The Diabetic Kitchen Part 2: Lunch and Dinner

Welcome back to the Pod Health Diabetic Kitchen blog series! Today, we're serving up a delicious sequel to our breakfast blog. This time, we're diving into lunch and dinner recipes that are perfect for people managing diabetes. We've got three tasty options that will keep you feeling full and energized while helping you keep your blood sugar in check. They're also infinitely customizable; swap out one vegetable or protein for another to suit your taste buds. Let’s get into it! Grilled Chicken Salad This Grilled Chicken Salad is a protein-packed meal that's loaded with colorful veggies, making it a diabetes-friendly delight. Ingredients:
  • 4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup leafy greens of your choice (we like romaine, baby kale, and spring mix!) 
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup low-fat feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp honey (optional)
    • sprinkle of garlic powder (optional)
    • salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • Preheat your grill or grill pan
  • Season the chicken breast on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the chicken until fully cooked (about 5-7 minutes per side).
  • Let the chicken rest for a 5-15 minutes before slicing to help retain moisture.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion.
  • Top the salad with the grilled chicken and crumble feta cheese.
  • Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette dressing on top.
  • Toss to combine, if desired
Quinoa and Black Bean Bowl This Quinoa and Black Bean Bowl is a fiber-rich and filling option that will help your blood sugar levels stay smooth sailing. Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa 
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/4 cup fresh corn kernels, about one ear's worth
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced avocado
  • 2 tablespoons salsa (low-sodium)
    • 1 medium tomato, diced
    • 1/2 small white onion, diced
    • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
    • Salt, to taste (optional)
      • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Salt to taste.
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • In a bowl, add cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, and red bell pepper. 
  • Squeeze overtop with fresh lime juice and mix well.
  • Top with diced avocado and salsa.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Baked Salmon with Roasted Vegetables Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and when paired with roasted veggies, it creates a balanced and delicious meal for diabetes management. Ingredients:
  • 4 ounce salmon filet
  • 1 cup mixed cruciferous vegetables of your choice (like cauliflower, zucchini, and asparagus)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Dill for garnish (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Chop vegetables into roughly same-sized pieces
  • Toss the mixed vegetables with olive oil, salt, garlic, and pepper.
  • Place the salmon filet skin side down on a baking sheet and surround it with the vegetables.
  • Sprinkle lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste over the flesh side of the salmon.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and is no longer dark pink in the middle.
  • Garnish with fresh dill, as desired
Lunch and Dinner for Diabetes Management As you might have noticed, these recipes share some key principles:
  • Lean Proteins: Grilled chicken and salmon are lean protein sources that help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Fiber and Complex Carbs: Quinoa, black beans, and vegetables are loaded with fiber and complex carbs, which help prevent blood sugar spikes.
  • Healthy Fats: Avocado and olive oil provide healthy fats that keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Portion Control: Pay attention to serving sizes and listen to your body's hunger cues.
  • Balanced Meals: Creating balanced meals with a variety of nutrients is the key to diabetes-friendly eating.
By focusing on these principles, you can enjoy satisfying lunches and dinners that promote stable blood sugar levels. We hope you enjoy these recipes, and we'll be back with the third and final edition of our Diabetic Kitchen series, where we'll explore some sweet treats that won't wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Stay tuned, and until next time, happy and healthy cooking!

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