Ending Type 2 Diabetes One Exercise, Nutrition, and Gardening Class at a Time

Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Diabetes Prevention Program Participants Featured in Opening of Fair Haven Farmers Market

In About the Program on July 8, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Yesterday, two families from the Fair Haven Community Health Center performed a cooking demo at the opening day of the Fair Haven Farmers Market. This market, run by local nonprofit City Seed, is an effort to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to some of the lower income New Haven neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods, like Fair Haven, suffer high incidences of chronic disease, and disease related to nutrition. It was fitting, therefore, that City Seed asked wether some of the families participating in the Fair Haven Community Health Center’s Diabetes Prevention Program could share with market shoppers some of the things they are learning in their nutrition and gardening classes. The families chose two recipes they learned in class that used in-season vegetables: yogurt and mint dip, and a tomato and basil salad. Both were a big hit, especially with the daughters of the DPP participants serving and promoting the nutrient-dense foods.

Here are the recipes (thanks to Alex Grizas, our demo cook extraordinairre), which were also provided in English and Spanish to market shoppers:

Tomato, Orange, Basil Salad

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes                                    Serves: 4 as a side salad                                         Cost: $3.00 total


Fresh, ripe tomatoes bursting with both color and favor are one of the best treats of the summer. This Spanish salad can be eaten at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack.  Enjoy it alone or even better with fish or chicken.  For variety, you can add other fresh herbs, spinach, or other greens.



2 tomatoes

1 orange

¼ cup basil leaves

2 Tsp Olive Oil

¼ Tsp Salt

⅛ Tsp Pepper


  1. Chop the tomato into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl.
  2. Peel the orange and cut into bite sized pieces, adding it to the tomatoes with the juices from the orange.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, and olive oil, and toss to coat well.
  4. Stack the basil leaves on top of each other.  Roll them up from bottom to the top.  Cut into thin slices along the length of the roll, creating ribbons of basil (this technique is called chiffonade (French term)).
  5. Stir the salad and chill in the refrigerator until serving, about 10 minutes ideally.


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size

1 serving (100.9 g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 49                                          Calories from Fat 22

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 2.5g                                                                4%
Saturated Fat 0.4g                                                         2%
Cholesterol 0mg                                                           0%
Sodium 123mg                                                               5%
Total Carbohydrates 6.9g                                          2%
Dietary Fiber 1.6g                                                          6%
Sugars 4.6g
Protein 0.9g

Vitamin A 14%

Vitamin C 48%

Calcium 2%

Iron 2%

* Based on a 2000 calorie diet



Ensalada Con Tomates, Naranja, y Albahaca

Tiempo de preparar: 10 minutos                             Porciones: 4                                       Costo: $3.00 total



2 tomates

1 naranja

¼ tazo hojas de albahaca

2 cdta aceite de oliva “extra virgin”

¼ cdta sal “kosher”

⅛ cdta pimienta negra


  1. Pique los tomates en pedacitos medianos and ponga en un tazón.
  2. Pele la naranja y pique en pedcitos medianos.  Ponga la naranja y sus jugos en el tazón con los tomatoes cortados.
  3. Adicione el sal, la pimienta negra, y el aceite, y mézclelo bien.
  4. Amontone las hojas de albahaca, arrolle las hojas del fondo a la cima, y cortelas en rajas delgadas.  Este técnica se llama “chiffonade” en francés.
  5. Mézcle la ensalada y mantengala en el refrigerador hasta que vaya a servirla, acerca de 10 minutos idealmente.



Información Nutricional

Tamaño de la Porción

1 porción  (100.9 g)

Cantidad por porción
Calorías 49                                         Calorías de grasa 22

% Daily Value*

Grasa total 2.5g                                                            4%
Grasa saturada  0.4g                                                     2%
Colesterol 0mg                                                              0%
Sodio 123mg                                                                   5%
Total de carbohidratos 6.9g                                     2%
Fibra dietética 1.6g                                                        6%
Azucares 4.6g
Proteínas 0.9g

Vitamina A 14%

Vitamina C 48%

Calcio 2%

Hierro 2%

* Basados en una dieta de 2,000 calorías



Homemade Plain Yogurt

Time to Cook: 3 hours                             Serves: many as a topping or snack                                                            Cost: $2.00 total


