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Not Pretty, But It Eats Good….

veggies and tempeh

In the midst of my low carb related Festival of Whining, it occurred to me that I had an ace in the hole. A few years ago, my neighbor (and friend) Melissa casually passed on a recipe for a Thai-esque peanut sauce. She recommended it as a dip for veggies, but I had also used it as a sauce for stir-fries and to dress up plain pieces of meat.  now realize that what she gave me was the key to my low-carb dreams.

Today for lunch, I cut up an assortment of vegetables from the Farmers Market, a chunk of tempeh, and stir fried it all. I added a glorious glop of Melissa’s Peanut Sauce, and it was wonderful. The sauce, with a substitution of sweetener for sugar, is extremely diabetic-friendly, and this mixture was so delicious that I didn’t even miss the rice. It’s not particularly photogenic, but then neither is ratatouille, another hideously delicious dish.

I stir-fried a handful of trimmed green beans, a baby eggplant, half a zucchini, a sliced onion and two cloves of garlic. If you have different vegetables on hand, or hate any of those mentioned, use different vegetables; if you hate tempeh, use tofu or chicken…or go vegetarian. Stir fry whatever you choose in about a tablespoon of olive oil and top with enough Peanut Sauce to coat. This is a great way to get most, if not all of your vegetable servings (along with a healthy serving of protein) in in a most un-plain, un-punitive manner.

Melissa’s Peanut Sauce

(I always double the recipe and make it in a food processor so I don’t have to cut up the ginger or the garlic).

1. 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (smooth works too; its just a thinner sauce)

2. 2 tablespoons soy sauce

3. 1 teaspoon white sugar (I use a packet of Equal)

4. 2 drops hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco or Frank’s)

5. 1 clove garlic, minced

6. 1 inch (app.) fresh ginger, peeled and minced

7. 1/2 cup water

Lest You Should Imagine…

DSCF3050…that I am enjoying all of this healthy, low-carb eating we’ve been doing, I have to confess: sometimes I feel that I am powerless in the presence of a bagel. A number of kind, well-intentioned people have mentioned that they “could never give up rice and pasta,” or that they “tried a low carb diet but couldn’t stick to it.” The thing is, either we stick to our regimen of very low carb consumption and daily exercise, or we get accustomed to giving and receiving injections of insulin. We may have to embrace the needle when we are too decrepit to exercise and burn off sufficient glucose, but for now the diet and exercise method is vastly more appealing.

That being said, sometimes, it’s just a super-colossal drag. I made a beautiful risotto tonight for my parents – creamy rice, shrimp, freshly shelled peas – and I felt guilty about tasting a grain or two of the rice to make sure it was properly cooked. Rob came into the kitchen, looked at it, and said (pathetically) “that’s not for us, is it?”

There is s sameness to our meals; a lean protein, a half a plate of vegetable matter, and a hint of carbs in the form of a fruit or a whole grain. I can arrange these items as meat in a bun with veggies, a meat and vegetable kabob with some brown rice, or even a chicken salad with a piece of melon. Vast numbers of items from my repertoire are gone: casseroles, curries, lasagnas, macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes, home baked breads. I have been whining about this in posts for days now, and I’m sure you all wish I would move on, but

I’m

not

done.

I have no trouble with personal discipline, and I will be able to do this for the rest of my life. So will Rob, I’m pretty sure. I have not once, in two months, gotten up in the night and eaten all of the Ritz crackers we have in the house for Sam, or eaten at a restaurant and ordered the fruit salad with a large muffin. If one of us was lactose intolerant, or had celiac disease, or even an ulcer we would have to change our diet, and millions of people do. I just have an unrealistic and somewhat egocentric notion that none of those people loved cooking like I do, and therefore none of them feel the despondency I sometimes feel at 5:00 in the afternoon when I am preparing yet another hunk of marinated meat, a salad, a second vegetable, and a teeny, tiny pile of nourishing whole grains.

My prayer to the universe is this: let me keep finding wonderful things to do with the fresh vegetables of summer, let me find recipes for things Italian, Indian, Chinese and Thai that we can eat, let me survive the Michigan winter when there is nothing fresh and local, and let me stop whining about this and move forward.

