D-Feast Friday | Broc Choy by Missy

Boc Choy

Thank you my friend, Missy, for adding to the D-Feast!

BROC CHOY

1 pound bok choy, about 1 medium bunch
1 pound broccoli, about 1 large bunch
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Cut the stalks off the bok choy and cut into 1-inch pieces. Coarsely chop the leaves. Peel the broccoli stalks and cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Cut the broccoli florets into bite-size pieces.
In a large skillet or wok, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the bok choy stalks and the broccoli stalks and florets. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat until the broccoli is bright green, 5 minutes. Uncover; cook on high heat until the water evaporates, 2-4 minutes. Take the wok off the heat and add the bok choy leaves, oil and garlic. Put the wok back on the heat; cook, stirring often for 2 minutes or until the broccoli is tender-crisp. Add the ginger and soy sauce and toss well.
Makes 6 servings

Broccoli Craisin Salad – Bacon Alert | D-Feast Friday

I got this recipe from a friend with very gross estimations so there’s a lot of eyeballing in this one.  It’s a very forgiving recipe so feel free to tailor to your tastes. My mom loves this salad and asks me to make it for Memorial Day or the fourth of July or Labor Day each year.

Typically it’s made with raisins, but this year I substituted Craisins.  If you use Splenda instead of sugar, the biggest carb item is the raisins/Craisins.

So in addition to the DOC, this one is for everyone who has tasted it and asked for the recipe. I’m finally writing it down.

Broccoli Craisin/Raisin Salad

  • 2 bunches of broccolli or 1 bunch broccoli and 1 bunch cauliflower – heads cut to bite size pieces
  • 1 lb of cooked BACON, chopped – doesn’t have to be super crisp, but should be on the crispier side (see picture below)
  • 1 cup (or more or less depending on your preference) raisins or in this case Craisins – leave them out entirely if you really want to go low carb
  • 1 cup sugar or Splenda
  • splash, maybe 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1 cup mayo – pick your version

Combine the broccoli/cauliflower, bacon and raisins or Craisins.

In a separate bowl combine the sugar, vinegar and mayo.  Pour over broccoli combo.

Mix to coat.

Chop the bacon to the size of your liking. Don't undercook.

I promise – it gets rave reviews.

Dreamfields Pasta | D-Feast Friday

Dreamfields Pasta

This is not a recipe, but a tip.

Pasta.  It’s a bit of a curse word to some.

Caleb loves pasta.  Pasta does not love Caleb’s blood sugar.  Regular pasta is tough.  We’ve tried some of the whole wheats – still tough.  Dreamfields – not so tough.

The box says “5g digestible carbs per serving”.  We ignore that when it comes to dosing.  For Caleb, we weigh his pasta on the Salter scale as regular pasta.  I back off about 15% of that to bolus him up front.  This may sound a little crazy, but 4.5 hours after he eats, I give him a an extended bolus of .45 units over the next 5 hours.  That’s about 30% of his basal rate at that time although I have no idea if it correlates to his basal insulin.  What I do know is that if I don’t add this seemingly minute amount of insulin, I’m dealing with hours of non-correcting 300s in the middle of the night.

I’ve heard other people back off a little at the initial bolus and do nothing later and BGs are hunky dory.

I’ve also heard people just bolus like regular pasta and that’s it.  Easy peasy.

So, as so many things with D, everyone is different.  If you love pasta but the thought of what it does to your BGs makes you cringe, Dreamfields may be worth a little trial and error.

Special Fried Rice | D-Feast Friday

This is the recipe that spurred Elizabeth’s idea of D-Feast Friday!

If rice does not agree with your BGs, move along.  There’s nothing to see here.

If brown rice works well for you, use that in this recipe.  I used long grain white rice.  Rice is not an issue for Caleb’s BGs.  So many other things are, but not rice.  We eat it freely.

The reason I tweeted this as “bg friendly” even though rice is often anything but, is because of the classic issues that restaurant prepared Chinese food is known to wreak on blood sugars.  Chinese food is something we’ve incorporated into our routine, but it took much trial and error to figure out a bolus combination that worked (similar to pizza, Caleb needs extra insulin for 8 hours after he eats it).

So although rice may not sound bg kind, this recipe is a nice substitute for the restaurant version without the need for a special bolus combination.  It’s not an exact replica, but it’s got the spirit of Chinese fried rice, it’s made from lovely fresh ingredients and I think it’s yummy.

It starts with Rachel Ray’s recipe, but I’ve tailored it a bit to increase just about everything but the rice.  Feel free to add/replace whatever vegetables are to your liking.  I vary it based upon what I have on hand.  But to me, the most important ingredient is lots and lots of diced, fresh ginger.

