The people's voice of reason

Southern Cuisine - April

Southern cuisine is known for its rich and flavorful dishes. It often includes high amounts of carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. This makes it a challenge for people with diabetes to find suitable options with Southern Cuisine. I have not dwelt on this subject very much in the past. However, there are plenty of delicious and healthy dishes that diabetics can enjoy. Here are some examples:

1. Grilled or roasted meats: grilled or roasted chicken, pork, beef, or fish can be a great source of protein for diabetics.

2. Leafy greens: collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, and kale are all low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, making them excellent choices for diabetics.

3. Non-starchy vegetables: okra, green beans, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and asparagus are all low in carbohydrates and rich in vitamins and minerals.

4. Seafood: shrimp, crab, and oysters are all low in carbohydrates and high in protein, making them a great option for diabetics.

5. Beans and legumes: black-eyed peas, lentils, and black beans are high in fiber and protein, making them a great addition to soups, stews, and salads.

6. Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, and barley are all high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, making them a good choice for diabetics.

7. Fresh fruit: berries, apples, and citrus fruits are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and vitamins.

When preparing Southern dishes, it's important to choose healthy cooking methods such as grilling, baking, or roasting instead of frying, and using healthy fats such as olive oil instead of butter or lard. Additionally, it's important to watch portion sizes and to limit the amount of added sugars and carbohydrates in recipes.

With this in mind, I am going to include some recipes in future articles that will be more suitable for a low fat and low sugar diet. There is no better time to start a healthier diet than right now. Besides being healthy this dish is also colorful.

Garden Vegetable Kabobs

Servings as needed. Time: depends on thickness of vegetables

Ingredients:

Red bell pepper, cut into chunks

Yellow onion, outer skin removed, cut into chunks

Zucchini sliced into thick rounds

Yellow squash sliced into thick rounds

Marinade

¼ cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, pressed

Juice of 1 lemon

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano and basil.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Thread veggies onto skewers and place on a cookie sheet and brush oil mixture onto the skewers.

Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Place pan into oven and roast unto tender. Depending on thickness of vegetable slices: could be up to 15 minutes. Serve promptly.

The next casserole recipe will take some tweaking to reduce the calories and fat. There are alternatives to the high fat and high calorie cheeses and soups in he stores and there are alternatives to the ingredients that are not gluten free. There are more and more reduced fat and gluten free items available to the stores.

If you are looking for a creamy and savory casserole this one will be one to try.

Million Dollar Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1 cup cottage cheese

½ cup sour cream

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 ½ teaspoons Creole seasoning

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided

5 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

30 buttery round crackers (such as Ritz®), crushed

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon sliced scallions

Directions

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cook's Notes: Dish will keep for up to 4 months in freezer, and to reheat thaw overnight or up to 6 hours in refrigerator then bake according to directions. To change up the flavor on this dish you can easily substitute in different types of rotisserie chicken like mojo or lemon-pepper, or garlic. You can also use just about any butter crisp cracker; Ritz has an assortment of flavored crackers that could be any easy way to switch up the flavor profile. This dish can also be made gluten free if you use gluten-free crackers and rotisserie chicken.

Step 2 Stir together cream of chicken soup, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, Creole seasoning, onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder in a medium bowl until well blended and smooth.

Step 3 Fold in chicken, chopped onion, and parsley until evenly coated.

Step 4 Stir together crackers, melted butter, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a medium bowl.

Step 5 Spoon chicken mixture evenly into an 11x7-inch or 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella then cracker mixture.

Step 6 Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until crackers are golden brown and edges are bubbly, about forty minutes. Let cool for ten minutes before serving.

NEXT

If you are looking for a dessert that will satisfy your chocolate and mint cravings, this dessert will be perfect for you.

Crème de Mint Brownies

INGREDIENTS

4ounces unsweetened baking chocolate

1cup unsalted butter

4large eggs

2cups granulated sugar

1⁄2teaspoon salt

1teaspoon vanilla extract

1cup flour

FILLING

1⁄2cup unsalted butter, softened

2cups sifted confectioners' sugar

4tablespoons green crème de menthe (or use green food coloring plus a dash of peppermint extract)

ICING

6ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

6tablespoons unsalted butte

Preheat oven to 350 degrees .Mist 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Prepare brownies: In double boiler, melt baking chocolate and 1 cup butter over simmering water;

Cool slightly.

In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until blended, and then add the 2 cups granulated sugar. Continue whisking until mixture is light and fluffy.

Add cooled chocolate mixture, salt, vanilla and flour.

Keep whisking until thoroughly blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and leave brownies to cool in pan.

Make filling: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the 1/2 cup butter and confectioners' sugar together until well blended.

Stir in the crème de menthe and blend well.

Spread over cooled brownies.

Refrigerate in original baking pan until filling is firm.

Make icing: Melt the chocolate chips and six tablespoons butter in the top of a double boiler, stirring until smooth. (You can do this in the microwave, just monitor closely and stir a few times.).

Pour the warm glaze over the filling and tilt pan to distribute the icing evenly.

Refrigerate until chocolate hardens.

To cut, allow brownies to come to room temperature in the pan so chocolate doesn't crack.

 

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