Blog Entries With Tag: low carb


Posted: Jun 26, 2012

Quinua (Quinoa) plants near Cachora, Apurímac, Peru. Altitude: 3800m

(Photograph: Maurice Chédel)

Okay - what’s the big buzz about this grain (don’t ask me how you pronounce it – everyone I talk to about it says it differently ) –  I just think of the name ‘Quinn’ with ‘oa ‘ afterwards – rolls off the tongue nicely)?  Now, did you know it’s actually a seed – and is related to beets (yum), spinach (I’m Popeye the Sailor Man – flexing my muscles here), and …. tumbleweed (where’s my Trigger and heel spurs – I’m a wanna be Roy Rogers).   The other part of the history of Quinoa (Quinua in Spanish) is that when the European conquest in South America took place, the Inca’s were  banned from growing it because of  its status within indigenous non-Christian ceremonies.  Instead, they were forced to grow wheat!!!    Darn foreigners taking over – well – karma is paying them back as the year 2013 has been declared International Year of Quinoa by the United Nations.

So, history lesson over – what I’ve discovered about quinoa is that not only is it nutrient rich, but also for those of us watching our carb intake and/or spikes in blood sugar (diabetic or not) it's an excellent choice as either a meal in itself or as a side dish.  It’s considered a protein by many articles I’ve come across in my research – and has all the essential amino acids in it which other grains are missing.  Along with that, it’s higher in iron and potassium and is a good source of B vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper, zinc and fiber.

On the weekend at my yacht club I belong to, we had a Pot Luck dinner (it was our Founder's Day - when the idea of the club was formed back on June 24th, 1958).  I always try to bring something different to get folks to try something different – last time I brought some dolmades  (stuffed vine leaves).  They went over alright with the crowd there – bit of hesitation –many jokes about smoking a cigar still rings in my ears (really – they do look like cigars) – but they did get eaten up – though with some hesitation from folks that are your usual meat ‘n potato eaters.  This time, I tried a quinoa salad on them, thinking that it would be picked over and leftovers would remain for my DH and myself to eat on the other 2 days were were staying at our floating cottage (it was a long weekend here in Quebec – gotta make the most of our summer here in the northern climate of Canada).  I placed my usual placard showing what was in the food (I always do this incase of food allergies) – and viola – the bowl was basically licked clean – and I received so many compliments that I told them I’d post the recipe for them.  So my friends at Stormont Yacht club – the little gem along the Saint Lawrence Seaway in Ontario – this recipe is for you!  

 

***** FATCATANNA'S QUINOA SALAD *****

This recipe is a compilation of various recipes I’ve come across – and if you are like me – just wing it – and it’ll always come out great.  The secret to this recipe is to add the quino at the END of the vegetables being thrown in the marinade.  My other suggestion, deseed your tomatoes.  I do this due to folks having problems sometimes with seeds (my Mum has diverticulitis ).  I also do this more for how the final product looks and makes the salad less “mushy”.  Again, it’s up to you, and whatever way you do it – let us know how it turns out!  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil (I just blop it in – so is probably more)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper (use whatever amount you like)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup lemon Juice (I love lemons – so I tend to put in abit more)
  • 3 tomatoes, diced (again – I deseed mine – you can use more if you wish)
  • 1 cucumber, diced (I used Lebanese cucumbers due to low seed count – I yield about 1 ½ cups – but again – you can use more or less depending on what you like).
  • 2 carrots, grated (about 1 ½ cups – it’s up to you the chef!!!)
  • 2 bunches green onions, diced (I use more, and actually tried out purple onions in my latest recipe
  • 1 cup or more of coriander chopped (or you can use parsley – whatever you have in your garden or on hand in the fridge)
  • ¼ cup of fresh mint chopped (if you don’t like mint – don’t use it – it was in the version I made for SYC)
  • 300 grams of feta cheese, crumbled in with fingers (you can use more if you wish – I usually do).

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to boil.  Add quinoa (see note below) and a pinch of sea salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes (or until liquid is mainly all absorbed).  Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, in a large bowl (and I mean large since I like to toss my salad around so it gets good coverage), combine olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, carrots, coriander (or parsley), mint, feta.  Stir in cooled quinoa.

OPTIONAL:

To increase the protein to make the salad a main meal – I’ve thrown in black beans – about a cup and a bit to the salad. Again, use your imagination, and whatever you have on hand in your fridge!

NOTE:  As one reader pointed out (thanks Moggy B - my "step sister") - some people find quinoa has a bitter aftertaste.  To avoid this, simply rinse the qwuinoa in a fine mesh strainer - then add it to the boiling water at that point.  I know for myself - I don't rinse it - but it depends on how sensitive your taste buds are.  Also, to check out the full nutritional facts - click on this link - very VERY informative website! 

