Diabetes Diet #66: What’s Cooking?

Diabetes Recipes:

Grilled Wild Salmon with Citrus and Fennel Relish
Mediterranean Spinach Salad
Homemade Croutons
Red and Yellow Beet Tabbouleh
As you know Cyber Kitchen is a food column. Sometimes we expand our topic to talk about living a healthy lifestyle with diabetes as our partner, or mention various tips on exercise, but since summer is the season for a myriad of conferences and meetings in the diabetes community I thought it would be a nice change to sit out in the backyard or on the front porch, enjoy some of nature’s summer bounty, and catch up on a little news from the sugar-free grapevine, sometimes known as the insulin injected engine. But, let’s start with some food.

Favorite Summer Recipes

This is my current favorite wild Alaskan salmon recipe. Go for the wild salmon since it is super rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Grilled Wild Salmon with Citrus and Fennel Relish (4 servings)

4, 4-oz. filets of wild salmon
1 cup chopped fennel bulb
1 navel orange, peeled and chopped
1 large, ripe beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped
3 green onions, sliced
¼ cup pitted and sliced Greek olives
¼ minced flat-leaf parsley
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice, plus grated zest from 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Make relish by combining all ingredients in a bowl and tossing well to mix. Cover and let sit for at least one hour.
  2. Brush salmon with a very small bit of oil to prevent fish from sticking to grill or grill pan. Grill on a very hot fire for about 3 minutes per side. Check center for doneness. It should be dark pink. Don’t overcook it. You will lose the delicate flavor and tenderness of the fish.
  3. Serve fish with relish on top. Delicious!

Nutritional Value:1 portion fish and ½ cup relish = 275 cal, 9 carb grams, 30 grams protein, 9 fat grams, 2 grams fiber

Mediterranean Spinach Salad (4 servings)

This is a wonderful accompaniment to the salmon recipe above.  You can make it ahead and invite friends over to enjoy the simple pleasures of summer cooking.

1 lb. baby spinach, preferably organic
1 cup small grape or pear tomatoes
6 scallions, sliced thinly
For the dressing combine:
¾ cup low-fat plain yogurt, Greek if available
2 T. good olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of black pepper, salt, and dried thyme

  1. Combine vegetables in a large salad bowl.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with vegetables.
  3. Toss homemade croutons on top and serve.

Nutritional Value:1 serving = 118 cal, 7 fat grams, 5 grams protein, 10 carb grams, 4.5 grams fiber

Homemade Croutons

Why pay a high price for low-quality croutons when you can make your own really good ones?  Use a favorite whole grain bread that’s a few days old.

  1. Cut about 8 oz. whole grain, sourdough, or another favorite whole loaf into ½ inch cubes.  You should get 3 ½ cups cubes.
  2. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a large skillet to medium-hot.  Add bread cubes and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  3. Cook, turning and stirring for 5-10 minutes until bread is toasted and crisp.  Cool on paper towels and store in an airtight container.

Nutritional Value::  ¼ cup = 50 cal, 2 grams protein, 2 fat grams, 9 carb grams, 1 gram fiber


As I was Saying…

In May I stopped by a TCOYD meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was held in the downtown convention center. TCOYD is always a day jam-packed with information, education, up to the minute topics, energetic exhibitors, and chatty vendors. It is all orchestrated by Dr. Steve Edelman, a type 1 himself and his well-organized team headed by Sandy Burdett. Dr. Edelman has a stage presence that speaks with intelligence and self-deprecating humor. He gets his message across to his audience that diabetes is something that can be handled and controlled. Throughout the TCOYD conference, the many options available to support good diabetes management are in motion. These Saturday conferences take place all around the country. If one is taking place near you might want to attend.

Also in Raleigh, the very first Women’s Weekend organized by Brandy Barnes, founder of Diabetes Sisters, took place in late May. This writer was there to give tai chi classes for the early risers, 6:30 am classes. If you were up and rearing to go at that hour and not interested in tai chi, there was a belly dancing option. Both classes were well attended. The conference itself was very well organized for a first time out of the box event. The two-day meeting was on-target for women with diabetes. Presenters have well-established health professionals and clinicians who spoke about pregnancy, menopause, body images, diabetes is the workplace, nutrition, and other gender-appropriate topics to help women manage their diabetes. Former Miss America, Nicole Johnson, a type 1 and diabetes advocate, presented a beautiful keynote address. If I am reading into my crystal ball with accurate extrasensory perception, we can look forward to a second annual Women’s Weekend next year.

DESA, the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association, presented a one-day conference in the hallowed grounds of Boston’s Joslin Diabetes enter. Last June, DESA held its annual North American conference there. For 2010 DESA is presenting several one-day events. Check the website for more information. A dedicated team of local volunteers included health professionals as well as members of DESA who are devoted to the mission of being physically active as part of excellent diabetes management. A panel discussion, “Ask the Experts” included Kris Freeman, Olympic X-country skier, Missy Foy, professional long-distance runner, Patricia Brownell, tri-athlete, and two clinicians. With food donated by Whole Foods, the day was not only educational but tasted very good also.

My personal favorite conference to attend each year is the Children With Diabetes: Friends For Life meeting at Disney in Orlando. This year was no exception. Besides the invaluable education and information families receive, the kids are united with their friends and have a terrific time. Sports Central is the spot where all the action takes place day and night with volleyball, basketball, jump rope, hula hoops, tai chi, tumbling, games, and the wildly popular dodge ball. I am proud to be part of seeing to it that the kids, ages 2-17 get in good physical activity, which as we all know is part of the diabetes care package. At the gala banquet feast, this year’s theme was disco, which meant dance lessons, music, lots of glow in the dark toys, and fun for all.

There is still another big conference of the American Association of Diabetes Educators coming up in August in San Antonio. Diabetes Educators are our connecting links, our liaisons between us, and our diabetes. They can make suggestions, offer educated advice about the way we manage diabetes. If you are looking for a professional diabetes educator in your area, visit their site.

That’s the news I have for you today folks, except for one more favorite light recipe to enjoy in these dog days of summer.

Red and Yellow Beet Tabbouleh (4 servings)

A friend gave me this recipe and it not only looks colorful and vibrant but tastes delicious.

¾ cup large grain bulgur
1 cup boiling water
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 small beets, 1 red and 1 golden, peeled and shredded
½ each: red and yellow pepper cut into cubes
2 green onions, sliced
½ cup each:  chopped parsley, basil, and mint

  1. Pour boiling water over bulgur. Add garlic. Cover the bowl with a plate and let rest for ½ hour or until water is absorbed.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Toss with 1/3 cup dressing.
  3. In small bowl whisk: 1/3 fresh lemon juice, grated zest from a lemon, 1 t. Dijon mustard, 1 small minced garlic clove, ½ t. dried oregano, salt, and fresh pepper to taste. Continue whisking while slowly pouring in 1/3 cup good olive oil. Use for Taboulleh and keep the JUditremainder for other salads.

Nutritional Value:1 cup = 210 cal, 5 grams protein, 30 carb grams, 9 fat grams, 7 grams fiber