For individuals with diabetes, reducing your carbohydrate intake and managing your blood sugar levels are vitally important. But what healthy meals are out there that are also delicious? For National Diabetes Month, we’ve got three sheet pan meals that are easy to make, packed with flavor and contain well-balanced portions – a key component to keeping a healthy blood sugar level.
“Lifestyle modifications like eating consistent meals throughout the day and having a balanced plate can help manage blood sugar,” says Lacey Gammon, NCHPAD Nutrition Coordinator. “A balanced plate contains half non-starchy vegetables, a quarter lean protein and a quarter whole grains or starchy vegetables.”
Each of the following recipes contains a balanced plate, including healthy carbohydrates, fats and protein. “When managing blood sugar, it’s important to choose carbohydrates that are fiber-rich, like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, peas and beans,” says Gammon. “Pair carbohydrates with a protein and healthy fat to slow digestion and prevent high spikes in blood sugar.”
All three recipes are also perfect for meal prepping, so try them out – and save the leftovers for later in the week!
Watch the video and check out the ingredients & instructions for each recipe below.
1) Chipotle Chicken, Veggies, & Brown Rice | Ingredients & Instructions
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 medium lime, halved, divided
- 2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 can of chipotles in adobo
- Cooked brown rice, for serving
- 1.5 cup broccoli
- 1.5 cup sugar snap peas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the juice from the chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, garlic, oil, honey, cumin, juice of half a lime, and salt in a bowl and stir until smooth.
- Place the chicken, sweet potato, and red onion in a large zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and shake to evenly coat everything in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F.
- Place the chicken and the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the chicken registers 165°F in the thickest part of the meat not touching bone and the vegetables are tender and lightly caramelized, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, squeeze the remaining lime half over the chicken and vegetables, and let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve over rice.
2) Lemony Salmon, Asparagus, and Carrots | Ingredients & Instructions
- 4 (6-oz.) skin-on salmon fillets
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
- ¼ cup low-fat, non-flavored yogurt
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon), divided
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- ¼ cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
- Cooking spray
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and halved crosswise
- 1 (8-oz.) pkg. small carrots with tops, cut lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place salmon, skin side down, on half of prepared baking sheet. Stir together yogurt, mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper in a medium bowl. Spread over salmon fillets in an even layer; top with panko, and press lightly to adhere. Spray with cooking spray.
- Toss together asparagus, carrots, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Place vegetables on empty side of baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until salmon is cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 18 minutes. Serve with brown rice and lemon wedges.
3) Southwestern Sweet Potato & Black Bean Bowl | Ingredients & Instructions
- 1 cup microwavable brown rice
- 2 cans chickpeas
- 2 cups broccoli
- 3 cups sweet potatoes, chopped into 1” pieces
- ½ red onion, chopped into 1” pieces
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained, rinsed and towel-dried
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Sauce: honey-chipotle or honey-dijon from previous recipes
- Hot sauce
- Lime juice
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook the rice according to package directions
- Combine the broccoli, sweet potato, red onion, chickpeas, black beans, olive oil and spices in a large mixing bowl. Gently toss together until evenly coated.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- To serve: place the roasted sweet potatoes and beans over a bed of brown rice. Top with any of the optional toppings. Enjoy!