Blogging for a Cure III

As part of our November Blogging for a Cure project, I will spend some time offering something fun — and important.

As the American Diabetes Association notes, the vast majority of adults who have the disease have the Type II variety. Adult-onset diabetes (as opposed to Type I or “juvenile diabetes”) is more of a lifestyle disease. Where the juvenile strain is the result of having a pancreas that does not produce necessary insulin, Type II diabetics do produce the substance; the problem is that their bodies can not use the insulin properly. That is due to a number of factors, primary among them, too much fat.

Genetic predisposition plays a part in many people being diagnosed with Type II diabetes. If one contracts gestational diabetes during pregnancy, that also makes one more susceptible to getting the disease. But most people find themselves dealing with the incurable condition because of one thing that they can control: their weight. As the nation becomes increasingly overweight or obese, it should be no surprise that the number of cases of Type II diabetes is rising — the ADA says the number of sufferers is nearly 17 million.

But here is good news: The disease can be controlled and sometimes reversed if diabetics change their diets and lose weight. To help out, from time to time, AF&O will offer recipes that are easy to prepare, delicious, and above, healthy. You can find a wealth of resource material at

Today, as much of the nation settles into autumn’s chill, I thought a hearty soup recipe would hit the spot. And what is better on a crisp fall evening than a hearty concoction which, prepared in a crock pot, can simmer all day while you are at work or out in the world? And dig this: A single serving of this beauty is only 139 calories and contains only three grams of fat.

Steak and Mushroom Soup


2 medium onions, about 1/2 pound (240 g), coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
3 tablespoons (27 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) lemon pepper seasoning
1 1/2 pounds (720 g) lean beef top round steak, trimmed of all fat and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
1 14 1/2-ounce (435 g) can low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 pound (480 g) button mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
7 cups (1.7 l) fat-free low-sodium canned beef broth
1 large bay leaf
1 pound (480 g) Swiss chard, coarsely chopped


Put onion, garlic, carrots, and celery in a 5-quart or larger crockery slow cooker.
In a large self-sealing plastic bag, combine flour, lemon-pepper seasoning and thyme. Add beef cubes and toss to coat evenly. Place meat on top of the onion mixture. Cover the meat with the tomatoes and their juice. Top with the mushrooms. Pour beef broth into slow cooker. Add the bay leaf. Do not stir.

Cover and cook on LOW for 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours or on HIGH for 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours.
Add the chard and stir the soup, removing and discarding the bay leaf. Cover and cook on LOW for 30 minutes or on HIGH for 15 minutes.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls.

Per 1-cup serving: 139 calories (17% calories from fat), 19 g protein, 3 g total fat (1.0 g saturated fat), 9 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 38 mg cholesterol, 158 mg sodium
Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 2 vegetable

The next recipe we present, probably next week, will be vegetarian, I swear.
As Emeril would say, “Bam!” In the words of Julia Child, “Bon appetit!” And from me, enjoy and take care of your health.

For information on what you can do to live a healthier life and to help spread diabetes awareness, visit the American Diabetes Association Web site. And become a Diabetes Advocate — get involved in the cause.

Thanks to Pete Nelson for the inspiration.

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3 thoughts on “Blogging for a Cure III

  1. Natalie, have you run this by Tish Parmeley or any other fat-acceptance advocates yet? It seems to me I read somewhere (maybe on Paul McAleer’s blog?) that the link between diabetes and fat isn’t all that cut-and-dried; it certainly doesn’t explain the many thin folks who incur Type II!

  2. Being overweight is only one factor in acquiring Type II diabetes, to be sure. But speaking as one who has the disease, anything that may help is worth doing. And the American Diabetes Association says that cutting down on fat and losing weight can help our bodies make better use of insulin. From my own experience, I feel better (improved circulation and less numbness in fingers and toes, for example) when my diet is healthier and I am thinner. I don’t know Tish, but I would love to talk with her about it. Thanks for the suggestion!

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