Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food

Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food is a new cookbook by Robyn Webb, MS and published by American Diabetes Association and will be released next month.

Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food

I was asked to review this not yet out book by my publicist so I was very happy to oblige. Since, thankfully, I don’t have diabetes, you would think that it wouldn’t interest me. However I have friends and family that I often cook for so I was delighted to have recipes that would be healthful for them and delicious for everyone else. 

The book is based on basic cooking techniques and very easy to follow. Robyn also guides the reader by offering a detailed pantry guide. Her premise is that you can learn simple techniques and recipes and make many, many variations to suit your taste. We all need variety in our lives and diets or we get bored so I love the way her basic recipes are followed by addition options to make it easy for you to change the dish. Each recipe is accompanied by the nutritional information thereby making it easy to plan your daily menus. Though, as I said, I am not diabetic I am following a low carb diet to lose weight and stay fit. So I found that the carb counts were what I looked at first!

One of my favorite recipes was the one for the Chickpea Patties with Mango Chutney and that is the one I am sharing with you today. But the other recipes are amazing as well such as the ones for Salmon Burgers, Zesty Lamb Burgers and Fresh Tuna Burgers. Of course there is much more than just burger recipes. There are many chicken, pasta, salad, soup, stir fry and taco dishes included in Robyn Webb’s terrific new cookbook. Be sure to click here Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food to purchase your copy!

CHICKPEA PATTIES WITH MANGO CHUTNEY and Cucumber Salad
Serves 4
My chickpea patties first made their appearance in the pages of Diabetes Forecast magazine. We received so many compliments about this recipe that I want to share it again. Similar in flavor to falafel, but with an Indian flair, these can be prepared, placed on a plate, covered, and refrigerated hours before you plan to cook them.
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Prep Time
12 min
Cook Time
14 min
Total Time
26 min
Prep Time
12 min
Cook Time
14 min
Total Time
26 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, diced
  3. 3 tablespoons minced celery
  4. 2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
  5. 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 2 teaspoons curry powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. pinch cayenne
  10. pinch sea salt and pepper
  11. 2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  12. 1 egg, beaten
  13. 1 1/3 cups whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
  14. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  15. 4 whole-grain buns, toasted (optional)
  16. 4 slices tomato
  17. 4 lettuce leaves
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add in the celery, red pepper, parsley, and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add in the curry powder, cumin, cayenne, and a pinch of sea salt and pepper, if desired, and remove from the heat.
  2. 2. Puree the chickpeas in a food processor or blender, adding a little water, if necessary. Pulse until you have a coarse puree. Add the chickpeas to a bowl. Add in the vegetable mixture, egg, and breadcrumbs and mix well. Adjust the seasonings with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  3. 3. Form the mixture into four patties. Heat the cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Add the patties and brown on both sides for about 5–6 minutes per side. Add the patties to toasted whole-grain buns and top with tomato, lettuce leaves, and mango chutney, if desired.
Notes
  1. CALORIES 310
  2. CALORIES FROM FAT 90
  3. TOTAL FAT 10.0 g
  4. SATURATED FAT 1.6 g
  5. TRANS FAT 0.0 g
  6. CHOLESTEROL 45 mg
  7. SODIUM 200 mg
  8. POTASSIUM 460 mg
  9. TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 45 g
  10. DIETARY FIBER 10 g
  11. SUGARS 7 g
  12. PROTEIN 13 g
  13. PHOSPHORUS 225 mg
EXCHANGES/CHOICES
  1. 2 1/2 Starch; 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Protein, lean; 1 Fat
  2. SIDE
  3. CUCUMBER AND VINEGAR SALAD
  4. Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 cup
  5. 1 cup diced cucumber
  6. 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  7. 1. Toss cucumber with balsamic vinegar and serve.
  8. EXCHANGES / CHOICES
  9. 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable
  10. Calories 20; Calories from Fat 0; Total
  11. Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat
  12. 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg;
  13. Potassium 160 mg; Total Carbohydrate 5 g;
  14. Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 2 g; Protein 1 g;
  15. Phosphorus 25 mg
  16. Reprinted from The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection by Robyn Webb, MS, published by American Diabetes Association/October 2016.
Food and Fond Memories http://www.foodandfondmemories.com/
Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food

Chickpea Patties with Mango Chutney and Cucumber Salad
Reprinted from The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection by Robyn Webb, MS, published by American Diabetes Association/October 2016

Photography: Renée Comet. The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection is available at ShopDiabetes.org,

in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733.

