Tag Archive for 'Diabetic recipe'

Chickpea, Parmesan & Fennel Salad


Over a year ago Jennifer Perillo (AKA Jennie) came out to California to visit with her two daughters. Aside from the fact that we had a wonderful and memorable time together exploring the Marin Farmer’s Market and the City by way cable cars something really exciting happened. Jennie received a very important call – she had a book deal! In some small way my clock started ticking from that day forward. And as I proudly hold her book in my hands I can feel all of the hard work she put into “Homemade With Love”. I know what it takes to create a cookbook and how much of yourself you pour into this type of passion project. It is a wonderful accomplishment to her ability to dream coupled with her determination to see it to fruition. I am honored to be able to participate in this virtual pot-luck in support of my good friend Jennie and to be participating along with so many other wonderful foodies I admire.

There are so many wonderful recipes I’ve read >um, drooled over< and made from Jennifer Perillo’s new cookbook that the most difficult task was deciding which recipe to share. I’ll be honest the Deep Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, Clementine Pistachio Crumb Muffins, Lentil Ricotta “Meatballs”, Pot of Mussels….you get the idea…were ALL in the running for my blog vote. I could list the entire book but I felt tempted with each page I turned to try another recipe.

I ultimately selected the Chickpea, Parmesan & Fennel Salad recipe because it was the very first one I tried and it really underscored for me the simple, fresh, and delicious flavors that is so true to Jennie’s cooking style. My entire family enjoyed this salad and I woke up thinking about it the next day, eager to prepare it for friends.

This recipe takes hardly any time to pull together and it is one that is guaranteed to impress.

Homemade with Love- Jennifer Perillo

Chickpea, Parmesan & Fennel Salad


1 TBS apple cider vinegar

2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

sea salt

pepper, fresh ground

1/2 bulb of fennel, thickly sliced

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, torn into pieces

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp lemon, zested

(my addition to this recipe)


In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil and lemon juice until well combined. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fennel, chickpeas, parsley, and cheese to the bowl. Toss together to combine.

To serve, spoon the salad onto a large platter, and sprinkle the almonds on top. If using, add lemon zest.

Time saver- The salad can be prepared up to an hour in advance. Allow to sit at room temperature, and it will marinade in the juices. Wait to add the almonds until serving so that they remain crunchy.



Graciously reprinted with permission from Jennifer Perillo and Running Press.

Need more of Jennie’s food?…you can buy her book on Amazon and you can check out these other great posts!

Flexing my Mussels in Jennie’s Kitchen from Ilina from Dirt and Noise

Food and Friends from Selfish MomBaking with my Kids from Homemade with Love from Selfish Mom

Easy and Delicious from Homemade with Love from Selfish Mom

Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta and Slow Roasted Tomatoes from Chefdruck: French Foodie Mom

Dude, I Made the Best Pizza Last Night from Kim of House of Prince

Food is Delicious When It’s Homemade from Kim of Hormone Colored Days

Homemade with Love from Jessica of Momma’s Gone City

Homemade with Love Lunch with Jennie from Toni of Food Just Sayin’

One of the photos from my Jennie archives…some other wonderful bloggers you might recognize: French Foodie Mom (Vanessa Druckman) and Savory Sweet Life (Alice Currah).

foodie blog girls

Tuscan Avocado-melee Sandwich


If the name doesn’t intrigue you then you must not LOVE avocados. While I’ve never really fancied myself an artist, I do have artistic foodie tendencies. And well, artists go through phases. Right now I am in my avocado phase. (There, I said it- that is half the battle – as I torture my family and willing guests into testing my creations). There are a lot of ways that you can customize this hearty and healthy vegetarian dish and I encourage you to have fun with it.

Tuscan Avocado-melee Sandwich


3 small avocados, sliced in half and pits set aside

1 15 oz can canellini beans, drained

1 carrot, chopped

1/2 cup whole pistachios, rough chopped

1/2 cup spinach, sliced

1 TBS sunflower seeds

favorite bread, toasted

Italian flat leaf parsley (optional garnish)


1 TBS balsamic vinegar

2 tsps cayenne

1 TBS garlic salt

4 tsps horseradish

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 small lemon, juiced

pepper to taste


In a medium size bowl, remove avocados from their skin and mash. In a small bowl mash canellini beans, then add into the bowl with the avocado along with all remaining ingredients. Next add in the seasonings and combine well. If not serving immediately, place the avocado pits back into the bowl with the avocado filling, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Before serving remove pits and stir mixture. Serve avocado sandwich filling on one slice of toasted bread.

Notes: While it is certainly possible to use a fork and knife on this sandwich I highly recommend consuming it as finger food. If made on smaller toasts Tuscan Avocado-melee can be wonderful appetizer.

This sandwich was served along with my petite lentil salad.





Hearty (Heart + Healthy) Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Unsaved Preview Document

Thanks to my friend Illina, banana chocolate chip cakies have become a house hold favorite over the past few years. With the combo of banana and chocolate chips at the top of the ‘regulars’ chart this recipe is a new twist on a family favorite. One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it is diabetic friendly and dairy free.


