Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Quick foil meals , oven or grill

BBQ Chicken Foil Pack
All the best parts of dinner come together in one foil-pack meal you can bake or grill—what more could you ask for? 
Prep :15 minutes     prep time: 55 minutes    total time : 55 minutes       makes 4 serving 
This flavorful barbecue chicken and veggie dinner is made simple by cooking the whole thing in a foil pack!
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces 
2 cups barbecue sauce 
2 cups drained pineapple tidbits
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced

1.  Heat oven to 375°F. Cut 4 large sheets of foil; arrange singly on flat surface.
2.  In medium bowl, toss together 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces, and 2 cups barbecue sauce until chicken is fully coated.
3.  Divide chicken pieces evenly among sheets of foil. Divide 2 cups drained pineapple tidbits, 1 bell pepper, diced, and 1 small red onion, diced, evenly over chicken on foil sheets.
4 . Bring up 2 sides of foil over chicken so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space on sides for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal.
5 .  Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F). To grill, place foil packs on preheated grill. Cook 10 minutes. Turn packs over; cook 10 to 15 minutes longer or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F)
Seasoned Burger and Potato Foil Packs
50 minutes    total time
6 ingredients 
8  small new potatoes, unpeeled, quartered 
teaspoon seasoned salt
teaspoon Italian seasoning
tablespoon olive or vegetable oil 
frozen lean ground beef patties (about 1/4 pound each)
cup frozen cut green beans

1 . Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut four 18x12-inch sheets of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil; spray foil with cooking spray.
2. In medium microwavable bowl, toss potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoned salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning and the oil to coat. Microwave on High 4 minutes or just until potatoes are fork-tender.
3 . Place 1 beef patty and 1/4 cup of the green beans on each sheet of foil; sprinkle patties with remaining 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Top each evenly with potatoes. Wrap each packet securely using double-fold seals, allowing room for heat expansion.
4 . When grill is heated, place packets on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill over medium coals; cover grill. Cook 30 to 40 minutes, turning packets over once halfway through cooking, until meat thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160ºF and potatoes are tender. Carefully open packets to allow steam to escape.
Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Foil Packs
20 minutes  prep time
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, each cut in half lengthwise 
cup ranch dressing
bag (12 oz) frozen broccoli florets, cooked
cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz) 
slices bacon, cooked, crumbled 

1 . Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 6 sheets of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray.
2 . Place 1 boneless skinless chicken breast half in center of each sheet of foil. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Top each with 2 tablespoons ranch dressing, 1/4 cup cooked Green Giant™ Valley Fresh Steamers™ broccoli florets, 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese and 1 tablespoon crumbled cooked bacon.
3 . For each foil pack, bring 2 sides of foil up over chicken-broccoli mixture so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space on sides for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal. Place foil packets on ungreased large cookie sheet.
4 . Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with additional ranch dressing, if desired.
Come back  for more  foil one dish dinners . The PICs

Monday, June 27, 2016

No Fuss --- No Muss---- Fish and Fixin'

 Striped Bass with Tomato Fondue :
6         large garlic cloves, unpeeled
2         tablespoons thinly sliced sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1         tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1         large shallot, minced
2         pounds assorted tomatoes—small tomatoes halved, larger tomatoes cut into wedges
2        tablespoons unsalted butter
1        tablespoon vegetable oil
6       6-ounce wild striped bass fillets with skin, skin scored

1  .  Preheat the oven to 350°. Wrap the garlic in foil and bake for 30 minutes, until soft. Let cool, then squeeze the garlic into a bowl. 2 .  Stir in the sage; season with salt and pepper.
3 .  In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over low heat until softened, 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, butter and garlic-sage paste and cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes release their liquid, 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4 .  In a nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Season the bass with salt and pepper and add to the skillet, skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat until the skin is browned, 4 minutes. Turn the fillets and cook until just white throughout, 2 minutes. Serve the fish with the tomato fondue.
Coconut-Crab and / or Shrimp  Cocktail :
1          can (13 1/2 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1/4       cup fresh lime juice
2          tablespoons habanero hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1/2     pounds lump  crab--meat or shrimp, picked over
1/4        cup chopped cilantro
1          7-ounce bag plantain chips or tortilla chips