But if I find out I have six weeks to live, I’m eating French bread, gelato, pasta and Mike & Ikes all day, every day until I am placed in my chocolate-lined coffin.

Side Benefits

Quick CapreseWhen carb counting is an issue because one is keeping blood sugar in a healthy range, a lot of cuisine options become fraught with peril. A whole, magnificent world of pasta becomes a thing of the past, as do Asian noodle dishes, and dishes customarily served with rice, like curries and stir-fries. A modest portion of rice or noodles is an option, but the psychological reality is that when you are already a bit bedeviled by having restrictions on your diet, it’s often necessary to have the feeling that you are “allowed” to eat hearty portions of something. The half-cup portion of rice or pasta that fits our diet just doesn’t fit the “abundance” profile. Once every couple of weeks we splurge on some Thai or Indian, but most of the time it’s a hunk o’ protein, a modest portion of carbs, and the star of our show: the side dish.

Tonight we had Italian sausages in whole grain buns, with my “Easy Caprese” salad on the side. The buns have only 21 grams of carbohydrate, and the cup of cherry tomatoes in a serving of the salad add only 5 carbs, so we can eat what feels like a very filling meal for fewer than our 30 carb limit. The “Easy Caprese” really is the easiest thing in the world: slice a cup of cherry tomatoes per person in half, and mix with a purchased 12 ounce package of marinated mozarella balls. Use the marinade in the package as a dressing. I serve it with a slotted spoon so that most of the oil drains out; you could also drain most of it from the package before mixing. It’s fresh, it’s delicious, it uses the tomatoes that are just coming into season, and it takes all of 5 minutes if you’re a skilled slicer of tomatoes. Do not underestimate the seductive charms of silky little balls of cheese balanced against the firm sweetness of ripe tomatoes and the tang of oregano and basil.

Cheesy Zucchini BakeAnother side that tastes decadent but fits our “rules” is a Cheesy Squash Bake. It’s the closest I get, these days, to my beloved macaroni and cheese, and it’s a good and healthy way to use some of the gross ton of zucchini that seems to appear around this time every year. I have doubled the cheese because it is low-liability for us and makes the dish really luxurious; if you are concerned about calories as well as carbs, you are welcome to use only half a cup.

Cheesy Squash Bake

(adapted from Diabetic Living’s “Our Best Diabetic Recipes”)

6 1/2 cup servings

7 net carbs per serving

  1. 1 pound yellow summer squash and/or zucchini, sliced
  2. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  3. 1 tablespoon reduced-fat margarine (I use real butter)
  4. 1 tablespoon flour
  5. 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  6. 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. in a large saucepan, cook squash and onion in a small amount of boiling water 8-10 minutes or until tender; drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt margarine r butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Add milk all at once; cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbbly. Remove from heat. Add shredded cheese, and a pinch each of salt and pepper; stir until cheese is melted. Add the drained squash mixture; toss gently to coat the vegetable mixture.

3. Coat a 1 to 1 1/2 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon the squash mixture into the prepared dish, Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake 15 minutes or until top is golden.

One Potato, Two Potatoes, THAT’S ENOUGH POTATOES!!!!

Low Carb Potato Salad 2So I’ve got the hang of this carb-counting stuff; we don’t eat more than 30 grams of carbs at a meal, and often we eat less than that. The carbs we eat have to be (in my opinion as a poseur dietitian) “good” carbs, a category which includes whole grain bread, brown rice, qinoa, fruit, sweet potatoes etc.. We eschew white bread, white rice, pasta, and all cookie, chip-py, cake-y, kind of stuff. Oh, and fried things.

There is a problem with potatoes, though. I miss them terribly. I have had good results with making ersatz mashed potatoes from cauliflower, we can eat a very small baked potato, and french fries are just…gone from our consciousness, but potato salad is tough to foresake. I believe it to be an essential part of summer, along with fireflies, (sugar free) lemonade and days by the pool, but it is made out of, well, potatoes. They aren’t evil, mind you, just really high in carbohydrates.

