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Diabetic Recipes
Since members of my family suffer from diabetes, I thought a column with recipes for those with diabetes was a good idea.

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes is a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

There are two major types of diabetes: Type 1 - A disease in which the body does not produce any insulin, most often occurring in children and young adults. People with Type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections to stay alive. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of diabetes. Type 2 - A metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to make enough, or properly use, insulin. It is the most common form of the disease. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is nearing epidemic proportions, due to an increased number of older Americans, and a greater prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

Most people think that diabetics cannot eat sugar. In fact, eating a piece of cake made with sugar will raise your blood glucose level, but so will eating corn on the cob, a tomato sandwich, or lima beans. The truth is that sugar has gotten a bad reputation. People with diabetes can and do eat sugar. In your body, it becomes glucose, but so do the other foods mentioned above. With sugary foods, the rule is moderation. Eat too much, and 1) you'll send your blood glucose level up higher than you expected; 2) you'll fill up but without the nutrients that come with vegetables and grains; and 3) you'll gain weight. So, don't pass up a slice of birthday cake. Instead, at the next meal, eat a little less bread or potato and be sure to take a brisk walk to burn some calories.


1/3 C. soy sauce
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 1/2 lb. boneless sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
12 whole mushrooms
1 large green pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into wedges
12 cherry tomatoes

In a bowl, combine soy sauce, oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and salt; mix well. Pour half of the marinade into a large resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container; add beef and turn to coat. Seal or cover; refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade. Drain meat; discard marinade. On metal or soaked bamboo skewers, alternate meat, mushrooms, green pepper, onion and cherry tomatoes; leaving 1/4 inch between each. Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side. Baste with reserved marinade. Continue turning and basting for 8 to 10 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness. Serve meat and vegetables over rice if desired. Serves 6.NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS: One serving (calculated without rice) equals: 244 calories, 690 mg sodium, 77 mg cholesterol, 10 gm carbohydrate, 29 gm protein, 10 gm fat DIABETIC EXCHANGES: 3-1/2 lean meat; 2 vegetables


1 C. unbleached flour
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. Imperial, 30% less fat margarine
1/2 C. toasted, chopped pecans
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 oz. crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/2 C. nonfat vanilla yogurt
1/4 C. light sour cream

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Stir flours, sugar and margarine together until mixture is finely crumbled. Stir in nuts. Press 2 cups of flour mixture onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan which has been sprayed with vegetable coating. Stir cinnamon, baking soda and salt into remaining flour mixture. Beat in egg, vanilla, light sour cream and vanilla yogurt until blended. Stir in pineapple. Pour batter evenly over pressed flour mixture in pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until batter pulls away from sides of pan. Cool slightly before cutting. Yields 24 squares. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION per serving: 164 cal; 4g fat; 31g carb; 2g pro; 6mg chol; 133mg sodium. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Bread/Starch; 1 Fat


1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 C. (14 1/2 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth
8 oz. cheese tortellini
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can no-salt added, Italian stewed tomatoes
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

In a large saucepan coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté onion and garlic until tender. Add broth; bring to a boil. Add the tortellini; reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until tortellini are tender. Stir in tomatoes and spinach; heat through. Serves 7.
DIABETIC EXCHANGES: One 1-cup serving equals: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat;
ALSO 147 calories, 186 mg sodium, 14 mg cholesterol, 22 gm carbohydrate, 8 gm protein, 4 gm fat.