People with diabetes often complain of lack of flavour and taste in their food as they have to follow a strictly healthy diet devoid of sugar, carbs and saturated fats that they enjoyed freely before they were diagnosed with the disease. However, living with diabetes doesn’t mean one cannot enjoy taste along with health. All you require is a shift to healthy and low GI ingredients with high protein, fibre and loads of antioxidants to keep your sugar levels in check. Switching to whole grains, healthy herbs and spices, low-fat dairy, green and leafy vegetables will in fact add variety to your plate and you may fall in love with your diabetes diet more than your regular diet if you plan your meals in advance. (Also read: Diabetes: Warning signs of high blood sugar that appear on skin)
Here are 6 diabetes-friendly healthy recipes shared by Head Chef – Shivangi Panwar, Baale.
1. Spicy coconut shrimp (Asian)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
2 cups fresh snow peas (about 7 ounces), trimmed
3 tablespoons light coconut milk
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
– In a large saucepan, combine quinoa, water and salt; bring to a boil.
– Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
– Remove from heat; fluff with a fork.
– Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 4-6 minutes or until tender. Stir in ginger, curry powder, cumin, salt and cayenne; cook 1 minute longer.
– Add shrimp and snow peas to skillet; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and snow peas are crisp-tender.
– Stir in coconut milk and orange juice; heat through. Serve with quinoa; top each serving with coconut and cilantro.
2. Goan Prawn Curry (Goan Sambharachi Kodi) (Indian)
1 kg cleaned and shelled prawns
Grind to paste
1 grated coconut
4 dry red chillies
1-heaped tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric powder
¾ tamarind water (made with lime-sized ½ inch piece ginger ball of tamarind)
1 larger chopped onion
Salt to taste
– Mix the masala paste and the crushed masala together in a pan and cook, adding water whenever necessary, for about 20 minutes.
– Then add the cleaned and shelled prawns to which salt has been added and simmer till prawns are cooked.
3. Dahi wali bhindi (Indian)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup onion cubed
400 g bhindi
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp hing
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 green chilies slit into half
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
½ tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp garam masala powder
– Wash the bhindi and wipe them with a kitchen towel.
– Cut them into 1-inch long pieces.
– Heat oil in a pan.
– Add bhindi and fry until they are slightly browned.
– Drain on a plate.
– Add onion and fry until they are golden browned.
– Add cumin seeds and hing and fry for a few seconds
– Now add ginger-garlic paste and green chili and cook for 2-3 minutes.
– Add ½ cup water and cook for a minute.
– Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, and salt to taste and cook for a minute.
– Whisk yogurt with all-purpose flour and add it to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until oil starts to separate from the sides.
– Add fried bhindi and 1 cup of water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
– Add garam masala powder and mix well.
– Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.
Always properly wash okra and dry it with a kitchen towel. Rest it for at least 30 minutes before using it to prevent slime in bhindi.
Use nicely whisked yogurt for preparing the curry. Do not add the yogurt in its natural form as it might not give a smooth and silky texture to the gravy.
Also, add fried okra into the curry at the last minute or just a few minutes before finally serving it.
4. Chargrilled fish with green chilli, coriander and coconut relish (Western)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp mustard seeds
20g (1/4 cup) shredded coconut
1 truss tomato, seeded, finely chopped
1 long fresh green chilli, seeded, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp lime juice
Pinch of caster sugar
4 (about 150g each) firm white fish fillets
Steamed green beans, to serve
Steamed asparagus, to serve
– Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Spray with oil. Stir in the onion for 5 minutes or until soft. – Stir in the ginger and mustard seeds for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Stir in the coconut for 1-2 minutes or until light golden. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool slightly. Stir in the tomato, chilli, coriander, lime juice and sugar.
– Preheat a barbecue grill or char grill on high. Spray the fish with oil. Cook on grill for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
– Divide the steamed vegetables among plates. Top with the fish and a spoonful of the coconut mixture.
5. Veg Thai curry soup ( Asian)
1 package (8.8 ounces) thin rice noodles or uncooked angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 cup light coconut milk
1 carton (32 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or fish sauce
1 package (14 ounces) firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 can (8-3/4 ounces) whole baby corn, drained and cut in half
1 can (5 ounces) bamboo shoots, drained
1-1/2 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1/2 medium sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
Torn fresh basil leaves and lime wedges
– Prepare noodles according to package directions.
– Meanwhile, in a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add curry paste; cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in coconut milk until blended. Stir in broth and soy sauce; bring to a boil.
– Add tofu and vegetables to stockpot; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain noodles; add to soup. Top each serving with basil; serve with lime wedges.
6. Sugar Free panna cotta
1 tablespoon gelatin 1 envelope
2 tablespoon cold water
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk of choice I used unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup granulated sweetener of choice monk fruit sweetener or erythritol
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– Lightly grease eight 1/2 cup or four 1 cup ramekins and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together your gelatin with cold water. Let it sit to thicken.
– In a saucepan, add the rest of your ingredients. On medium heat, while stirring regularly, bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, reduce it to very low and let it simmer for several minutes, before removing from the heat.
– Add the gelatine mixture into the saucepan and whisk very well, until combined and smooth. – Distribute the panna cotta mixture amongst the ramekins and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, place them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
– After the panna cotta has firmed up, remove the panna cotta from the refrigerator. Using a slightly wet knife, run it around the sides of the ramekin for easy removal. Turn the ramekins upside down onto a plate and serve.