Monday, July 28, 2014

Triple Berry Pie is a sweet treat sans the sugar

April 24. 2013 10:46AM

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I left my doctor’s office having been read the riot act. I am officially a Type 2 diabetic, after being pre-diabetic for about 10 years.

I count my blessings that if I get serious about my diet, weight and exercise I only need to take a pill every day rather than taking shots. But manage my diet? Are you kidding? I’m a professional chef; my life is about food.

Now what? How will it affect what I eat every day? I reached out to the American Diabetes Association for some help, and they told me it all comes down to having a plan. That plan needs to include low-carb offerings, sugar-free offerings, etc.

For breakfast, for example, think about whole-grain waffles, unsweetened cereal, fresh fruits (strawberries, bananas or mangos) and don’t forget non-fat Greek yogurt. I’m having a vision of a fresh spring asparagus frittata. (I bet non-diabetics would love it also.)

At lunch and dinner, take advantage of all the spring greens — butter lettuce, spinach and watercress, which you can top with radishes, tomatoes, mushrooms and cucumbers in a light vinaigrette dressing. Add grilled chicken, shrimp, steak or salmon to make it a full meal choice.

How about grilling up a piece of tilapia and flavoring it with fresh-squeezed lime? You can serve it as a fish taco with butter lettuce, tomatoes and non-fat plain Greek yogurt. Or you can stir-fry Swiss chard with onions, mushrooms and garlic in a small amount of olive oil. Add some toasted pine nuts, and you create the perfect side dish to go with the tilapia.

And don’t be afraid to use such whole grains as barley, quinoa or brown rice as your sides or additions to the entrées.

So what’s missing? I made no mention of DESSERT!

I know this is going to be one of my biggest challenges. (I love dessert and lots of it.) How about a fresh Triple Berry Pie. Yes, pie, the perfect ending to an awesome meal, served with fresh-brewed coffee or steeped tea. I know I could eat a few slices, but moderation is the key to my success.

You can purchase all the ingredients I used in this recipe at the MaineSource Stores in Forty Fort or Scranton.




9-inch deep-dish pie crust

4 cups strawberries, stemmed and quartered

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup Splenda

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup blueberries

1 cup raspberries

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Pierce bottom and sides of pie crust with fork. Place pie crust into oven and bake approximately 12 minutes until light brown

Remove from oven and place on wire rack. Sprinkle lemon zest over crust and cool completely.

Combine one cup strawberries, water, Splenda and cornstarch in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for approximately one minute, remove from heat and let stand 12-15 minutes to cool slightly.

Add remaining strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and vanilla to mixture. Stir gently.

Pour into pie crust, cover with film wrap and refrigerate until firm.

Yield: 8 servings


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