What does a chef do when he learns he has diabetes? Franklin Becker, chef of the Brasserie restaurant in New York City and author of The Diabetic Chef, put his cooking skills to the test. A lover of double plates of pasta and multiple slices of pizza, Becker decided to overhaul his eating habits, adding serious amounts of vegetables and cutting back on carbs. Soon his body began adapting. He felt fuller on smaller portions, and he felt more energized. Today, he has good control over his blood sugar. Here, a few of Becker’s simple recipes.
Brush a flour tortilla with olive oil and layer slices of tomatoes, thinly sliced or grated part-skim mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. Heat in the oven until the cheese melts.
Steamy, Flavorful Vegetables
Add a bit of water to a saucepan with a teaspoon of olive oil, sea salt, and any kind of vegetable, such as sugar snap peas, broccoli, or cauliflower. Cook the water and oil down until it thickens and forms a bit of a sauce. Finish it off with chopped fresh parsley, chives, and tarragon.
Orange and Arugula Salad
Toss arugula leaves with orange segments, freshly squeezed lemon, and a drizzle of olive oil. “The lemon cuts through the peppery taste of the arugula, and it’s a delicious salad with nothing more added to it,” Becker says.
A Smooth, Filling Vegetable Soup
Fill a saucepan with water, add a head of chopped cauliflower, a couple of chopped leeks, and a clove of garlic. Cover the pan and boil the water until the cauliflower is tender. Cool slightly and transfer the soup to a blender. Add some salt, a touch of clarified butter, and a pinch of curry powder. Puree and serve.
A No-Bread Sandwich
Sauté boneless chicken breast with ginger, garlic, scallions, and soy sauce. Then wrap it in a large lettuce leaf. “Sprinkle on some toasted cashews or peanuts, and it’s even better,” Becker says.