MY SUGAR BALANCER #CINNAMON SPICE

I don’t have to go far to retrieve my daily dose of cinnamon. It’s a huge part of early morning (breakfast) meal. You see, I consume the whole-grain and filling oatmeal at least four times per week. I like a sprinkle of brown sugar or a squeeze of honey to sweeten same. Sometimes, I might even add a half of a banana and  choice of  berries.

Although I liked my tasty and satisfying oatmeal, I just didn’t like the aftermath of my consumption a few minutes later. I became bit lethargic because my glucose level would spike a tad high. And, although I’m not a diabetic, I knew something was not right.

I do believe that food should energize me; not make me feel weak and out of it. I wanted answers. So, after doing a little research, I discovered that one of my popular spices (cinnamon) in my cupboard was my saving grace. I call it my ‘sugar balancer’.

Thereafter, I became my guinea-pig and decided to spike my oatmeal during and after cooking same. A generous sprinkle of this brown exotic spice allows my body to accommodate the sweetness in food products.

Once in a while, when I indulge in a store-bought muffin or any baked product, I turned to my pantry for the fine balance that I need. With a sprinkle on my food, I know that I’ll continue to savor the sweet goodness without sending me out of control.

N.B. – Cinnamon has been around for centuries. It is from the evergreen tropical tree (genus cinnamomum) The leaves and bark are used in oils and cinnamon spices. this warm and aromatic spice is excellent in both savory and sweet dishes.

 

 

 

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ITALIAN BITES #CRUSTY BAGUETTES/EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Made a quick home-made tomato sauce with some tomatoes. Sliced eggplant and baked in oven.

EGGPLANT SLICES FOR OVEN
EGGPLANT SLICES FOR OVEN

With a drizzle of a little olive oil and sprinkle of salt and black pepper, eggplant was ready for my fresh home-made sauce, feta cheese and fresh garnish of parsley.

Paired same with slices of crusty five-grain baguette, toasted in oven and rubbed with garlic. Topped them with left-over kale and broccoli pesto and fresh sliced tomatoes.

All I needed was a refreshing serving of Pinot Grigio to complete my dishes which I happened to have some left-over on hand. The light and sweet wine married well with my dishes. I was over-the-moon happy.

ITALIAN BITES WITH SERVING OF PINOT GRIGIO
ITALIAN BITES WITH SERVING OF PINOT GRIGIO

 

I SEE BANANA/OATMEAL PANCAKES IN THE MAKING

Look ye here! Look ye here! I’ve the main ingredients for banana and oatmeal pancakes over here!  It’s nothing new; but for me, whenever I enjoy a dish, I’ve no qualms in a repeat performance.

To others, they may see a couple wilted bananas to be tossed. But, oh no! My taste buds and I are already salivating the sweetness and smooth taste of these potassium foods. I’ll mash them and sprinkle a generous amount of warm cinnamon to balance my glucose in my system.

MASHED BANANAS AND CINNAMON
MASHED BANANAS AND CINNAMON

I’ll add the sweet goodness to at the end after I assembly my wet ingredients of :

  • beaten egg
  • melted unsalted butter
  • splash of vanilla
  • couple tablespoons of honey

To my wet ingredients, I’ll add dry ingredients of:

  • whole-wheat flour
  • oatmeal
  • baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • powdered ginger
  • cinnamon (can’t have enough of this)

I’ll combine the wet and the dry ingredients and try not to overwork them. Then, I’ll gently fold in the mashed bananas sprinkled with the exotic cinnamon.

BANANA/OATMEAL BATTER FOR PANCAKES
BANANA/OATMEAL BATTER FOR PANCAKES

In a skillet, I’ll spray a little Pam and use a 1/4 measuring cup to input the batter. Then, I’ll top pancake with fresh blueberries and flip after bottom is set and cook.

PANCAKE TOPPED WITH FRESH BLUEBERRIES
PANCAKE TOPPED WITH FRESH BLUEBERRIES

When each pancake is all done and ready, I’ll ‘dig’ in to the succulent delights. I can’t wait to indulge. The roof of my palate will so excited to experience that pop of those tart and sweet blueberries. Oh, I’m salivating already; I can’t wait to indulge.

