Sweet Potato – Pecan Cheesecake! — Diabetic Friendly!

Try this on for size — this may be the best sugar-free, high fiber, gluten free, high protein, reasonably carb’d recipe I’ve ever made. And it is sooooo yummy…. Holy crap. There will be variations on this theme but here’s the basic recipe:

2 tsp(s), cinnamon, ground
0.50 tsp(s), Salt
2 tsp, Vanilla Extract
0.75 cup, Chopped pecans

80 grams, “Just Like Sugar for Baking” sugar substitute
1.25 cup, Farmers Market Sweet Potato Puree
2 containers (8 oz ea.), Cream Cheese (Light)
2 Eggs

Let the cream cheese and eggs come to room temp so they will mix well. combine eggs, sweet potato puree (or pumpkin), vanilla, Just Like Sugar, salt, cinnamon and mix until smooth. Gradually add cream cheese and mix until smooth and well blended.

Grease a pyrex baking pan (about 7″x9″) and spread pecans on the bottom of the pan.

Pour cream cheese mixture into the greased pan (or muffin cups) over the pecans, and bake in a hot oven/ with a water-bath at 400 for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 and continue to bake for 20-25 minutes, until firm. (time will depend on the size of the dish — a smaller pan will take longer.)

Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate (or scoop out into single serving dishes to chill.)
8 x 1/2c portions: 235 calories each
17g fat
328mg sodium
20g total carbs
11g fiber carbs
7g sugar carbs
7g protein
(and half a day’s Vitamin A because of the sweet potato)


Favorite Recipes Reformulated for Healthy Living!!!! WIFFA STEW

Yes, diabetes.  Yes, overweight.  BUT (or Butt) — I’ve lost 45lbs in the last 5 months, and lowered my blood sugar to the point that I don’t need diabetes medications.  Doing that has taken a lot of attention and focus — to the exclusion of all non-essential activities.

But well worth it.

So here’s my latest reformulated comfort food recipe with blood sugar, calories, and cholesterol in mind…..


This will make 8 2-cup servings,
with a little left over for luck.

12 thick cut rashers of very lean uncured bacon

WIFFA GREEN BEAN STEW -- perfect for Christmas Eve dinner.   Once everything's in the soup pot -- let it simmer at least an hour -- the longer the better!

WIFFA GREEN BEAN STEW — perfect for Christmas Eve dinner.
Once everything’s in the soup pot — let it simmer at least an hour — the longer the better!

1 lb 1/4″ thick sliced lean ham
1 lg red onion chopped course
1T olive oil
2 lbs potatoes, cut to 3/4″ to 1″ cubes
2 cans cut green beans
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
1 can original Rotel Tomatoes & green chilis
1/2 c drained prepared pinto beans
2 c spicy hot V-8
4 c chicken stock
1 t salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper — more if desired  (I like a lot)
1/2 t thyme

Cut the ham and bacon into 1/2″ wide pieces, and chop onion.  Add meats and onion to the bottom of your soup pot with the olive oil and cook over med heat until browning.

Add chicken stock, seasonings, and diced potatoes and bring to a boil.  Allow to hi-boil for 15 minutes.

Add green beans, tomatoes, V-8 and Rotel and return the pot to a boil.  Simmer high to reduce, uncovered for 45 minutes.  Adjust salt/pepper to taste.

10881633_10203608517398914_7805708856046049941_nEach serving has:

305 calories
6g fat
(2g saturated fat)
38mg cholesterol
sodium depends on how much you add….
965mg potassium
41g carbs
8g fiber
7g sugars
20g protein
100% DV Vitamin C

Common Sense Jambalaya

Jambalaya is already pretty healthy stuff — a one-pot meal made of 12936304chicken meat, shrimp, a little smoked sausage or andouille…  and lots of veggies and rice.   But the real thing is still usually loaded with savory fats — and very low fiber numbers considering the volume of protein and carbs — very common in traditional recipes.

So here’s my slightly jiggled and shook-up recipe — even more veggies, even less fat, and a slightly better profile, but with all that round umami flavor that Jambalaya needs to hit the bulls-eye!

