August Featured Article: Cutting Carbs Is Hard — Here's How to Do It Safely With Diabetes
Carbohydrates are often seen as off limits for type 2 diabetes, but our bodies actually need the nutrient to survive. Learn the safe way to cut carbs with diabetes. Although carbohydrates are often demonized in popular diabetes management advice, it’s a fact that our bodies need carbs to survive. Carbs are one of the three macronutrients — the others are protein and fat — required by our bodies as a main source of energy, providing the fuel you need to do everything from breathing to walking to running.
Savory Chicken Meatballs with Roasted Grapes
- 1 pound ground chicken meat
- 1 cup Swiss Chard leaves, finely chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 cup walnuts, ground into flour using a food processor
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups red or purple grapes
- Walnuts for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients, except grapes, in a large bowl. Do not over mix. (You may want to use your hands here; lightly mist them with oil spray
beforehand so the mixture doesn’t stick.)
- Form the meatballs into 16 golf ball-sized spheres, keeping them light and fluffy. If necessary, reapply oil spray to your hands to prevent sticking. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- While the meatballs are cooking, add the grapes to a separate bowl and mist with oil spray, tossing to coat evenly. Sprinkle with a dash of optional salt and pepper. Set aside.
- During the last 10-12 minutes of the meatballs cooking in the oven, remove the baking sheet and scatter on the seasoned grapes. Place the tray with all items back into the oven until the meatballs are finished cooking and the grapes are roasted and slightly puckered.
- Garnish the dish with chopped parsley or basil and more walnuts.
Nutritional information *per serving (4 meatballs 1/2 cup roasted grapes) (makes 4 servings)*: 290 calories, 29g protein, 11g fat (1g saturated, 10g unsaturated), 17g carbs, 2g fiber, 13g sugar (0 added sugar), 570mg sodium
Edamame Lettuce Wraps with Almond Butter Sauce
- 1 to 2 heads of butterhead lettuce, leaves separated and patted dry
- 2 cups of shelled edamame beans, cooked and cooled (fresh or frozen)
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 cups shredded purple/red cabbage
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds, plus more for garnish
- 1 lime, wedged
Almond Butter Sauce
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or any other preferred milk)
- 2 tablespoons of reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (optional)
- Lay out the lettuce leaves on a platter.
- Mix the edamame, red pepper, carrots, and cabbage in a large bowl. Then, place about 1/4 cup of vegetable mixture onto each lettuce leaf.
- To prepare Almond Butter Sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Warm over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and creamy. Alternately, you can warm the sauce in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until the almond butter is fully incorporated into the sauce and everything is well combined. Let cool.
- Drizzle he sauce generously over each vegetable wrap and top with cilantro and chopped almonds. Garnish with lime wedges.
Nutritional information *per 4 wraps w/ 1 tablespoon sauce on each (makes 28 wraps)*: 240 calories, 11g protein, 14g fat (1g saturated, 13g unsaturated), 20g carbs, 9g sugar (4g added sugar), 260mg sodium
Portobello Burger with Grapefruit Relish and Carrot "Fries"
- Cooking oil spray
- 4 Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and stems removed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 whole-grain hamburger buns (optional)
- 1/2 large pink grapefruit, peel and pith removed, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1/4 red onion, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon honey, optional
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Using cooking spray, mist both sides of portobello mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- On a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat, place mushrooms, bottom-side down. Grill 10 minutes per side or until grill marks appear. Alternatively, cook in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat.
For carrot fries
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- On a baking sheet, lay the carrots in a single layer. Liberally coat with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until starting to crisp around the edges, about 25 minutes. Turn heat to broil and cook 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to burn.
- Place the mushrooms on a lettuce cup (and a bun, if using) and top with 2 to 3 tablespoons relish. Serve with carrot fries.
Nutritional information *per serving* (makes 4 servings): 110 calories, 4g protein, 4g fat (0g saturated, 4g unsaturated), 19g carbs, 5g fiber, 10g sugar (0g added sugar), 750mg sodium
*if using a bun, add about 150 calories*
Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken and Wild Rice Stew
- 4 medium carrots
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 (15-oz) package frozen pre-diced butternut squash
- 8 oz pre-diced trinity mix (fresh onion, bell pepper, celery)
- 2/3 cup brown and wild rice blend
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup lite coconut milk
- 4 cups no-salt-added chicken stock (or broth)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Peel and cut carrots into 1-inch pieces; peel and grate ginger. Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker; add remaining ingredients (except cilantro and limes). Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours (or LOW for 7–8 hours) and until chicken is 165°F.
- Carefully remove chicken and shred with 2 forks, then return chicken to slow cooker. Chop cilantro; cut limes into wedges. Serve stew with cilantro and lime.
Nutritional information *per 1/8 of recipe (serves 8)*: 250 calories, 22g protein. 5g fat (2.5g saturated, 2.5g unsaturated), 28g carbs, 4g fiber, 7g sugar, 700mg sodium
- One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons of tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil plus more for optional garnish
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for optional garnish
- Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. (For a prettier presentation, do not add parsley into food processor and instead mix in at the end by hand for a splash of green color
throughout.) Pulse to blend all the ingredients, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Season with additional salt and ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with optional drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of parsley leaves.
- Enjoy the hummus on apple slices or with your favorite whole-grain bread. It makes a delicious sandwich spread too.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION *per 2 tablespoons (makes 1 1/2 cups)*: 60 calories, 2g protein, 3g fat (0g saturated, 3g unsaturated), 6g carbs, 2g fiber, 1g sugar (0g added), 200mg sodium
Apple Protein Pancakes
You’ll flip for these simple no-sugar-added flapjacks, which are packed with 22 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber. There’s no need for a topper, but if you’d like, you could make extra sautéed apples to spoon over the top for a mouthwatering presentation.
- ½ cup quick cooking oats
- 4 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ apple, skin on, finely diced
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- Combine oats, egg whites, vanilla, apples, cinnamon and chia seeds in a bowl and stir until everything is thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
- Liberally coat a skillet with oil spray and warm over medium heat.
- Pour or spoon the mixture onto the skillet, making about 5 small pancakes.
- Cook each side for 1 to 2 minutes, until they turn golden brown. Reapply oil spray between flips to ensure the pancakes don’t stick to the pan.
- Enjoy the pancakes plain or topped with yogurt or a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.
NUutritional information *makes 1 serving*, *2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt add about 20 calories. 1 teaspoon syrup or honey adds about 20 calories*: 320 calories, 22g protein, 7g fat (1g saturated, 6g unsaturated), 44g carbs, 10g fiber, 10g sugar (1g added sugar), 250mg sodium