Those with diabetes face a food balancing act, especially during the holidays. Having diabetes doesn’t have to keep people from enjoying the “foods” of the holidays, says Nancy Hughes, author of the 15-Minute Diabetic Meals cookbook. Below are my favorite tips from a recent article in the American Profile that will benefit everyone during the holidays.
- “The way people with diabetes should eat is the way we should all eat.” says Linda Gassenheimer, author of Fast and Flavorful; Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table. That means choosing vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains, healthy fats, and limited sweets.
- Control Portions. People with diabetes can enjoy traditional recipes as long as the portions are reasonable.
- Add veggies whenever possible. For example, spike a favorite dip with diced tomatoes, or toss in extra veggies when a recipe calls for it.
- Use herbs and spices. Use herbs and spices in place of salt is a great way to liven up your food and decrease your sodium intake.
- Return to simplicity. For side dishes prepare simple sauté or roast vegetables to let natural flavors to shine.
- Switch to low-fat dairy. To lower you intake of unhealthy saturated fats modify recipes by using low-fat dairy ingredients such as reduced fat cream cheese, Greek yogurt and nonfat milk.
- Offer Variety. Along with tradition desserts, place a bowl of fruit salad on the table for guests who want a healthier option. Offer appetizers such as hummus dip with vegetables, as well as calorie free beverages.
The American Diabetes Association web site provides great recipes and even meal plans for the holidays. Here is a sample of one of their recipes.
Party Shrimp with Cilantro Dip
6 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup minced cilantro
1/2 small green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 lbs. peeled and deveined fresh large shrimp, tails on
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. hot or mild chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1. In a small food processor, mix the garlic, cilantro, green pepper, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes, pausing to scrape the sides. Add the vinegar and oil, and puree until smooth. Spoon the dip into a small serving bowl; set aside (chill in the refrigerator if not serving right away).
2. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
3. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink and are no longer translucent. If you need to cook the shrimp in two batches, cook them for about 3 to 5 minutes per batch, until the shrimp are pink. Add the shrimp to a serving bowl.
4. To serve: Spoon 1 Tbsp. dip into each of 16 shot glasses, and place three or four shrimp around the lip of the glass.