How can cooking with diabetes be easier?
Not sure what to eat with diabetes?
How to satisfy your cravings?
Creating easy meals for diabetes may seem like a challenge. But meal planning can add variety and help the changes you make to your nutrition plan more sustainable!
Macaroni & cheese, fries, fried chicken, ice cream, and pizza…these foods are what a lot of us love eating. But, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may have come to believe these foods are out of the question for you. Some of these foods may cause a larger spike of your blood sugar, so tweaking these favorites may be needed. We’ve gathered some of our favorite easy meals for diabetes in case you need a little meal time inspiration!
Our favorite easy meals for diabetes:
Take a look at these easy recipes that can help make meals make it more satisfying.
Potatoes got a bad reputation, for not a very good reason. Yes, they are a starch, and can raise blood sugar more quickly than other vegetables. But that does not mean they are bad for us!
So why zucchini “fries?” No one said zucchini fries were going to take the place of french fries. But incorporating other vegetables in fun ways can make them more exciting and appealing! And these are pretty tasty if I do say so myself.
Did I not already say zucchini was an underrated vegetable? These hash browns taste as good as they look! Again, while there is nothing wrong with potatoes, and they can easily be integrated into your diet, sometimes you may want to incorporate other starches into the meal instead (I love me some toast with breakfast). Using a nonstarchy vegetable to create your hash browns can allow for other types of carbohydrate in the meal.
Ok, not exactly mac and cheese…but tossing cauliflower in a creamy cheese sauce makes for a tasty veggie side dish! With the scrumptious cheesy-ness and al dente cooked cauliflower you’ll be surprised how satisfying this dish is, while keeping your blood sugar more stable. Looking for the real deal? Try making mac and cheese with whole wheat noodles or a bean-based pasta instead!
- Carrot Fries
Now it just feels like we’re picking on the poor old potato… While potatoes offer their own benefits, variety is important when it comes to nutrition! And yet, somehow carrots are also now touted as having too much sugar. Why are we demonizing so many nutritious foods?
Incorporating carrot fries into your meal offers a good amount of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese, and are very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. All that to say, carrots are worth your time.
Mmmmm baked beans. The perfect side dish for a family BBQ. Beans are such a great source of plant protein and heart healthy fiber. Making them yourself gives you the opportunity to control the sodium and sugar content!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed by now but none of the recipes so far (that typically require frying) have been made by frying… and we’re going to keep it that way! This “fried” chicken recipe is just as scrumptious and can be baked or air fried. Why not actually fried? Being diagnosed with diabetes puts you at greater risk for developing heart disease, so it is important to be mindful of the amount and types of fats in your diet.
Chili is a dish which is good anytime of year. Whether you’re bundled up trying to stay warm or camping during the summer, a bowl of chili can find a rightful place in your hands and heart. Okay, okay maybe a little dramatic but it’s true. Its an easy and filling meal while also checking the tasty box.
Need I say more? Pizza is already a balance of carbs, protein, and fat. However, using almond flour in the crust increases the protein, fat, and fiber of the dish, making this pizza filling and will likely keep your blood sugars more stable.
No need to get in the car and drive down your local Mexican restaurant when you can make your own tasty enchiladas! With the addition of zucchini, they have more fiber and micronutrients to offer. Use whole wheat tortillas to increase the fiber even more.
We can’t just talk about easy meals for diabetes without talking about dessert too!
If you have a sweet tooth, there’s no need to constantly ignore that craving. You should honor your sweet cravings, but consider your blood sugar when doing so. Sometimes, that may look like having a slightly lower carb meal to allow for a slice of cake afterwards. Sometimes it may look like choosing desserts that are higher in protein and fat to balance out the sugar a little bit more. Ice cream works well for this, as do our delicious cookie bites!
In my opinion, you can never have enough chocolate. This recipe proves my point! It uses chocolate chips and cocoa powder along with silken tofu to get the mousse-y consistency. An unconventional ingredient for typical mousse but still as yummy, while adding in protein.
3. Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt
Peaches are the perfect summer fruit to throw on the grill before you’re done using it for your dinner. The heat slightly caramelizes the peach and pairs beautifully with creamy Greek yogurt. Opt for a 2% or full fat yogurt for a richer flavor.
Looking for more easy meal ideas for diabetes? Contact us at 301-474-2499 or at [email protected] to set up an appointment with on of our Registered Dietitians!
Watch Kaitlin and Klara prepare Carrot Fries and other summer grilling recipes in this cooking live video.
Do you feel like you have to give up your favorite foods to control your diabetes? Living with diabetes can be a challenge at times when many foods have to be restricted, however, it is possible to eat healthy AND delicious meals when you prepare meals with our recipes that are designed to keep your blood glucose levels in a safe range. So have your [diabetes-friendly] cake, and eat it too!
Cooking with Diabetes
Learn More About our other diabetes resources here. And watch this video with our Dietitian Kaitlin giving nutrition tips about diabetes management.
Eating Out Recommendations
We also know that you want to be able to eat fast food sometimes. Have you seen these popular blogs on how to eat out with diabetes?
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.