The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection

September 9, 2016
by Mimi Holtz

Book Review: The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection by Robyn Webb

The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection

I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to a new cookbook that will be coming out this month: The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection by Robyn Webb.   Although it is written to help people with diabetes,  the recipes are appealing for anyone who wants to prepare foods with great flavor,  serve healthy meals, and simplify the process of meal planning.

The concept of the book is brilliant.   Just choose one  of the  nine basic recipes: stir fry, lasagna, meatloaf, burgers, tacos, chicken, soups, main dish salads, and pasta.  Follow the simple instructions to learn each technique. Then try a few of Robyn’s variations on the basic techniques.  In no time you’ll be using each of the basic recipes as a springboard for creative and healthy meals in your own kitchen.   Side dishes are included with each recipe to complete a balanced meal.

Robyn Webb has created a cookbook that offers essential instructions for those nine basic cooking techniques as a starting point, including expert knowledge in nutrition.   The information that is relevant for people with diabetes is also relevant for healthy eating in general.  Robyn offers advice for stocking the pantry so that meal planning and  preparation can  become an exciting creative activity,  not just an exercise in following instructions with the frustrations of missing ingredients. Use this book to set up your pantry, stock your kitchen with Robyn’s recommended basic equipment,  and say hello to an easier life with tasty, healthy meals to please the whole family.

What I love most about this book is the potential for creative cooking! Learn to make a perfect burger, then try out Robyn’s recipe for Juicy Lamb Burgers or Chickpea Patties with Mango Chutney! Love lasagna? Try the No Noodle Cauliflower Lasagna or Lasagna Cupcakes ! How about Corn Tortilla Lasagna? Ever tried Walnut Garlic Sauce on pasta? This book is full of exciting recipes but more than that, it’s full of creative ideas for expanding the repertoire of healthy meals. We all get stuck eating the same dishes in rotation. The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection will open up new horizons for family meals. Instead of feeling trapped by a restrictive diet or lack of ideas, use this book to launch new adventures in eating at home in your very own kitchen!

The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection is available at, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733.   Buy it on Amazon here. 

A Recipe from the Book and What I Learned

The publisher is allowing me to  share an example from Robyn’s book with you today.  Since receiving an advance copy of  The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection I have already made  Apple Cider Chicken twice!  My family loves it, and no one would ever guess that the recipe was designed for a special diet.  Comfort Food is the perfect title for this book!

Robyn covers three methods of preparing chicken in the book:  searing, poaching, and grilling.  For Apple Cider Chicken I needed to begin with seared chicken. I thought I knew how to sear chicken,  but after reading through the instructions in the book  I realized that I’ve been using a skillet that cannot sear properly.  Nonstick cookware just won’t do the job!   Robyn recommends aluminum or cast iron for searing.   When I switched to cast iron, my chicken browned up nicely and there were plenty of bits in the pan to add flavor to the sauce.

Apple Cider Chicken by Robyn Webb

photos from my experience of making Apple Cider Chicken.

Recipe for Apple Cider Chicken and Sides from The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection

Here is the recipe for  Apple Cider Chicken  from The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection,  printed for you with permission from the publisher.  Included are side dishes to make a complete meal.


Serves: 4 | Serving size: 1 breast or thigh

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 10–12 minutes + time to prepare Master Chicken Sear

This is a great dish to prepare in the fall and around the holidays. When you tire of turkey, change to this chicken recipe chock full of tart Granny Smith apples. If you can’t find fresh cider, substitute unsweetened, unfiltered apple juice.

Master Chicken Sear (see page 37)

1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

1/4 cup minced shallots

2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme

1/2 cup apple cider

1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


  1. Sear chicken as in Master Recipe (page 37) using chicken breasts or thighs, boneless or bone-in.


  1. Add the oil to the pan on medium heat. Add the apples, shallots, and thyme to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the apple cider and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes.


  1. Return the chicken and juices to the skillet and reduce to low. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add in the sour cream and parsley and serve.




TOTAL FAT 12.0 g




SODIUM 150 mg









1/2 Fruit; 3 Protein, lean; 1 1/2 Fat





Serves: 8 | Serving size: 1 cup

Prep time: 7 minutes | Cook time: 4 minutes


3/4 cup walnuts

2 tablespoons sugar



1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey or sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



5 cups mixed greens

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

2 large carrots, peeled and grated

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced


  1. In a small sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat, toss the walnuts with the sugar for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Make sure the nuts do not burn. Remove the nuts from the pan and let cool.


