This may be the holiday season, but Type 2 diabetes doesn’t take a day off to celebrate. We deal with it 24/7, 365 days a year – which means we must always be aware of what we’re eating and how we’re treating our bodies. Sleep, exercise, stress, and food all affect our blood sugar levels. We need to find a happy medium to keep our blood sugar levels in a safe range. Everyone is different, but nobody can achieve that goal by eating an unbalanced diet.
I have learned, through experience, that not only do high carbohydrate foods cause my blood sugar levels to rise, they also cause me to feel tired, make my eyesight blurry, and crave more high carbohydrate foods. It becomes a vicious cycle. By greatly reducing those “carb-y” foods, I can think more clearly, I have more energy, and I no longer crave those foods. It’s a miracle what changing our focus can do to gain better health.
With Thanksgiving behind us, and the winter holidays quickly approaching, carb-y foods are all around us in great abundance. Overflowing party platters, leftovers in our refrigerator, the kind coworker who bakes Christmas cookies – we can’t turn a corner without offers of something sweet or crunchy to tempt us. Preparation is the best way to meet this challenge and still feel satisfied by what we’re eating.
Today, I’m going to share a recipe that helps me make it through without feeling deprived. My crustless quiche recipe can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as an appetizer. I’ve made variations that are simple and tasty, as well as elegant enough for a Sunday brunch that will impress all your guests.
All About Eggs
Eaten in appropriate amounts, eggs can be a diabetic’s best friend. According to nutrition researcher Kris Gunnars, BSc, at Authority Nutrition, “They are full of protein, good fats, and essential nutrients. At 77–85 calories per egg, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat, they are the perfect food. Pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs are an excellent choice. They have more Omega-3s and are much higher in Vitamin A and E.”
Scrambled. Poached. Fried. Deviled. No matter how you prepare them, eggs can help keep blood sugar levels from fluctuating wildly, and keep cravings at bay. I’ve found making a crustless quiche can unleash a level of creativity unlike most other ingredients. I have a basic quiche recipe, but that’s only the beginning. It’s the building block for an unlimited number of delicious meals and snacks.
My basic crustless quiche contains eggs, heavy or light cream, cheese, vegetables and/or meat. The key is selecting ingredients you enjoy. Think of your favorite omelet combinations – they’ll only taste better in a quiche. One trick I find helpful and time-saving is to make a double portion of roasted veggies for dinner. My favorite roasted veggies are cauliflower, onions, broccoli, zucchini, and grape tomatoes (which I use sparingly because they are higher in sugar, but even a small quantity provides a burst of flavor).
As for the meat… anything goes! Ground turkey, beef, pork, lamb, crispy bacon, browned sausage of any kind, including chorizo (dried or fresh), Italian sausage, shredded smoked meats (pork, chicken, brisket). Choose your favorite and you’ll be in business.
The same goes for your choice of cheese. Let your palate guide you. Think of what goes best with the type of veggie or meat you choose. Using pre-shredded cheese is a time-saver, but shredding it yourself will reduce the number of carbs in your recipe, as pre-shredded cheese contains potato starch or cellulose. To save time, shred block cheese in your food processor and store it in the freezer for convenience. You can safely freeze cheese for up to 6 months, so a few minutes of prep can set you up for half the year. My favorite quiche-friendly cheeses are cheddar, pepper jack, Havarti, Gouda, Brie, mozzarella, goat cheese, Monterey Jack…the list goes on and on.
Finally, think about your favorite flavors. Do you want it to have a Mexican flair? Choose chorizo, Monterey Jack, green chiles (as hot as you want!) and cilantro. Are you in the mood for a classic cheeseburger? Ground beef, cheddar and diced tomatoes will satisfy that craving. Vegetarians can opt for a classic Greek combo of feta and spinach, or pair any roasted vegetable with a creamy French brie. You are only limited by your imagination.
Below you will find one basic recipe, and one of my favorite go-to recipes. Seasons eatings, and let your taste buds be your guide!
Health Note: Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about how many grams of fat you should eat each day. Especially if you have high cholesterol, keeping your saturated fat intake to what your doctor or educator has suggested is very important for overall health. Feel free to make adjustments to the recipe to make it right for your body– lean meats, lower-fat cheese or milk instead of cream are all possible substitutions. And remember– keeping your portions sensible is the key to good health and good diabetes control.
By Anne Safran Dalin
8 servings – Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350°
3 cups roasted or sautéed veggies of your choice (cauliflower & onions, zucchini & onions, red/yellow/orange peppers, spinach & mushrooms, any leftover veggies you’d like)
2/3 cup heavy or light cream
¼ cup water
8 oz (or more) shredded cheese (your favorite kind: cheddar, Monterrey Jack, muenster, Swiss…get creative and vary depending on which veggies are used)
1/2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp both salt & pepper
2 tsp Cholula hot sauce (the one with a wooden cap) – optional. This is NOT very hot, but makes the flavors of the quiche pop!
- Coat glass baking dish or pie plate with no-stick spray
- Distribute veggies evenly in the baking dish
- Cover the most of the cheese. Keep a bit to sprinkle on the mixture before baking.
- Scramble eggs with cream, water, hot sauce and baking powder
- Slowly pour egg mixture over veggies & cheese
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until set and lightly browned.
Cool completely before slicing for perfect portions.
Optional: add crumbled bacon, browned sausage (pork, turkey, chorizo, beef) for extra flavor
Reheat in microwave for 1-2 minutes, or reheat in toaster oven at 375-400 degrees for 10 minutes.