15 Diabetes-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes
When you have type 2 diabetes, a healthy diet is key to controlling your blood sugar, preventing heart problems, and keeping your weight in check. One way to make your diet more diabetes-friendly is to reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat. Saturated fats occur mainly in animal products, especially beef. It's fine for people with type 2 diabetes to eat lean meats, but if you do want to cut back, these vegetarian recipes are so delicious that you won't even miss the meat. Just be sure to stick to the portion sizes that meet the calorie, carb, sodium, and fat recommendations from your doctor, diabetes educator, or dietitian.
Can you guess the secret ingredient in this savory quiche? It's all in the crust. A mix of long-grain rice and reduced-fat cheese replace the quiche's traditional pastry crust, which helps keep your carbs in check. You'll also get a dose of heart-healthy nutrients folate and potassium.
Ingredients: Long grain rice, reduced-fat cheddar, egg substitute, dillweed, salt, garlic, artichoke hearts, fat-free milk, green onions, Dijon mustard, ground white pepper, green onion strips
Calories: 169 per slice
Try this recipe: Artichoke Quiche
Veggie Sausage-Cheddar Frittata
This frittata cuts saturated fat by using veggie sausage instead of meat, and ramps up the nutritional value of the dish by mixing in antioxidant-packed veggies. Each serving also packs in 21 grams of belly-flattening protein, so if you eat it for breakfast, you're guaranteed to feel satisfied until lunchtime.
Ingredients: Green bell pepper, mushrooms, vegetable protein sausage, salt, pepper, egg substitute, fat-free half-and-half, reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
Try this recipe: Veggie Sausage-Cheddar Frittata
Black Bean and Poblano Tortilla Wraps
These quick and easy wraps make a light lunch or a hearty snack. The black beans supply 5 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein per serving, while the avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and vitamin E. Bulk up the wraps a bit with a serving of brown rice.
Ingredients: Reduced-fat sour cream, cumin, back beans, avocado, poblano chile, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, flour tortillas
Try this recipe: Black Bean and Poblano Tortilla Wraps
Sliced mushrooms prove a tasty and low-fat alternative to ground beef in this Mexican-inspired dish. The mushrooms, along with the zucchini and red bell pepper, give you 10 grams of fiber, which aids in digestion and helps you feel satisfied. This four-ingredient recipe takes just 10 minutes to prep.
Ingredients: Sliced mushrooms, zucchini, red bell pepper, tostadas
Try this recipe: Simple Veggie Tostadas
Thai Tofu With Spicy Asian Noodles
If you think tofu is a squishy, flavorless meat substitute, think again. Tofu takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with, and in this recipe that means it develops a rich peanut buttery taste. Peanuts are great sources of unsaturated fat and protein.
Ingredients: Uncooked linguine, sugar snap peas, peanut oil, low-sodium tarami sauce or low-sodium soy sauce, smooth peanut butter, lime juice or rice wine vinegar, chili garlic sauce, garlic, tofu, cilantro
Try this recipe: Thai Tofu and Spicy Asian Noodles
Spicy Asparagus-Tempeh Stir Fry
Tofu isn't the only soybean-based meat replacement out there. While tofu is made by curdling hot soy milk with a coagulant, tempeh is made by fermenting fresh soybeans with a mold and has a earthier, sweeter taste than tofu. It also contains 50% more protein and 7 times the fiber (though a half cup also contains about 60 more calories). This easy, Asian-inspired stir fry combines tempeh, asparagus, and brown rice for a delicious and nutrient-packed dish.
Ingredients: Asparagus spears, vegetable broth, low-sodium soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, multigrain tempeh, garlic, crushed red pepper, shiitake mushrooms, brown rice
Try this recipe: Spicy Asparagus-Tempeh Stir-Fry
Black Bean Lasagna Rolls
A typical lasagna recipe is a mess of saturated fat and carbs, but this lightened-up dish features a game-changing ingredient: black beans. The beans add fiber and protein and help balance out the Monterey Jack and ricotta cheeses. Your Italian grandma may not approve, but your taste buds will.
