Friday, December 28, 2012

No More Cookies....

I seriously think I experienced a Sugar Hangover last week. Seriously. I had a headache. I felt nauseous. Smelling chocolate chip cookies elicits the same response as when I smell cheap tequila. Ugh.

Between multiple cookie parties (when did this become a thing), Christmas Eve, Christmas, and then the left-overs the day after Christmas, I have had my fair share of all things gluttonous. What I havebeen fiending (word? maybe.) for is a salad. But not any limp lettuce, weak veggie salad. I wanted a REAL salad. A manly man's salad. One filled with delicious healthiness. 

I'm not sure if I ever would have considered anything from France as a "manly man" thing, but this Tuna Niçoise Salad hit the spot. In reading the directions, you're going to think that it seems like a lot of work for just a salad. But it's definitely worth it and you can throw this salad together in 25 to 30 minutes. 

If you multi-task like you're schizophrenic. But it can be done. 

Tuna Niçoise Salad

by Bonnie Graham
Prep Time: 25 - 30 minutes
Keywords: roast salad entree potato eggs tomato tuna

  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 4 tuna steaks
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 bag frozen green beans
  • 1 lb teeny tiny potatoes (or fingerlings)
  • 4 tomatoes
  • olives of your choice
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
1. Begin by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees and heating a medium pot of salted water on the stove.
2. Prep baby potatoes, rubbing them with olive oil and salt and pepper on a cookie sheet. Place them in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes or until tender.
3. While waiting for the water to boil, begin to season your tuna steaks with the rosemary, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper. Add olive oil to help the seasonings stick to the steaks. Place a skillet on the stove over medium high heat.
4. When the pot of water has boiled, quickly blanch your frozen greens, allowing for no more then a minute or two in the water. Remove green beans from pot.
5. Re-fill pot with water, placing the 4 eggs in the pot to make hard-boiled eggs. Place eggs in the water and allow pot to come to a boil. Boil for approximately 1 minute and allow eggs to sit in hot water with heat turned off until ready the salad is ready to be served. Then, crack and peel.
6. With your skillet heated, sear your tuna steaks, making sure there is enough room in the pan to have them heat evenly. Cook fish on each side for 7 - 8 minutes or until desired doneness.
7. Once all the ingredients are done cooking, plate each ingredient over baby spinach. Squeeze lemon over each plate and a swirl of olive oil. Salt and pepper as needed.
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Enough Already....

I know what you must be thinking, "Really, Bonnie? Another baked good?" There's something moderately uncomfortable about having a diabetic force so many baked goods down your throat, right?

But it's the holidays!

That's pretty much my excuse for everything. 

"You're really going to eat that, drink that, buy that, wear that?" It's the holidays! I'm milking it for at least two more days and I won't hesitate to try to use it through the new year.

So enjoy these....because it's the holidays!

Eggnog Scones

by Bonnie Graham
Cook Time: 20 - 22 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast dessert eggnog Christmas

Ingredients (8 scones)
  • 1 c eggnog (I used Lite Trader Joe's)
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 c whole wheat white flour
  • 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c sugar/Truvia
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp eggnog
  • few shakes of nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine eggnog and lemon juice and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, nutmeg, and salt.
4. Add coconut oil and mix until the mixture is uniform and coarse in texture.
5. Add in eggnog. Stir until a dough forms. Mixture may be a bit crumbly.
6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and form into a round circle, approximately 10 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches high. Cut into equal wedges (as many as you'd like) Transfer scones to a baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20-22 minutes until scones are set.
8. Meanwhile, prepare glaze by combing all ingredients in a small bowl and mixing until it comes to a drizzly consistency. Let scones cool and then serve drizzled with icing.
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Friday, December 21, 2012

Cookie Exchange

There's something just wrong with the concept of a cookie exchange and being diabetic. Not only does it require me to make my own batch of cookie, but then I need to sample everyone elses' cookies too!

Oh dear insulin pump, how overworked you must be!

A cookie exchange was agreed upon at my office for this holiday season. Which sounds like fun. If you have a functioning pancreas. Otherwise, it sounds like High Blood Sugar City!

Shockingly, I struggled with finding an appropriate cookie recipe. It's shocking because just about everywhere you look there is a friggin' cookie recipe. Let me clarify. I struggled with finding an appropriate diabetic cookie recipe. You know, one that actually would still be appetizing to my co-workers and not just to my blood glucose meter. One that I wouldn't have to empty my insulin pump in order to eat. That kind of cookie.

