Side Dish for Feb. 23, 2012

Book offers information, recipes for diabetics

Probably more than any other request the Food staff gets from readers is to feature recipes appropriate for those with diabetes. Sometimes, the caller has just been diagnosed with diabetes and wants help with understanding how to adjust favorite recipes or with learning more about preparing flavorful meals.

However, no one on our staff is qualified to offer such advice and we always suggest contacting a registered dietitian for practical food and nutrition information. The Baton Rouge Dietetic Association says one of its goals is to share the expertise of the profession with the public.

Cookbooks written by registered dietitians also are a good source for flavorful, diabetic-friendly recipes. Such cookbooks usually offer information on the condition itself, the types of diabetes, how to eat a balanced diet, what role carbohydrates play in a diabetic’s diet and meal planning.

That is the case with “1,000 Diabetes Recipes” by Jackie Mills (Wiley, $35, hardcover). The massive book — it’s 626 pages — also offers techniques and tips for healthful cooking, along with seven-day menus of 1,500 and 1,800 calories and 12 menus for special occasions from a New Year’s Day brunch to a Super Bowl party. Each recipe includes an extensive nutritional breakdown.

The recipes are divided into 15 chapters from Breakfasts and Brunches to Beverages. There is an extensive collection of recipes for vegetable and grain side dishes, such as Quinoa With Spinach and Pine Nuts, Rice with Corn and Zucchini, Cajun Roasted Okra With Holy Trinity Salsa, and Summer Garden Vegetable Gratin.

Desserts aren’t overlooked either. There are fruit desserts, such as Apple-Walnut Crisp; pies and tarts; puddings and custards; cakes; and cookies and bars. Mills does point out when one has a sweet, both the carbs and the calories need to be considered. She notes that all desserts are “high in calories for the amount of nutrients they contain.”
She says desserts are calorie dense, but don’t give a sense of fullness and should be an occasional treat.

The book is illustrated with a few small drawings, but has no photographs. It, however, is packed with plenty of practical advice and tasty recipes that everyone in the family, both those with and without diabetes, will like.

Here’s a quick recipe to try: