3 blood sugar-friendly meals

They say that food can be a powerful form of medicine—and that’s definitely accurate when it comes to managing blood sugar and diabetes. Piles of research have shown that what you eat plays a big role in getting blood sugar levels under control and slashing the risk of type 2 diabetes. These recipes are proof that eating for glorious health can make your taste buds happy to boot.

Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice

The chameleon of the kitchen, cauliflower transforms into “rice” that, once seasoned and cooked, is remarkably similar to the real thing.

1 medium head cauliflower

3 Tbsp (45 mL) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar

2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil

2 tsp (10 mL) honey

2 tsp (10 mL) chili garlic sauce, hot chili oil, or sriracha

1 Tbsp (15 mL) peanut oil or grapeseed oil

1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken thigh, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) pieces

2 medium carrots, diced into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) pieces

2 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp (15 mL) peeled, minced fresh gingerroot

1 1/2 cups (350 mL) frozen green peas

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup (80 mL) cilantro

1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted roasted cashews

Juice of 1 lime

Coarsely chop cauliflower into florets. In food processor, place half of cauliflower and pulse until cauliflower has the texture of rice or couscous. Be sure not to over process or it will get mushy. Add to large bowl. Repeat processing with remaining cauliflower. Set aside.

In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and chili sauce.

In wok or large high-sided skillet, heat peanut or grapeseed oil over medium. Add chicken and heat until browned throughout. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Place carrots in pan and heat, stirring often, until softened. Add shallots, garlic, and ginger; heat for 30 seconds. Place half of cauliflower in pan and heat for 3 minutes, stirring often, or until tender. Add remaining cauliflower and heat for another 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in chicken and peas. Pour in soy sauce mixture and heat for 1 minute.

Make a well in the center of the pan by pushing cauliflower mixture to the sides and pour in beaten egg; let egg cook for 30 seconds before stirring into cauliflower rice.

Serve garnished with cilantro and cashews. Squeeze on lime juice just before serving.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 401 calories; 34 g protein; 18 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 28 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 7 g fiber); 481 mg sodium

Lemony Broccoli Pasta with Browned Butter

With the stealth addition of legume-based noodles you can fret less about pasta night when it comes to blood sugar control.

1 lb (450 g) broccolini or broccoli crowns

2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil

Zest of 2 lemons

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/3 cup (80 mL) walnut halves

8 oz (225 g) chickpea pasta or spaghetti

3 Tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter

1/4 tsp (1 mL) crushed red pepper flakes

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

1/3 cup (80 mL) shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Place rimmed baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C), leaving pan in oven as it heats.

Cut broccolini or broccoli into florets. Peel and thinly slice broccoli stems. In bowl, toss together broccoli florets and stems with oil, lemon zest, and salt. On hot baking sheet, arrange broccoli in single layer and return to oven; bake until browned and crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 375 F (190 C). On baking sheet, place walnuts and roast until a couple of shades darker, stirring once, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, fill large saucepan with 8 cups (2 L) water; bring to a boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain in colander, rinse with cold water, and drain well.

In heavy-bottomed and preferably light-colored saucepan, heat butter over low heat until melted. Raise heat to medium and cook butter, stirring and scraping the bottom often with a rubber spatula, until it foams, the color turns golden-brown, and it smells nutty. Do not let butter turn dark brown, which means it has burnt. Take pan off heat, stir in chili flakes, and immediately transfer butter and any browned milk solids to heatproof bowl to cool.

Divide pasta and broccoli among serving plates, sprinkle on walnuts, and drizzle on browned butter. Squeeze on lemon juice and then season with pepper and cheese.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 449 calories; 20 g protein; 27 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 41 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 9 g fiber); 481 mg sodium

PB&J Overnight Oatmeal

Tasting like everyone’s favorite schoolyard sandwich, this hearty porridge will surely find a very special place in your daybreak food-hungry heart.

1 1/2 cups (350 mL) fresh or frozen (thawed) raspberries

1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey

2 Tbsp (30 mL) chia seeds

1 cup (250 mL) steel-cut oats

1/3 cup (80 mL) milk or unsweetened dairy-free milk

1/3 cup (80 mL) peanut butter powder

1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon

1/4 cup (60 mL) sliced almonds or unsalted roasted peanuts

1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut chips or flakes (optional)

For raspberry chia jam, in blender, add raspberries, honey, and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water, and puree. Place fruit puree in container or bowl and stir in chia seeds. Chill for at least 1 hour to thicken.

The night before, in medium-sized saucepan, place oats, a pinch of salt, and 3 cups (750 mL) water. Bring to a mild boil, immediately turn off heat, cover, and let oats soak overnight at room temperature.

In the morning, stir milk, peanut powder, and cinnamon into oatmeal and heat over medium-low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more milk if required.

Divide oatmeal among serving bowls and swirl in raspberry chia jam. Garnish with peanuts and coconut chips, if using.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 331 calories; 15 g protein; 11 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 48 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 12 g fiber); 81 mg sodium