When I found a diabetic-friendly recipe for potato salad, I was skeptical. Was it really made from potato-like chunks of extra-firm tofu, or cleverly disguised bits of Daikon radish, or was it some miserable slop involving two potatoes stretched to make twelve servings with a gallon of “lite” mayo and 6 diced red peppers? That’s the real question in considering any “dietetic ” recipe: is it just really good food that you’d eat anyway, or is it bizarre and punitive?

The answer, with this recipe anyway, is that it’s delicious. It is good enough that you could take it as a “dish to pass” at a picnic, have some yourself, and never have to say one tedious word about how low-carb it is. (No one ever suspects potatoes of fitting into that category). A half cup serving is 178 calories, with 17 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber for a total of 14 net carbs. That’s a tidy “one carb” serving that seems to make your plate glow with the approbation of the kitchen gods. It’s a great addition to a piece of lean, grilled meat and steamed or grilled vegetables. We have also discovered that this keeps really well in the refrigerator for a few days, so if 12 servings seems mind-boggling for your household, consider the fact that this could reappear a couple of days later with a different supporting cast.

What is summer like without potato salad? We will never need to know.

Creamy Potato Salad

(adapted from Diabetic Living’s “Best Diabetic Recipes”)

Makes 12 1/2 cup servings.

Ingredients

  1. 2 1/2 pounds red potatoes (leave the skins on; there’s fiber in there!)
  2. 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  3. 8 ounces light sour cream
  4. 2 tablespoons fat free milk
  5. 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  6. 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  7. 3/4 cup sliced green onions
  8. 1/2 cup cubed, reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  9. 4 slices bacon or turkey bacon crisp-cooked and crumbled
  10. 1 medium avocado

1. Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces, cook in boiling water for 15-20 minutes or just until tender. Drain and cool. [Note: the original recipe has you boil them whole and then cut them up, but I find it quicker to cut them before cooking, and they cook faster that way].

2. In a very large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, milk seasoned pepper and a pinch of salt. Gently stir in potatoes, eggs, green onions, and cheese. Cover and chill 2-24 hours. (If salad seems dry after chilling, add 1-2 tablespoons additional milk).

3. To serve, seed, peel and chop avocado, and stir into salad. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the top.

Menu Planning: The End of a Suck-ulent Week

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Menu Planning 5.8

You will be pleased to know that I will not rant, complain, sigh or otherwise indicate my GREAT displeasure with the week that has just passed. Suffice it to say that Mistakes Were Made. I will, instead, look at the good stuff: we ate our first Michigan asparagus of the year, all of the flowering trees are just popping into bloom and looking and smelling so good that it’s almost surreal, the vegetable seeds that Sam and I planted are mostly coming up, I found a fantastic bread recipe, and I got a beautiful box of lemons in the mail from Eric, in San Francisco. (About which more, later). In the TMI department, I started meditating this week and found that I can sit cross-legged for 20 minutes, and that I can keep random thoughts from intruding about 10% of the time. It may not sound like much, but my mind is a busy place, and I find that my “ohms” are frequently swept away by a recollection of the picture that was taken for my London Tube pass 24 years ago, or musings about which Netflix movie to watch.

I also found a great iGoogle widget which tells me what is in season at this time of this month in my state. It may be optimistic, but I have some evidence to support it’s claim that I should be able to find Michigan asparagus, potatoes, peas, greens, herbs and rhubarb. I have made a menu centered around those as my fresh produce items, and I’m also buying the relatively little meat we need from the meat guy at the Farmers Market (along with eggs and butter). Here’s the plan:

Saturday

Potato Enchiladas, Scalloped Apples

I found the Potato Enchilada recipe on allrecipes, and while it sounds filling, tasty and delicious, it also calls for Velveeta. That is so not happening. I will change it by making a cheese sauce out of real cheese and milk, and leave other things pretty much the same. Whole foods purists take note: I am walking a reeeeeally fine line feeding two vegetarian meals a week to people who will not willingly eat tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc., and who really need to feel that they had enough dinner. First I have to make the veggie thing work, then I can move on to making the veggie dishes really healthy.

Sunday

Pasta with Onions and Bacon, No-Knead Bread, Spinach Salad

I still have bacon ends & bits from Ma Wilson’s, and I should be able to get fresh spinach at the market. Our big Mother’s Day hoo-ha (such as it is) will be brunch at a Japanese restaurant, so dinner is just…dinner.