Special Fried Rice

Serves a family of five

I estimate the carbs at about 12 grams per 1/3 cup or 36 per cup.

Use whatever veggies you prefer. This is what I had on hand. The ginger, however, is a MUST!!

  • 6 cups prepared and chilled white rice (replace with brown if you prefer)
  • 6 T oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 inches (or more) fresh ginger root, minced (this is what makes the recipe IMO)
  • 1 cup or more chopped/diced carrots
  • 1 bell pepper or more, color of your choice, chopped/diced
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli or whatever other vegetable you choose
  • scallions galore thinly sliced
  • 1 c frozen peas
  • Optional – diced, cooked meat of your choice (great opportunity to use up some leftovers)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of soy sauce

Heat LARGE wok or skillet.  Add dollop of oil.

Add eggs and scramble.  Set aside.

Add another good dollop of oil to the pan.  Add garlic and ginger and saute briefly.

Add all the veggies (except peas) and cook until tender.

Add meat if you are including it and heat through.

Add rice and incorporate.

Add egg and peas and incorporate and heat through.

Finally, add soy sauce to your likely using 1/3 t0 1/2 cup as a gauge.  You may want to start with less and taste and add more if desired.

Ready to serve – enjoy!

Also great as a side dish.  Just half the recipe.

Various serving sizes for various appetites.

 


D-Feast Friday

It began with a Tweet.  Lorraine was making pork fried rice for dinner, and while stir-frying the pretty, chopped ingredients, she was compelled to take a picture.  Then when it was all finished, she took another picture and tweeted it with the message:

Homemade & bg friendly Chinese pork and veggie fried rice.

It started a conversation in which Elizabeth tweeted:

Maybe we should have a d-blog day where we all post our favorite carb-friendly recipes. I know @diabetesalic has an AMAZING soup.

Which led to a rapid exchange between Elizabeth, Karen and Lorraine, (with several other excited DOC interjections, which of course included references to bacon), finally leading to this kick off of D-Feast Friday!

Together we invite you to blog about your favorite recipes next Friday, July 23rd.  Does your recipe have to be low carb?  Not necessarily, since we know that everyone’s BGs react differently to foods.  Our hope is that by sharing ideas, we can each walk away with a few new wonderful recipes, although we know not all recipes will work for everyone.

Feel free to include pictures of you cooking, and/or of the final meal, and any special techniques you use.  Have fun with it! (If you’d rather simply link to a favorite recipe that’s already online, feel free to do that as well.) Nutritional information is always welcome, particularly carb counts with defined serving sizes, but also calories, fat and protein if you know it. If your recipe is low carb, gluten free, low calorie, vegetarian or vegan, please indicate this in your title so that people looking for these types of meals will be able to reference pertinent recipes quickly.

Link to your D-Feast Friday blog post by visiting Lorraine, Elizabeth or Karen’s blog (URLs are noted below), and clicking on the button all three blogs will have on the 23rd.  Include the name of your recipe where it asks for “your name.” That title, along with the link to your blog post, will be listed and accessible to anyone looking for a good recipe. You’ll also find all the D-Feast Friday recipes by clicking on that link for easy reference.

If you don’t have a blog, we’d still love for you to participate! Just comment on Lorraine, Elizabeth or Karen’s blog, and we’ll contact you for the recipe, and post it on one of our blogs (attributing you), so that it can be included in the final list of recipes.

Feel free to continue posting and linking to recipes whenever you feel the urge. The list will be ongoing, and the more recipes the better.

Let’s get cooking!

Elizabeth, Idea Master (Pieces of My Life)

Karen, Button & Blog Day Master (Bitter-Sweet Diabetes Blog)

Lorraine, Initial Recipe Tweeter (This is Caleb)

Colin’s Food Revolution | Part 3: The School Meeting

Colin with his Food Revolution Planning Binder

The final installment of this series (for now) is about Colin’s Food Revolution meeting at school. Over the past few months, Colin has been working with someone else who feels as strongly about the food options offered to students: Mrs. P, the school nurse.

There’s reading, writing, and arithmetic, but I think this learning experience is perhaps more important than any of them.  Mrs. P has taken it upon herself to mentor Colin through this process. She and Colin talked about what they could do, what they should do and how to go about it. Together, and with the aide of Jamie Oliver’s planning guide, they came up with goals and a plan to achieve them. Mrs. P coordinated a meeting with the district’s school lunch general manager and one of his colleagues.

