Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mediterranean Pork Chops and Spinach Strawberry Salad

I "forced" my husband into making dinner the other night because I was too tired. So, I gave him something fairly (OK, really) easy to make. Although there are very few ingredients in the main dish, and several in the salad, it was simple and flavorful. We have no pictures because it smelled so good and we were so hungry that we pretty much devoured it when it came out of the oven. The pork chops are another Diabetic Living recipe from the Winter 2009 issue. The salad was our own concoction.

Mediterranean Pork Chops
4 boneless or bone-in pork loin chops, cut 1/2 inch thick (1 - 1/2 pounds total)
1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried, crushed
3 cloves garlic, minced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle all side of chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a small bowl, combine rosemary and garlic. Sprinkle rosemary mixture evenly over all sides of the chops; rub in with your fingers. (Please remember to wash your hands thoroughly after doing this)

2. Place chops on a rack in a shallow roasting pan*. Roast chops 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue roasting about 25 minutes or until no pink remains (160 degrees) and juices run clear.

*We used just a glass 9x13 dish. It worked just fine.

Spinach Strawberry Salad
*These are odd amounts - we just used what we had on hand
1/2 head spinach, washed and torn apart
8 strawberries - cleaned and sliced
1/4 cup chopped pecans
8 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled

Toss ingredients together in a large bowl. Add your favorite sweeter vinaigrette dressing and toss again. I will try to add the recipe we used, but since it was made without being written down, I don't know how accurate it will be.

Hope you enjoy dinner!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Spicy Shrimp Casserole

I was having a craving for shrimp. I came across this recipe in Diabetic Living Magazine. It was pretty good. I made some adjustments, of course. My husband loved it, but I think next time I'll leave out the tomatoes and have a salad on the side. It's very easy and quick to make (other than cooking time), which is great for after work one night.

Spicy Shrimp Casserole
6 - 6 inch corn tortillas, cut into bite sized strips*
1 cup bottled green salsa
1 cup shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)*
1/2 cup light sour cream
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro*
1 - 12 ounce package frozen, cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp, thawed
1 cup frozen yellow and white whole kernel corn
1 medium tomato*

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place half of the tortilla strips in the bottom f a lightly greased 2 -quart baking dish, set aside. Arrange remaining tortilla strips on a baking sheet; bake 12 to 14 minutes or until crisp.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together salsa, cheese, sour cream, flour, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro. Stir in shrimp and corn. Spoon shrimp mixture over tortilla strips in baking dish.

3. Bake 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with baked tortilla strips, tomato and remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro.

4. If desired, serve with 1/4 cup light sour cream divided among servings.

*Tortillas - I used low carb whole grain flour tortillas. I really like them, they add an interesting flavor, and you don't need as many. Plus, with what's left over, you can make some chips to have with salsa later.

*Cheese - We tried chipotle cheddar. It was really good.

*Cilantro - I don't like cilantro. At all. So, I didn't add it.

*Tomato - I cooked it into the casserole, but I still didn't like it. I don't like tomatoes too much, unless they are in some sort of sauce. Like I said, I think I may omit them from my serving of the casserole next time.

Sorry about the picture quality, I must have had it on the wrong setting, but it was really yummy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Sorry for the lack of posts, my husband and I have been really sick. Luckily, no H1N1, but just sick weirdness.

So, we have made a couple of wonderful dishes in the last week, but unfortunately, I did not take any pictures. And just for a warning, I am a terrible photographer. Some things turn out well, some things don't. Alright we got that out of the way, let's move on, shall we?

I had a craving one day for chicken pot pie, and just figured it was going to be too high in carbs or too hard to make. This recipe proves to be neither. I got it from dLife, of course. And I made a couple of tweaks to fit what I like to eat. The original recipe called for bell peppers and I do not like bell peppers except on my pizza. It also called for green beans, but I forgot to pick some up. So, instead, I used some mushrooms. I like the taste much better.

Without further ado, here is the recipe from dLife modified to my liking and a few notes added a long the way to help you out.

1 lb. Skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp margarine
1 large onion, choped
3 med celery stalks, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
12 oz. poultry gravy, low sodium, prepared (such as Heinz)
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
2 tbsp white all-purpose flour
2 frozen 9" pie crusts (if you freeze them, be sure to leave 60-90 minutes for defrosting. If you refrigerate them, leave about 12-15 minutes)

1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2 Season the chicken with the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.
3 In a large deep skillet or saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon of the margarine.
4 Add the chicken and cook just until slightly pink in the center.
5 Remove to a cutting board. When cool, chop into bite size pieces.
6 Melt the remaining 1 teaspoon margarine in the same skillet or saucepan. Add the onion, celery, mushrooms, and carrots.
7 Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped chicken.
8 In a medium bowl, mix together the gravy, sour cream and flour.
9 Stir into the chicken mixture in the skillet or saucepan.
10 Scrape the filling into the prepared pie crust.
11 Carefully fit the top crust over the filling. Cut 3 to 5 slits in the top crust for ventilation.
12 Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet covered in foil (this tends to leak all over the inside of the oven)
12 Bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
13 Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

This was the first one that I made

I made this one tonight - my husband's eyes were bigger than his stomach.