Monday

Jerk-Marinated Chicken Thighs, Coconut Rice, Asparagus

We were supposed to eat this last week, but we didn’t. I can’t remember why.

Tuesday

Morroccan Chicken with Green Olives & Lemon, Cous Cous, Cooked Spinach

I am hoping that Farm Guy has chicken again, planning to use a couple of my beautiful San Francisco lemons, and thinking I had better find a recipe for cooked spinach that these people will eat. Preferably one that does not involve bacon.

Wednesday

Pan-Fried Tilapia, Asparagus, Boiled Potatoes with Butter and Dill

Thursday

Burgers, Fried Potatoes, and Waldorf Salad

Meat from Farm Guy, Michigan potatoes and apples. Cheating on the celery.

Friday

Curried Cauliflower & Chickpea Stew, Jasmine Rice, Fresh Peas

A recipe from the newest “Bon Apetit,” which has about 100 recipes I’m dying to try.

No-Knead Bread

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No-Knead 1

First, it’s important to distinguish No-Knead Bread from No-Need Bread. The former is a very laid back way to make bread if you have no food processor, stand mixer, bread machine or time. The latter is what you keep eating out of the little basket with a napkin in it, even though your pants are a little tight, just because it tastes really good, and look! There’s Ciabatta in there, too!

I have had this recipe forever, in many forms. It was sent to me via snail mail by an old friend, I found it again on line and bookmarked it, but I just kept losing it. Frankly, I don’t mind making bread that has to be kneaded either by hand or machine, but when this recipe appeared in my life a third time last week on someone else’s blog, I decided it was a cosmic sign.

It’s really, really good bread that emerges looking beautiful and crusty and artisanal, and tasting far more flavorful and nuanced than your average white loaf. It has real, shatter-y crust, and lots of texture. I really think you could pass it off as something from a bakery (which is fitting, since that’s where the recipe came from). Best of all, you really need nothing but a bowl, some plastic wrap, two towels and a big pot with a lid. (Well, and an oven). No hard labor, and easy clean-up.

No-Knead 2You do, however, need to plan ahead. Including rising time (and I went with the 16 hour option on the first rise) you are looking at at least 20 hours. If you want bread for dinner at 6:00, you’re looking at starting the bread at 10:00 the night before. I would also use cornmeal, or something prettier and more interesting than flour for the final rise, as whatever you use clings to the finished loaf and effects it’s appearance.

Here’s the recipe. Don’t wait for two more people to tell you to make it.

Two Ways of Looking at a Sandwich.

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Since I photograph at least 50% of what I cook and bake, just in case I might someday wish to write about it and preserve an ephemeral cupcake or casserole for posterity, my camera is always where I can easily find it. Today, however, my camera was at a Minor League baseball game with Sam, after a prolonged series of “pleaspleasepleasei’llbe caaaaaaaaareful!” attacks wore me out. It didn’t occur to me until after we had eaten what I considered to be an interesting lunch that I could have photographed it using my phone – I just scrapped the whole project when I remembered that my camera was on walkabout among a herd of sugar-addled sixth graders.

I had made really good sandwiches based on things lying around the house: leftover whole grain buns, two different kinds of cheese with hot peppers, pulled pork with barbecue sauce, an abandoned avocado…stuff like that. Mr. Annie got two giant sandwiches piled high with pork, Cabot Habanero Cheddar and avocado, and I made myself a more modest vegetarian model with no pork and a healthy pile of spicy alfalfa sprouts. Alas, these gems of thrifty husbandry were doomed to slip away (literally and figuratively), unmarked.

Later, I remembered an interesting piece I had heard on “All Things Considered” yesterday, about how people who do not enter art-related professions tend to stop drawing at some point because they “aren’t good at it.” The interviewee, a cartoonist, was advocating for lifelong drawing for everyone. I actually do still draw, not well, but for my own amusement. I am a serious doodler, and I have drawn the pictures Sam was supposed to have drawn for approximately 500 school projects.

So I drew the sandwiches.

lunch-draw-1

lunch-draw-2

Moosewood’s Felafel: Vegetarian Food that Carnivores Like.

