Hey Good Lookin’, Whatcha got Cookin’?

salmon and avocado ceviche

Food.  Hmmmm.

Food, for a person living with diabetes (PLWD) is a complex love-hate relationship.  Sometimes we love food but it hates us.  Other times we hate food but it definitely has the hots for us.  The majority of the time our pancreases are totally indifferent to whether we love or hate food…they are too busy planning their next stealth attack!

Having said that though I do love healthy, delicious food and I especially love sharing that around a table with a few good friends.  Food, drink, laughter, conversation …..what’s better than that?

About a month ago, which was only six weeks after my diagnosis as a type 2 PWLD and two weeks after my husband’s identical diagnosis, we decided we had been a bit too reclusive of late and needed to get some ‘party’ up in the house!  Well maybe the conversation didn’t go exactly like that…but the end result was that we decided to invite two other couples over for a dinner party.  It seemed like a great idea at the time!

We love to entertain and we have a bit of a reputation for hosting great dinner parties and events at home. No pressure then?!?  Spreading the joy of life through food, drink and socialising…that’s our mission! 🙂

Having hosted so many dinner parties, cocktails, etc over the years we didn’t think a lot more of it after we confirmed with our friends that they could come.  Then about four days out from ‘D’ day it suddenly dawned on me that we were PLWD.  People. Living. With. Diabetes.  We can’t have a dinner party!  How will our pancreases cope with a three course meal, and drinks, and…and everything?  What were we thinking!?!

*mild panic, cursing and brow beating*

*more panic and much more cursing*

Wait a minute, what am I thinking?  I can do this, can’t I?  Have I not surmounted much greater obstacles in the past?  As panic fought for control of my rational brain I dug deep into the recesses of my mind for something to help me rise above the swirling doubt.  As a leader, a business women, coach and mentor I would have something in there…..where was it….how long since I have cleaned out this brain of mine?  Wait, what’s that?

YOU CAN DO IT, THERE’S NOTHING TO IT!  What?!?  Of all my brain files I could have accessed!  Not my business woman’s files, not my leadership files, not my coaching or mentoring files, no, that would be too un-embarrassing!  No, I access my mothering one (which is an excellent one, even if I do say so myself) and I dig out the mantra of my daughter’s pre-school from 9 years ago.  What?!

I sit with it for a bit and I soon realise that it’s perfect, and it works in this situation.  I can do this, there’s nothing to it.  I had already done countless hours of research into food and created a month’s worth of menu plans that were delicious, healthy and sustaining us on a daily basis.  I’ve got this baby….stand clear….here comes the awesome!!

So, I dug into my research and started to put together a menu that would be yummy for us all, a bit of a conversation starter, and that would keep the two lazy-arse pancreases in the family happy.  After a few hours I came up with a theme – A Food Journey Around the World.  It seemed fitting as we have lived in seven countries ourselves and our two guest couples were also long-term expats as well.  So the menu was devised!  We would be having –

Starter – Roasted Poblano Guacamole (for no real reason, other than my husband LOVES guacamole and could eat it forever!)

Entree – Salmon and Avocado Ceviche (in honour of our 3 years living in Lima, Peru)

Main – Lamb Kofta Curry with Brown Rice (who doesn’t love a good curry or a trip to India?)

Dessert – Tiramisu (Somewhere we haven’t lived, but visited – Italy, and a tip of the hat to our pre-PLWD favourite, Italian food *eyes well up* *sniff, sniff*)

Well after all of my research I was pretty darn happy with the outcome and I was breathing much easier now I had that all nailed!  Did I not remember I was living an expat life?!  Just because you plan it does not make it so.

The next hurdle soon reared its nasty little head!  We couldn’t find a long list of the diabetes-friendly ingredients that were in these recipes.  No!  What were we going to do, go back to square one?  Never being one to be told no, and with my ‘I can do it there’s nothing to it’ mantra in mind, I got inventive.  Although there were some things we couldn’t get, we came home pretty triumphant with everything (or a suitable substitute) that we needed to make the recipes for the dinner party.  Phew!

When my husband arrived home that evening we started chatting about the dinner party and the work I had done in researching and designing the menu to work for us all.  He liked the sound of the menu, which was great!  However, that led us to a lightbulb moment…what about the alcohol?  Oooops…I’m pretty much a non-drinker, maybe two drinks in a year, but my husband, yeah, not so much!  He had a whole other layer of things to think about.  How much could he drink?  How much should he drink?  What impact would that have on his blood glucose (at that point he really hadn’t been drinking since his diagnosis)?  Oh dear.  Next hurdle, get ready….jump!

So more research ensued and we devised a clever little plan for the evening’s consumption of alcohol *evil laugh just for the fun of it*.  So, food sorted, check!  Drinking plan sorted, check!  We were ready…..weren’t we?

This was the first dinner party we had hosted since moving to Singapore, five months earlier.  So? (I hear you ask).  Well as the preparations were being made we realised – We don’t have an oven!  Well….it wasn’t like we hadn’t noticed in the previous five months that we didn’t have an oven….it was just that we had never needed it to keep plates and food warm before…..damn! *subdue mild panic and move along*

The guacamole and the ceviche were bit hits with our guests!  Yay!

The kofta curry was not served as hot as I would have liked it to be but our very polite dinner guests ate it all up anyway. *gives up thanks*

The tiramisu was delicious.  It was my first diabetes-friendly dessert and I wasn’t expecting it to be soooooo yummy!

We had a brilliant night that was filled with laughter, much regaling of stories, good cheer, good wine and delicious food.  When we all realised it was almost midnight we were shocked….but happy and sated.  What a great night!  Nailed it!

So, if you are looking for a healthy menu plan for your next dinner party I can highly recommend these recipes.  Happy cooking and eating!  Now to have a word with my pancreas…..’cause I suddenly want that tiramisu….



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