Tag Archives: carbs

I don’t know from Glycemic Index.

I’ve been trying out those sliced bagel things that I’ve been seeing in my grocery store lately. You know, the ones where the bagel is sliced horizontally into three or four slices, so you don’t have to choose to eat the entire thing at once (which, I admit, I am prone to do). I like a nice bagel in the morning, but in the last year or so, they have been affecting my post-prandial numbers to the degree that the bagel goodness wasn’t a good tradeoff for a mid-morning (or noontime) high BG anymore.

So I’ve been trying out eating about half the bagel for breakfast, instead of the whole thing. And guess what? The numbers still suck. And that’s frustrating. I can still eat a donut occasionally (about twice a year), and it doesn’t affect me this much. I’ll have an occasional pancake, and while I get an initial spike, I can usually bring it down well in advance of my next meal. Other things, like bagels, biscuits, and certain breads, forget about it. Zoom-pow! To the moon!

But it wasn’t always this way. Yes, those products have always caused higher numbers, but not to the degree, and as long lasting, as they do today. I’m not eating these things for every meal, or even every day, or even every week for that matter. But when I do, my blood sugar does not like it very much. Now I’m trying to find out why, and particularly, why now, when this wasn’t as much of a concern as before?

Hey, listen: I don’t know from glycemic index. I’ve been living long enough with diabetes (and been told by too many) that things like donuts and Chinese food are bad for my blood glucose; and celery and carrots and nuts and tree bark are good for my BGs. Unless, of course, it’s that sappy kind of tree bark. Okay, now I just want waffles…

Anyway, it’s not much farther from there where my knowledge of how specific carbohydrates react specifically to my diabetes ends. (It’s okay… I’ll wait a second in case you need to re-read that sentence)

I think I need to educate myself a little more about the Glycemic Index (if that’s what I really need to concentrate on), and how each item in my diet will affect me. Fortunately, I have lots of resources at my disposal: a simple Google search on “Glycemic Index” returned 1,670,000 results. The University of Sydney has a great search tool where you enter a food and it returns the glycemic index and the portion size that resulted in that index number. The American Diabetes Association has a super informational page on GI that, among other things, identifies low glycemic index foods as those with a score 55 or under. Medium GI foods are scored between 56 and 69, and High GI foods come in at 70 or above. The Harvard Medical School has a web page with over 100 food items and their GI numbers, including Raisin Bran and Snickers bars. Which I don’t really eat anymore.

Of course, like everything else having to do with my diabetes, these are great reference tools, but the devil is in the details. Nothing about a glycemic index chart will tell me why I react so poorly to something that I did not have a lot of trouble with before.

I like to kid people and tell them that the only two vices left in my life are salt and alcohol, and while I want to enjoy them for as long as I can, eventually I’ll have to give those up too.

Now it looks like I may have to add bagels to the list.

Recipes! Things you can do with shrimp.

Man, it’s been so long since I’ve done a recipe here. So how ’bout a 2 for 1? Two recipes from the same pound of shrimp that we picked up this past weekend. I wrote this last Sunday, but haven’t had a chance to post it until today. First up, last Saturday’s dinner. Please excuse my wrinkly placemat:


This was really easy. Actually, both of these recipes were easy. First, I got a pound of shrimp. I peeled them and threw them in a bowl with the following:

– 3/4 cup of Ken’s Caesar salad dressing

– 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

– 1 teaspoon garlic powder

– 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Also, I got together:

– 1 small tomato

– 2 tablespoons butter

– 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Put everything except the tomato, butter, and cilantro in a bowl. Mix it all up and let it sit for about half an hour. When you’re just about ready, get a nonstick pan hot on a medium-high flame on the stove. Pop the shrimp in there for about a minute and a half or two minutes. Turn the shrimp over and cook on the other side for about a minute or later, until the shrimp is pink on both sides. Don’t overcook them– that’s when they become rubbery and tough. Take the shrimp out of the pan and put it on a plate or in a bowl.

Once you’ve taken the shrimp out of the pan, slice up your tomato into about 8 or 10 pieces, and put the tomato and the butter into the pan. What you’re doing at this point is taking the liquid that’s left and cooking it down to concentrate the flavors. Cook everything down for about 2 or 3 minutes and then pour it out on top of the shrimp. Then take the chopped cilantro and sprinkle it over the top. We added the shrimp to a little garlic butter rice.

Carbohydrate count: 46 grams (all from the rice)
We wound up with some shrimp and rice left over, and I used both to help make a shrimp salad for last Sunday’s lunch.

