Generally I don’t talk about heath issues. I’m not a health nut by any stretch of the imagination. A quick look at some of my recipes will attest to that statement. Still, I want to take a moment to talk about Diabetes.
The difference between how a Diabetic deals with life today vs 20 years ago is amazing. Once upon a time there was a whole list of things a Diabetic was NEVER to eat under any circumstance. Today it’s more a common sense approach. Exercise is important – but then being active is important no matter your health issues. I’m glad, for me the recommendation is to walk – at least 20 minutes a day, working up to several times a day if possible. We live in an old, established neighborhood with tree-lined streets and a nearby community park. Walking is a joy.
Before I get myself into some hot water over the whole diabetic dos and don’ts, this is strictly my opinion and what works best for me, under the guidance of my diabetic management team. One of the most difficult things about being a diabetic is that everyone has an opinion as to what you should and should not do, and most of the time those opinions contradict each other. Never eat potatoes is a great example. Some say no to potatoes, others say red potatoes with skins on is okay in moderation. I say do what works for you.
As for foods – like I said before, the hard rules about eating no longer apply – it’s about proper balance, good nutrition and common sense. Don’t eat till you pop. Life is not an all-you-can-eat buffet. Moderation is key. Once upon a time Diabetics were set up to fail. The foods allowed were boring, while the forbidden foods were everywhere. Temptation was a daily battle. In some ways, that battle remains. As a Diabetic, I don’t have cotton candy – that’s pure sugar. Candy is a slippery slope. I’m glad I don’t have that kind of sweet tooth. For me, the diagnoses of Diabetes became a war of breads. I adore bread. Today I still enjoy bread, but hardly make a meal out of it. The Diabetic Plate really is a good idea for everyone. It makes sense. The healthiest was to eat is to cook the food yourself and not rely on prepackaged processed foods. That way, you are in charge – you decide what to eat and how to eat it.
Now that I’m smarter, most days my plate is 50% salad, with some lean meat such as chicken and maybe 1/3 cup of starch such as mashed potatoes. It’s all a matter of using the good sense God gave me. So how did I get in trouble in the first place? There are a number of factors, but the bottom line is that I had a tendency skip meals only to say “yes, please” to a second helping of mashed potatoes, while forgoing the salad line all together. Those bad habits coupled with a lack of physical activity and a family history made for some serious consequences.
Mexican Taco Stuffed Tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground chorizo
1 oz taco seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup sour Cream
1 Jalapeno Pepper (Optional)
1/2 cup shredded lettuce (optional)
Peel and chop onion. Set aside until ready to use.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef, chorizo and taco seasoning, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the beef is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Drain filling of fat. Return skillet to low heat, cover and hold until ready to use.
Flip tomatoes so they are stem-side down. Cut the tomatoes into six wedges, being careful to not cut completely through the tomato. Carefully spread open the wedges. If necessary, carefully remove seeds to allow for more taco filling.
Divide taco meat evenly among the tomatoes, then top each with cheese, and sour cream. If desired, slice a jalapeno pepper into rounds, then top sour cream with peppers. Spread lettuce on a serving platter. Top lettuce bed with stuffed tomatoes and serve.
For the record, my guys loved this warm “taco” salad approach to an old favorite. Please give it a try and be sure to let me know what you think.