Hearty Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Muffin Ingredients

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup Almond Coconut milk (or can substitute vanilla almond milk)

2 eggs** (vegan substitution below)

1 TBS baking powder

3 cups old fashioned oatmeal

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBS sugar, optional

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan variety are dairy free)

Muffin Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients except the chocolate chips. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then mix in chocolate chips.

Coat muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or use liners.

Fill 12 muffin cups to the brim.

Bake 20-30 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. If using cooking spray, loosen the muffins from the pan by tracing around the edges with a blunt knife to release. Serve warm.



Vegan Egg Substitute Adaptation:

Flax seeds contain properties that are ideal for replacing eggs in vegan baking. It is important to use GOLDEN flax seeds which are the light colored ones as the brown flax seeds will alter the color of baked goods. If you are just looking to mix it up a bit and are not necessarily vegan here are some flax seed 101 facts on this alternative goodness: the seeds contain protein, fiber and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which makes this binder a healthy alternative to other egg replacers. Below are the ingredients to make the equivalent of 1 egg. (Remember for THIS recipe you will need to double the amounts below.)

Flax Seed Meal Ingredients

3 TBS water

1 TBS golden flax meal (to make meal follow directions given)

Flax Seed Meal Directions

Using a blender, food processor or a spice grinder, grind the flax seeds into meal. If opting to grind a larger amount it can be stored in an air-tight container, in the freezer, for up to one year. Equivalents: 1 cup of flax seeds equals about 1 1/3 cups of flax meal.

Add the water to a small bowl, then add the flax meal combining with a whisk or fork. Let the mixture set-up for 5-10 minutes so it develops a raw egg-like consistency. If trying to expedite the process, warm water will speed things up.

Stuff it! Cannelloni Gone Garden

The story behind this dish? I must confess, there are not too many twists and turns on this tale – the garden is in full belated summer veggie mode. With tomatoes, garlic, basil and zucchini at the ready, I was inspired to make a versatile dish. This recipe has so many options, you will be amazed:
diabetic adaption: substitute mushrooms for carrots and eliminate the pasta shells. The filling can be fried to make vegetable shrimp cakes or baked in an oven proof dish.
vegetarian modification: eliminate the shrimp.
lactose intolerant version: eliminate the cheese.
child-like adaption: with no recognizable vegetables on the plate, call this dish ‘Crabby Patties’ (alla Sponge Bob) for added appeal.

Bottom line, make this dish work for you. I think you will find the flavors are delectable for nearly any diet or palate. Manga bene!

Shrimp & Garden Vegetable Cannelloni


1/4 cup + 1 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups (1/2 lb) green zucchini, grated
1 1/2 cups (1/2 lb) yellow zucchini, grated
1 medium carrot, grated
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 TBS white wine, dry
1 egg yoke, large
2 TBS fresh basil, chopped
2 cups bread crumbs, not finely grated (or 1 cup bread crumbs and 1/2 cup ricotta)
12 cannelloni shells, cooked
3-4 cups tomato sauce **
2 TBS Italian parsley, chopped (optional)


Note: For best flavor, make the filling recipe, which immediately follows, one day in advance to allow flavors to amalgamate.

In large saute pan, heat 2 TBS of olive oil with garlic on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the hot pepper flakes into the oil and stir until coated. Add in the zucchini, carrot, salt and pepper and cook until soft and dry, approximately 15-20 minutes. Set aside on baking sheet to cool.

Using the same pan, heat 2 TBS of oil on medium heat with the sliced garlic until it starts to turn light brown. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper and saute until opaque, approximately 2 minutes, do not over cook. Deglaze the pan by adding wine and scraping any pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan. Transfer shrimp to baking sheet with vegetables and allow to cool. Pour remaining wine in pan over the shrimp and vegetables.

Divide cooled shrimp and vegetable into two batches, pulse in food processor but do not puree the mixture. Transfer into a bowl. Taste the mixture and adjust the salt and pepper to your taste, mix well. Add the egg yoke, bread crumbs, ricotta (if using) and basil. The filling mixture should be dry and hold together. At this point you can refrigerate up to one day.

Cook the cannelloni shells according to package directions. (Be careful not to over cook the shells, as they will become too soft once filled and cooked in the oven.) Carefully remove the past with a slotted spoon, and place onto a prepared a tray. When pasta is cool enough to handle, cut each length-wise to lay flat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9×13 baking dish. Fill each piece of pasta with 1/4 cup of the filling, and make into a snug roll with a slight overlap of the pasta. Place pasta seam side down in baking dish. Repeat until all cannelloni are filled. Add 1/2 cup water to the pan, cover with foil and bake 25-30 minutes.

Warm tomato sauce in sauce pan. Transfer cannelloni to individual serving plate, spoon sauce over top, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and parsley (if using).

Serve immediately!

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce (Sugo di Pomodoro)


2 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt


Puree tomatoes in a food process or pass through a mill. In a large pan, on medium-low heat, add olive oil and onion. Cook approximately 10 minutes, until onion is translucent.

Add tomato puree and salt. Stir well and bring mixture to a low boil. Do not allow sauce to burn, cook approximately 35-40 minutes until most of the water evaporates and sauce starts to thicken.

This sauce can be refrigerated one week or frozen up to three months.

Makes 3 cups.