Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oven Made Stew

My friend Mary gave me this recipe.  It is easy, delicious and perfect for
a cold winters night!

1- 1 1/2 pounds stew meat (not too large of pieces-I usually cut them in half)
4-5 red potatoes cut in quarters
3-4 carrots chunked
2 small onions quartered
1 can peas along with juice
1 can cream of celery soup (low sodium)
1 can tomato soup (Healthy Option)
1/2 can milk

Mix the soups and milk in a bowl.
In the bottom of a covered roasting pan, place other remaining ingredients.
Pour the soup over the top, gently stir together.
Bake at 275 for 4-5 hours...covered!
I have tried this in the crock pot and it just doesn't turn out the same.

Meatball Appetizer

These are delicious little meatballs, be careful as you won't be able to  stop eating them!

2 Lbs Hamburger/ground turkey
3/4 Cup Whole wheat Bread Crumbs
1 Small finely minced Onion
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp. parsley flakes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce


Mix ingredients together and make small meatballs.  About 1" in diameter.
put on foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until done.

1 Jar sugar free grape jelly ( made with Splenda)
1 Jar Heinz Chili sauce
1 tbsp Agave (optional)

Mix the sauce in crock pot or other vessel of choice.  Put cooked meatballs in the pot and simmer for 1-3 hours.  (If you make the meatballs the day before and refrigerate crock pot time should be 2-4 hours.


Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have recently learned about and experimented with Agave at my favorite cooking shop, Shar's Kitchen.  It is a natural sweetener that is retrieved from the Agave Plant in central Mexico.  Yes, it is the same plant from which Tequila is made.  The type of Agave I use is Xagave, which is a blend of blue and white agave.

The glycemic index is 30, and I have used it in baking, cooking and beverages.  There is no after taste.  It is 100% natural and for me, has caused no rise in blood glucose levels.  Agave is being used more and more by diabetics and is recommended by the ADA.

It is a bit costly, but you only use 1/3 - 1/2 cup for exchange of 1 cup of sugar as it is at least 1.5 times more sweeter than sugar.  As in the previous recipe, it reduces down to make a thick syrup.   2 cups of Agave Nectar and 1 1/2 tsp of maple flavoring makes a delicious syrup for whole grain pancakes or waffles.  It is not quite as thick as syrup, however every bit as yummy.

Everything in moderation, but for that special recipe, treat this is a good option, keep in mind it is not calorie free so again, as with many foods,  I caution to use in moderation.

I will be posting more recipes that use agave.  In most of the recipes you can use Splenda in place of agave if you choose.  I do believe Agave is worth a try.

Sticky Chicken

An adapted recipe from My Kitchen Cafe and Janae, once again, thanks Janae for this suggestion!

6-8 boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
1 cup canned Lite coconut milk

1 Tbsp. Crystallized ginger or ground ginger 
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes for 1-5 hours.

Cook Brown rice:  I used the remaining coconut milk as part of the cooking liquid for the rice. Portions of rice to equal 4 servings=2 cups liquid, one cup rice.   Remember it takes about 50 minutes for brown rice to cook so allow enough time when preparing unless you have a pressure cooker in which it takes just 20 minutes.  (I love my pressure cooker! )

Glaze:  3/4 cup rice vinegar (Mirin)    1/3 Cup Agave  Nectar    3 Tbsp. Braggs Liquid or soy sauce
   1 tsp. red pepper flakes

While the chicken is cooking, bring above ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Be patient because it takes a little while for the Agave nectar to reduce. Once it starts getting really thick, immediately take it off the heat! Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of cooking. 

Serve chicken over brown rice, drizzle remaining sauce on rice.  Serve with steamed oriental style vegetables.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Breast a la Crockpot

I found this recipe that sounded so good, with a little change here and there I have made it a healthier rendition.  It is delicious!