Sazio – Buon Appetito!

If you love Italian food and you are anywhere near Delray Beach, Florida, you really need to visit Sazio on Atlantic Avenue! Buon Appetito.

Sazio - Buon Appetito!

Gorgonzola Salad
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

On Saturday evening my sweet, wonderful husband planned our evening out. He decided that we should take a drive to Delray Beach and stroll Atlantic Avenue to check out the menus before decided on where to have dinner. Since it was a perfect evening we put the top down and went on our merry way. I don’t know if you have ever gone there on the weekend but it is buzzing with people, music, aromas and lots of doggies. It isn’t even season yet but the boulevard was crowded and alive. After perusing about a dozen menus we chose to dine at Sazio because we both love Italian cuisine and the menu was so well written and enticing that we decided we didn’t need to go any further!

Most of the seating for Sazio is outside and perfect for people watching and that is where we sat. It was just so delightful to see diners with their fur babies enjoying the ambiance and food. With great music coming from across the way it was soft enough to allow for conversation without having to shout. The guests there were super friendly which added to the enjoyment of the experience.

I knew what I wanted to taste before I even sat down but Steve had a more difficult time making a selection because everything sounded so fabulous. His decision wasn’t easily made because they offer so many options including pizza, sandwiches and wraps in addition to more traditional main courses. We ordered a Gorgonzola Salad to share to start off our meal along with the Tuscan Snapper Filet for me and the Tortellini Carbonara for Steve. 

Sazio - Buon Appetito!

Gorgonzola Salad
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Our salad came in a cool slanted bowl and was an enormous portion even to share. But somehow we managed to eat every last morsel of the tender baby greens, juicy plum tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and sweet as sugar roasted peppers that were all enhanced by the Gorgonzola cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette. When our entrées were placed in front of us we were wowed yet again by the portion sizes. Steve’s pasta was in the same huge bowl that our salad was served in (well not actually the very same bowl, just one like it) and was abundantly filled and my fish was an entire side of snapper. I knew immediately that we would have dinner for Sunday night as well.

Sazio - Buon Appetito!

Tuscan Snapper Filet
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

My first bite of the perfectly cooked pan seared fish made me so happy. It was deliciously flavorful with plenty of artichoke hearts, tiny grape tomatoes, kalamata olives and capers with a lemony white wine butter sauce. My entree came with two sides but since I am cutting carbs I opted for double broccoli which was so tasty and still crisp tender cooked with lots of sweet garlic. Steve’s tricolor cheese filled tortellini was tossed with prosciutto, peas and onions along with a creamy Parmesan sauce. It was rich and absolutely delicious but very filling. So as anticipated we had them box up our leftovers. 

Sazio - Buon Appetito!

Tortellini Carbonara
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

As an added tidbit sazio is Italian for satiated. And that is the goal of the owners. They want you to leave satiated and even have enough left for another taste! 

Sazio

131 Atlantic Avenue

Delray Beach, Florida 33444

561-272-5540

Husk Cheeseburger

Hungry for a really great cheeseburger? Then a trip to Husk Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina is a must. Their Husk Cheeseburger is legendary.

The legendary Husk Cheeseburger Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Husk Cheeseburger

Steve and I are fortunate to have a great reason to visit Charleston often. Our son and daughter-in-law live there! That means we get to enjoy the fabulous food and Southern hospitality whenever we want. At the top of our list of places we have to go to each trip is Sean Brock’s Husk. On our last visit we decided to go for lunch just so we could try the much talked about Husk burger. The last time we went to Husk we had drinks at the Husk Bar which is next door to the restaurant. All around us people were ordering the burger and just raving about it. But we were waiting for our table in the restaurant so we promised to have the burger on our return. And, well, you should never break a promise.