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falafelSo this is a photography fail because really, anyone with half a brain could have figured out that the asparagus would look better from the head end (or whatever it’s called), and that from this angle, the food would resemble a pile of fallen timber adjacent to a snow-capped and craggy land mass…possibly on the moon. What you are seeing is Felafel, Tahi-Lemon Sauce, Pita and fresh asparagus. Felafel is vegetarian, economical and delicious – a great way to work a veggie meal into a meat and potatoes family. It certainly isn’t low calorie (being fried and all) but it’s all “good” fat unless you fry it in beef tallow. I will say that Mr. Annie, not a big fan of the Seitan and Sprout genre of cuisine, thought the Felafel was delicious, and had two helpings.

Using recipes from The Moosewood Cookbook, I made both the crispy chickpea patties and the spicy Tahini-based sauce, and our adorable young friends Kristin and James dropped by with Michigan-grown asparagus they had seen for sale on the way home from “Up North” Michigan. The only hitch was the Pita; I somehow managed to buy a variety that had no actual pockets, which made the traditional Felafel sandwich somewhat tough to accomplish. Since it was tender, freshbread, I cleaned the status-post Felafel grease from my skillet and cooked the pita about a minute on each side, until it was warm, and pliable enough to be folded around golden rounds of Felafel with tart, creamy sauce. There is lots of sauce left over and I have been dipping asparagus and carrots in it.

I will try to limit myself here, but I have to say that I LOVE The Moosewood Cookbook, and have loved it for about 24 years since my intense post-college, nutty, crunchy, vegetarian period. I had never seen the “New” version of the book, which still has the recipes I used over and over, like the Miso Soup, Lentil Soup, Indonesian Rice Salad, Cashew-Ginger Sauce, Scheherezade Casserole, Samosas, and my most favorite: Gado Gado. The drawings I loved are still there, and the book has all of the good things I remember, plus a more modern approach in terms of kitchen equipment and processes. I don’t know how I lived without a copy all these years, and even though my family doesn’t share my dream of long, flowing skirts, Birkenstocks and Indian bracelets worn while whipping up batches of Mushroom Curry for my fellow Co-Op members (did I mention the “Dead” bootlegs, Pete Seeger and Reggae playing in the background?), the Felafel was a big hit. I think I can work in more Moosewood recipes as long as I avoid the blatant use of tofu.

The Mooswewood site has neither of these recipes, so I’m sharing:

Felafel

(from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

Ingredients

  1. 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  2. 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 tsp. Turmeric
  4. 1 tsp. salt
  5. 1/2 cup finely minced onion (or six scallions)
  6. 1/4 c. packed parsley (I omitted this since I had forgotten to buy it)
  7. 1/4 c. water
  8. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  9. A few dashes cayenne (I used a tsp.)
  10. 1/3 c. flour
  11. Oil for frying (I used Canola)

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas
  2. Combine all ingredients but flour in a food processor (or mash in a bowl) until you have a uniform batter
  3. Heat a heavy skillet and add about 3 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat
  4. Add flour and stir until thoroughly combined. (You can cook them now, or store in a covered container for several days)
  5. When a drop of the batter sizzles when dropped into the oil, start dropping tablespoons full into the oil, flattening with the spoon so that you have small pancakes.
  6. Cook at least 5 minutes per side; the original recipe calls for 10 which I found was so long that they dried out. Try one after 5 minutes a side, and if it is crisp on the outside and still soft on the inside, you’re fine.
  7. Place on paper towels or napkins to soak up grease and serve with sauce and pita.

Tahini-Lemon Sauce

(from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 c. sesame tahini
  2. 5 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  4. 3/4 – 1 cup water
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Fresh parsley (again, I didn’t have any)
  7. Cayenne to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Place tahini, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor or blender. Begin to process.
  2. With the motor running, add water until sauce reaches desired consistency (thinner than peanut butter, thicker than mayonnaise, in my opinion).
  3. Transfer to a small bowl or container, and season with salt, parsley, and cayenne if you want a little kick. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready.