8-10 servings
approx 500 calories each/2c serving
19g fat, 6g fiber, 30g protein

  • 6 oz chicken breast (boneless & skinless)
  • 12 oz peeled small shrimp, or tiny “bay shrimp”
  • 12 oz Pederson’s (or other high quality) smoked sausage, cut into 1/2″cubes
  • 6 oz lean ham, diced
  • 2 1/2 long grain brown rice
  • 5 c chicken stockcol1-2
  • 12 oz celery chopped
  • 12 oz onion, diced
  • 2 lg bell pepper, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 oz Hatch diced green chilis
  • 2 x 10 oz cans Rotel tomatoes and green chilis
  • 4 oz carrot, grated
  • 2 c baby spinach leaves
  • 11 oz V-8 spicy hot vegetable juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 t finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 3 T +  Penzey’s Cajun seasoning blend (season to taste)
  • 1/4 c Trappey’s Red Devil pepper sauce

Recipe instructions:

(This recipe needs 2 pans — a large 6-8 qt dutch oven or stew pot, plus another either rice cooker, or 4+ qt pot to make the rice.)

  1. measure rice and stock into 6-qt rice cooker or cast-iron dutch oven, then add bay leaves, pepper(s), Penzeys Cajun blend to the stock.  Prepare rice according to machine directions (or as directed on rice packaging) as usualShrimp-jpg
  2. Saute onions, celery, bell pepper, diced chicken and diced smoked sausage in olive oil, over med- med/hi heat until veggies begin to brown.  Add carrots, spinach, Rotel, Pepper sauce, and V-8 juice, and cover/simmer until rice is done.
  3. Stir meat/veggie mixture and raise heat to bubbling.  Add the rice to the chicken/sausage mix and simmer uncovered on med-low heat until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through (about 4-5 minutes is plenty.
  4. Add the prepared rice to the sauted veggies and sausage/chicken/shrimp.31xBhZicSfL._SS500_
  5. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to stand for 10 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.

Spicy and Lite Chili Pepper Soup

poblano pepper

poblano pepper

Soup is best in winter — when it can cook slow and bubble gently on the stove all day — filling the house with the smells of home.  This is a light, almost clear soup full of veggies (fresh, frozen and canned) that remind me of the Tex-Mex I grew up eating.

This recipe makes 8-servings of 14oz per.  It’s a mostly-broth soup, and so the calories are low (about 200), fiber (3g) and protein (22g) are high, and the flavor is dynamic without burning your mouth.

3 T olive oil12936304
1/2 c finely minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
11 oz can Spicy V-8 Juice
8 oz (1 c) frozen corn kernels (or Mex corn mix w/ onions/peppers)
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 can (10 oz) Rotel tomatoes and green chilis
1 can (4 oz) Hatch chopped green chilis (mild or hot — your choice)
1 can pinto beans, with juices
2 qts chicken stock
1/3 c finely minced green olives (cocktail olives stuffed w/ pimento will do)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 12 oz boneless pork chops
1/2 c Enchilada Sauce (canned or jar)
2 T Penzey’s Chili Con Carne seasoning blend
2 T Cholula Pepper Sauce
1/4 c Fire Cider 0r, apple cider vinegar + 1/2 t Tabasco Sauce
salt, if needed, to taste

  • Sweat onion and poblano pepper in olive oil on med-low heat, adding crushed garlic after 5 minutesgreen chiles
  • add stock, meat, Rotel, Hatch chilis, and enchilada sauce and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.
  • Simmer for 45 min – 1 hr, until chicken or pork is tender.
  • Remove the meat from the pot and shred it with a fork, then return it to the soup.
  • Add remaining ingredients and return the soup to a boil, then cover and reduce heat again.
  • Simmer on low for 1-2 hrs.  Taste for salt and season as needed.

For a spicier soup, add a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (mash them up and use all the sauce), and additional pepper sauce.

For a milder soup, use regular V-8 juice, just cider vinegar with no Tabasco or fire cider, less Cholula Sauce (or none), and the mildest version of Hatch green chilis, and Rotel tomatoes — “chili blend.”

-204 calories, -5 g fat, -3 g fiber, -22 g protein per serving


Can be served with broken tortilla chips and shredded Jack cheese, or with a small scoop of lightly seasoned rice and a bit of sour cream.  (But it’s really good just plain….)  — Or just add some sliced pickled jalapenos!



Let’s Talk Popcorn — An Idea Whose Time Has Come


The word on the street (and in magazine articles, news reports, and research documentation) is — those super convenient bags full of microwave popcorn portions are lined with a chemically produced moisture barrier that leaves traces on the popcorn as it pops.

And those traces are now linked to a whole bevy of nasty diseases.Popcorn_bag_unpopped




What, then are the alternatives?

We certainly can’t be expected to give up our popcorn.

How about an air popper?31OAC-ca0pL._SY300_

That will work — just put the stuff in — have your washable receptical waiting to receive your fresh popped styrofoam nuggets.  Maybe a shaker of salt if salted styrofoam is more to your liking.