1 .  In a bowl, whisk the coconut milk, lime juice and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the crabmeat. Let stand for 15 minutes.
2 .  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crab-meat or shrimp to shallow bowls and garnish with the cilantro. Serve the chips on the side.
A Spanish sparkler with a hint of sweetness.
Grilled Trout  with Sicilian Caper-Tomato Salsa :
1             pound new potatoes
3             tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1             large garlic clove, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4         pound ripe tomatoes—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice, or 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3            tablespoons capers
1            tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
4            trout  fillets with skin (about 6 ounces each), pin bones removed

1 .  Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool slightly, then cut into quarters.
2 .  In a medium skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the potatoes and cook over high heat until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the potatoes are browned and the garlic is crisp, about 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
3 .  Heat a grill pan. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, capers and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Brush the trout  with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat for 7 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through. Transfer the fish to plates and top with the salsa. Serve the potatoes alongside.
White wines work best with trout  (which can make reds taste metallic). Try an Italian blend of Fiano and Greco grapes.
Potato Salad with Radishes and Celery :
3             pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes or fingerling potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
1            cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4         cup Champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2            celery hearts, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
2           bunches radishes, thinly sliced
8           small scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (1 cup)

1 .  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Slice the potatoes 1/2 inch thick.
2 .  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the potatoes and celery. Let stand at room temperature until cool, about 30 minutes. 3 .  Just before serving, fold in the radishes and scallions and season with salt and pepper.
The potato salad without the radishes and scallions can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before adding the radishes and scallions.
As you  can tell my  family  love to fish , so my friends , there will be a lot of  fish recipes  coming your way  ... more salads ... drinks   and  summer  foods  made easy .
Come back  ya hear !

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Maxy sez : Controlling Diabetes With Exercise

By Krisha McCoy, MS | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
Exercise can be an effective way to get your blood sugar under control. Get motivated to start — and stick to — an exercise plan.
Exercise is important for everyone, but it can be especially important for your health if you have diabetes. People who exercise regularly are better able to control their diabetes, thereby reducing their risk of diabetes complications. But despite these benefits, as few as 39 percent of people with type 2 diabetes get regular physical activity, according to a recent study.

Diabetes and Exercise: Why It’s Important to Stay Fit ...

If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of developing certain health conditions, including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and nerve problems. By following your doctor's recommendations for keeping your blood glucose levels under control, you can reduce your risk of developing these complications.
Researchers have found that people who exercise regularly have:

Lower blood glucose levels
Lower blood pressure
Better cholesterol levels
Improved ability to use insulin
Decreased risk of stroke
Decreased risk of heart disease
Stronger bones
Less chance of falling
Easier weight loss
Less body fat
More energy
Reduced stress levels
In addition, if you use insulin to treat your diabetes, exercise can be part of the daily schedule that you and your diabetes health care team develop to control your blood glucose levels.

Diabetes and Exercise: Getting Started ...
Talk with your diabetes health care team before you begin an exercise program. They can help you design an exercise program that is safe and effective for you. Make sure to ask about any limitations. If you have heart disease, kidney disease, eye problems, or foot problems, there may be some physical activities that you should not do.

To get started with an exercise program:
Find physical activities you like. Choose activities that you enjoy doing and that are convenient. Try new activities, such as walking, dancing, swimming, or bicycling, until you find one you like.
Schedule your workouts. Make exercise part of your schedule, just like work and doctor appointments. Aim to work out for at least half an hour on most or all days of the week.
Slowly increase your time and intensity. Don't start out doing too much, or you may get burned out. Begin with just a few minutes, and add a little time, distance, or intensity to your workouts each week.
Find an exercise partner. Ask a friend or neighbor to join you in your exercise plan. For many people, having a person who is counting on you will make you less likely to skip a workout.
Keep a workout journal. Each time you exercise, write down what you did and what your blood glucose levels were. That way you can keep track of your progress and see how activity affects your diabetes control.
Diabetes and Exercise: A Note about Hypoglycemia...
Although exercise is an excellent way to help control your blood   glucose levels, it is not without its risks. One of the most serious risks of exercising when you have diabetes is a condition called hypoglycemia.

