Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quick & Easy: Lemon Garlic Shrimp

A healthy twist to classic shrimp scampi with less fat.  [The recipe is just for the shrimp.  The options are limitless on what you choose to serve it with.]

Serves - 4  / Serving Size - 3-4 oz
Preparation Time - 15 minutes  /  Cook Time - 10 minutes

4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tblspn olive oil
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp [used 1/2 pound]
1/2 cup dry white wine [omitted]
1 Tblspn lemon juice
1/2 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium health.  Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add the shrimp and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through and turns pink.  Remove the shrimp from the skillet.

2.  Add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil.  Add the broth and bring back to a boil.  Season with lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Pour over the shrimp and serve.

Exchanges/Choices - 4 lean meat / 1/2 fat
Calories - 195 [385 w/2oz pasta)                Sodium - 355mg [365mg w/2oz pasta]
    Cals from Fat - 70 [80 w/2oz pasta)      Total Carb - 2g [7g w/2oz pasta]
Total Fat - 8.0g [9g w/2oz pasta)                     Dietary Fiber - 0g
    Saturated Fat - 1.2g                                          Sugar - 0g [1g w/2oz pasta]
    Trans Fat - 0.0 g                                           Protein - 25g [32g w/2oz pasta]
    Polyunsat Fat from pasta - 0.3g
    Monounsat Fat from pasta - 0.1g
Cholesterol - 185mg

Source: The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook by Robyn Webb, MS


  • Really in a rush, minced garlic from a jar will work too
  • Wasn't going to make a special trip out to get dry white wine, so just increased the amount of chicken broth used
  • I like keeping a bag of the frozen cooked shrimp on hand, especially when I can buy a bag for under $8-9.00.
  • After cooking the pasta [Dreamfields angel hair pasta], I like to put it in the skillet with the shrimp to absorb the flavors. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quick & Easy: Peanut Butter Cookies

Who can argue with only five ingredients?

Serving - 30  /  Serving Size - 1 cookie
Preparation Time - 5 minutes  /  Cooking Time - 12-14 minutes

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar [used Splenda brown sugar mix]
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chopped peanuts [didn't use]

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar, egg and baking soda until well combined.  Stir in the peanuts.

3.  Place dough by teaspoonfuls on a nonstick baking sheet and press down with a fork to form ridges.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.

Exchanges: 1/2 carb / 1 fat
Calories - 76                              Sodium - 57mg
   California from Fat - 45       Total carb - 6g  w/ net carb - 5g
Total Fat - 5g                              Dietary Fiber - 1g
   Saturated Fat - 1g                     Sugar - 4g
Cholesterol - 7mg                      Protein - 2g

Source: Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking


  • Because of using extra crunchy peanut butter, I omitted the 1/4 cup chopped peanuts.
  • Lining the cookie sheets with parchment paper makes clean up quick & easy as well.
  • The book recommends using a lightly floured fork to keep it from sticking to the cookie when making the ridges.

Quick & Easy: Glazed Mustard Salmon

I don't know about you, but there are some days where dinner better be quick and easy to fix or forget it.  Today was one of those days.  Not a big fan of mustard?  Not to worry.  This is one recipe where the combination of ingredients provides the flavor versus one flavor hog.

Serves - 6  / Serving Size - 1 filet
Preparation Time - 5 minutes  /  Cooking Time - 10 minutes

1 Tblspn light brown sugar [used Splenda brown sugar mix]
1 Tblspn honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tblspn lite soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
6 (5-oz) salmon filets [the most I ever fix at one time is two]

1.  In a microwave-safe bowl, cook the brown sugar, honey, mustard and soy sauce for 30 seconds or until melted.  Stir in the ginger.

2.  Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat.  Coat the salmon filets with nonstick cooking spray and place skin side down in the skillet.  Spread some glaze over the filets and cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

3.  Turn the filets, spread with more glaze and cook another 5 minutes or until the salmon flakes with a fork.  Add the remaining glaze to the pan and cook 1 minute until bubbly.  Serve the sauce with the salmon.

Exchanges: 1/2 carb, 4 lean meat
Calories - 201                            Sodium - 431mg
   Calories from Fat - 51           Total carb - 7g  w/net carb - 7g
Total Fat - 6g                                Dietary Fiber - 0g
   Saturated Fat - 1g                       Sugar - 6g
Cholesterol - 74mg                    Protein - 29g

Source: Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking


  • Because of preparing only one large filet cut in half, I measured out just slightly less per each ingredient called for.
  • Next time I will cut back on the brown sugar and honey as it was really, REALLY sweet, as well as tending to burn before it was time to turn them [as you can see in the pic]
  • Definitely going to add a little fresh grated ginger too.
  • After removing the filets and most of the sauce, I kept a little in the skillet and tossed in some fresh spinach.

Quick & Easy: Triple Gingerbread Squares

If you love the taste of ginger, these little gems are for you!  And considering ginger's anti-oxident properties, as well as thought to enhance insulin-sensitivity (decreasing blood glucose levels), I could easily include these little squares in my one-a-day regimen.   ; )

Serves - 16   /  Serving Size - 1 square
Preparation Time - 20 minutes   /   Cook Time - 25-30 minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tblspn ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Splenda sugar blend
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten
2 Tblspn finely minced crystallized ginger
1 tsp fresh-peeled finely grated ginger
1-1/2 Tblspn powdered sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Coat a 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  In a large bowl combine the flours, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, baking soda and salt.

