Diabetic Friendly

Daring Cooks do Ceviche – Grapefruit and mint ceviche salad

March 14, 2011
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This month’s Daring Cooks challenge is all about Peruvian classics – there were actually two challenges this month – ceviche and papas rellenas. Feeling in the need for some lighter fare, I decided to choose the ceviche for this month. This was a fun challenge because I got to do something new. I’ve marinated seafood in acid before in a ceviche-inspired salad, but never ever actually started with raw fish. So here is to another daring first!

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Eggplant and Red Pepper Caponata

November 18, 2010
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I can’t believe that I was actually wishing for snow to fall today. It seems silly, right? I mean Summer just ended and Fall is upon us, and yet the thought of Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays finds me yearning for a few crystals to float in the air, sparkling in the low sunlight. To get our Winter-time “fix” we took a little train ride to Swiss-German-speaking land in the Alps to get up and close with our favorite mountain range.

Fate led us to the end of the SBB line in the little resort town of Grindelwald, just south of Interlaken in the canton of Bern, a post-card perfect village nestled right up next to some of the most famous giants of the Alps – the Wetterhorn, Schrekhorn, and the Eiger. Much to our surprise, it’s not Winter in the Alps yet either! The sun was shining throughout the valley, cresting ever so slightly over the wall of the Eiger, releasing a soft yellow glow over the entire landscape for most of the day.

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Moitié-Moitié “Swiss Fondue” Soufflé

November 13, 2010
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Many people think the process of making soufflés is all about the stress and timing of getting them to come out at that perfect moment. You work out a plan, get your ingredients together, prep your ramekins, fill them up and into the oven they go. Then you watch this glorious symphony happen as they bake. Everything the soufflé was ever meant to be starts with a small puff, growing larger and larger reaching for higher and higher heights until it transforms itself into a vertiable masterpiece of art right before your very eyes. This is the moment that everyone wants to preserve when they serve them – it’s why after this moment everything is an insane rush to get them out on the table. If you want to get a picture of your perfect soufflé, there’s even more adrenaline flowing throughout the room, and I, the photographer, start running all over the place like a lost chicken every time I have to tweak something, unable to turn back the clock as I slowly watch the soufflé tragically fall as I tried to nail the focus. Its life work now completed entire minutes ago, the comparatively cool air of the room rushes over the dish as it lets out a long and weary sigh, until it has at last crumpled to a mere shell of its former self.

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Daring Cooks #18: Rolled & Stuffed (Canh Bap Cai Cuon Thit)

October 13, 2010
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Wow can you believe Daring Cooks is on to their 18th challenge already?? It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all attempting ricotta gnocchi for the first time… Well here we are, one and a half years in. So far I’ve had a lot of fun with this group. Some challenges have been better than others, but you’ll have that with just about any blogging group. My favorite challenges so far up to this point have been the paella and sushi challenges. Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. If you can’t tell from the photo above, I didn’t stuff grape leaves. In fact, neither grape leaves nor Middle Eastern cuisine were anywhere related to what I chose to do. But I did stuff and roll leaves. Instead I made Vietnamese cabbage roll soup, also known as Canh Bap Cai Cuon Thit.

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What’s in a Name? A Not-so-Italian Bolognese

October 6, 2010
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Bolognese, or at least the Bolognese I grew up with, is my mom’s pasta sauce (and no, this is not something she calls “California Style”). She makes it differently from me though. I love her sauce – she would make about 20 servings at a time, and then freeze it so we could pull it out and use it whenever we wanted. Perfect on top of pasta, with veggies, in lasagna, oh so many many delicious plates can be made with a simple bolognese sauce…I’ve played with her recipe a lot, and found that I tend to like it using fresh tomatoes, and adding in some wine – it’s still rich and tomatoey, I just like the flavor and texture a bit better this way. I hope she doesn’t mind :)

After reading a bit about bolognese, I’m pretty sure what I grew up with and this sauce are definitely not a traditional bolognese sauce. According to Wikipedia (obviously a most trusted source in all things culinary), authentic bolognese doesn’t actually have that much tomato in it. Not only that, but a traditional ragù from Bologna is made with milk! Actually, this sauce looks to be a pretty interesting hybrid of ragù alla napoletana and ragù alla Bolognese. Maybe I should call this an American ragù? Seems more fitting than trying to pass it off as an authentic bolognese. And just to go against traditions a bit more, I happen to like mine served alongside some creamy cheese polenta.

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Copycat P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps

September 17, 2010
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P.F. Changs may not have been the most authentic Asian restaurant we ever frequented in the States, but on our then extremely limited graduate student budgets we could go out to eat, be sure there was gluten free goodness, and get like 6 portions of food for $40 – a near steal for eating out. We would always order an appetizer, then my husband would get a fried rice and I’d get a rice noodle dish. Considering we were ordering as much for the leftovers as we were for the experience there, it was easier later if I also got a gluten free dish. One thing I can really commend them on, besides having a gluten free menu and system in place before most other restaurants knew what gluten free was, was their chicken lettuce wraps. I think they were our favorite dish out of the menu, and they certainly became a tradition of sorts whenever we went there.

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