In Middle Eastern countries like Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon, plain yogurt is a delicious part of many dishes, including both meats and vegetables.  It is a thicker type of yogurt than what we usually see in the United States, and because it is so thick, it can be mixed with many different things to make sauces, dips, and dishes, both hot and cold.  One of the great benefits of eating yogurt is digestive health, as yogurt contains good bacteria to help process the foods we eat so we can get the most nutritional benefit from all of our healthy eating choices.  This week we will sample plain yogurt, as well as a cold cucumber dip, to be eaten with any of your vegetable fresh vegetables.  Remember, the vegetables should be the bulk of what we eat, with just a little cucumber dip to taste with each bite.



1 gallon whole milk

1 Tbsp plain yogurt


  1. Boil 1 gallon of milk in a large pot until there is a film on the top in a large pot.  Take the pot off the heat and cool until the milk is warm (not too hot and not too cold).
  2. Put 1 tablespoon plain yogurt in the warm milk and stir until completely mixed in.
  3. Place a lid on the pot, wrap the whole pot in a towel or blanket, put a plastic bag (or trash bag) around the wrapped pot, and wrap another towel or blanket around plastic bag containing the wrapped pot.  Let this sit out for 2 hours.
  4. After two hours, remove the outer towel, plastic bag, inner towel, and lid from the pot.  Place the pot in the refrigerator until the yogurt is cold and thick; then it is ready to eat!  If the yogurt is not thick enough after it becomes cold, repeat the process of covering the pot with a lid, towel, plastic bag, and another towel, and then let sit outside of the refrigerator for 30 minute to 1 hour.  Then remove all of the coverings again, and place in the refrigerator again until it is cold and thick.


Cucumber Dip

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes                                Serves: 8 (1 serving = 2 Tbsp)                                            Cost: $4.00 total


1 cup homemade plain yogurt

2 cloves garlic

1 large cucumber

½ small red onion

1 lemon

1 Tbsp mint (if you like)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Variety of your favorite vegetables (cucumber slices, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, radish, celery, broccoli)


  1. Chop the garlic, mint, and red onion very small.
  2. Peel the cucumber, remove the seeds, and chop the cucumber into little pieces.
  3. Wash and cut your favorite vegetables.
  4. Mix the cucumber, onion, and garlic with the yogurt.  Add the juice of 1 lemon and mix gently.  Add black pepper to taste (about ½ Tsp) and a little salt, to taste.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve, and stir before serving.


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size

11 serving (80.3 g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 28382                                            Calories from Fat 9110

% Daily Value*

Total Fat  1.0g12.2                                                               2%19
Saturated Fat  0.6g1.8                                                        3%9
Cholesterol 4mg  8                                                         1%3
Sodium 136mg557                                                               6%23
Total Carbohydrates 3.8g44.9                                         1%15
Dietary Fiber 0.6g                                                          2%15
Sugars 2.5g6.2
Protein 1.4g21.0

Vitamin A 1%72

Vitamin C 9%44

Calcium 1%52

Iron 1%11

* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

YOGURT                                                                          CUCUMBER DIP

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size

11 serving (227.3 g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 142382                                        Calories from Fat 68110

% Daily Value*

Total Fat  7.6g12.2                                                             12%19
Saturated Fat  4.7g1.8                                                      23%9
Cholesterol 33mg8                                                       11%3
Sodium 118mg557                                                               5%23
Total Carbohydrates 11.4g44.9                                       4%15
Sugars 11.4g6.2
Protein 7.6g21.0

Vitamin A 6%72

Vitamin C 0%44

Calcium 28%52

Iron 0%11

* Based on a 2000 calorie diet







Yogurt Casero

Tiempo de cocinar: 3 horas                                  Porciones: se sirve como snack                                          Costo: $2.00 total


En países del Oriente medio como Turquía, Siria, y Líbano, el yogurt natural es parte de muchos de sus platos típicos, incluso se usa con carnes y vegetales. Este yogurt es mas espeso que el yogurt que se usa en Estados Unidos, y por su espesura es que se puede mezclar con otras cosas para hacer salsas, y platos, fríos y calientes. Uno de los muchos  beneficios del yogurt es que ayuda a mantener una Buena salud del sistema digestivo, ya que contiene Buena bacteria que nos ayuda a digerir los alimentos y obtener todos los nutrientes de nuestras comidas. Esta semana estaremos probando yogurt natural simple, también estaremos probando una salsa de pepinos  para acompañar unos vegetales frescos. Recuerda que los vegetales deben ser la mayor parte de nuestra comida  y solo usar un poco de salsa de pepinos con cada bocado.