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Posted: Apr 3, 2012
I love pasta - I mean - who doesn't?  Except for diabetics - it can really muck up our blood sugars (BG) depending on how much we eat.  I try my best to have no more then 1 cup of pasta - but sometimes - I can't resist abit more.  I try my best to cover the correct amount of insulin - and like we all notice - sometimes it works - other times - it doesn't.

I was watching a Canadian show today - that has these two cute adorable guys called Steven and Chris.  They are such a hoot to watch - and they often have really great/informative guests - that talk about healthier ways of eating - and sometimes evil decadent foods (hey - just because we have diabetes doesn't mean we can indulge abit ... sometimes - we're only human).  So,  as I was munching on my lunch (not a healthy one today I'm afraid) and watching their show on my PVR - they had an interesting segment on foods that cleanse your liver, kidney, skin - and then the nutritionist showed us how to make this simple "pasta" recipe - using zucchini (an affordable vegetable in my food budget). On the show they used this unique device for making the pasta called a spirooli - but it's probably way expensive for me to buy - plus I don't have much storage space. I make up a similar recipe - using Kraft Italian dressing (or whatever is on sale) - and make my strands using a potato peeler - bit time consuming - but well worth it for your taste buds.

Here's the link for the recipe - and also below is the full text version - go check out their website - you may learn a new thing or two - and want to try something different for the daily "Hey Ma, what's for dinner" situation.

1/2 cup walnuts
1 tbsp hemp seeds
2 cups fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
4 medium-sized zucchini or yellow summer squash
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), julienned

  1. For the pesto, add walnuts, hemp seeds, basil, garlic, olive oil and salt to food processor; process until well combined.
  2. Cut ends off zucchini then cut in half. Sandwich 1 segment of zucchini between mettle nose of spirooli and spiked handle; start spinning. Repeat with remaining zucchini segment. Voila, instant pasta!
  3. Toss zucchini pasta with remaining ingredients and pesto, to taste.
Zucchini and blossom
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Posted: Mar 13, 2012

On one of the groups I belong to on Facebook – a member had posted a link for a low carb egg dish called Shakshuka.  It reminds me of huevos rancheros – except  I’ve never made that before at home.  I’ve only ever eaten that when I was in San Diego (and it was delicious but high in carbs due the corn tortillas that the eggs are served on).

This dish is very popular in Israel (it originates from Algeria and Tunisia) – and if you click on this link – it will describe abit more of the history  – as well as the recipe that I followed to make my tasty “brunch” that I had about an hour ago (yuppe;s – this blog is HOT off the press – sort of like a news breaking story … NOT).  Seriously though, I had been very busy since waking up this morning and only had a coffee to tide me through until I got the hankering to have something to eat.  I know – not good diabetic or not diabetic – and as you will tell by my blood sugar picture in the link below).  I went up abit past my happy point that I like to be at – but corrected it while I prepared the dish – and bolused with insulin accordingly for the carbs in my homemade flax seed bread.

So check out the step by step pictures at this link – and perhaps you’ll want to give this a go yourself.  One thing, I could have halved the amount of chipotle pepper I put in my version of the recipe – but if you like it HOT – then you’d love this version.  The original recipe is for 6-8 people – and I just “winged” it with making it with 2 eggs – but still it was VERY good.

Shakshuka FatCatAnna Style

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Posted: Sep 14, 2011

I have quite a few friends that follow Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's way of eating - which is to myself - very restrictive for me personally (he really doesn't like fruits to be eaten - due to their effect on blood sugars). When I recently read someone giving advise to a parent of a child with diabetes and telling them not just about low carb being good for their child it started to get me abit upset (even more so - they were giving out details on mixing insulin with saline - that is something a doctor should be advising a patient on).

Anyway, I accept that for some - this is what makes them happy (especially for those Type 2's needing to lose weight) - and I have no problems with that. I respect all ways of eating/controlling your health - except for the claims of cinnamon lowering blood sugars - I don't think the teaspoon a day that I tried for a few weeks made any difference - though my steel cut oatmeal tasted fantastic.  I just know having only 6 grams of carbs for breakfast is possible for me (I tend to average about 30 grams myself for breakfast).



I just know, as a child, I needed those carbs, due to being active along with all those hormonal surges that kids go through.  It didn't have any ill effects on me in the long run I think - of not eating low carb.  So far as I get closer to 50 years of having diabetes - touch wood - I'm doing well with no adverse effects of how I control my diabetes.  I know Dr. Bernstein says that a child following his way of eating can get all the correct nutrients without some of the foods he doesn't allow - but still - what happens when your child goes to a party - where "forbidden" food is available?  I know for myself, I loved going to other people's houses, where foods my Mum didn't have in our own household were readily available for me to sample.  I mean, a kid has to be a kid, to have a juicy slice of watermelon - and spit out the pits at your friends - that is FUN!!!