Husk Cheeseburger

Waving from the front porch of Husk Restaurant in Charleston, SC
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Husk Cheeseburger

Garden in front of Husk Restaurant in Charleston, SC
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Far too often when a dish is hyped a lot we are disappointed in the actual menu item. Not this time. What was promised was what was delivered! The huge burger was juicy and beefy and cheesy and cooked to perfection. As I understand it the ever evolving process of creating the perfect burger had become an obsession for chef Sean Brock. After a good bit of taste testing meat combinations the chef settled on a perfect combo of beef along with a sneaky twist. Benton’s bacon ground right into the patties. The success of the Husk cheeseburger starts with a basic foundation of two thin patties, American cheese and squishy bun. So here is how it’s built:

1. The Bun

The Husk bun is all about squish. Brock decided on the house-made buttermilk and benne (sesame) seed bun because it stayed moist and soft. The buns are steamed first. Then sliced buns get a spread of butter and beef fat and are quickly toasted on the griddle so they have a crisp exterior with that perfect squishy interior. The bun is not only critical to the burger’s structural integrity but must readily soak up the juices from the burger without falling apart.

2. The Patties

The two Benton’s bacon-infused patties on the Husk cheeseburger are what makes this burger legendary. In his quest for the perfect burger Chef Brock used to use a ribeye-brisket-chuck blend but now he has switched purveyors and is now using 100% chuck. The patties are seared on an incredibly hot griddle which is what gives the burgers their crust, and when the burgers are finished they are scraped off the griddle “diner style.”

Sean Brock’s inspiration in grinding hickory-smoked Benton’s bacon into the beef came from his frustration with the bacon strips always falling off a burger when they are placed on top. He went with the supremely smokey Benton’s bacon because he wanted the elemental Southern flavors of wood, charcoal and smoke. Cooking the burger over charcoal would add smokiness but wouldn’t create the crust he was looking for. So he opted to add the smokiness by adding roughly 5% bacon to the total mass of the patties.

3. The Cheese

There is only one rule at Husk: No other cheeses besides American cheese will ever be served on the cheeseburger. Ever. American cheese simply has the best meltability of any cheese. Three slices of gooey cheese grab onto the patties without falling off into a pool of liquid.

4. The Toppings

As with every element of the Husk cheeseburger, the toppings are vital to the burger’s structure. White onions are shaved onto one of the patties after it’s been flipped, and are then steamed below two slices of American cheese which leaves them somewhere between raw and cooked. A third slice of American cheese holds the two patties together. By the time the burger gets to the diner, the onions, cheese, and patty have become almost like one. Bread & butter pickles give the burger an extra acidic note. The pickles are made in house and are first drained of brine and then held in straight white vinegar before being added to the bottom bun of the burger. Even the placement of the pickle on the bottom is critical because of the squeeze factor. The pressure exerted by the diner’s four fingers on the top of the burger can cause pickles to slide off, but the thumbs holding the bottom of the burger don’t squeeze as hard, keeping the pickles in place. And lastly, when, and only when, local lettuces and tomatoes are in season, they are added to the burger as well.

5. The Sauce

Brock created his own “special sauce” which was inspired by the classic secret sauces of burger masters like In-N-Out and Shake Shack.  The sauce is basically every condiment he wanted on a burger including (but not limited to): ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, and jalapeños. A “tiny bit” is added to each side of the bun, leaving you with a burger that needs no additional condiments.

Deconstructed aka no bun Husk Cheeseburger Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Deconstructed aka no bun Husk Cheeseburger
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

At Husk Chef Sean Brock has some rules about what can go on the plate. “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door”. As he explains, the resulting cuisine “is not about rediscovering Southern cooking, but exploring the reality of Southern food.”

Husk Cheeseburger

Ingredients and Sources at Husk Restaurant in Charleston, SC
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Husk Restaurant

76 Queen Street

Charleston, South Carolina

843-577-2500