With hypoglycemia, increased activity causes your blood glucose to fall to dangerously low levels. This can happen while you are exercising or even many hours later. Hypoglycemia can make you feel shaky, weak, and confused. If your blood glucose levels drop low enough, hypoglycemia could cause you to faint or have a seizure.

Talk with your doctor about strategies for preventing hypoglycemia. You may need to have a snack before you exercise or closely monitor your blood glucose levels before, during, and after exercising.

In addition to eating healthfully and taking insulin or other diabetes medications, exercise is a valuable tool for keeping you healthy. Commit to a regular exercise program, and you will not only have better control over your diabetes, but you will also gain more self-confidence and a better sense of well-being. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

No Fuss Summer Dinner .... Chicken & Fixin'

Tea-Brined Fried Chicken
A marriage of Southern favorites:  A salty-sweet brine of brown sugar and freshly brewed tea infuses this picnic-perfect chicken with juicy flavor before frying. Bonus: The tannins in tea act as a natural tenderizer.
2           family-size tea bags
1/2       cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4       cup kosher salt
1          small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1          lemon, thinly sliced
4          garlic cloves, halved
1          tablespoon cracked black pepper
2          cups ice cubes
1         (3-1/2-lb.) cut-up whole chicken
2         cups self-rising flour
1         cup self-rising white cornmeal mix
2         tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2         teaspoons table salt
1         teaspoon ground red pepper
Vegetable oil

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.

2. Discard tea bags. Stir in brown sugar and next 5 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (about 45 minutes); stir in ice. (Mixture should be cold before adding to chicken.)

3. Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise. Place tea mixture and all chicken pieces in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal. Place bag in a shallow baking dish, and chill 24 hours.

4. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Drain chicken well.

5. Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon 1 cup flour mixture into a brown paper bag or large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Place one piece of chicken in bag; seal and shake to coat. Remove chicken, and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, adding more flour mixture to bag as needed. Let chicken stand 30 minutes to form a crust.

6. Pour oil to depth of 1 1/2 inches into a cast-iron Dutch oven; heat over medium heat to 325°. Fry chicken, in batches, 15 to 22 minutes or until browned and done, turning occasionally. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels.

TIP: If using a 12-inch-wide (2-1/4-inch-deep) cast-iron skillet, pour oil to depth of 1 inch.

Tomato-and-Fruit Salad
This colorful dish captures the best flavors of summer on one cool platter. A fresh basil dressing spiked with orange marmalade merges the sweet with the savory.
Makes 8 to 10 servings

2         pounds watermelon, sliced
2        pounds honeydew melon, sliced
1        fresh peach, sliced
2       nectarines, sliced
2       red plums, cut into wedges
1      green tomato, sliced
1       pound assorted heirloom tomatoes, sliced or cubed
1      (12-ounce) package baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
8       fresh basil leaves, torn
Basil-Orange Vinaigrette ----recipe below----

Arrange first 9 ingredients on a serving platter. Serve with Basil-Orange Vinaigrette.
Basil-Orange Vinaigrette
Impress guests with this simple, homemade Basil-Orange Vinaigrette, This citrusy dressing will be a favorite.
Yield: Makes 1-1/3 cups
Makes 1-1/3 cups
1/2        cup sweet orange marmalade (such as Smucker's)
1/3        cup red wine vinegar
6           fresh basil leaves, torn
1           tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1           garlic clove, sliced
1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2       cup canola oil
Pulse orange marmalade, vinegar, basil, ginger, garlic, kosher salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor until blended. With blender running, pour canola oil through food chute in a slow, steady stream, processing until smooth.

