Saturday, September 26, 2009

Curry Chicken ( 3 easy steps)

1 lb.  chicken breast, bite sizes
1  onion, chopped
½ teaspoon ground ginger
4 garlic cloves minced
2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup of water or 1 cup chicken stock.
2 tbs.Garam Masala
2 tsp. whole coriander seed
1 1/2 tbs. ground cumin
1 tsp. Turmeric powder
1 tsp.  salt
1 tsp. cayenne powder 
1 can 14 oz stewed tomatoes
1 can low fat evaporated milk

1. In a large pan add a couple of spoonfuls of vegetable oil, once it's warm add the chicken and sauté until it's cooked. Next add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until it has become soft, then add minced garlic and ginger cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add all of the spices to the pan, and stir continuously for about 3 minutes, the spices will release their aroma. Make sure the stewed tomatoes are in small pieces, then add them to the pan, combine thoroughly. Add the bouillon cube and water mixture to the chicken and spices.  

3.  Stir the mixture and cook for another 5 minutes, then reduce heat, and add the milk. Under low heat cover and let it cook for another 10 minutes.  At this point, taste it for heat factor, if you prefer more spice, add it now, then simmer additional 10 minutes.

Very easy and is ready to eat in about 30 minutes. Serve with brown rice and a vegetable of choice.   

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Orange Chicken- Easy Peasy

Chicken has become a staple in our family diet.  Being low in fat, cholesterol and calories yet a good source of protein, makes chicken a healthy option.   Oh my, it can be boring without changing it up a bit.  With a busy schedule yesterday and making a vow that I would have somewhat of a relaxing weekend I opened the fridge and this idea popped into my head.  It was a hit that required very little effort on my part!

chicken breasts/or tenders
paprika (I used Hungarian Sweet Paprika)
Sugar Free orange marmalade

Place chicken on shallow baking pan.  I like to cover pan with foil for quick clean-up.
Season the chicken to taste with salt, pepper and paprika.
Coat each piece of chicken with a heaping teaspoon of marmalade.
Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes (for large breasts as in photo)

A touch of the warm, tangy sauce created in the pan was delicious over the brown rice.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cornish Pasty with Whole Wheat Crust

Filling:  1 finely chopped onion
           1 pound extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
           1 teaspoon Allspice
           salt and pepper to taste
           1 clove garlic, minced

          1 small potato diced very small/skins on
     1 1/2 Cups cooked Lentils:To cook 1 1/2 cups. lentils, simply pick over to remove debris or shriveled lentils, rinse, and drain. Cover with 1 cup water or broth and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (to aid indigestion) Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Depending on the variety and age,cooking time may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour. 
    Brown ground beef with onion and seasoning cook well. Mix the meat mixture with the raw diced potato and cooked lentils.  (I don't add the potato to my pasty, as I avoid them, the rest of the family gets to enjoy the potato in their pasty.  Toss gently to mix.  Set this aside.

Whole Wheat Crust:  This recipe can be used for pies/quiche as well.
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbls Canola oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbls milk
  • ***Place oil in freezer to get cold (this takes the place of cold butter and ice water.

  1. Place flour, salt into food processor.  Run pulse three to four times. 
  2. With processor running, add cold oil and milk slowly until it forms a ball around blade of processor.
  3. Dump out dough, form into two balls and compress into disc shapes.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (can leave overnight).
  4. Remove dough from fridge and let sit for a few minutes before rolling out.  Lightly dust surface (where you will roll out the dough) and rolling pin with flour and roll into a large circle.
  5. With a 5-6 inch tea saucer as a guide cut out small circles.  Repeat until all of the dough is used.
  6. Place a small amount of the meat/lentil filling in the center of the small circles of dough and fold over.  You will now have a half moon shape.  Crimp the edges of the half circles well to seal.
  7. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake at 375 F for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Delicious for lunch or dinner these little packages of complex carbohydrates are high in fiber and protein.
    The pasty will keep well for lunches the next day. The Cornish Pasty was originally made by the wives of Cornwall Tin Miners in the U.K. to take down in the mines for meals.

