type 1 diabetes

Thirsty Thursdays: Trader Joe’s Low Calorie Pink Lemonade

This is quite possibly the most delicious store-bought lemonade I’ve ever had. Trader Joe’s has thrown down a gauntlet for all lo-cal beverage manufacturers in creating a drink with only 40 calories per 8-ounce serving. And the secret to their success? STEVIA. Stevia is, admittedly, a bit of a shock to the system when it’s the only sweetener in the cup; but TJ’s has softened it with the addition of a small amount of organic cane sugar. The result is a guiltless guzzle of epic proportions.

For you organi-philes, this will be an especially refreshing drink. The front label proudly states that the lemonade is made with organic lemon juice, but it also includes other organic ingredients: cane sugar, lemon extract, lemon juice concentrate, and flavor (all certified by QAI).

.Now, if you go searching for this gem in your local TJ’s, you will see that there are actually TWO lo-cal lemonade options: yellow and pink. There are people who insist that you cannot tell the difference, but our family has tried them both and swears that you can. DH, DS, and I prefer the pink version; my parents prefer the yellow. The only discernible difference on the label is the addition of black carrot extract (for color) to the pink version. Both versions contain “organic flavor” and “natural flavor”, so the secret may lie therein. I’d like to believe that, somewhere in the pink’s natural and organic flavor formulary, there is just a tiny extra bit of sunshine and happiness that seems lacking in the yellow. Or maybe I just like the color better. Either way, it rocks my tastebuds.

Incidentally, in our house the half-gallon container is a one-day supply. It’s a safer beverage alternative for the DH, since it’s reduced-sugar and low in phosphorus (two considerations for Type-1 diabetics everywhere). So on my once-weekly trip to TJ’s, I generally purchase 7-10 1/2-gallon bottles. The one time our local store was out (since the warehouse was out also), DH had to go without for almost two weeks. One the outside he was calm, but I know on the inside he was practically rabid over the loss.

Categories: Beverages, Food, type 1 diabetes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

RECIPE: Turkey Stroganoff “Helper”

DH loooooves Hamburger Helper. DH is also a type-1 diabetic, with a number of health complications as a result of years of minimal compliance with the recommended diet and exercise regimen for diabetics. Astonishing as it is (or not), Hamburger Helper is not a diabetic-friendly processed food. It’s high in fat, higher in carbs and disturbingly high in sodium content. So I try to find other dishes that will fulfill his desire for that kind of beef-and-noodle kind of dish. I tooled around with the “slow food” versions of the ingredients in his favorite HH flavor — stroganoff — and this is what I came up with. DH ate three servings of it, and then said it was “just OK” because he doesn’t like the blandness of ground turkey. That said, if you use a super-lean ground beef, like a grass-fed sirloin, you could get that beefy flavor with a comparable fat content. (Incidentally, the others at the table scarfed theirs down and also requested seconds. I guess it’s purely a matter of preference.)


– 1 box low-carb/high-fiber egg noodles (I used the Al Dente Carba-Nada egg fettuccine, 10 oz. bag)

–  1 T. olive oil

–  1 large onion, chopped

–  1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used crimini, elsewhere known as baby portabellas)

– salt and pepper to taste

–  2 garlic cloves, minced

–  1/2 cup white wine, use divided

–  1 lb. ground lean turkey

–  2 tablespoons cornstarch

–  1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

–  Pinch cayenne pepper

–  2 t. poppy seeds

–  1 pint plain low-fat Greek yogurt

– 2 T. flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine

Cook egg noodles as per the manufacturer’s directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat to almost smoking over medium high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms, and saute until mushrooms are softened and the onions are turning golden brown. Add a dash of salt and pepper (the salt will pull the last of the water out of the vegetables) as well as the garlic, and continue to saute, about 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan to a heatproof bowl. Deglaze the pan with white wine, picking up the fond on the bottom of the pan, and add this liquid to bowl with the vegetables.

Reduce the heat on the pan to medium and add the turkey. Brown the meat until all traces of pink have disappeared, about 10 minutes, and then drain any fat from the pan. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the meat and toss to coat. Stir in the broth, the remaining wine, and the vegetables, and bring to a simmer, about 5 minutes.

Stir until sauce thickens. Add additional salt and pepper, the cayenne and the poppy seeds. Add the egg noodles and stir to combine. Remove from heat; stir in yogurt. Remove to a serving platter. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 4-6.

Categories: Cooking, Food, type 1 diabetes | 1 Comment

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