Orange Rolls
Your family will definitely want to rise, shine, and dine when they smell these baking in the oven.
 Makes 11 rolls
1/2         (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/4         cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1-1/2      teaspoons orange zest
1           (11-oz.) can refrigerated French bread dough
2           tablespoons granulated sugar
1           tablespoon butter, melted
1/2       cup powdered sugar
1          tablespoon orange juice

1 . Preheat oven to 375°. Beat cream cheese, light brown sugar, and orange zest at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Unroll French bread dough onto a lightly floured surface. 2 . Spread cream cheese mixture over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Gently roll up dough, starting at 1 long side. Cut into 11 (1 1/4-inch) slices. Place slices in a lightly greased 8-inch round cake pan. Brush top of dough with melted butter. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Stir together powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl until smooth.      Drizzle over hot rolls. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

No Fuss --Mo Muss - meals in a Jiffy

Grilled  Jerked Drumsticks
Make your own Creole  jerk seasoning in a food processor by combining onion, jalapeño pepper, garlic, ginger, allspice and sugar. Add orange juice to make a marinade for these island-style grilled chicken drumsticks .
2            medium onions, chopped
1            jalapeño, halved and seeded
2           cloves garlic, chopped
1           2-inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2       teaspoon salt
1/2       teaspoon pepper
1          tablespoon sugar
1          tablespoon ground allspice
1          cup orange juice
1          cup white wine vinegar
1/2       cup soy sauce
16        large chicken drumsticks (about 4 lb.)

1. Combine onions, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, sugar and allspice in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Whisk orange juice, vinegar and soy sauce in a large measuring cup. Add juice mixture to food processor while motor is running; blend.

2. Place chicken in 2 large ziplock bags. Divide jerk mixture between bags and tightly seal them. Turn to coat drumsticks. Place in refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

3. Preheat a gas grill to medium. Remove drumsticks from bags and pat dry. Pour jerk mixture from ziplock bags into a small pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Oil grates and grill drumsticks about 6 inches from heat source, turning and brushing often with jerk mixture, until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of a drumstick reaches 170°F and chicken is no longer pink at the bone, about 40 minutes. Serve hot.

Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad
If watermelon wedges are a mainstay at your summer cookouts, try dicing for this instant, gorgeous salad.
Serves 4 (serving size: 2-1/2 cups)   Total time: 14 Minutes
4            cups cubed fresh watermelon
1/3         cup thinly sliced red onion
2           tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1           (5-ounce) package arugula
1/4        cup sliced almonds, toasted
8           ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded (about 2 cups)
2           tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1           teaspoon grated lemon rind
2           tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2        teaspoon kosher salt
1/4        teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine watermelon, onion, mint, and arugula in a large bowl. Add almonds and chicken; toss to combine. Combine oil, rind, juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add oil mixture to watermelon mixture; toss gently to coat.

Tabernacle Crush
This light and refreshing cocktail is as reminiscent of the American South as it is of the South of France.

Prep: 10 Minutes     Makes : 1 Drink
1/2         large peach, sliced
6           small basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2        ounce fresh lemon juice
1-1/2     ounces gin
1            ounce Lillet
1/2         ounce simple syrup
Club soda

In a tall glass, muddle the peach with the 6 basil leaves and the lemon juice. Add the gin, Lillet and simple syrup. Add ice cubes and top with club soda. Garnish with basil.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Salad ------Drink ----- Dessert ----- For a lite summer dinner

Shrimp, Snap Pea, and Chervil Salad
This salad is easy to vary depending on what you have on hand; crumbled fresh goat cheese, chicken, or smoked trout can all be subbed in for the shrimp. It's especially refreshing when the ingredients are cold.
Prep : 40 minutes         Makes  4 serving       (makes 6-1/2 cups)
(serving size: 1-1/2 cups)
8            ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed (snap each pea's stem and pull down sharply along the straight side), cut diagonally into 1-in. pieces
1/4        cup plus 1 1/2 tsp. anise-flavored liqueur, such as Pernod
1           tablespoon plus 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
2           bay leaves
1           lemon, halved, plus 3 tbsp. juice
1           pound medium (36 to 42 per lb.) raw peeled and deveined shrimp
3           tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2     tablespoons mayonnaise
3/4        teaspoon pepper
1/2        cup chopped chervil*, plus 1/2 cup small chervil sprigs 
(1-3/4 ounces total)
6          medium radishes, sliced
1          small fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
Leaves from 1 small head butter lettuce

1.    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil snap peas until bright green (15 to 20 seconds), then drain. Rinse with cold water and add to ice water.

