Food & Drink

Help for diabetics in three publications

Kentucky's rate for diagnosed diabetes was the ninth-highest in the nation last year. November is American Diabetes Month, so this is a good time to take a look at new diabetes cookbooks.

The diabetes diet is about eating balanced meals that are high in fiber, contain lean protein and healthful fats, and contain minimally processed ingredients.

The Joslin Diabetes Center recently revised its dietary guidelines to increase the recommended dietary fiber intake for overweight and obese adults with Type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, or high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. The Joslin Center now recommends a goal of as much as 50 grams of fiber daily (in proportion with the recommended daily calorie intake), more than tripling the amount that the average American consumes, according to the Diabetes Diet Cookbook from the editors of Prevention (Rodale, $21.95).

The book explains why fiber is so important for our health, and it suggests ways to add more fiber to our diet. The Fiber-Full Diet Plan is about choosing foods that naturally contain dietary fiber: plant foods such as whole grains, dry beans, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association have teamed up to create Diabetes and Heart Healthy Meals for Two ($18.95). The recipes make only two servings and take an average of 10 minutes to prepare.

Recipes include mac and cheese with veggies, red and green apple salad with raspberry vinaigrette, sloppy Joe pasta, tomato and caper chicken, and artichoke- cannellini pitas.

The editors at Betty Crocker have created 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes (Wiley, $19.95), a collection of 150 recipes that takes the guesswork out of managing carbohydrate choices. The book includes a 10-day diabetes menu plan and instructions on how to stock the family pantry for diabetes.

For Kentucky resources about diabetes prevention and control, go to the Kentucky Diabetes Network Web site,

Here are recipes from the books.

This recipe from 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes is ready in 25 minutes and has 3 carbohydrate choices.

Penne with spinach and ham

22⁄3 cups uncooked whole wheat penne pasta (8 ounces)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

11/2 cups grape tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

2⁄3 cup finely chopped cooked ham

1/2 cup dry white wine or water

4 cups fresh spinach leaves

2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, ham and wine. Cook and stir until some of the wine has evaporated. Add spinach and pasta; toss gently. Sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 310 calories, 6 g. fat, 15 mg. cholesterol, 610 mg. sodium 46 g. carbohydrate (6 g. dietary fiber, 4 g. sugars), 16 g. protein.

This recipe is from the Diabetes Diet Cookbook. Serve the roasted flounder with whole-wheat couscous. The dish has 1 carbohydrate choice.

Roasted flounder with artichokes

2 large red onions, cut into 1/4-inch wedges

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 package (10 ounces) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 skinless flounder fillets (5 ounces each)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 13- by 9-inch baking dish, combine the onions and oil. Spread in an even layer.

Roast for about 35 minutes, or until the onions are golden. Remove from the oven. Stir in the artichoke hearts and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, orange peel and garlic. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Push the vegetables to one side of the dish and add the fish. Spoon the vegetables over the fish. Sprinkle with the reserved parsley mixture.

Return the fish to the oven and roast for about 5 minutes (for thin fillets), 12 to 15 minutes (for thicker fillets), or until the fish flakes easily.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 262 calories, 15 g. carbohydrate, 30 g. protein, 9 g. fat, 68 mg. cholesterol, 152 mg. sodium, 4 g. fiber.

This dish, from Diabetes and Heart Healthy Meals for Two, goes great with baked chicken or roast pork.

Roasted carrots with shallots and sage

3/4 cup baby carrots

2 large shallots, halved lengthwise

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped sage

1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder

1⁄8 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In an 8- or 9-inch shallow non-stick baking dish, toss the carrots and shallots with the vinegar and oil to coat. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and deeply browned, turning twice. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the roasted vegetables. Stir well.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 65 calories, 2.5 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 190 mg. sodium, 11 g. carbohydrates, 1 g. protein.