I helped Colin set an agenda and accumulate data. He went though the lunch menus for the past three months. He tallied the number of times pizza was offered as well as other highly processed foods like chicken nuggets, chicken patties and mozzarella sticks, and then everything else. The “other” category, although not made from fresh ingredients, at least included items that appeared to be an attempt at more healthy options.

Here’s a summary of that data:

School lunch options offered over three months

If you watched the first show of the Food Revolution television series, you saw kids in school eating pizza for breakfast. I was shocked.  I was even more surprised to see it on the menu of my children’s schools. My kids eat breakfast at home and bring lunch to school, so I hadn’t paid any attention to the school menu. Not until Colin showed me.

The above chart depicts only lunch options, but you can see that pizza is offered for almost one of every two lunches served.  Two-thirds of all lunches are highly processed foods.

At the time of the meeting I was running errands, but was completely distracted knowing Colin, at the ripe old age of ten, was making the first presentation of his life of this importance. Both Colin and Mrs. P told me how it went.  Here are the highlights:

  • Colin thanked everyone for meeting with him, explained who he was and why healthy food options at school were important to him.
  • The food service representatives explained what progress they have made to improve the quality of the food at school.
  • They discussed the current menu and compared it to Jamie Oliver’s two week menu plan. Colin explained the merits of serving meals prepared from fresh ingredients and the impact it has on children and their ability to learn.
  • They talked about forming a student council to meet monthly to address food issues.
  • They debated to some extent what constitutes a healthy meal. Colin was asked about what he eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All parties agreed there was room for improvement in the school’s menu.
  • They discussed surveying the student population to see what things people would like to see on the menu and to assess interest in healthier options.
  • Colin was tasked to come up with the number one thing he would like to see removed from the menu, and the first meal he would like to add to replace it.

My perception is that it was a productive start to planting “a seed of change” and the food service people were open to further discussion. But it was also clear that Colin was dealing with a for-profit company. Their conversation gravitated to the bottom line. They talked about expenses and what menu items sell the most. Healthier foods are more costly. Kids buy pizza and lots of it.

Colin remains undeterred. He will continue to meet, plan and execute with Mrs. P. He is determined to see the above chart move to a pie of complete yellow, where yellow represents meals made from fresh foods.  He has me, Mrs. P and Jamie Oliver behind him. He has much work ahead of him.

Colin, there isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t do something that makes me proud. This day was certainly no exception.

Colin’s Food Revolution | Part 1: Flash Mob

Colin’s Food Revolution | Part 2: Pass It On

Colin’s Food Revolution | Part 2: Pass It On

Colin tells his guests why Jamie's Food Revolution is important to him

When Colin originally decided to have a Food Revolution theme to his birthday party, the plan was little more than to serve all healthy, made from scratch foods.  Soon after, the Flash Mob idea started to take shape.  Then I got Jamie’s Food Revolution cookbook.  It’s more than just a collection of recipes.  Jamie gives his readers a challenge.  Here’s an excerpt from the book:

This pass it on movement is essentially a modern-day version of the way people used to pass recipes down through generations when they weren’t all at work. That dynamic is the best learning ground ever.  As simple as it seems, pass it on could well be the most radical food movement in recent years, and you could be part of it.  I wouldn’t be asking for your help unless I thought it was absolutely necessary.

In his book Jamie asks the reader to do two things: (1) learn a recipe from each chapter, and (2) personally teach these recipes to others.

So I asked Colin if he was up to learning at least one recipe to teach everyone at his party. He took Jamie’s book to bed with him for his nightly reading.  He was more than up to it.

He chose a recipe: Jamie’s sizzling beef with scallions and black bean sauce. I bought the ingredients and we did a trial run.

Colin does a trial run of preparing Jamie's Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce recipe

Delicious!

So the menu for Colin’s party was planned: sizzling beef stir fry, a huge salad bar, and for dessert, fresh fruit.

After suprising and entertaining Colin’s guests with a rendition of Jamie’s Flash Mob, Colin invited them into the kitchen to watch him prepare the stir fry.

He passed it on.

He showed them step by step what to do and shared copies of the recipe with everyone.

Dinner was a wonderful success.  In addition to the two servings that Colin made in front of his guests, we had two trays of sizzling beef and a glorious, colorful salad bar (pictures below).

It was Colin’s tenth birthday, so although flanked by lots of fresh fruit, we did include a cake in the celebration.

Colin's Food Revolution birthday cake made by Mom

We’re committed to keeping the pledge.  Lila helped me make Jamie’s meatballs and sauce (pictured below). Colin has remained in the kitchen with me, enthusiastically helping prepare whatever is on the menu, but particularly partial to chopping salads. We will continue to pick at least one recipe from each chapter to learn.  There are so many good ones, the only hard part is deciding which to make. Caleb’s part thus far has been limited to eating what the rest of us make.

