Welcome my blog of LOVE!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

7 Steps to my healthy diabetes control

I get a lot of email asking me how do I manage my diabetes. Here's my plan!

Remember one size does not fit all. Remember to check with a healthcare professional to be sure.

1. Moderate exercise daily. Exercise is good for your diabetes. But if you are not use to exercise then start in moderation. 15 minutes gentle walking each day will ease you into a regular exercising pattern.

2. Portion control is a key. Reduce the amount of food on your plate so you gradually eat less and start to lose weight. Drink a glass of plain water or a sugar-free drink before your meal to take the edge of any hunger pains. Keep fish and lean meat and poultry portion to about 3 ounces (or the size of a deck of cards). Bake, broil, or grill it.
Eat 5 times a day

3. Visit your doctor regularly and get you HA1C. You know the "they'll know if you have been cheating test"!

4. Check the carbohydrates of the foods you are eating – lower is better. Knowing what each food contains helps maintain your blood-sugars. Eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry peas or beans, whole grains, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese. Eat foods that have less fat and salt.

5. Drink at water every day. If you keep a bottle of water with you and sip frequently you'll be surprised how much you do drink throughout the day.
6. Cook with monounsaturated fats like canola and olive oil.

7.Take your diabetic medicines even when you feel good. Check your blood glucose. You may want to test it one or more times a day. Check your blood pressure if your doctor advises.

Of course portion control is key for me!

Chicken and Spinach Salad of LOVE
This salad is a light and refreshing combination. It's so unusual, your guests will rave about the flavors!

6 oz. fresh spinach
2 oranges, peeled and cut into chunks
2 c. cooked and cubed chicken
2 c. fresh strawberries
2 T. balsamic vinegar
3 T. orange juice
1-1/2 T. canola oil
1/4 t. dry mustard
1/3 t. poppy seeds
1 t. honey
Mix dressing ingredients and refrigerate. Wash spinach and tear into bite size pieces. Add oranges, chicken, and strawberries. Serve with dressing.

Servings: 4

Per Serving: 129 Cal (36% from Fat, 8% from Protein, 57% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 20 g Carb

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What is a SUPERFOOD? Here are 10 super foods that will help minimize blood sugar and make you feel better!

Eating right is key to managing diabetes.

There's a lot of talk about superfoods. But, says the American Diabetes Association, the best foods for you are easy to find, easy to cook, and even easier to pronounce. Some, like the 10 that follow, are particularly suited for people who have diabetes because they have a low glycemic index (GI) and are packed with important nutrients.

I Love Beans
Kidney, pinto, navy, white,chick peas, italian or black beans, you can't find a better source of nutritious food than beans. Their high fiber content gives you nearly one third of your daily requirement in just a half cup. Beans are also are good sources of magnesium and potassium, important nutrients for people with diabetes. Although they are considered starchy vegetables, a half cup provides as much protein as an ounce of meat without the saturated fat. Use canned varieties to save time, but rinse first to remove excess sodium.

Leafy green vegetables

Powerhouses like spinach, collard greens, and kale are so low in calories and carbohydrates, you can eat as much as you want.

Try it: Asparagus With Slivered Garlic Recipe

Fruits of all kinds!

Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes provide part of your daily dose of soluble fiber—important for heart health—and vitamin C.
Sweet potatoes and Root vegetables
This starchy vegetable is packed full of fiber and vitamin A (as carotenoids), important for vision health. Try these in place of regular potatoes for a lower-GI alternative.

Try my Cider-Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables


Berries of all kind! Brightly colored are high in antioxidants, Blueberries, strawberries, and other varieties are packed with vitamins, and fiber. Make a parfait by alternating the fruit with nonfat yogurt.

Try my Fresh Fruit Bruschetta


Everyone can find a favorite with this old standby. No matter how you like your tomatoes—pureed, raw, or in a sauce—you're eating vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron, and vitamin E.