This is great the first night, but even better the next couple of days. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Way To Start The Day - Breakfast!

The first thing I had to change about my diet was breakfast. I was a little sad, because I am pretty much an easy in, easy out prep for breakfast - cereal. Unfortunately, that was not cutting it in the blood sugar department. Luckily, about that time, dlife - a Diabetic website - came out with a 7 day breakfast meal plan. I didn't like all of the choices, of course. So, I skipped some things, and tweaked others. I'm going to post a couple of my favorites. dLife listed reasons for the food choices they had, and so far, they seem to have worked for me.

On my weekends, I try to prep stuff for my breakfasts and lunches, so I don't have to spend too much time on it before work during the week. One of the things that I do, is prepare the nuts for a Greek Yogurt Parfait.

Nuts to Add to Greek Yogurt Parfait
1 Cup Almonds
1 Cup Macadamia Nuts
1 Tablespoon Ground Flax Seed
1 Tablespoon of butter/margarine
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

I use a nut chopper and chop up about a 1/4 cup of nuts at a time, set them aside and add the flax seed. Melt butter and honey in a frying pan. Once melted, add all nuts/seeds and cinnamon. Toast over medium heat, making sure not to burn them.

Cool, and refrigerate for use later.

Greek Yogurt Parfait
1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt (plain)
2 Tablespoons Nut Mixture
1/4 Cup Berries
1 Teaspoon Splenda or other sweetener
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Add vanilla and sweetener to yogurt and mix with spoon. Add berries and nuts.

According to dLife, Greek yogurt has more protein and less carbs and is easier to digest than regular yogurt. It's also great for those that are lactose intolerant.

Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies
1/2 Cup Milk (I use 1 %)
1/2 Cup Greek yogurt
3/4 Cup Fresh or Frozen Fruit (my favorite is blackberries)
1 Tablespoon Wheat Germ or Flax Seed
Vanilla to taste
Sweetener to taste
Ice Cubes

If you use frozen fruit, put that in the blender first, if you use fresh fruit, put the ice cubes in first. Add milk, yogurt, fresh fruit (if not using frozen), vanilla, sweetener, and wheat germ/flax seed. Blend until liquid and smooth.

Steel Cut Oats
This takes some time, so I generally make it either the night before, or on my weekends.
This makes four servings - but it refrigerates well for later.
1 Cup Uncooked Steel Cut (Irish) Oats
1 Tablespoon Butter/Margarine/Oil
3 Cups Boiling water
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Chopped Fruit
1/2 Tablespoon Butter/Margarine
1 Teaspoon Flax seed

Toast uncooked Steel Cut Oats for 2 minutes in melted butter. Add boiling water. Cook for 25 minutes on med-low heat, stirring a few times during. Add milk and cook for 10 more minutes. Cover and set aside for 2 minutes. Spoon out into bowl and add butter, fruit (or dried cranberries, raisins, etc) and flax seed. You can substitute 2 Tablespoon Peanut Butter or 1/2 cup nuts, for the extras on here.

When reheating this - add a little milk or cream. It helps a lot with the consistency.

I hope this gives you some good starts for the day. I encourage you to check out dLife for some other ideas.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Hi, I'm Jen, or Tink, as the case may be. I have been a diabetic since I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2002-2003. After I had a stem cell transplant, the Diabetes never went away. Since then, I have had tons of trouble keeping my blood sugar in check. I have tried diet and exercise for treatment, oral medication, and now I am on fast acting as well as long term insulin, and oral medication. Finally, there seems to be a regimen that is working for me. My numbers are finally normal.

I have also started eating extremely healthy... I would like to eat all organic, but it's hard enough to make ends meet with the cost of the meds. So, I have started relying on other websites and recipes that I find to eat as well as I can. The problem? I am extremely picky. I don't like many of the things that I should be eating, so food has become almost boring for me. Searching for recipes of things that make my mouth water, and also actually taste good has become a game for me.

My husband and I have really started enjoying cooking again, mostly cooking together. It makes for a fun activity, and it's good to know that we are both being proactive in treating my disease. He's very well aware of what I need, and helps keep me in check when I want to falter.

So, this leads to why I started this blog. I know many people who love to cook as much as I do. I have posted (some really awful) pictures on my facebook profile, and have had a ton of requests for the recipes. While most of my recipes come from several different websites, I am, again, very picky. Sometimes, we find ways to tweak the recipes to make them work for me. Being in my late 30's, it's time to start worrying about my heart, cholesterol, and all that good stuff. Most of the recipes I list here are for that - as Diabetes diets concentrate on the side effects of the disease. These can help just about everyone retain a healthy lifestyle and still enjoy cooking and food.

I also love to bake (it relaxes me - and that's important), so I may occasionally post something that I have baked for the other people in my life, but I will list that as non-diabetic. But I will also experiment and show you even if I fail, the things that I try to make into a diabetic dessert.

If you ever have any questions, would like some feedback, need any sources for Diabetic help, please feel free to ask me. I am not a doctor, I am not the be-all end-all in Diabetic health, but I can try my best to lead you in the right direction to answer your questions and get you some help. Occasionally, I may also review some Diabetic products, sites, readings, so stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy the blog and that it makes you excited about food, and your health!