Eat to beat diabetes | Useful references

There’s quite a lot of conflicting info out there about diets and managing your blood glucose if you have metabolic syndrome/you’re pre-diabetic/have type 2 diabetes so here are a few websites and stats that you may find helpful. I’ll add new ones as I find them and feel free to send me any good ones you know of.

One of the terms you’ll come across regularly when reading about nutrition is Reference Intakes (RI), previously known as Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs). These are the important ones you need to know about in respect to creating a healthy balanced diet.

  • RI calories = 2000/day
  • RI total fat = 70g/day
  • RI saturated fats = 20g/day
  • RI sugars = 90g/day
  • RI protein = 50g/day
  • RI salt = 6g/day
  • RI fibre = 30g/day
  • Reference Intake (RI) for an average adult for carbohydrate is 260g/day but this is not a target and many people who struggle with their weight exceed this amount daily; 130g is often quoted as the minimum daily amount as this what the brain requires. However, the body can adapt to a low carb approach by using ketones for brain energy and making the small amount of glucose it needs from protein and fat so there is actually no minimum amount.
    • Low carb food is defined as having less than 10g of carbohydrate/100g e.g. broccoli
    • Very high carb food is defined as more than 60g of carbohydrate/100g e.g. sugar
  • Red meat consumption guideline (pasture-raised) 500g or less/week
  • Vitamin D: 10mcg/day of the so-called ‘sunshine vitamin’ is recommended as a daily supplement between September and March
  • Alcohol consumption guidelines: 14 units/week or less with at least 1 to 2 alcohol-free days every week

Useful websites

NB: Always consult an appropriately qualified health professional before adopting a dramatic lifestyle change – we’re all different, what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.
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Cauliflower and herb salad

I’m always on the lookout for new and unusual ways to eat vegetables and add to my selection of carb-substitute dishes to support my low-carb eating programme. This fresh-tasting salad of finely grated raw cauliflower, spring onion, dill, parsley, olive oil and lemon totally hits the spot!

cauliflower herb salad

  • 1 small to medium-sized cauliflower
  • 5 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10g finely chopped dill 
  • 30g finely chopped fresh English/curly parsley – the flavour is better than flat-leaf
  • Optional: a teaspoon of ground allspice or roasted cumin

To make…

  • Firstly, the cauliflower needs to be coarsely grated into a bowl. You can do this on the roughest edge of a box grater or, most easily, using the coarse grating disc on your food processor.
  • Mix in the finely chopped spring onions, herbs, lemon juice oil and seasoning.
  • Mix thoroughly and adjust the seasoning or oil to lemon ration to taste.
  • Transfer to a serving plate or bowl. Enjoy!

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  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
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Spiced pork fillet skewers

Getting something quick and tasty to eat on the BBQ served with a simple salad can make you feel like you’re on holiday and who doesn’t want that? I love these spiced pork fillet skewers because they are not only very easy to make but also taste just delicious with a simple Greek salad on the side, or served on a pitta bread wrap drizzled with yoghurt and tahini sauce. If the weather is too terrible to BBQ you can just pan fry the pork and serve it in the wrap anyway. Happy Bank Holiday!

pork skewers

  • 1 500g pork fillet, trimmed of sinew
  • 1 fresh bay leaf, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs of fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each of fennel, cumin and coriander seeds, roughly ground
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet Spanish paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of Ras-el Hanout Moroccan spice mix
  • 1 dessertspoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1 dessertspoon of light olive oil
  • To serve: Pitta bread wraps, Greek yoghurt mixed with tahini and lemon juice, Pimenton

To make…

  • First, make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Prepare the pork by cutting the fillet lengthways and then into 3cm cubes.
  • Add the pork into the marinade and mix thoroughly. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours at least so that the marinade flavours the pork.
  • Thread the pork pieces onto BBQ skewers. I use flat metal ones but if you use wooden ones just remember to soak them in water first so they don’t burn.
  • These are best cooked over charcoal but you can just grill or pan fry them if the weather isn’t nice enough for a BBQ. Grill on very high heat i.e. white-hot coals for just a few minutes each side so they char on the outside and stay moist on the inside. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
  • To make the wraps, dress the pitta bread with a little salad of your choice (I like thinly sliced red onion, grated carrots and red cabbage tossed in a little lemon juice and salt), top with the pork pieces and drizzle with Greek yoghurt mixed with tahini and powder with some Spanish Pimenton.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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