Tag Archives: diabetes

Recipe: Butter Bean Pate

Turning limitation into inspiration, this is the fourth in a series of recipes born of a 14-day cleanse. Living in a hotel, with no kitchen appliances save a kettle, a borrowed blender, and a knife, in the middle of the Western Region deserts in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, where grocery shopping leaves much to be desired. And yet, we’ve come up with some pretty tasty treats!

Salads are grand and steamed veggies are nice, but there must be more to this detox menu!  For an idea of exactly what we’re working with in this two-week experiment, check out the list below:

So, to satisfy my craving for something with a bit more bite, I decided to make a vegetarian pate of my own, using what ingredients I had in the fridge and a special bag of butter (also known as LIMA) beans.  These beans are cholesterol-lowering, blood-sugar regulating, high in fiber, protein, iron and antioxidants.  Not too shabby, Mr. Bean, not too shabby.

Here’s the concoction I came up with . . .


  • 4 cups raw lima/butter beans
  • 1  box of mushrooms of your choice
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of olive oil
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 – 3 sprigs of green onion
  • a pinch of dry seasonings of your choice.  I used an Italian blend with sage, thyme, parsley and basil
  • 2 – 4 cloves of garlic
  • optional: sea salt, pepper, chilli peppers


  1. Soak the beans over night in cool drinkable water. Make sure the top is covered enough so no unwanted visitors can get inside.
  2. Place chopped garlic, rosemary and herbs in the olive oil and allow the flavors to mingle overnight.  This gives your ingredients the chance to really compliment one another ;o)
  3. If you’re detoxing, boil the mushrooms in enough water to cover the lot.  Keep cooking until the mushrooms are almost dry.  If you’re not detoxing, you may want to sautee the mushrooms in olive oil or . . . if you’re feeling naughty, butter.
  4. Blend the oil mixture with the spring onions and cover.
  5. Boil the beans for 45-60 minutes, or until soft.
  6. If you’re cleansing, allow the beans and mushrooms to cool before adding to the blender.  This ensures your food won’t be cooked by the oil.  Alternatively, you may add them after they’ve cooled just a little, to make for a warm pate.

This pate is lovely on celery, carrots, crackers, breads, or even served atop another bean!

Not the prettiest of pates (but what pate really is?) best dressed up nicely with some fresh herbs and cut veggies.

FYI: Cleansing Food Guidelines


Recipe: Desert Berry Smoothie

Turning limitation into inspiration, this is the second in a series of recipes born of a 14-day cleanse. Living in a hotel, with no kitchen appliances save a kettle, a borrowed blender, and a knife, in the middle of the Western Region deserts in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, where grocery shopping leaves much to be desired. And yet, we’ve come up with some pretty tasty treats!

So what makes this recipe particularly Desert-y, you might ask.  The base of the drink is rose tea, commonly found in the Middle East.  With a hint of fresh mint and summer’s finest strawberries, it’s a potpourri of  refreshment perfect for a hot day.  Don’t forget to check out the health benefits at the end of the recipe . . .


  • 1 box of seasonal berries – I used strawberries
  • a few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 5 rose tea bags
  • optional: agave nectar, honey, molasses, or date syrup to taste


  1. Brew 5 rose tea bags in a kettle of one pint of freshly boiled water.
  2. Allow the tea to cool.  You may want to place it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.  If you prefer a frozen smoothie, pour the rose water into ice cube trays.
  3. Wash and prepare the strawberries and mint and place them in the blender.
  4. Add the rose water, once it’s cool, and blend.
  5. Add sweeteners to taste.

The mint in this drink is great for soothing an upset belly,and as we all know, strawberries are a great source of phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamin C, especially when consumed within two days of picking.  Additionally, strawberries are fantastic fruits for diabetics.

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website,

“…scientists have recently discovered a fascinating relationship between intake of strawberries, table sugar, and blood sugar levels. As you might expect, excess intake of table sugar (in a serving size of 5-6 teaspoons) can result in an unwanted blood sugar spike. But you might not expect this blood sugar spike to be reduced by simultaneous consumption of strawberries! Yet that’s exactly what researchers have discovered. With the equivalent of approximately one cup of fresh strawberries (approximately 150 grams), blood sugar elevations from simple sugar intake can be reduced.”

Add the claimed health benefits for rose tea, and this is one spectacular smoothie!

FYI: Cleansing Food Guidelines

You Likey De Hummus?

Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea, and is a staple in this little corner of the world.  It’s a dish that’s been around for at least 7,000 years, and was first developed by the Egyptians.  I’ve had some of the most amazingly fine hummus here, literally grounded into a creamy spread like nothing I’ve had before. The dish is found at all times of the day, including breakfast – and is so popular I found this sweet little blog dedicated entirely to the love of hummus: Hummus 101

Guinness Book of Hummus Records!

Here’s a recipe, in case you’d like to try your hand at it back home.  You could also experiment with variations on the bean, using broadbeans, fava beans, or even kidney beans instead of the traditional garbanzo.  Alternate toppings include extra virgin olive oil, sprinklings of garlic, olives, or, if you’re into it, any kind of ground meats (preferably free range, grass-fed, locally raised, and all that jazz…). It’s super easy and only requires a handful of healthy ingredients!


  • 4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed
  • 2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Pine nuts (toasted) and parsley (chopped) for garnish


1 In a food processor, combine the mashed garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.

2 Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.

Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with pita bread. You can cut the pita bread into thin triangles, brush with olive oil and toast for 10 minutes in a 400°F oven to make pita chips with which to serve the hummus.

Makes about 3 cups.

Ho, grind ‘um, cuz!

And as if the tasty goodness weren’t enough, the dish can be very nutritious as well (so long as you’re not topping it with something nasty!). 

Chickpeas are a fantastic source of fiber – the kind that digests slowly and keeps blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly.  So, if you have diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia, this is a dish for your menu!
Chickpeas also contain molybdenum, a trace mineral that helps the body detoxify sulfites, as well as iron and manganese, which are essential for healthy blood and high energy.