A Proud, Michigan Salad

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spring-salad-1For as long as I’ve been aware of the designated gardening “zones” across the country, I have envisioned colored bands representing spring that swept across the United States towards Michigan, sort of like the bands of increasingly intense colors that represent storms on The Weather Channel. The bands get smaller and darker (pinker, in my mind) as they get closer to us, heading over from the West and up from the South until we see the crocuses poking up through the last of the snow, and the tight buds forming on the lilac bushes. My friends to the South and West have already had their first asparagus; ours is (according to one of my favorite farmers) about 10 days out. In anticipation of becoming the Bulls-eye of Spring, I bought everything that was a) green and b) grown in Michigan from the Farmers Market yesterday, and today I had a beautiful bowl of it for lunch.

spring-salad-2The salad was composed of salad greens grown about five miles away, garlic scallions, sprouts, and tiny bits of Basil, Dill and Tarragon. I boiled and chopped two locally laid eggs, and made croutons from scraps of homemade bread. I dressed this concoction lightly with a couple of squeezes of lemon (alas, not from Michigan), a pinch of sea salt, and some olive oil from Lebanon.

spring-salad-3Do try this at home.

Carrot Cake Fail

carrot-cake-failIf you were having a bad day, and it was hot and muggy, and you were just kind of overwhelmed by life, you’d make a carrot cake, right (while you were also making Spaghetti Carbonara and grilled Brussel Sprouts)? You wouldn’t make the “regular kind of carrot cake that your family loves because that would be too indulgent on a week night. You would, instead, become fixated on an intriguing “rustic” carrot cake recipe from a very high profile blog that you love, which involved no sugar and called for whole wheat flour. Also none of the usual frills like coconut or pineapple. You would blithely disregard the warning of the recipe’s creator that”if you like your carrot cake delicate with a defined crumb, you’ll actually want to pass on this one.” You would toil in your increasingly swamp-like kitchen, mashing dates and bananas, and grating carrots by hand while sweat ran down your back and your hair curled up like Gilda Radner’s, and you would generally be having an organic and virtuous good time. The cake would smell wonderful, you would cool it and frost it with a mixture of organic cream cheese and agave nectar, and

your

family

would

say

“blech.”

I will now reveal that this is not a hypothetical situation; it is what I did last night. I have “takings,” sometimes, in which I get obsessed with something and make myself believe it is a fabulous idea. I read the carrot cake recipe in the course of my daily blog reading, loved the idea that I might get my customers to eat something tasty (cake!) in a form that offered fewer liabilities than the usual option, and considerably more benefits. Using a small windfall that was burning a hole in my pocket, I went out and bought enormously expensive ingredients including organic bananas, dates, and cream cheese, and a bag of whole wheat pastry flour. (Note: I am fully aware that neither the dates nor the bananas were grown in Michigan, but I made a “wild hair” exception for this project). As I mashed and ground and mixed, I nurtured a vision of my Green, Healthy family embracing the healthy life, asking for more sprouts on their sandwiches, and ordering their Pad Thai with tofu.

Instead, they hated it. Just hated it. (I liked it, actually, but I am a far more sophisticated and discerning creature than either of my male companions). What I learned from this episode is that this whole healthenating thing must involve baby steps. A family can’t be expected to get this for 12 years and be happy with a no-sugar substitute with no butter or powdered sugar in the frosting. I can switch the milk to organic, add a second green vegetable or a fresh fruit at every meal, and make two vegetarian meals a week instead of one, but I can’t make any sudden moves in an attempt to turn the House of Fried Meat into a vegan restaurant in Berkley.

If you are interested in eating a healthier diet, and would like a dessert that involves relatively little sugar and fat (although it is by no means “lite”), try this recipe. I find the finished product to be quite nice, and I’d almost prefer it as an un-frosted sweet bread along the lines of banana or zucchini bread. I like it that I can taste the ingredients over the sugar, and I like the wheat-y whole graininess of it. If you are still eyeing the deep fried Twinkies on a stick at the State Fair, you may need to begin the step-down program (starting with eating your Twinkies raw) before you attempt to prepare and enjoy a sugar-free, whole grain dessert.

P.S. I did get make the Spaghetti Carbonara with whole grain pasta, and they liked it. Shhhhh!

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