Real Cajun Cooking lets you choose from hundreds of authentic Cajun recipes. Learn to easily prepare and cook original Cajun-style family meals with help from south Louisiana's Cajun cook and connoisseur, Jacques Gaspard, who's been preparing great Cajun meals for over 50 years. Create the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared. Besides great original recipes, you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! Don't forget to tell all of your family and friends about Real Cajun Cooking. They will thank you for it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cajun Food for Diabetics?

On Tuesday, February 23, 2010, I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. What a bummer!

That means having to give-up many of my favorite foods - like white rice, white bread, potatoes ... the list goes on and on.

But, it doesn't mean I have to give-up all of my favorite Cajun dishes. It just means I have to control the high calorie add-ins and side-dishes. Plus, I have to spread my lowered caloric intake over a wider span of time during any given 24 hour period.

In my opinion, it is just another fancy way of telling me to eat less and to eat the right foods. Duh?

"Lose the fat and not the muscle" is the sacrificial cry of the day.

Yea. That might be easy for them to say, but to me it becomes a big sacrifice because I love to eat the rich and tasty stuff. You know what I mean?

I like to eat the kinds of food that already come with a little fat attached to it - like those southern Sunday dinners with buttermilk crusted fried chicken (skin on), the piles of irresistible homemade mashed potatoes and pot gravy made from the fat drippings (along with buttered corn-on-the-cob as a side dish). Those were the good ol' days, ... you betcha!

Or, how 'bout those back yard bar-b-qued finger-licking delicious baby back pork ribs which produces a cloud of hypnotic hickory smoke that can par-fume the area of your outdoor patio and even invite unwanted neighbors over to see what's cooking … (that kind).

Don't you know I'm sure gonna miss that.

Alright, ... let's see? I now realize that by adjusting the quantity and quality of the foods I eat, the way that I cook it, and the times I eat will make all the difference in the world, the experts say, in the way my body will use-up its energy.

It is suppose to take some of the load off my pancreas and liver. (But doc, I love my beer! Please don't make me give that up, too.)

OK. ... I could learn to get comfortable with maybe a 2,000 calorie per day diet, but my doctor wants me on a 1,600 calorie per day regiment.

Easy for him to say. He hails from India and is barely 5 feet tall and weights about 100 lbs. … and he is in his mid-seventies.

That's not fair because I am over 6 feet tall and I weight 218 lbs. and I sincerely doubt that I will ever reach his distinguished ripe old age.

So, in the grand scheme of things, I have decided to eat more fruit and vegetables, for a change, especially when I get those occasional munchies; the severity has spiked since I quit smoking cigarettes two years ago.

One fruit I enjoy a lot is the tomato. Tomatoes are good sources of Vitamin A and other beneficial vitamins and minerals - particularly for folks with diabetes.

Tomatoes contain no fat to speak of and it is a versatile fruit for the dinner table because it can be included in so many different recipes. Tomatoes are very filling, as well.

They are good when vine ripened and eaten on the spot; they are good and better for you when cooked, and they are especially good and tasty in Creole gumbos, or fish courtbouillion, or in Cajun stews.

So, in the next few weeks, (especially during this Holy Season of Lent), I will be exploring, researching and studying a list of beneficial foods which are friendly to the body, starting with the tomato, and I will subsequently pass-on that information to you - so stay tuned.

This means I have to find, or at least create, some good Cajun-style dishes for diabetics and add them to our existing repertoire of tasty Cajun-style foods. I think it CAN be done.

So, wish me luck as I embark on this exciting new adventure and I add yet another category to our blog of Cajun recipes.

Hopefully I can uncover some enjoyable foods which are exciting to the taste-buds and friendly to everyone – including diabetics.

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