Diabetes-Friendly Comfort Foods
Variations on your favorites
Here's a sneak peek at Food Editor Robyn Webb’s newest collection of comfort food recipes.
Recipes adapted from The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection by Robyn Webb, MS, LN (American Diabetes Association, 2016). Use the code PERFECT20 to save 20 percent when ordering online at shopdiabetes.org or by phone at 1-800-232-6733.
Ground chuck beef will produce a slightly juicier burger than ground sirloin, but by following Robyn’s recipe exactly, you can’t go wrong with either choice.
Robyn's Tips for Best Burgers
- Pre-ground meat can be too fine and feel mushy. Instead, ask the butcher to “coarse grind” the meat for you. Most butchers are happy to do this, and the quality is much better.
- Keep the meat in the refrigerator until you are ready to form the patties.
- Don’t form large burgers. In keeping with your dietary plan, make burgers relatively small, about 4 ounces each.
- Don’t overhandle the meat. Otherwise, it may end up tough and dry after cooking.
- Cook your burgers in a cast-iron skillet, not the grill. A cast-iron skillet or griddle is the perfect piece of equipment to get a crusty burger.
- Use medium-high, not high, heat for cooking burgers.
This classic pasta dish is inspired by Robyn’s mother, who lived with diabetes for 49 years. If you think you can’t enjoy pasta, think again—it’s all about rich flavor and right-size portions.
Robyn's Tips for Best Baked Pasta
- Use a wide, shallow baking dish that’s about 13 inches long and 2 inches deep. This allows the pasta to heat quickly, keeping it firm yet moist.
- Slightly undercook the pasta. It should be very al dente (chewy). And never rinse the pasta after boiling; that makes for mushy pasta.
- Bake the pasta mixture uncovered. Covering the pasta steams it and makes it soggy. Baking uncovered helps create a crispy crust that everyone will love.
- To save time, make all of the components of the recipe ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Then combine everything just before baking.
The surprise ingredient? Balsamic vinegar—it draws out the flavor of the vegetables and makes the chickpeas taste rich and savory.
Robyn's Tips for Best Bean Soups
- For convenience, use canned beans, draining and rinsing them before you add them to the pot.
- Use whole canned or diced tomatoes that you crush yourself—use your fingers—for a delightfully rough texture that makes for a hearty soup.
- Fresh herbs provide springtime flavors and bring out the rich, savory tones of the stock and beans. With dried herbs, the flavor and aroma will not be as intense.
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