Merguez Turkey Meatballs with lentils and beetroot

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Serves: 2 Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 26 mins

Per Serving 584g:

Carbs: 39.9g Cals: 457 Sugars: 14.6g Fat: 7.5g Sat Fat: 1.6g Salt: 0.66g
Protein: 49.7g Fibre: 15.7g

3 portions of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
1 tsp whole cumin
1 tsp whole coriander
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
2 tsp paprika
3 garlic cloves, crushed
50g carrot, finely chopped
200g lean turkey mince
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 stick celery, chopped
200g cooked plain beetroot, diced
1 orange – grated rind of half and remainder sliced
200g cooked Puy lentils
350ml low-salt vegetable stock
1 tblsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Method:

  1. Oil a medium roasting tin. Dry-fry the cumin, coriander and fennel on a medium heat until fragrant. Grind to a fine powder.
  2. Stir the powder, paprika, 2 cloves garlic, carrot and 1tsp onion into the mince and season. Divide and roll into 10 balls.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the remaining onion until softened. Add the celery and remaining garlic and cook for 1-2 mins. Add the beetroot and orange rind and cook for 3-4 mins.
  4. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the meatballs, cover and cook for 5 mins, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, fry the orange slices with 2 pumps of 1kcal spray until browning on each side. Set aside.
  5. Add the lentils to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 mins until thickened, and the meatballs are cooked. Serve with green vegetables and the glazed orange.

Veg Casserole with three beans

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Veg casserole with three beans

Serves: 2 Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 30 mins

Per Serving 586g:

Carbs: 64.2g Cals: 379 Sugars: 13.3g Fat: 4.4g Sat Fat: 1.1g Salt: 0.33g
Protein: 13.1g Fibre: 15.3g

4 portions of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped (150g)
2 sticks celery, finely chopped (80g)
1 tsp roasted garlic puree or 1 clove grated garlic
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks (approx. 200g)
300ml low-salt vegetable stock
150ml dry cider
1 leek, cut into 1cm slices (150g)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
50g pearl barley
400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed (235g drained weight)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the onion and celery, cover and cook for 5 mins until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except the fresh herbs. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 mins or until the desired consistency.
  3. Season with fresh ground black pepper. Scatter with the parsley and serve.

Harissa Chicken Traybake

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Serves: 2 Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 35 mins

Per Serving 704g:

Carbs: 42.2g Cals: 537 Sugars: 16.3g Fat: 18.6g Sat Fat: 3.7g Salt: 0.81g
Protein: 45g Fibre: 10.7g

5 portions of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
4 small chicken thighs
1 tablespoon harissa paste
1 aubergine, cut in 2 cm cubes (approx. 280g)
1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into small batons (approx. 200g)
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
150g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 kcal spray oil
4 vine tomatoes (80g) each)
4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 lemon
Handful of rocket
15g pine nuts, chopped walnuts or pistachios

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Trim any excess fat from the thighs and score the skin, spreading each with a little harissa.
  2. Put the aubergine, parsnip, onion and chickpeas in a bowl, give them 10 pumps of the spray oil, tossing them together to coat.
  3. Arrange on a greased baking tray, add the tomatoes and garlic and sit the chicken on top. Squeeze the lemon over and roast for 35 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are browning around the edges.
  4. Serve scattered with the rocket and nuts.

Baked Veggie Breakfast

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Baked Veggie Breakfast

Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 25 mins

Per Serving 368g:

Carbs: 10.7g Cals: 259 Sugars: 4.0g Fat: 18.4g Sat Fat: 5.4g Salt: 0.25g
Protein: 9.9g Fibre: 5.5g

4 portions of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
4 x 1kcal spray
2 large Portobello mushrooms, stalks removed (80g each)
50g canned chickpeas, drained
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
200g bag washed baby spinach
2 tablespoon herby low-fat soft cheese
1 small beef tomato (130g)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 small avocado (140g, prepared weight)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/gas 6. Spray the baking sheet and mushrooms with 1 kcal spray. Stand mushrooms in the middle. Toss the chickpeas in the paprika and scatter on the baking sheet. Cook for 5 mins.
  2. Snip the corner of the bag of spinach and microwave on full for 2 mins. Shake and cook for a further 1 min until wilted. Leave to cool, then squeeze the spinach juices out of the snipped corner. Tip the spinach into a bowl and stir in the soft cheese. Season with black pepper.
  3. Place a slice of tomato on top of each mushroom, drizzle with balsamic, then top with the spinach.
  4. Slice the avocado, criss-cross over the spinach and lightly spray with oil
  5. Cook for 12-15 mins until the avocado is softening. Divide between serving plates. Scatter the chickpeas over and serve with extra balsamic drizzle.

