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.