No Fooling Around: Diabetes-Compatible Eating at its Best

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Nobody is trying to fool you, least of all me. When it comes to diabetes-compatible eating there are things that you may choose to limit or give up all together. There are things that can replace them on your plate, but only if you choose to give them a shot. Some of those things are even better than what they replace. No fooling.

I talk about using cauliflower, spaghetti squash, and other vegetables to replace the starches on your plate. They do not taste the same as those starches, no fooling. They may taste just as good, dare I say better than the old stand-by foods. ONLY you can make that decision for yourself.

There is a lot of “push-back” on using some of these things:

“Cauliflower is pretty nasty stuff. I can’t imagine what you could do to make it taste OK.”

My response is to ask the seventeen-year-old that thought my cauliflower salad has it, hands-down, over old boring potato salad.

It does not have to be about diabetes-specific dishes. How ‘bout we look at it this way? Say; ham ‘n eggs vs. bacon ‘n eggs? I unconditionally LOVE to eat bacon and eggs. Given the opportunity, I have been known to eat far more than the recommended amount for a dozen full grown people. When it comes to ham and eggs...

I came late to ham. I thought it was too chewy and gelatinous. What has now become one of my favorite days-off breakfasts is a frittata made with roasted tomatoes and chunks of ham sauteed with onions and topped with Swiss cheese. It is ten times more work to make this than the same omelet with bacon and cheese. But in order to have something different, it is worth the work to me.

Do they taste the same? No way! BUT both are actually terrific in their own way. Frying ham does not make it taste any more like bacon. It does, however, bring out a slightly different flavor and crispier texture than if I took the easy way out and just tossed the chopped ham into the eggs. It is a case of being open to look at something in a different way.

A hamburger vs. a turkey burger is a fight where ONLY you can decide the winner. Back in the “old” days I started using ground turkey in place of ground beef to cut down on some of the beef fat. I actually like them. I also like turkey meatloaf and Untidy Toms (turkey version of Sloppy Joes).

Some folks say they hate ground turkey. It is OK. I am not trying to fool you into thinking they are EXACTLY the same. They are not. Both, if you like them have their own merits. Some days ONLY a beef burger will do. I think it is the aroma of cooking meat that I like so much. Sometimes it is the cleanup. Ground turkey sticks to surfaces more than ground beef. I don’t know why. Sometimes I have a really good cheese (perhaps Havarti) around. It tastes much better with the turkey burger.

Many years ago my idol Julia Child took a recipe that called for veal and prepared it with turkey. It was a cost thing. Years ago I started doing Chicken Parmesan instead of Veal Parmesan. It too was a cost thing. Over time I have forgotten how the veal tastes. What I do remember is that it was tougher to eat than the turkey or chicken. My point is that I made the change for a reason. The end product was still good. I am not fooled that the substitutions are the same as the originals. I am very happy to use the substitutions. They are wonderful on their own…no fooling.

Life and time brings its changes. Certainly diabetes has brought enough changes all by itself. Some change is good, some not so much.

I never intend to fool you into thinking that something is better than the original. When it is, I like you to hear about it and I plan to shout it from the hilltops.

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w

Source: Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic