Diabetes Diet #43: Diabetes in the Garden

Diabetes Recipes:

Grilled Catch of the Day
Poached Salmon
Cucumber Sauce
Potatoes and Herbs Salad

Diabetes in the Garden

I heard a corny joke recently. “If you look in the dictionary for the meaning of 24/7/365, what word comes up? DIABETES”. It’s a silly joke. I didn’t make it up and glad I didn’t. It would mean that I obsess on diabetes every minute of everyday. This would leave no time to live life. That’s not very smart.

The joke did, however, get me thinking that there are certain times, and summer is one of them, when we really should plug into the fine tuning dial of diabetes awareness brain waves. There are quite a few good reasons that validate attentive care during the steamy months of July and August. For one, we wear less clothing, hence our skin is at risk for sun damage. Sun is good. It nourishes us with vitamin D, gives a healthy glow and makes us feel good. But the days of basking and baking all day long are a thing of the past. Enjoy the warmth of summer’s sunny rays but cover yourself with a quality sun screen or block. Apply waterproof block when swimming, boating or fishing for extended periods. If you happen to get a sun burn, treat it with aloe vera immediately. It soothes and cools and comes from nature. Keep an aloe plant on a bright window sill. They require minimal care (a little drink of water every other week), are pleasing to see around the house and come in handy in the kitchen when you get an accidental cooking burn. If you plan on being outside in the sun, take your meter along for frequent testing. It’s a good reminder to let you know if you need to eat.

Another area that requires attention to diabetes is gardening. It doesn’t seem to be a very strenuous exercise, but it can be. If any of you are gardeners out there you understand how easy it is to lose track of time. While pulling weeds, planting, fertilizing and pruning, hours slip by unnoticed. I am guilty of spending long hours in the garden and now make it a rule to stop and check my bg two every hours. Another good suggestion is to keep a water bottle filled with ice and, maybe a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, near you while you work and play. Hydration is an important component of good summer diabetes care.

We have mentioned fishing and gardening. Let’s see what we can come up with in the Cyber Kitchen using the fish we have caught and the vegetables and herbs we have grown this summer. See you at the Cyber counter.

Grilled Catch of the Day
It might be that you yourself didn’t actually catch the fish, the important thing is that the fish is very fresh. I was lucky to catch flounder and ling on a recent fishing excursion and made simple and very delicious meals with both. The trick in cooking fish is to do it simply and quickly. If you don’t have an outdoor grill, a grill pan will do just fine.

1 lb. fresh filets of white meaty fish, such as snapper or flounder, cut into 4 portions
1 t. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chicken stock
1 T. dry Port wine

  1. Combine vinegar, stock and wine in small saucepan and on medium heat, reduce until it begins to thicken a little.
  2. Brush grill (or grill pan) with oil and warm for a minute or 2 over medium   heat.   Add fish and grill 4 minutes.   Turn and paint glaze over fish with a brush.   Let cook for another 4 minutes.
  3. Serve with plenty of fresh lemon wedges and enjoy.

Nutritional Value:  1 portion = 135 cal, 1 carb gram, 26 grams protein, 3 fat grams

Poached Salmon
Unless you live in Alaska, it is unlikely that you catch your own salmon. Fortunately, wild salmon is readily available in many markets. The taste between farmed and wild is quite remarkable in my opinion, not to forget the potent nutritional value of the wild fish. It is rich in Omega3 fatty acids which are essential to brain growth and may possibly reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. It is helpful in reducing blood pressure and maybe staves off certain types of cancer. So seek out the wild. What could be better than a cool summer supper of poached salmon, garden greens and herbed potato salad?

A 24 oz filet of wild salmon (left whole or cut into 4 pieces)
Sliced vegetables: 1 carrot, 2 celery, 1 small onion
½ lemon
6 sprigs fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
6 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine

  1. In a fish poacher, if you have one, or a large skillet, lay out vegetables and place fish on top.   Cover with water, wine and spices.   Bring to boil.
  2. Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and allow to rest, covered for another 10 minutes.   Cool in liquid and lift fish out carefully.
  4. Serve cool with cucumber dill sauce and wedges of fresh lime.

Nutritional Value: 1 portion = 245 cal, 0 carbs, 10 fat grams, 20 grams protein

Cool as a Cucumber Sauce
This recipe can be easily doubled and served with other fish or as a vegetable dip. It’s even nice as a dressing for a simple salad of romaine leaves and toasted walnut halves. Lay head of lettuce flat on its side and cut into vertically into spirals.

1 cup plain low fat yogurt, drained for 1 hour

2 English (kirby) cucumbers, peeled and chopped finely

1 t. fresh lemon juice and grated zest
1 t. white wine vinegar
1 t. or more to taste, horseradish
¼ cup of chopped fresh dill and scallions

  1. Mix all ingredients together well. Serve with poached salmon and garnish with extra sprigs of dill.

Nutritional Value: 1/3 cup = 65 cal, 5 grams protein, 2 fat grams, 9 carb grams

Potatoes and Herbs Meet In a Summer Salad
3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
1 cup dry white wine
3 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 T. grain mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
2 T. each:   fresh parsley, chives and tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place potatoes in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain and cool. Cut into ½” slices.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring wine to the boil and reduce by half. Place in serving bowl and add remaining ingredients. Add potatoes and toss well. Chill and serve.

Nutritional Value: 1 cup = 240 cal, 6 grams protein, 40 carb grams, 5 fat grams