By Karin Glendenning
Community News Writer
When Ruth Ann Honeycutt discovered two years ago that she was a diabetic, she changed the way she had always cooked. By watching what she eats and exercising, she has been able to manage her illness without medication, a sure sign of her success at a difficult task.
“I think it’s fun to find recipes that are tasty and fun and are healthy,” she said. “I like to experiment with new recipes and find things that I can eat.”
Today, she and her husband Bill eat lots of salads with lighter dressings and grill or bake their meats. Both Honeycutts have lost weight since they began exercising and eating a healthier diet. “We walk a lot at the River Park and Hamilton County Park,” she added. “We both feel more energetic and healthy.”
She said she never fries food and tries to prepare everything with a minimum of fat. She has learned to use a sugar substitute in many recipes and has found a cookbook by the maker of Splenda that is very helpful.
“It’s amazing what’s on the market today for people who have to watch their diets,” she said. When she was first diagnosed, she went to the Joslin Diabetes Clinic and learned how to count carbohydrates. Now it’s second nature to her to compute how many carbs are in products, and she tries to limit her carbs to 45 per meal.
“I eat very little pasta, rice, potatoes or sweets,” she said.
She said that when she wants something sweet, she often eats low-carb ice cream and cookies, which are readily available at most grocery stores.
Mrs. Honeycutt said that her favorite dessert has always been Coconut Cream Pie. She was happy to find a recipe for it in the Splenda cookbook that has been modified to fit a low-carb diet. “It’s just as good as the regular pie,” she said.
Involved in her church, Rivermont Presbyterian, Mrs. Honeycutt still takes foods to church functions and to friends. She said her Pina Colada Cake is always popular.
The Honeycutts bought their home in Hixson in 1963. They lived there until 2000, when they moved to Virginia to be near their daughter. One and a half years ago they returned to Hixson and bought back their former home. They said they love living in their neighborhood and are happy to be home again. “It was almost like we’d never been away,” Mrs. Honeycutt said.
The recipes she shares with readers today are all ones she cooks often.
COCONUT CREAM PIE
(Mrs. Honeycutt found this recipe in a Splenda cookbook and said it tastes like the real thing.)
1/4 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup Splenda sugar substitute
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1 and 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut extract
1 9-inch graham cracker crust
1 small carton lite Cool Whip
Preheat oven to 350.
Bake 1/4 cup coconut in a shallow pan, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes or until toasted. Set aside. Combine Splenda, cornstarch and salt in a heavy saucepan, mixing well. Gradually whisk milk into Splenda mixture. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks until thick and pale. Gradually add 3/4 cup hot mixture into yolks. Add to remaining hot custard mixture, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until mixture comes to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, stir in 3/4 cup coconut, butter and flavorings. Immediately pour filling into crust. Cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing on filling. Chill 3 hours until firm. Spread top with lite Cool Whip before sprinkling with toasted coconut. (35 grams of carbohydrates per serving.)
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup reduced calorie mayonnaise
2/3 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped pimiento
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients; stir well. Cover and chill. Serve on lettuce leaves, if desired
Makes 6 servings. (10 grams of carbohydrates per serving)
STRAWBERRY ROMAINE SALAD
(Mrs. Honeycutt said this is her all-time favorite recipe.)
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar or equivalent amount of sugar substitute
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 large head Romaine lettuce
1 head Boston lettuce
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. To serve, tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Combine torn lettuce, strawberries, cheese and walnuts in a large salad bowl. Shake dressing vigorously, pour over salad and toss gently. Makes 12 servings.
ORANGE SHERBET SALAD
11 ounces mandarin oranges
1 cup crushed pineapple
3 ounces orange gelatin (sugar-free, if desired)
3 ounces lemon gelatin (sugar-free, if desired)
1 pint orange sherbet
Drain juices from fruit and add water to make 1 and 1/2 cups liquid. Boil and add to gelatins to dissolve. Stir in orange sherbet. Pour into 6-cup mold or 8- by 8-inch dish. Chill until partially set and then fold in fruit. Chill until firm. Garnish with mint leaves and mayonnaise, if desired.
PINA COLADA CAKE
(Mrs. Honeycutt said this recipe will keep for several days in the refrigerator.)
1 package angel food cake mix
1 15-ounce can juice-packed, crushed pineapple
8 ounces lite frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 small can flaked coconut or 1 package frozen coconut
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pineapple. Pour into baking dish. Bake 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center, comes out almost clean. Cool completely on a rack. Spread whipped topping over cake. Sprinkle with coconut. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 16 servings. (30 grams of carbohydrates per serving.)
SAUSAGE AND EGG CASSEROLE
(Mrs. Honeycutt said this is a good recipe to serve for breakfast since the sausage may be cooked the night before and refrigerated and the casserole assembled the following morning.)
1 pound sausage
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
10 to 12 eggs
Brown sausage; drain well. Beat eggs and pour into bottom of 9- by 13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Add sausage. Spread sour cream on top of sausage and then sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes at 350, uncovered.
1 pastry pie shell
8 ounces bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup light cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cherry tomatoes, halved, optional
Prepare pastry and set aside. Crumble sausage in a medium skillet; add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until sausage is browned, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Thaw spinach; drain well. Remove remaining moisture by placing spinach between paper towels and pressing. Add spinach to sausage mixture and mix well. Sprinkle cheese evenly in pie shell. Top with sausage mixture. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, cream and salt; mix well. Pour the egg mixture over sausage mixture. Bake in a 375 oven for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with tomatoes, if desired. Makes 6 servings. (19 grams carbohydrates per serving.)
E-mail Karin Glendenning at firstname.lastname@example.org