1 galón de leche entera

1 Cucharada de yogurt simple-sin sabor


  1. Hervir 1 galón de leche en una olla grande hasta ver una capa gruesa en la parte de arriba. Remueva la olla del calor y espere a que enfríe la leche y este tibia (no muy caliente, no muy fría)
  2. Ponga 1 cucharada de yogurt simple en la leche tibia y revuelva hasta que se disuelva completamente
  3. Ponga una tapa sobre la olla, envuelva la olla con una toalla o manta, luego ponga una bolsa plástica (o bolsa para la basura) alrededor de la olla ya envuelta y ponga nuevamente otra toalla o manta alrededor de esta. Permita que se quede así por 2 horas.
  4. Después de 2 horas, remueva las toallas, la bolsa plástica y la tapa de la olla. Ponga la olla en el refrigerador hasta que el yogurt este frío y espeso; y luego ¡estará listo para comer! Si el yogurt no llegara a estar lo suficientemente espeso después de enfriar, repita el proceso de cubrir la olla con una tapa, toalla, una bolsa plástica y otra toalla, y luego permita que se quede por fuera del refrigerador por 30 minutos o una hora. Luego remueva todo lo que cubre la olla, y ponga en el refrigerador otra vez hasta que enfrié y espese.


Salsa de Pepinos

Tiempo de preparación: 10 minutos                     Porciones: 8 (1 porcion = 2 cda)                            Costo: $4.00 total


1 taza de yogurt casero simple

2 clavos de ajo

1 pepino largo

½ cebolla roja pequeño

1 limón

1 cucharada de menta (si le gusta)

Sal y pimienta, al gusto

Vegetales variados, sus favoritos (rebanadas de pepino, zanahorias, pimentones, tomates, rábanos, apio, brócoli)


  1. Picar el ajo, menta, y la cebolla roja en pedazos pequeños.
  2. Pelar el pepino, remueva las semillas, y pique en pedazos pequeños.  Luego, lave y corte sus vegetales frescos.
  3. Combine el pepino, cebolla, y el ajo picado con el yogurt. Adicione el jugo de 1 limón y mezcle suavemente. Adicione pimienta negra al gusto (alrededor de ½ cucharadita) y un poco de sal, al gusto.
  4. Deje que la mezcla enfríe en el refrigerador hasta que vaya a servir, revuelva antes de servir.

Información Nutricional

Tamaño de la Porción

11 porción  (80.3 g)

Cantidad por porción
Calorías 28382                                           Calorías de grasa 9110

% Daily Value*

Grasa total 1.0g 12.2                                                           2%19
Grasa saturada   0.6g1.8                                                    3%9
Colesterol 4mg8                                                             1%3
Sodio 136mg557                                                                   6%23
Total de carbohidratos 3.8g  44.9                                   1%15
Fibre 0.6g                                                                       2%
Azucares 2.5g6.2
Proteínas 1.4g21.0

Vitamina A 1%72

Vitamina C 9%44

Calcio 1%52

Hierro 1%11

* Basados en una dieta de 2,000 calorías

YOGURT                                                                  SALSA DE PEPINOS

Información Nutricional

Tamaño de la Porción

11 porción  (227.3 g)

Cantidad por porción
Calorías 142382                                       Calorías de grasa 68110

% Daily Value*

Grasa total 7.6g 12.2                                                         12%19
Grasa saturada   4.7g1.8                                                  23%9
Colesterol 33mg8                                                         11%3
Sodio 118mg557                                                                   5%23
Total de carbohidratos 11.4g44.9                                   4%15
Azucares 11.4g6.2
Proteínas 7.6g21.0

Vitamina A 6%72

Vitamina C 0%44

Calcio 28%52

Hierro 0%11

* Basados en una dieta de 2,000 calorías



The Era of Video!

