With winter break behind us and our school, work and life schedules back in full swing, preparing a healthy dinner may feel like something for which there just isn’t time. If, however, you are living with diabetes, opting for frozen meals, takeout or other quick-fix options may not be your best choice.
Never fear: here are 8 quick, diabetic-friendly dinner ideas, courtesy of the American Diabetes Association:
- Defrost frozen fish filets in the fridge the night before you plan to use them. Brush the fish lightly with olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper and other dried herbs. Bake the fish in the oven until done and serve with ½ cup of pre-cooked brown rice and steamed green beans.
- Make a salad for your entrée. Chop up your favorite non-starchy vegetables and serve them over a bed of greens. Add some rotisserie chicken breast, cottage cheese or another reduced-fat cheese. Have your salad with a side of whole wheat garlic bread or some fresh fruit.
- Try chicken tacos. Use rotisserie chicken or defrost and roast up some frozen chicken. Fill a corn or whole wheat tortilla with shredded chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, fresh cilantro and black beans. If you want, top it all with a spoonful of salsa and some non-fat plain Greek yogurt.
- Scramble up a few eggs for dinner. Top them with peppers and onions that you've heated from frozen. Throw in a slice of whole wheat toast with some trans free margarine.
- Try pasta primavera. Add frozen vegetables to pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain the water and then toss with two tablespoons of light salad dressing and cooked diced chicken. Or, toss in pasta sauce if you prefer a red sauce.
- Keep a frozen vegetable stir-fry medley in your freezer. Sauté on the stove with vegetable oil. Add some frozen shrimp or heated chicken and serve over brown rice, quinoa or whole farro.
- Make a veggie flatbread. Sauté some frozen or fresh veggies and pile them onto a premade whole wheat pizza crust (or a whole wheat pita will also work!) and top with reduced-fat mozzarella cheese and tomato slices. Bake in the oven until the cheese melts.
- In the morning, toss some canned beans, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and frozen corn in a crockpot with some cumin, chili powder and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours to make a chili that will be ready when you get home. You can also add other vegetables that you have on hand like diced onions, bell pepper or carrots.