After scroll through recipes that used cups of sugar, sticks of butter, or the ever unpleasant alternative of Splenda, I said fuck it and just picked a recipe.

But, of course, it can't be that easy. It's never that easy. I started with one cookie recipe, Fudgey Nutella Cookies with Sea Salt. They turned into flat little pancakes. Not good. The next recipe was Almond Florentine Cookies, which didn't initially look promising; however, they turned out to be quite good. BUT there wasn't enough of them the cookie exchange. Recipe can be found here.

I panicked and finally whipped up these bad boys, Chai-Spiced Eggnog Cookies.

Now, I totally have a Sugar Hangover.

Chai-spiced Eggnog Cookies

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: bake dessert cinnamon coconut oil cookie winter

Ingredients (24 cookies)
  • 1/3 c coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c eggnog, plus 1 - 2 tbsp (depending on consistency)
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix oil with sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl until well blended. 3. Stir in flour, spices and salt until just combined.
4. Add in eggnog and mix until combined, having the dough be slightly sticky.
5. Scoop and roll dough into small teaspoon-sized balls and place about an inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
6. Bake until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar and let cool completely on a rack.
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Thursday, December 20, 2012


Gratitude is such a funny little thing, isn't it?

It's not something we often reflect on, especially during times of great sadness or turmoil. Sometimes, it is hard to get through the muck to see what is truly amazing in our lives.

Maybe it's the yoga rubbing off on me. Maybe it's just the time of year. Maybe it's the impact of the Sandy Hook shootings. Or maybe it is that I realize I have so much to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for today? 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Consider This Your Warning

Below is a recipe that contains chocolate. It also contains beans. 

Yes, I know. You were all hoping I would get over this "beans in baked goods" thing, but I'm not yet. And these brownies were good! Damn good. So good, in fact, an entire tray was eaten in one night.

No Flour Black Bean Brownies

by Bonnie Graham
Cook Time: 15 - 18 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert vegetarian beans coconut oil

Ingredients (9 brownies)
  • 1 1/2 c canned black beans
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp sucanat
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c to 2/3 c chocolate chips
  • optional: more chips, for presentation
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth.
3. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
4. Bake 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut.
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Diabetes Police

It is always with hesitation I put up posts that talk about some of the silly/stupid things I might do as a diabetic. Usually the hesitation revolves around the involvement of the Diabetes Police. Dundundun They're kind of like the Fashion Police, only their job is to tell me what I should or shouldn't be doing as a diabetic. It should be mentioned that they are usually not diabetics.

Most of the time, people make comments either out of concern or just plain ignorance. I need to constantly remind myself of that. And, most of the time, I have patience for it. In fact, I like to explain why I can eat what I'd like as long as take insulin, why it's possible for me to get Type 1 at 28, and that high and low blood sugar is just the name of the game in this crazy, messed up world of diabetes.

But sometimes...every once in a really pisses me the fuck off. Can you see where this post is heading?

With the holidays here and parties galore, the Diabetes Police are out in full force. Those who feel the need to comment on what I am eating, how I am eating, and what I should be doing about it. For anybody who thinks that I am not fully aware of what the impact of eating, drinking, blood sugars, and all the rest, you are a fucking asshole! 

Trust me. I know. I'm aware.

But I still need to live my life. And living my life means I may not be the perfect diabetic. It means I forget to bring juice boxes everywhere I go, may not eat a strict low carb diet, and my blood sugar occasionally gets out of range. I'm going to eat an occasional slice of cake, have high blood sugar, have low blood sugar, and occasionally forget a honey packet all while keeping my baby toes, legs, and vision.

It also means that, 90% of the time, I skip the bread at meals. I test my blood sugar multiple times a day. I always take my insulin. I exercise. I carry something with me to treat lows. I take care of myself.

All without the help of the Diabetes Police!

So....are you a member of the Diabetes Police?
Think about it. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Sometimes, you just need a snack! Am I right or am I right?

Now, I am sure the idea of Tofu Nuggets sounds like something offered to you by a middle-aged white woman with dreadlocks, wearing a tie-dyed t-shirt who reeks of reefer smoke at a hippie commune. Which actually sounds kind of awesome to me! 

Regardless of your judgements on clothing made out of hemp, these nuggets are a delicious and easy snack that can be dipped in tomato sauce, ketchup, and my personal favorite, BBQ sauce! Truth be told, I love anything that can be used as a vehicle to get any kind of sauce into my face.

Whatever you're preconceived notions of tofu are, you should try this recipe. You'll be ordering your Birkenstocks and googling recipes for pot brownies in no time.

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: bake snack tofu

Ingredients (8 - 12 nuggets, depending on y)
  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu (I used Trader Joe's High Protein)
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/3 c cornmeal
  • 1/2 c seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • BBQ sauce, ketchup, tomato sauce, or sauce of your choosing
1. Place tofu on a couple kitchen towels (I use paper) on the counter. Wrap the tofu with more towels and set several heavy cookbooks on top. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to soak out the water.
2. Mix together egg, water, and liquid smoke in a bowl. In another bowl, mix together the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, salt, and spices. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 400F and grease baking sheets.
4. Slice tofu into 8-9 strips, lengthwise, depending on how thick you want it.
5. Dip the tofu strips into the egg mixture and then into the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture. Coat both sides entirely and then place on baking sheet.
6. Bake tofu for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 15-20 minutes until crispy.
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Friday, December 7, 2012

Bad, Bad Insulin

I was worried after Hurricane Sandy that we hadn't rescued my insulin vials in time! Under-prepared and only one cooler to our names, I moved my insulin from the fridge to the freezer to the cooler with fingers-crossed that all three had been keeping it cool enough to prevent from degrading. 

These past two weeks, I have really been struggling with my blood sugar numbers. They've been pretty terrible in fact, hanging out in the 200's like I had been eating cake for breakfast. And you know what the most annoying part of it is....I haven't been eating motherfucking cake for breakfast! I'm getting these high numbers and not even enjoying the crap food to go along with them! WTF, pancreas?!

However, I wasn't quite ready to admit to myself that there are 12 useless vials of insulin sitting in the fridge. I played the usual game:
Maybe it's because I'm getting sick? I'll just wait a few days. Still feel fine. Okay, not that. 
Maybe it's just the infusion site? I'll just change it. Nope, still high. 
Maybe it's just this one insulin vile?  I'll just change that. Hey 210, guess it wasn't just that insulin vile!
Maybe I have lost my ability to accurately calculate carbohydrates? I'll spend the next few days eating only items that I know for sure the carb amounts. F-U 223!!!

Finally, I had to give in and contact my Certified Diabetes Educator. While I am still not fully committed to the idea that 12 vials of insulin have been wasted, they are sending out another three month supply next week. 

I'll let you know how it goes. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No Soup?

I can remember a time back in high school where I dined at some "fancy" restaurant with a group of friends. I think it was Uno's. After reading the menu, I was so excited to order the Baked Potato Soup. As soon as I saw it, my decision was made. My menu was closed. I waited anxiously for the waitress to come take our order.

Everyone went around the table, ordering their lame burgers and gross deep-dish pizza. When it was my turn, I enthustiacally said "I'll have the Baked Potato Soup please!" The waitress said there was no soup that day. "No soup?" I asked, deflated. The entire table burst into laughter. They equated my reaction to that of a child who just lost their puppy, completely heartbroken. I don't remember what I actually ordered that night, but I do remember that there was no soup!

Needless to say, I have a crazy ridiculous enthusiasm for soup. In fact, I've been told its one of my best qualities! When the weather changes, I probably eat soup every day.

But wait, a diabetic posting a potato soup recipe? That seems unholy! Poor Mr. Potatohead gets a bad rep when it comes to carbohydrates. Potatoes are still vegetables, my friends. And while they may be more carb heavy then carrots...there is still a place for them (in moderation) for a low-carb diet. 

Creamy Potato-Kale Soup

by Bonnie Graham
Cook Time: 35 - 40 minutes
Keywords: soup/stew potato kale

Ingredients (4 - 6 servings)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 - 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 4 – 5 medium potatoes, diced - I used Yukon Gold.
  • ½ c white wine
  • 3 ½ c vegetable broth
  • 2 c kale, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add the onion over medium-heat. Stir every minute or so, until soft and lightly golden.
2. Stir in garlic and thyme until fragrant, about a minute or two.
3. Add chopped potatoes and sauté for a few minutes.
4. Add the white wine and deglaze, making sure to scrap all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
5. Add veggie broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 20min.
6. Stir in chopped kale, desired amount of salt and pepper if needed, and simmer for 10min.
7. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree your soup to desired consistency.
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