Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 27, 2012

Diabetic diet can be healthy, flavorful

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — Today is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a day on which the ADA asks people to become aware of the signs of diabetes and the risk factors.

The observation is on the fourth Tuesday of each March.

For help in learning about diabetes, visit diabetes.org’s in my community section.

Food is such a crucial factor in a diabetic’s life. The food company Boar’s Head, which makes premium delicatessen products, wil donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association from today through April 27 up to $50,000 for each diabetes risk test taken on the web site.

Whether you’re diabetic or not, many doctors say the healthiest diet anyone can follow is the diet recommended for diabetics.

The website diabetes.org has posted some healthy but tasty recipes that fall into that category. Here are a few.


Yield: 8 servings

Cooking spray plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

1 pound ground turkey (93 percent lean, sometimes written 93/7)

1 packet taco seasoning mix (1 oz)

1 15-ounce can no added salt petite diced tomatoes

1 15-ounce can fat-free or vegetarian refried beans

8 corn tortillas (about 6” diameter)

2 cups iceburg lettuce, shredded

2 medium tomatoes, diced

¼ cup cilantro, minced

½ cup non-fat Greek style plain yogurt

2 limes, quartered

Add the cooking spray and olive oil to a large sauté pan over high heat.

Sauté the turkey until just cooked through, about 6-7 minutes.

Add the taco seasoning packet and the canned tomatoes with the juice. The seasoning packet says to add water but use the juice from the tomatoes instead. Bring to a simmer.

Simmer for three minutes, then stir in the refried beans until incorporated.

Build the tacos with 1/3 cup of meat and bean mixture and top with lettuce, tomato, a sprinkling of cilantro, 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt and a lime wedge on the side.

Verify that the seasoning packet, refried beans, and tortillas you are using are gluten-free and then this dish can be gluten-free.

TIP: This meat mixture also makes a great topping for baked tortillas chips with reduced fat cheese for nachos. Top them with the lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and Greek yogurt for a great party snack.


Makes 4 servings, about 1 3/4 cups each

1/2 box Dreamfields Angel Hair or Spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pound hot turkey Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

3/4 pound fresh baby Portobello, cremini or white mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 cup coarsely chopped bell pepper (any color or a combination)

1/2 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning blend

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pan.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook about 5 minutes until sausage is cooked through, stirring frequently.

Add mushrooms, bell pepper and Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking, 3 to 4 minutes until mushrooms begin to soften, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes; cook 5 to 7 minutes until desired consistency, stirring occasionally.

To serve, spoon sauce over pasta and toss. Or, add pasta to skillet with sauce and toss. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.


1/2 box Dreamfields Spaghetti

2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then into 1/2-inch thick slices

3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup reduced-sodium, fat free chicken broth or vegetable broth

2 cups cooked chicken pieces or strips**

1/4 cup sliced fresh basil

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheeses

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add garlic. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes, until garlic is softened. Add zucchini; cook and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes and broth; cook 3 to 5 minutes until zucchini is crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta. Add to skillet and toss. Add chicken; toss. Sprinkle with basil and Parmesan cheese.

TIP: If traditional pasta is used in this recipe there is a total of 40 g carbohydrate. For more information go to DreamfieldsFoods.com.

TIP: Use rotisserie chicken, packaged, precooked chicken strips or left over grilled or broiled chicken.


2 cups unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup molasses

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups Splenda® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray Bundt pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. Set aside.

Pour applesauce, molasses, and vegetable oil into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs. Stir well.

Blend remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix well.

Add dry ingredients to the applesauce mixture. Stir well.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack approximately 20 minutes. Invert cake onto serving plate. Serve warm or cool.


1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 scallions (white and green parts), minced

2 tablespoons dry sherry

2 tablespoons Splenda® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and rinsed

2 tablespoons water

Make Stir-Fry Sauce. Combine the Stir-Fry Sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Make Stir-Fry. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil and stir-fry the green beans until they are barely crisp (approx. 2 minutes).

 Add the water and continue stir-frying for another 2 minutes, until the beans are slightly tender and water has evaporated.

Add the sauce and continue stir-frying for 5-6 minutes, until the beans are tender but not overcooked. Serve immediately.


3 cups French bread, cubed

2/3 cup 1 percent milk

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 egg

1 egg white

8 packets Splenda® Essentials™ No Calorie Sweetener with Fiber

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray four (4 oz) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside until ready to use.

Cut bread into one-inch cubes. Set aside.

Mix milk, pumpkin, egg, egg white Splenda® Essentials™ No Calorie Sweetener with Fiber, spices and vanilla together in a medium mixing bowl. Add bread chunks and stir until bread is coated. Allow bread to soak up moisture for 10-15 minutes.

Spoon bread pudding into the prepared ramekins. Top with chopped pecans. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes or until firm to the touch. Serve warm or chilled.


While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send e-mail to lward@dailyindependent.com.