FINISHED BANANA AND OATMEAL PANCAKES TOPPED WITH FRESH STRAWBERRIES
FINISHED BANANA AND OATMEAL PANCAKES TOPPED WITH FRESH STRAWBERRIES

 

MY MORNING STAPLE #OATMEAL

If it’s the week morning, I’ve got to go oatmeal. When it comes to my daily meal plan, I consume what works for me. When I shop for this whole-grain food, as always, I opt for the old-fashioned type as it has great bite at each spoonful.

One of the great upsides to oatmeal is that it is still relatively inexpensive. It is loaded with fibers and other nutritional properties. And, I love that I’ve control over the sugar content within.

As usual, cinnamon is a huge addition to my warm cereal as it lowers the glucose level in my body. Love to add  fresh berries or other fruits to oatmeal and sweeten with a little brown sugar or honey. And this morning was no exception, topped my staple cereal with some fresh and super-sweet black berries and a drizzle of honey.

I was very satiated and happy.

CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE STIR-FRY

It was a quick chop and drop for your truly. Had some left-over roasted jerk/apple-flavored  chicken (white-meat) from Sunday’s supper. A pinch of Chinese five-spice was added in order to boost the taste. Chicken was chopped into bite-sized portions and added to stir-fried assorted  vegetables consisting of broccoli, asparagus, onions, vine-ripe tomatoes and kale.

SAUTEED ASSORTED VEGETABLES
SAUTEED ASSORTED VEGETABLES

My carbohydrates of choice was whole-wheat angel hair pasta. This was cooked al dente (firm to the bite). I made sure to reserve a splash of pasta water in order to provide extra liquid for sauce and to continue cooking process of pasta. Added same to skillet for a medley of amazing goodness.

THE COMINGLING OF BEET/CARROT/CANTALOUPE

Trying to jump-start this spring day just right. Turned to one of my favorite wholesome and refreshing juices (well, two of). Beet root and carrot juice is a staple in my refrigerator. Love to add fresh lime and/or lemon along with a burst of ginger root to same.

Decided to step up my beta carotene drink up to another notch. Thus, I added a few chunks of cantaloupe to the mix and blended in standing blender. First cantaloupe juice was added and then a beet and carrot juice was poured in.

Loved the marriage of both. I was super-happy. Salud!!

 

JERK/APPLE ROASTED CHICKEN WITH ASSORTED VEGGIES

That’s it! I went jerking with my bird. It has been sometime since I’ve gone down this familiar route. I wanted a dish that was bold, spicy, succulent and packed with amazing flavors that would excite my taste buds.

As a result, I decided on one of my favorite ways to cook the feathery one. I even made a butterfly with the ‘white one’ by removing the back bone. Will use that backbone in a soup or broth. Anyway, marinated chicken overnight in a concoction consisted of:

  • salt, black pepper, crushed garlic, thyme, parsley, rosemary, onions, sprinkle of sugar, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and of course, jerk seasoning
WHOLE MARINATED JERK CHICKEN FOR OVEN
WHOLE MARINATED JERK CHICKEN FOR OVEN
  • Chicken was placed on foiled baking sheet on roasting rack along with Macintosh apple. This was roasted at a temperature of 420 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes and then oven was turned down to 350 degrees for another 30 minutes (turning once).
  • Chicken was basted with extra sauce consisting of jerk sauce, ketchup, honey, etc. in the last 10 minutes.
ROASTED JERK/APPLE CHICKEN
ROASTED JERK/APPLE CHICKEN

Served chicken with  roasted wedges of  sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots. My palate and I were exceedingly happy and satiated.

LINGUINE WITH KALE/BROCCOLI PESTO TOPPED WITH HONEY/LEMON SHRIMP

I went a little over the top with nature’s wholesome greens. it  was sort of leap out of the  ‘box’; in that I created a pesto from atypical ingredients. Instead of the classic  basil and/or other herbs, I opted for kale, broccoli and parsley.

Greens were rinsed in tepid water and then added to food processor along with roasted garlic and a splash of water for a quick pulse. This was then seasoned with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper, a few pieces of walnuts and crumbled feta cheese.

With a quick final pulse of ingredients, pesto was ready for linguine.

KALE, BROCCOLI AND PARSLEY PESTO
KALE, BROCCOLI AND PARSLEY PESTO

Pesto was then folded into hot linguine. Served pasta with  honey and lemon shrimp.