In About the Program on August 27, 2010 at 2:31 PM

We are now recording some of our Diabetes Prevention Program activities.

See our first short here on vimeo, and subscribe to our vimeo page to see all new projects on an ongoing basis:

or go to Vimeo to watch it:


A Weed by any Other Name…

In Community Garden on August 6, 2010 at 12:19 AM

There is a weed that loves our garden. It is not picky, growing underneath the heavy shade of our tomato forest, in the crevices of our wooden fence, and not the least down our wide open walkway. One day, when one of our lovely gardeners saw me dumping them with little regard, she patiently explained that “en Mexico, comimos estos!” In the chinese store downtown, apparently, they are sold at a fine price. I handed her the plants formerly known as weeds that remained in my hands.

The next week, at 9am sharp, that same gardener strolled over to the tomato plants, where I had already begun what I like to call my sucker removal ritual. She motioned for me to come with her back towards the enterance of the garden. She proceeded to remove, Mary Poppins-like, tortas and a plastic nescafe now filled with something other than nescafe.

‘El Euite!’ She exclaimed. The dear woman had stuffed homemade tortillas with the plant, and along with our tomatoes and jalapeno proved that a weed by any other name, is definitely not a weed!

One of our gardeners disposing of 'real' weeds.

Basil: Low Cost and Low Calorie Recipe

In Community Garden on July 14, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Basil is a very prolific herb, and yet because the ingredients in many basil dishes are expensive and high in calories it is an impractical herb for many with financial and metabolic constraints.

Here is an alternative recipe:

Diabetes Prevention Program Community Garden Component – The Facts

In Community Garden on June 23, 2010 at 10:23 PM

In September of 2005, a joint research study conducted by the Connecticut Food Policy Council, University of Connecticut, and Hartford Food System concluded that New Haven is one of the lowest ranking towns in Connecticut for community food security ( it ranked #163 out of a total of 169 towns). You can read the study here:http://www.foodpc.state.ct.us/images/CFS%20in%20CT.pdf.

Fair Haven Community Health Center’s Diabetes Prevention Program aims to develop and disseminate effective ways to curtail diabetes among its population and community.   We have recently established a community Garden component to add to the proven success of our ongoing nutrition and exercise interventions.


Chabaso Bakery generously donated the Garden space, which measures around 40×20 feet and borders the bakery itself on James Street in Fair Haven. We hold three regular workdays, any or all of which participants are welcome to attend: Tuesdays 9-11am, Tuesdays 5-6:30pm, and Friday 9-11am. On average, 2-4 participants and their children are present at each session, and in total 10 participants have established themselves as regular members of the Garden.

DPP Community Garden Goals

The Garden has five main aims:

  1. Enhance the weekly nutritional content of participants’ diets.
  2. Provide additional opportunity for physical activity.
  3. Create community among participants.
  4. Expand participants’ knowledge and commitment to healthy foods.
  5. Increase awareness and interest in FHCHC’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

Current Developments and Immediate Future Plans

The Garden reflects each of these aims:

1. To enhance the weekly nutritional content of participants’ diets.

Current Developments:

Along with 10 DPP participants and many of their children, we have planted a plethora of vegetables, from broccoli to brussel sprouts, chard to sun chokes. We have made an effort to cultivate as many varieties within a given vegetable as possible: purple, red, and orange carrots and tomatoes, or yellow and green string beans.

Participants who work at least 1.5 hours each week are eligible to receive a share of the Garden’s harvest. So far they have left with bunches of kale and rainbow chard, and as much dill as they can stomach. In the upcoming weeks they will continue to receive shares of chard, kale, and begin to bring home red leaf lettuce, green romaine lettuce, coriander seeds, and oregano.

Immediate Future Plans:

Participants will continue to receive shares of the weekly harvest.

We will replace the lettuce, chard, and kale with various winter squash varieties for harvest in September/October.

2. Provide additional opportunity for physical activity.

 Current Developments:

In service of this aim, we have refrained from adding any type of mulch to the garden beds. Participants are therefore compelled to use their physical strength to weed and loosen the soil around each plant. Participants also spend a good portion of their work time ensuring that the borders of the Garden, which have not received any maintenance, are kept clean.

