The Best 30-Day Diabetes Diet Plan
Getting dinner on the table is easier when it's already planned out for you. Enjoy a month off from meal planning with 30 days of delicious, diabetes-friendly dinners to help you keep your blood sugar levels in check. The recipes in this plan limit carbohydrates, saturated fat and sodium—factors that can negatively impact your diabetes if you eat too much—and can still be enjoyed by the whole family. Managing diabetes never tasted so good!
Day 1: Chicken & Vegetable Penne with Parsley-Walnut Pesto
Homemade pesto may seem daunting, but in this quick pasta recipe you can make a simple sauce in minutes while the pasta water comes to a boil. You can substitute frozen green beans and cauliflower for fresh; in Step 4, cook the frozen vegetables according to package directions before tossing with the pasta and pesto.
Day 2: Spinach, Apple & Chicken Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing & Cheese Crisps
Swap out store-bought for this tangy homemade buttermilk and poppy seed dressing to take this healthy salad recipe to the next level. For an even more impressive meal, make your own crunchy cheese crisps in a snap, using phyllo dough, for a delicious accompaniment to this dinner salad. Make extra dressing to keep on hand for other salads throughout the week.
Day 3: Hazelnut-Parsley Roast Tilapia
Sweet and crunchy hazelnuts team up with bright lemon and fresh parsley to add oomph to the tilapia for an easy seafood recipe. Serve this atop a salad or alongside brown rice or orzo.
Day 4: Charred Vegetable & Bean Tostadas with Lime Crema
Pile vegetables and black beans onto crisp tostadas and top them off with lime crema for a vegetarian dinner the whole family will love. Charring the vegetables under the broiler infuses them with smoky flavor while cooking them quickly.
Day 5: Chicken Enchilada Skillet Casserole
This simplified take on cheesy chicken enchiladas only requires one pan for cooking and eliminates the need to stuff and roll corn tortillas. Charring the veggies in a cast-iron skillet adds depth of flavor. Don't worry if you don't have one, because you can use any oven-safe skillet instead.
Day 6: Low-Carb Cauliflower Fried Rice with Shrimp
This fried rice variation uses riced cauliflower instead of traditional rice to lower the calories and carbs. You can adjust the amount of chile-garlic sauce according to taste.
Day 7: Lemon Chicken & Rice
This easy Persian-inspired chicken and rice dish has a beautiful golden color and a wonderful fragrance. If you have saffron in the cupboard, do add that optional pinch; just a little will enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish.
Day 8: Pumpkin Seed Salmon with Maple-Spice Carrots
Because this one-pan meal is ready in just 35 minutes, it's a good choice for a healthy recipe after you've had a long day at the office. Maple-spiced carrots cook alongside pepita-crusted salmon fillets and deliver amazing taste and nutrition in a dinner the whole family will devour.
Day 9: Salmon Couscous Salad
This healthy and easy salad is designed to be made with precooked or leftover salmon. To quickly cook salmon, lightly brush with olive oil, then roast in a 450 degrees F oven until the fish is opaque and firm, 8 to 12 minutes.
Day 10: Vegan Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo with Kale
In this date-night-worthy vegan fettucine alfredo recipe, cooked cauliflower transforms into a rich, luscious sauce when it's blended with softened cashews. A high-speed blender will give you the creamiest results. Opt for whole-wheat fettucine to add fiber to the vegan pasta recipe.
Day 11: Curried Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup
In this flavorful soup recipe, sweet potatoes simmer in a quick coconut curry, resulting in a creamy, thick broth punctuated by notes of garlic and ginger. We love peanuts for their inexpensive price and versatile flavor. They're also a great source of protein--1 ounce has 7 grams.
Day 12: Spinach & Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Homemade poppy seed dressing pairs beautifully with tender spinach, crunchy almonds and juicy berries for a fantastically refreshing and easy spring salad. To make ahead, whisk dressing, combine salad ingredients and store separately. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving. To make it a complete meal, top with grilled chicken or shrimp.
Day 13: Chicken & Cucumber Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
We love the crunch from sliced cucumber and jicama in these savory chicken lettuce wraps. Serve with the simple peanut sauce for an easy dinner recipe that will impress kids and adults alike.
