Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Salad Soup

Yup, all those words are suppose to be together. 

This weekend, I was at my local fruit and vegetable stand, United Brothers in Astoria. It's awesome! Things are definitely cheaper here then at the regular supermarket. And as I have mentioned before, I am cheap!

Case in point, I shopping along with my little basket, checking out what looked good. I happened to come across a 3.5lb bag of spring salad mix for $3.50!!!! Do you know how much salad that is?! I know...you're as excited as I am.

Some may say that it's not really that great of a deal, considering that the lettuce goes bad in an hour. But whatever, haters! I figure I'd eat salad every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it was that good of a sale! Plus, there was a soup recipe I had been wanting to try using salad. Well, it actually called for spinach, but who cares?! I'm dealing with a sale here people!

Needless to say, I bought the bargain bag and made my soup, which actually came out quite good. The next time you have salad in your fridge and you're not sure what to do with it, make some soup! It's not as gross as you think. :) Also, impact on blood sugar = minimal. It is salad after all!

Spring Salad Soup

1 cup chopped green onions (about 1 bunch) --also on sale 3 for $.99!
2 tbsp olive oil
6 packed cups pre-washed spring baby lettuce mix
5 cups vegetable broth or water (or half and half)
1 16-oz bag frozen green peas
4 - 5 peeled garlic cloves and roughly chopped
2 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
roughly 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt

1. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, cook the green onions and garlic in olive oil stirring, until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
2. Stir in salad mix, broth, peas, basil, parsley, and lemon zest. Simmer soup 10 minutes or until lettuce is wilted. Remove from heat.
3. With an immersion blender or regular blender, purée soup until smooth, adding additional broth to thin to desired consistency.
4. Return to saucepan and whisk in lemon juice and yogurt (off the heat--yogurt will curdle if soup is reheated).
5. Generously season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with dollops of yogurt if you'd like.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Black Power.

 Meet Bilo (I had nothing to do with the name). 

Bilo is Jerry's cat. Unlike my pimp of a cat, he is a super-sweetheart. In fact, I couldn't get a picture of him because he was too interested in rubbing against my hand as I tried to take them. He purrs constantly, will rub up against anything, and would love nothing more but to sit in your lap all day. Basically, the complete opposite of my cat (notice the contrast in color even!). Even though Jackson can have a few cuddly moments too.

Sadly, Jackson and Bilo do not get along. The reasons why are actually a point of contention between Jerry and I since we both think "It can't possibly be my kid!!!" I'll admit that Jackson probably has more to do with the problem then the solution (though I'm not giving up on the theory that Bilo is just a bigot, holdin' a brotha down). When we get them together, there's a lot of hissing, growling, and anal gland leaking going on. And that's just Jerry! It's not pretty.

Because we border on being crazy cat people, we worry about both of them a lot. If we're together, it means one of them is alone. Unfortunately, Bilo has been treated like the red-headed stepchild in this situation and usually ends up being alone more frequently. I'm hoping in the next few months to even up time spent with both kitties. And maybe even trying to befriend them once more (Jerry is glaring at his computer screen as he reads this).

What does this have to do with diabetes or food? Absolutely nothing! But it's my blog, so deal.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Can Make That!

I'm the type of person that goes to a store, sees an article of clothing and says, "I can make that." Or a furniture store. Or flea market. Or mall. Or I go to a restaurant, try something on the menu, and say "I can make that." In this case, it usually is true. It also helps to know that I'm cheap. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Who doesn't love a bargain?

About a year ago, I noticed Garden Lites Souffles, which I thought looked interesting. They are vegetarian, low in calories, and all natural. They also come in interesting flavors like butternut squash souffle and roasted vegetable. However, when I saw that just one comes in a box for $4 a pop, I thought, "Shit! I can make that!"

And so I have!

Now, I'm sharing some of my post-souffle wisdom with you, that most important of which is that these don't necessarily have the same light texture of souffles, but more of a lighter quiche. It might have helped had I looked at an actual souffle recipe.

Ok, diabetes time! These seemed to be pretty good on the ol' blood sugar too. The only thing that is really a carb is the potato.

Broccoli Parmesan Souffle

1 head of broccoli
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-sized yukon gold potato (or any potato on hand)
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese 
5 - 6 egg whites
1 teaspoon baking powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil whole potato (do not peel! It will make the mixture too moist) and steam broccoli head. 
2. Saute onions and garlic until nice and brown. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, beat eggs whites for a long ass time....or until soft peaks form.
4. Let all the veggies cool down before pureeing the broccoli, onions, and garlic in the food processor, leaving small chunks in the mix. Use a potato ricer on the potato. If you don't have one, just mash it up. 
5. Preheat oven to 375. 
6. In a bowl, combine all the veggies and the parm cheese. Slowly, incorporate the egg whites by folding them in gently to the mixture. 
7. Grease ramekins or large muffin tin. Distribute mixture into bakeware. 
8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until tops are slightly browned.