I chopped up the shrimp and put it into a bowl with the rice (that’s right– I used rice in shrimp salad). I also took some cole slaw mix from a bag and threw about a handful of that in there. I chopped up a green onion and put that in there too. Then I plopped in a heaping tablespoon of mayo and a heaping tablespoon of horseradish hummus, and mixed it all up. I put it on toast that was lightly covered with garlic butter. Add a slice of tomato, and it turned out very tasty:


Carbohydrate count: 36 grams

It is very nice when you can make something so delicious one night, and use it in another delicious context for lunch the next day. Hope you get the chance to dine on something as fantastic very soon.

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


We don’t always eat like this at the homestead. But I got a sale on Jumbo Lump crab meat and we decided to do a little surf & turf this past weekend. We grilled a little steak and split it three ways, made some killer corn on the cob, and I made a delicious tomato salad (that’s another recipe for another day).

And I went to work on my crab cake recipe.

The first rule about making a good crab cake is to start with the best crab meat you can afford. The better the crab, the less you need herbs and seasonings to bring out the goodness. Starting with Jumbo Lump crab meant that we didn’t need a lot extra. But I only used this because I got a great deal. Normally, it’s way over my budget.

1 Pound of crab meat

1 Teaspoon celery salt

1/2 Teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon seafood seasoning (like Old Bay seasoning)

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley

2 Tablespoons mustard (in this case, we used one tablespoon of regular mustard and one tablespoon of the spicy brown stuff)

About a handful of seasoned bread crumbs

Mix everything except the crab meat… then fold in the crab gently. Once everything is together, form the crab cakes by hand and place them on a cooking sheet. Then cook at 375 degrees (farenheit) for about 20-25 minutes. About long enough to heat everything through, and get a bit of a brown crust on top.

Once on the plate, feel free to sprinkle a little lemon juice on top. Like many other seafood dishes, feel free to enjoy with either cocktail sauce or tartar sauce.


Total estimated carb count in each crab cake: 8 grams (only in the bread crumbs, really)

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

Can you identify this?

Even without a calendar, I can tell it’s August in America. It’s hard to tell by looking at this photo, but I’m getting tomatoes out of the garden faster than I can eat them. So I took about two dozen and froze them.

It’s a simple process, really. Just drop each tomato in boiling water for a few seconds. Then transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Once they’ve cooled, peel the skin off and place them in freezer bags. That’s it. If you can, throw a few herbs (basil, especially) in there too. Then when you take them out to cook, you can throw all of that in the same pot.

These are great in the fall and winter for making soup, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce.

I am loving nature’s bounty right now.

Average carbohydrate count in an medium-sized tomato: 6 grams

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



Sunday mornings in Baltimore mean, among other things (church?), the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market. It’s one of those wonderful urban farmer’s markets that’s tucked into a gritty little piece of downtown. In this case, under the elevated part of the expressway, a few scant blocks from City Hall, the Courthouse, Police headquarters, and about 15 strip joints. Only in a place like Baltimore could Police headquarters be across the street from all of the nudie bars. But I digress.

In all seriousness, this market provides a valuable service to many who live in the area. In a city that has about three or four big box grocery stores for about 650,000 residents, this market gives thousands a chance to get fresh food from the source. In many cases, it’s the only access to fresh produce, meat, and dairy. What? This is America! But I digress.

So Sunday morning we went, and came home with a week’s worth of eggs, corn, beans, blackberries, hummus, and more. Even a bouquet of flowers for my honey:)

Sunday night we made this recipe. I have to give credit to Sara Moulton for this one. It’s in her book Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals. My version is quite different from hers, but the gist is the same. It works in an oven or on the grill outside. Here goes:

Preheat your oven (350 degrees farenheit) or your grill (on high)

Start with a good-sized Eggplant
Get a good, fresh Tomato
Find a block of Feta or Mozzarella cheese (we used Mozzarella here)

In a big bowl, whisk together a mixture using 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar and 1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Chop up some fresh herbs (we used Oregano and Sage)

Add in Salt and Pepper to taste (I also added Old Bay seasoning)

Don’t forget to peel your Eggplant

Now, slice your Eggplant, Tomato, and Cheese… about 1/4 inch slices. Dump your Eggplant and Tomato slices into your vinegar/oil/herb mixture. Then start your stacks! Stack them any way you like, but start with the Eggplant on the bottom. In our case, we went Eggplant, Cheese, Tomato. And we topped with fresh Basil and shredded Parmesan.

Cook in your oven or on the grill for 10-12 minutes, but keep an eye on them. They go from looking good to overdone in no time.

Since we used mozzarella in this recipe, it was a little gooey at the end. But oh, so good. Hope this makes a nice meatless meal for you!

Total estimated carb count: 5 grams (only the tomato has measurable carbs)

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

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