Tag Archives: recipe

Have Some Fun

I came home from work the other night, walked the dog (like you do)… then, I went into the kitchen to see what I could do about dinner.

I should mention that I was finishing up a bad infusion site, and my blood sugar was over 200 mg/dL most of the day. In fact, I had skipped lunch because I couldn’t bring my number down and I didn’t want to go even higher. I was hungry. First, I performed the site change, and then I opened up the fridge.

I needed something that would fill me up, but not affect my blood sugar too much while I got the BGs sorted out.

I had part of a steak leftover from a couple of days earlier. And a brand new head of iceberg lettuce. I usually prefer romaine, or spinach, or just about anything other than iceberg, but there it was.

And suddenly, I thought: maybe I could try to make a wedge salad like the ones that became so popular about ten years ago. To be honest, whenever I think of a wedge salad, I think “easy salad”… how hard can a salad be if you don’t even chop the lettuce? Well, it really is that easy. Finally, I’m right about something.

I added green onion, a little shredded broccoli/carrot mixture, chopped walnut, and tomato. On top of that, the leftover steak and some feta cheese. A little crushed black pepper and greek salad dressing, and I was ready to go.

It was delicious.

Hey look, making a wedge salad is about as easy as it gets in the kitchen. The point isn’t that I did some chefy thing. The point is that I had fun doing it.

I took a ridiculously boring idea (salad) and enjoyed the idea of crafting something that I hadn’t tried before. It was easy, but it wasn’t boring.

That’s the point of cooking for me: use what you have, make it as well as you can, and enjoy the process. You’ll usually come up with something that’s good for you, is lower in calories, and is pleasant to your CGM trend line.

Do something in the kitchen you’ve never done. Have some fun. I guarantee you will love the process.

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.

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

Recipe! Tomato Salad.

I had a really great ear of corn last weekend. The kind where it was just so sweet and creamy with just the right amount of butter and Old Bay seasoning (it’s a thing here). Of course, my BGs didn’t necessarily like the effect of a big fat ear of corn.

So the next day, even though I was grilling something again, I decided to think differently about a side dish. This one isn’t completely carb free… but it’s a lot less than an ear of corn, and don’t forget, tomatoes are just coming into their own in North America now too.

I started with a handful of small tomatoes, yellow and red, that I got from my local farm truck. And a few of my purple cherry tomatoes that are just starting to ripen.

I just sliced them in half and added about 2/3 olive oil and 1/3 red wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste (I also added Old Bay seasoning– I admit– I’m addicted). Then I thinly sliced some fresh basil and fresh mint. Again, about 2/3 basil, about 1/3 mint. No need to measure out all of this. Trust me… You’ll figure out the right proportions.

image

image

If you want to add a few extra carbs, you could cube up a slice of bread, throw it in a pan with butter or olive oil (just a tiny bit), and add something like celery salt or garlic powder, or both. Blue cheese or parmesan cheese too. Or experiment– how about a little cumin or siracha sauce? No matter what, this is a super-easy, tasty side dish.

Carbohydrate count: In what you see in the photos, about 6 grams to 8 grams. If you add a few croutons, add about 14g – 18g depending on the type of bread you use.

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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