Diabetes Diet #25: A healthy, delicious and festive Latino menu

Diabetes Recipes:

Taco Bar
McClure’s Arizona Salsa
Laria’s Guacamole
Cuban Black Bean Dip
Plantanos With Mojo

Pumper’s Picnic 2003

The triangle of food, shelter, and clothing are known as life’s bare essentials. The list stretches its boundaries when diabetes shows up in the picture. In fact, another triangle of necessities runs parallel to these basics. It’s the food, medication and exercise triangle. Eat a balanced diet, take insulin or oral medication, and exercise daily, so the song goes. Now draw a circle around this triangle to indicate attitude, the positive force that helps in the management of the 3 basic tenants, and you’ve graduated from boot camp.

But, living with diabetes can at times be a lonely, even self-indulgent woe-is-me state of affairs. Having a family or partner helps tremendously. And finding nourishment and inspiration from others with diabetes is like a starburst of support that can make a profound difference in one’s care and treatment of their diabetes. Seek out groups or volunteer for a local ADA or JDRF project. Meet others with diabetes. Get involved. It will be worth the time and energy.

For the past 7 years, I have hosted a gala summer event that has come to be known as “pumpers picnic”. It started out with a gang of 5 long term, type 1’s, all on intensive insulin shot therapy, all juggling to keep the balance. Over the years we have blossomed into a lively bunch of 25, who gather in my backyard every August to eat, drink, play badminton, ride bikes, rollerblade and frolic in the ocean, just up the block. It is a day we connect on another level as well. Our spirits are nourished, our confidence is refreshed. We exchange ideas, tips and tricks, compare meters, trade pump news. We inspire one other with the wonderful feeling of a family community. It is a day that fills our bellies, our minds, and our spirits to the brim.

Late into nightfall, we hug and kiss good-bye, with a healthy beach glow, sandy shoes, and an inner radiance resulting from the potent doses of camaraderie and support we lavish on each other, sharing our common bond of living with diabetes. I hope our “pumpers picnic” continues for many years to come, and I hope you seek and find something as precious in your life with diabetes.

Part of the fun is creating a theme to carry the mood of the celebration. This August it was a healthy, delicious and festive Latino menu. Everyone arrived weighted down with bowls, shopping bags and baskets to set on the 12′ picnic table. Tastes and textures of all the foods were delightful and colorful additions to the banquet. Here is what we bolused for on that day.

Diabetes Recipes
Taco Bar
Set up for 4
4 corn tortillas, warmed in an ungreased skillet for a minute or less, until pliable. Bend to form a taco shell.
1 red onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 red or roasted pepper, finely sliced
romaine lettuce leaves rolled and shredded
1 large ripe tomato, cubed
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 oz, Monterey Jack or cheddar shredded
***salsa, guacamole, grilled chickenOnce all the prep work is done, you can set everything out in colorful bowls for a “make your own” Taco Bar

*** Not included in nutritional values

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1 taco, Calories: 130, Carbs: 20 grams, Fat: 3.5 grams, Protein: 5 grams

McClure’s Arizona Salsa
2 T. minced fresh garlic
2 T., or to taste, minced fresh jalapeno peppers
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 / 2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1 / 2 ts. dried cumin
1 / 4 ts. dried oregano
juice of 1 lime
salt to tasteMix all ingredients and let rest for an hour to enhance flavor. Taste for seasoning before serving.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: ¼ cup, Calories: 25, Carbs: 7 grams

Laria’s Guacamole
1 / 2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 ripe tomato, cut into dice
1 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. fresh cilantro leaves
1 t. chopped jalapeno pepper
salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste1. Have all the ingredients ready. Peel, cut, and mash the avocado.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients immediately so the avocado does not turn brown. The citrus juice helps with keeping color refreshed. Use lemon instead of lime if you prefer.
3. To store guacamole in a bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the guacamole, then cover tightly with another piece of plastic. This prevents oxidation and discoloration. Store in the fridge.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: ¼ cup, Calories: 90, Carbs: 6 grams, Fat: 8 grams, Protein: 1 gram, Fiber: 2 grams
Note: The Florida avocados contain double the amount of fat than California (Fuerte) type avocados. The fat, however, is mostly monounsaturated fat, which the body likes. Avocados are a rich protein source also.

Plantanos With Mojo
1 large green plantain, (cut off the top and peel under cold running water. Slice on the diagonal into thick bite-sized pieces
1 T. olive oil
1 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 / 2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 / 4 cup each chopped parsley and basil
1 minced jalapeno pepper
salt and pepper to taste1. In a large skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Fry plantains to brown, turn and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes total. Remove from heat.

Mojo Sauce: In the same skillet, add oil and sauté garlic for 1 minute, add onion and continue cooking for about 4 minutes to soften and cook thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients. 2. Gently mix mojo with plantains, cover, and store for a few hours before serving. Tastes great warm or at room temp.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1 portion, Calories: 100, Fat: 6 grams, Carbs: 15 grams, Protein: 1.5 grams

Cuban Black Bean Dip
2 cans black beans, drained 4 ts. tomato paste 3 T. water 1 clove garlic 1 T. fresh lime juice 1 / 2 ts. cumin 3 green onions, sliced 2 T. chopped chilies

1. Scoop out and set aside 1 / 4 cup beans.
2. In a food processor or blender, process the first 6 ingredients for 1 minute.
3. Stir in remaining beans, green onions, and chilies.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: ¼ cup, Calories: 50, Protein: 3 grams, Carbs: 8 grams, Fat: 2 grams