I bet you thought I wasn’t going to have my “Meal Ideas” day while in Colorado. Well, I have to eat here to, and eat just a healthy if not more. Nevertheless, being here in the mountains with the closest store 20 miles away (that’s one way) I need to plan my meals carefully, and cooking in my small MC kitchen they need to be simple and easy. Someone suggested I just purchase frozen dinners, or heat and eat. YUCK! There’s no need to resort to calorie-loaded instant dinners when you don’t want to cook gourmet meals that need tons of ingredients. Here are two meals low in calories and carbs, that call for just five ingredients or fewer. Yes, you can make delicious “and diabetes-friendly meals” without much fuss.
Mediterranean Couscous and Beef
This authentic dish comes together with a simple ingredient list for an impressive meal without much fuss. Packed with protein, this low-carb dinner leaves room for dessert! Serving Size: 3 1/2ounces cooked beef and 1/2 cup couscous mixture each
Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound beef flank steak
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons salt-free lemon herb peppercorn flavor marinade, such as Mrs. Dash brand
1 cup water
2 medium red and/or yellow tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese or feta cheese (1 ounce)
Heat a dry, medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add couscous to hot saucepan; toast couscous 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove couscous from saucepan.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Lightly coat the unheated rack of a broiler pan with cooking spray. Trim fat from beef. Season beef with 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt.
Pour 1 tablespoon of the marinade into a custard cup; set the remaining 4 tablespoons marinade aside. Brush the 1 tablespoon marinade onto beef. Place beef on the prepared rack. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat until desired doneness, turning once. Allow 12 to 14 minutes for medium.
In the same medium saucepan combine the water, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; bring to boiling. Stir in couscous; return to boiling and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 7 minutes. Stir in the reserved 4 tablespoons marinade, the tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons of the feta cheese. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until couscous and tomatoes are tender.
To serve, thinly slice beef across the grain; serve over couscous mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons feta cheese.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 317 cal., 10 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 73 mg chol., 330 mg sodium, 26 g carb. (2 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 30 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Vegetables (d.e): 0.5; Starch (d.e): 1.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 3.5; Fat (d.e): 0.5;
Lamb Chops with Grape-Balsamic Sauce
Upgrade a simple lamb chop dinner with a creative homemade marinade. The sweet-and-tart dinner recipe requires only “five” ingredients to make. Serving Size: 2 lamb chops with 1/2 cup sauce
4 small lamb rib chops (10 to 12 ounces total) or 8 ounces boneless pork loin chop, cut 3/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon snipped fresh mint (optional)
Trim fat from chops. In a small bowl, combine rosemary, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over chops; rub in with your fingers. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add lamb chops. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until lamb is desired doneness (145 degrees F for medium-rare or 160 degrees F for medium) or pork is slightly pink in the center (160 degrees F), turning once halfway through cooking. Remove chops from skillet. Keep warm.
In the same skillet, combine grapes, vinegar, and the water. Cook and stir just until boiling; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more or until grapes are softened but still hold their shape. Serve grape mixture over chops. If desired, sprinkle with mint.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 230 cal., 10 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 75 mg chol., 205 mg sodium, 10 g carb. (9 g sugars), 24 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: Lean Meat (d.e): 3.5; Fat (d.e): 1; Fruit (d.e): 0.5