Delectable Diabetic Dinner Recipes
Living with diabetes can often feel like you will never be able to enjoy delicious food again. Often, this sort of thought leaves us feeling hopeless and helpless. Luckily, it is 100% possible to enjoy diabetes-friendly meals that are healthy and delicious. In this article, I will describe some of my favorite diabetic dinner recipes. But first, let’s explore what makes a good diabetes dinner.
What Should Diabetics Eat?
There are so many dietary guidelines, opinions and meal plans out there for people with diabetes. This can all feel a bit overwhelming, but there are some general guidelines that should be followed:
- Your diet should include a balanced combination of the following food groups: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.
- Try to limit intake of fried and high-fat foods, such as potato chips, fast food and pizza.
- Limit your intake of foods that are high in sugars and eat sweet fruits in moderation.
- Avoid sugary fizzy drinks and be aware that pure fruit juice is also high in sugar.
- Try to avoid carbohydrates that have added sugars or refined grains.
- Learn to count carbohydrates so that you do not end up raising your sugars unnecessarily.
- Consult with a certified dietitian experienced in the field of diabetes, who can help you work out a more specific dietary plan.
Below, I describe three recipes that are personal favorites; they are simple, delicious and diabetes-friendly.
1. Seared Salmon
This dish is quick, easy and mouthwatering. Ideally, try to source salmon fillets that are as fresh as possible. Also, this meal is low in carbohydrates (approximately 4 grams per serving). It is also replete with healthy omega 3 fats. This recipe has been adapted from the original version.
- 4 servings of fresh salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of diced cucumber and tomato
- 1/2 cup of full cream yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of finely chopped dill
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- Sprinkle the salt and seasoning over the fillets and allow these to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add the cucumber, tomato and dill to the yogurt, then store in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Pour the oil into the pan and leave it on high heat, up until moments before the oil begins to sizzle. Reduce the heat to medium and shortly thereafter place the fillets in the pan. Cook for approximately five minutes on each side.
- Serve the salmon hot, with the yogurt mixture added to taste. Enjoy!
2. Low-Carb Minestrone Soup
Minestrone is a fantastic winter warmer, packed full of healthy nutrients and fiber. Traditionally, minestrone is made with pasta, which is not a great option for people with diabetes. In this low-carb version of the Italian favorite, we will be substituting the starch with chicken strips. This recipe was adapted from the original version.
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 4 ounces of sliced red onions
- 2 sliced garlic cloves
- 2 ounces of carrots, sliced
- 2 ounces of celery, sliced
- 1 cup of green beans, sliced into small pieces
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 3 ounces of diced cabbage
- 4 ounces of diced zucchini
- 6 ounces of thinly sliced chicken breast
- 14 ounces of fresh tomatoes, diced
- Grill the chicken strips with a teaspoon of canola oil.
- Add the rest of the olive oil to a large soup pot and heat at medium to high.
- Once the oil is adequately heated, add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for approximately five minutes.
- Thereafter, add the remainder of the vegetables and the chicken broth.
- Allow the soup to simmer gently for approximately 45 minutes.
- Finally, add the grilled chicken strips.
- Serve warm and season to taste using salt and pepper.
3. Beef Fried Cauli Rice
Another great option from the diabetic dinner recipes list transforms a fast-food favorite into a diabetic-friendly option, by exchanging the starchy rice for low-carb cauliflower rice. Now, if you have never tried cauli rice before, you are probably not all that enticed. Don’t beat it until you have tried it. When prepared properly, cauli rice tastes fantastic and offers a simple rice alternative that will not spike your sugars. This recipe was adapted from the original version.
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 8 ounces of lean ground beef
- 3 crushed garlic cloves
- 2 ounces of chopped mushrooms
- 2 ounces of chopped green beans
- 1 large cauliflower head, grated
- 4 tablespoons of soya sauce
- 2 free range eggs
- 2 ounces of thinly sliced leeks
- Salt and pepper; season to taste
- Use a wok to heat one tablespoon of oil at medium to high heat. Add the grated cauliflower, 1 clove of garlic and 1/2 tablespoon of soya sauce. Continue to cook for approximately five minutes, tossing the mixture frequently, until the cauliflower starts to brown.
- Add the remainder of the oil, garlic and soy sauce, then raise the heat to high. Once the mixture begins to simmer, add the vegetables, followed by the ground beef and eggs. Continue to cook at a high temperature, tossing the mixture frequently and scrambling the eggs as you do so.
- After about four minutes, the beef should have browned, and the eggs ought to be fully scrambled. Lower the heat, season with the leeks, salt and pepper, and enjoy!
The Importance of Time Management
At the end of the day, healthy and delicious recipes mean nothing without time management. Keeping healthy takes time and dedication, and in the business of work and family commitments, diet plans can often fall to the wayside. To avoid this, take the necessary time to plan, purchase and prepare your meals. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan then you’re planning to fail.”
At the end of the day, living and eating well with diabetes does not have to be a chore. While it is important to familiarize yourself with the recommendations that are out there, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all diet plan for us. Learning to thrive with this condition means exploring new, creative ways of cooking, eating and living. Hopefully, these diabetic dinner recipes will give you a bit of inspiration!