Try my Shrimp Scampi and Tomatoes

Omega-3-rich fish

Salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, halibut, and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health. But stay away from breaded and deep-fried versions. They don't count toward your goal of 6 to 9 ounces of fish per week.

Try my Teriyaki Salmon with Scallion

Whole grains

These grains, such as pearled barley and oatmeal, are loaded with fiber, potassium, magnesium, chromium, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate. The germ and bran of the whole grain contain the important nutrients a grain product has to offer. Processed grains, like bread made from enriched wheat flour, do not have these vital nutrients.


An ounce of nuts can go a long way in providing key healthy fats along with hunger management. Nuts also give you a dose of magnesium and fiber. Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Fat-free milk and yogurt

Everyone knows dairy can help build strong bones and teeth. In addition to calcium, many fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D. More research is emerging on the connection between vitamin D and good health.

Look I understand it can be a challenge eating healthy...take baby steps.
Remember you want a revolution of eating not a revolt!

Taste for Life:
Recipes for eating and living better from “The Happy Diabetic”
We’re changing the way you eat one recipe at a time.

Take care and pick up a cook for a friend!
Chef Robert

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Diabetic Seasoning of Love

I think it's hard to imagine what cooking would be like without the awesome flavors provided by herbs and spices.
You know I love garlic. Very healthy and did you know garlic makes you sleep really good... you will sleep alone but good!

Coming soon at www.happydiabetic.com my 2 custom spices.

Can you feel the love!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

So I'm not a Master gardening guru....

Ok...raise your hand if you are a master gardener? Not to many. How about if you are really good at growing weeds? Ok that looks like everybody! Well I have good news for you, herbs are weeds! YOU CAN GROW THEM.
Here are the herbs and tomatoes I am growing this season. I will chronicle with pictures and recipes as the days go by!
Feel free to contribute any recipes. I will add them to my newest cookbook.

OK here are the newest goodies just planted yesterday May 15th!


I grow Tarragon for its aromatic leaves. It flavors vinegar and a variety of recipes. Tarragon herb is a native to dry, rocky areas of Northwest U.S., Russia, and Asia. It thrives in poor, dry, funkey soils in areas with warm days and nights. .
Tarragon grows to 2 to 5 feet. The plant has aromatic leaves that are thin and blade-like.. It produces droopy flowers in mid summer.

How to Grow Tarragon:
Tarragon thrives in dry conditions and poor soils. They prefer dry, rocky or gravel or sandy soil. They need full sun. The plant needs a warm, dry weather, day and night.
It is also grown from seed, but I get a plant all ready started. Seeds can be sown directly in the garden.
Established plants will grow well with little care. Keep the soil slightly dry.


Oregano is one of the most popular herbs in the kitchen. Oregano is a popular herb in Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Oregano plants are closely related to Marjoram, and are members of the Mint family. They originated in Europe and Central Asia.
Oregano plants are easy to grow. They thrive in dry, arid regions. Plants grow two to four feet.
I grow Oregano in containers on my decks.

How to Grow Oregano:
Oregano is easy no brainer to grow. Grow Oregano plants in full sun. Plants do well in average, well draining soils.
Water plants only during dry periods, once every week or two.
Pick flower buds as soon as they appear. The leaves turn bitter after flowers bloom.
Harvest leaves at any time after the plant has produced a few dozen leaves. Pick the young, tender leaves, as they are best for flavor. Depending on who's comming over for dinner you can decide to wash the leafs or not.
Pick them in the morning when the oils are strongest. Spread leaves out to dry in a cool and ventilated area. Leaves can also be put in the freezer for later use.


f you've ever tasted stevia, you know it's extremely sweet. In fact, this remarkable noncaloric herb, native to Paraguay, has been used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer for centuries. But this innocuous-looking plant has also been a focal point of intrigue in the United States in recent years because of actions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The subject of searches and seizures, trade complaints and embargoes on importation, stevia has been handled at times by the FDA as if it were an illegal drug.