Ingredients: Uncooked lasagna noodles, reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, part-skim ricotta cheese, green chiles, chili powder, salt, black beans, salsa, cilantro sprigs
Try this recipe:Black Bean Lasagna Rolls
Field Salad With Pears and Blue Cheese
This sweet and savory salad is best in fall and winter when pears and fresh walnuts are in season. As is, this recipe clocks in at just 98 calories per serving, making it a perfectly portioned side dish. To make the salad the main event, top it with a lean protein of your choice.
Ingredients: Salad greens, red pear, crumbled blue cheese, fat-free raspberry vinaigrette, chopped walnuts
Try this recipe: Field Salad with Pears and Blue Cheese
Barley and Black Bean Salad
Barley has a nutty, hardy flavor that pairs well with the cherry tomatoes, black beans, and bell peppers in this easy-to-make salad. Plus, studies show that the grain may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Ingredients: Pearl barley, black beans, cherry tomatoes, green bell pepper, Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, cilantro, ground red pepper
Try this recipe: Barley and Black Bean Salad
Vegetable Fried Rice
When you hear "fried rice," maybe grease seeping through a white takeout container comes to mind. This dish is different: instead of dousing rice in sesame oil, this recipe calls for just 2 teaspoons—and you could even swap that out to use heart-healthy olive oil instead. You'll toss your Chinese delivery menus after trying this diabetes-friendly recipe.
Ingredients: Dark sesame oil or olive oil, shiitake mushrooms, matchstick-cut carrots, green onions, minced garlic, pepper, brown rice, egg, low-sodium soy sauce, water, dry white wine, green peas
Try this recipe: Vegetable Fried Rice
Asparagus-Parmesan Pita Rounds
These personal pizzas are light on cheese, but you won't even miss it. Topped with sliced asparagus, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and sliced plum tomatoes, the pitas are already so flavorful that you need just a sprinkling of rich parmesan to finish them off. Plus, the meal is full of vitamins and heart-healthy antioxidants.
Ingredients: Asparagus, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, pitas, tomatoes, dried basil, crushed red pepper, salt, parmesan cheese
Try this recipe: Asparagus-Parmesan Pita Rounds
Tangy Dijon Pasta
Creamy pasta sauce isn't necessarily off limits when you have diabetes—you just need to follow the right recipe, limit portions, and work it into the recommendations set by your dietitian. This recipe's sauce is made from low-fat sour cream, Dijon mustard, and dry white wine (or low-sodium chicken broth, if you prefer). It's a good idea to check your blood sugar after a pasta meal to see how you react.
Ingredients: Uncooked angel hair pasta, snow pea pods, red onion, sliced pimiento, low-fat sour cream, dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth, Dijon mustard
Try this recipe:Tangy Dijon Pasta
Green, red, and yellow bell peppers are the star ingredients in this colorful pizza recipe that's sure to satisfy. Use a whole-wheat pizza crust to add fiber, which can help prevent a spike in blood sugar.
Ingredients: Italian seasoning, tomato paste, water, prebaked refrigerated pizza crust, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, green pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper, onion
Try this recipe: Three-Pepper Pizza
Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, this chilled soup features summertime seasonal vegetables like bell peppers and cucumber, as well as fresh mint. The peppers and the tomato-juice base give you a dose of vitamin C. Serve with a whole-grain roll.
Ingredients: Yellow tomato, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, garlic, fresh mint, fresh cilantro, white wine vinegar, honey, extra virgin olive oil, salt, cumin
Try this recipe:Golden Gazpacho
Summer Day Soup
Make the most of a flourishing tomato crop with this easy-to-make chilled soup. The recipe is low in calories, cholesterol, carbs, and fat, but high in disease-fighting antioxidants.
Ingredients: Vegetable juice, tomato, sweet onion, cucumber, bell pepper, fresh parsley, lime juice, lemon juice, tarragon vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, dried basil, honey, dried tarragon, cumin, oregano, garlic
Try this recipe: Summer Day Soup