A Diabetic’s Guide to Delicious Dining: International Recipes
Who says healthy cooking is time consuming and complicated? Not me! Well…not anymore at least.
I admit, a few years ago, my idea of dinner was popping by McDonalds and picking up a burger and fries after work, or on days where I was feeling extra lazy or indulgent, I’d simply order in – pizza, Chinese, biryani, you name it and I had it on my speed dial. Things seemed great until my sugar levels were all over the place and my sister, a diabetic herself (it runs in our family), forced me to take charge of the situation.
Her tough love approach was all the push I needed to start cooking for myself. Not only have I managed to stick to my regime, my diabetes is totally under control and I have fun experimenting with tasty new recipes all the time.
Here are a couple of my favourite after work recipes. Not only have they turned carb loving me into a healthy eater, the best part is they take very little effort to whip up!
Chicken and Spinach Soup with Pesto
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced carrots, red paprika (and any other crunchy veggie of your choice)
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into quarters
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I make mine ahead on the weekends)
- Pesto (store bought is fine)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the carrots, paprika and chicken; cook, turning the chicken and stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
- Stir in broth and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through. This should take about 5 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool.
- Add spinach to the pot and bring to a gentle boil.
- Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat until hot.
- Garnish with croutons, if desired.
Zoodles with arrabiata
For the sauce:
- 10 medium tomatoes, quartered
- 2 large onions, quartered
- 7 to 8 pods elephant garlic, crushed; 2 pods finely sliced
- 10 to 15 basil leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- 6 tbsp vodka/red wine (optional, best avoided if your sugar levels are not in check)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- Salt to taste
- Basil leaves to garnish
For the ‘pasta’
- 1-2 Zucchinis, spiralized with a spiralizer
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they’re translucent.
- Add 3 tbsp of the vodka/red wine – be very careful that the pan doesn’t catch fire if you’re using vodka!
- Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute.
- Let the mix cool down and put it in a blender. Add the tomatoes and make a coarse puree.
- Put 1 tsp of oil in the pan and add the chilli flakes and sliced garlic.
- Pour the puree into the pan and add the salt and oregano.
- Cook until the sauce thickens. Add the rest of the vodka/red wine now.
- Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Place the zoodles (zucchini noodles) on the plate and ladle sauce over.
- Garnish with a basil leaf.
- Serve hot.