Also, the aim of having an A1C in the mid-range of 4.2%-4.6% makes me wonder about how this would affect a child.  I seem to be sticking around 6% - and am very happy with that reading - but a recent meeting with an endo I had hoped would be my doctor felt that I probably suffered from many hypos to get that number.  I don't - and my blood meter proved that to her (and no - the endo won't take me on as a patient - she said I am doing fine on my own).    My point here is, I think as a parent of a child, I would worry even more if I was to have them following the goals that Dr. Bernstein wishes his patients to have (all with the goal of avoiding complications from diabetes).
 
Recently I came across a great article at Diabetes UK (I follow them both in Twitter and Facebook) - that explains in what I call "layman terms" what low carb eating is all about.  I have tried to read Dr. Bernstein's books a few times - but I find them to be abit too technical for myself.  It turns out that my way of eating carbs where I'm between 100-120 grams of carbs per day on average is basically a "low carb diet".  Anything under 30 grams a day - which I believe is what Dr. Bernstein's follows is called "very low carb".  Again, I'm just not able to go that low (though my Dad apparently eats this way now according to my Mum now).

So, if you are abit puzzled by low carb eating like I am - check out this link from Diabetes UK and hopefully it'll answer any questions you may have like I did. 


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Posted: Jul 29, 2010

Okay – I’ve been out of the loop lately with the D-OC (diabetic online community) – summer is here – so I try to get away from the screen that wants to lure me away from the real life outside (remember summer is over with a blink of the eye here in Canada).  Anyway, I’ve been reading other PWD’s (people with diabetes) blog posts – that are plugging away #DFeast (thanks for correction from AmariT) in Twitter.  Take for instance, George Simmons aka Ninjabetic and his yummy burger aka Ninja Burger recipe (hope to sink my teeth into these this weekend with some friends we’re visiting in Seneca Falls, NY). 

UPDATE:  To participate - go to This Is Caleb - and the instructions on how to participate are all there.  It's that easy!  You can also click the picture above to add your recipe to the D-Feast Friday list. Put the name of your recipe in the "Your Name" box and the URL of your blog post in the "Your URL" box.

The recipe I made last night, uses a flatbread which I’ve never bought/used before in my life (I know, I know, I live in a cave).  I discovered this great low carb bread here at Diabetes1.org where “someone” was posting a product from their company.  I have no problems with their promoting their product, but after doing research, I realized it’s only available online and/or around certain areas of the USA – not all over their country (and sadly – not here in Canada – the Mounties refuse to let their product into our country?).  Instead I found another product that's available ALL across the USA, and I posted it a few days ago here).

I’ve had a few people asking for the recipe since posting the picture in Twitter/Facebook – drum roll – here it is – I did use the Flatout Flatbreads pizza recipe they have online – but I spiffed it up like I always do with a recipe.  You can either follow theirs or mine – but I’m living proof that it works and tastes good using my own version! So, scroll down below the picture (warning - do not lick screen) to find out how to make this easy pizza!

 

 

 

1 Flatout Flatbread (or whatever is similar for “rolling”)

½ tomato diced (I used Roma)

½ Tbs chopped basil (or more which is what I did)

1 Tbs balsamic vinaigrette (I used Kraft Fig Balsamic Olive Oil)

1 tsp of minced garlic (or to your taste preference)

3 oz. part-skim mozzarella – cut into 1-inch cubes)

1 Tbs of your fav tomato sauce (I use a Puttanesca Sauce from Allrecipes.com)

8 Kalamata olives – remove pits and slice up

Preheat outdoor grill to Medium heat. Marinate mozzarella, tomato, garlic and basil in bowl with Balsamic Vinaigrette for about 10 minutes (I did it for about ½ an hour).  Lightly oil both sides of flatbread – place directly on grill for no more then 3 minutes.  Remove, and spread tomato sauce, marinated mixture, top with olives.  Place your piece of artwork directly back onto grill for 4 minutes (watch carefully) with lid closed.  Remove and gobble up.

You can also cook this in your oven:  Preheat oven to 350F, place lightly oiled flatbread directly on grate for 4-6 minutes.  Take out of oven, and then arrange toppings as above.  Remove to oven and cook for 5-7 minutes – or until cheese has melted to your satisfaction.  Remove and enjoy!

Best served up with a side salad – and like George – a beverage of your choice is best enjoyed while preparing / consuming meal.  I had a glass of Bottle Shock – Bloc E Signature from Julia Wine during the preparation of the above meal.

Bon appetite!! (in Julia Child style)
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