Since the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), stevia can be sold legally in the United States, but only as a "dietary supplement." Even so, it can be found in many forms in most health-food stores, and is also incorporated into drinks, teas and other items (all labeled as "dietary supplements"). It cannot, however, be called a "sweetener" or even referred to as "sweet." To do so would render the product "adulterated," according to the FDA, and make it again subject to seizure.


I love Cilantro. Cilantro is native to Asia and the Mediterranean regions. With parsley like leaves, it produces small, white flowers. Seeds have a pleasant odor when ripe, and are sweet tasting. Cilantro plants grow up to three feet tall.

Want to grow two herbs in one plant? The plant is called Cilantro. The seeds are called Coriander. It is also called Chinese Parsley...yes, it's a member of the Parsley family.

How to Grow Cilantro:
Grow Cilantro full sun to partial shade. They will do well in most soil. Soil should be well draining. Plants are tolerant of dry soil conditions.
Coriander are grown from seed. Directly sow seeds into your garden after all danger of frost. Cover lightly with garden soil. Or, start seedlings indoors, 2-4 weeks prior to the last frost in your area.

Space seedlings or thin plants to 6" apart, in rows two feet apart. They will tolerate a little crowding.
Water plants during dry periods, once or twice per week.
Uses for Cilantro and Coriander:

Cilantro is used in wide variety of ethnic recipes, including Mexican, Tex-Mex, Spanish, and Asian cuisines.

Use the fresh leaves chopped or as garnish. It is a key ingredient in salsa. It's also used in soups, seafood, and main dishes.

Seeds are an ingredient in curry, Seed oil is used to flavor liqueurs, candies and sauces. You can also use Coriander seeds in breads, cakes, and main dishes.

If you tend to a herb garden, you almost certainly grow Basil. Basil herb is one of the most popular herbs in both the garden and the kitchen. Basil herb plants are easy to grow.Basil

Basil plants are attractive in the garden. You can grow them in the herb garden, in windowsill planters, or containers on your patio or deck. They are very popular grown indoors during winter months. They do need a sunny window, but are otherwise easy to grow indoors.

There are many varieties to choose from. The most common varieties are Sweet Basil and Genovese Basil. Some varieties have flavors like anise, cinnamon, lemon and licorice.

Roma Tomatoes

What is a roma tomato?
A roma tomato is a paste tomato. Paste tomatoes, like roma tomatoes, generally have a thicker fruit wall, fewer seeds and a denser but more grainy flesh. Roma tomatoes tend to be oblong in shape and heavy for their size. The also tend to be more firm than a non-roma or paste tomato.

How to grow roma tomatoes
Prepare the soil of your tomato bed by adding compost or a slow release fertilizer. Once you plant your roma tomato plants, water them at least once a week. Once your roma tomato plants are 6″ – 12″ high, start staking the roma tomatoes up off the ground.
Romas do tend to be a little easier to grow than other tomatoes due to the fact than many are fusarium and verticillium wilt resistant. While these diseases can kill other tomatoes, many times roma tomato plants can withstand the disease.

Cherry Tomatoes

How to Grow Cherry Tomatoes

One of the best tips on growing cherry tomatoes I ever heard is to put limestone in the bottom of each of the holes before putting the plants into the ground. This will prevent blossom end rot. Planting cherry tomatoes should be done after the plants are six to ten inches tall. If you do it before this time, your tomato plants may die. :(

You need to make sure when growing cherry tomato plants that you fertilize the pot. You can use a starter fertilizer in the beginning. This gives the plants a good start. After that you can side dress the plants as necessary.

Another one of the better tips on growing cherry tomatoes I have ever heard is to pinch off the suckers. What these are is new growth that appears where the branches meet the stalk or “V” off. These little suckers will rob the plant of nutrients. Pinching them off makes sure your growing cherry tomato plants will continue to flourish.