        Click Here for Printable Recipe

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

100 % Whole Wheat Bread

100% WHOLE WHEAT BREAD    (Makes 5 - 2 pound loaves)

I can make 5 loaves from grinding the wheat/grains to taking the hot bread out of the oven in 1 1/2 hours.  The aroma of fresh baked bread seems to escape the walls of the kitchen into the neighborhood.  It is a mystery how many family members seem to pop in just at the moment I am placing the loaves onto their cooling racks!

6 Cups warm water (approx. 115 degrees)
2/3 Cup Canola Oil
2/3 Cup Honey
3 Tbs. Dough enhancer (I use Honeyville brand)  Makes bread lighter and fluffy.  
2 Tbs. sea salt
1/3 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten  (makes lower carb bread)
3 Tbs. Instant Yeast (I use SAF brand)
6-8 Cups fresh (if you have a grinder) ground wheat flour to begin with, You will use a total of 10-11 cups for total recipe.
(Flour amount varies depending on humidity) 

I use a  Bosch Mixer which makes 5-6 loaves at a time with no problem.  You can use a high power Kitchen Aid, or knead yourself if you choose.  
I would divide this recipe in half for using a Kitchen Aid or self kneading.
Add the first 7 ingredients to mixer bowl and pulse mix or slow speed just to blend.

The next step is important:  Add quickly the flour and mix on low speed.  When the dough pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl, 
set a timer for 8-10 minutes on speed 1 to develop the gluten.  If using a kitchen aid (must be a powerful mixer to handle this dough), or by hand 
knead until you can feel the elasticity in the dough.
Test the dough by oiling your hands well, take a small piece of dough and slowly stretch it between your fingers.  You should be able to do this
to a thin "window" without the dough tearing apart. (It will have elasticity).

Shape dough into oblong shape and place into bread pans.  With a very sharp knife or single edge razor blade, make 3 cuts diagonal across the loaf.
This will keep the loaf from forming too high of a dome while baking.  Cover with dry tea towel and let rise for 30-35 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  The internal temperature of the bread should be 200 degrees F.  When completely cool on racks, put into bread bags.

This baked bread can be frozen for 45 days without freezer burn.  It is important to keep the bread in the refrigerator after the first few hours as there is no preservatives in the bread.
Whole grains can become rancid very quickly and black mold will appear if not stored properly in the fridge or freezer.
For variations you can add:  any seeds, whole grains, oats etc.
For cinnamon bread:  roll the dough to a rectangle, coat with margarine or butter.   Top with a mixture of brown sugar Splenda and lots of cinnamon.  Roll into a log and bake as directed.

Click Here for Printable Recipe

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fresh Peach Salsa


4 cups chopped fresh peaches
1/2 cup sweet red or orange pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, remove seeds & veins then chop finely
Zest of 1 Lime
Juice of 2 limes
1-2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (leaves only)
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients, place in sealed refrigerator container until ready to use/serve.
I will use this on grilled fish or chicken. It has a light fresh flavor with just a slight kick, for more heat use a few of the seeds and veins of the jalapeno.

Click here for Printable recipe.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

High Protein Pancakes

My favorite meal on weekends is breakfast. Pancakes are not usually on the best food list for diabetics, but these pancakes are packed with whole grains, protein and fiber. They are delicious and the whole family loves them! Kids don't even realize how healthy they are! The fresh blueberries burst with their juicy flavor and color while cooking.

Blender pancakes are simple and quick to make, everything goes into the blender including the whole grains. Today I used a mixture of soft white wheat berries, spelt berries, brown rice, barley, and rye berries. You can use just soft white wheat berries or mix them up. The blender does all of the work for these healthy and scrumptious disks.

