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CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Take your diabetes to the Mediterranean

Olives, check.

Kale, OK. I’m getting used to it.

Okra, sure, but you’re telling me that’s a thing in “The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook?”

It is. Amy Riolo’s second edition shows beautiful, café-worthy spreads in this book with the American Diabetes Association seal.

If you’ve heard for years these foods are good for you, and if you’re newly diagnosed and were about to complain about “limited’ food choices, get a copy and get cooking. I want Corsican Prawns with Chickpea Cream and Calamari Stuffed with Spinach. Serve some rose tea with that and tomorrow I’ll have Greek-Style Rice with Spinach and Lemon. Ancient Roman Pizza is this crazy-cool deal with figs and honey.

I’ve picked a recipe to share with you, and I haven’t even gotten to the eggs part.

The following is from the book and it can go as chunky salsa or finely chopped salad.

Peach, Black Bean and Citrus Salsa

Serves 10, about 2/3 cup

  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then let chill in the refrigerator for several hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve.

Cheese notes

Are you interested in a young Dutch gouda from New Jersey? It kind of sounds like a pick-up line.

It worked on me because I’m savoring Parrano® from Paramus, N.J. “Pair with Parrano” is a summer campaign and you can try their wares with “regular” people foods not necessarily associated with the word “pairing.”

Burgers and jalapenos? We’re into that in Texas. So this not-too-hard and not-too-creamy white cheese has simply been a nice highlight of recent lunches and patio visits. The company’s description can’t be beat, so I won’t try to top it. Though I’d top a burger with the actual cheese.

They say it’s a “delicious cheese that is best described as capturing the nutty flavor and buttery aroma of fine, aged Italian Parmesan and the smooth, creamy texture of a young Dutch Gouda, bringing you the best of both worlds: a cheese that is full of flavor and versatile enough to cut, shred and melt.”

That’s kinda funny, right? But this cheese is seriously good.

Steeped

Steeped Coffee is a start-to-finish escape from some good-thinking people of Santa Cruz, California. Using Business as a Force For Good makes is more than a motto as really fine flavors including Sunrise Blend, Eventide Decaf and Driftwood Blend come in guilt-free packaging with even eco-friendly water-based ink. Direct-trade coffee that tastes rich and full is memorable, as it comes in bags that work like tea bags.

Just dunk California or Odyssey blends in hot water and the flavor of that coffee bean a farmer grew a world away is helping you begin a great day here in Southeast Texas. These bags ready in your pantry promise a slow-to-savor treat for yourself. You deserve it.

Darragh Doiron  is a Port Arthur area foodie who would love to try the Mediterranean diet in the actual Mediterranean. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com