2.  In another bowl, combine the Splenda with the buttermilk, applesauce, molasses, oil, egg, crystallized ginger and fresh ginger.

3.  Slowly stir in the flour mixture and mix to combine with a wire whisk.

4.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pan until cool enough to cut without producing crumbs.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

Exchanges/Choices - 1-1/2 carb /  1/2 fat
Calories - 125                               Sodium 90mg
   Calories from Fat - 35              Total Carb - 20g   w/net carb - 19g
Total Fat - 4.0g                                 Dietary Fiber - 1g
    Saturated Fat - 0.4g                      Sugars - 12g
    Trans Fat - 0.0g                        Protein - 2g
Cholesterol - 15mg

Source: The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook by Robyn Webb, MS


  • I've made this recipe twice last week (yes, they are THAT good) and both times I did not have any fresh ginger.  They were still awesome.  When I had a culinary friend of mine try them, he gave a definite nod of approval - his only comment, the grated ginger would be a nice texture throughout.  So, this week when I make another batch the fresh ginger is being included.
  • These little gems stay moist even after a few days thanks to the applesauce and buttermilk.  It wasn't until recently that I learned that Splenda will dry out baked goods if not eaten within one to two days after being made.  Now, whatever servings are left after the first day are placed in the freezer.
  • You really don't need the powdered sugar, though it adds that extra touch when served.  So for me, decreasing the grams of sugar per serving?  Heck yeah!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Classic Mac 'n' Cheese

Talk about an ultimate "comfort food" and now it's one you can eat guilt-free!

Serves: 13  /  Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 40 minutes  /  Cook Time: 20 minutes

I mean who doesn't LOVE mac 'n' cheese?!  But all those carbs are enough to raise one's blood sugar before even one noodle passes the lips.  Not to worry - this recipe is only 25g net carbs per serving and contains no butter!

2-3/4 cup 1% milk divided
1/4 cup half-and-half   -- [used non-fat]
1/2 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bay leaf   -- [didn't have so omitted]
5 whole peppercorns
12 ounces elbow macaroni   -- [use Dreamfields which is specific for low carb diets]
3 Tblspn cornstarch
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1-1/2 cup finely shredded reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese (white or yellow)
1 Tblspn freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (preferably Italian breadcrumbs, but whole wheat is fine)   -- [used 1/2 cup]
2 tsp olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Coat an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

2.  In a heavy bottomed 2-qt saucepan, combine 2 cups milk, half-and-half, onion, bay leaf, and peppercorns.  Bring to a light boil, lower the heat and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes to allow the onion and spices to infuse into the milk.  Using a strainer, strain the infused milk from the onion and spices and return the strained milk to the saucepan.

3.  While the milk is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the elbow macaroni and cook for 4-5 minutes.  (This is less time than the package directions.  You want the macaroni undercooked.  This prevents the pasta from becoming too mushy in the casserole.)  Drain, add to a large bowl and set aside.

4.  In a medium bowl, mix the remaining 3/4 cup of milk with the cornstarch.  Whisk until well combined.  Add half the milk mixture in the saucepan to the milk cornstarch mixture in the bowl and whisk for 1 minute.  Add the milk cornstarch mixture back into the saucepan.  Bring the entire milk mixture to a boil on medium-high heat.  Lower the heat to medium and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.  Mixture will still be on the thin side.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

5.  Remove the pot from the stove.  Whisk in the dry mustard, cheeses, salt and pepper.  Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and mix well.  The mixture should look soupy.

6.  Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into the prepared pan.  Combine the fresh breadcrumbs and olive oil in a small bowl and mix well.  Sprinkle the top of the macaroni and cheese with the bread topping.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until topping is light brown and macaroni and cheese is bubbly.

Exchanges/Choices: 2 starch / 1 lean meat
Calories - 185                       Sodium - 300mg
   Calories from fat - 40      Total Carb - 26g     w/net carb - 25g
Total Fat - 4.5g                         Dietary Fiber - 1g
   Saturated Fat - 2.3g               Sugars - 3g
   Trans Fat - 0.0g                  Protein - 10g
Cholesterol - 10mg

Source: The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook by Robyn Webb MS


  • I'm sure the bay leaf would have added another flavor to the onion-peppercorn infused milk, but it was not something I was going to purchase specifically for this recipe.  Spices aren't cheap; and between the two, it was more important to buy the cheese.   : )
  • As for Step 4, I may have had the flame up a little too high, but either way the mixture thickened even before 1 minute was up.  So needless to say, mine did not look soupy.
  • I was not particularly fond of the breadcrumb topping, even after cutting the amount back.  It was just too much.  I'd rather save some of the shredded cheese and use it for topping.  Also, if you cut out the breadcrumbs, you decrease the carbs even more.
  • And speaking of decreasing carbs, as noted above Dreamfields pasta contains fewer digestible carbs, contains as much fiber as whole wheat pasta, but more importantly has only 5 grams of digestible carbs (lower glycemic index).  For those of you who may not be familiar with the glycemic index, the GI (glycemic index) ranks carbs as to low, moderate or high which translates into impact of blood glucose rise after eating.  The higher the index, the higher blood glucose rise and this is what you want to avoid.
  • So even if you have two servings (1 cup), your total carbs would only be 50g, and this is before adjusting for the Dreamfields pasta and skipping the breadcrumb topping.  And believe me, this Mac 'n' Cheese is filling.  If you are making for two, you'll have enough to put in the freezer for another dinner for two.