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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chianti by VESPA 2010

Chianti by VESPA 2010
If you are ever in Florence Italy, this is a must! We used the tour Co. Florancetown. http://www.florencetown.com/eng/tuscany-tours/single-day-tours/77/tuscany-by-vespa--original-1-day-tour.html

Our travel planners are Howard and Roxana Lewis @
Protravel International 9171 Wilshire Blvd, #428 Beverly Hills CA 90210 Tel: 310-271-9566 CST - #C255-2120

They will pick you up with one of our confortable, air-conditioned mini-vans fully protected with car insurance and they take you to the countryside, away from the busy city. First you will receive an orientation conducted by an English speaking trained professional ensuring the safe operation of the Vespa before we head out for our engaging and enjoyable ride. Our guide was awesome!

You will drive along quiet and scenic country roads offering splendid views of the rolling hillside and visiting different small medieval villages in the heart of Tuscany and enjoying the most fabulous of the landscapes. Next, we will stop for lunch at a tipical Tuscan castle* to join a little tasting of some of the most famous Chianti wines, locally produced. We stopped at the Corsini Vineyards and had a nice lunch and sampled wine and the best organic olive oil I'v ever tasted.

andrea.jpgAndrea Trini was our guide. He was great! Very knowledgeable and easy going.

Then it's back to downtown Florence at about 4.30pm.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Don't forget Valentine's Day...

It's not to early to start planing your Valentine's Special day.

Chef Robert's Valentine's Day Gift Ideas Valentine's Day is just around the corner, does your special someone love to cook? Here are just a few ideas.

Lets Start with one of my Favorites...The Classic Bloody Mary, lets put it together.
The Bloody Mary of Love!

  • 3-4 oz vegetable juice or tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (wheat-free naturally brewed soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce like Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (naturally brewed soy sauce)
  • 1-2 ounce River Baron Vodka Americans premium vodka, to taste http://www.mrdistilling.com/frame/recipes_vodka.shtml
  • Olives and Caper berries, for garnish
  • Long celery stalks, with leaves, for garnish
  • Ice cubes
Drop some ice cubes in a shaker and combine juice, tamari, hot pepper sauce, celery salt and vodka. Shake well. Strain into tall glasses filled with ice cubes. Garnish each glass with caper berries and celery stalks. Enjoy!


OK next up...

Shrimp Scampi and Tomatoes

What's in it?

1 large tomatoe; (4 slices)
2 oz Feta cheese
4-5 sprigs of basil; fresh
4 T. virgin olive oil
Dash cracked pepper
1 lb large fresh shrimp, raw, deveined
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh lime

Let's Put it Together!

Wash and slice tomatoes crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, 4-5 slices. Arrange the slices on a salad plate. Sprinkle the Feta on top each tomato. Cut fresh basil leaves into strips and top each tomato with basil. Drizzle olive oil over the tops and add a dash of pepper.

Shrimp preparation:

Combine the juice of the lime, oil, garlic, and pepper in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss lightly to coat. Heat the grill or a hot sauté pan until hot. Place the shrimp on the grill or in a pan and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes. Turn the shrimp. Place the shrimp on top of the tomato, basil, and feta cheese. Enjoy!

What about the Main course?

Chef Robert's Salmon Skewers of Love

Salmon is truly a fish for all seasons. It can be prepared in so many tasty ways, and this is one of my favorites. Baked or grilled, the light marinade makes this dish unforgettable. It's easy and quick to prepare, but your friends will think you cooked all day.
What's in it?

2 medium-size fresh salmon filets
2 Tbsp fresh garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh basil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 red pepper
2 green peppers
1 red onion
1 large Portobello mushroom
4 bamboo skewers

Let's Put it Togather
Skin salmon and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Mix garlic, oil, basil and lemon juice in a bowl. Combine with salmon and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Place skewers in cold water for 10 minutes before building the skewers. (This will keep them from burning.)
Alternate peppers, onions, mushrooms, and salmon on skewers.

Place on a hot grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning often, or place on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Nutrition at a Glance (per serving)

Calories 226
Total fat 26.5g
Carbohydrate 9.31g
Protein 40

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekly Pair and Share Dish of the Day!

Weekly Pair and Share

Dinner Menus

Happy Diabetic Friendly Recipes and

Pair and Share

Dish of the Day!

Just what does pair and share mean. Simple, when I eat out with my wife we order one entree and split it. It's always plenty of food and guess what? When the check comes it's cut in half!

Chef Robert Lewis The Happy Diabetic gives you Pair and Share meal plans, awesome recipes of Love that are perfect to share, making the portions right on!

How I plan my Pair and Share healthy plates:

1. Every item should be available at you local grocery store.

2. The plates will be lower in carbs.

3. They will have more complex carbs-fruits and veggies, beans, fish, lean meats

4. Flavor, Flavor, Flavor! Easy to use spices.

5. All oils used will be monounsaturated. At the center of the famously heart-healthy Mediterranean diet is olive oil is considered a "good" fat that helps slash the risk of heart attack -- and has been shown to help keep blood sugar steady by reducing insulin resistance.

As a diabetic, you should talk to your health care provider before beginning any new meal plan. Ask your healthcare provider to refer you to a Certified Diabetes Educator or a Registered Dietitian to create a meal plan just for you. They can help you determine how many calories and carbs, you need. Remember one size does not fit all.

Chef Robert's Mediterranean Chicken of Love

Go ahead Pair and Share it!

If you've ever traveled to Greece, you know all about the healthy eating habits of the locals. This dish is a rich and full-flavored sample of their cuisine, heavy with aromas from the Mediterranean.

The tender chicken, garlic, and tomatoes create a delicious combination that your friends and family will not soon forget, and it's just as good if you substitute shrimp for the chicken. This recipe is easy to prepare… and remember, it was made with love!

What's in it?

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white wine

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and sliced

2 cloves of garlic

1 roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 diced green pepper

1/2 diced red pepper

1/2 sliced red onion

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried basil

1 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon oregano

10 pitted kalamata or black pitted olives

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 can of italian white beans (drained)

NO salt.... pepper to taste

Let's Put it Together!

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

2 Add the onions and peppers and mushrooms and tomatoes and sautè for about 5 minutes. Lower heat, add white wine, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add garlic oregano, rosemary, and basil, and simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes.

Return the cooked chicken to skillet and heat. Add olives and parsley to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Season with pepper to taste, and serve.

Servings: 4

Nutrition at a Glance (per serving)

Calories 336

Total fat 17.75g

Carbohydrate 4.92g

Protein 34.58g

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.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chef Robert's Top Wine and Sprit Picks for 2011

Wine...love it!

Over the next 12 months I will taste and review some awesome wines.
I promise I will not sugar cote my option.I will tell it like it is.
Much of what I'v learned come for the school of tasting.
ok...here are my rules for wine:

1. Be open minded, don't get in a wine rut. Try all kinds. Look, some will be winners others not. That's the adventure.

2. You don't have to spend a fortune.

3. The label tell the story learn how to read and understand the terminology, it's really simple.
4. Develop your taster! My wine mentor Gary Vay-ner-chuk from
Wine Library TV http://tv.winelibrary.com/ explains it this way! Watch


Ok, for real tune into Wine Library for a great learning opportunity.

But what about us diabetics? Here's what the ADA recommends.

A Few Guidelines

Use alcohol in moderation. Alcohol can dangerously lowerblood sugar in people with diabetes who take insulin or diabetes pills. If you choose to drink alcohol, talk to your doctor or dietitian about how to drink safely. Pregnant women should not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food. Talk with your health care team about whether alcohol is safe for you.
  • Women should drink 1 or fewer alcoholic beverages a day (1 alcoholic drink equals a 12 oz beer, 5 oz glass of wine, or 1 ½ oz distilled spirits (vodka, whiskey, gin, etc.).
  • Men should drink 2 or fewer alcoholic drinks a day.
  • If you drink alcohol at least several times a week, make sure your doctor knows this before he/she prescribes a diabetes pill.

