Food & Drink

The Paleo Diabetes Diet cookbook boasts many recipes, is very educational

By Joan Leotta

For The Sun News

Roasted black cod with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette served on Seared Rapini
Roasted black cod with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette served on Seared Rapini

If you have read many of my reviews you know that some of my “rules” for the purchase of a cookbook is new information, good organization and at least five, preferably 10 recipes I think I want to try—just after leafing through the book. The Paleo Diabetes Diet Solution meets those criteria—and more.

The authors present good credentials for formulating this cookbook. Jill Hillhouse is registered with the Canadian Association of Natural Nutrition Practitioners as a Registered Nutrition Therapist, CNP stands for Certified Nutrition Practitioner. She is a faculty member of the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and resides in Toronto, Canada. Her fellow writer, Lisa Cantkier, is a Certified Holistic (CNH) Nutritionist committed to helping others live well with food allergies and special diets. They have combined their talents to come up with a most exciting book.

The first part of the book talks about how to manage blood sugar and offers a thirty-day meal plan to assist those with diabetes in lowering and maintaining a lower blood sugar level. They present their information in layperson friendly language and use a common sense approach. IN addition they discuss the use of many terms flying about today—grass-fed, pasture raised, free range, free-run and more. They also de-mystify organic foods and discuss when it would be best to spend one’s coins on this higher priced food option. They also discuss avoiding toxic elements found in plastics and how to work healthy bacteria into the gut for better overall health. In addition, they offer suggestions on cookware, exercise and how to obtain a good night’s sleep.

That said, anyone with any sort of diabetes or the suspicion of that insidious condition/disease should consult their own physician before implementing the recommendations of the explanatory section or clearing out their cupboards to arrange a month of meals on the suggested meal plan. Good as it may be, you might be missing a critical point of interaction with your meds or other conditions you have if you try sticking to it without passing it by your doctor first. However, you don’t need to be suffering from anything to appreciate the wonderful recipes. Healthy fresh ingredients are put together for us in this collection of 125 tantalizing items ranging from appetizer to dessert.

These two authors are right up to the minute, offering several of the latest trends, cauliflower “rice” bone broth, and other such niceties. The difference is that they combine good, solid fresh food in clever ways to bring high nutrition foods to the table in a delightfully tasty and artfully presentable manner. I love that they did not ignore the fact that sauces and other taste-enhancers are often the source of chemicals in our diet. They offer an entire chapter on sauces and dressings that are simple to make at home. Of course, the use of these comes up in many of the other recipes in the book. Simple is a watchword in the technique department here. Steps are carefully explained,. Nothing is beyond the average home cook.

The format offers “tips” in boxes on each recipe page. I found them to be quite helpful. In addition they also offer tips on making the recipes with substituted ingredients, such as with the soups when they suggest that instead of making one’s own bone broth(the best way to go, they feel) you can substitute store-bought organic broth. The recipes reflect a realist command of what is available in local groceries and the limited time many folks have to devote to kitchen wizardry. In fact, their recipes could be seen as a set of magic tricks to turn good fresh ingredients into wonderful meals, from soup to main courses to side dishes and even deserts like coconut banana soft serve and snacks like kale and zucchini chips.

I was particularly fond of the fish recipes—fish tacos, baked cod, smoked salmon nori rolls, shrimp and zucchini noodles and more. Along with the recipes, Hillhouse and Cantkier offer a good explanation of how fish helps us to be healthy and which fish are lower in mercury, etc—all to help you select the best fresh items in your grocery. Using The Paleo Diabetes Diet Solution will punch up the good health and nutrition factors in your family’s mealtimes.

Roasted Black Cod with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette served on Seared Rapini

Reprinted from The Paleo Diabetes Diet Solution by Jill Hillhouse and Lisa Cantkier

With permission of the publisher, Robert Rose Press

Tip: Black cod is also known as sablefish. It’s a mild tasting whit4 fish. Also, dried thyme can (1/2tsp) can substitute for the fresh thyme called for in the recipe.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Ingredients

4 pieces skinless black cod, about four ounces each

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and sweet paprika to taste

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1-cup cherry tomatoes

¼ tsp hot pepper flakes

2 tablespoons slivered, pitted, drained kalamata olive slices

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 large bunch rapini, rough ends, trimmed, larger stalks cut in half lengthwise and peeled.

1/3 cup filtered water

Method.

Place fish on prepared baking sheet and season with salt pepper, and paprika. Sprinkle with thyme and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Roast on parchment paper for 8-10 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork/

Meanwhile, in a high medium skillet, heat two tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Add tomatoes and hot pepper flakes, cook stirring for three to four minutes. (or until tomatoes are just starting to shrivel). Add olives and vinegar, cook stirring for one-two minutes more. Just before serving, heat tomato mixture and stir in the basil.

Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring about one minute until lit is golden. Do not let it burn. Add the rapini and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and sauté uncovered until remaining water evaporates. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the rapini among the serving places. Place fish on top of rapini and spoon tomatoes mixture over the top of the fish.

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