Entrées

The entrées in this book are very flavorfully prepared dishes that are moderate- to low-fat. The portion sizes are not large, as a diabetic diet should not be excessively high in protein. (If your physician has recommended a high-protein diet for you, you may want to increase the size of the serving from those suggested here.) Entrées should be accompanied by at least one vegetable, but preferably more, and a low-GI carbohydrate, if your health professional allows. To help plan a balanced meal, menu suggestions are presented at the bottom of each entrée recipe. 

Great Shakes

Great Shakes are GREAT to keep on hand for those days you just have time to throw together a quick meal. Eating before you get too hungry is an important factor in maintaining a healthy diet. If you wait until you are famished, you will overeat. Therefore, always have items on hand that allow you to prepare quick, tasty meals. When I’m in a hurry I pull out my George Foreman grill and sprinkle one of the shakes on chicken, fish, pork, or vegetables. Then presto! Dinner is ready—usually before I’ve even finished preparing my salad. Shakes can also be used before baking, sautéing, or broiling. Each shake makes enough seasoning for several meals; just store the excess in tightly covered plastic containers or Ziploc style storage bags. You can also stir them into yogurt for a nice dip for vegetables or sauce for fish or chicken. Nutritionally I count them as free foods, except for the sodium content. For restricted-sodium diets, just leave out the salt.

 

Hungarian
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Makes 2 tablespoons plus 2½ teaspoons.

 

Mexican
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper

In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Makes 2½ tablespoons.

Herbal
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Cover and process until the herbs are finely ground. Makes 1½ tablespoons.

 

Cajun
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

In a small bowl, stir together all the seasonings. Makes 2½ tablespoons.

 

Curried
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

In a small bowl, stir together all the seasonings. Makes 3 tablespoons.

Diabetic Exchanges: free

Poultry

I have lots of poultry and fish recipes since they are healthy choices in a diabetic diet. With the possible exception of roasted chicken, all dishes are prepared with skinned chicken parts. In general I prefer dark meat for stewing, since it is moister than white meat. However, white meat is lower in fat and cholesterol than dark. There is a world of difference between the serving size of chicken as purchased and the cooked edible part of the chicken. Here are some interesting figures: 2 pounds chicken parts as purchased (with skin and bones) = four 4-ounce servings of cooked chicken or 2 smallish thighs (no backbone); 2 smallish drumsticks; 1 small whole breast. The nutritional analysis for recipes using chicken parts is for a combination of dark and white meat (except, of course, when the recipe calls specifically for only white or only dark meat). If you use only dark or only white, here are the figures for both—adjust your own calculations accordingly.

Eggplant and Chicken Provençal

This is an incredibly rich dish, even though it uses relatively little fat. The eggplant cooks down into a luxurious sauce for the chicken. I don’t peel the eggplant because I like eating the skin and think it adds color to the dish. If you don’t like the consistency of the skin, peel before cubing.

  • 2 pounds chicken pieces
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¹⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup sliced leek (white and light green parts)
  • 3 cups cubed eggplant (1½-inch pieces)
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • ¹⁄8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons dry red wine
  • Salt to taste

 

  1. Remove skin from the chicken; rinse and pat dry. On a piece of wax paper, combine the flour and black pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour.
  2. In a 4-quart nonstick pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from pot.
  3. Add the leek to the pot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the eggplant, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to look cooked, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the water, bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme to the pot; bring to a boil. Add the browned chicken pieces and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the parsley, wine, and salt. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer or until sauce has thickened.

 

SERVES

Diabetic Exchanges: 4¾ very lean meat; 2 vegetable; ½ fat

REDUCED FAT/SATURATED FAT/CHOLESTEROL: Use only breast meat.

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 very lean meat; 3 vegetable; ½ fat

REDUCED PROTEIN: Use only 2 chicken thighs or drumsticks and reserve the unused flour pepper mixture. Follow recipe through step 5 then remove the chicken from the pot and cut from the bone; set aside. Toss 1 cup coarsely chopped Portobello mushrooms, 1 cup cubed yellow squash, and 1 cup frozen artichoke hearts with the the remaining flour/pepper mixture.

Add to the pot when you add the parsley, wine, and salt. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes longer or until the squash is tender. Return chicken to pot and cook 2 minutes longer or until chicken is heated through.

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 very lean meat; 3 vegetable; ½ fat

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