Friday, December 11, 2009

Cookbook Review: "The Diabetes DTOUR Diet Cookbook"--Not Just for Dieting, Just Good Food That is Good for You

After my review of "The Diabetes Seafood Cookbook" last month, the terrific Lauren at Jane Wesman Public Relations thought I might like to try out another cookbook and sent me a free copy of "The Diabetes DTOUR Diet Cookbook" by Barbara Quinn, MS, RDE, CDE and the Editors of Prevention. This book is a follow-up to "The Diabetes DETOUR Diet", an eating plan created by Prevention magazine in order to help people eat right, balance their blood sugar and avoid diabetes. Currently 54 million people (that's almost 20% of all Americans!) have pre-diabetes (where their blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes), and don't know they have it. As well, the rate of diabetes in the U.S. has nearly doubled over the past 10 years and if this trend continues, it means that 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes sometime in their lifetime. As I have mentioned before, I lost both my Dad and older brother to complications from diabetes and because of that I work hard at making the right food choices so I was happy to take a look at the book and "road test" some of the recipes.

"The Diabetes DTOUR Diet" is based on the premise that avoiding diabetes is not about depriving yourself, it is about using delicious and satisfying food to lose weight and keep blood sugar balanced. The cookbook has 200 recipes that include one or more of the diet's "Fat-Fighting 4"--calcium, fiber, vitamin D and Omega 3s, which they consider "supernutrients" that help melt away weight, improve insulin sensitivity and can detour the path to diabetes. The first 3 chapters explain the diet, meal planning and staying on track and the "DTOUR Dozen" the 12 superfoods featured heavily in the book: beans, dairy foods, salmon, tuna, barley, oats, berries, dates, greens, lentils, flaxseed and walnuts. The recipes are divided by Appetizers, Breakfasts, Soups and Sandwiches, Salads & Sides, Meats & Poultry, Seafood, Vegetarian, Sweets and Treats and Sippables. There are color photos sprinkled throughout the book and many of the recipes are tagged with "Make it Fast"--meals that can go from refrigerator to table in 30 minutes or less and "Make it Again"--showing how to use leftovers from one dish into another. There are lots of healthy takes on classics such as Spaghetti Carbonara, Baked French Toast, Chipotle Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Old Fashioned Creamed Spinach and Chocolate-Pecan Cheesecake which means that even during the holiday season there are great-sounding recipes that don't make you feel as though you are depriving yourself of anything. There was no shortage of great sounding recipes to try so I ended up making six different recipes and the publishers are allowing me to share the recipes for a couple of my favorites.

I know for many, asparagus is out of season, but the lack of seasonality in Hawaii means we can get fresh, local asparagus pretty much year round so I decided to try the Roasted Asparagus Spears with Mustard Sauce. The asparagus is roasted with a little canola oil and then served with a sauce of fat-free ricotta, whole grain mustard, horseradish, grated Parmesan and non-fay dried milk. I like the sauce which is thick and has good flavor from the mustard and horseradish. Great with the asparagus and I think the sauce would also be delicious on a baked potato or other veggies.

Of course I had to try the Banana-Peanut Bread because it sounded delicious and had no added processed sugar--instead getting its sweetness from the bananas and honey. (So remember the more ripe your bananas, the sweeter your bread will be). The recipe calls for golden raisins but I swapped them out for unsweetened dried cherries--thinking it would be more like a PB & J. I made 6 mini loaves--easier to freeze and pull out one at a time. The bread has great flavor, is nice and dense and it is perfect for breakfast or a snack either plain or with a bit of jam on top.

Banana-Peanut Bread
"The Diabetes DTOUR Diet Cookbook"
(Makes 12 Servings)
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Total Time 1 Hour + Cooling Time

3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup omega-3 enriched peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 omega-3 enriched eggs
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 "x 5" loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine the bananas, peanut butter, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and raisins in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the banana mixture. Stir just until moistened. Place in the prepared pan.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely.

Per Serving: 220 calories, 5g protein, 34g carbohydrates, 7g fat, (1g sat. fat), 30mg cholesterol, 354mg sodium. Fat-Fighting 4: 4g fiber, 50mg calcium, 3 IU vitamin D, 250mg omega-3s

My leftover Thanksgiving turkey went into these simple Enchiladas Suiza which were really good and hit the spot for dinner and lunches for a few days. Red bell pepper, zucchini, scallions, and garlic are sauteed and shredded chicken or turkey breast is added along with low-fat cheese. The mixture is wrapped up into corn tortillas, a jar of salsa verde is poured over and more cheese sprinkled on the top before baking. The enchiladas are served with a scoop of fat-free Greek yogurt. Easy and each serving of two enchiladas is only about 350 calories and quite filling. Yum! (That's them on the plate at the top of this post)

The Seared Snapper on Herbed, Mashed Edamame caught my eye right away although my trip to Whole Foods yielded no fresh local snapper so I subbed with local opah (moonfish) fillets. The fish is seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in a pan with a bit of cooking spray. The edamame are cooked with shallots and dried tarragon and then mashed (I used my immersion blender) with some fresh lemon juice. The tarragon was a great pairing with the edamame and it tasted great with the fish. It is simple to make but makes an elegant presentation so nice for a week night dinner or for company. A serving of this one is under 300 calories.

