Monday Motivational Meal—Vanilla Shortbread

Monday, November 30, 2020


Vanilla Shortbread

Shortbread is a holiday tradition in our house. I wanted to find a shortbread that used half the butter and had less calories than the classic version but didn't compromise on taste. I found one. The recipe replaces half the butter with canola oil which is rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fat. And to make it that much more wonderful, each serving is only 101 calories! You can't beat serving these treats up on Celebrate!

Click here for the recipe. 

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Monday Motivational Meal—Healthy Cinnamon Baked Apple

Monday, November 23, 2020


Healthy Cinnamon Baked Apple

The texture and sweetness of a baked apple can be just the thing you need when you are wanting an easy, comforting snack or dessert. The great thing about baked apples is that they are easy to make and they keep well in the refrigerator for serveral days so you can enjoy this treat more than once and with no additional work involved other than heating it up. It looks yummy served up on Vivente!

Click here for the recipe. 

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Vanilla Bean Shortbread—Holiday Worthy!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Vanilla Bean Shortbread


I have always loved shortbread. So much of it is the memories associated with this delectable treat. When our children were growing up a friend would make her homemade shortbread and share it with us at Christmas. We so looked forward to it each year. It was so good!

Since the children have grown up and we moved away I have been in search of a good shortbread so we could again enjoy this favorite treat. Most shortbread is packed full of butter and therefore high in saturated fat and calories. I wanted a shortbread that used half the butter and had less calories but didn't compromise on taste. I found one. The recipe replaces half the butter with canola oil which is rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fat. And to make it that much more wonderful, each serving is only 101 calories! This recipe originally came from the Cooking Light Mix & Match Low-Calorie Cookbook.

This shortbread has the same flaky texture and lightness you look for in any good shortbread. The vanilla bean flavor adds a new dimension. I have never scraped out the seeds of a vanilla bean before. This technique provides a richness to the shortbread, and an aroma that is very appealing. They have been a hit with everyone I have shared them with. A definite repeat!

Vannila Bean Shortbread—Holiday Worthy!

Vanilla Bean Shortbread

2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Cooking Spray 


1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. Line bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray.
3. Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk
4. Place butter in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add oil then   beat again at medium speed until well blended.  Gradually add sugar, beating well. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add seeds to butter mixture. Discard bean.
5. Add flour mixture, beating a low speed just until blended.
6. Spoon dough into prepared pan. Place plastic wrap over dough. Then press dough to an even thickness. Discard the plastic wrap.
7. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cut into 32 pieces. Carefully cool squares completely on a wire rack.
Nutritional Information
Servings: 32. Serving Size: 1 piece. Calories per piece: 101; Fat 6.4g; Protein .9g; Carb 10.1g; Fiber .2g; Sodium 39mg.



Monday Motivational Meal--Sweet & Tangy Salmon with Green Beans

Monday, November 16, 2020


Sweet & Tangy Salmon Served Up on Livliga

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. A time when the diabetes community comes together to sound the alarm about the ever-growing epidemic. This recipe was shared by Shelby Kinnaird, a talented chef living with diabetes. She served up this delicious and easy sheet pan meal on Halsa!

Get the recipe here.




Easy Fall Menu to Highlight Diabetes Awareness Month

Friday, November 13, 2020


Sweet & Tangy Salmon with Green Beans

Guest Blog By Shelby Kinnaird

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, a time when the diabetes community comes together to sound the alarm about the ever-growing epidemic. I was diagnosed with Type 2 in 1999 and many of my family members have been diagnosed since then. I’ve also lost friends to diabetes complications. It’s a big deal.

One way I manage my diabetes is through food. Watching my portion sizes is critical and I’m grateful to Livliga for making that task easier. While their dinnerware is functional and gorgeous, I absolutely adore the LivSpoons – measuring cups and serving spoons all in one! If you don’t have a set yet, treat yourself to a Diabetes Awareness Month gift. Self-care is an important part of diabetes management, you know.

After we all started quarantining (thanks COVID-19), I realized I missed having people over for dinner. I missed cooking together and I missed the conversation too. So, I began inviting folks to join me on Zoom to prepare a meal and have a fun chat too. We can’t eat at the same table right now, but we can cook together. Eventually, I’m hoping this new business I’m calling Put on Your Apron will morph into in-person experiences in exciting foodie destinations. But for right now, I’m hosting a monthly Cook & Chat that was described by one frequent attendee like this: “I feel like I'm cooking with friends without the fear of another one of my cooking disasters. All within an hour and I have a full meal!” If you’re interested in learning more and joining us sometime, please sign up for my Cook & Chat mailing list.

One Cook & Chat featured a sheet pan meal involving salmon and green beans. Don’t you just love sheet pan meals? They’re easy and there’s only one pan to wash afterwards. That meal was so easy and delicious, I want to share it with you.

Here’s the menu: 

Here’s how to make sure everything is ready at the same time:
  1. Cook the wild rice
  2. Preheat the oven
  3. Brush the baking sheet with olive oil
  4. Trim and rinse the green beans
  5. Portion the salmon
  6. Make the glaze
  7. Put the salmon on the baking sheet and brush with half of glaze
  8. Toss the beans with remaining glaze and scatter around salmon on baking sheet
  9. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes
  10. Toast the almonds for the salad
  11. Remove the salmon from oven and tent with foil; return beans to oven
  12. Finish the wild rice salad
  13. Remove beans from oven
  14. Plate on Livliga dinnerware and enjoy!

