Diabetic or not, enjoy healthy meals

Hol­i­day din­ing and cel­eb­ra­tions are a culin­ary chal­lenge for most Amer­ic­ans, es­pe­cially those with diet-re­lated ill­nesses. While I’m not a dia­bet­ic, my fam­ily med­ic­al his­tory provides a cau­tion­ary tale. The Amer­ic­an Dia­betes As­so­ci­ation es­tim­ates that 23.6 mil­lion people in the U.S. have dia­betes, but only 17.9 mil­lion people ac­tu­ally have been dia­gnosed. This means ap­prox­im­ately 5.7 mil­lion people have dia­betes and don’t know it.

Be­cause so many Amer­ic­ans — in­clud­ing my hus­band, moth­er, fath­er, young­est sis­ter and many oth­er fam­ily mem­bers and friends are dia­bet­ics — I de­cided to col­lect 150 of my fa­vor­ite, healthy re­cipes and cre­ate “The Kit­chen Diva’s Dia­bet­ic Cook­book: 150 Healthy, De­li­cious Re­cipes for Dia­bet­ics and Those Who Dine With Them.”

Throughout “The Kit­chen Diva’s Dia­bet­ic Cook­book,” I’ve pre­pared re­cipes suit­able for a dia­bet­ic that also are sat­is­fy­ing for non-dia­bet­ics. I use these re­cipes when en­ter­tain­ing fam­ily and friends.

This easy-to-use cook­book ad­dresses the health and di­et­ary needs of pre-dia­bet­ics, ju­ven­ile dia­betes, Type I and Type II dia­bet­ics, wo­men with preg­nancy-re­lated dia­betes, those with dia­bet­ic-re­lated com­plic­a­tions or any­one seek­ing to em­brace a health­i­er diet and life­style.

Dia­betes symp­toms vary de­pend­ing on how high the blood sug­ar is el­ev­ated. Some people, es­pe­cially those with pre­dia­betes or type 2 dia­betes, may not ex­per­i­ence symp­toms ini­tially. In type 1 dia­betes, however, symp­toms tend to come on quickly and be more severe. Al­though type 1 dia­betes can de­vel­op at any age, it typ­ic­ally ap­pears dur­ing child­hood or ad­oles­cence. Type 2 dia­betes, the most com­mon type, can de­vel­op at any age and of­ten is pre­vent­able.

Some of the signs and symp­toms of type 1 and type 2 dia­betes are in­creased thirst; fre­quent ur­in­a­tion; ex­treme hun­ger; un­ex­plained weight loss; the pres­ence of ketones in the ur­ine (ketones are a byproduct of the break­down of muscle and fat, which hap­pens when there’s not enough in­sulin); fa­tigue; blurred vis­ion; slow-heal­ing sores; mild high blood pres­sure; and fre­quent in­fec­tions, such as gum or skin in­fec­tions and va­gin­al or blad­der in­fec­tions. 

This re­cipe for Crispy Roas­ted Chick­en is from “The Kit­chen Diva’s Dia­bet­ic Cook­book.” It’s easy and de­li­cious, and provides a healthy meal for dia­bet­ics and those who dine with them dur­ing the hol­i­days … and every day!

Crispy Roas­ted Chick­en

This is one of my fam­ily’s fa­vor­ite chick­en dishes. I usu­ally pre­pare it for Sunday din­ner after church and for hol­i­day cel­eb­ra­tions. Sprink­ling the skin with bak­ing powder helps draw out the mois­ture, so the skin gets crack­ling crisp in the oven. 

1 (5-1/2 to 6 pound) whole chick­en, or 5 pounds breast, drum­sticks and thigh parts

1/2 ta­ble­spoon bak­ing powder

1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil

2 ta­ble­spoons gar­lic powder

2 ta­ble­spoons poultry season­ing

1 tea­spoon salt

1 tea­spoons freshly ground black pep­per 

1 small onion, halved

1 lem­on, halved

8 sprigs rose­mary

4 cloves gar­lic cloves, smashed 

2 tea­spoons minced fresh thyme

Cook­ing oil spray

1. Re­move the neck, gib­lets and any pieces of fat in­side of the bird. Rinse the bird with cold wa­ter in­side and out. Re­move any ex­cess fat and leftover pin feath­ers. Pat the chick­en dry with pa­per tow­els. Sprinkle the chick­en skin (breast side only) with the bak­ing powder. Place the chick­en on a roast­ing rack in a large bak­ing pan and let it air-dry in the re­fri­ger­at­or for 30 minutes. Pat the chick­en dry with more pa­per tow­els. 

2. Spray a large bak­ing pan with cook­ing-oil spray. Rub the olive oil all over the chick­en. Turn the chick­en breast side up, twist the wing tips and tuck them be­hind the bird. Sprinkle the chick­en in­side and out with the gar­lic powder, poultry season­ing, salt and pep­per. Rub the spices in­side and out of the bird, or if us­ing parts, on both sides. Stuff the cav­ity with the onion, lem­on, rose­mary, gar­lic and thyme, or place aro­mat­ics un­der the chick­en parts

3. Pre­heat oven to 425 F. Place the chick­en in the up­per half of the oven and cook, un­covered, for 15 minutes to brown and crisp the skin. Lower the oven tem­per­at­ure to 350 F. Spray the chick­en with the cook­ing-oil spray. Roast the chick­en for an ad­di­tion­al 35 to 40 minutes, or un­til the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a knife, or an in­stant-read ther­mo­met­er in­ser­ted in the thigh and not touch­ing bone re­gisters 165 F.

4. Re­move the chick­en from oven and al­low it to rest, un­covered, for at least 10 minutes pri­or to carving. Do not cov­er the meat be­cause it will steam and soften the crispy skin. Makes 10 servings.

An­gela Shelf Medear­is is an award-win­ning chil­dren’s au­thor, culin­ary his­tor­i­an and the au­thor of sev­en cook­books. Her Web site is      www.di­vapro.com ••

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