Holiday dinner healthier than usual PDF Print E-mail
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 12:11
Rita and Ron Trumbull are about to enjoy Christmas dinner featuring all recipes from the Dining with Diabetes class, including the hash brown casserole (top right) and spinach lasagna (center). (Photos provided)
CUSTAR —  Rita Trumbull didn’t pull a fast one.
Her family knew she was planning a departure from their usual ham, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy Christmas dinner menu, topped off “of course, with pie and other sweet things.”
“We just decided, the girls and I, that we would make this Christmas dinner all out of the diabetes-cooking cookbook.”
Last October, Trumbull attended the Wood County Extension program’s Dining with Diabetes class to learn more about diabetes so she could help her husband Ron.
“I just wanted to see what I could do to make better meals for him.”
She came home from the series armed with lots of new information as well as the cook-booklet full of wonderful sounding recipes, among them the hash brown casserole that is today’s Cook’s Corner feature.
It was the couple’s daughter Jenny Morlock, a member of the Extension staff, who recommended the class to her mother.
Morlock, as well as nearby siblings Emily Trumbull, Custar, and Kay Zeisloft, Findlay, got together with mom Rita to plan and prepare the special holiday menu.
“We had multiple generations at our family dinner, ranging from college students to senior citizens,” noted Rita Trumbull. “Everyone really enjoyed the foods,” from grandson Ron Zeisloft, a student at Bowling Green State University, all the way up to grandpa Ron, who’s 75.
“It tasted wonderful. It was healthy eating the whole family could enjoy.”
Hers is a traditional Wood County farm family.  
“My two sons-in-law, Dean Zeisloft and Rob Morlock, are hearty eaters, raised on meat and potatoes, and they enjoyed the lasagna, pork chops and apple salad and I did not hear ‘oh, this tastes different!’”
The hash brown casserole was an especial hit.
“It has sour cream in it. They’re used to mashed potatoes and (appreciated) the different texture, I think.
“And they liked the (no-meat) spinach lasagna too. I don’t think they would eat spinach normally, but they really liked it in that.”
There was also “a fruit dessert in the book that we knew would be good, so we made that.” While it’s called Fast Fruit Salad, Trumbull said she thinks of it more as a dessert.
She had made the lasagna, fruit salad and baked pork chops before, but the potatoes were debuted at Christmas dinner.
“This was the first time I had made the potatoes. They sounded so good, and they were. They’re very easy to make.”
Trumbull encourages others who may have diabetes, or be cooking for someone with the disease, to consider signing up for the three-part Dining with Diabetes.
“I can’t say enough for the class. I really enjoyed it, and learned a lot. And the fact that they make some of the dishes in the class and you can taste them” is a bonus.
The takeaway message for Trumbull: “Really, nobody has to feel deprived just because they have diabetes.”
“They gotta watch their carbohydrates; that’s something that’s very important.”
And the DWD recipes are designed to make it painless to do so.
“They’re something anybody could enjoy. A two thumbs up for the class and the recipes.”
Rita and Ron Trumbull are longtime residents of Custar. They have a farm on Milton Road, where they raised four daughters and today welcome back their four grandchildren and two great-grandkids for visits.
“I like to cook. I always made a lot of cookies for my kids when they were little. I used to make dozens and dozens,” said Rita Trumbull.
While she wasn’t producing those Christmas pies of old this year, she did hang on to one bit of tradition.
“For the sons-in-law I knew a favorite cookie they liked, so I packaged it up ahead of time and sent it along with them” to enjoy at home.
Trumbull refers to her peanut butter drops, whose ingredients include pretzels and peanut butter.
“These days I’m more of a sew-er than a cook,” with a special interest in quilting.


Healthier Hash Brown Casserole
Makes approximately six servings

1 pound frozen hash browns, thawed
¾ cup light sour cream
½ cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) reduced sodium, low fat cream of chicken soup
1 Tbsp. minced onions
¼ tsp. black pepper

½ cup crushed saltines
1 Tbsp. melted margarine

Mixing bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Baking dish
Mixing spoon or spatula
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine first six ingredients. Place in baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Combine crushed saltines with melted margarine. Sprinkle over potatoes.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until potatoes are done.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 12:20

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