The holiday season is a great time to just enjoy yourself and give yourself a dose of greatly needed R&R. Soak in the cheery atmosphere- the fabulous lights and decorations, the music and the excitement all around you. Seize the opportunity to meet old friends and distant relatives in addition to immediate family and friends. As a lot of these gatherings revolve around food, we collected a few mouthwatering recipes you can cook yourselves or send your host/hostess so that you can properly enjoy your holiday meals and keep your sugars in check as well. Warning- the following content will make you hungry!
Carrot and Ginger Soup (from taste.com.au):
Perfect for a cold December evening:
- Olive oil spray
- 1 large brown onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 500 gr sweet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 4 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 4 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
- 130g (0.5 cup) low fat natural yoghurt
- Chopped fresh chives for decoration
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Spray with olive oil spray. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Add the sweet potato, carrot, water and stock powder. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Set aside to cool slightly. Place half the sweet potato mixture in the jug of a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer the soup to a clean saucepan. Repeat with the remaining sweet potato mixture. Place the soup over low heat and stir until heated through. Season with pepper. Ladle the soup among serving bowls. Top with yogurt and chives to serve.
Apple and Gorgonzola Cheese Salad (from diabetes.org):
This crowd pleaser includes sweet fall apples which balance out the pungent flavor of the gorgonzola cheese. Pair it with roasted chicken, turkey, or pork chops.
- 2 large Braeburn apples, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 cups mixed salad greens
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup walnut oil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup toasted walnut pieces
- 3 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- Coat the apples with the lemon juice and set aside. Place the carrot slices and mixed greens on a platter. Top with the onion and set aside.
- Whisk together the orange and lemon juices, honey, and mustard. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
- Add the apples to the salad. Top with walnuts and cheese. Drizzle on the vinaigrette.
Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Strawberry Sauce Recipe (from Taste of Home):
Pork tenderloin paired with strawberries is a heavenly match, made even more special with a tangy feta garnish. Serve with roasted spring vegetables.
- 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
- 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries,divided
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pork tenderloins (1 poundeach), cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- In a large saucepan, combine broth, 1 cup strawberries, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Strain mixture and set aside liquid, discarding solids.
- Sprinkle pork with garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown pork on both sides. Remove and keep warm.
- Add broth mixture to the same skillet; bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth and gradually stir into skillet.
- Return pork to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and pork is tender. Serve pork with sauce. Top with feta cheese, onions and remaining strawberries.Yield: 8 servings.
Spiral Stuffed Turkey Breast with Cider Gravy (from Eating Well):
When a whole bird is just too much- time and effort, as well as size- there is a quicker, simpler way: what’s known in French cuisine as a roulade. Using a boneless turkey breast, butterflied and flattened, you can serve a beautiful spiral of juicy meat.
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried (not ground)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Turkey and Gravy:
- 1 2-pound boneless turkey breast half
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- To prepare stuffing: Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
- To prepare turkey: Remove skin from turkey breast and trim off fat. Butterfly the turkey breast. Flatten the turkey breast. Spread the stuffing over the breast and roll the breast up into a cylinder. Secure with kitchen string.
- Sprinkle the turkey roulade with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the roulade and cook, turning from time to time, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add cider to the skillet and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the browned turkey roulade. Pour in the cider mixture, then add thyme sprigs (or dried thyme). Cover the pan and transfer it to the oven.
- Bake the roulade until it is no longer pink inside and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 170°, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to a carving board, tent with foil and keep warm.
- To prepare gravy: Strain the liquid from the Dutch oven into a medium saucepan, pressing on the solids. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook for 2 to 3 minutes to intensify the flavor. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl; add to the simmering gravy, whisking until lightly thickened. Add sour cream, mustard and lemon juice, whisking until smooth. Season with pepper. Heat through.
- Remove the string from the roulade. Carve into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with gravy.
Roasted Green Beans in Champagne Vinaigrette (from diabetes.org):
Impress guests by whipping up this simple yet elegant side dish to go with any chicken, fish, or beef entree.
For Roasted Green Beans:
- Cooking Spray
- 1½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
For Champagne Vinaigrette:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Splenda
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat an oven to 230 degrees C. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the green beans with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt (optional), pepper and garlic. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes or until cooked through and starting to brown.
- While green beans are cooking, whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, Splenda and crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside.
- When green beans are done roasting drizzle with champagne vinaigrette and toss to coat.
Chef Tip: If you can’t find champagne vinegar, use a good quality white wine vinegar instead.
Christmas pudding (from Delicious Magazine):
This no-sugar, diabetic-friendly Christmas pudding will be enjoyed by everyone; the carrots and apples keep it moist and the cinnamon and mixed spice warm it nicely.
- 125g plain flour
- 125g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 125g shredded vegetable suet
- 125g currants
- 150g raisins
- 1 tbsp low-calorie sweetener
- 2 tsp each ground cinnamon and mixed spice
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
- Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
- 2 carrots, trimmed and finely grated
- 2 dessert apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
- 150ml milk
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Lightly butter a 1.4-litre pudding basin and line the base with a circle of baking paper.
- Mix together the dry ingredients, then stir in the other ingredients until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the basin and cover with a circle of buttered baking paper. Fold a pleat into a piece of foil and arrange over the pudding. Secure with string.
- Carefully place the pudding in a pan of boiling water, making sure the water comes a third of the way up the side of the basin. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and steam gently for 5 hours.
- Turn out the pudding and serve dusted with icing sugar.
Chocolate Crackles (from the Foodie Bride):
This recipe is surprisingly taken from The Big Book of Diabetic Desserts. It does contain sugar and butter though!
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Ideal (or Splenda, but I think Ideal is much better than Splenda for baking)
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 175 C. Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
- Cream brown sugar and butter on med-high until light and fluffy. Add in Splenda, one egg at a time until well combined, and add the vanilla. Switch mixer to off, add dry ingredients, and turn to low until mixed, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Place powdered sugar in a bowl. Drop one tablespoon of dough into the bowl, turning to coat, and roll the ball around in your loosely cupped hand – this forms the dough into a ball without pressing the powdered sugar into the dough and allows the excess powdered sugar to fall back into the bowl.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet 1-inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container. Yields: 48 cookies
Enjoy your meal and happy holidays from the Dario Family!
Learn more about Diabetes Management on www.mydario.com
-written by Liran Julia Grunhaus