1-cup whole grains not ground grains (ie. Wheat, buckwheat, brown rice, spelt, rye or a mixture of all)
1 cup 1% milk

1 cup 1% milk (2nd cup of milk)
2 eggs or egg substitute equal to 2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS Honey
! TBS. baking powder
1 Scoop Whey or Vegetable Protein powder (most health food/ or whole foods stores carry this/ minimum 20g protein)
¼ cup almond slivers
½ cup fresh blueberries
¼ cup old fashioned oats

In a blender combine the grains and 1 cup of the milk, blend for 2 minutes
Add: 1 cup of milk (this is the 2nd cup of milk) and blend 2 more minutes

Add: 2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
honey, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and protein powder

Blend well then add 1TBS baking powder

After pouring on the griddle, sprinkle top with:
Blueberries (you could also use raspberries, blackberries or chopped peaches)
Almond slivers ( chopped pecans or walnuts would be nice too)
Old fashioned oats

Pre-heat the griddle or frying pan to low/medium to medium (not too hot)
The whole grains take a bit longer to cook, high heat will burn them before they are cooked through.

Pour the batter to the size desired, ( a serving of 2/ 6" pancakes)

Cook, flipping over when top is bubbly and edges appear cooked.

Serve with sugar free syrup, or sugar free jam if desired, but they are good without too!
Freeze leftover pancakes for a quick breakfast on the go.

2-6” pancakes have a net carb of 20g

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Salad

Arizona summers are HOT, this year has been no exception. The past couple of weeks we have been in the 112 to 115 range. Yes, most of the time it is a dry heat, but during our "monsoon" season the humidity increases too!
The very thought of preparing a hot meal makes me perspire!

A few days ago my "fruit lady" received our shipment of Apricots from Utah. I came home with 27 pounds of the large, juicy, deep orange orbs. After making several batches of sugar free apricot jam (see sugar free strawberry jam recipe below and follow same directions), I found I still had many of the beauties left. From these spheres in waiting, came my idea for this deliciously satisfying cool dinner. I might add, it is a rapid fix as well after a busy day at the office!

1/2 bag of baby spinach (approx. 80g)
2 fresh apricots washed and sliced
1/8 cup sliced almonds
drizzle of Mexican Lime Olive Oil, about 1 teaspoon ** you may substitute 2 Tablespoons of EVOO with one packet of TrueLime added. Drizzle 1 teaspoon over salad.
1 oz soft Goat Cheese

Layer above ingredients and serve.

Use the NutritionData widget at the bottom of my blog for further details, but this is an abridgment of the food values in this salad.
2 Apricots = 8 carbs and 34 Calories and a bonus of 1 g fiber very high in potassium and other nutrients.
80 g of Spinach = 4 carbs and 5 g fiber and mega nutrients
1 oz Goat Cheese = O carbs (but caution it has 4 g saturated fat. little crumbles go a long way!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

This is not a new recipe, nor is it my own creation, but worthy of bringing to your attention. It is simple to make and so versatile in use as well.

To begin, you will need 2 quarts of nicely ripe strawberries, washed and hulled. I then used my food processor to smooch them into a slightly chunky pulp. You can also use a potato masher to do this job.
In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups zero calorie Splenda (granulated) with 1 package of Fruit Pectin. Mix these dry ingredients together well.

Add 4 cups of of the smashed strawberries to the Splenda mixture and stir well. It is important that you then stir this mixture for an additional 3 minutes.
Ladle into freezer containers and let stand for 30 minutes while the jam thickens. This may be stored in the freezer for up to 1 year or in the refrigerator for a month.

The jam is delicious on toast, whole wheat pancakes, sugar free pudding. The taste is that of fresh strawberries, not like jar jams. You may want to try blueberries, raspberries, blackberries of a mixture of several types of berry.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Muffin Bites

These bite size muffins are a deliciously healthy fast food for breakfast on the run, or as a quick snack when you have those craving moments. Packed full of fiber, protein and "good" carbs.

