I just received my copy of “The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries” by Sam Talbot. It’s from Rodale, but given that Talbot is himself a Type I Diabetic (diagnosed at the age of 11) and that his book contains a wealth of useful information for life as a diabetic in addition to the recipes, I thought I’d review it here.
I first became aware of Talbot when he competed on America’s Next Top Chef. As a nut-allergic person who finds plenty of great things to make, I wondered what a diabetic chef of Talbot’s calibre would come up with in the kitchen. He’s the executive chef of Imperial #9 at the Mondrian SoHo Hotel in Manhattan, as well as the Surf Lodge in Montauk, New York but now we can see for ourselves without the trip.
Talbot’s overall view is clear from the start. He believes “it is entirely possible to find both health and happiness in the kitchen.” He’s joined in this belief by Eric Ripert, Executive Chef & Co-Owner of Le Bernardin in New York City, who wrote the Introduction and endocrinologist Dr. Jason C. Baker, who penned the Foreward. With one to attest to the culinary value and the other to the importance of diabetes management and good food, Talbot definitely had my attention.
The book is obviously focused on recipes, but also includes a lot of excellent information on diabetes management. In fact, each chapter leads off with Talbot’s experience and tips for living with diabetes. Welcome to My Kitchen includes advice about carb counting, along with recipes for some great snacks to have on hand. Personally? I’m going to give the Frozen Grape-Aid a try. The Daily Dance covers breakfasts and brunches. I’m pretty burned out on my uninspired breakfast and brunch ideas so I was delighted to see this. Personally? The Lemon Ricotta Hot Cakes are at the top of my list. Home Base is for easy weeknight food. There’s diabetes-related info and advice along with the Pantry Staples. Personally? The Clam Chowder. Not a doubt in my mind. Staying Energized stresses the importance of exercise for your A1C. Personally? The Spaghetti Squash with Marinara, Parmesan, and Basil. The Life Aquatic covers easy fish and seafood. A must if you’re going for fish/seafood at least once a week. Talbot also give readers the scoop Seafood Watch and the Seafood Watch App that keeps you up to date on fish to avoid – or not. Personally? I’m going for the Steamed Pacific Halibut with Pickled Coleslaw. Way Out and Definitely About has recipes inspired by Talbot’s travels. (Who says diabetics can’t travel!) Personally? The Marinated Shrimp with Scallions and Chili Water is on the list. That leaves us with Showtime, grilling and party food, and Sweet Resolution, deserts! Personally? I’m going for the Grilled Strip Loin with Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette and the Sour Strawberry Cobbler.
Okay. I gave you my “Personally” Picks. How about yours? Let me know what you try and how it turns out. Also, please post with your thoughts about the diabetes info throughout the book.