1 Turkey Breast  It would be as good with chicken breasts)
1 Tablespoons I can't believe it is not butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package dry Italian seasoning mix
1 large onion in quarters
4 stalks celery
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Chicken soup
8 oz Low Fat Cream Cheese
(can salt to taste)

Brush margarine/olive oil on all sides of the turkey breast.  Rub the Italian seasoning
into the skin of the breast.  Place the onion and celery into the cavity.  Place the turkey
into a crock pot.  Add the chicken broth and pepper (salt to your taste).  Cook on low
for 6 - 8 hours.  See *** below.

Combine cream of chicken soup and cream cheese.  Warm in the microwave until smooth.
Stir into the broth in the crock pot.  *** ADD this during the last 45 minutes of cooking.
The result is tender, flavorful turkey and gravy.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet Potato Pear Bisque

This is a lovely soup to serve prior to the Thanksgiving meal.  It is also a wonderful comfort soup for a cold winter night.  It is easy to prepare, high in fiber and vitamins it is a perfect diabetic friendly/family friendly soup with a slight sweet yet savory taste.

  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup powdered chicken broth/or canned low sodium.  
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme, crushed
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • zest of one lemon

  • 2 cups - half and half
  • Fresh ground nutmeg to taste

Combine the first 8 ingredients in 3qt pot and bring to a boil.  Cook for approx 20 minutes until
potatoes are tender.  Pour vegetables and broth into a blender. Blend until smooth. (You can
use a hand blender if you have one and it works perfectly). I use my pressure cooker to make this soup in 8 minutes.

Pour mixture back into the pot and add the half-and-half, and fresh ground nutmeg. Heat through and serve.

Serves 4-6


Pumpkin Bread

This recipe is from a co-worker that I tweaked a bit to fit into the diabetic friendly blog.
Thanks Janae!  This is a wonderful moist pumpkin bread.  
Serving size = 1 slice large loaf about 1/2 inch thick or 2 slices mini loaf 1/2" thick.
 20 carbs and 7 g fiber.


1 1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups pumpkin (canned is good)
1/2 cup brown sugar spenda
1 cup splenda granular
2 packages of sugar free coconut cream or vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp baking soda
5 eggs
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts of choice (optional)


In a large bowl, mix together oil, pumpkin, both types of splenda, pudding mix, cinnamon and salt and set aside.   Slightly beat the eggs, and mix into the batter.  Mix in the flour and baking soda until just combined.  Stir in nuts (optional).
Spread batter into two greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pans,  three 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 loaf pans
or 7 mini loaf pans.
Bake at 325 F or 165 C.  for 1 hour, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  For the mini loaf test at 40-45 minutes with a toothpick, if it comes out clean it is done.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Turkey Chili

1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion/diced
1 clove chopped garlic
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes/I use tomatoes with green chilies.
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 Tbs taco seasoning
2 cans black beans (can use any bean of choice, but keep in mind the darker the bean the lower the glycemic index)  Beans are a wonderful source of protein and fiber.  You can also use a variety of beans in the same soup.
16 oz water
Brown the ground turkey and onion in a skillet. (did you know ground turkey is 50% less fat than ground beef?)
In a crock pot or large soup pot add all the remaining ingredients juice included. (do not drain)
If you use a crock pot no need to tend to the soup at all and can stay on all day.  For a soup pot stir occasionally set on a medium low setting for 3 hours.
Top with a dallop of fat free sour cream, some low fat shredded cheddar cheese and a few
crispy tortilla strips or chopped green onion.


I woke up this morning to 46 degrees outside and cloudy, my favorite weather!
inally it is soup weather here in Arizona. It takes little to create wonderful meals that can serve for dinner, lunch or even an after school snack. I have found that it is easy to "tweak" soup recipes to suit each family by changing the vegetables, beans or base a little. Let's face it, even the most novice cook can create a soothing and filling meal. I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes that with a salad or some warm whole grain bread will be healthy comfort food for the whole family. I pulled out the crock pot this morning, opened the cupboard doors, searched for soup like ingredients and can I just say, the aroma in the house at 9:30 AM is wonderful!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Steel Cut Oatmeal in Crockpot

The time it takes to make steel-cut oatmeal is prohibitive in my morning schedule.
A friend shared this recipe with me to make life easier, healthy and delicious.  This is the only kind of oatmeal that I can eat without BG levels going high.

