Friday, September 30, 2011

Diabetes Co-Star Cookoff

This morning I had the pleasure of attending the Diabetes Co-Stars Cookoff- part of the NYC Wine and Food Festival.

 Paul and Mira Sorvino hosted the event and discussed their family's experience with Paul's diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. 

The cook-off served as the finals for the Diabetes Co-Stars Recipe Contest! The finalists were Lorin from Alpine, NJ and Hidemi from Plainfield, IN.

 Things got moving quickly! Lauren set to work making her Apple Rhubarb Fantasy Pie!


Crust Recipe
Use a food processor's steel blade.
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup of very cold vegan butter, cut into 1/2 '" pieces
2 teaspoons sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice cold water
Pie Recipe
1/2 cup sugar substitute
3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 cups granny smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup rhubarb, cleaned and cut on the diagonal and sliced in 1/4" pieces
Crumb Topping
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar substitute
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegan butter
Final Topping
Sugar Free Caramel ice cream syrup


  1. Using a food processor, insert the steel blade.
  2. Add wheat flour, vegan butter, sugar substitute and salt.
  3. Cover and process using pulsing technique until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger crumbs remaining.
  4. While the processor is running, add the water quickly through the feed tube. Stop processor and scrape sides. Turn on and off 2 times. Take out of bowl and divide in half forming 2 discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until easy to handle about 15 minutes.
  1. Remove crust from refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface.
  2. Ease into pie dish, poke holes with fork on the bottom, and flute edges.
  3. Line bottom of pastry with parchment paper and fill with a single layer of dried beans. Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar substitute, whole wheat flour, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Add apples and rhubarb and toss gently until they are coated well.
  6. Transfer mixture to pie crust.
  7. For the crumb topping: Stir together the oats, brown sugar, sugar substitute, wheat flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg.
  8. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the vegan butter until the topping resembles coarse crumbs.
  9. Sprinkle the topping over the apple/rhubarb mixture.
  10. Cover edge of pie with foil to prevent burning.
  11. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
  12. Remove foil and bake for 15-20 minutes more, or until top is bubbly and golden.
  13. Remove from oven and drizzle the sugar free caramel syrup over the top.
  14. Cool and enjoy!!!

Hidemi whipped up her Berry Soymilk Cream Pie with Panko Crust!


For Pie Crust
1 1/4 cup Panko
1 tablespoon Sugar Free Honey
2 tablespoons Splenda®
1/4 cup Soy Milk
1 tablespoon Butter
For Soy Milk
2 cups Soy Milk
4 tablespoons Corn Starch
2 tablespoons Sugar Free Honey
For Filling
6 oz Blackberries
7-8 Strawberries - cut into four
3 tablespoons Splenda®
1/4 cup Water
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine 1 1/4 cup of panko, 1 tablespoon of sugar free honey, 2 tablespoons of Splenda®, 1/4 cup of soy milk and 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix well.
  3. Transfer to 9-inch pie pan and with hand, press mixture firmly on the bottom of the pan and poke holes in bottom of crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Make berry filling. In a sauce pan, put blackberries, strawberries, 1/4 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of Splenda® and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Heat over low heat and simmer for a couple of minutes. Then take both blackberry and strawberry out of the pan and place them on the plate. Set aside. Keep simmering the berry juice remaining in the sauce pan until the juice reduces to almost half. Then turn off the heat and let cool.
  5. Make soy milk cream. In another sauce pan, put 4 tablespoons of corn starch, 2 tablespoons of sugar free honey and 2 cups of soy milk. Heat over low heat and simmer until thickens stirring constantly.
  6. Pour the soy milk cream on the crust then pour the berry filling (pour the berry juice first and then place the blackberries and strawberries on top). Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

As the judges scored the final products, we were served samples of the final two recipes! 

 My partner in crime, Aaron, preferred the lighter taste and consistency of Hidemi's recipe. 

I loved Lorin's recipe- so warm, caramel-y and comforting, but I couldn't decide between the two! Luckily, I didn't have to!

The judges' votes were tallied and Hidemi's Berry Soymilk Cream Pie with Panko Crust came out on top! Congratulations, Hidemi!

As I was waiting to interview Paul and Mira after the cookoff, I ran into the beautiful Juliette from Finish Your Broccoli, a friend from the NYC Blogger Playdate
NYC Bloggers wear matching outfits on accident... Or on purpose...

I'm so glad I had the opportunity to sit down with Paul and Mira Sorvino after the event to discuss their family's experience with diabetes. My mom was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, so I was eager to hear about how I could take on a more proactive role in her management of this disease. She's a tough lady and doesn't always ask for help, so I was eager for advice. Paul admitted that he kept his diagnosis to himself at first and wasn't completely diligent with managing the condition. When Mira discovered that Paul had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, she decided to educate herself on the disease to learn how to help her father stay healthy. She admitted that sometimes, her role in this process is "policewoman", reminding her father that certain food choices aren't ideal. Not that Paul needs constant reminding- as a performer his health is of the utmost importance and he acknowledges that being diligent about exercising and eating right are necessary to keep him going. The Sorvinos strive to make the lifestyle changes that Paul has had to make family changes- exercising and cooking together when possible. Mira thinks of it as her way of giving back to her father. 

 To learn more about the Sorvino's story, find diabetes-friendly recipes/ lifestyle tips and link to existing resources for diabetes education, visit the Diabetes Co-Stars website.

Does anyone in your life have diabetes? How do you support them?