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!
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.
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.
APPLE CIDER CHICKEN
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
- Sear chicken as in Master Recipe (page 37) using chicken breasts or thighs, boneless or bone-in.
- 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.
- 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.
CALORIES FROM FAT 110
TOTAL FAT 12.0 g
SATURATED FAT 2.7 g
TRANS FAT 0.0 g
CHOLESTEROL 85 mg
SODIUM 150 mg
POTASSIUM 340 mg
TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 10g
DIETARY FIBER 1 g
SUGARS 7 g
PROTEIN 22 g
PHOSPHORUS 200 mg
1/2 Fruit; 3 Protein, lean; 1 1/2 Fat
GARDEN SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
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
- 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.
- In a large bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk well.
- Add the salad ingredients to the dressing and quickly toss together. Serve on individual plates. Top with the nuts.
EXCHANGES / CHOICES
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
- Steam broccoli or broccolini for 4–5 minutes until crisp and tender, and serve alongside Apple Cider Chicken and the salad.
EXCHANGES / CHOICES
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 ShopDiabetes.org, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733.
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!