Category Archives: Recipes!

Recipe! Stuffed Peppers

I posted something about this over the weekend when I made it, but I thought it would be good to tell you a little more here.

For the first time, I made stuffed peppers. It’s indicative of the fact that I eat a lot of things these days that I never would have eaten years ago. I also like trying to cook things I’ve never cooked before. For evidence of this, I refer you to the Recipes! section of this blog.

This is really more of a hodge-podge of things that were leftovers as opposed to any specific recipe. To keep the carb count lower, I substituted corn for the traditional rice. Made it a little watery, but the taste was grand. For the record, here’s what went into my stuffed peppers:

1/2 pound ground turkey
Leftover frozen corn (this is farm-fresh corn we purchased last summer and froze for later)
2 large green onions
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Oregano
Fresh sage

We took all this and mixed it in a bowl, then divided it in half and stuffed two bell peppers with the mixture.

Over the top, we poured a tomato-based sauce– this was made about a week earlier, from fresh and frozen vegetables, and helped along by a little chicken stock, a lot of basil, and some tomato paste.

Right before they went into the oven, they looked like this in my now indispensable iron skillet:

I cooked them for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees fahrenheit (190 degrees celsius). After 30 minutes, I took them out and added freshly-grated cheddar/gruyere cheese (from Trader Joe’s) to the top. Then they went back in for almost another 15 minutes.

When they were finished, they looked like this:

I can tell you with certainty that they tasted as good as they look.

I’ve made a lot of these recipes over the years, often in a kitchen much smaller and more sparse than the one I work in today. The thing I want to encourage you to do is:

1) Experiment on your own… find new recipes by just fooling around with flavors you like, and then try something new and see if you like that too. And…

2) Share your discoveries. Some of my favorite recipes are from ideas I got from someone else.

I hope you get a chance to experiment in the kitchen and discover something fun and different. Until then… enjoy the stuffed peppers!

Sometimes, you just need a little boost.

So, I had a low the other day. One of those lows that happen from working around the house and eating too little to keep up with the basal on your insulin pump.

I wasn’t terribly low. About 70 mg/dL. I didn’t need to eat all the carbs in the house. I just needed a little boost.

Fortunately, I had a little time, or I wouldn’t have taken the time to do this, though it didn’t take too long anyway.

This is a small dish with some frozen blueberries, a little of my favorite cherry/cranberry juice to help melt and plump up the blueberries a bit. And just a little Graeter’s cinnamon ice cream.

Once everything began to melt, the taste got even better.

Sometimes, you don’t need a gallon of juice or an entire bag of candy to bring you back up again. This brought me up to around 115 mg/dL within half an hour. I was good to go until dinner.

Quite the pick me up on a busy afternoon.

8 Things: Fall Recipes

Autumn begins on Saturday here in North America. That means lots of leaves falling from the trees, Halloween costumes and decorations in nearly every store, and recipes to warm our hearts as the days grow colder.

With that last part in mind, here are 8 Fall recipes I’m looking forward to enjoying in the coming months. Click on the links for the recipes:

1. Cincinnati Chili— it’s the main dish at our Halloween party every year, and a staple in my household, wherever my household has been, for over 50 years. This is one where the vegetarian version is just about as good as the meaty version, its unique blend of spices making your house smell great and making your neighbors’ mouths water.

2. Maple Roasted Acorn Squash— I am most definitely not a squash lover, either in sport or in vegetable form. But this recipe, which I took out of Diabetes Forecast magazine, changed my mind about squash entirely. If you replace the maple syrup with a touch of honey, it’s just as good or better.

3. Potato Leek Soup— here’s a super easy recipe for quick potato leek soup, taken from Jacque Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. A quick lunch or dinner option, it really hits the spot. Bolus appropriately. Note: recipe starts at around the 4:15 mark in the video.

4. Crab Dip— crab is something that I never enjoyed in my life before moving to this part of the world 24 years ago. It’s also something we don’t get a lot of here, because it’s pretty expensive. But once or twice a year, usually around the holidays, I’ll get out my crab dip recipe and give it a go. It’s worth having to bolus for the Italian bread that goes so well with it. Note: I like the second recipe on this page (Crab Dip Delight) best.

5. Flatbread Pizza— okay, flatbread pizza isn’t exclusively a Fall recipe, but it’s a great dinner because a) It’s cheap; b) It’s versatile; and c) It’s delicious with LaRosa’s pizza sauce. My favorite features green onion, mushroom, and bacon, topped with smoked mozzarella. What’s not to like?

6. Roasted Turkey Thighs— confession: I really don’t like turkey that much. But this recipe was a winner from the word Go, and if there’s a dish that says Autumn more than any other, this might be it.

7. Kicked-Up Ramen— Throw that stupid “flavor pouch” away… you don’t need it. Instead, use a little of this and a little of that to satisfy your own individual palate, and you’ll keep coming back to this recipe.

8. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream— okay, this isn’t a recipe, and to be honest, it’s not something I’d enjoy year round. But a couple times during the Fall, I’ll pick up a quart of TJ’s pumpkin ice cream, which really tastes more ginger-and-nutmeg-snappy than anything else. Regardless of what the label says and what it tastes like, it’s still a nice dessert, when I have dessert this time of year.
 