I think I'll try this recipe again, but will incorporate milk and cornstarch into the ingredients and maybe even reduce (or leave out the potato). 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dear Diabetes Educator,

Yes, this is a real e-mail that I actually sent to my Diabetes Educator*. She thinks I'm insane, but mildly amusing.

Hi Mary Joan,

It's Bonnie here again with even more questions!

Well, really, just one for now. I've been having pretty bad night sweats in the middle of the night. To the point, where I will wake up and my clothes and bed linens will be saturated. I woke up one night and tested and was in the 100s. I was doing some googling and came across a few things that suggested that it could be related to my insulin dosage before bed. Could that be possible?

Any thoughts? I would like to be able to blame my diabetes for this one rather then face the fact that I sweat like a 400 lb truck driver!

Hope to hear from you soon,

*A Certified Diabetes Educator is a health care professional (usually an RN) who is specialized and certified to teach people with diabetes how to manage their condition.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

She's Not an Asshole, Just a Diabetic

Jerry and his brother, Tom, both feel that I should write more posts about Jerry, despite the fact that the blog clearly states it's about diabetes and food....oh...and that's right, ME!!! Get your own damn blog! And yes, their names really are Tom and Jerry.

Anyway, I had written this post when we first got back from Colorado, but felt like a missed the window of posting time. Seeing as how my audience is demanding more Jerry posts (granted, it is slightly skewed since Jerry is about 50% of it!), I'll give them what they want.

Our first night in Colorado, we had the pleasure of attending our friends’ rehearsal dinner the night before their wedding. Eating out can sometimes be a struggle because I'm never quite sure what is in the food, especially if it is a prearranged menu.

For this meal, we had the choice of French Onion Soup or Mexican Tortilla Soup. I opted for the Mexican Tortilla Soup, but wanted to know if there were any other starches in it, like noodles, potatoes, tortillas, etc. so I would know how much insulin to take. Normally, I just take my chances (I know, I’m a risk taker like that). But, I was having such great numbers, I didn’t want to mess it up the first day of our trip.

As the waiter took the orders for the table, I asked if he knew what is in the soup. I don't really see this as a hard or even an obnoxious question. When you work in a restaurant, it's not uncommon for people to ask what's in something, right? Our prepubescent waiter struggled with the question, I clarified "Any starches? Like potatoes or noodles?" He stumbled and said he's not sure, he'd have to ask, mildly giving the impression that people back down from the request once this statement is made. I pleasantly replied "Awesome, that would be great. Just if there is any thing like potatoes or noodles in it.” 

The waiter hesitated. 

Blink blink. Blink blink. I stared at him blankly.

Jerry, in an attempt to be helpful, said "She's not an asshole or anything. She's just diabetic."
Aww, such a way with words!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Butter Me Up....

With nut butters, that is!

Whole Foods has honey roasted peanut butter that you grind yourself in the store. And it is friggin' delicious! I could smear anything with that peanut butter (even bull penis) and it would still be the best thing I've ever eaten. I would reward myself with a container every couple of weeks. What was I doing to earn the reward? I have no idea. Didn't matter. I was getting my friggin' peanut butter!

Then I learned that you can make your own nut butters at home, quite easily! Initially, the new experience of making my own peanut butter appealed to me, but then I also realized that's it another way that I can control what goes into my food. 

It's really very simple too. So simple, I'm giving you two....yes, two recipes for the price one.

Peanut Butter
2 - 3 cups of peanuts (I prefer roasted. And you can always roast yourself!)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 tbsp sweetener of your choice, i.e. honey, agave, brown rice syrup (optional)

1. Add nuts to food processor.
2. Turn on and scrape bowl as necessary until smooth & creamy (read: a long ass time!), about 10-15mins
3. Add salt and sweetener slowly, process, then taste test.  Repeat until desired saltiness/sweetness is reached.

Here's your second recipe, sunflower seed butter! Yes, sunflower seed butter! The bag of shelled sunflower seeds is $1.69 at Trader Joe's. A jar of sunflower seed butter at Trader Joe's is $4.99! I'm such a bargain shoppa!

Sunflower Seed Butter
2 - 3 cups of shelled sunflower seeds (same thing applies about the roasting)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 tbsp sweetener of your choice, i.e. honey, agave, brown rice syrup (optional)

1. Add seeds to food processor.
2. Turn on and scrape bowl as necessary until smooth & creamy, about 10-15mins
3. Add salt and sweetener slowly, process, then taste test.  Repeat until desired saltiness/sweetness is reached.

You can also add whatever else you want to these butters. Cocoa powder, cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin spice....you get the idea. Or at least you should by now.