Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Diabetic Dinner Idea

Many of us have a sweet tooth, and some of us unfortunately have that tooth yanked by the doctor with a diabetes diagnosis.  One of my sweet friends was recently diagnosed as being diabetic, and his lovely new bride contacted me about some healthy recipes to help her husband transition to a healthier diet.  Being diabetic doesn't mean you have to be on a sugar free diet, but it does involve monitoring of the blood sugar to balance body glucose levels.  Now, I'm not a doctor, nor do I claim to be, but I try and live a low-sugar lifestyle, and enjoy modifying recipes to cut the sugar content.  One of the easiest ways to cut sugar but not the flavor is by using applesauce as a substitution.  One of my favorite recipes to use applesauce in has got to be carrot cake, as the applesauce makes for a more moist, delicious cake that what you would get with sugar.  The natural sugars from the apple give the same effect of sweetening the cake, but it is a healthier version.  Being diabetic means regulating the amount of proteins, fats and carbs that you take in to help maintain proper glucose levels.  Excess carbs can convert to sugar in the body, and can throw glucose levels out of balance.  Below I have posted two low carb, low sugar recipes, sure to be a crowd pleaser for diabetics and non-diabetics alike.  Both recipes were pulled from The Mayo Clinic website, and both are excellent!  Post a comment and let me know how your chicken salad and carrot cake turned out! :)

Here's to full bellies!


Buttermilk Chicken Salad

For the dressing:
1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Cracked black pepper, to taste

For the salad:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each 4 ounces
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups torn salad greens
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 sweet onion (Vidalia is best), sliced


To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, dill, garlic and black pepper. Whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler (grill). Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.

Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil. Grill or broil until browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing into strips.

In a large bowl, combine the salad greens, bell pepper, onion and most of the dressing. Toss to mix well.

Transfer the salad to individual plates. Add the sliced chicken and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

186 Calories per serving, Serves 4

Carrot Cake

For the cake:
1 1/3 cups shredded carrots
 3 cups water
2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup corn oil
1/2 cup applesauce
5 egg whites from large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup canned, crushed pineapple (in own juice), drained

For the frosting:
4 ounces fat-free cream cheese spread, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Dust with a bit of flour (about 1 tablespoon) and turn the pan over to remove most of it.

In a medium saucepan, add the carrots and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the water and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon.

In another bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat together the oil, applesauce, egg whites and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat until well blended. Fold in the cooked carrots, walnuts, coconut and pineapple.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the cooling rack, about 1 hour.

To make the frosting, using an electric mixer slowly beat the cream cheese in a small mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar slowly and continue beating. Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Mix until smooth. Frost the top and sides of the cake.

390 Calories per serving, Serves 12

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I welcome any and all comments, but lets keep it classy here! :0) Please remember that all opinions, pictures and postings are my own, unless otherwise cited. If you have had a different experience or have some insight, please feel free to let me know! :)