Diabetes Forecast

15-Minute Diabetes-Friendly Meals

By Cassandra Rico , ,

Given all the 30-minute cookbooks on the market today, Nancy Hughes decided to one-up the competition. Her new cookbook, 15-Minute Diabetic Meals, promises dishes fit for people with diabetes in half the time. Published by the American Diabetes Association, the book features more than 200 recipes for diabetes-friendly appetizers, breakfasts, salads, desserts, and more.

Hughes, author of 11 cookbooks and a consultant for health groups and food companies, understands the stress and difficulty that comes with meal planning. From her own experience as a health-conscious working mother, she also knows that it can be a struggle to cook and eat healthfully and still keep family members satisfied.

"It's so important to enjoy eating and have fun around the kitchen table with family. You can't get away from food and you don't really want to," Hughes says. "But you need to know how to make good choices."

Hughes says that poor eating often coincides with hectic schedules. For many people, even a 30-minute preparation time can be too much. The time crunch, she says, is what leads to vending-machine lunches and fast-food dinners. "There are 23 million people with diabetes and over 57 million who have pre-diabetes," Hughes says, "who need good, quick recipes."

15-Minute Diabetic Meals includes beef, seafood, pork, poultry, and vegetarian options. One key to a quick dish is a short ingredient list: Most of the recipes in Hughes's book require 10 items or fewer. And Hughes points out that her recipe ingredients are not specialty items, but common foods that can be found at most grocery stores or that cooks may already have at home.

The book offers tips for expediting all the planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning up. For example, Hughes suggests buying ingredients that have been partially prepared, such as bagged lettuce mixes, pre-chopped fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and rotisserie chicken. These options cut down on the time and effort that goes into meal preparation. Hughes also recommends taking advantage of sales at the supermarket and buying food in bulk—both cost-savers and time-savers. Keeping many basic ingredients on hand can help eliminate extra trips to the store, she adds.

Having fun in the kitchen is also important. That's why making cooking easy and stress-free can be as valuable as making the meals delicious, Hughes says. She believes that no one should feel deprived when it comes to food, even when trying to eat healthier. "Meals should be full of flavor and something the entire family can enjoy," she says. "The recipes in this book make this possible, and you can also have them stocked and on the table in 15 minutes."



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