2.   Meanwhile, in another large saucepan, combine 1/4 cup liqueur, 1 tbsp. salt, the bay leaves, and 1 qt. water. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into pan and add halves as well. Bring to a boil, stir in shrimp, and remove from heat. Let stand until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse shrimp with cold water, and add to ice water with peas. Let stand until cold, then drain peas and shrimp well.

3.    Whisk remaining 1 1/2 tsp. liqueur, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, the oil, mayonnaise, remaining 3/4 tsp. salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Add peas, shrimp, chervil, radishes, and fennel, tossing to coat.

4.      Serve with lettuce for people to use as a base for their salads if they like.
If you can't find chervil, use equal parts fresh tarragon and flat-leaf parsley.
Sour-Cherry Gin Slings 
This sweet-tart concoction is based on the classic Singapore sling, replacing the traditional cherry brandy with an intensely vibrant homemade sour-cherry syrup. With a squirt of sparkling water, the syrup also makes a great base for kid-friendly cherry soda.

1           pound sour cherries, stemmed
3/4       cup sugar
1          cup water
Strips of zest from 1/2 lemon
Strips of zest from 1/2 orange
2           cups gin
2/3        cup Cointreau
2/3        cup fresh lime juice
2-1/4     cups sour-cherry syrup
Angostura bitters
Sparkling water
Lime wheels and fresh cherries, for garnish

1 .     MAKE THE GIN SLINGS: In a large saucepan, combine the cherries with the sugar, water and citrus zests and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. Pass the mixture through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids; you should have 2 1/2 cups. Let cool.
2 .      MAKE THE GIN SLINGS: In a pitcher, combine the gin with the Cointreau, lime juice, sour-cherry syrup and a few dashes of bitters and stir well. Pour into ice-filled glasses and top each drink with sparkling water. Garnish with the lime wheels and fresh cherries and serve.
The sour-cherry syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Passion Fruit Ice Cream Pie with a Ginger Crust
Prep: 30 minutes : Total 3 hours   Serves: 8 TO 10
This isn't the kind of ice cream pie you'd make for a kiddie birthday party. Instead of a plain cookie crust, you can  create a crispy, chewy one with crumbled gingersnaps, dried pineapple and candied ginger. And instead of the usual caramel or chocolate sauce on top, you can  prepare a delectable mix of dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar from the supermarket.

1           8-ounce box gingersnaps, lightly crushed
1          dried sweetened pineapple ring (1 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped
2          tablespoons coarsely chopped candied ginger
4          tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4    cups dulce de leche (16-ounce jar)
1/2      cup passion fruit nectar (see Note)
3          pints vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1/4       cup salted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2          tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut

1 .    In a food processor, combine the crushed gingersnaps with the pineapple, candied ginger and butter and process until fine crumbs form. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
2 .    In a blender, blend the dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar until smooth.
3 .    Spread 1 pint of ice cream in the chilled crust. Using a very small ice cream scoop (2 tablespoons), scoop the remaining 2 pints of ice cream into the crust, leaving some nooks and crannies.   Drizzle 3/4 cup of the dulce de leche sauce over the ice cream, allowing it to pool in spots. Sprinkle with the pistachios and coconut and freeze until firm, at least 2-1/2 hours.
Remove the ring and cut the pie into wedges. Serve the extra dulce de leche sauce at the table.
The pie can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Look for passion fruit nectar at supermarkets, preferably the Looza brand.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Maxy sez :Foods to Prevent or Manage Diabetes

 A diabetes-friendly diet is one key to effectively managing the disease. Read on to find which foods to eat, and which ones to avoid.

Healthy eating is one of the best ways to manage type 2 diabetes. Because this type of diabetes is strongly linked to excess weight, cutting calories and following the right kind of diabetes diet will go a long way toward improving your health.

One of the most important aspects of good nutrition when you have type 2 diabetes is eating meals with the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to keep blood sugars as normal as possible throughout the day. The next step is choosing among the foods and beverages that can give you an extra edge in managing type 2 diabetes, says dietitian Beth Reardon, MS, RD, an integrative nutritionist and food researcher at Duke University Integrative Medicine in Durham, N.C.

Eat Pre-Germinated Brown Rice and Fiber:
White rice has long been known to be a bad food for diabetes. Like most "white" foods, it causes blood sugar spikes. However, adding healthy whole grains and fiber to a diabetes diet may reduce the risk of complications, such as diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve damage resulting from high blood sugars. Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia found that a diet rich in pre-germinated brown rice protected animals with diabetes from this common complication. To make pre-germinated rice, you soak the rice in warm water overnight before cooking. This stimulates the rice to germinate, producing tiny shoots that are invisible, but contain chemical complexes that appear to be protective against neuropathy.

This rice is also packed with fiber, an important component for diabetes management. “Because fiber takes a long time to digest, sugars are released slowly,” Reardon says. “That helps keep blood sugar levels steady and prevents glucose spikes.”

Another way to add fiber to your diet is through beans. A recent study published in Nutrition Journal found that beans and rice eaten together prevent the blood sugar spikes caused by white rice alone.
Add Oranges and Spinach to Your Diabetes Diet :

In a recent study of men and women ages 40 to 75, those with the most vitamin C in their bodies had the lowest incidence of type 2 diabetes. Oranges and orange juice are one of the best sources of vitamin C, Reardon says. Other foods with generous amounts of vitamin C are grapefruit, strawberries, and tomatoes. (If you are on a statin drug for high cholesterol, check with your doctor or pharmacist before eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice, as it can cause dangerously increased levels of atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin.)

When it comes to leafy greens, just one cup of spinach contains 40 percent of your daily value of magnesium, a mineral that can help regulate blood sugar levels — important because people with type 2 diabetes frequently have low levels of magnesium. To get more of this magnesium-rich green veggie into your diet, substitute spinach for lettuce on sandwiches and in salads, Reardon suggests. Not a big fan of spinach? Nuts, beans, and low-fat diary products are also good sources of magnesium.

Drink Low-Fat Milk :
Milk is loaded with calcium and vitamin D. This double whammy of essential nutrients may help in your quest to keep type 2 diabetes under control. In a 20-year study of almost 84,000 women, those who consumed the most calcium and vitamin D gained the most protection from type 2 diabetes. Just be sure it’s low- or nonfat — skim or 1 percent milk will control your intake of saturated fats and help prevent weight gain.

Spice Up Your Diabetes Diet :
Several studies have documented that cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels. But for an even bigger punch of diabetes protection, sprinkle cinnamon in your morning coffee. Coffee consumption has been associated better type 2 diabetes management, possibly due to its antioxidant properties. Having both cinnamon and coffee can give you double the ammunition to fight type 2 diabetes.

A hearty bowl of curry could also help control your type 2 diabetes. That’s because turmeric, a spice used in curry, can help prevent the inflammation associated with type 2 diabetes. “Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as some anti-inflammatory drugs,” Reardon says. Curry typically contains a heaping helping of turmeric, but you can spice up other dishes with turmeric as well.

Diabetes Diet: Foods to Avoid :
It’s just as important to steer clear of foods that can make managing type 2 diabetes more difficult, or at least eat them sparingly. First and foremost, don’t feast on foods that are high on the glycemic index (GI), which is a system that ranks foods by how they affect blood sugar. High GI foods, such as white rice, doughnuts, soda, and white bread, can cause glucose levels to skyrocket. The same goes for sweets and desserts. “Because these foods are high in carbohydrates, they can cause blood sugar levels to go up considerably,” Reardon says.

That doesn’t mean you can never have a slice of pie or a few cookies. Just be smart about eating foods that can make controlling your type 2 diabetes more challenging. Having a piece of cake with a low-carb meal (such as baked chicken and broccoli) won’t raise glucose levels as much as cake after a big pasta meal.

It’s also wise to watch your saturated fat intake when you are living with diabetes. Fatty cuts of meat and full-fat dairy raise cholesterol and promote inflammation throughout the body in both healthy people and people with type 2 diabetes. But recent research found that the effects of this inflammation may be more damaging for people with the disease. And because diabetics already have an increased risk of heart disease, consuming saturated fat in moderation is especially important. Studies have also shown that fatty foods may increase insulin resistance in women with diabetes.

Managing type 2 diabetes involves paying careful attention to what you eat. If you start with a base of good-for-you foods, building a healthy diet will be that much easier.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Salad ---- Drink --- Dessert ----- Enjoy

Chile-Lime  Tuna Salad with Tomato and Avocado
PREP: 30 MINUTES               SERVES: 4
The mix of fresh broiled or grill tuna , avocado and juicy heirloom tomatoes here is a classic combination. You can make it your own  by tossing the salad with a vibrant, spicy dressing spiked with jalapeno.

 5               tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 -1/2        tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 -1/2        tablespoons vegetable oil
1                tablespoon very finely chopped jalapeño
1                tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for garnish
1/2            tablespoon honey
1/2            teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2             pound lump tuna, picked over
1-1/2         Hass avocados, diced ( 1/2 inch)
1/3            cup minced red onion
1               large heirloom tomato, cut into four 1/2-inch-thick slices
Tortilla chips, for serving

1 .  In a small bowl, combine the lime juice with the olive oil, vegetable oil, jalapeño, chopped cilantro, honey and garlic. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
2 .  In a small bowl, toss the Tuna  with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, gently toss the avocado with the red onion and 2 tablespoons of the dressing; season with salt and pepper.
3 .  Place a tomato slice on each plate and season with salt. Top with the avocado and the crab and garnish with the cilantro. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and serve with tortilla chips.
Variation: If entertaining , spoon chopped cherry tomatoes into glasses; top with the tuna, avocado and remaining dressing and serve.
Tuna  and avocado demand a white wine with substantial body; at the same time, only a white with good acidity will stand up to a  sweet-spicy-tart dressing and tuna . Serve a Chardonnay  with a firm line of acidity under their rich fruit.

Watermelon-Strawberry Agua Fresca :
1/2           cup water
1/4           cup sugar
2              mint sprigs, plus more for garnish
1              1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
2             cups seedless watermelon cubes
2             cups hulled strawberries
Ice and chilled sparkling water, for serving

1 .  In a small saucepan, combine the water with the sugar. Simmer over moderate heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the 2 mint sprigs, ginger and salt and let stand for 10 minutes.
2 .  Strain the syrup into a blender. Add the watermelon and strawberries and puree until smooth.
3 .  Fill 8 glasses with ice. Pour the agua fresca into the glasses and top off with sparkling water. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel :
This take on the classic pumpkin pie elevates the dish's flavor to new heights.
1-1/2          sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1                cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2             cup all-purpose flour
1/2             cup pecans halves
1-1/4          cups canned pumpkin puree
3                large eggs, separated
1-1/2          tablespoons cornstarch
1/2             teaspoon cinnamon
1/4             teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4             teaspoon ground cloves
1/4             teaspoon salt
1/2             cup milk
1/4             cup bourbon
1                Flaky Pie Shell

1 .  Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of the butter and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar with the flour and pinch into moist crumbs. Stir in the pecans.
2 .  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining stick of butter and 3/4 cup of brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the pumpkin puree, egg yolks, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt, then beat in the milk and bourbon.
3 .  In a stainless steel bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, then fold into the pumpkin mixture until no white streaks remain.
4 .  Pour the custard into the baked Flaky Pie Shell. Sprinkle the pecan streusel on top. Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, or until risen and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool and serve.
The pie can be refrigerated overnight.
Serve with      Sweetened whipped cream.
A spicy-sweet, intense and fragrant Muscat ice wine will echo the rich texture and nutty flavors in this pie.
Heart Healthy

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Maxy sez : Type 2 Diabetes Glossary

By Madeline Vann, MPH | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
Type 2 diabetes has its own vocabulary and other concepts you'll need to understand to help manage the disease.
Learning to live with type 2 diabetes may seem like a crash college course, complete with new vocabulary words and lifestyle changes. But you and your family will want to become familiar with them all so you’ll be able to understand what is going on and participate in devising a plan to manage your disease.

