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Jan 11, 2011 08:01 AM

Looking for interesting & easy diabaetic friendly recipes to try...

So, a group of my friends & I do a monthly cooking night where we take turns being the chef for the rest of the group. My cousin is part of the group & she is a life-long diabetic. So, I was wondering if any of you hounds out there know of any tasty interesting recipes that will coincide with her diabetic diet needs.

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  1. I don't know exactly what the requirements are for a diabetic diet, but I'm assuming that she would need to eat things with low glycemic index (=having less processed sugar so the carbohydrates digest more slowly and evenly). If that's so, then you could use the resources that are available for South Beach diet or just search "low glycemic recipes" on Google. Most vegetables (except white potatoes, beets and corn and maybe sweet potatoes) have low glycemic index, so maybe you could focus on vegetable-oriented dishes like stir-fry (but with brown rice rather than white), vegetable soups, gratins, frittatas, stuffed vegetables, etc. Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is a great resource for substantial dishes built around vegetable and I also love Martha Rose Shulman's recipes (she has several books out and a column "Recipes for Health" in the New York TImes).

    1. Is she Type 1 or Type 2? As a Type 2 diabetic myself, I think the key is to either make sure that you calculate the number of carbs into a dish ahead of time and make sure they are around 45 grams per serving. Or make sure that the starches are served separately so your cousin can serve herself according who her desired portion size. For me, I've found as along as I have 45-55 grams of carbs per meal, my blood sugar is fine. Other people go by using low-glycemic foods. The best thing to do is talk to your cousin to see how she manages her diabetes and what type she has.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Dcfoodblog

        She's Type 1 (since birth). Any of your favorite recipes you can suggest?

        1. re: citygrrll

          So a few menu ideas to think about:

          Grilled chicken or tofu with Satay sauce

          Crudite (obviously) with
          - yogurt dip
          - babaganouj

          Different kinds of deviled eggs

          Main courses:
          Chicken stew with lots of vegetables and a slice of crusty bread (usually a slice of sourdough is around 25 grams of carbs and the stew should be about 15 or so).

          Thai curry with brown rice (1 cup of brown rice is about 45 grams of carbs)
          - chunks of carrots, onions, and bamboo shoots and chicken sauteed with a few tablespoons of Thai curry paste and a can of lowfat coconut milk)

          Ina Garten's parmesan chicken with an arugula salad on top

          Frittata and a salad with homemade croutons

          Dessert: - I use granulated Splenda that's designed to be a 1- for 1 substitution for sugar

          Fruit cobbler with almond flour topping (I just substitute almond flour for regular flour in a cobbler recipe)

          Pavlova's with fruit and whipped cream

          Chocolate Meringues

          1. re: Dcfoodblog

            Great - thanks for the ideas! Can only make some form of chicken with steamed veggies so many times & wanted something different to try... =)

            1. re: citygrrll

              No problem. As Euonymous said, the key is to make sure that you have something where your cousin can easily calculate how many carbs are in the dish OR that your have calculated the per/serving carb content yourself. Another example which is actually very traditional is doing meatballs in tomato sauce but instead of a big bowl of pasta, serve them on top of a couple of slices of grilled ciabatta. For the meatballs, I would calculate about 20 grams of carbs per serving (since meatballs have breadcrumbs in them) and 25 per slice of bread. If you do something that has pasta in it, make sure there's plenty of "lengtheners" in the sauce. I usually put in tons of grated zucchinni and carrot in with a lot of chopped onions in a tomato sauce. That way the 1 cup of cooked pasta is a heck of a lot more filling. This does mean you should probably stay away from cream based sauces because they are less filling. If you want the flavor of a sauce like pesto, I'd do the bread route again and serve the pesto on top of a slice of bread with a dollop of ricotta.

      2. Just cook food. Most people with Type 1 diabetes are not on a specific diet/meal plan. That hasn't been the case for decades now. What we do is count carbohydrates. As long as you make a meal where the carbohydrates are separate from the other foods there shouldn't be a problem.

        That means anything but a casserole with meat, veg, carbohydrates mixed up together should be fine. And try not to serve too many sugary sauces as they're hard to calculate.

        If you're using artificial sweeteners in the dessert make sure she knows that or she might take too much insulin.