Courgette, Feta and Mint Salad

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

4-Ingredient Lunches – simple, delicious meals you can throw together in minutes …

Serves: 2 Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 12 mins

Per Serving 146g:

Carbs: 1.7g Cals: 69 Sugars: 1.1g Fat: 4.5g Sat Fat: 2g Salt: 0.49g
Protein: 4.7g Fibre: 1.3g

1 portion of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
1 small courgette
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tsp sunflower oil
2 large handfuls rocket
25g feta cheese, cubed
Mint leaves, chopped (25g)

Method:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high
  2. Cut the courgette into 0.5cm slices, toss in a bowl with the lemon juice and oil
  3. Grill for 4-6 mins each side, until lightly browned.
  4. Mix the courgette through the rocket, add the feta, season with black pepper and serve.

Asparagus Frittata

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine published by diabetes.org.

4-Ingredient Lunches – Simple, delicious meals you can throw together in minutes …

Asparagus Frittata

Per Serving 237g

Carbs: 3.2g Cals: 176 Sugars: 2.8g Fat: 9.8g Sat Fat: 2.8g Salt: 0.05g Protein: 17g Fibre: 3.5g

2 portions of oily fruit and veg

Serves: 2 Prep time: 4 mins Cook time: 7 mins

Ingredients:
1 cal oil spray
250g bunch fresh asparagus, cut into chunks and ends removed
1/2 bunch (60g) spring onion, finely chopped
3 medium eggs, beaten and seasoned with black pepper
1/2 medium bag (150g) fresh spinach leaves

Method:
1. Spray a small frying pan with the 1 cal oil and fry the spring onion and asparagus for a few minutes, over a medium heat, until softened.

2. Add the spinach and cook until it has wilted.

3. Pour the eggs into the pan, spread the asparagus through the mixture and cook until the edges are starting to brown.

4. Remove from the hob and place under a hot grill until browned.

Crunchy Carrot and Apple Salad

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine published by diabetes.org

4-Ingredient Lunches – Simple, delicious meals you can throw together in minutes …

Crunchy Carrot and Apple Salad

Per Serving 138g
(without sesame)

Carbs: 12.7g Cals: 89 Sugars: 11.1g Fat: 3.2g Sat Fat: 0.5g
Salt: 0.05g Protein: 0.6g Fibre: 3.2g

1 portion of fruit and veg

Serves: 2 Prep time: 5 mins

Ingredients:
1 carrot
1 green apple
2 medium radishes
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons olive oil

Method:
1. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot and apple. Put in a serving bowl.

2. Finely chop the rashes and add to the bowl with some lemon juice and oil.

3. Season well with black pepper and toss until thoroughly mixed.

4. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds (optional) and serve.

Open Sardine Sandwich with Chilli

Recipe taken from Balance magazine published by Diabetes.org.

4-Ingredient Lunches – simple, delicious meal you can throw together in minutes

Open Sardine Sandwich with Chilli

Per Serving 190g

Carbs: 16.4g Cals: 326 Sugars: 1.5g Fat: 15.3g Sat Fat: 3.5g Salt: 1.43g Protein: 29g Fibre: 3.5g

1 portion of oily fish

Serves: 1 Prep time: 3 mins

Ingredients:
1/2 small red chilli
2 small slices wholemeal bread
120g tin sardines in olive oil
Handful of rocket (40g)

Method:
1. Deseed and finely slice the chilli.

2. Drain a can of sardines, reserving some of the oil.

3. Add a handful of rocket over the bread and arrange the sardines on top.

4. Scatter with the chilli slices and drizzle over a little of the reserved oil.

Fire in the belly

Article taken from Psychologies Magazine (January 2020)

Eve Kalinik explores the link between our gut and mood and how the health of our microbiome plays a role in our emotional wellbeing.