If you’ve watched Colin’s video then you have become part of the Food Revolution.  You’ve seen a ten year old do it.  Why not print the recipe yourself and make it one night this week?  I bet you will love it.  Then pass it on to someone you know.  Give them the recipe and show them how to make it.  Or at least pass on Colin’s demo.  Keep it going. Cooking fresh meals from scratch really can be easy.  Help up spread the word.

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Visit Jamie’s website for more about his Ministry of Food Campaign, read about how you can pass it on, watch Jamie prepare his sizzling beef stir fry recipe, and print your own copy here.

Up next, Colin meets with school personnel to discuss the current state of the menu.

Colin’s Food Revolution | Part 1: Flash Mob

Colin’s Food Revolution | Part 3: The School Meeting

Colin’s Food Revolution | Part 1: Flash Mob

Colin

Yep, Colin. This blog is dedicated to Caleb, but this post is about his brother, Colin, and his love of eating good food. What does this have to do with Caleb and/or diabetes? Well nothing really.

I am of the belief that good eating habits benefit anyone.  That sounds rather obvious, I agree. I state this because there seems to be greater pressure on people with diabetes to eat well.  “Pooh”, I say.  Just because Caleb has type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean he is held to a different standard.  I believe we all have a responsibility to eat well.  Before he was diagnosed, I cooked mostly from scratch and made healthy meals for my family.  Although my awareness of good nutrition is now heightened because I see it in Caleb’s BGs all day every day, for the most part we make the same food choices we would have otherwise.

Back to Colin.

Colin loves food. To hear him say, “I’m full”, is cause for celebration.  He eats and he eats a lot.  You would not know this to look at him.

I promise he eats more than most adults.

He is lean.  We refer to him as “spider monkey”.  Colin can pack it in, but he doesn’t pack it on.  I believe this is in part because of what he chooses to eat.  He has a strong preference for fruits and vegetables.  What some would consider an ample offering of fruit for their entire family would be what Colin chooses to eat as his serving alone – I’m not exaggerating.  When on vacation, Colin gets excited at the prospect of varied choices of salads (no dressing please or there will be a very grumpy Colin, and it’s pretty hard to make Colin grumpy).  The snack he brings to school on a daily basis is a fresh apple or pear whose cores are barely recognizable when he is done.  Beverage of choice – water or milk.  He takes pride in the fact that he’s never had a sip of soda in his life and doesn’t ever intend to.

Pizza, Chinese food, pretzels, cake and even the occasional candy are also part of what Colin enjoys.  But for the most part, his palette favors things that are fresh.

To help you understand that this is not all a result of nurture, Caleb and Lila, who both enjoy the healthy foods given them, get giddily excited at the offering of what qualifies as “junk food”.  Colin’s reaction is one of tolerance.  This is not from pressure that I have put on him.  It’s just Colin.

Enter Jamie Oliver.

We watched Jamie’s Food Revolution show as a family and we loved it.  I am not fond of school lunches.  Not only do I think the options are, um, well, not the most nutritious, but when I allowed Colin to pick one day per week to buy lunch at school, he always came home hungry.  Not it’s-time-for-a-snack hungry, but oh-my-gosh-did-you-skip-lunch hungry.  If I had to pack something to supplement a school lunch, well then forget the school lunch.

Now here’s Jamie – this hip, fun guy telling my kids all the things I have told them.  Thank you sir!  Colin didn’t need any convincing, but I’m glad to have these things reinforced with the younger two.

Colin’s excitement about the Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution spilled over to his 10th birthday and he had a Food Revolution themed party.

If you haven’t seen Jamie’s Show, the premise is to teach people to prepare healthy meals from scratch, quickly and easily.  One of the ways that Jamie did this in the town featured in his show was through stirring excitement via a Flash Mob at Marshall University.  If you didn’t see it, here it is (it’s helpful to watch to fully appreciate the next video):

And this is how Colin, Caleb and Lila surprised our family after most of them arrived to celebrate  (it pales in comparison to Jamie’s performance, but we had fun with it):

This is only the beginning of Colin’s Food Revolution.

Up next, Colin does as Jamies asks in his book – he “passes it on”.  I promise there is real food in Part 2.

In part 3 he sees what he can do about his own school’s menu.

If you haven’t already, please consider signing Jamie’s petition to improve the food offered in schools in the United States.

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Colin’s Food Revolution | Part 2: Pass It On

Colin’s Food Revolution | Part 3: The School Meeting