1 Cup Boiling water
1 Cup of rolled oats..not instant or quick cook oatmeal
Mix these and set aside.

1 Cup Canola Oil
1 Cup Honey or Agave Syrup
2 Cups fresh buttermilk or skim milk (your choice)
5 Cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 Cup Oat bran
1/2 Cup ground flax seeds
1 1/2 Cup wheat bran
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Salt
3 Teaspoons Vanilla
3 whole eggs or 6 egg whites (may use egg substitute)
1 1/2 Cups grated Zucchini
1 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1 Cup Chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl. Add all dry ingredients and hand stir together
until well blended with a whisk. Do not over mix as they will become tough.

Fill mini muffin tins 3/4 full, I used a # 40 scoop. Bake at 375 F. for 8-10 minutes, until the
muffins spring back when lightly touched or a tooth pick comes out clean.
Serving size is 3 mini muffins with 15 g Carbs and 5 g fiber.

Makes about 8 dozen mini muffins. Store in your freezer for ready to go breakfast!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mughlai Chicken

If you are a fan of Indian and Central Asian cuisine, you will enjoy this recipe. While it seems difficult, it really isn't at all. I have mentioned before that using spices can add so much flavor to mundane foods. This is a perfect example. Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you away from trying this recipe. The aroma that filled the kitchen while preparing this dish was heavenly!

We have a local market called Sprouts, there I can buy a teaspoon or a cup or more of the spices I need. The photos of the spice "bags" are what I purchased there. By buying in small quantities the spices stay fresh longer.

1 cube = 1" ginger
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2- 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you like it hotter...add to your liking)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup water
In a food processor blend the first 5 ingredients well.
Add the almonds and water and make a paste. Set this aside for later use.

3-4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed off and cut in half.
1 Tablespoon Cardamom pods, slightly squeezed to open for flavor.
1-2 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
5-6 whole cloves
1/4 cup canola oil
2 onions very finely chopped (they will almost dissolve in the sauce)
1 cup low fat Greek yogurt (be sure to use Greek yogurt as it is thick, I use it instead of sour cream in many recipes)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup raisins
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon splenda
1 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet or dutch oven add 1/4 cup vegetable oil. (I used canola oil) and heat on medium high. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides to seal in the juices, you will not fully cook them at this point. Remove from pan and keep on a dish.

Add the spices to the skillet/dutch oven, with the onions and cook until the onions are soft
and browned, stir this often to prevent burning. Now add the paste from the food processor and stir well. Add the yogurt a little at a time blending well after each addition to prevent lumping. Stir in the chicken broth, cream and the raisins.

Return the chicken thighs to the skillet/dutch oven, sprinkle with the garam masala, splenda, and salt. Cover and cook on a medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked completely through.

I served this with brown rice, and Mediterranean salad.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cauliflower Cheese (Faux Mac n' Cheese)

This is a comfort food that is requested often, even by the children in the family!

Ingredients: 1 Large head cauliflower or equal amount of fresh florets.
1/2 Cup Half and Half
1/4 Cup 1 % milk
2 oz low fat cream cheese (or full fat if you desire)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (no salt is needed!)

Cook the cauliflower by steaming in bag or on the stovetop until slightly tender. Do not over cook or it will not keep the shape and get soggy.
Drain on paper towels, then place in a 8 x 8 baking dish or casserole.

In a saucepan, bring the half and half, milk to a simmer, stir in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 2 cups of the shredded sharp cheese, pepper and garlic powder and whisk until everything melts together.

Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and gently toss to combine evenly.

Top with 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. It reheats well for leftovers!

You can spice this up by adding a well drained can of diced green chilies to this casserole!

Saturday, February 28, 2009


I am excited that it is asparagus season again.  Most all of the local markets have it on sale now.
Growing up I hated the stuff, I think it was because my mother didn't know that you could buy it  fresh.   The slimy texture of asparagus out of a can just isn't the same.  It makes a wonderful side dish, a nice addition to a salad, or in stir fry as well.  

