Best Diabetes Meals and Dessert Recipes

Makes just over 2 cups (500 mL)

2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil or vegetable oil

1 small or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin

1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano

1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup (250 mL) canned black beans (1/2 of a 19-oz/540 mL can)

1 cup (250 mL) cooked rice

     1. To a frying pan, add the oil, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, cilantro and hot pepper flakes, if using. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the onions are soft. 2. While the onions are cooking, empty the beans into a sieve, rinse them with cold water and drain. 3. Stir the cooked rice and rinsed beans into the pan with the cooked onions. Place in a covered casserole dish in a warm oven while you scramble the eggs. Or refrigerate, to reheat the next morning.

 Café Americano

Makes 1 cup (250 mL)

1 cup (250 mL) skim milk

1 tsp (5 mL) instant coffee

Sweetener, to taste

1.  Heat milk in microwave until boiling, for about 2 to 3 minutes, then add instant coffee and low-calorie sweetener.

(If you use regular sugar, limit to 1 tsp/5 mL.)

LUNCH: Hamburger Soup & Bannock

This delicious meal is a favorite among Canadian Aboriginal people. The great thing about this soup is that it is a meal all in one. Freeze any leftovers.

Hamburger Soup

Makes 10 cups (2.5 L)

1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef 

(or chopped or ground wild meat)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic or 1 tsp (5 mL)

garlic powder

19 oz (540 mL) can tomatoes

10 oz (284 mL) can tomato soup

1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

4 cups (1 L) water

1/2-1 packet (2.25 to 4.5 g) reduced-salt beef bouillon mix

3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

1 cup (250 mL) chopped cabbage

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) frozen corn or 12 oz (341 mL) can

corn kernels

1/4 cup (50 mL) dry macaroni

     1. Brown the hamburger meat. Drain off as much fat as you can. 2. Add the onions and garlic, and cook at low heat until onions are soft. 3. Add the tomatoes, tomato soup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, water and bouillon mix. 4. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 5. Add the vegetables and macaroni. Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Bannock Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) bannock (or 10 pieces)

3 cups (750 mL) flour

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar

1/4 cup (50 mL) vegetable oil, or margarine or other fat, melted

1 cup (250 mL) skim milk

     1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. 2. Mix the vegetable oil with the milk. Add this mixture to the flour. Mix with a spoon to make a soft dough. 3. Put this on a floured board or table. With your hands, flatten and shape it until it is one 9-inch (23 cm) piece. 4.    Put on a nonstick or lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. 5. Cut into 10 pieces. In stead of baking bannock, you can substitute 2 slices of whole grain bread.

DINNER: Poached Fish with Dill

     How to Poach Fish: Poaching means cooking in water, and the great thing is, you don't get a fishy smell in your house. You can add peppercorns, bay leaves, whole cloves, garlic, lemon juice

or white wine to the poaching water; many people do, because this will add some flavor to the fish and a spicy aroma to your home.

     1. Place the fish skin side down in a pot or pan. Pour in enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Salt the water, if desired. 2. Cover with a lid. Fresh fillets take about 5 minutes to cook, while frozen fish fillets take about 10 minutes. 3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish from the water and place on your dinner plate. Top fish with Dill Topping. Tartar sauce can be used as an alternative to the Dill Topping. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Dill Topping:

Makes 1/4 cup (50 mL)

1/4 cup (50 mL) fat-free mayonnaise

1 tsp (5 mL) dried dill or 1 tbsp (15 mL)

finely chopped fresh dill

1. Combine all ingredients.

Herb Cheese Fish Topping:

Makes about 1/2 cup (125 mL) packed; topping for 1 lb (500 g) of fresh or frozen fish

1/3 cup (75 mL) shredded cheese blend

2 tbsp (25 mL) dry bread crumbs

1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil

1 tsp (5 mL) dried dill or 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped

fresh dill

3 tbsp (45 mL) light mayonnaise

     1. Place your fish (thawed first, if frozen) in a flat pan or baking dish. 2. Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Spread the topping on your raw fish fillets. 3. Bake until cooked, about 20 minutes in a 400°F (200°C) oven, or about 10 minutes in a microwave.

Excerpted from "Diabetes Meals for Good Health" by Karen Graham (Robert Rose; 2008; $24.95;

 Apricot Seed Bars (Makes 36 Bars)

     Packed full of dried fruits and seeds, these bars make a great addition to a backpack, if you're hiking or biking. TIPS: To prevent sticking, use cooking spray to get a light, even coating of grease on baking pans. To ease cleanup, rather than combining the dry ingredients in a bowl (in Step 1), place a large piece of waxed paper on the counter. Spread the flour on the paper and sprinkle the baking soda, salt and cinnamon over it. Using the paper as a funnel, transfer the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.

VARIATION: Replace cranberries with chopped dried figs or raisins.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

13- by 9-inch (3 L) cake pan, greased

3/4 cup     butter, softened     175 mL

3/4 cup     packed brown sugar     175 mL

1 egg    

1 cup     unbleached all-purpose flour     250 mL

1/2 tsp     baking soda     2 mL

1/4 tsp     salt     1 mL

3/4 tsp     cinnamon     4 mL

1 cup     quick-cooking rolled oats     250 mL

3/4 cup     finely chopped dried apricots     175 mL

3/4 cup     dried cranberries     175 mL

1/4 cup     sesame seeds     50 mL

1/4 cup     flaxseeds     50 mL

1/4 cup     sunflower seeds     50 mL

     1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar and egg until smooth and creamy. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in rolled oats, apricots, cranberries, sesame seeds, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds. Spread evenly in prepared pan. 2. Bake in preheated oven until top is set and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars.

Peanut Butter Flaxseed Cookies MAKES 28 COOKIES (1 COOKIE PER SERVING)

     Although these cookies appear rich, they contain wholesome ingredients and beat traditional coffee-shop fare by a long shot! Our taste panel said these were the best peanut butter cookies they had ever tasted.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

Baking sheets, lightly greased or lined with parchment paper

1 1/4 cups     all-purpose flour     300 mL

1/2 cup     ground flaxseed     125 mL

1 tsp     baking soda     5 mL

Pinch     salt    

1/2 cup     granulated sugar     125 mL

1/2 cup     packed brown sugar     125 mL

1/2 cup     butter, softened     125 mL

1 egg    

1 tsp     vanilla     5 mL

1/2 cup    creamy peanut butter     125 mL

1. In a small bowl, combine flour, flaxseed, baking soda and salt.

2. In a large bowl, cream granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in peanut butter until smooth. Fold in flour mixture. 3. Shape dough into balls, using about 1 tbsp (15 mL) dough per cookie, and place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a fork, flatten cookies in a criss-cross pattern. 4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely.

Excerpted from "150 Best Diabetes Desserts" by Barbara Selley (Robert Rose; 2008 $24.95;