Healthful meal plans like the Mediterranean Diet, along with regular exercise, can help people with diabetes feel better and stay healthier. Best of all, due to the number of delicious culinary cultures in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, flavorful and satisfying foods are the norm on the Mediterranean Diet. No one following this lifestyle needs to sacrifice taste or tradition. The Mediterranean Diet has been linked to lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, as well as helping those already diagnosed with diabetes maintain healthy glucose levels. Rich in flavor, heart-healthy fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, the Mediterranean style of cooking has proven to be beneficial for people with diabetes—and for good reason. This delicious diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains can help lower blood pressure, glucose levels, and risk for heart disease without cutting out amazing taste. I was inspired to write The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook (Nautilus Silver Award and Starred Review by Publishers’ Weekly and named Best. Diabetes. Cookbook. Ever.) when my mother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but the recipes are delicious enough for everyone to enjoy! Here are some recipes from the book that make eating healthy a pleasure! Enjoy! Sicilian Swordfish and Eggplant Bundles/Involtini di Pesce Spade e Melanzane Swordfish and eggplant are culinary ingredients which the Sicilian table inherited under Arab rule. Before the arrival of the Arabs in Sicily, swordfish, known for being extremely difficulty to catch, were not eaten. Sicilian fisherman learned how to catch sword fish from the Arabs. Even today, Sicilian fisherman use Arabic words instead of Italian ones while fishing. Since swordfish is not always stocked in American supermarkets, it’s a good idea to call ahead and find out when a shipment will be arriving and place an order. Pumpkin swordfish has a slightly sweeter taste than regular swordfish, but it also works well in this recipe. Very thinly sliced fresh tuna could be substituted, if necessary, in this recipe. For best results, use a mandolin grater or a very sharp knife to slice the eggplant. Serves: 4 Serving Size: 1 bundle Ingredients: 1 medium sized eggplant, sliced lengthwise into paper thin slices 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup chopped boxed tomatoes (Pomi brand) 1 cup strained boxed tomatoes (Pomi brand) 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil 2 tablespoons pine nuts 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated pepper Dash of crushed dried red chili flakes 2 (3/4 pound) boneless swordfish fillets Preparation: Preheat broiler and place eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil and bake for a few minutes until tender and cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until it releases its aroma- do not let garlic turn brown. Stir in chopped and strained tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, chili and chili flakes, stir, and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. In the meantime, place a large piece of wax paper on a work surface. Place fish fillets on wax paper, and cover with another piece. Use a flat edged meat hammer to pound fish into a very thin, even (1/4-inch) thickness. Check under the wax paper from time to time to make sure that fish is not tearing. Cut each piece in half to make 4 pieces. Top each piece with thin layers of the eggplant slices. (If you have extra eggplant slices, reserve them as a garnish). Starting at the wide end, roll up fish, completely encasing eggplant. Use toothpicks or skewers to secure the rolls. Slowly remove lid from tomato sauce and add rolls into simmering sauce. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning once, or until fish is cooked through. Transfer fish to a serving platter, remove skewers, and top with remaining sauce. Serve remaining eggplant slices along the sides of the dish. Bruschetta with Artichoke Puree and Roasted Red Peppers This is my favorite ways to serve bruschetta. The first topping is an artichoke puree which I used to enjoy while living in Rome. It was a typical antipasto served at one of my favorite pizzerias. Luckily, it is healthy and easy to make. Use the best quality olive oil possible. Ingredients: 1 (10 oz) loaf crusty, day -old Italian bread 1 1/3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Artichoke puree 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Juice of 1 lemon 2 Tbsp Romano cheese salt, to taste freshly ground pepper, to taste 1 large roasted red pepper (from the jar), drained and thinly sliced Preparation: With a large serrated knife, slice the bread into 1/4- inch slices on the diagonal. Lay the bread slices evenly on cookie sheets. Brush both sides with extra-virgin olive oil. To make the puree: Place the artichokes, olive oil, lemon juice, cheese, salt, and freshly ground pepper into the food processor and process until a smooth puree is formed (less than 1 minute). Taste the puree. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside. Place the bread under the broiler. Toast for 3-5 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven. Turn bread over. Return to broiler and toast for another 3 minutes, or until golden on the other side. Remove from the oven. Slather a thick layer of puree on each slice of bread. Top with red pepper slices. Serve warm. Original Recipe: Amy Riolo. As an award – winning author, chef, television personality, cuisine and culture expert, and educator, Amy Riolo makes frequent appearances on numerous television and radio programs both in the United States and abroad, including Fox TV, CBS, Montgomery and Fairfax County TV, Nile TV, The Travel Channel, Martha Stewart Living Radio, WHYY, and Abu Dhabi Television. Amy also creates and appears weekly in ninety second cooking videos entitled “Culture of Cuisine” which air on nationally syndicated news shows […]Easter Bunny Pancakes
This kid-friendly recipe is sure to please everyone at your Easter breakfast table. But perfect pancakes are a staple year-round, so don’t be afraid to whip out the recipe anytime you are feeling festive! Mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately helps keep the pancakes fluffy. INGREDIENTS Yield: 8 servings Pancakes 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1 Tb. white sugar 1 1/4 cups milk 1 egg 1 tsp. vanilla extract 3 Tb. butter, melted Decorations 4 strawberries, halved 16 blueberries 16 fine slices of cantaloup or other melon 16 marshmallows Drizzle of honey DIRECTIONS In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter. Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour in the liquid; mix until mostly smooth. Do not over-mix, small lumps are fine. Heat a lightly oiledTribute Recipe: Johnny Cash Chili
Today, in honor of Johnny Cash’s birthday (1932), we are sharing the star’s personal chili recipe. It’s perfect for brisk winter nights! John Carter Cash, the only child of Johnny and June, shares this recipe and other stories from his childhood in his memoir, “House of Cash: The Legacies of My Father, Johnny Cash.” INGREDIENTS 2 lb ground venison or ground beef 1 lb venison steaks or sirloin 2 large sweet onions 3 cloves garlic 2 Tbs. canola oil 3 cans whole tomatoes (16-oz.) 2 large green bell peppers 1 large red bell pepper 5 jalapeno peppers diced (to taste) 1 habanero pepper (to taste) 2 packets McCormick mild chili seasoning Salt and black pepper 1/2 cup chili powder (New Mexico chili powder, if available) 1/3 cup cumin 1 Tb. sage 1 1/2 tsp. oregano 1 Tb. cayenne pepper 2 cans black beans (15-oz.) 2 cans pinto beans (15-oz.) 2 cans kidney beans (15-oz.) 1 can chili beans (15-oz.) 1 bottle beer (12-oz.) 1/4 cup sugar A handful (about 1/4 cup) of self-rising cornmeal DIRECTIONS – See Johnny Cash’s original directions and notes here. 1. Chop the steak into medium pieces. Finely chop the onion and garlic. 2. In a Swiss Diamond stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the steak in the oil in batches, draining off some of the fat if necessary. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a Swiss Diamond skillet, brown the ground meat over medium-high heat. Drain off the fat and set aside. 3. With the oil remaining in the pot, brown half the onions and garlic over medium heat until they are caramelized. Now add the well-drained ground beef and steak. Stir and heat it all up. 4. Add the cans of tomatoes, the bell peppers, hot peppers (if using), and the remainder of the onions and garlic. Heat to a brisk simmer, stirring often. 5. Now it’s time for the spices. Dad would normally put in the McCormick chili packets, followed by the salt and black pepper, chili powder, cumin, sage, oregano, and cayenne pepper. This is the time to begin tasting your chili. 6. Once the taste is to your liking, drain the cans of beans and add to the mixture. Now taste again, as you will likely want to add some more spices because the beans mellow their flavor. 7. Once the chili tastes right, pour in the bottle of beer. Stir well. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 8. Add sugar to taste, but be careful not to use too much. Chili becomes something else entirely if too sweet. Simmer, covered, for at least another 30 minutes, making sure to stir so it does not burn. 9. Now grab that handful of cornmeal, uncover the chili, and stir it in. John Carter Cash says, “Follow the recipe exactly, and you will get a good pot of chili. Change it to suit your own taste, and you will have a marvelous pot of chili.” Enjoy!