  1. In a large bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk well.


  1. Add the salad ingredients to the dressing and quickly toss together. Serve on individual plates. Top with the nuts.



1/2 Carbohydrate; 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 2 1/2 Fat


Calories 160; Calories from Fat 120; Total Fat 13.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.4 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 105 mg; Potassium 250 mg; Total Carbohydrate 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 65 mg



Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup


1/2 cup steamed broccoli or broccolini


  1. Steam broccoli or broccolini for 4–5 minutes until crisp and tender, and serve alongside Apple Cider Chicken and the salad.



1 Nonstarchy Vegetable


Calories 25; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.1 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol

0 mg; Sodium 30 mg; Potassium 230 mg; Total Carbohydrate 6 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 1 g;

Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 50 mg

Reprinted from The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection by Robyn Webb, MS, published by American Diabetes Association/October 2016

Buy this book: 

The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection is available at, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733.

Buy it on Amazon here.   

Disclosure:  I was asked to write a review of The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection by Robyn Webb and will be receiving a signed copy of the book.  Robyn is actually a friend who I met when I attended Eat Write Retreat, both in Chicago and in Los Angeles.  

 All opinions are mine.  I wouldn’t recommend a book that I didn’t like!

apple cider chicken

Roasted Corn and Bean Salad

September 5, 2016
by Mimi Holtz

Roasted Corn Salad

Roasted Corn Salad

On Labor Day I’m sharing this easy roasted corn salad!  It’s sweet and refreshing with just a little kick!

We celebrated our son’s 30th birthday today with a simple family lunch outside on the patio.  Yesterday I made a big pot of pulled pork,  and this salad was the perfect side dish, along with some fresh local green beans and California cantaloupe.   Use corn tortillas to make pulled pork tacos and add this salad on top like a salsa! Continue Reading →

Mimi Avocado and Lori Rice at IFBC

August 26, 2016
by Mimi Holtz
1 Comment

Downtown Sacramento: Walking Distance Restaurants at IFBC

capital of California

Disclosure:  I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference in downtown Sacramento, CA  in July 2016 at a reduced rate for “citizen bloggers and social media experts” who would write three posts about their experience at the conference.  This is my third post in a series,  which highlights the the eateries I visitied during the weekend, within walking distance of the state capital building and the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  All opinions are mine. 

When I found out that the  2016 International Food Bloggers Conference would be held in Sacramento, CA,  I registered immediately.   Even though I had never spent any time in Sacramento,  I knew that the organizers were planning tours and sessions highlighting California’s agriculture and America’s Farm to Fork Capital.  And best of all, I’d have a chance to see old friends, make new ones, and explore some of the eateries in downtown Sacramento. Continue Reading →

Endive and Belgian Endive

August 16, 2016
by Mimi Holtz
1 Comment

How Do You Pronounce “Endive”?

endive growing

Belgian Endive (pronounced “Ahn-Deev” is grown inside in complete darkness, unlike endive (pronounced N-Dive) which is grown in a field like lettuce.

You say tomato and I say “to-mah-to”, but both pronunciations of the word mean the same thing, right?  Not so with “endive”!   Whether you say “N-Dive” or “Ahn-Deev” makes a big difference!  Although they are both members of the chickory family,  they are completely different.

Endive and Belgian Endive

Belgian Endive (pronounced Ahn-Deev) on top and Curly Endive (pronounced N-Dive) at the bottom

If you say “N-Dive” you are talking about a curly edged green that is grown outside. It can be called curly endive, and other plants that are related to it are escarole and frisee.   If you say “Ahn -Deev” you are describing Belgian endive, with tightly packed leaves and an elongated shape that is grown indoors in complete darkness.

food bloggers

Food Bloggers touring California Endive Farm (from left) Sara from My Imperfect Kitchen, Mimi Avocado, and Nancy from A Communal Table

During the International Food Bloggers Conference in Sacramento, Ca. I was thrilled to visit California Endive Farms as part of a pre-conference tour. Continue Reading →

Lamb Sliders

August 10, 2016
by Mimi Holtz

Quick and Easy Lamb Sliders on Foccacia Squares

Lamb Sliders    This morning I stopped at Major Market where I bought the ground lamb last week for the Lamb Sliders seasoned with Hatch Chile,  and they had no ground lamb in their meat case.  I rarely do this, but I actually went to the meat cutter and asked for ground lamb!   He told me to wait about 20 mintues, and when I came back there were several packages of ground lamb plus a beautiful lamb sirloin roast!   (Of course I bought that roast too!  Turns out the ground lamb was made from another piece of that same leg of lamb.)

Next I headed over to Trader Joe’s for more of those cute little Mini Hamburger Buns  with the sesame seeds on top.  Alas, they were out of them!  Not to worry,  I glanced at a nearby display and found a large square of Tomato and Olive Foccacia Bread.  In my minds eye I could see that large square cut up into smaller squares, just the right size for Lamb Sliders! Continue Reading →

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