No time to plan dinner? No problem. With a few staples, you can make a quick and healthy meal.
Even with great meal planning, there’ll be times when you need to whip together a quick meal. Having a pantry stocked with diabetes-friendly staples can help you keep it simple and healthy. Here’s a list of some items to have on hand 1:
Canned vegetables (no added salt)
Canned fruit (in water or unsweetened juice)
Canned beans (rinse before eating to remove any salt)
Canned tuna or salmon (in water)
Quick oats or steel-cut oats
Nuts (e.g., almonds, peanuts, walnuts)
Peanut or almond butter
Seeds (sunflower, flax)
Popcorn (light, microwave)
Potatoes (sweet potatoes, yams)
Soup (low-sodium and low-fat versions)
Canned beans are a good source of protein and fibre and can make a satisfying vegetarian entrée (see recipe below). If you like meat in your mains, stock up on frozen meats like chicken breasts or shrimp that can be defrosted and added to a recipe. Low-fat cheese is another good item to replenish from week to week.
Quick & Easy Chicken and White Bean Stew 2
2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
1 lb. (450 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch (5 cm) pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg. (227 g) sliced cremini mushrooms
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (540 mL) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp (15 mL) each cold water and cornstarch
4 cups (1 L) chopped kale
¼ cup (50 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
- In Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook, stirring until browned, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mixture to plate; set aside.
- Add onion and carrots; cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, thyme and 2 tbsp (30 mL) water; cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are tender and no liquid remains, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add chicken mixture to Dutch oven. Stir in beans and broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- In small bowl stir together water and cornstarch; stir into Dutch oven; add kale. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly until kale is tender-crisp, or for about 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 220 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 27 g protein, 1.5 g saturated fat, 24 g carbohydrates, 9 g total fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 280 calories (kcal).
1 Diabetes Care Community. (2020, February 23). Tips for stocking a diabetes-friendly kitchen. Retrieved March, 2021, from https://www.diabetescarecommunity.ca/diet-and-fitness-articles/diabetes-diet-articles/tips-for-stocking-a-diabetes-friendly-kitchen/
2 Diabetes Canada. (2020, January). Chicken and white bean stew. Retrieved March, 2021, from https://www.diabetes.ca/managing-my-diabetes/recipes/chicken-and-white-bean-stew