I make a big batch using 8 cups of water and 2 cups of oatmeal. You may cut that in half though. I add raisins to taste also (just a few) . I put it in the crock pot on "high" for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. (see below)  Actually, I put the crock pot on a timer so it is ready when I get up in the morning. I then refrigerate the leftovers in single servings and use that the rest of the week by microwaving it.

Adding fruit, nuts or spices to your liking gives great taste and variety.

You may cook it on "low" for 6 to 7 hours of you prefer.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Minestrone Soup

This is an easy and delicious version of Minestrone Soup.  Great for fall and winter meals.

Frozen zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and beans are sometimes called an "Italian Blend," and can be found in your supermarket's frozen section. Small pasta shapes (dreamfield's whole wheat or your favorite brand).

Serves 4 to 6

         6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

         1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

         1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

         2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

         2 onions, chopped fine

         4 garlic cloves, minced

         1/2 cup pasta, dry (see above)

         1 (16-ounce) bag frozen vegetables (see above)

         1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves (while fresh is best, I have used dry)

         Table salt and ground black pepper to taste

Bring broth, beans, and tomatoes to boil in large saucepan.  Heat oil in soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions  cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook  about 30 seconds. Stir in broth / tomato mixture and pasta and simmer until pasta is tender, about  10 minutes.

Stir in vegetables and basil and cook until heated through, about 4 minutes. (vegetables will be al dente) Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve with additional olive oil for drizzling. Top with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

What is a chickpea? Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans. 

The chickpea was originally cultivated on the lands bordering Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean.  Canned chickpeas are  usually the convenient choice. 

Nutrition - Chickpeas as well as other legumes are high in fiber. Soluble fiber acts as a scrub brush, cleaning the digestive system. This type of fiber also decreases serum glucose and cholesterol and decreases insulin requirements for people with diabetes.

1 Can (15oz) Chickpeas, rinsed & drained (also called garbonzo beans)
1/2 small red onion-quartered and very thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 roasted pepper, chopped
3 plumb tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss to mix and allow to stand
at room temperature for 10 minutes for flavors to marry. This serves 8.
leftovers are good too.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

No Muss or Fuss Omelet

Easy, Easy Omelet for One or Many

This is a quick and easy clean up breakfast, brunch or even dinner.                                               

For breakfast with guests: Assemble your ingredients like a salad bar; if you have several people, and let each person build their own omelet. 

Take a small sandwich size Ziploc freezer bag, using a water-proof marking pen; write each diner's name on a bag. 

Break two eggs into bag. (Substitute 1/2 cup Egg Beaters, if you desire).Squish the bag with your hands to mix the yolk and white together. 

Arrange ingredients on the counter and let each person choose the ingredients for their own bag. Use whatever you like,some suggestions: Lean ham or Canadian Bacon, crumbled crisp bacon,green pepper, mushrooms, onion, artichoke hearts, tomato, low fat cheddar cheese,feta cheese.

After adding the above, press excess air out and seal. Put the bags into a large pot of boiling water, uncovered, for exactly 13 minutes. Remove from water with tongs. Unzip bag and slide the omelet out onto a plate.

 ** DO NOT use more than two eggs per bag and increase the size of your pot according to number of bags. You can do up to 10 bags in a large soup kettle, use a 2 or 3 quart saucepan for 2 or 3 bags. When ready to eat, serve with  such toppings as sour cream, salsa or Tabasco. 

Let your imagination be your guide! 

