Diabetes Diet #21: All About Philosophy And Fish Soup

Diabetes Recipes:

Philosophical Fish Soup
Endive Salad
A Perfectly Baked Apple

All About Philosophy And Fish Soup

I sat at my friend’s birthday dinner sandwiched between a non-compliant overweight type 2 who emptied the breadbasket twice, dipping voraciously into the fabulous fish soup, and, an emotionally overindulged self-proclaimed type “1 ½” who handed the waiter a neatly typed list of his food allergies. Oh boy! I was trapped and It was torturous. The torture was that any attempt on my part to talk rationally about diabetes and healthy lifestyle had no place here. I sat speechless.

On the way home I thought about the incident and how frustrating it was to witness 2 people endangering their bodily health by closing their minds. It was all about philosophy. I declared my own brand of philosophy regarding diabetes some 25-30 years ago, when I accepted diabetes as an uninvited visitor to treat as friend, with respect and consideration at all times, or suffer dire consequences.

Being diagnosed with diabetes is something that changes one’s life by virtue of the fact that it makes demands on lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 5-year-old child with type 1 or a 75 year old senior with type 2. Diabetes has rules. But people have the power to make choices. It can be a simple thing, after all, it’s only you and your diabetes. It’s only you and that Snickers bar on the table. Eat it or not. For some, it’s an easy decision. For others, not so. There’s no spotlight. There’s no blazing scarlet letter “D” to wear. When faced with whether or not to adhere to the rules, how to follow them and to what degree, we sway into the philosophy and the metaphysics of diabetes.

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, Metaphysics is that branch of philosophy which treats of first principles. It is the science of universal order, seeking to explain the nature of being and reality. To take great liberty from the scholarly and academic bent of such profound philosophy, we can conjure up an interpretation of diabetes being quite metaphysical with its strong declaration of insulin imbalance and continuing trials and exploration to achieve order and harmony in the universe of blood glucose balance, that effects the whole, the universe of the body.

Then, of course, there is the psychological wavelength of diabetes. How do you live a life and carry diabetes in your pocket everywhere you go. You become emotionally attached, and sometimes the emotions fly. You hate it. You want a vacation from it. You want it to disappear. You want to really understand it. You question why it has attached itself to you. You want to beat it. You want to cure it. You want to show everyone you can do anything they can do, despite diabetes. You dream of eating a candy bar because you feel like eating a candy bar. You become obsessed with learning all there is to know about it. You separate yourself from it and ignore it. You deny it. You denounce it. You feel sorry for it. You become friends with it. Your regard it as your worst enemy. You remember what Don Michael Corleone said to Frank Pentangeli (Frankie 5 Angels) in The Godfather, Part 2, Scene 10, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”. And, somehow, we learn to live with it. So, as we were saying at the top of the page at my friend’s birthday party they served a wonderful fish soup.

In The Cyber Kitchen

We hear the terms used loosely, almost interchangeably Bouillabaisse, Cioppino, Zuupe Di Pesce. The names may sound complex, but philosophically they all come down to simple peasant fish soup, based on fresh fish, vegetables, spices and broth. They’re all good. They’re all easy. And they’ll warm us from winter’s frost. Let’s have some fun and try a few recipes. You be the judge or invite some friends in for a tasting panel. Make a simple beautiful endive salad. Find some great bread for dipping, let your oven-bake some apples while you’re enjoying a fabulous meal.

Philosophy And Fish Soup
Bouillabaisse, the fish soup of the French Mediterranean coastline, is said to have originated in the port of Marseille. There really is no set recipe for bouillabaisse. It is what the fish fishmongers and restaurant cooks prepare with the catch of the day and vegetables from the local market. The outcome depends on the variety and freshness of the fish and other ingredients. Experiment with different fish to achieve at least 3 different textures and flavors you like.

Makes 8 1 ½ cup servings
3/4 lbs scrod, cut into large bites
3/4 lbs snapper or halibut, cut into large bites
1 lb shrimp, cleaned
1 dozen small clams (little necks)*
1 dozen mussels*
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bulb fennel, chopped
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf 1 ts. fennel seed
½ ts. dried tarragon
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 ribbons orange zest peeled with vegetable peeler
saffron threads equal to about 1 ts.
2 cups water

*while you are prepping ingredients, soak clams and mussels in cold water mixed with a handful of cornmeal. The cornmeal draws sand and grit out. Carefully lift clams and mussel out and run under cold water

  1. Add all ingredients to a large soup pot.
  2. Bring to boil, and Lower heat.
  3. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes and Voila!

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1, Calories: 190, Carbs: 10 grams, Fat: 4 grams, Protein: 27 grams

Philosophical Fish Soup
This is the simplest fish soup. It’s a matter of having the ingredients handy, doing a little chopping, putting everything into a big soup pot. and pondering what it all boils down to.

1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 red potato, cubed
1 rib celery, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1oz. bottle clam juice
½ cup dry white wine
1 28 oz can tomatoes with their juice
1 lb. firm white fish such as flounder, halibut, snapper, cut into bite-sized pieces ½ lb. cleaned shrimp
1t. dried rosemary
1t. dried thyme
1 pinch cayenne pepper
ground black pepper to taste
2 scallions, sliced and minced fresh parsley for garnish

  1. In a large pot, warm oil and add the onion. Sauté for a minute or 2 until wilted.
  2. Add carrot, potato, celery, zucchini, liquids and herbs. Bring to boil, simmer 10-15 minutes to cook through.
  3. Add fish, cover pot and continue to cook another 10 minutes. Ladle into soup bowl and garnish with parsley and scallions.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1, Calories: 220, Carbs: 25 grams, Fat: 2 grams, Protein: 20 grams, Fiber: 5 grams

Endive Salad
This is a very light and refreshing salad you can make up in minutes. Belgian endive is a small compact bulb, yellowish-white in color with green tips. Taste is slightly bitter. It is available year-round in produce markets.

Serves 4
6 bulbs Belgian endive
2 T. great quality fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice and grated zest from 1 lemon
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

  1. Cut endives in half lengthwise.
  2. Cut out the core and slice endive leaves in half.
  3. Toss with remaining ingredients.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1, Calories: 60, Carbs: 2 grams, Fat: 5 grams

A Perfectly Baked Apple
Makes 4 servings
4 firm baking apples, such as Cortland or Rome
4 ts. cinnamon sugar
optional: 1 / 4 cup apple butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cut a thin slice from top of apples. Adjust bottoms, if apples are uneven or wobbly, slice accordingly so they stand straight. Core apples. Fill each apple with 1 T. Apple butter and sprinkle with 1 ts. cinnamon sugar.
  3. Place in baking pan or pie dish. Add a little cold water to a pan and bake 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1 apple, Calories: 120, Carbs: 30 grams