Type 2 Diabetes: Definitions
Here is your new vocabulary, in alphabetical order:

A1C. The A1C test is the gold standard for tracking how well your blood sugar is controlled. “The A1C blood test is a good indicator of your average glucose over the past three months,” explains Vivian Fonseca, MD, chief of endocrinology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. You may also hear this referred to as the hemoglobin A1C test or the glycohemoglobin test. You will have to take this test twice a year.

Beta cells. These insulin-making cells are found in the pancreas, the organ in your body that produces insulin.

Carbohydrates. These are the primary sources of fuel used by your body to make blood sugar. Carbohydrates are sugars or starches found in foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread.

Gestational diabetes. This is a type of diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy and usually goes away after the birth (although it must be controlled during the pregnancy.) Women who have had gestational diabetes are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, as are their children.

Glucose. It’s just another word for the sugar in your blood that provides fuel for your cells. High levels of blood glucose — or blood sugar — are a sign of type 2 diabetes.

Hyperglycemia. Another name for high blood sugar. High blood sugar occurs when your blood sugar (or blood glucose) levels are above normal.
Hypertension. Another name for high blood pressure.

Hypoglycemia. This is low blood sugar (or blood glucose); it occurs when your blood sugar levels drop below normal and your body, because of your diabetes, can’t get back to normal blood sugar levels. This is one of the most commonly misunderstood facts of living with type 2 diabetes, says Paul Robertson, MD, president of medicine and science, American Diabetes Association, and professor of medicine and pharmacology at the University of Washington in Seattle: Hypoglycemia is actually very rare, except as a side effect of some type 2 diabetes treatments. However, your friends and family may worry unduly about your risk of low blood sugar.

Insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. It helps your body turn blood glucose into fuel. If your body doesn’t make enough or doesn’t use it efficiently, you develop insulin resistance and then diabetes. Some people with diabetes take insulin to make up for what their body doesn’t produce.

Microalbumin. This protein’s presence in your urine may indicate diabetes-related kidney damage.

Neuropathy. Neuropathy can be brought on by diabetes. Over time, out-of-control high blood sugar can cause damage to your nervous system, leading to diabetic neuropathy, a weakness or painful sensation in the nerves damaged by diabetes. It can affect your hands, feet, and other organs.

Pancreas. This body organ produces insulin.

Retinopathy. Over time, high blood sugar can affect the blood flow to your eyes, which can cause the retina to deteriorate, leading to blindness.
Type 1 diabetes. A type of diabetes that usually begins at birth or in childhood. With this condition, the person’s pancreas does not make enough insulin to manage blood glucose. This is also called “insulin-dependent diabetes.” People with type 1 diabetes must use insulin to treat their condition.

Type 2 diabetes. It’s also called “adult-onset diabetes,” though increasing numbers are children are now developing it. With this condition, your body isn’t making enough insulin to control your blood sugar levels or can’t use insulin effectively. Although some people have to take medication for type 2 diabetes, many can control their blood sugar levels with changes in diet and exercise.
Type 2 Diabetes: Share Your Knowledge
Despite the learning curve, people who have diabetes understand the disease fairly well, says Dr. Robertson. “The people who don’t understand the diabetes jargon are the families,” he explains.

People with diabetes can eat what they want, as long as they eat it in the right portions, Robertson says. But many people with diabetes find that worried family and friends can make it difficult for them to enjoy even a tiny taste of birthday cake.

So encourage your loved ones to learn more about diabetes — a little education will help all of you.