Another one of the better tips on growing cherry tomatoes is to tie the plants to a stake so they stay standing. Once your plant is full of tomatoes, it will get heavy. When planting cherry tomatoes, make an allowance for the space needed for each of the full grown plants along with stakes and ties. Further, keeping the growing cherry tomatoes off the ground prevents worms from eating them.

The grow time of cherry tomatoes is about a couple of months. This can be quicker or slower depending on the weather. You want to watch the tomatoes for signs of ripening such as turning red. When they are red, you can pick them. The riper they are, the easier they are to pull off the plant. Simply pick and enjoy! The plants should produce for quite a period throughout the summer.

Heirloom from Italy

It's name says it. A real classic heirloom from Italy. Heirloom tomato seeds produce tomato plants that yield an load of 12-16 oz., beautiful, red, meaty, fat, slightly pear-shaped, tomatoes that enjoy an abundance of rich, complex, sweet flavors that are well-balanced with good acidity, so I'v been told. This will the first year to try this type to fruit.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Food and Wine: A Pairing Should Fit The Bill

Hey there,
I just wanted to pass along the latest food and wine pairing article from Cork'd. - This is some really solid advice to follow for planning your next meal!

I was recently out to eat at a restaurant in downtown New York City that inspired this piece. While the name of the establishment will remain nameless, I’ve noticed this particular restaurant’s downfall becoming a trend, sweeping across both Manhattan and the nation as a whole. The issue that I’ve experienced is with the pricing and quality of wine lists that are completely out of line with the pricing and offerings from a kitchen. The following description of incongruity between food and wine is not unique to restaurants. This same principal should be applied when preparing a meal at home…
My friend and I showed up for dinner decked out in our finest jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. A casual spot, we were led to our table by an unkempt, disheveled looking teenager and presented menus and a wine list. For food, we had an assortment of gourmet dishes to choose from, including a “chicken cutlet sandwich” and a “cheeseburger with sweet fries”. Nope, these were not kids menus.

After a quick dinner menu perusal, I flipped open the wine list. With over 150 wines by the bottle and 20 wines by the glass, there was a major French influence to the list. The least expensive by the glass pour was a Loire Valley Saumur – priced at $11 per glass. By the bottle there were verticals of Dom Perignon and Opus One. Suddenly I asked myself, “should I be wearing a collared shirt?”

You wouldn’t serve Beluga Caviar with Lay’s potato chips for scooping, would you?
For that very same reason, you shouldn’t serve a bottle of 1990 Dom Perignon alongside Popcorn. The two may complement each other. In fact, the two might even enhance one another. Like your Uncle Charlie who always seems to have a gas-attack when company is around; it’s funny, it might even work in the right situation, but it’s just plain inappropriate... read the rest on Cork'd

My wine pairing for this dish is Agricoltori del Geografico Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany, Italy. Approx Price Range across vintages: $15

Cilantro Guacamole


2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
3 T. peeled, seeded and small diced tomatoes
2 T. finely chopped onions
1 t. minced garlic
Juice of one lemon
Juice of one lime
2 T. finely chopped cilantro
Tabasco hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper


In a mixing bowl, mash the avocados with a fork until the avocados are somewhat mashed but still chunky. Fold in the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the peppers and chives.

Servings: 4

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Are you a seasonal wine drinker?

I’ve recently been asked to become a part of the wine review and discussion site Cork’d.com—something I was quite honored by (again, thank you Gary for the opportunity!). It is part of the Gary Vaynerchuk Wine Liberty TV family!

Are you a seasonal wine drinker? What I mean by that is, do you tend to drink certain wines or wine styles during certain times of the year? When Fall is in the air and the evening temperatures begin dropping, many make the transition from refreshing, summer sippers to more bold, full flavored wines that complement colder weather cuisine. Is there anything more comforting than a blood-warming Chateauneuf du Pape or Brunello di Montalcino served alongside a plate of roast short ribs and root vegetables?