Serve with fresh fruit on the side or a two slices of turkey bacon and voila!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Baked Low-Fat Chicken Wings

3 Tbsp Hot Sauce (Louisiana)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 LB. chicken tenders

Celery Sticks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a shallow bowl combine hot sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika. Roll the
chicken tenders in the mixture, Place the chicken tenders on a small nonstick baking sheet, Bake uncovered
for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is tender.

3/4 cup reduced-fat blue cheese dressing
1/3 cup low fat mayonnaise
4 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

combine ingredients. serve dressing with chicken and celery sticks

Makes 8 servings (2 oz chicken)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Potato Salad with NO potatoes!

1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped 
6 hard-boiled egg whites, chilled and chopped (or whole egg if you desire)
1/2 envelope ranch dressing/dip mix 
1 1/2 cups fat-free mayonnaise 
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream 
3 tbsp. Dijon Mustard/yellow mustard if you prefer
2 tbsp. fat-free half and half 
1 cup diced red onion or green onions
2 celery stalks, diced 
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp. sweet pickle relish (made with splenda) (optional)

 Steam on stove top or in microwave bags until cauliflower is soft.  In a medium bowl, mix together the ranch mix, mayo, sour cream, dijon mustard . Set aside. Once cool enough to handle, drain any excess water from the cooked cauliflower. Lightly mash just 2 cups of the cauliflower, and then place in a blender or food processor. 
Add half and half and puree or pulse until blended. (it may not be completely smooth). Pour mayo mixture into the blender and mix until blended and creamy. Chop the rest of the cauliflower into small half-inch pieces. Place these cauliflower pieces in a large bowl, and add the onion, celery and vinegar. Toss and let sit for 5 minutes. Pour the blender mixture over the vegetables and mix well. Add the chopped egg whites,  dill and fold  in. Chill for several hours. MAKES 10 SERVINGS

Serving Size: 2/3 cup (1/10th of recipe) 
Calories: 89 
Fat: 1.25g 
Sodium: 350mg 
Carbs: 16.5g 
Fiber: 2.5g 
Sugars: 7g 
Protein: 4.5g 


Whole Grains!

When I was diagnosed in 2005 I totally gave up any form of bread, baked goods, rice and potatoes.  I still do not eat anything in those categories that are white.  No processed sugar, white or processed flour or the products from white flour, no white potatoes and no white rice.  
(This is my choice, not to impose my rules on you in any way).  

I did find that these things spiked my blood glucose).  Probably more than any one thing that upset me most about this disease was the fact that I love to cook, bake and of course eat.  

In October of 2006 I met a very nice woman in my diabetes support group that told me about her experience with whole grains.  She said she grinds her own wheat, millet, groats, rye, etc and makes her own breads and baked goods with no sudden or high rise in blood glucose.  My thoughts were "oh yeah I know that hard, strong tasting stuff", that isn't for me!
She told me about a store not far from my office that sold the grinders and grains.   In January, 2007 I was driving by that shop and decided to investigate.  I spoke with the owner for a long time.  I asked if I invest in the grinder will I be able to make good tasting bread  and whole grain products.  She said I will teach you myself!  I invested in a Nutrimill grinder and a Bosch Kitchen Center (Mixer) and 50 pounds of golden wheat from Montana a few other products for baking such as SAF brand yeast and dough enhancer and off I went.

A couple of weeks later I went in for my first class.  Now I make homemade low carbohydrate whole grain bread, whole wheat pita bread, whole wheat tortillas, pancakes, waffles and pasta.  I don't use any processed white flour at all and use vita wheat gluten in its place when a recipe calls for the addition of white flour or high gluten flour.  I don't eat these things everyday because of weight control, but I do have them often with no blood glucose spikes. The extra fiber in my diet has lowered my cholesterol and triglycerides  as well. The addition of complex carbohydrates, that digest slowly (thus avoiding blood sugar raising quickly),  to my diet in moderation I seem to have a bit more energy too.  