They are responsible for all construction within the Garden, which has thus far included building tomato and bean trellises, as well as stone barriers for hazelnut seedlings.

The participants regularly build up a sweat, and drink a substantial amount of water as a result.

Immediate Future Plans:

Participants will continue to maintain the cleanliness of the garden, as well as remove all organic waist from its perimeter.

3. Create community among participants.

Current Developments:

Whereas during the nutrition and exercise components of the DPP program participants are relatively serious, the Garden tends to foster laugher, conversation, and play. Children dig holes and run around while their mothers attempt to teach them the difference between squash and grass. Last week, while taking a well-deserved break in the shade, participants shared about their grandparents, many of whom remain farmers in their various homelands.

We have recently established workday ‘captains’ who are responsible for communicating important information to participants about their designated workday. Through the phone chain we have learned about the recent deaths of a few participants’ relatives, life events that can greatly effect participants’ ability to meet their lifestyle goals, and yet may have otherwise remained unbeknownst to program administrators.

Immediate Future Plans:

We will host a garden party, where participants can share the various dishes they’ve created for a chosen vegetable.  

4. Expand participants’ knowledge and commitment to healthy foods.

Current Developments:

Because many of the Garden’s vegetables are new to participants, we have developed a weekly information sheet that we distribute with samples of the chosen ‘Veggie of the Week.’ The information sheets include nutrition facts, prices, and healthy recipe suggestions. We regularly inquire about how their families enjoyed the new vegetables, and ways they can increase consumption.

We have also planted a number of vegetables that participants are familiar with and indeed requested early on. They talk incessantly about the ways they will use the turnips in their tacos, or the medicinal benefits of our rosemary.

Immediate Future Plans:

Begin to collect recipes from participants themselves, and establish a compliation that they can take home at the end of the season.

5. Increase awareness and interest in FHCHC’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

Current Developments:

In addition to the regular visits from passer-bys, Slow Food USA has recently requested the opportunity to profile the DPP Garden on their blog. Slow Food USA is a major food related nonprofit with over 16,000 members nationwide. They have also invited us to participate in their volunteer workday, which will take place around the country with projects similar to ours raising awareness about healthy foods and farming.

Local garden supply and hardware stores have donated a number of items and provided discounts upon hearing about the project.

Immediate Future Plans

Connect with local food-related organizations including the Yale Food Sustainability Project, City Seed, and Common Ground.

Increase blog action and Garden profiles.

DPP Community Garden Long-Term Goals

In the long term, we hope to turn over more and more of the garden’s leadership to the DPP participants. This will ensure that participants and their families are receiving the maximum benefit from the project.

We also hope to increase participation to include not only the majority of past participants, but future batches as well. The more that the Garden’s harvest can become a part of participants’ diets, the more effective the DPP program will be.

Lastly, through the use of social media, we plan on making the success of the DPP Community Garden public, and thereby a proper resource for community health clinics nationwide that are interested in establishing their own DPPs.

Pre-Diabetic Patients Expand Uses of Lettuce

In Community Garden on June 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM

This week’s veggie of the week is lettuce. With Connecticut gardens in their lettuce-producing prime, there is no better time to introduce the vegetable’s plethora of varieties and uses.

From the Classroom to the Garden to the Plate: Using Greens

In Community Garden on June 18, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Approximately two weeks into planting, I quickly realized that as wonderful as it was to have program participants involved in the garden, the harvest would be futile unless they knew what to do with the goods!

In response, we created the ‘Veggie of the Week.’ Elizabeth explains the nutritional value of a given crop on the Monday night Nutrition and Exercise class, we harvest said vegetable on Tuesday, and hear their feedback on Friday.

Last and this week’s theme was Greens.  One participant named Mary (for the purpose of this blog) said she loved the chard. She ate it raw like I recommended, in a sandwich. At the mention of kale, however, Mary’s nose scrunched up like she was smelling something stinky. ‘Too bitter’ she said. When I recommended honey, SHE explained patiently to ME that they were not supposed to eat a lot of sugar.  I revised my suggestion, obediently; ‘Garlic!’ I exclaimed. ‘Try it with garlic and a tad olive oil and salt.’  With slightly less conviction she said they weren’t supposed to eat a lot of salt, but quickly followed with a promise to try it.

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