Featured Food Blogger of the Week: Kevin O'Leary of Kevin Is Cooking
Inspired by an international pantry and family, Kevin shares a behind the scenes view of what it’s really like to cook for two people with different dietary needs – one a “big, bold flavors” kind of guy with a sweet tooth (that would be me), and the other a “big, bold flavors diabetic”. Dave has been his better half now for the past 35 years and is the official taste tester at keviniscooking.com
Kevin Is Cooking is a website devoted to helping “mixed diet” families make meals that are every bit as delicious, health conscious and sometimes indulgent—because life’s too short to be bland. You’ll find amazing recipes, some healthier than others, desserts (not all geared toward the diabetic), and all with an international flavor inspired by the travel and places Kevin and Dave have been.
1. Your website is geared towards creating "mixed diet" recipes. How does that work? How do you create bold flavors when you have to consider Dave's dietary restrictions?
The bold flavors are not that big of an issue to replicate or have, it’s the sugar and carb aspect I look at for Dave or for anyone that cooks/bakes for someone with dietary issues like being a Type II Diabetic.
I usually will take a recipe or a favorite and work it as such that either substitutions are made or the amounts a lessened to achieve the goal. Example being substituting pasta for whole wheat pasta or bulgar or other grains instead of white rice which breaks down quickly and jolts the body with sugar quickly. Spices, herbs and peppers are good!
2. Your desserts are amazing. What would you say is your most diabetic-friendly dessert?
I usually make desserts that appeal to all and occasionally do the diabetic versions with note on each post. I like dessert too and so do family and friends, but the diabetic ones are always noted. A big favorite for a diabetic would be the No Bake Blackberry Tarts with Blueberry Cashew Cream, the Lemon Rosemary Cake or many of the No Churn Ice Cream recipes that are made from a coconut milk and date base.
3. What is your primary consideration when you create diabetic friendly recipes? Is it hard to make dishes with bold flavors?
First and foremost I test and try different recipes and see where substitutions can be made. Also not every main dish needs a carb side dish. It’s really about re-training what you think should be in the meal.
As for the bold flavors that is never difficult, it’s what makes the dish. Bold flavors does not have to equate to something a diabetic can’t eat. It’s being smart about choices and serving sizes.
We eat 3 times a day 7 days a week. That’s a lot of food and there’s no reason it should be boring and bland. I offer choices and ideas.
4. Having had worked and traveled in many places, what influences your cooking most?
Trying out the food from each country we visit. We do not shy away from that! Travel is meant to be adventurous and of course use caution on where you eat. I would have to say to look at other patrons and what they order, what is visually pleasing to you. I go that route.
Other times it’s the aromas that influence me and the technique involved. I also ask cooks when we eat how or why or what. They usually are excited to explain and then I bring those home, test and share on the site.
Our last trip was to India and I never had a dosa before. Wow, where had they been all my life. I asked the chef and he explains this technique. Just ask!
5. If we asked for a recipe for a main dish from your site, which one would you recommend?
If it was for the diabetic in mind many that include pasta, which I use whole wheat pasta, it would be the Roman Meatballs with Arrabbiata Sauce. The Quinoa Corn and Chorizo Stuffed Peppers is another that comes to mind.
Many of the salads on the site are one that I like to call “meals” and are quite healthy and chicken or fish can easily be added to make it a full meal.
- Pratico Goods