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The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook by Angela Shelf Medearis

Goods for the glucose

By Virginia B. Wood, 3:33PM, Thu. Jun. 7, 2012

The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook by Angela Shelf Medearis

I've long admired syndicated columnist/cookbook author/cooking teacher Angela Shelf Medearis for the multitude of her accomplishments, not to mention the fun and sassy attitude with which she invites readers and television viewers into the kitchen.

I was pleased when her new diabetic cookbook landed in my inbox because I thought if anyone could make preparing foods for the diabetic diet both engaging and flavorful, it would be Angela. Turns out, I was right.

My initial read-through did present some personal stumbling blocks, however. Many of the recipes contain soy products, to which I'm allergic, and many others depend on cooking in the microwave, which I just don't do. On the other hand, I had to acknowledge that the book was really written for busy families and there is a wealth of helpful information about setting up a kitchen and pantry in order to make preparing healthy, flavorful meals for the diabetic much easier. I realized that a working Mom with a diabetic child or husband would probably be thrilled with suggestions for adding more protein to family meals and be grateful for quicker methods for getting food on the table. The Kitchen Diva serves up plenty of both function and flavor.

The second time I picked up the book, I was determined to see if there were some recipes I would prepare, and I found several that engaged my interest. The Hot-from-Texas Hummus (p. 8) is a delightful dip and works equally well with poblano or jalapeno peppers, depending on how hot you like it. Both the Soul Food Spread (p. 52) and the Crunchy Chili Beans (p.53) are right up my alley, as are the Taco-Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (p. 68). I'm eager to try the Diva version of salad Nicoise where sunchokes replace the potatoes (p. 86) as well as the Southern Salad (p.75) with black-eyed peas, chicken, and mixed greens. I've enjoyed the Shrimp and Bulgur Risotto (p. 169) and the Orange Pepper Shrimp with Texmati Rice (p. 175). The chapter on Sweet Finishes and Nightime Nibbles has me intrigued because many of the recipes include Splenda and I've never baked with it. But with the Kitchen Diva's inspiration, I may just give it a shot!

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