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BBQ Favorites Make-Over

It’s summertime – time to enjoy outdoor activities and celebrations. Living with diabetes should NOT stop you from enjoying summer activities and barbeque favorites with your family and friends. Make smart food decisions, plan accordingly and create a well-balanced meal that helps keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible so you can enjoy the festivities all summer long.

Follow these simple tips to keep yourself on track: Choose lean foods. Avoid fried foods and foods with heavy sauces or marinades – both can be high in carbohydrates. Instead, choose lean grilled chicken, fish, turkey, beef, pork, lamb or vegetables. Remember to remove the skin from poultry and to trim all fat from beef, pork or lamb.

Always bring a dish to share. If you’re going to a party, bringing a dish is not only polite but also a good way to make sure there is something healthy for you to eat. Good choices are a festive salad, fruit or a vegetable dish (especially non-starchy vegetables).

Maintain your normal routine. Don’t skip meals thinking that you can eat more at the party or celebration. This is dangerous for blood sugar levels and can lead to more hunger and subsequent over-eating at the meal.

Drink water. It’s better to drink water or a sugar-free beverage than to drink your carbs! It not only adds carbs but calories! Avoid beverages that are loaded with sugar and carbs, such as regular soda, sweetened tea, lemonade and alcohol. Instead, enjoy unsweetened iced tea, sugar-free lemonade or water. Or try adding slice cucumbers to water and letting it sit for at least one hour before drinking. It’s refreshing and is carb-free!

Alcohol. It is important that you do not drink on an empty stomach. Men should limit alcohol intake to 2 drinks and women to 1 drink. One drink is 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine or 1oz spirits. Stretch your intake by choosing light beer or a wine spritzer. Avoid mixed drinks as these usually are made with high carbohydrate mixers such as juice or soda.

Pay attention to portions! Portion size is important to maintain a well-balanced meal as well as to manage your blood sugar levels. The plate method can be used for parties as well as any meal. Using a standard 9 or 10 inch plate, manage your potion sizes as follows: Fill half with non-starchy vegetables, ¼ with your protein food and ¼ with your carbohydrate foods (beans, corn, potato salad, bread, etc.).

Try some of these recipes at the next barbeque!

  • Shrimp and Fennel Kebabs with Italian Salsa Verde
  • Italian salsa verde tastes tangy-briny–totally different from the spicy Mexican salsa of the same name.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 shrimp kebab, 1 vegetable kebab, and about 1 1/2 tablespoons salsa verde) Hands-on:40 Minutes Total: 40 Minutes


-Salsa verde:

  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons capers, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 28 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut into 12 wedges
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 12 wedges
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Cooking spray


  1. To prepare salsa verde, combine first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  3. To prepare kebabs, combine 2 teaspoons oil and shrimp; toss to coat. Thread shrimp evenly onto 4 (12-inch) skewers. Thread 3 fennel wedges and 3 onion wedges alternately onto each of 4 (12-inch) skewers. Brush vegetables with remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle shrimp and vegetables with 3/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place skewers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill shrimp 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Grill vegetables 12 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Serve with salsa verde.

Nutritional Information:
Amount per serving: Calories: 320
Fat: 14.4g Saturated fat: 2.1g
Monounsaturated fat: 8.7g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.4g
Protein: 36.1g
Carbohydrate: 11g
Fiber: 2.8g
Cholesterol: 259mg
Iron: 5.2mg
Sodium: 559mg
Calcium: 142mg

Peppered Flank Steak and Salsa
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and 1/3 cup salsa)
Total:30 Minutes


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • Cooking spray1 1/2 cups diced red and yellow tomato
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of steak. Place steak on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  3. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
  4. Combine 1 1/2 cups tomato and remaining ingredients. Serve salsa over steak.

Nutritional Information:
Amount per serving: Calories: 210
Fat: 10g Saturated fat: 2.8g Monounsaturated fat: 4.9g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g Protein: 25.2g Carbohydrate: 3.6g
Fiber: 1.2g Cholesterol: 37mg Iron: 2.2mg
Sodium: 437mg Calcium: 47mg

Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Vinegar
Smoky Slices of grilled eggplant, zucchini, and green bell peppers marinated in balsamic vinegar and soy sauce make a terrific summer side dish

Yield: 8 servings
Total Prep Time : 15 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 eggplants, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 3 zucchinis, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 2 green peppers, cut into ½ inch slices


  1. Whisk olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Toss eggplants, zucchinis, and bell peppers in soy sauce marinade.
  3. Marinate for about 45 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.
  5. Remove vegetables from marinade, shaking off excess.
  6. Grill vegetables on pre-heated grill until tender, 10-15 minutes, brushing vegetables with marinade.
  7. Transfer cooked vegetables to a platter and serve with any remaining marinade.

Nutritional Information:
Amount per serving: Calories: 147
Fat: 13.7g Protein: 1.6g Carbohydrate: 6g
Fiber: 2.1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 381mg

Summer Coleslaw
Summer Coleslaw is not your average slaw. This version of coleslaw is extra crunchy with snow peas, radishes, and hazelnuts.

Serves: 4, ~1 cup serving


  • 1/2 small head cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon3 tablespoons hazelnut or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. In serving bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, snow peas, radishes, scallions, hazelnuts, parsley, and poppy seeds.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper; toss with slaw.

Nutritional Information:
Amount per serving:
Calories: 185
Fat: 13.7g
Saturated fat: 1.1g
Protein: 4g
Carbohydrate: 15g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Fiber 6 gm

Light and Fresh Potato Salad
MAKES: 12 1/2cup servings


  • /4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 5 cups cubed red potato (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
  • 3/4 cup sliced grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained


  1. To prepare dressing, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
  2. To prepare salad, place potato and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potato; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until tender; drain.
  3. Add potato to dressing in bowl, tossing gently to coat; let stand 15 minutes. Stir in cucumber and remaining ingredients; toss well. Cover and chill.

Nutritional Information:
Amount per serving:
Calories: 90
Fat: 2.8g
Saturated fat: 0.2g
Protein: 1.8g
Carbohydrate: 14.9g
Fiber: 2g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 0.9mg
Sodium: 295mg
Calcium: 19mg

Crunchy Jicama, Radish and Melon Salad
Yield: 8 servings


  • 3 cups thinly cut jicama
  • 3 cups watermelon cubes
  • 2 cups cantaloupe cubes
  • 1 cup sliced radishes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Combine jicama, watermelon, cantaloupe and radishes in large bowl: gently mix.
  2. Whisk cilantro, oil, lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, honey and salt in small bowl until smooth and well blended.
  3. Add to salad: gently toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:
Amount per Serving:
Calories: 92
Fat: 4g
Saturated fat: 1g
Protein: 1g
Carbohydrate: 15g
Fiber: 3g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Sodium 88 mg

Cucumber Punch
Yield: 10 (8 oz) servings


  • English Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1cup water
  • ½ can frozen thawed limeade concentrate
  • 1 liter club soda chilled Ice cubes
  • Lime wedges (optional)


  1. Combine cucumber slices, water and limeade concentrate in punch bowl or pitcher.
  2. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. Add club soda, chilled, ice cubes just before serving.
  4. Pour into 10 glasses.
  5. Garnish with lime wedges

Nutritional Information:
Amount per Serving:
Calories: 26
Fat: 0
Saturated fat: 0
Protein: 0
Carbohydrate: 6
Fiber: 0
cholesterol: 0.0mg
Sodium 25g