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McClellan: Cooking for the diabetic

By Barbara McClellan
March 20, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Do you have a person in your family or circle of friends who is diabetic? If not, then I believe you are in the minority.

I am rarely in a group where food is served (and we all know that every meeting or function serves food of some sort), that the topic of the diabetic diet is not brought up.

Since my husband, two sons, and some best friends are Type 2 diabetics, I search out, or try to create, delicious desserts that are sugar-free or at least low-sugar. On birthdays or special days I like to do something special for them that will not raise the sugar level too much.

I know that portion control is the secret to healthy eating, whether it is for diabetics or anyone, so eating a third of the dessert is probably not the best idea.

This is a recipe that I put together a few weeks ago when my boys were here. Both Jeff and John like my lemon pound cake recipe because it is low-sugar.

<strong>Low-Sugar Lemon Pound Cake</strong>

<ul> <li>1 (16-ounces) no sugar added yellow cake mix</li> <li>1 cup water</li> <li>1/2 cup canola oil</li> <li>4 eggs</li> <li>1 tablespoon lemon extract</li> </ul>

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 1 tube or Bundt pan with pan spray or grease and flour.

Mix all ingredients in electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl, and mix 2 additional minutes on medium. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes until tests done with toothpick, comes out of cake clean with no batter on it. When done, remove from oven and let set 10 minutes before removing from pan. Put on cake plate.

<strong>Lemon syrup:</strong>

<ul> <li>1/2 cup sugar</li> <li>Grated zest of 2 lemons</li> <li>Juice of 2 lemons</li> <li>1 tablespoon water</li> </ul>

Bring ingredients to boil, and pour over cake. Makes 16-18 slices.

This is a recipe that my hairdresser, Mark Eberhart, has been talking about for more than a year. He knows that I love to cook but hate to fry anything (I try to cook heart-healthy, and also I hate to smell the oil, bacon or whatever is fried). However, I have found a way to make this recipe without frying. Thanks to Linda Graham (a hairdresser in Mark's salon), who told me about already prepared bacon (heat in microwave), and the fried okra which I mention at the bottom of this recipe. You know that we will do almost anything for our favorite hairdresser/barber or whoever it is that tries to keep us looking decent. I hope that Mark has received his late birthday present (a dish of this salad) before you read this.

<strong>Okra Salad</strong>

<ul> <li>1 (16-ounces) package frozen breaded okra, fried and drained (see note)</li> <li>1 bunch green onions, chopped</li> <li>2 tomatoes, chopped</li> <li>8 slices bacon, crisply fried, drained and crumbled</li> <li>Prepare and set aside.</li> <li>Prepare dressing and pour onto salad 1 hour before serving.</li> </ul>

<strong>Dressing:</strong>

<ul> <li>1/2 cup cider vinegar</li> <li>1/2 cup sugar</li> <li>1/3 cup olive or canola oil</li> </ul>

Mix well, and pour on other ingredients.

<em><strong>Note:</strong> Fried Okra can be bought already cooked at various fast food restaurants. I do not like to bother with frying things, so I bought 1 large and 1 regular package of prepared fried okra.</em>

<em>Barbara Richardson McClellan is a long-time food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the Longview News-Journal's Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at bayrm@hiline.net or in the care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.</em>

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