No no no no no.

They sell popcorn by the puffy potato-chip bag full at the grocery.  Three times the price of the naughty microwave bags — but at least it’s salted and dusted with cheese powder and MSG. (blagh)


The truth is, short of a tub of yellow movie theater popcorn drenched in butter, there’s just not much else in the way of good hot popcorn to be had without risking your life or your wasteline.

4153Z0G472L._SX300_I think about half a dozen people I know tried the Wabash “Whirley Pop” (you can order it from their site online, or from Amazon; in either aluminum or stainless steel — $25-$49.   The problem with the clever little Whirley Pop is that it is the dickens to keep clean — and if you don’t use it and it sets on the shelf for more than a few weekends, the traces of oil that inevitably get into the nooks and crannies of the not-dishwasher-safe parts go rancid — become sticky — and it stinks up your house, your popcorn, and your fingers to make a batch.

And since all the pieces can’t be washed in the dishwasher — you spend hours trying to get rancid and tacky transformed oil out of the bits and pieces.  I’ve tried vinegar, Dawn (gets the oil off duck feathers) dishwashing soap — even the Boosted kinds, baking soda, and Ajax and Comet abrasives — and none of it makes a bit of difference.

So.  No


91YEJIEH0aL._SL1500_A couple of companies have tried to make not-disease-causing microwave bags for popcorn — but what you end up buying is plain paper sacks with a packet of corn, a packet of oil, and a packet of seasoning.  For a premium price that roughly 3 times the cost of Pop Newman’s.  You pop the corn in the sack, then dump it into a bowl and pour the oil over it with the seasoning and toss violently until every kernel is cold, greasy, and collapsed.  and still, the oil won’t be evenly distributed, and the seasoning will only stick where there’s oil!

But they did get one really important thing right with Quinn’s popcorn….

The cornExcept for Quinn and trusty old Pop Newman at Newman’s Own Organics — regardless of how and where it’s popped — the popcorn itself is still that wicked Monsanto genetically modified sweeter-than-sugar crap pushed onto us by the World’s Un-Healthiest Capitalist Pig Farm.

And so what’s the point, really?

The point is, FIX IT.71BcFWLx2ML._SL1500_

Popcorn, in its original un-modified, un-genetically monkeyed-with, unpoisoned state is really good, tasty, healthy and satisfying.  You get to chew.  You get crunch.  You get little bits of stuff that’s mostly air.  So long as you don’t drown it in oil or butter — cover it in trans fats or sugar — bloat it with salt — blanket it in caramel and peanuts, or lace it with MSG —–> it’s really good and good for you.

It allows for munchies.  It is cholesterol free.  It doesn’t play dice with your blood sugar.  AND IT TASTES LIKE A PARTY!


It tastes good.  For those of you too young to know that non-GMO corn really does taste different from GMO’d corn  let me tell you — IT TASTES DIFFERENT.

AMISH POPCORN!  You can get this stuff from the company's site directly, or for a little more $$ -- through Amazon. 11 varieties -- all organic and non-GMO.  There are at least 3 other companies selling non-GMO as well!

AMISH POPCORN! You can get this stuff from the company’s site directly, or for a little more $$ — through Amazon. 11 varieties — all organic and non-GMO. There are at least 3 other companies selling non-GMO as well!

Better, in fact.

(and no, I have no idea if they’re really Amish at Amish Country Popcorn.  Odds are — probably not.)


Enter: the Pyrex 4-c measuring cup.  Or the Pyrex bowl.  T51RV1GXR81L._SX425_he point is — Pyrex is heavyweight, well made borosilicate glass — which means that unlike regular glass, it will stand up to a wide range of temperatures — and even tolerate cold-hot-cold-hot transitions without shattering, cracking, or bursting apart (and making a real and dangerous mess!)  It’s not an absolute thing with Pyrex — going from stove burner to bucket of ice or vice versa will still send glass shards flying, but it’s a lot tougher than the normal pane glass in your windows.  And it’s so heavy and thick, that when it does crack or chip, it usually doesn’t make tiny shards.

What’s more — some clever folks have designed a microwave popper out of borosilicate glass — in 2 sizes even —

Now, truth be known — the glass is a little thinner than Pyrex.  But these are cute. Not outrageously expensive — dishwasher safe.

