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What's for Dinner? Serve a week's worth of diabetic-friendly entrees

By Beverly Glaze

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Requests for diabetic recipes abound, so this week's entree suggestions include Diabetic Exchange information. Fragrant Fish Fillets are simmered in a light wine and tomato sauce. Zucchini Tortellini offers a quick vegetarian option.

A family-size package of chicken breasts should provide the basis for the remaining three recipes: Italian Chicken, Cinnamon Lime Chicken and Chicken Finger Manicotti.

Fragrant Fish Fillets

Makes 4 servings. Source: University of Illinois Extension.

     1     tablespoon olive oil

     1/2  cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

     1/2  cup green onions, chopped

     1     clove garlic, minced

     12     ounces fish fillets

     2     tablespoons blush wine, optional

     1     fresh tomato, peeled, cored and sliced

     2     tablespoons fresh parsley (snipped)

     Lemon slices

HEAT olive oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, onions and garlic. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine, tomato, parsley and fish. Cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

REMOVE fillets to a warm platter. Pour tomato sauce over fish. For a thicker sauce, boil down 1 to 3 minutes first. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Nutrition information: 132 calories, 4 grams total fat, 42 milligrams cholesterol, 59 milligrams sodium, 4 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram dietary fiber, 18 grams protein. Exchange: 2 very lean meat, 1 vegetable.

Zucchini Tortellini Toss

Makes 4 servings. Source: University of Illinois Extension.

     1     package frozen tortellini

     6    to 8 plum tomatoes, chopped

     3    to 4 medium zucchini, chopped

     1/2     teaspoon garlic salt

     1/2     teaspoon basil

     1/2     teaspoon oregano

     1/4  cup shredded Parmesan cheese

COOK tortellini as directed on package. Heat tomatoes, zucchini, garlic salt, basil and oregano in a medium skillet 3 to 5 minutes until zucchini is tender. Stir in tortellini, cooking 2 to 3 minutes. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition information: 352 calories, 8 grams total fat, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 388 milligrams sodium, 54 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 17 grams protein. Exchanges: 3 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat.

Italian Chicken

Makes 6 servings. Source: University of Illinois Extension.

     6    4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts

     3     tablespoons flour

     1     tablespoon olive oil

     2     tablespoons onion, minced

     1/2     teaspoon minced garlic

     1    cup tomato sauce

     1/2     teaspoon rosemary

     1/4     teaspoon pepper

     1/2     teaspoon basil

     1/2     teaspoon oregano

DREDGE chicken in flour. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add chicken and cook 2 to 5 minutes on each side, turning occasionally until lightly browned. Using tongs, remove chicken from skillet. Set aside.

SAUTÉ the onion and garlic in the same skillet until softened. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Using a wooden spoon, stir well. Cook, stirring frequently until liquid is reduced by half (3 to 4 minutes). Return chicken to skillet.

COOK until sauce thickens and chicken is heated through.

Nutrition information: 234 calories, 6 grams total fat, 96 milligrams cholesterol, 331 milligrams sodium, 6 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram dietary fiber, 36 grams protein. Exchanges: 5 very lean meats, 1 vegetable.

Cinnamon Lime Chicken

Makes 4 servings. Source: University of Illinois Extension.

     4     boneless, skinless chicken breasts

     1     teaspoon salt

     1/2     teaspoon cinnamon

     1     tablespoon olive oil

     1/2     medium white onion, chopped

     2     cloves garlic, minced

     Juice from 3 limes

HEAT oven to 400°.

COMBINE salt and cinnamon. Rub mixture into chicken breasts. Place chicken on baking sheet and cook in the oven until juices run clear, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

REMOVE chicken from oven and let cool. While chicken is cooling, mince onion and garlic. Sauté in frying pan. Tear cooked chicken into thin strips. Place chicken in pan with onion and garlic. Add lime juice.

SIMMER for about 15 minutes or until hot. Serve by itself or with corn tortillas.

Nutrition information: 198 calories, 7 grams total fat, 74 milligrams cholesterol, 648 milligrams sodium, 8 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams dietary fiber, 28 grams protein. Exchange: 4 lean meat, 0.5 carbohydrate.

Chicken Finger Manicotti

Makes 7 servings (2 shells each). Source: University of Illinois Extension.

     1     package manicotti shells (14 shells)

     1    30-ounce jar spaghetti sauce

     1     teaspoon garlic powder

     24     ounces (1 1/2 pounds) chicken tenders

     1 1/2     cups light shredded mozzarella cheese

COOK manicotti shells according to package directions. Heat oven to 350°.

SPREAD a small amount of spaghetti sauce over the bottom of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle garlic powder on chicken. Put chicken tender into manicotti shell. Place stuffed shells in baking pan.

POUR remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover baking pan with foil. Bake for 1 hour.

Nutrition information: 471 calories, 10 grams total fat, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 1,488 milligrams sodium, 66 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 27 grams protein. Exchange: 4 starch, 4 lean meat.

Shopping list

Fresh mushrooms

Green onions

Plum tomatoes

Onion

Limes

Fresh parsley

Zucchini

Tomato sauce

Manicotti shells

Spaghetti sauce

Fish fillets

Chicken breasts

Frozen tortellini

Blush wine

Mozzarella cheese

Pantry items: olive oil, garlic, garlic salt, basil, oregano, Parmesan cheese, flour, rosemary, pepper, cinnamon

Programs and activities offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service are available to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin and marital or family status. This material was funded, in part, by the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with limited income. To find out more, contact your local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Beverly Glaze has a master's degree in human nutrition and food science and is a WVU Extension specialist in the FNP adult program. Reach her at Beverly.Glaze@mail.wvu.edu or 304-634-8449.


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