To make these colorful packages, I snapped the woody ends off the asparagus stalks.  Blanched them in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Wrapped them in prosciutto (3 stalks per bundle),
and baked them at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.  The color was wonderful, they were crisp, tender and sooo good.    There was no need to season as the thin slices of prosciutto added just enough salt and flavor.
Asparagus is a natural diuretic and packed full of good nutrition!  

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mediterranean Salad

By using bright colors and different textures in food we can create dishes that are not only appealing to the eye, but to our taste buds too!  This is a delicious change from the tossed salad, yet every bit as easy to prepare.  The ingredients are available at most markets.  

Eating Pretty, as I call it, helps me enjoy foods that are in my healthy lifestyle.

This salad included:
Small Heirloom Tomatoes....these have beautiful colors!
Sliced Persian Cucumbers.....small delicate cucumbers
Small fresh Mozzarella balls, drain well and quarter
Blended with a handful of micro-greens, crunchy, tender and wonderful flavor.

1/4 Cup Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 fresh squeezed Lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Use only 1/2 of the dressing on the salad.  (keeps well in the fridge) Toss gently and serve.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

100% Whole Grain Pita Bread

I am sure on some blog somewhere this or a similar recipe has been posted. The reason I am sharing this recipe with you is that I actually did it!! Guess what? You can too!! Who said that type 2 diabetics can't have fun with food? Key to success in controlling diabetes I believe is to experiment with good carb foods, fun foods and try new things.

Who would have believed that "I" could make Pita bread at home? Well, you can do it too!
It really isn't that difficult, nor are there many special supplies needed to complete this task.

A pizza stone is required. You can use any size, it may limit the amount of pita bread you can bake at one time, but as they only bake for 3 minutes (4 maximum) it really goes quite quickly.

You do need a stand mixer, heavy duty type (Bosch or Kitchen Aid etc.) as the dough is much like bread dough.

A kitchen scale to weigh the dough.

Parchment paper, which will make placing and removing the pita from the oven much easier.

The following recipe will make 9-10 pitas. One serving is a half of a pita which is a little less than 15 g carbohydrates (or one piece of whole wheat bread)

As I have mentioned in other posts, I grind my own wheat, it is high in fiber & nutrition.

Whole grain products are not only good for diabetics but the whole family. Many don't have a grain mill, so I would search for a food co-op that has fresh ground wheat in your area.

First and most important is to preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. or higher if your oven has a higher setting. Preheating is not just until your oven beeps, but at least 1/2 hour after that to insure your pizza stone is hot all the way through.

In your mixer: 2 Cups warm water 115 degrees F.
1 Tablespoon Honey or Agave Syrup
1 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon dough enhancer
1 Tablespoon dough relaxer
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (this is used in place of high gluten flour to keep the low carbs)
1 cup whole wheat flour

Mix all above on slow speed as you add more whole wheat flour, enough so the dough forms a SOFT ball. Once the dough forms a ball you continue to mix for 8 minutes. This allows the gluten to develop.

Place the dough on a oiled surface (to prevent sticking) Cut dough into 4 ounce pieces and roll into a ball. With a rolling pin, roll the balls into a 6-8 inch circle. You will need to lightly (Very lightly) dust the dough to keep from sticking to the pin. The technique to rolling the pita is important, and may take a little practice, but again, if I can do this Anyone can do this!

Be careful and only roll from the middle of the dough and not completly to the edge. You must never roll completely off the edge of the pita as this will prevent the bread from creating a pocket.

Place the pitas on a parchment paper that you place on the under side of a cookie sheet.

Pull the parchment off the cookie sheet onto the pizza stone.

Bake for 3-4 minutes. It is amazing to watch them pocket!
No fear if they do not pocket they are still delicious and can be opened with scissors. You can also cut them into pie shapes and bake until crispy for pita chips!

When you remove the pita from the oven, place them immediately in a plastic bag to steam and cook for 5 minutes. Then remove from the bag and allow to cool on a rack before storing in another plastic bag. These can be frozen easily too!

If you have questions or need help just let me know! I made these Sunday for the Super Bowl and filled with Chicken Salad.