By Denise Swogetinsky

Special to The Messenger

 Most people think that diabetes means no more good foods during the holidays.

              This is not true. you just have to be smart with how you prepare things. You can enjoy many of the things that others enjoy, just prepared differently.

              Instead of sweet potato casserole, try baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon.  Replace the canned mushroom soup with a low carb recipe to cut those carbs in your green bean casserole. Try a brussel sprouts or asparagus recipe for a more healthy side. Make "Mock" mashed patatoes instead of potatoes. Use zuchinni chips or low carb to chips for your dips. Holidays can be stressful, but yo can make healthier choices to take of some stress and keep the enjoyment. You can also adapt many of your desserts.


Mock Mashed 


 2 large heads of cauliflower

salt and pepper to taste

chicken broth

stick of butter

heavy cream


Cut up cauliflower into small pieces. Put into large pot and cover with chicken broth. Salt and pepper liquid. Boil until cauliflower is tender. Drain and put in bowl. add butter and mix with mixer. add cream until mash potato consistency. (if you do not mention that these are not potatoes, many will not realize they are eating healthy.)


Low Carb 

Mushroom Soup

 1/4 c butter

5 c coarsley chopped mushrooms

1/2 c chopped onions

1 clove minced garlic

salt and papper to taste

1/4 thyme

1 carton chicken broth

2 c heavy whipping cream

1 pkg. cream cheese

2 T sherry


Melt butter in heavy pot. add vegetables, stir until tender (about 10 minutes). add salt, pepper, and thyme and stir about a minute. add broth, heavy cream, and cheese. reduce heat to low and add sherry. cook string constantly until flavore blend, about 45 minutes.  *soup in 5 carbs per serving.


Cheese Brussel Sprouts Casserole

 1 carton (32 oz) vegetable broth

2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed, quartered SAVE $

1/4cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (6 oz)

1/2 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons butter, melted


Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat broth to boiling over high heat. Add Brussels sprouts; heat liquid back to boiling. Cook 2 minutes. Use slotted spoon to transfer sprouts to baking dish. Reserve 1 1/2 cups broth. In 2-quart saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with whisk. Stir in reserved 1 1/2 cups broth and the whipping cream; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat; add Swiss cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Pour sauce over Brussels sprouts. In small bowl, mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Stir to coat. Sprinkle mixture over sauce. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until top is lightly browned and edges are bubbly. 


Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

 2 bunches of asparagus, about 40-50 spears, stems removed

8 slices thick-cut bacon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, whisk together oils, brown sugar and garlic. Set aside. Bunch together 5-6 asparagus spears and tightly wrap a piece of bacon around the bundle. Place on the wire rack seam-side down and repeat. Using a pastry brush, a spoon or even your hands (I did this…), brush the spears thoroughly with the oil/sugar mixture. Give each bundle a hefty sprinkle of sesame seeds. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Serve warm. (Make plenty-they go quick!)


Low Carb 

Tortilla Chips

 3/4 c almond flour

2 T cream cheese

1 3/4 shredded mozzarella cheese

1 egg

1 t garlic powder

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t salt

1  t cumin

1 t chili powder


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, add the mozzarella and cream cheese. Microwave in short increments (30 secs) until the cheese is melted and easy to stir. Stir well to combine. To the same bowl, add the almond flour, salt, spices, and egg. Stir to combine. If the mixture is hard to stir, knead it with your hands until the almond flour and egg mixture is well-incorporated. Chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Place the chilled dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it is very thin. Try for 1/16in to 1/8in thick. Bake the full sheet of dough for 10-12 minutes, until firm and golden brown. Carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven. Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into triangles. Carefully separate the triangles on the sheet pan, and return the sheet pan to the oven. Bake 5-10 minutes more, depending on thickness, until crisp.


Zucchini Chips

 1 zucchini

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 Tsp sea salt

1/8 Tsp fresh ground black pepper

.1/3 teaspoon paprika


Cut the zucchini into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick. I use a mandolin so the slices are thin and uniform.Gently toss them in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Lay the slices out on a cookie sheet, trying not to overlap them and sprinkle with paprika. I like a good amount of paprika for flavor and color, so feel free to add more if you choose. Bake at 450°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on the thinness of the slices, start checking on them at 10 minutes. You want them light brown. They will turn a little more brown even once removed from the oven. Don't over toast them!