It seems like every other person is diabetic nowadays. Of course, everybody knows why that is so. Besides the genes factor, it’s our unhealthy lifestyle that causes obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems. All of them are common but manageable, even preventable diseases. If you are suffering from diabetes, you can keep it at bay easily through diet and exercise. You already know all that but here you will get to know how you can add taste to your bland diet without getting your blood glucose level to break the roof.
If you look at the statistics, foodnavigator.com states that the Middle East is one of the regions in the world which are badly affected by diabetes. UAE and Saudi Arabia are on top of the list. 44% of the adult population in UAE and 25% of the population in Saudi Arabia is diabetic. This is the reason you need to know about the healthy Middle Eastern food recipes that will help you to manage your condition.
Health Significance of Middle Eastern Food Recipes
The cuisine of every country has its benefits. Middle Eastern cuisine is healthy because of the use of vegetables, lentils, chickpeas, olive oil and dairy products. You can find taste in meaty dishes and you can also find healthy vegetarian dishes. Just skip the sweets and excess carbohydrates and you’ll stay healthy. There is a wide variety of salads and soups. Think of peasant salad, tomato salad, tabouleh, chickpea soup, tomato soup, and vegetable soup, and you will get hungry. As long as you eat low GI (glycemic index) foods, you will stay fit as a fiddle.
Yummy Recipes for Diabetics
Here are a few middle eastern food recipes that you can easily try:
Vegetable and Chicken Curry
Protein from chicken and vitamins, minerals and fiber from vegetables make this recipe a perfect meal for diabetics.
- 16 ounces of the boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 2 potatoes (cut in half-inch cubes), 1 cauliflower, 2 carrots (cut in half-inch slices), 1 tomato, 2 tbsp parsley, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves
- Chicken broth: 1 cup
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp mustard powder, ground coriander, and cumin
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, flour, and cold water
- Salt, black pepper and cayenne – to taste
- Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion, chicken, and garlic for 5 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, herbs, and broth and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Again boil the mixture. Mix water and flour and add to the saucepan. Stir constantly until it thickens. Add parsley, lemon juice, and tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Finally, add the last 3 ingredients and enjoy the dish.
Falafel Patties with Cucumber and Yoghurt Sauce
You can enjoy it as a snack or an appetizer. It’s not very difficult to make. You just have to buy falafel mix and prepare it according to the directions on the package. Then add half cup shredded carrots, ¼ cup sunflower kernels and 2 tbsp thinly sliced green onions in the mixture. Shape it into patties and cook on a skillet until they turn brown.
For cucumber sauce, add half tsp dried dill weed and mint leaves into 1 cup plain yogurt and shredded cucumber. Season with salt and white pepper. Dip the patties in this sauce and enjoy the sensational falafel patties.
Minted Lamb Kebabs
This one is simply amazing!
- 1 pound boneless lamb meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Plain yogurt – ¾ cup
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- Fresh mint leaves – 2 tbsp
- Half tsp salt, ¼ tsp crushed saffron, 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- Place the lamb in a bowl and mix all the other ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour the mixture over the lamb, cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the grill.
- Thread the lamb on the skewers. Grill them for 10-15 minutes. Keep on turning them and coating with the marinade while the meat cooks.
- Don’t overcook and discard the remaining marinade once you are done the cooking.
- Enjoy with a sauce of your choice.
Other Ideas and Tips
It’s really important for diabetics to be extra careful about their diet. What you can do is, take healthy snacks in between your meal times. This is how you can do this:
- Breakfast 7-9 am: bread + cheese/egg + salad/olives/herbs or 1 glass milk + whole wheat/barley cereal
- Mid-morning snack 10-11 am: 1 fruit + plain yogurt or vegetable sandwich
- Lunch 1-2 pm: lean meat/chicken/fish + salad + Lebanese bread
- Evening snack 4-5 pm: soup or plain biscuits with milk or plain yogurt or 1 fruit
- Dinner 8-9 pm: Lebanese bread + vegetables + lean meat/chicken/fish
This is just a rough sketch of what you can eat without getting yourself in the danger zone. You can try these and other recipes for lunch, dinner, and snacks. Consume chickpeas regularly because they have low GI content and they help in weight loss. Whether you try good ol’ hummus, make soup, chaat, falafel, kushari, chickpea burger or any other recipe, you’ll love it. There is so much you can try: shish touk, vegetable tagine, vegetarian moussaka, oregano, and lemon lamb chops, eggplant, and lamb kebabs and a lot more.
Don’t think that you can’t eat your favorite dishes because you are diabetic. Explore the vastness of Middle Eastern Recipes and keep on trying new recipes which are good for you. But don’t forget to check the nutritional information first.