Can a Diabetic Entertain?

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Ward Alper is a type 2 diabetic and chef who lives and eats decadently in Portland, Maine. Since his diagnosis more than four years ago, he has refocused his recipes and eating to support his diabetic health. In this article, Ward describes an extravagant, diabetes-friendly meal that he prepared for a couple of non-diabetic friends, who absolutely loved every low-carb bite.

Have you gotten over thinking that a diabetic's diet must be boring? Great. But would you even consider inviting people who are not diabetic over for dinner? Are you thinking that it would be a social no-no?

Let me share with you my feast of many flavors which I prepared for Sarah and Michael, two of my dearest friends, each with a highly developed food palate. For example, one evening Sarah made us a gazpacho with a huge chunk of lobster claw peeking over the side.

A Feast of Many Flavors (and Few Carbs)

The vodka martinis are ready. The olives have been skewered. The tequila cosmos are in the freezer. The Mark West 2011 Pinot Noir and I are both breathing. The table is set.

To start: Smoked salmon with crème fraiche seasoned with fresh dill and chives, along with oval-cut cucumbers and black olives – and, of course, lavash chips as a cracker and, as it always turns out, a crispy chip. (2g of carbs)

Sarah: "You made these?" (I am getting famous for my use of this product.)

The soup: Cream of celery soup with fennel seed, served with Grissini, thin Italian bread sticks. (1g of carbs)

Sarah: "OK, you’ve got to give me this recipe."

The fish: Crab cakes with royal caper sauce and celeriac remoulade. (6g of carbs)

Michael: "I am so happy."

The salad: "Berries and Blue" – a salad of mixed greens with plump black raspberries, blue cheese and a champagne and shallot vinaigrette. (2g of carbs)

The meat: An "old fashioned" pot roast. Well, perhaps not quite old fashioned. My recipe is a combination of Julia Child’s garlic pot roast (I can still hear Ms. Child saying, "Don't let any water come anywhere near the meat. You are not making a boiled dinner. Use a good red wine that you would drink instead.") and Ina Garten’s company pot roast (the cooking liquid and the vegetables are blended into a thick, semi-chunky sauce).

The side: Instead of homey mashed potatoes to catch the unctuous gravy, we had mashed cauliflower. The cauliflower has a similar flavor and texture with far, far fewer carbohydrates. (6g of carbs)

Sarah: "I want this recipe too."

And for dessert: One of my Italian cream gallettes – this one with strawberries and a lemon-flavored cream. (8g of carbs)

Our stomachs were filled, our souls were satisfied.

My carbohydrate allowance was still in line. Total dinner 25g of carbs. Now, keep in mind this was a feast of many flavors and each course was smaller than if it were served as a main dish. For example, it was about 2 to 2.5 ounces of meat tops on the plate.

Sarah and Michael were thrilled with the meal, or at least they still keep saying so. You know old friends and all.

Check out Ward's recipe for Italian Cream Gateau!

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