Research and a greater understanding of depression have highlighted that it is not solely a disease of cognitive origin. Indeed, studies reveal the role of inflammation as an underlying pivotal development factor. This management process is one that, in part, relies on the health of the gut. Having a healthy microbiome – the trillions of microbes in the gut – helps keep the barrier of the gut functioning well. This means allowing substances that should be moving in and out of the gut to pass by without hassle, while blocking those that should stay within the confines of the gut. If this is breached, it can lead to substances such as bacteria and proteins from food sneaking out of the gut and creating a wide inflammatory reaction from the immune system, which has a more systemic effect.

Somewhere, over the rainbow

That can mean an almost constant state of inflammation which, it is thought, can result in mood disorders. The other way our microbiome manages inflammation is via the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that has an anti-inflammatory effect but also provides energy for the cells in the lining of the gut to help maintain a healthy gut barrier. Further to this, it is also important for the blood-brain barrier and butyrate can enter the brain and act as an antidepressant. Mood disorders are multifaceted, so gut health is just one consideration. However, supporting the gut positively contributes to wellness and the more heterogenous our microbiome the better.

A rich, colourful and varied collection of microbes leads to a healthier, stronger and happier gut. Reflect this on your plate with colour and diversity of fibre sources, including vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts and seeds. It sounds like a cliche, but eating the rainbow can provide bountiful joy for your microbes. Try one new veg, fruit and / or whole grain a week. If you usually have potato mash, swap it for sweet potato; mix up your berries, frozen are great as they keep for longer, or have buckwheat or quinoa instead of oats for breakfast. The possibilities are endless and with variety comes the spice of life, not least for our microbiome.

Feelgood food:

A pioneering look at the role of inflammation in mood disorders.

*The Inflamed Mind: A radical new approach to depression by Edward Bullmore.

Eat to treat Endometriosis

Article taken from Psychologies Magazine (October 2019)

Henrietta Norton*, author and leading expert on women’s wellbeing, helps us find the best ways to nourish ourselves to combat disorders of the reproductive tract.

Endometriosis and Adenomyosis are complex disorders of the female reproductive track whereby cells, similar to those found in the lining of the womb, are found elsewhere in the body. However, they develop differently and can have varying symptoms: In adenomyosis, rogue cells grow within the wall of the uterus; in endometriosis they grow outside the uterus. Endometriosis is more common in adolescents and women of reproductive age and adenomyosis in women who have had more than one child. You can have one or both of these disorders and, in fact, 42.3 per cent of women with endometriosis have a dual diagnosis.

You can help yourself

Endometriosis and adenomyosis are both progressive and oestrogen-dependent, influenced by the fluctuation in hormones during the menstrual cycle, which stimulates these cells to grow, then break down and bleed as they would in the lining of the womb, leading to inflammation and pain. Studies demonstrate that nutritional therapy is an effective approach to both conditions – in fact, research shows that it can be more effective at obtaining relief of pain and improving quality of life than medical hormonal treatment after surgery for endometriosis.

Nutrient deficiencies occur if you are not having enough food or having too much of the wrong food. You may be eating well, but not well enough to provide the specific nutrients you need to heal from a specific condition. Some gentle changes can help you make strides in your experience of endometriosis.

Lifestyle support

Consider these tweaks to help your body deal with the symptoms of endometriosis and adenomyosis

  • Eat colour : Women who ate green vegetables 13 times or more a week (roughly twice a day) were 70 per cent less likely to have endometriosis. Carotenoid-rich foods, especially citrus fruits, also positively affected symptoms. Use smoothies, juices and soups to nourish.
  • Befriend your gut : Beneficial gut bacteria can reduce production of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that remakes oestrogen in the gut and can contribute to its dominance. Add natural, organic yogurt to your diet, either on its own or in dressings and sauces. Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kefir, are excellent sources of beneficial bacteria, or take a pribiotic supplement (minimum 10 billion CFU, or colony forming units).
  • Keep up your minerals : Zinc and magnesium are used up in states of physical imbalance. Women can lose up to half their supply of magnesium during menstruation. Women with endometriosis often suffer from heavy bleeding, which reduces their iron stores.
  • Be conscious of intimate products : Tampons use bleached paper products that contain dioxins, proven to have an adverse effect on the hormonal system.
  • Rethink gluten : Research that categorises endometriosis as an autoimmune condition documents an improved response in those following a gluten-free diet. Three quarters of women on a gluten-free diet for a year reported a significant decrease in symptoms.

*Henrietta Norton is a nutritional therapist, women’s wellbeing writer and co-founder of food-grown supplements brand Wild Nutrition. wildnutrition.com; @wildnutritional.