Day 14: Tofu & Snow Pea Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
A fast dinner recipe perfect for busy weeknights, this easy stir-fry recipe will quickly become a favorite. To save time, use precooked rice or cook rice a day ahead.
Day 15: Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo
Sun-dried tomatoes and Romano cheese pack a flavorful punch along with the tantalizing aroma of fresh marjoram in this rustic Italian-inspired dish. Serve with sautéed fresh spinach or steamed broccolini.
Day 16: Easy Pea & Spinach Carbonara
Fresh pasta cooks up faster than dried, making it a must-have for fast weeknight dinners like this luscious yet healthy meal. Eggs are the base of the creamy sauce. They don't get fully cooked, so use pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs if you prefer.
Day 17: Sweet Potato-Black Bean Burgers
These vegan sweet potato-black bean burgers spiced with curry powder are easy to make. Blending the mixture with your hands gives you a soft, uniform texture then the outside gets crispy by cooking in a cast-iron pan. To make this recipe gluten-free too, use gluten-free oats and serve the patty in a lettuce wrap, omitting the bun.
Day 18: Curried Chickpea Stew
Who says a meatless meal isn't filling? Packed with fiber-rich vegetables and chickpeas, this fragrant stew satisfies.
Day 19: Pork & Green Chile Stew
Let your slow cooker work--while you're at work!--and come home to a delicious bowl of hearty stew for dinner. Full of potatoes, hominy, green chiles, and chunks of pork sirloin, this filling stew recipe takes just 25 minutes to prepare in the morning.
Day 20: Trapanese Pesto Pasta & Zoodles with Salmon
Trapanese pesto is the Sicilian version of the sauce that uses tomatoes and almonds instead of pine nuts. This savory pesto sauce coats low-carb zucchini noodles and heart-healthy seared salmon to create an absolutely delicious pasta dinner.
Day 21: Maple-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Wedges and Brussels Sprouts
This easy sheet-pan recipe brings together many fall favorites into a hearty dinner.
Day 22: Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers
In this healthy stuffed peppers recipe, a delicious jambalaya filling of chicken and Cajun spices gets baked inside of bell peppers. Traditional jambalaya is made with green bell peppers, but you can use green, yellow, or orange peppers (or a mix) for this dish. Look for bell peppers with even bottoms, so that they stand upright on their own.
Day 23: Ginger Beef Stir-Fry with Peppers
This vibrant, colorful dish is great for those who love a little heat. Adjust the amount of chile-garlic sauce according to your preferred heat level. To smash ginger, use the side of a chef's knife or the flat bottom of a sturdy mug. Serve with rice, if desired.
Day 24: Pork Skewers with Fruit Glaze
Here's a quick and easy entree for six--chunks of succulent pork loin and red and green bell peppers are threaded onto skewers and grilled with a sweet fruit glaze. Choose your favorite fruit preserve for the glaze, like apricot, red raspberry, or strawberry.
Day 25: Red Cabbage-Apple Cauliflower Gnocchi
Tender cabbage and a vibrant applesauce-mustard pan sauce are the perfect pairing for pillowy low-carb cauliflower gnocchi. Add diced chicken-apple sausage for extra protein.
Day 26: Chicken-Spaghetti Squash Bake
In this version of a chicken-and-broccoli casserole, spaghetti squash takes on a creamy texture when baked with cream of mushroom soup.
Day 27: Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage
Though traditional stuffed cabbage recipes are made with meat, here Savoy cabbage leaves are stuffed with a combination of rice, mushrooms, onions, garlic and herbs for a healthy vegetarian stuffed cabbage recipe. The stuffed cabbage leaves gently bake in a simple tomato sauce. This easy stuffed cabbage recipe can be made ahead of time and baked just before serving.
Day 28: Pesto Shrimp Pasta
Using a packaged pesto sauce mix saves time in this 20-minute orzo pasta salad recipe.
Day 29: Honey Mustard Salmon with Mango Quinoa
In this 30-minute dinner recipe, grilled, honey mustard-coated salmon is served with a tasty grain salad made with quinoa, mango, jalapeño and almonds.
Day 30: Beer-Battered Fish Tacos with Tomato & Avocado Salsa
Lovers of fried fish get the taste without all the calories, and the salsa adds a fresh, clean note. To complete the Baja theme, serve with black beans, some diced mango and a bit of light sour cream.