My favorite season cuisine is this time of year. The temperatures steadily rise, the sun sets just a little bit later with each passing day, and our favorite dinner spots offer Al Fresco dining. With the spring season, my stomach starts growling as though it were possessed with a laser beam focus…

My tummy wants it raw – and I’m not talking about a wrestling program every Monday night. I’m talking about pure, fresh, unadulterated foods. These are foods that are clean, served the way that nature intended them. The ingredients show the merit of their quality and quality alone, not the manipulation of cooking and molecular gastronomy used by many master chefs.
With the windows cracked and raw foods on the table, you can wipe your brow and focus on choosing a wine to serve. I’m going to steer you in the right direction with a handful of wine categories that aren’t to be ignored with Spring in the air.

Sparkling Wines: The very best will feature pure, clean fruit flavors that are as pure as the food you’re serving. At the same time, the wines will offer up high acid levels that leave your palate feeling refreshed and cleansed. Sushi at the table? Bring on the bubbles! Nuanced, subtle and refreshing flavors are characteristics which make a good Cava fit for Sashimi Salmon and Champagne a match for Ahi Tuna.

Loire Valley Whites: Made predominantly from two grapes, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, these wines often have a brightness and delicate quality matched only by your backyard’s sprouting Lilacs. A spring salad with a light vinaigrette dressing screams…. read more on www.corkd.com

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Rome, an Amazing City

While traveling around Italy we experienced some amazing sights,sounds and flavors. Rome, pasta, wine and pizza. Here, it is not necessary to search for restaurants. Everywhere you will find small and cheap but nice trattorie, osterie and ristoranti. Prices, even in the centre, are reasonable and the quality id great. Their great places in and around the Centro Storico, along Via Cavour and around Stazione Termini. Similarly, you can eat cheaply in the Borgo district around the Vatican. We strolled door to door looking for menus that looked tasty.
Lunch was never a problem...but you should have a reservation for dinner spots.

We chose our dinner spots based on the fact that it looked atmospheric and the least touristy. We found restaurants that were full of locals, the pasta was fresh, the service fast and efficient, the atmosphere great.

Eating on the on the hoof... You can always hit an outdoor market or grocery store and buy fruit, bread, cheese, and whatever else makes you feel good. Remember that the fountains of Rome, unless they are explicitly labeled non potabile, have clean, cold, and delicious water. The little street side fountains, fontanelle, are excellent places to wash fruit. You might also carry an empty bottle to refill with water - at this exchange rate why on earth pay a Euro every time you want a bottle of water when the fontanelle are free?

OK let's eat
On our first day in Rome we spent every hour walking,seeing and tasting. that night we stumbled on a wonderful spot near our hotel called ristorante strega rome -http://www.stregaristorante.it/cat-antipasti.php. There we ate a late night snack of Bruschetta al Pomodoro , and the vegetable and fried egg pizza you see at the top of this post, that and a bottle of Chianti, Im telling you it's not much better then that.

So... lets cook pizza. Here is a typical Rome style pizza. Can you feel the love?


1 package dry active yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 lbs. (about 6 cups) all-purpose flour or whole wheat
2 tbsp. olive oil

In an electric mixer with the dough hook attached, stir yeast and lukewarm water until combined. Add salt and then add flour until dough begins to form and is not sticky, about 10 to 12 minutes.
*If you do not have an electric mixer: in a large bowl stir yeast and lukewarm water until combined. Add salt, then add flour in small amounts, stirring until dough begins to form and is not sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for a few minutes or until the dough is smooth.
Place dough in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil. Also coat the entire dough ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place for about one hour.
Remove dough from bowl and place on a smooth working surface. Divide the dough into six balls, about six ounces each. Place each dough ball on a lightly floured surface and cover with a towel. Let rise for about 45 minutes.
One at a time, roll each dough ball on a floured surface until a thin 10-inch round pizza shape is formed.

Recipes for eating and living better from “The Happy Diabetic”
We’re changing the way you eat one recipe at a time.