Sweet & Tangy Salmon with Green Beans


  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari 
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed 


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush 1/2 tablespoon of oil onto a baking sheet.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the brown sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet, skin-side down. Brush half of the butter mixture over the fillets.
  4. Place the green beans in a large bowl. Pour the remaining butter mixture over the beans and toss to coat. Scatter beans around the salmon.
  5. Roast until the thickest part of the salmon reaches 125°F, about 15 minutes. Remove the salmon to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Return the green beans to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until they are cooked the way you like them.
  6. Remove the green beans from the oven and serve with the salmon.


  • The salmon will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven. (The FDA says the safe temperature is 145°F.)
  • Nutritional information was calculated with MyFitnessPal and does not include optional ingredients.

Nutritional Information

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 321 calories, 18 g total fat (5 g saturated), 64 mg cholesterol, 522 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 26 g protein

Shelby Kinnaird is the author of The Pocket Carbohydrate Counter Guide for Diabetes and co-author of The Diabetes Cookbook for Electric Pressure Cookers. Founder of Put on Your Apron and Diabetic Foodie, she hosts fun cooking experiences online, in-person, and in destination locations. Shelby is a passionate diabetes advocate and runs two DiabetesSisters peer support groups in Richmond, VA.


Monday Motivational Meal—Salmon Pattie

Monday, November 9, 2020


Salmon Pattie

Salmon patties are a great budget-friendly, heart-friendly meal that is easy to fix. Since they are high in protein and low in carbs they fit into the diabetes and bariatric lifestyle too. Try this USDA MyPlate recipe...and make sure to serve it up on your favorite Livliga Halsa! 

Click here for the recipe. 


Living with Diabetes...Before and During Covid-19

Friday, November 6, 2020

Livliga with Diabetes before and during Covid-19

Guest Blog by Karen Graffeo

My memories around my diabetes diagnosis and my early years of life with a chronic illness are fuzzy. It was more than four decades ago, so it makes sense that the details aren't clear. But I do remember that food was suddenly a huge issue.

In the early 80s, living with diabetes meant sugar was forbidden. It meant following the "exchange diet," which dictated eating specific amounts of certain food groups at certain times, whether I was hungry or not. As a teenager, this was so hard. I hated being the different kid - the kid who had a snack when nobody else did, the only kid at the birthday party who couldn't eat the cake.

I'm thankful that diabetes treatment plans have significantly progressed, and with careful planning, I can fit almost any food into my diet. But I still feel my relationship with food is somewhat warped. Sometimes, I find myself eating something to prove I can, rather than because I genuinely want to eat it. I've been trying to eat mindfully for the past few years, but that's still a work in progress.

And then 2020 hit, with its COVID pandemic. Mindful eating seems to be a challenge for many of us now, as we crave comfort foods to get us through our "new normal." Living with diabetes puts me in the high-risk group, so my husband and I are (still) sheltering in place. Back in March, when we began hunkering down at home, I had a lot of stress around food availability. I needed to reserve each grocery delivery time slot a week in advance. Meal planning was difficult because many foods I considered staples were unavailable. Suddenly I worried a lot about food, just as I did decades ago.

Luckily, those issues have been resolved as the pandemic progresses. I can put in a grocery order to be delivered within a day or so. Almost everything in our order is usually in stock. Now that the "food worry" is gone, I can see some ways that the pandemic has improved what my husband and I are eating.

  • Solid meal plans - We still order groceries once a week. We can't just run to the store on impulse. So, every weekend, I plan my complete menu for the coming week and stick to it.
  • No dining out - I make poor food choices in restaurants. I’m not proud of that, but it's true. And although restaurants here in Connecticut are now open, with indoor and outdoor dining options, my husband and I don't feel ready for that. We order curbside pickup on occasion, but it just seems easier to cook at home instead - which means I'm making better food choices.
  • Cooking more from scratch - I've never been one for frozen meals and heat-and-eat options. But since March, I find myself making more and more from scratch, resulting in healthier, less processed food with fewer additives and artificial ingredients.

Perhaps the best example of how the pandemic has helped us eat better is Friday Pizza Night, a tradition in our house for years. Before COVID, we'd place an order every Friday at one of the many great pizza places in town. In addition to a small pizza (which is always too big for just the two of us), we often added an appetizer and sometimes a salad and dessert. There was way too much food, and we ate way too much of it.

Being on lockdown didn't eliminate Friday Pizza Night, but it changed it for the better because I make our pizza from scratch now. Every few weeks, I knead up a batch of dough and divide it into three portions. Two go in the freezer for the next two Fridays, and one gets rolled out, topped with pizza sauce (also made from scratch), sprinkled with toppings, and baked up. Our homemade pizzas are smaller, just the right size for the two of us. There are no heavy appetizers, and dessert is also something I've baked up from scratch. It's all much healthier, and our portions are reasonable.

Living with diabetes is never easy. Living with it during a pandemic is hard. So yes, things since March have been difficult. But it isn't all bad, and I'd like to think that the new food habits my husband and I are forming will continue even after COVID becomes a distant memory.


Karen Graffeo was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11. In 2008 she founded her diabetes blog, Bitter-Sweet, where she blogged for almost a decade. Karen has been leading DiabetesSisters Virtual PODS Meetup since 2014. In 2017 she joined the DiabetesSisters staff as Content Manager. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and the world's most adorable cat.

Find DiabetesSisters on the web at and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @DiabetesSisters.


Monday Motivational Meal—Beef Daube

Monday, November 2, 2020


Beef Daube

There is a debate about the differences between Beef Daube and Beef Bourguignon. They are both beef stews but each with their own twists of ingredients and flavor. The Daube originated in Provence, the Bourguignon in Burgundy. We went with the Daube and served it up on Vivente. See what you think!

Click here for the recipe.

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