In SOME ways, you are correct. SOME foods, in the way you ate them before, can be poor choices for you. MOST foods are just fine. Steak works, pork works, eggs work, chicken and (the hated) fish work. Even potatoes in smaller, but more delicious portions will work in your carbohydrate budget. Hey, life may not be soooo bad after all?
Chefs Note: all of the recipes mentioned in this article are available to you in the recipe section here at Information About Diabetes.
So you want mashed potatoes with your steak. You have two choices. 1- make a smaller amount of them, flavored so well that the small portion will work, especially if you add a delicious vegetable to your plate (try string beans and almonds) to fill in the spaces, or 2- make mashed cauliflower. It is really delicious. It is not the same, it is different. Treated with sour cream, onion, and dill, it just might be even more delicious and interesting than the same old same old. I can’t promise you that. My next door neighbor (also has Diabetes) and the ONLY thing I have had him taste that he didn’t like was mashed cauliflower. Remember that was just him. Everybody else I have ever served this dish to just loves it.
Is pasta your downfall? Sorry, good news on that front as well. Again you have a few choices. 1- That darned smaller portion. 2- Spaghetti squash (but not with spaghetti sauce, but with fresh tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes and especially pesto sauce) Try my recipe for “Almost” Mac & cheese, it may not contain any macaroni, but still has the same cheesy gooeyness like the old “blue” box. 3- A bean based pasta. These are pretty low carb and very filling. They, unlike the spaghetti squash, look and taste like spaghetti. I warn you that they are much more filling, so a little will go a surprisingly long way.
Do you crave cake? Chocolate cake, cheese cake, apple pie, carrot cake are all possible in people sized portions …if you use toasted ground nuts or almond flour to replace a third of the flour in the recipe…and choose to use a sugar substitute. Now if you have nut allergies, this won’t work for you. If you have a horror of sugar substitutes, this will also not work for you. I have just given you some options. You get to make your own choices.
Full disclosure: As a kid I thought pizza was, well, icky!! Pre-Diabetes Dx, I jokingly called pizza the “perfect meal”. Hey, cheese and meat for protein, tomato for the vegetable, and crust for the grains. Times have changed. In the cooler months we have pizza once a week. I use a low carb pita bread as the base. There are other good choices as well. That mashed cauliflower with an egg beaten in, will make a pretty good crust. Just bake it on a high (400°) oven until it crisps and pile your toppings on. My recipe for baked zucchini pancakes will work just as well.
I just saw a recipe for mini pizzas made with eggplant as a base. I gotta tell you that I do this all the time as a side dish. For me, while it tastes great…it just ain’t pizza.
For me, pizza is not pizza unless you can pick it up and eat it. I am not saying anything bad about a knife and fork…but few self- respecting New Yawkers would consider such a thing. Then again, I am not so sure they (me/we) would consider breakfast pizza a thing. Making up for what I perceived as lost time, I make pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No, not in one day!
My point is that there is very little that you can’t fit into your eating that you can’t make work for your carbohydrate budget!
Here I go, back to my oven, rose colored glasses firmly planted on my head and set to create a Diabetes-Compatible meal that tastes like a million bucks!
ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w
Get more cooking tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.