One of my regular readers commented to me the other day that she liked looking at my recipes but never had any of the “stuff” in the house to fix the recipe. Well to tell you the truth before my diagnosis I did not always have all of these things in my pantry. My old pantry was loaded with rice, pasta and potatoes. Very often my vegetable in a “pinch” was frozen corn or peas.

Hey, I worked full time and fixing a new and different meal every night was more than I wanted to do. I would get home put up a pot of water, toss in some whole wheat pasta and some broccoli, toss it with butter and/or olive oil and top with cheese and call it a healthy dinner.

Pasta I save for my birthday because I WANT A BIG BOWL!  I have tried and enjoyed some lower carbohydrate pastas but they are just not the same thing.

Whole wheat and broccoli, what could be healthier? Soup was something out of a can (or from my freezer if I had time on the weekend) with the words HEALTHY or LIGHT highlighted in some neon color on the label. I would toss in a few extra veggies, slather some good bread with butter and dinner was served. All this was accomplished while the laundry tumbled in the dryer. Multi- tasking is KING! I still do soup but now it is always homemade (or mostly homemade) in big batches and frozen for another day.

Pasta I save for my birthday because I WANT A BIG BOWL!  I have tried and enjoyed some lower carbohydrate pastas but they are just not the same thing. I also have trouble with the explanations the manufactures make about it gets to be a lower carbohydrate product. Even those I can’t have as much as I WANT. As they say: “close but no penne.”

For people like us with diabetes, meal planning is the new way of life. My pantry now has to have a lot more in it to make it all work for me. I do not know how I could live decadently without almonds, walnuts, and pecans. I used spaghetti squash, cauliflower, and spinach before. Now I do them in different ways to create the greatest variety on the plate.

I have increased the selection of oils and vinegars in the pantry. I even have a chocolate infused olive oil from Ariston that I use in my chocolate cake. Every item has always become a conscious selection. Now the criteria is: lower carbohydrates without loss of taste. It has taken time for me to do this and really why I want to share the experiences and products with you.

I have had some criticism that:

Diabetics should not expect everything written out for them.

This came from a person who has Diabetes herself, and on the public forum. My response to this is:

“Just give me a break. Give me a break and any other diabetics out there a break”.

It was/is important for me and my personality to have done the work (just ask my doctor) but just as important for me to share what I have found with others.  I had such a difficult time in the beginning that anything I can share with you to make your eating life easier makes it the right thing for me to do. I do not expect to be the single source for any diabetic to find products and recipes they will use.

I hope only to be a source to lead them to some items and recipes and build on that. All the recipes I share with you are “mine” but at some point I had to learn them from another chef or from a book or cooking show. In my cook book each recipe is followed by lined spaces for each cook to make their own adaptation to my recipe. Hey I love artichokes but I know dozens of people who all but gag at the thought of either eating or cooking one.

My Italian Crème Gallette is a dream dessert and it takes time to make. My sister in – law hates the texture of ricotta cheese. Just between you and me she would never recognize the ricotta but the chances of her preparing the cake are slim to none.

You may never need or want everything in my pantry for the way you cook. (I am a chef and get bored easily with the same old thing, and want the variety).  Since my diagnosis seven years ago, cooking has become my revenge against the boredom of eating a Diabetes-Compatible diet, and a challenge to see just how good it can be. For me it is a win-win situation. I hope it can be for you as well.

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, and BE DECADENT! –w

Find more from here from Ward Alper, THE Decadent Diabetic. You can also visit him on Facebook