Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this season’s favorite comfort foods.
If you’re counting carbs and watching blood sugar levels, pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes may not be on your fall bucket list. But that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in amazing seasonal classics… with a twist.
Sample fall meal plan
- Breakfast: 1 serving shakshuka topped with 1/4 avocado and served with 1/2 cup of your favorite berries
- Snack: 1 oz. pistachios and 1 small pear
- Lunch: 1 serving southwestern chicken salad bowl
- Snack: 1/4 cup hummus with 2 cups of your favorite vegetables
- Dinner: 1 serving turkey shepherd’s pie with cauliflower topping, served with 1/2 cup of roasted acorn or butternut squash, plus a side salad topped with 1 tbsp. simple vinaigrette dressing
Here are some of the nutritional highlights of this meal plan:
- Shakshuka. Replace your same-old scrambled eggs with a heartier egg dish for autumn. This tomato-based delight is rich in blood sugar-stabilizing protein and heart-healthy potassium.
- Pistachios and pears. Pears are in season late summer through winter and have a lower Glycemic Index than many other fruits, making them a smart choice for those with diabetes. Paired with an ounce of pistachios, where 90 percent of the fats are the better-for-you type, this snack will provide a good source of protein and fiber, a trio that can help keep you fuller longer.
- Southwestern chicken salad. This salad can be served warm or meal-prepped on the weekend for an easy weekday lunch option. The healthy complex carbs in this salad come from high-fiber beans and quinoa, making it a filling option that’ll prevent blood sugar spikes and promote more sustained energy throughout the afternoon.
- Hummus and veggies. If you’re hungry in the afternoon, snacking on some crunchy vegetables with hummus will provide fiber and plant-based protein. The chickpeas in the hummus also provide a good source of magnesium. People with diabetes are more likely to be deficient in magnesium, making this a strategic pairing as well.
- Turkey and veggie shepherd’s pie. This veggie-rich dinner will provide all the comforting tastes of a traditional shepherd’s pie with only a fraction of the carbs.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can low-sodium diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
- 4 large eggs
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Sauce the onion for 3–5 minutes, until it just begins to soften. Add the garlic and bell pepper. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the pepper softens.
- Add the tomatoes and mix until blended. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt and mix well. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced.
- Crack the eggs into the tomato mixture, allowing for plenty of space between them to cook. Cover the pan and simmer for 3–7 minutes until the eggs are your desired doneness.
- Sprinkle with parsley to garnish and serve.
|Read on: 3 Delicious, Diabetes-Friendly Comfort Food Recipes for Fall, Plus Snacks|