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Romantic recipes good for the heart

Fall in Love with Superfoods
A Diabetes-Friendly Valentine’s Day Menu for Two

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to miss out on an extravagant Valentine’s Day feast. This menu from the Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook and Meal Planner provides the elegant food you crave, along with the superfoods your body needs.

 With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you may be dreaming of a romantic, elaborate dinner for two. But if you or your significant other have diabetes, it’s important to stay mindful of your meal plan at every meal—even those that fall on special occasions worth celebrating.

“Many couples celebrate Valentine’s Day with a decadent dinner,” says Stephanie Dunbar, MPH, RD, coauthor of Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook and Meal Planner: Power-Packed Recipes and Meal Plans Designed to Help You Lose Weight and Manage Your Blood Glucose (American Diabetes Association, 2019, ISBN: 978-1-580-40679-6). “But for people with diabetes, it can be risky to splurge on foods that are high in sodium, saturated fat, sugar, or refined carbohydrates.”

You’re already skipping the box of chocolates, right? Do you have to forgo the scrumptious dinner as well? Nope. You and your sweetie can enjoy a romantic meal that doesn’t leave either of you feeling deprived.

 

Mixed Greens with Spicy Pecans, Goat Cheese, and Pear

This salad uses whole foods to create a mixture of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Serves: 4
Serving Size: 2 cups salad and about 1 Tbsp dressing

Ingredients:
1 fresh medium pear (or apple)
2 dried figs
1 1/2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
8 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped Honey Spiced Pecans (page 68) or plain pecans
1/4 cup White Balsamic, Orange, and Chia Seed Dressing (page 26)

Directions:
1. Slice pear and dried figs.

2. Divide goat cheese into 4 equal portions.

3. To assemble salad: put 2 cups mixed greens in a bowl and top with 1/4 of the onion, 1/4 of the pear, 1/4 of the figs, 1 portion of goat cheese, and 1 Tbsp chopped pecans. Add 1 Tbsp dressing.

4. Repeat for the remaining three salads.

Choices/Exchanges:
1/2 Fruit, 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable, 2 Fat

Basic Nutritional Values:
Calories 170
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 10 mg
Sodium 60 mg
Potassium 360 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 9 g
Protein 4 g
Phosphorus 85 mg

Pan-Seared Scallops with Vegetable Ribbons

Here’s an elegant dish for a special occasion. It’s sure to impress, but it’s also surprisingly easy to pull together!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 5
Serving Size: 1 cup vegetable ribbons, about 3 oz scallops, and 1 Tbsp Parmesan

Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini (6 oz each)
4 medium carrots
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
1 lb scallops*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup white wine
2 tsp trans fat–free margarine
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Using a vegetable peeler, slice zucchini and carrots into “ribbons” and set aside. Note: If you have a spiralizer, you can use that to cut the zucchini and carrots.

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add scallops to pan and sear for 3–5 minutes; then flip and sear for another 2–3 minutes until cooked through and slightly browned on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside in a covered bowl to keep warm.

3. Lower heat to medium and add remaining 1 tsp olive oil to the pan, then add garlic and shallot and sauté for 2 minutes.

4. Pour white wine in pan and scrape browned bits from the bottom of pan to deglaze it. Let wine simmer for 3 minutes until reduced by half, then add margarine and pepper. Add vegetable ribbons to wine sauce and toss to coat. Cover pan and allow vegetables to cook for 5 minutes.

5. To serve, place 1 cup of vegetables in bowl with about 3 oz scallops, then top with 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese.

* If possible, use fresh (never frozen) scallops or scallops that are free of preservatives [for example, scallops that have not been treated with salt or TPP (sodium tripolyphosphate)].

Choices/Exchanges:
2 Nonstarchy Vegetable, 2 Lean Protein, 1 Fat

Basic Nutritional Values:
Calories 180
Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 25 mg
Sodium 270 mg
Potassium 550 mg
Total Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 15 g
Phosphorus 325 mg

 

Fig and Walnut Yogurt Tarts

These beautiful yet simple tarts can be served as an appetizer or a snack.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Serves: 6
Serving Size: 2 tarts

Ingredients:
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed clementine or orange juice
12 mini phyllo shells
4 mint leaves, each cut into 3 pieces
4 large figs (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter), each cut into 3 pieces
12 walnut halves

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, mix goat cheese, yogurt, and orange juice together.

2. Fill each phyllo shell with 1 Tbsp of cheese mixture.

3. Top each with 1 piece of mint leaf, a walnut half, and a fig piece.

4. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Choices/Exchanges:
1/2 Starch, 1/2 Fruit, 1 1/2 Fat

Basic Nutritional Values:
Calories 130
Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 10 mg
Sodium 60 mg
Potassium 150 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 8 g
Protein 4 g
Phosphorus 65 mg

Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook and Meal Planner: Power-Packed Recipes and Meal Plans Designed to Help You Lose Weight and Manage Your Blood Glucose (American Diabetes Association, 2019, ISBN: 978-1-580-40679-6, )is available from major online booksellers.

 

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