The Evolution of a Diabetic-Compatible Recipe

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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.

As a chef who is diabetic, even I sometimes get so caught up counting carbs count and substituting this product for that product, that I forget the chef part. I want to share with you the evolution of the recipe below and how the chef in me beat out the diabetic and both are extremely satisfied.

I was in the "stupidmarket" and one of the dietician/nutritionists was doing a sampling of a healthy alternative option. It was a simple turkey sandwich dressed up with mayonnaise flavored with orange bits. The bread product she was using was a JOSEPH’S TORTILLA (5 grams of carbohydrate per tortilla). By now you know what a great fan I am of the low carbohydrate products from this company. I had never noticed the tortillas.

I guess the reason is that I am not big on Mexican style cooking. My system cannot handle hot peppers or the hot spices (my mouth is on fire, my mouth is on fire!). I do not like the texture of beans. I simply don’t get cumin or cilantro. Here were these tortillas with only five grams of carbohydrate each. How could I ignore the product? I decided to do my first foray into very quasi-Mexican cooking. But with lots of flavor not lots of heat.

Most of the recipes I found, aside from using the hot ingredients I don’t like to eat, seemed to use a lot of tomatoes and shredded lettuce. Most contained an avocado. Many also contained chicken and sour cream as a cooling agent for the heat of the peppers.

I had some left-over chicken in the fridge (why do the "stupidmarkets" always pack chicken parts in odd numbers? There are only two of us in my household so there is always extra chick left over) that I decided to use for this experiment.

So I went to the market got some plum tomatoes (replacing salsa), lettuce, Provolone cheese and a ripe avocado. I always have black olives in the fridge, ranch dressing, and onions and garlic. My juices, not just those of the tomatoes started to flow. I shredded the chicken, roasted the tomatoes with Herbs de Provence (I flavor I do like), sautéed some onion and garlic, chopped some black calamata olives. I mixed it all together and started layering the tortillas, the filling mixture, and the cheese.

I cooked it on the top of the stove to crisp the bottom tortilla then I popped it into the oven. When it was done I decided to shred the lettuce, chunk the avocado, toss it with the ranch dressing and top the stack with it. Sometimes first time recipes don’t work out. This one knocked my socks off. For about 15 grams of carbohydrate, I had the huge incredible tasty, textural meal.

If you do like the cumin, hot peppers, and cilantro, use them instead of my Herbs de Provence. It is your dinner. Next time I will add some artichoke hearts to the salad part. And so it grows….

I really felt that I got my whisk back

Enjoy, be healthy, be creative, be DECADENT

Follow this link to chef Alper's Tortilla Provençal recipe

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