When I was asked to review  Diabetes Cooking For Everyone, by Carol Gelles, I couldn’t decide on which recipes to test. So, I left it up to you to vote for 3 out of 9 recipes. Here are the results:

  1. Afghan Lamb with Spinach – 49.1%
  2. Kasha with Walnuts and Mushrooms – 40.4%
  3. Chicken en Brochette with Orange Marmalade and Sherry Marinade – 35.1%

Before I get to reviewing the recipes where I will do my best to be objective, you should know that I cannot be completely objective about Carol. She is my friend and mentor. One day I will write a post all about her when I can gather up all the words I need to express my admiration, gratitude, and love. For this book, all you need to know is that she is an award winning (IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award and James Beard Award) cookbook author , professionally trained nutritionist, and a type 2 diabetic.

*Recipes are shown here with Carol’s permission.

Afghan Lamb with Spinach 5

We loved the Afghan Lamb with Spinach! It’s not as heavy as you expect a lamb stew to be, but so satisfying, and not at all like “diet” food. We had it with some cous cous but rice or pita would be nice too. Neither of us are diabetic but these recipes should really just be seen as healthy, well proportioned recipes. The only danger is we ate too much of it!

Afghan Lamb with Spinach

  • 1 pound lamb cubes
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • One 14-to-15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups lightly packed spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Dust the lamb cubes with flour.

3. In a 3-quart nonstick ovenproof dutch oven or pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the lamb and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove lamb from the pot and set aside.

4. Add the onion and garlic to the pot; cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and pepper until absorbed. Stir in the tomatoes and water; then return lamb to the pot. Cover and place in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the lamb is soft.

5. Remove the pot form the oven and stir in the spinach until it is wilted. Stir in the yogurt, lemon rind, and salt.

Serves: 4

Diabetic Exchanges: 2 3/4 lean meat; 2 vegetable; 1/4 milk; 2 1/2 fat

Chicken en Brochette

These chicken skewers are a nice inventive alternative to the way you’re used to making them, particularly if you like citrus flavors. The glaze just lightly sweetens the meat, which my readers know I like. The recipe calls for grilling or broiling and I would advise broiling because the marmalade causes the chicken to stick to the grill a bit.

Chicken en Brochette with Orange Marmalade and Sherry Marinade

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken breast
  • 1 medium mild onion (about 10 ounces), such as Vidalia or Wala Wala
  • 1/3 cup sweet orange marmalade, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the chicken and onion into 1 1/2-inch chunks.

2. In a large bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of marmalade, 2 teaspoons of the sherry, the mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of the soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Add the chicken and toss with the marinade. Add the onion and toss to coat. Let stand at least 20 minutes or longer in the refrigerator.

3. Heat grill or broiler.

4. String the onion and the chicken pieces alternately onto four 12-inch skewers; brush with the marinade; sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Place the skewers on the grill or across the top edge of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan lined with foil. Cook the chicken 4 inches form the heat 4 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through.

5. While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl combine the remaining orange marmalade (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon), 1 teaspoon sherry, and 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce. Microwave on high for 30 seconds or until the marmalade has melted. Using a clean basting brush, bruth the cooked brochettes with the heated glaze. (If you do not have a microwave, just combine the glaze in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.)

Serves: 4 (1 skewer per person)

Diabetic Exchange: 1 bread; 1 other carbohydrate; 2 3/4 very lean meat; 2 vegetable

Kasha with Mushrooms and Walnuts

Lon doesn’t get to judge this one because he doesn’t like mushrooms. I love the nutty earthy flavors, but I’ve found that some people don’t. I like that crumbly whole grain-ness and I found that I liked this recipe even more when it cooled to room temperature.

Kasha with Mushrooms and Walnuts

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup medium or large-grain kasha
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1. In a medium bowl, beat egg white and stir in kasha. In a dry 2-quart nonstick saucepan, cook mixture until the beaten egg has dried onto the kasha; remove form pan. Add vegetable oil, mushrooms, and onion to the saucepan. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

2. Add broth, pepper, and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in the reserved kasha and return to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes longer. Stir in walnuts.

Serves: 4

Diabetic Exchanges: 1/4 bread; 1/2 very lean meat; 1 vegetable; 1 3/4 fat

The overall feel of Diabetes Cooking for Everyone is a dedication to easy recipes, using readily available ingredients, accompanied with detailed nutritional information. It would make a wonderful gift for a loved one with diabetes, or I’d use it as a get-healthy book too.

Buy Diabetes Cooking for Everyone, by Carol Gelles.

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