Snack size 1 quart popcorn for one (4 cups) with a butter melter on top

2.5 quarts with a butter melter on top
2.5 quarts with a butter melter on top

But unnecessary if you already have Pyrex bowls or measuring cups.  The lids are a handy improvement, but the glass on these poppers AND on the Pyrex products all gets firecracker hot — and requires both pot holders to handle, and a heat-proof resting place to set the down.

They will be hot enough to melt plastic after popping their load, so be careful how you handle them — and have a towel or hot mat ready to cradle your glass pot of gold!  (If you leave the popcorn inside and reach in — it will keep your popcorn warm for at least 20 minutes!



However — keep in mind that the real advantage of the glass poppers is that they will pop the organic, non-GMO popcorn of your choice — with or without the oil of your choice and let you add as much or as little butter, salt, flavoring, and cheese powder as you want (or none!)

And it will wash in the dishwasher.

And it can be ready to make another batch within seconds of being emptied.

61I5JhA37KL._SL1500_If you go with your Pyrex 4-cup measure, make sure you have a silicone lid, or one of Pyrex’s handy-dandy lids…

A microwave safe plate or saucer will also do the job.

  1. Add 1 T oil and 1 rounded T popcorn to the 4 cup measure — so that it just covers the bottom of the cup, and every corn kernel is touching the oil…71gpuNheS0L._SY679SX280_SY679_CR,0,0,280,679_PIbundle-6,TopRight,0,0_SX280_SY679_CR,0,0,280,679_SH20_
  2. Set the microwave for 3 minutes – 3.5 minutes (you’ll have to adjust the time to match your microwave
  3. Have a bowl ready — a small bowl because this will be a small snack — along with the seasoning of your choice, and
  4. Voila!  No poisons.  No nasty bags.  No wicked GMO-corn. No waste.  Just CHOICES!  YAY!!!!

The glass popcorn poppers come with very similar instructions — adjusting for size….


Night Before Night-Before-Christmas Soup

Simmering on the stove: Night Before Chrismas Soup

Simmering on the stove: Night Before Chrismas Soup

Tonight’s pre-holiday soup is rich with meat, veggies, potatoes, and a broth of sturdy mocha porter beer and sour cream.  There are several “tricks” in this recipe

  1. the finely minced shiitake mushrooms make it seem slightly meatier that it actually is — with the beefier veggies masquerading as extra beef;
  2. the half cup of Bob’s Red Mill vegetable soup mix is full of lentils and split peas that dissolve into the broth to make it thicker and richer — without making it starchy or overloaded with fat;
  3. and finally, the little bits of barley offer an occasionally chewy bite that varies the texture of the pot significantly.

All these little tweaks and extras make for a pot of soup that slow cooks for hours and ends in a hearty, rib-warming bowl!

1 lb lean ground beef
1.5 lb lean trimmed stew meat
1.5 lb chopped red onion
3 lb Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
3 stalks celery, minced
1 bell pepper, minced
.5 lb baby cut carrots
1/2 c Bob’s Red Mill Vegetable Soup mix (lentils, split peas, and barley)
1/4 c pearled barley
2 cloves garlic, mashed/pressed/crushed
1.5 c finely minced shiitake mushrooms
2 qts beef stock
1 bottle (12 oz) Rogue Ale’s Mocha Porter. (or other dark malty beer)
3 T Penzey’s Beef Roast seasoning blend
1 T  Penzey’s Old World seasoning blend
1 t fine ground black pepper
1/2 t celery bitters
2 dashes Hellfire and Damnation Bitters
2 T butter
2 T Worcestershire sauce, or 2 T Fire Cider
2 T balsamic vinegar to garnish
2 c sour cream

Brown meat slowly and thoroughly with butter (it will take about 1- 1.5 hrs) — if the meat is fatty, don’t add the butter.

Add chopped onions, celery, and bell pepper, and continue over low heat until veggies are sweated.  Add garlic and beer and bring to a boil, then add beef stock.  Add remaining fresh veggies to the pot and bring to full boil, then reduce the heat to med-low and cover.  Simmer for 1.5 – 2 hrs, stirring every 1/2 hr.

Add seasonings, barley, and veggie soup mix and bring back a boil.  If the fluid level in the pot has steamed away, replenish with water at this time.  Simmer for another 1.5 – 2 hrs, again stirring every 1/2 hr.

Sitr in small dollops of sour cream at a time until thorougly incorporated and bring back to a very high simmer.  Allow to stand, covered, for 5 minutes

To finish, taste for seasoning and add a little salt or additional black pepper to taste.  Serve in warmed bowls, and garnish with 1/2 t of balsamic vinegar and a grind of black pepper.

Serve with crusty bread or oyster crackers.