Categorized | Cookbooks

Savory Surprises in ‘The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook’

Print Friendly

There are more diabetic-friendly cookbooks on the market than you can shake a high-carb breadstick at. So, how do you tell the best from the rest?

One way, of course, is to look at the recipes. Do you want to eat the food the author is serving up in verbal form? Does it make your mouth water? Or does it sound like yet another tired diet book?

Also, try this exercise: If you removed the word “diabetic” from the name, would it still sound good?

That’s one thing going for Amy Riolo’s “The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook” (American Diabetes Association, $19.95). The emphasis here is on the Mediterranean nature of these dishes: French Fish Stew with Broccoli (see recipe below), Tuscan Lentil Soup, Spicy Tunisian Chickpea Stew, Calamari Stuffed with Spinach …

The tempting list goes on to include quite a few foods that are might surprise more than a few diabetics, such as pasta, rice and potato dishes, not to mention desserts.

“In recent years, pasta has gotten a bad reputation as being an unhealthy food that people should avoid,” writes Rioli, whose mother has diabetes. “What makes pasta problematic for Americans, however, is not the pasta itself. It is the enormous quantities in which it is served — which can greatly raise blood glucose levels. … By doing as the Italians do, eating small quantities of past with healthful toppings, you’ll be able to include the pleasure of pasta in a diet perfect for anyone with diabetes.”

Diabetes also varies from person to person, so you need to watch what affects your glucose levels. That’s why it’s great that the author includes more than the nutritional breakdown in the information that accompanies each recipe.

I also appreciated the generous salad section. Not only are these recipes easy and low in carbohydrates, making them ideal for more than diabetics, they are flavorful, featuring great combinations that can be made any time of year. Accompanying the recipe for Egyptian Country Salad (recipe below), for example, is the note that “In North Africa, herbs are treated not only as flavor enhancers, but as base ingredients like lettuce. For variety, try cilantro, parsley, arugula and other herbs in place of other lettuces.”

Such tips, which accompany recipes for tapas, drinks and even breads, help make “The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook” a sweet surprise.

Egyptian Country Salad (Salata Baladi)

1 cucumber, diced
1 carrot, shredded
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup olive or expeller-pressed corn oil
Grated peel and juice of 2 limes
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Dash of cumin
Dash of chili powder

Place cucumber, carrot, parsley, green bell pepper and tomato in a large bowl.

Whisk oil, lime peel, lime juice, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder together in a medium bowl. Pour dressing over salad, and toss to combine.

Makes 6 servings.

Approximate nutritional values: 105 calories, 9 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 20 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugars, 1 g protein.

From “The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook” by Amy Rioli

French Fish Stew with Broccoli

1 1/4 pound broccoli florets
1 medium carrot, peeled and trimmed
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon anise seeds
8 whole peppercorns
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 pounds boneless firm fish (such as cod, haddock, salmon, rockfish) or a mix of fish, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Place broccoli in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, uncovered, until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Place the carrot, onion, anise seeds, peppercorns and salt in a large stockpan or saucepan. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add fish to the water. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until cooked through.

With a slotted spoon, carefully remove fish from the hot water. Strain remaining stock into another pot, and place over low heat. Combine lemon juice, lemon zest and Dijon mustard. Stir into broth mixture. Increase heat to high, and cook until mixture is reduced by half. Place fish cubes and broccoli on a warm serving platter. Top with sauce. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

Approximate nutritional value: 155 calories, 1.5 g fat, 65 mg cholestrol, 580 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugars, 30 g protein

From “The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook” by Amy Rioli

Be Sociable, Share!
Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.