I really wanted to like the Kiwi Creme drink, made with ripe kiwi fruit, fat-free evaporated milk, ice, vanilla and powdered sugar but it was only OK for me--not bad but just didn't seem to have a lot of flavor to it. Maybe it was the kiwi I used? The texture was nice and creamy and it improved slightly with a touch of agave syrup but probably not something I will make again. There is a Cherry-Almond Smoothie in the book that I am going to try though.

Finally I thought the Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta would be fun to try since I love a good panna cotta. I liked how the chocolate syrup is made with cocoa powder and honey and again no added processed sugar, (except of course any sugar in the yogurt you use. I used a plain Greek low-fat yogurt and added vanilla to cut down on the sugar and it seemed to work just fine). The panna cotta is easy to make, has a nice mouthfeel and good, mild flavor. It paired well with some frozen berries and a 6-oz serving of just the panna cotta has only 133 calories so you can feel free to indulge.

Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta
"The Diabetes DTOUR Cookbook"
(Makes 4 Servings)
Prep Time 5 Minutes / Total Time 7 Minutes + Chilling Time

1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt

Place the milk in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. In a small cup, mix the cocoa powder and honey. Set aside.

Cook the milk mixture over medium heat, stirring for 2 minutes, or until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil. Stir in the reserved chocolate mixture and remove from the heat. Place in a bowl and gradually stir in the yogurt. Pour into 4 (6 ounce) ramekins. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set.

When ready to serve, dip the ramekins into hot water for 1 minute, then invert onto a dessert plate. Shake to loosen and lift off the ramekins.

Per Serving: 133 calories, 7g protein, 25g carbohydrates, 2g at (1g sat fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium. Fat-Fighting 4: 1g fiber, 195mg calcium, 12.5 IU vitamin D, 10mg omega-3s.

I enjoyed trying out this cookbook. Although not every recipe was a favorite, I liked most everything I made and I found the cookbook easy to use with clear directions and simple recipes. I still have a couple more appetizer recipes tagged to make to have some healthier alternatives to bring holiday parties this year. If you are looking to make smarter eating choices, find some lower fat recipes that taste great or like me are concerned about controlling diabetes this is a good book to try whether you want to follow the DTOUR diet plan or just have a collection of recipes to cook from.


  1. The diabetes/obesity epidemic both saddens and frustrates me to no end. If only people out there would pick up a cookbook like this and see that eating healthy can still taste really good and be really easy!

    I'm so glad you posted the banana-peanut bread recipe. You KNOW that I will be making it. Everything looks really delicious, especially the mashed edamame. Really interesting idea.

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your father and brother, this cookbook sounds like a good way to eat healthy!

  3. These recipes make healthy eating a joy. They are so flavourful and nicely presented. Sounds like a great book!

  4. Deb... many thanks for bringing this wonderful cookbook to my attention. Not being diabetic is no excuse for not starting to cook healthier meal and keeping this prolific disease in mind.

    All of your featured recipes are a great place to start. Thanks...

  5. It sounds like a wonderful book for those with problems. For my part, I though the milk chocolate panna cotta looked awfully nice.

  6. I didn't know that diabetes had touched you so personally. I see now why you choose to focus on healthy cuisine. These recipes look terrific. I like the simplicity of the recipes.

  7. I particularly like the look of the pannacotta and the sauce for the asparagus. This seems like a really do-able way of keeping healthy. I'm not surprised the kiwi shake didn't work so well - they aren't the most flavourful fruit under any circumstances!

  8. It all looks wonderful. I really like that asparagus recipe. Will have to give it a try. Also those enchiladas...mmmmmmmmm Thanks for the post and the review.

  9. Joanne--I know what you mean--healthy eating can taste great too. I thought of you when I made the bread. Anything I see or make w/ either PB or squash always reminds me of you. ;-)

    Kat--thanks! It is a road I don't want to go down myself.

    Natashya--It is a great book with lots of easy recipes that taste great.

    George--Thanks. I figure healthy cooking and balance of course are a great prevention for any future troubles for me. ;-)

    Mary--I think it is actually an applicable book for most anyone--hopefully they won't develop problems later on.

    Fresh, Local & Best--Thanks. It is certainly one reason I try to cook and eat healthy or at least keep a good balance.

    Foodycat--Yes it was surprising how good some of the dishes were. The kiwi is probably best paired with other fruits. ;-)

    Lea Ann--Thank you--both of those dishes were really good. There is a lot to like in this book.

  10. I started the diet this week and so far we have liked all the recipes we've tried. Pork and Vegetable Tostadas; Southern Style Pork, Black-Eyed Peas, and Greens; Spiced Up Spinach Salad; Glazed Pineapple Cupcakes and tonight we are trying Southern Fried Chicken Fingers with Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

    I'm not diabetic, but I'm about 60 pounds overweight. I noticed within the first few days that my belly didn't feel so distended. Even though that isn't weight lost, it is the diet working on my body in a good way. When we eat junk and drink soda it bloats the body. Something I didn't realize it did until I changed my diet.

    Loving it so far! I'm a big eater and always seem to be hungry, but not on this diet. My cravings are under control and I just started. If anyone has trouble with constant hunger, try this diet.


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)