Two New and Interesting Cookbooks

I have one sibling, and he has Type 2 diabetes, as do severable of my cousins. Some of my closest  friends also have Type 2 diabetes, enough to make the menu for most  gatherings a challenge. My situation isn’t unusual. Rates for Americans suffering from diabetes are rising, and so are the number of Americans diagnosed as pre-diabetic, a condition which, if left untreated, can morph into diabetes. While diabetes can’t be ignored or cured, it can be treated.

"Eating healthy" is at the top of the list of treatments. The diabetic diet is complex, and cookbooks-really good cookbooks- are an invaluable aid for coping with the disease. Not surprisingly, cookbooks published by the American Diabetes Association are especially good.

Two of the newest-“Latin Comfort Foods Made Healthy” (Ingrid Hoffmann with Delia Annette Leon) and “The Diabetes Cookbook” (Lara Rondinelli-Hamilton & Chef Jennifer Bucko Lamplough)-are all about food that’s easy to make and even easier to like.

In her introduction, Hoffman writes, “…the notion of a diet makes me feel like I am destined to fail. Why? Simply because diets don’t work, eating the right food and not feeling deprived does!”

The distinction is crucial. “Diets” end. Diabetes doesn’t. Neither does the need to “eat healthy,” even if you don’t have diabetes. For most people, the hardest part of “eating healthy” involves portion control.

Friends, one of whom has diabetes, joined us for dinner over the weekend. Dinner was light on carbs and spot on in terms of portions. Fruit infused balsamic vinegar was the salad dressing of choice, and we had fruit for dessert. There were no leftovers and no grumbles.

Note: Be vigilant about following the “counts,” as in calories, fats, carbs, proteins and sugars. Choices and exchanges are also important. 


Jalapeno Chicken and Corn Chowder

1tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 medium carols, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

4 cups frozen (or fresh) corn kernels, thawed and drained 

1 tablespoon salt-free all-purpose seasoning

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped

1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat
  2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, jalapeño peppers (can be omitted), garlic and corn and sauce 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the no-salt seasoning, black pepper, and chicken broth Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and puree about half the soup using an immersion blender or an upright blender If using the latter, be sure not to overfill the blender.  Return the puree to the soup pot.
  5. Add the chicken and heat through. Remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Stir in the yogurt and serve. Do not boil the soup once the yogurt is added.

Nutrition Facts:

Serves 8  Serving size 1 1/4 cups

Amount per Serving: 

Calories 180

Calories from fat  30

Total Fat 3.5 grams

Trans fat 0.0 g

Cholesterol 30 mg

Sodium 130 mg

Potassium 550 mg

Total carbohydrate 21 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Sugars 6 g

Protein 18 g

Phosphorus 225 mg

Choices/Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1 Non-starchy vegetable, 2 lean protein

From “The Diabetes Cookbook  300 Recipes for Healthy Living’ by Lara Rondinelli-Hamilton RD, LDN, CDE & Chef Jennifer Bucko Lamplough

Beef Quinoa Chaufa

1 cup water

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 large egg

1 egg white

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon, divided

Nonstick olive oil spray

1/2 lb skirt steak, trimmed

2 scallions, sliced

2 teaspoons peeled, grated, fresh ginger 

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (8oz) package mushrooms, sliced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan Add the quinoa and boil until the liquid has almost evaporated. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, loosely covered, until the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes Remove from the hea and fluff with a fork.

2.  Meanwhile, whisk together the egg, egg white, and salt in a small bowl . Heat 2 teaspoons of oil  in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and cook, gently moving the eggs from the edge of the skillet towards the center, allowing the uncooked eggs to flow underneath, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook until the eggs are just set, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a cutting board; let cool, then cut into 1-1inch pieces.

3. Spray a large nonstick skillet with non-stick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a place; let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice across the grain.

4. Wipe the skillet clean Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 7 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, egg, steak , and soy sauce, tossing to mix well.

Note: the beef can be switched out and replaced with 1 lb of seafood.


Calories 280

Calories from Fat 120

Total Fat 13.0 g

Saturated Fat 3.1 f

Cholesterol 85 mg

Sodium 420 mg

Potassium 590 mg

Total Carbohydrates 21 g

Dietary Fiber  3 g

Sugars 5 g

Protein 21 g

Phosphorus 300 mg


1 starch, 1 non-starchy vegetable, 2 lean protein, 2 fat

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