More Tips to Sip By

  • Drink only when and if blood glucose is under control. Do not omit food from your regular meal plan.
  • Test blood glucose to help you decide if you should drink.
  • Wear an I.D. that notes you have diabetes.
  • Sip a drink slowly to make it last.
  • Have a no calorie beverage by your side to quench your thirst.
  • Try wine spritzers to decrease the amount of wine in the drink.
  • Use calorie-free drink mixers -- diet soda, club soda, diet tonic water, or water.
  • Drink alcohol with a snack or meal. Some good snack ideas are pretzels, popcorn, crackers, fat-free or baked chips, raw vegetables and a low-fat yogurt dip.
  • Find a registered dietitian to help you fit alcohol into your food plan.
  • Do not drive or plan to drive for several hours after you drink alcohol.

Adapted from the book Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy. Written by Hope S. Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, a nationally recognized expert on healthy eating and diabetes.


The first Spirt to talk about...is Iowa's newest vodka, the brainchild of a television weather guy and his transportation engineer brother.

Mississippi River Distilling Co.

Maker of the new River Baron vodka, a River Rose gin coming in February and a not-yet-named bourbon scheduled for late next year - opened its doors for tours and tastings in Le Claire Iowa for the first time in December 2010.
Owners Ryan Burchett, 36, and Garrett Burchett, 30.

Mississippi River is Iowa's third microdistillery. The list also includes the makers of Templeton Rye, a wildly popular whiskey that is mostly distilled in Indiana, and Cedar Ridge Vineyard in Cedar Rapids.

So what does it taste like?

Sweet and Smooth... It's a great sipping Vodka. The nose has hints of vanilla and a clean no burn moth feel.

Here's my version of the RIVER BARON ROOT BEER FLOAT of LOVE

for 1
2 ounces River Baron Vodka
4 to 6 ounces root beer
1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Pour vodka and root beer into a tall glass. Add ice cream and serve with a straw.

Check out the Baron @




Please feel free to feedback to me your comments.

Buon Appetito!
Chef Robert The Happy Diabetic

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.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tips for making healthy food choices 2011

MODERATION! is my mantra!

Tips for making healthy food choices in 2011

  • Eat a wide variety of foods from the different food groups.
  • More fruits and veggies. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. All fruits and most vegetables contain carbohydrates, but their high content of vitamins, minerals, and fiber make them great choices.
  • Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. For best health, these should make up only a small portion of overall food choices. Saturated fats (animal fats and shortenings, for example) tend to raise blood cholesterol levels and are bad for the health of your heart.
  • Use salt (sodium) in moderation. Most people eat more salt than they really need. For some people, extra salt adds to their risk for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is more common in people with diabetes. Uncontrolled blood pressure (greater than 130/80) greatly increases the risk for health problems. Here are ways to cut down on salt:
    • Choose foods "close to nature." Less processed foods have less salt.
    • Avoid foods canned, boxed, or frozen with extra salt. Try the "no-salt added" varieties.
    • Use herbs, spices, and salt-free seasoning mixes for added flavor, instead of salt.
  • Use sugar in moderation. High sugar foods should make up only a small part of the diet. However, small amounts of sweet foods can be a part of a healthy diet, even for people who have diabetes. Learn how to fit the sweets you enjoy into your overall plan.
  • Use alcohol in moderation. Alcohol can dangerously lowerblood sugar in people with diabetes who take insulin or diabetes pills. If you choose to drink alcohol, talk to your doctor or dietitian about how to drink safely. Pregnant women should not drink alcoholic beverages.
Thanks to my friends at http://www.lillydiabetes.com/pages/choosing-healthy-foods.aspx