The days of shaving every last carbohydrate our diets in order to lose weight are long gone (thankfully!), but there are still plenty of us who try to keep our sugar and carb consumption in check. It's not always easy, since lower-carb meals can get pretty boring, pretty fast. 

That's why we were psyched to flip through Tom Valenti's new book You Don’t Have to be Diabetic to Love this Cookbook. The title really does say it all: While the recipes and dishes contained within were  specifically designed with diabetics' needs in mind, they all contain a healthy mix of fat, calories and carbohydrates. That means when you eat them, you'll get a steady supply of energy throughout the day—rather than a sugar spike and crash soon afterward. 

Important to Note:

Valenti approximates that diabetic men should consume about 60-75 grams of carbs per meal, and for women it is 45-65 grams. The great thing about this cookbook is that almost all of the meals are less than 45 carbs - even the pastas! 

Check out our favorite lower carb meal and snack recipes from You Don’t Have to be Diabetic to Love this Cookbook.

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Mushroom Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ large Spanish onions, minced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms, such as white button, oyster, and shiitake
  • 1 2/3 cups of dry, unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Porcini Powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices 7-grain light bread, toasted
  • Optional garnishes: lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, sliced red onion

How to Make It:

  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and add the onions, garlic, white wine, and vinegar. Cook until the wine evaporates, the pour in the broth and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the broth is reduced by about half, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, set aside, and let cool.
  2. Put the mushrooms in a food processor and pulse to a fine dice, but not so much that they turn to a paste.
  3. Working in batches, put the diced mushrooms in a nonstick pan and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, over medium heat until dry but not scorched, 3 to 4 minutes. Put the cooked, diced mushrooms in a large mixing bowl; add the onion and garlic mixture and the bread crumbs, egg and egg white,, thyme, Porcini Powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until well incorporated. Divide the mushroom mixture into 4 equal portions and shape each one into a patty. Set aside on a plate for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a wide, deep, heavy-bottomed nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 patties to the pan and cook until browned and beginning to crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining 1-tablespoon of oil and patties. You can also cook all 4 patties in 2 pans simultaneously.
  5. Serve the mushroom burgers on the bread slices and with lettuce, tomato, and red onion, if desired.

Nutritional Information:
(per serving with bread; without garnishes)
Calories: 380
Fat: 11 g
     Saturated Fat: 1 g
     Trans Fat: 0 g
Total Carbohydrates: 53 g
     Dietary Fiber: 5 g
     Total Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 15 g
Cholesterol: 54 mg
Sodium: 983 mg

Mushroom Burger Tips:

  • Be sure to read the pages on porcini powder!
  • If you aren’t a master chef, and don’t have a huge chunk of time to create this meal, you may want to start preparing the night before
  • Aim for flatter patties, as opposed to thicker more burger-like patties. The thicker they are, the longer they take to cook.
  • The patties are big enough to cut them in half and make 8 smaller ones instead of 4 huge ones. Depending on your appetite, you may wish to do this

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Fish and Chips Style Cod

Ingredients

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons medium- to full-bodied ale
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound cod fillet
  • ½ cup canola oil, for frying
  • Malt vinegar or aged sherry vinegar, for serving

How to Make It

  1. Put the flour, milk, ale, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk them together. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  3. Rinse the cod gently under cold running water and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut the fillets crosswise into eight ¾- inch-thick pieces.
  4. Pour the oil into an 8-inch, nonstick pan to a depth of ½ inch and heat over medium to medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes.
  5. Dip 4 pieces of cod in the batter letting any excess run off and back into the bowl. Fry the fish pieces until golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the fried cod to a baking sheet and place in the over to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 4 pieces of cod.
  6. Place two pieces of fish on each of 4 plates and serve with vinegar on the side.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Calories: 314
Fat: 17 g
     Saturated Fat: 2 g
     Trans Fat: 0 g
Total Carbohydrates: 14 g
     Dietary Fiber: 0 g
     Total Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 24 g
Cholesterol 98 mg
Sodium: 228 mg

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Breakfast Burritos

Ingredients

  • 1-tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 spicy turkey sausage links (about 3 ounces each, diced)
  • 4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 4 low-carb tortillas (10 inches in diameter)
  • 2 scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 larger ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 medium-size plum tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup nonfat sour cream

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned all over, about 6 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels
  2. Add the egg whites to the same pan and cool, stirring occasionally, until they set up nicely to your taste, 3 to 4 minutes
  3. Place 1 tortilla on each of 4 plates. Use a rubber spatula to divide the egg white among the centers of the tortillas. Top with some sausage, scallion, avocado, tomato, and sour cream. Roll the tortilla around the filling and tuck one end in to enclose it, leaving the other end open, like a cone. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve the burritos with the seam side down.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Calories: 294
Fat: 16 g
    Saturated Fat: 1 g
    Trans Fat: 0 g
Total Carbohydrates: 20 g
     Dietary Fiber: 11 g
     Total Sugars: 3 g
Protein: 19 g
Cholesterol: 28 mg
Sodium: 464 mg

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photo by Ben Fink

Strawberry Cobbler (serves ten)

Tip: If the fruit you're using is particularly sweet, you should lessen the amount of sugar you add.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled, larger berries cut in half
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Nonstick cooking spray

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Put the strawberries, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the orange zest and cornstarch in a bowl and toss to combine. Les the berries stand while you make the crumble topping.
  3. Put the butter, almond flour, all-purpose flour, and remaining to tablespoons of sugar in a bowl, toss them together, and work the mixture with your fingers until it comes together in a loose dough.
  4. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Put the strawberries in the dish, using a rubber spatula to gently pat them down into an even layer. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the strawberries.
  5. Bake the cobbler until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Calories: 97
Fat: 3 g
     Saturated Fat: 2 g
     Trans Fat: 0 g
Total Carbohydrates: 17 g
     Dietary Fiber: 1 g
     Total Sugars: 14 g
Protein: 1 g
Cholesterol 6 mg
Sodium 1 mg