You now know why I will include whole wheat, whole grain, legume and brown rice recipes on this blog.  It may not be for you, but if you have a longing for some of those days of baking like I had, you might just want to try whole grains and see how your body/blood glucose responds.  It is worth the effort!  



This is a one skillet meal prepared easily!

4 links of chicken apple sausage (found in most grocery stores)

1 medium head cabbage, chopped

1 medium red apple, chopped with peeling on

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 cup water

1/3 cup bragg’s apple cider vinegar

6 Tablespoons splenda

1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon salt

Brown cabbage and apples in olive oil. Add other ingredients and simmer until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.

click here to print recipe


1 serving = 2 cookies

peanut Artwork © Anna Marcantel 2006




          1 cup peanut butter                 

          1 teaspoon vanilla extract

          1 cup Splenda                          

          1/2 cup chopped peanuts

                    1 egg                                     

                    1/4 cup dark mini chocolate chips 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet with canola spray. Mix peanut butter, egg, vanilla, chocolate chips, and chopped peanuts. Roll dough into balls (walnut size) and place on baking sheet. Press a crisscross design on each cookie with a fork. Bake for 12 minutes.



Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/3 cup SMART BALANCE or other Trans fat free shortening

1/2 cup Splenda granulated sugar for baking
1/2 cup Splenda Brown sugar for baking
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
roughly 3 cups KING ARTHUR brand WHITE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR (I ground my own soft white wheat.)
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
chopped nuts, if desired
1/2 pkg semi sweet chocolate chips 

I added 1/3- 2/3 cup of old fashioned oats

Heat oven to 375. Mix shortening, sugars, egg and vanilla thoroughly. Stir dry ingredients together, blend in. Mix in nuts and chocolate pieces. Drop tablespoon size dollops  onto prepared baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown, but center is still slightly gooey.  The cookies should keep well at room temperature for a couple of days, if you won't eat them that quickly, I advise keeping them in the freezer.  (By the way, they are yummy frozen or warmed in the microwave for just 3-4 seconds).

3  dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies,

**Use soft white wheat

Grind on the “R”  of  the word FINER


Chicken Souvlaki

Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator all day while you're at work, and when you get home it will be ready to grill.

Chicken Souvlaki
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T finely minced garlic (or garlic puree from a jar)                             
1 T dried oregano (use Greek or Turkish oregano)
1 tsp. dried thyme

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts, then cut each bread into about 6 crosswise strips. (I made the strips about 1 inch thick.) Put chicken strips into large Ziploc bag or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and thyme and stir together with a whisk or spoon. Pour marinade into Ziploc bag or plastic container, seal, and squeeze bag or turn container over and shake gently so all pieces of meat are well-coated with marinade. Put into refrigerator and marinate 8 hours or more.

To get ready to grill, remove chicken from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, then drain chicken pieces and thread onto skewers. I put six pieces on each skewer, and folded over each piece of chicken so it wouldn't spin around on the skewers. Spray grill with non-stick spray or mist with olive oil, then preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium high. (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.)

Grill skewers about 12-15 minutes, turning often. Souvlaki is done when the chicken is slightly browned and firm, but not hard to the touch.

Photo and This recipe is from Kalyn's Kitchen @
You will find wonderful South Beach Diet Recipes many of which are Diabetic Friendly!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Salsa Chicken

Easy and Delicious Chicken with Mexican flavor!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts/ or 8 chicken tenders
1/2 Envelope of dry taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups salsa (choose the heat you like, I use mild)
2 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese.

Line a glass baking dish with foil (for easy clean-up)
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees 

Sprinkle the taco seasoning on both sides of the chicken then place in baking dish.  Pour
salsa over top.  Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes.  Cover with shredded cheese, and bake for 5-8 more minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve over shredded lettuce with salsa and fat free sour cream.