It’s Diabetic Week between 10th and 16th June and what better excuse to look at some related recipes? As some of you know, my husband is diabetic; type 2, controlled by tablets and diet, and has been for over 10 years now. This means we follow a very strict ‘no sugar’ and ‘low fat’ way of life.

I have covered this subject before, so I don’t intend to go over it again, but just say that reducing fat is just as important to diabetics as not eating sugar. I do eat the same as my husband as it’s a very healthy diet, but also, like most people, I don’t have time or funds to cook different meals. This means I am constantly looking for different recipes to brighten up our table. Hopefully some of the recipes below will appeal and our particular favourite at the moment is the Greek-style chicken wrap. It’s quick and easy and great with salad, but also a great way to use up any leftover chicken.

Buen Apetito

Bruschetta with Feta Cheese

6 slices of toasted bread
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Feta to taste
Fresh basil or parsley
Ground pepper

Brush one side of the toast with some olive oil and rub with garlic. In a small bowl combine the cherry tomatoes, basil and Feta cheese. Spoon the mixture onto each slice. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve immediately.

Leek and Parsnip Bake

350g parsnips (cubed)
350g leeks (chopped)
1tbsp olive oil
3 eggs separated
2tbsp plain flour
225g low-fat soft cheese
Salt and pepper

Boil parsnips in water until tender and drain and mash. Heat the oil and cook leeks until tender. Add half the leeks to the parsnips, stir in the flour and then the egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff and then add to the mixture. Spread the mixture in a tin and bake on 190 degrees for 25 minutes. Stir the remaining leeks into the soft cheese and heat up. Add seasoning to taste. When the bake is cooked remove from the oven and spread the leek/cheese mixture over the top. Serve either hot or cold.

Soda Bread

450g wholemeal flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
300ml buttermilk

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl then slowly add the buttermilk and mix to a firm dough. Knead on a lightly floured board and then shape into a round about 28cm in diameters. Place on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes or until risen and firm. Serve hot or cold on day of baking as it will not keep.

Greek-style Chicken Wrap

Boneless chicken
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp oregano
Olive oil
2 slices onion (Red or Spanish)
2 x Naan, or other Arabic bread or 4 x Pitta bread rounds
Chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper
Greek yoghurt or mayonnaise to taste

Pat chicken dry and cut to thin strips and pound flat. Brush both sides of chicken with lemon juice and sprinkle with oregano. Brush grill pan with olive oil and arrange chicken and onion slices on tray and cook for 5 minutes both sides or until cooked. Warm bread under the grill for a few minutes or in the microwave for 30 seconds. Spread yoghurt or mayonnaise on bread and place chicken and onion mixture inside and roll. It’s great fun to try different things in the wrap depending to taste.

Caribbean Rice and Beans

1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp allspice
225g long grain rice
8 spring onions
225g can chopped tomatoes
375ml vegetable stock
400g canned red kidney beans
Tabasco sauce (optional)

Heat the oil and add the chopped onions and garlic until softened. De-seed yellow pepper and chop, then stir into the pan with oregano, thyme and allspice. Add the rice and stir well before cooking for 3 minutes. Add peeled and chopped spring onions and tomatoes and their juice and stir. Add the stock and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, then stir into the pan and simmer for a further 6-10 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid absorbed. As an optional extra add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce to suit your taste. Serve.