By Adam Garcia
Experience this diabetic cookbook, food enthusiasts with diabetes have been waiting for; a comprehensive, bill of fare collection of 250 dishes to meet any craving from:
- Hot and spicy to sweet and sour,
- Creamy to crunchy,
- Pastas to dessert.
Written by Chef Tom Valenti, an “America’s Ten Best Chefs” from Food & Wine and according to Ruth Reichl from The New York Times a “clairvoyant in the kitchen.” On top of all that he is a diabetic. Envision being a celebrity chef and also besieged with diabetes. Chef Valenti thought his culinary life was doomed to boredom when he was diagnosed with diabetes 14 years ago and that’s what Chef Tom Valenti has to deal with every day. “My initial reaction was I can’t eat pasta anymore?” said Tom to CBS News, but Tom still eats pasta and now, his illness has inspired him to write this diabetic cookbook. This epicurean megastar chef is a healthy eater now and keeps his diabetes in check. And while he still craves food he shouldn’t have, his cooking is satisfying for him and he hopes for others.
Watch This Video with Chef Tom Valenti on The Early Show:
“You Don’t Have To Be Diabetic To Love This Cookbook” is filled with recipes so delectable, so ingenious, so varied and beguiling that it will turn the burden of following a diabetic regime into a commemoration of food. Its chock full of recipes from pasta to desserts that are easy to prepare, flavorful, nutritious, and the most imperative thing, it will appeal to diabetics. It took Chef Valenti two years to write this diabetic cookbook and all of the dishes were created without using lots of sugar, salts and are lower in carbohydrates. In fact, this is food for everyone in the family to sit down and enjoy, with no penalty to the non-diabetics.
Chef Tom Valenti employs novel ideas and methods that are a signature of his cuisine. He realized that some of the techniques he already used in the kitchen, i.e., using a lot of acidity, brightening dishes with lemon juice and vinegar, are actually healthy ways to cook. He employs methods such as, acid to brighten flavors and unexpected combinations of texture and temperature. And never does he resort to imitation products. To regain taste, Chef Valenti uses a little culinary trickery, like substituting citrus and vinegars for certain ingredients. Chef Valenti also provides a full nutritional analysis per serving, exchange list, and a brief introduction for each recipe in this diabetic cookbook.
Recipes include Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto; Chicken Chaat; Filet Mignon with Black and Green Peppercorn Sauce; Snapper Piccata; Grilled Duck Breast Paillard with Orange, Onion, and Mint; Lamb Sausage with Warm Potato Salad; Shrimp and Tomato Ravioli; Goat Cheese Cake; Banana Mousse; and Miniature Pumpkin Pies.
Real flavors, real food, and finally, real pleasure, for America’s 24 million diabetics. “It’s not a hot fudge sundae, but it’s good.” said Tom. But can diabetic cooking be for everyone? Valenti thinks so, especially if you want to eat healthy. “Beyond discovering how useful my standard operating procedures were for my new scenario, I found that very often honoring the limits of diabetes simply meant rejiggering the proportions in a dish, emphasizing proteins and vegetables over pastas, legumes, and so on,” Chef Valenti writes in his book. There is no “diabetes diet.” Each person with the disease follows a different regiment based on his or her health and lifestyle. However, general diet guidelines include cutting back on carbohydrates and lightening up on fats and sodium.
Finally, one of Valenti’s colleagues, Chef and author, Mario Batali stated “People with diabetes and anyone looking for a healthy lifestyle will rejoice in Valenti’s signature cuisine and the food that has made me one of his biggest fans.”
I happen to agree with Chef Batali and this is one diabetic cookbook that I recommend to everybody who wishes to have a healthier lifestyle.