 
Those are 8 culinary dishes I like to enjoy as the leaves fall in Autumn. What are yours?

Recipe! Zoodles with shrimp and pesto.

Man, it’s been forever since I’ve posted a recipe. I’m a little rusty, but if you’ll allow, I’d like to give you this two part recipe involving my first foray into what The Great Spousal Unit likes to call: Zoodles. You know… those zucchinis cut up into something approximating spaghetti strands. Zoodles.

It’s something that’s burned into my brain now, so in the absence of anything else, that’s what I’m going with. This recipe includes grilled shrimp with mushrooms, shallot, and tomato, tossed in with homemade pesto.

First, let’s begin with the pesto. I don’t really know how to make pesto… I just read the back of a jar of pesto in the store and thought, “hey, I can do that”. So this is really an approximation.

I got out the mini food processor (one of my favorite kitchen gadgets), and combined flat leaf Italian parsley (just the leaves, not the stems), and fresh basil. To that, I added some shelled pumpkin seeds. In retrospect, I think pine nuts would work better, but I had pumpkin seeds, so I used pumpkin seeds. Then, a little salt and pepper, some lemon juice (from maybe about half a lemon), and olive oil. I ran all that through the food processor, then added a little freshly grated pecorino romano cheese. The goal at this point is to get it to a consistency something like this, while getting the taste exactly to your liking:
zoodles1
Meanwhile, I marinated the shrimp in a simple lemon vinaigrette, with salt and pepper. Nothing too out of the ordinary there.

After that, I just chopped up some baby portabello mushrooms, about half a shallot (it was a really big shallot), and one tomato. I tossed the mushrooms and shallot in a pan with butter and white wine. I don’t remember which white wine… it was whatever Maureen was drinking.
zoodles2
I also got the shrimp on the grill (my new griddle/grill combo that fits right over the middle burner on my stove!). About two minutes per side max. They came out great.

At this point, I’ve also put the zoodles in a bowl with a little butter, a tiny bit of celery salt, and garlic. Then I cheated and put the bowl in the microwave to heat everything up. About three minutes was good. To finish up, I kept the zoodles in the bowl, and added the mushroom and shallots, the tomato, the pesto, and a little more pecorino romano.
zoodles3
On the plate, I can tell you that it tasted as good as it looked.
zoodles4
Estimated carb count per serving: How do I figure a carb count for this meal? I dunno… maybe 10g?

I don’t think this was the perfect interpretation of this meal, but one or two more tries and I might have a real winner here. All in all, it was delicious and mostly healthy. Have you tried something like this before? Have any tips?

Carb counts are estimates only. Check with a registered dietician to find out what a healthy carb count is for you.

Throwback Saturday? Happy Halloween, and my chili recipe.

Okay, it’s not Thursday… I don’t do many throwback-type posts here, but since I do this recipe every year at Halloween, and since the weather has turned a bit colder here in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought I would pass along my Cincinnati Chili recipe once again. Even without a kitchen this year (renovation in progress), I will find a way to make this recipe. It’s Halloween tradition now. You might want to try it too. Hope this warms your soul and makes you smile this weekend. Enjoy!
 
 
When you grow up in Cincinnati, you learn two things. One is how to spell Cincinnati, and the other is how to make chili. This chili is more mild than what you might find in Texas. But very flavorful and warming on a cold night.
Also unique is how it’s served. Either on a coney… mustard, hot dog, chili, shredded cheddar, and onions if you like. Or with pasta, as part of a three, four, or five way. That is:

– Three Way: spaghetti, chili, cheese
– Four Way: spaghetti, chili, cheese, and either beans or onions
– Five Way: all of the above

I generally start with ground turkey, but you can use beef, pork, lamb, whatever you want. I also make a great vegetarian version with something called Boca veggie crumbles. I was told by a dietician once that if you rinse the turkey with hot water after cooking, you can wash off about 90 percent of the fat. This makes a lot, so be ready to freeze some for another day. Here’s the recipe:

2 pounds of ground turkey, beef, pork, lamb, or vegetarian substitue
1 large onion, chopped
8-10 ounces of low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon minced garlic
40 ounces of crushed tomato
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons ground cumin (a lot of people think it’s the cinnamon that defines Cincinnati chili. Actually, it’s the cumin)
2 dried red peppers

Finally, take some cheesecloth and make a little sack to include 5 bay leaves and 35 whole allspice
Saute your ground meat and onions in a pan. Then put everything else in a crock pot and give it a good stir. Set the crock pot to high for about half an hour to get everything heated up, then turn it down to low for at least a couple of hours. You will love how the house smells after a while.

– Total estimated carb count in each coney: 26 grams
– Total estimated carb count in each 3-way, 4-way, or 5-way: 45 grams

Carb counts are estimates only. Check with a registered dietician to find out what a healthy carb count is for you.

A cheese Coney

A cheese Coney

The classic Cincinnati chili 3-way

The classic Cincinnati chili 3-way

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