Summer is here — and that means BBQs, cookouts, pool parties, and more tempting celebrations. But for people living with diabetes it can also mean feeling left out on some of the delicious fun. Too many dishes are off limits and the things youcaneat are too often bland and disappointing. It’s time to bring the party back to your plate! Eating healthy should be enjoyable — and with a few tips and tricks you can create crave-worthy dishes everyone will love. Bring any of these awesome recipes to your next event and show ‘em how it’s done!
THE APP: Spicy Dill Yogurt Dip
Who doesn’t love dip? It’s the perfect appetizer to make ahead of time for any summertime event — cool and refreshing — PLUS it’s a great way to sneak in some veggies! There’s nothing like a crisp and juicy slice of bell pepper generously dunked in this spicy, creamy, herbaceous dip. It’s made from greek yogurt so it’s low in fat and gives you an extra boost of protein to boot!
1 cup 2% Greek Yogurt
1 cup light sour cream
1 large jalapeño
½ Tbsp dried dill
½ Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp onion powder or dried onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chopped fresh chives
In a medium bowl combine greek yogurt and sour cream.
Prepare your jalapeno by removing the stem. Deseed the pepper and remove the ribs completely for a mild and fresh dill dip or include half of the seeds to add some zestiness. If you’re a heat-hound keep all the seeds! However you like it — mince finely so the flavor is evenly distributed throughout the finished product.
Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Then cover with plastic wrap and stash your bowl in the fridge for at least one hour. For best results we highly suggest making this scrumptious dip a day in advance for maximum flavor!
Serve with your favorite dippable goodies, but — as we said before — nothing beats some fresh veggies for a true taste of summer!
Yields: 16 servings
Vitamin A: 60IU
Vitamin C: 1.5mg
THE MAIN: Grilled Citrus Chicken Skewers
Boneless, skinless chicken breast gets a juicy glow up with a citrusy, tropical-inspired marinade. We love these skewers with mushrooms, asparagus, and sweet cherry tomatoes, but you can get creative and add any veggies that you like. After a luxurious soak in delectable flavors and a nice hot sear on a smoky grill — basically anything you can thread onto a skewer will taste amazing with this recipe. Fire up the grill and let’s go!
⅓ cup neutral cooking oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest, grated
¼ cup orange juice
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb cremini mushrooms
8 asparagus spears, cut into 2 inch pieces
12 cherry tomatoes
8 grilling skewers, at least 12 inches long
- In a medium bowl combine canola oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange juice, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic. Whisk until ingredients are well combined.
- Add chicken, mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes. Toss until well coated. Marinate for 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Thread chicken pieces and vegetables alternately on skewers.
- Add remaining marinade to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced and syrupy.
- Meanwhile, heat barbecue to medium heat. Grill skewers on lightly oiled grill, turning with tongs. Brush the skewers with your marinade mixture to glaze them as they’re cooking. Continue grilling until the chicken is cooked through — about 5 to 8 minutes in total — and serve!
Yield: 6 servings
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
THE SIDE: Potato, Broccoli, & Fennel Salad
Potato salad is one of our favorite classic summer side dishes — but it’s usually loaded with artery-clogging ingredients that aren’t doing us any favors. That’s why we’ve packed in the veggies once again — they’re our superstar ingredients! The different green additions add texture and flavor to this dish to elevate your average potato salad into an equally-delicious diabetic-friendly version.
8 large Idaho potatoes (about 4 pounds), well-scrubbed, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
½ tsp salt
4 cups broccoli (about 1 bunch), chopped
2 cups favorite lite ranch salad dressing
3 cups fennel (about one large bulb), chopped with core and tops removed
1 ½ cups red onion (about 1 large), quartered and very thinly sliced
½ cup green olives with pimento, diced (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Leaf lettuce, for garnish
Cherry tomatoes or sliced tomatoes, for garnish
- Fill a large stockpot half full of water, add salt and bring to boiling over high heat. Add potatoes and bring back to boiling over high heat; reduce heat to medium and boil for three minutes.
- Add broccoli to potatoes and bring back to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium again, and cook until desired doneness (1-3 minutes). Potatoes and broccoli should both be firm. Drain well — no one wants soupy salad!
- Transfer potatoes and broccoli to a large mixing bowl, add ranch dressing while everything is still warm so that the potatoes absorb the dressing. Let cool and then stir in fennel, onions and olives. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve on a bed of leaf lettuce with ripe tomatoes as garnish.
Yield: 14 servings
THE DESSERT: Raspberry Lemon Chiffon Icebox Cake
Okay, let’s face it — the foods we miss out on most often at parties are the desserts. Ice cream, cake, cookies, popsicles, s’mores — so many treats we long for but we know will wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels. Don’t get left out of the best part of the meal! This easy to make, no-bake dessert is creamy, fruity, and guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
½ cup water, divided
1 Tbsp sugar or sugar substitute
1 ¼ tsp unflavored gelatin
1- 8oz container frozen light cool whip, thawed and divided
½ cup nonfat milk
2 ¼ tsp fat-free, sugar-free instant pudding, lemon flavored
⅔ cups graham crackers, finely crushed (about 4 crackers)
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
Fresh mint for garnish
Generously coat a loaf pan with cooking spray and line it with a double layer of plastic wrap, letting it overhang 2 inches on each side.
Combine raspberries and ¼ cup of the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and smashing the berries as you go.
Press the berry mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds. Then add back to the saucepan and cook for another 10 minutes or until it’s reduced to about ½ cup. Let cool slightly.
Add the remaining ¼ cup of water to a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over top of the water to let bloom — do not stir. Let stand for 5 minutes before turning on the heat to medium. Cook stirring gently until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Stir the melted gelatin into the berry mixture. Then fold in ½ cup of whipped topping until no streaks remain. Repeat with an additional ½ cup of topping. Spoon into prepared pan, cover, and refrigerate until set — about an hour.
Whisk milk and pudding mix in a medium bowl until thickened. Fold in the remaining whipped topping until no streaks remain. Spread the pudding over the berry layer.
Combine crushed graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and press the mixture onto the pudding layer. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or up to overnight.
Use the overhanging plastic as a sling to remove your cake from the pan. Invert it onto a plate and garnish with additional raspberries and fresh mint, if desired.
Yield: 10 servings
Saturated Fat: 4g
Sometimes taking good care of yourself means indulging in foods that you drool over. We hope we’ve inspired you to get creative in the kitchen and whip up something healthyanddelicious. After all, the only way to make healthy eating sustainable is by making it enjoyable! So enjoy — and share these recipes with your loved ones next time they invite you to a cookout.