Posts tagged ‘panna cotta’

November 26, 2018

New Life for Leftovers

This week is a good time to create a new life for leftovers. In general I don’t mind leftovers, but I have my limits. Once I’m tired of eating a particular holiday menu item, I like to repurpose it to make it palatable again. If I don’t, I’ll be tempted to throw away perfectly good food.

Leftover plans have to be flexible because I never know exactly what will be eaten, what will be taken home by my family, and what will stay in my refrigerator. When incorporating leftovers into other dishes, I just work from a general framework and make things up as I go.

Turkey quickly becomes a turkey/avocado/bacon wrap using gluten-free tortillas or paleo wraps. Sometimes I go full turkey club by adding tomato, lettuce, and cheese to the wrap.

If you have leftover turkey and gravy, it’s easy to make creamed turkey on toast. It’s the same idea as chipped beef on toast and has that same retro feel of grandma’s kitchen.
This year I ended up with lots of corn. I’m going to use it in Mexican cornbread, but I could make corn/potato chowder or corn casserole. I could also include it along with other veggies in a frittata. Frittatas are always an easy, delicious, gluten-free way to repurpose cooked vegetables.

If you have too much stuffing, consider turning it into a bottom crust for shepherd’s pie. If you have them, the filling can be made with leftover turkey, vegetables, and gravy. If you don’t, create a filling using breakfast sausage, green peas, and a little sour cream. Top off either version with mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes before baking.

Winter weather often accompanies the holidays making warm, cozy soup an appealing option. Mashed potatoes and gravy can become the base for a thick, creamy soup. Corn and green beans can be incorporated into vegetable soup.

Fresh cranberry/orange relish makes the perfect topping for an almond torte. We always have extra relish. We all love it, but it’s not something you want to eat in large servings and it’s such a strong, tart flavor that it doesn’t always pair well with other strong flavors. On the other hand, its strong flavor enhances the mild flavor of the torte.

Last year, I used a leftover sweet potato to create a topping for panna cotta. It was so good everyone asked for it again this year! Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it:

Sweet Potato Topping

1/2 cup cooked sweet potato
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp honey
Pinch of salt

Place sweet potato and maple syrup in food chopper or blender and purée until smooth. In medium skillet, melt butter. Add puréed sweet potato. Whisk in cream and honey and sprinkle with salt. Cook for a minute or two. Allow to cool.

I’m not sure why I thought to turn that sweet potato into topping, but I’m glad I did. That’s the great thing about creating new life for leftovers; you can end up with unexpectedly good food that would never have been thought of otherwise.

November 21, 2016

Lighten Up!

Make your table diabetes friendly when you lighten up on carbs this Thanksgiving. More than 9% of the US population has diabetes and more than an additional 25% has prediabetes. Combined, that’s about 1 in 3 of us. A few simple changes to your Thanksgiving menu can make it healthier for diabetics, prediabetics, and, well, everyone really.

I understand that tradition plays an important role in holiday menu selections. When I begin planning for Thanksgiving, I always envision my grandmother’s table. I can’t help it. The image just pops into my head and the next thing you know, I’m craving corn, green beans, cornbread stuffing and that cranberry relish made with frozen cranberries and oranges.

And I know that the holidays are a time when most of us allow ourselves a splurge on the calories. With that in mind, I’m not suggesting you suddenly serve nothing but raw kale and arugula with a squeeze of lemon. You don’t really have to change much at all.
Here are 5 simple ways to reduce the carbs in your Thanksgiving meal.
1)Leave the crackers and bread off the appetizer platter. If you serve dips, offer fresh vegetables or fruit instead. Better yet, serve deviled eggs, butternut squash soup, stuffed mushrooms, roasted nuts, or a relish tray.

2)Add turnips to the mashed potatoes. Turnips have a high water content, less starch, and fewer calories than potatoes. One cup of turnips has 34 calories and 8 grams of carbs. One medium potato has 161 calories and 37 grams of carbs. Try replacing 1/3 of the potatoes in your recipe with turnips that have been peeled and cubed. Boil them right along with the potatoes and adjust the seasoning as needed. I love the resulting mash.

3)Make a sweet potato soufflé. Instead of adding brown sugar and marshmallows to canned sweet potatoes, begin by baking fresh sweet potatoes. Mash the baked potatoes, add a little flour, seasoning, eggs, and sweeten with natural unsweetened applesauce. When you reduce the sugar, you automatically reduce the carbs.

4)Prepare less stuffing and fewer rolls. When there’s less on the table, everyone will automatically reduce their portions so that there will be enough to go around. You don’t have to make anyone share a roll, but provide one for each person rather than two or three.

5)Serve panna cotta for dessert. Adorned with fresh berries and served in glassware, panna cotta looks fancy, but only takes about 15 minutes of prep and cooking time (plus 6 hours of cooling time in the fridge). There’s one tablespoon of sugar in 6 servings and no crust to add carbohydrates.
panna cotta
If panna cotta is too much of a divergence from your traditional desserts, then consider cheesecake with a nut crust, a cherry tart, or an apple tart. If none of those suffice, you can still reduce carbs by limiting the number of dessert selections or the serving size.

As you can see, a few small changes can make a big difference when it comes to carbs. Why not make this Thanksgiving just a tiny bit healthier for the diabetic at your table? You’ll be making it healthier for yourself as well.

And once you’ve finished the meal, don’t forget to laugh. Life is always better when you lighten up!

December 8, 2015

Travel Tip #13 – Don’t Forget to Order Dessert!

Vacation is the perfect time for a little indulgence, so don’t forget to order dessert even if you’re gluten-free! It’s easy to assume that the dessert menu will pose too few options or require too many questions to make it worth your while. That’s an assumption that would prevent you from devouring this delicious Pistachio Nougat that combines a semifreddo, pistachio praline & caramel sauce. The praline added crunch to the light semifreddo making it a satisfying bite and the whipped cream on top took the whole experience over the top.
pistachio nougat

I’ve been traveling for the past few days with friends who love to eat some gluten. Without any extra effort, we found numerous sharable desserts that worked for all of us just by asking to hear the dessert choices. Ah, you skeptics are probably thinking, yeah that may be true in a big city, but not where I vacation.

You may be right, but before you dismiss the idea that it pays to ask the question, I should tell you that we ordered the Pistachio Nougat in a town with a population of less than 4000. Of course, I’ll admit that won’t happen in every restaurant or in every small town, but you get the point.

The next night, in a larger town about 10 miles away, we sampled a Blondie served atop a cranberry compote with a side of salted pecan ice cream and sprinkled with candied pecans. Sunday brunch included gluten-free biscotti and donut holes.

When you eat in locally owned restaurants, you’ll often find tasty gluten-free dessert options right on the menu – creme brûlée, gelato, rice pudding, tapioca pudding, ice cream, panna cotta or macarons. Of course, you’ll always want to verify that their particular recipe doesn’t include some unusual problem ingredient.

While having dessert is not essential to any balanced meal plan, it can add enjoyment to the times you’re away from your regular routine. After Sunday brunch, we refused to even consider dessert because we’d indulged enough for one trip, but I have to say, it was great while it lasted!

Next time you find yourself away from home, don’t forget to order dessert!